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Showing posts from July, 2009

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day : Swarovski Crystal Volcano! Are you ready to see sparks of red, yellow and orange? Jewelry Making Tammy's going bananas over bamboo beads! Art Bead Scene Learn how to make your own bezel with Art Bead Scene! Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi places some vintage lace/tatting between glass for this lovely pendant idea. Cindy Gimbrone Want to add charm to your jewelry? Cindy Gimbrone shows you how to make glass nugget charms. Jean Campbell Jean gives the inside scoop on Rachel Nelson-Smith's upcoming book, Seed Bead Fusion. Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei is helping to promote Cynthia Thornton's new book release by offering the 1st of 8 giveaways! Strands of Beads Melissa discusses her experiences with metal clay safety issues. The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton With Swarovski crystals from, Andrew creates a wire-wrapped dangle bracelet inspired by a fuzzy caterpillar. Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewe

Artist profiles - part two

Earrings by Leah Hitchcock-Ybarra Here's the next set of artist profiles for your viewing and inspirational pleasure. Please let me remind you that if you'd like to be a featured artist, you can email me at cyndi @ (remove the spaces), and I'll be glad to talk with you. Leah Hitchcock-Ybarra Rebecca Brown Deborah Kwitney Susan Shaw Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Book review & giveaway: 101 Wire Earrings

Denise Peck is the editor of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine, and she has written 101 Wire Earrings, Step-by-Step Projects and Techniques . The first part of the books covers the basics of wire, the tools, and all the techniques you’ll need to make all of the projects in the book. This section is excellent, with clear photos and well-written instructions. The main part of the book is devoted to the projects. Each of the 101 earring designs has a photo, a list of all tools and materials you’ll need, plus step by step instructions. There are no process photos, which might make it a bit of a challenge for beginners, but most of the earrings are simple enough to figure out from the main photo. This is not a book for really experienced wireworkers. There is not enough of a challenge for you unless you need to brush up on your basic skills. However, the variety of earrings included pretty much assures that everyone will find something they like! As we often say here, no book can

Fishing for Trout

Originally, I had planned to make this a much more complicated necklace, but as I played with a few ideas, I finally realized that I really didn't want to distract too much attention from the central medallion. So I settled on three knotted cords and a strand of ribbon yarn. I chose colors that would not only look good with the fish, but would also look vaguely like running water. 1. Cut all your fibers to at least 25 inches if you want an 18 inch necklace. I used a straw cut to various lengths in order to space the beads out properly on the cords. I used a mixture of vintage lucite and ceramic so that it wouldn't get too heavy. Knot below and above each bead, and cut all the ends even when you've finished. 2. Wrap the ends through and around a large jump ring so that the raw ends point downward. Pull the knots tight and glue them with jeweler's cement for security. Attach a chain to one of the jump rings, and attach a clasp to the other end of the chain. When the cemen

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton: After cleaning the studio, Andrew finds (and finishes) a long-lost PMC Floral Link Bracelet. A Bead A Day The new Swarovski Air Blue crystals are perfect for summertime jewelry making. Lisa has used them to represent a "happy day" in this ring and necklace set. Jewelry Making Rock clubs rock, literally, when you are looking for inexpensive, local jwelry making classes. Art Bead Scene Tired of your liver of sulfur going bad? Check out this - Patina Gel! Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi introduces a vintage walnut to rhinestsones. Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Cindy takes on heavy metal in the studio. No, you won't need to cover your ears - just your hands! Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie takes some time to show off a few new resin and brass collage pendants! Jean Campbell Jean visited Chicago and discovered a new beading technique using pleather and Conso Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio

Artist profiles - part one

Earrings by Wendy Van Camp Starting back in 2007, I began to post profiles of artists whose work I especially admired. I figured that the best way to keep those wonderful profiles from vanishing into obscurity would be to index them here and remind folks that they are out there. So, here's the first batch! I'm going to post them chronologically, about five at a time so that you won't get overwhelmed by the sheer volume...there are 38 of them so far, and there will be more! If you'd like to be a featured artist, please let me know. You can email me at cyndi @ (remove the spaces), and I'll be glad to talk with you. Please don't hesitate because you're a beginner either...not all the folks you're going to see profiled here are "professionals", whatever that means! Wendy Van Camp Kelly Alvarez Mace Amy E Fraser Penny Purdie Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , m

Making CopprClay disc necklace - part two

In the first part of our tutorial, we looked at how to create the CopprClay focal discs . Now we're going to look at one possible way to use them in a finished necklace. I decided to mix my metals up a bit: I really like the rustic look of bronze, copper, and antique brass together, but you can stick with all one metal if you prefer. Here's what I used: Materials & Tools: 5 focal copper discs 5 vintage rhinestone buttons in bronze setting 10" of raw brass chain 18 raw brass jump rings, 7.25 mm 9 copper jump rings, 6 mm 10 mm copper drop 5" copper wire 4 hammered copper loops Quick drying epoxy resin Round nose pliers Flat nose pliers, Wire cutters Small file Measuring tape (Sources: CopprClay from Rio Grande , raw brass from Vintaj , copper from Auntie's Beads and Rings & Things ) 1. Form, fire, patinate, and finish your focal discs according to the tutorial link for part one above. 2. Use the jump rings and hammered loops to attach the discs together

