Friday, August 31, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew announces the future plans for Allegory Gallery and the NEW annex space! Jewelry Making
Dig around in your jewelry box for those hoop earrings that need a little jazzing up.  

Art Bead Scene
School season is almost here and that inspired Erin to blog about some of her favorite creative classes she has taken over the years.

Beads & Books
Win a copy of Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue. While you're entering, you can also download a free simple spiral necklace project from the book.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie makes lemonade out of lemons, or at least out of clay slabs that got too dry, and creates new pendants in the process.

Resin Crafts!
A litte paper and paint can result in a wonderful Frida pendant!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean discusses the worldwide jewelry, mixed media and Blythe doll project which she has been involved in throughout 2012, and invites you to follow its progress!  

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book review: Metal Magic

If you loved Kim St. Jean's metal beginner's book, Mixed Metal Mania, you may feel that you're now ready for the next step.  Thankfully, Kim has come up with Metal Magic, just in time!  Are you ready to rock it out and take metal work to the next level?  Then buy this book.

Metal can be intimidating.  Kim makes it less so.  The basics section covers the tools needed, metal cutting, etching, adding color with enamels, stones setting - both cold and soldered - texturing and finishing, adding patinas, and creating findings.  Each section has a small practice project to get you going and help you to perfect the techniques before launching into the larger, more daunting projects.

Let me tell you, the projects combine techniques in wonderful ways that you've probably not seen before.  My favorite is an easy peasy mount for broken glass beads - something that I certainly have enough of!  It is obvious as you read through Kim's book that she has a background in teaching, both as a public school teacher in the past and as a popular workshop leader now.  If you've ever wanted to take a class with Kim, but couldn't...well, here's a close approximation!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Update on Copyright issues

Last year we had a very lively discussion on copyright here on Beading Arts.  Everyone remained civil, which isn't always the case when discussing this issue.  Opinions were strong, but that's fine.

Here's an update for those of you who'd like to do a bit more studying.  Interweave has published a free e-book that you can download.  Get your own copy at the link. 

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book review: Rustic Wrappings

If you loved Bohemian Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel, you're also going to want to have Kerry Bogert's new book Rustic Wrappings.  Here you will find that the emphasis is on wire rather than fibers, but the same spirit pervades both books.

If you are familiar with Kerry's other book, Totally Twisted, you're going to somewhat shocked.  The style of these new pieces is a complete turn-about from the bold, shiny, and brightly colored pieces you've seen before.  Instead, Kerry takes a walk on the weathered, antiqued, and rusted side for this new collection.  All three books are published by Interweave Press, and the new one certainly lives up to the reputation.

Kerry shows you how to use common materials such as salt, vinegar, sawdust, and baking soda to add interesting effects to copper, silver, brass, and steel.  She gives step-by-step instructions for creating patinas and includes a chart so you'll never be at a loss as to which recipe will work with which metal.

Rustic Wrappings has 25 wire and art bead jewelry projects that will start you on your journey to obsessing with rust.  And liver of sulfur.  And vinegar patina.  And potato chips (yes, you read that right!).  I'll be sharing a  bracelet that I made (partly) from Kerry's instructions over on Mixed Media Artist [note: it's there now!].  She made a more elaborate version, including glass beads, but I decided to keep mine simple and just to show off one of my personal favorite patina types.  

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Nothing is more delicious than a THIRD helping of bead soup, when it is cooked to perfection by Lori Anderson as Hostess, and her fellow participants in the 3rd Reveal of Bead Soup Blog Party 6! Check out the sumptuous delights! WOW!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Want to win a prize? All you have to do is help spread the word about the Weekend Intensive with Gail Crosman Moore! You'll be entered to win some fabulous goodies! 

A Bead A Day
Lisa's love of childhood sitcoms is coming through again with a Brady Bunch reference. Take a peek at the beads that caused a Sunshine Day moment! Jewelry Making
Tammy takes a look at a new book about making rustic-style jewelry.  

Art Bead Scene
A guest blogger post by artist Kaushambi Shah shows the innovative ways she displayed her art history inspired jewelry in a large office space.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shares some rusty inspiration from her recent vacation.

Resin Crafts!
Recycled resin! Carmi gets loads of suggestions about how to redo a resin bracelet into a necklace!      

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jewelry artist: Marcy Antle

Marcy Antle is not one to rest on past successes!  Nope, she continues to share new work on her blog, Queen Marcy's Originals, and was also recently published in Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry.  Here are some of her newest pieces...not the ones that you'll find in Showcase!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Metal clay books

The Art of Metal Clay by Sherri Haab
Artist and instructor Sherri Haab demonstrates metal clay’s remarkable versatility, showing how it can be textured, molded, carved, and sculpted to create gorgeous beads.

