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Showing posts from June, 2009

Working with CopprClay - finishing

These three pictures show the process of taking CopprClay from raw to finished. It can take several days for the clay to dry out, or you can hasten the process by warming it in your oven at about 200 F. Even after allowing my pieces to sit out and dry naturally for a few days, I still took this added precaution to ensure they were all completely dry. After firing, the pieces have the look of the one above on the left. The ammonite pendant on the right has been cleaned with a brass brush. I would have finished it with burnishing and a red rouge polish, but I decided to try an iridescent patina on it, so I wanted there to be more tooth available. The liver of sulfur formula I used was provided by Katherine Palochak on Ganoksin . She has written up wonderful directions, which I followed pretty much to the letter. I can't think of any way to improve on them, and even though they are a bit of work, please try them out...I think you'll be very pleased! After dousing this piec

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day Lisa shares her selection of summery pink beads and crystals. The "Watermelon Crawl" bead mix is sure to conjure up visions of a family picnic on a warm summer day! Jewelry Making Take these quick polls about wearing and making jewelry. Which are your favorite pieces? Art Bead Scene The Trendy Bead shows off wood filigree pendants. Barbe Saint John Read Barbe's interview on the Objects and Elements blog Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi hand felts a pretty bead from wool roving. Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva A trip to glass city doesn't go as well as planned. Yet Cindy finds inspiration and few new tools! Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie mixes up gunmetal chains and components with brass to make a necklace with one of her Toolbox Treasure pendants Humblebeads Heather sketches out some new designs using this summer's hottest color. Jean Campbell Ink: Eureka! Beading in the fresh air clears the mind, bringing fresh

Working with CopprClay - firing

I was very pleasantly surprised by how easy CopprClay is to work with. After receiving some packages from Rio Grande to test out, I found it hard to stop! The clay feels very good, and I found it much more user-friendly than the silver clay that I've worked with before. A little olive oil to keep it from sticking to your hands or to the molds that you use, and you're pretty much set. Keep it well-wrapped when you're not using it. I cleaned out a small bottle to use as a slip jar, and little dried out bits (including filings) go in there. I used the slip to paint over then sea shells and to repair cracks in other pieces. The clay must be completely dry before firing, and unlike silver clay, it doesn't seem to dry out all on its own. I put all the pieces on a sheet of parchment paper, and stuck them in my oven at 200 F for about 20 minutes. If they go into the kiln wet, you run the risk of blisters and cracking. Firing the clay is a bit more work than silver. C

Book review: Jewelry & Beading Designs for Dummies

Jewelry & Beading Designs for Dummies by Heather H Dismore & Tammy Powley Another wonderful entry in the Dummies series! This one, Jewelry and Beading Designs for Dummies was co-written by Heather H Dismore and my friend Tammy Powley. Both have extensive experience with writing directions for beginner projects, making both simple and complicated steps clear. This book is a follow up to the original Jewelry Making and Beading for Dummies , so if you are a complete beginner, you will probably need this book first. The current book is focused more on designs and creating finished pieces, although they do cover many basic techniques quite thoroughly. There are hundreds of illustrations and photographs to help you as you stretch your skills and create all different types of beaded accessories using lots of different materials. Yes, there are projects as well as techniques, and they will help you master skills while you end up with lots of fun new wearables for yourself

More CopprClay pieces

I'll be sharing the details about these projects one at a time after I get them fired! Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

CopprClay experiments

I received some packages of the new CopprClay from Rio Grande a few weeks ago. Since then, I've been experimenting like crazy with this exciting new medium. While I've previously had some experience with both Silver Art Clay and with Precious Metal Clay in Silver, I have to say that I'm more interested in the copper, both for it's color and for the added measure of "workability" that I think it has. And its price!! Above and below are some press molds that I made with polymer clay (they were cooked hard before using). Slick up the mold and your hands with olive oil and press the clay in. If the clay won't come out the mold easily, just let it sit for awhile until it hardens slightly, and then it will pop right out. Clean up the edges before it gets too hard. Even after it's completely dry, I found it was still pretty easy to shape and file. I used an Exacto knife and a small jeweler's file. Here's a shot of the tools I assembled,

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Barbe Saint John Barbe reviews Ancient Modern Polymer Clay book. Carmi’s Art/Life World A vintage comic book becomes the inspiration for a necklace. Jewelry Making Summer time is affecting Tammy’s jewelry designs. How about yours? Check out her summer jewelry plans so far. Art Bead Scene Kandinsky inspires this month’s challenge. The ABS editors suggest a selection of their handmade art beads for a Kandinsky inspired jewelry piece. Earthenwood Studio Chronicles A new shipment of copper blanks has Melanie plotting for some metal playtime! Snap out of it,Jean! There’s beading to be done! Pink, gold,and cream! Jean creates a lovely necklace and earring set featuring a beautiful Russian hand painted focal from Strands of Beads Melissa shows off her work in progress - an eerie lock and key design. Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Book review: Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads

Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads by Kim Gover More than 75 different designs, with fool proof instructions and lots of backstory information on the materials, Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads is a book that stone enthusiasts will love! There are so many features that make this a useful book, starting with the bead directory that teaches you about the characteristics and best companions for each stone covered. A project selector will help you to quickly eyeball the design that you wanted to try next. Next you move on to the actual projects, with amazing diagrams and more information. These are each cross-referenced to the techniques used, which are covered in the last section at the end of the book. I love the organization of this book, and I also love the way London-based author Kim Gover has included projects by many talented designers. You won’t feel it’s the same old thing over and over with this book. Check out The Bookshop for lots more links to books abo

Making a necklace with copper findings and beads

I received a wonderful package of copper beads and do-dads from Auntie’s Beads a short while back. My mission was to see what they wanted to become :-) To make a necklace similar to this one, you'll need copper colored wire, some stone rounds and chips (I used turquoise and coral), and lots of cool copper stuff ! Materials : Copper colored wire (20 gauge) Turquoise and coral rounds, 4mm and 6mm Turquoise and coral chips Copper colored or red beading wire Copper chain, hook, crimps, jump rings, and head pins Copper round bead, floral patterned, 7mm Copper 2mm rounds, daisy spacers, bead caps, and hammered round links Tools: Round nose pliers Chain nose pliers Wire cutters File Measuring tape 1. Create wrapped loop dangles with head pins, 2mm copper rounds, daisy spacers, stone beads, and bead caps. Attach them in clusters to the hammered round links. 2. Cut 5" pieces of wire and make a large wrapped loop at the 2" point. 3. Slide 3 chips onto the long wire and 2 ont

Book review: Fabulous Fabric Beads

Fabulous Fabric Beads by Kristal Wick Kristal Wick is the well-known creator of Sassy Silkies , and she has a fun book out now that will teach you how to make the fabric beads that she’s famous for! Kristal says that she first thought up her bead-making methods in response to complaints from people that their earrings were just too heavy. “I wanted to make something colorful yet lightweight that could change each season for my fashion-conscious customers,” she says. Kristal has 30 different custom bead designs for you to learn to make in this fun book. The colors are sumptuous, and your mind will spin with the possibilities

Autumn Arbor is heading off to FMG

Autumn Arbor I just received word that Autumn Arbor has made the first cut in the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 beading contest. Now I have to send it in for the next round of judging. Last year, my over-the-top piece called Andromeda's Pearls won first place in the pearls category. I don't really think I'm going to have a repeat with Autumn Arbor in the seed beads category, but I guess you never know! Andromeda's Pearls

Book review: Custom Cool Jewelry

Custom Cool Jewelry by Melinda Barta Melinda Barta came up with a brilliant idea for this fun book. Instead of spreading her many talents out too thinly, she concentrated on just three areas: pendants, charms, and clasps. It’s often hard to find exactly that perfect piece to customize your jewelry, and if you can make your own pendants, charms, and clasps, you can add them to readily available lain beads to create a masterpiece that is distinctively yours. Melinda includes over 275 quick and easy ideas for mixed media components as well as 7 full stringing projects. Once you start making these components, you’ll never run out of ideas about what to do with them! Custom Cool Jewelry teaches you how to create personalized, affordable, and unique alternatives to store-bought beading components using a wide range of jewelry and basic crafting materials including embossing powder, collage papers, wire, fibers, glass etching cream, patinas, found objects, fabric, memorabilia and more. Tech

How to make silver clay leaves

These leaves are really easy to make, but take quite a bit of time. Plan to do them when you've got other projects going on so that you don't have to sit around waiting for the silver to dry. Choose fresh leaves with deep veins: you're going to be applying the paste to the bottom of the leaves, so you want the underside to be textured, but not "fuzzy" the way some leaves can be. Smooth, but bumpy, is good! Dilute a small amount of silver clay paste and brush it carefully onto the leaves. Allow to dry. Apply a few more coats of the diluted paste, drying between each layer. Switch to non-diluted paste, and apply around 10 layers altogether. Let the leaves dry overnight. Fire them according to the directions in a kiln. (Note: the low-fire clay can be done in a hot pot instead. Also, some folks prefer to use a torch, but I like the even results of the kiln) Copyright 2009 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for p