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Strands of Beads : Melissa shows off a new variation of her lunar phases toggle Art Bead Scene ABS Editor Heather is on the road. Check out her quick project! Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Gets Loopy Check out Cindy's new project in the summer edition of Step by Step Wire! Drawing Dilemma Jean asks her friends about what drawing programs they use for beading illustrations The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Busier than a bee, Andrew shares fifteen new jewelry designs. A Bead A Day Can a piece of jewelry create a feeling of calm and happiness? Check out Lisa's starry bracelet made with "new jade" stones. Jewelry Making How has your web store experience been? Are there too many 3rd partry sites to sell or buy jewelry these days? Take the poll as a sell or buyer. Barbe Saint John Barbe reviews Simply Gemstones book Carmi's Art/Life World Rub-ons and leather - a cool combination for this cuff sample. Earthenwood Studio Chron

Making a CopprClay disc necklace - part one

The first stage in creating a CopprClay necklace with disc-shaped focals is to roll out, texture, fire, and finish the focals themselves. Start with small balls of CopprClay, about 3/8 inch across. Keep all of them under plastic wrap except for the one you're working with at the time. Follow the general instructions found at this tutorial for handling your clay. Next week I'll take you through the steps of assembling these discs into the necklace shown above! 1. Roll out the clay on parchment paper and use texture plates to add patterns to each one. Use a small awl or nail to create holes where you will be linking the focals later. Gently transfer each disc to a small plastic paint palette and let them dry there to create a gentle rounded shape. 2. After the pieces have dried thoroughly, file and trim any areas that need it (like around the holes and rough edges). Fire according to the general instructions given in the tutorial link above. The photo above shows the dis

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Humblebeads : Check out the 2009 Bead Cruise design contest winners! Jean Campbell Jean Campbell finished off her new LeTemps Necklace design which marries bling to grunge. Hurray! Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei has busted out of the studio and into the Museum of Art for a trunk show. Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean reviews a different, colorful, and inspiring book called Glass, by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett Strands of Beads Melissa talks about where to find reliable information on copyrights - the U.S. Copyright Office, of course! The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Challenging himself with a smaller scale, Andrew tackles doll jewelry. Check out five new designs with dolls in mind! A Bead A Day Lisa’s “Swarovski Summer Picnic” project is progressing. The only thing missing are the crystally butterflies!! Jewelry Making School's out for summer, but is it really? Nope, not when you can take one of these free

General instructions for working with CopprClay

Keep your clay sealed tightly when not in use. Use a bit of olive oil on your hands and any press molds. Roll out the clay and work with it on parchment paper. This paper is excellent all-around as a work surface. Tiny scraps can be added to a slip jar to use as paste, or can be ground up and reconstituted with water and patience, as long as they haven't been fired. CopprClay takes several days to dry, or can be hastened by placing in the oven (on parchment paper) at about 200 F for 15 to 20 minutes. More time if the piece is thick. It's vital to have the clay dry before firing, or you may end up with blisters and cracks. Make sure it's dry clear through, not just on the surface. Do as much of your clean up on the piece as possible before firing. Even when the clay is dry, it is still pretty easy to refine, using an Exacto knife and a jewelers' files. CopprClay must be surrounded by activated charcoal when firing to prevent serious discoloration from oxygen. It ca

Artist profile on "The Artful Crafter"

Orinoco Flow You'll find Eileen Bergen's links regularly in my weekly artsy link round-ups on Mixed Media Artist . This week, Eileen (aka The Artful Crafter ) has posted a two part artist profile with me on her blog! I was extremely flattered to have Eileen ask me to do this. Here are the links: Part one and Part two Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Magazine submissions for beading and jewelry

Do you want to write for a magazine or see your work featured in one? What have I missed? Bead & Button Step by Step Wire Jewelry Stringing Beadwork Bead Unique Belle Armoire Jewelry Artist Art Jewelry BeadStyle Bead Trends Bead (UK) Beads & Beyond (UK) Creative Jewelry Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva: Cindy learns to make murrini and deals with mud. Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Even without a lot of time on her hands, Melanie finishes a clockwork themed bracelet using Swarovski faceted rings from Humblebeads Bead & Button stash and Heather's inspired creations Jean Campbell Jean gives a sneak peek of her next Beadwork magazine piece Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Instead of continuing on with the tried and true techniques of jewelry design, Lorelei is finally ready to take the leap and try something new. Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean gets her cool stash from Use the Muse II, and muses about it Strands of Beads Melissa wants to know what outrageous materials are in your beading stash? The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Stop by and say hello to Andrew in Charlotte, NC this weekend. Check out his new designs and some delicious new metal clay coins! A Bead A Day Do you love S

Book review: Ancient Modern Polymer Clay & Wire Jewelry

Ancient Modern Polymer Clay and Wire Jewelry by Ronna Sarvas Weltman This is one of the most unique polymer clay books that I’ve seen! It begins with the usual solid information on materials, tools, and techniques that you’ll find in many books, but that’s where the similarity ends. Ronna’s style is primitive, organic, and full of joy. If you’ve been looking for opportunities to shed the rules and just see what happens, this may be the perfect book for you. The style of this jewelry will not be for everyone, so if you don’t care for the piece on the cover, it is very indicative of the style throughout. There’s lots of color inside, but it tends to be subdued and natural. The finished pieces are not pretty, but they are boldly arresting and intriguing.