Metal Clay Magic by Nana Mizushima
Packed with color photos showing each step of working with metal clay. Covers more than just beads, but has lots of techniques that can be used in making beads.

Metal Clay Beads by Barbara Becker Simon
A highly rated book by a highly rated author

Pure Silver Metal Clay Beads by Linda Kaye-Moses
Wonderful step-by-step projects

Enameling on Metal Clay by Pam East
Learn how to add a whole new dimension of color to your metal clay projects

Metal Clay and Mixed Media Jewelry by Sherri Haab
How to combine this magical material with everything from resin and concrete to fibers and polymer clay

Picture Yourself Creating Metal Clay Jewelry by Tammy Powley
Disclaimer: one of my projects is in this book, so of course I'm biased. I also think it is an excellent beginner's book which will answer practically any question you have about working with low-fire silver clay...a huge bonus if you don't have a kiln!

Silver and Bronze Clay by Hadar Jacobson
A wonderfully inspiring book from one of the pioneers of BronzClay work

Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry by Kate McKinnon
An amazing book by a master jeweler

Bronze Metal Clay by Yvonne Padilla
A technique and project book for beginners

Metal Clay Origami Jewelry: 25 Contemporary Projects by Sarah Jayne Cole
Not for beginners!  The next new big thing?

Metal Clay Fusion by Gordon Uyehara
The most gorgeous advanced work you'll ever see.

The Absolute Beginners Guide to Making Metal Clay Jewelry by Cindy Thomas Pankopf
My new favorite beginner's guide.  Love it. 

Metal Clay and Color compiled by Mary Wohlgemuth
The missing element for metal clay...up till now!


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Book review: Metal Clay and Color

Color is the cutting edge when it comes to working with metal clays, and it's the element that up till now has been lacking.  Now you have the opportunity to be taught by 20 of the world's top designers and to see 25 different ways to add more color to your metal clay life! In Metal Clay and Color, Mary Wohlgemuth has compiled projects that offer a ton of inspiration, encompassing many different styles, and having the usual fine step-by-step instructions that you expect from Kalmbach Books.

What you won't get are the basics of working with metal clay.  For that, I recommend another book like The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Metal Clay Jewelry by Cindy Thomas Pankopf.  But what you will get are innovative techniques for adding color to silver, bronze, and copper clay pieces, using polymer clay, ceramics, resin, patinas, gemstones, seed beads, and much more.  There is also a resource list for where to find the specialized tools and materials used in the projects.

Lorena's beautiful Mi Corazón

I was thrilled to see that my friend Lorena Angulo's work is included in this volume.  You'll remember Lorena's work, I'm sure, as we've seen it many times here on Beading Arts.  The wonderful heart pendant above is one of her two projects in this book!   

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What to do when you'd rather be taking a nap

All of us suffer from periods of time (during the day, week, or month) when our energy just seems to drain away.  Here are a few wonderful articles on how to put that time to good use...some activities that aren't taxing, are necessary, but can also be time-sucks if you do them when you should be in the studio or writing something important.

6 Brainless Business Actions by Alyson B. Stanfield

Find out what other artists think at the EmptyEasel

Visit Pantone and see what's new for the upcoming season

Create a Best Seller list for your blog

What if you HAVE to write a post but have no motivation?

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Two gorgeous tutorials for metal clay...color added!

Julia Rai writes for Making Jewellery Magazine.  In at least two issues this past spring, Julia wrote about making beautiful metal clay pieces to which she added color with ceramic and porcelain paints!!  These tutorials are both available on her blog now.   

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Resin Crafts!
Carmi has a two part blog post showing you how to use a box tea came in and turn it into jewelry.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a wonderful book! Melanie Doerman's jewelry design book, The Art of Forgotten Things--how lovely! 

A Bead A Day
How do you begin a project inspired by an entire state? Lisa shares her thoughts... Jewelry Making
How do lampwork artists decorate their beads? Here are a few methods many of them use.  

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Metal clay: a reader question

Some of Tami's metal pins as seen on Cat Tales Etc!

Hi, Cyndi! I love your blog, thanks so much for all of the info. I have a question about PMC. I'm interested in getting started (I don't have a kiln-is that a problem also?) in making tiny round bird houses with a base and a 'lid' - have you seen those and know what I mean? I just love birds and would like to try this but don't know where to start-do you have any suggestions, please? THANK YOU!

Hi Tami,
Thanks for your question...I'm sure you're not the only one who wonders about getting started with metal clay.  There are several forms of clay that can easily be torch fired with no need for a kiln, and that's how a lot of people get started now unless they already have a kiln for other uses.  Both PMC+ and Art Clay Silver 650 can be torch fired.  These are two different brands, and each has its fans.

There are dozens of great books out there on working with metal clays, but my very favorite of the newest crop is The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Metal Clay Jewelry.  It covers all the newest forms of clay, all the basic techniques, troubleshooting, great projects to get you started, and even repairing pieces.  And best of all, all the projects are done with a torch instead of a kiln!  [My review of Making Metal Clay Jewelry posted yesterday]

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book review: Making Metal Clay Jewelry

The Absolute Beginners Guide to Making Metal Clay Jewelry is absolutely the best book you can invest in if you want to try teaching yourself to work with this amazing material.  Cindy Thomas Pankopf has put together a brilliant guide for Kalmbach Books.  Why do we need another beginner's book?  Because the varieties and formulations of clay have expanded so much, older books may not cover the type that will most interest you.

Since this is a beginner's book, Cindy chooses to do the projects with clay varieties that can be sintered fully by a hand-held torch rather than requiring a much more expensive kiln.  She fully demonstrates all different techniques for working, firing, and finishing metal clay pieces but she does not cover kiln firing.

The projects section of the book begins with pretty pendants, charms, and earrings that allow you to practice many basic techniques and perfect them before moving on to more complicated pieces.  From there, Cindy guides you through stone-setting, using syringe clay, forming pieces around supports, and a number of special techniques including molds and added patinas.  Even the topics of repairing broken pieces and reclaiming left over dried clay are covered.

One of my favorite projects, found on page 98, is called a Paper Overlay Pendant.  It uses a paper-type form of clay.  You can cut this clay with scissors and use the pieces as overlays and decorations for a wonderfully detailed final piece.   

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Metal stamping necklace project

She Walks In Beauty

But son, always serve wine

Yesterday I introduced you to a fabulous tool making company called ImpressArt, which was recently honored by CHA with an award for one of the hottest new products for 2012 (here is my review).  So today, I want to show you the first couple of pieces that I made using their tools and some of their blanks.  There will be more tutorials coming in the future, but I just had to start playing know how it is when you get a new toy :-)

I've gotten all hung up on poetry lately, so two of my pieces are inspired by wordsmiths: Lord Byron's She Walks In Beauty and J. Peter Meinke's Advice to My Son

The stamping tools, steel block, hammer, and positioning tape are all available from ImpressArt.  The copper pipe, pipe cutter, copper wire, and brass brush are all available from your local hardware or art supply shop.

1. Cut tube beads from copper tube.

2. File ends and rough up each with brass brush.

3. Heat to red hot, quench, and hammer almost flat.  Heating like this softens the metal.  Once you've hammered them, they become work hardened again.

4. Insert wire, hammer flat, and heat again to soften the copper before stamping.

5. Use positioning tape to space letters.  Draw on the marks where you want each letter.

6. Use ImpressArt letter stamps and brass hammer.  I explained yesterday about how the thickness of my copper led me to bang a bit too hard and leave the circular marks.  I got better as I went!  The copper and brass blanks that you can get from ImpressArt are thin enough that this isn't a problem. 

7. The set: she walks in beauty like the night

8. Use acrylic paint rather than markers to darken the recesses.  Once the metal has been heated and roughed up, markers will not wipe back off as easily. 

9. Make links from copper tubes.

10. Make gemstone links to go in between.

11. Add links at ends as needed.

12. Attach toggle clasp with jump rings.

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received tools free of charge from ImpressArt in order to write a review and/or create a project free of charge for you.  I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Tools from ImpressArt

I was contacted recently by ImpressArt to see if I would like to try out any of their metal stamping tools.  What perfect timing!  August is metal clay month, but whenever I start thinking about metal clay, invariably I also get caught up in metal fabrication and wire too, to a certain extent.

I quickly checked out the website, and found it very easy to navigate and helpful.  You can check out all the wonderful letter stamp sets, which are now also available as a starter kit including a brass hammer and a small steel block.  These Stamping Kits were selected as one of CHA's "Hot 20 New Products of 2012"!  Very very cool.  There is a full online catalog, plus a list of online retailers you can buy from.  If you'd prefer to shop a local store, there is an email address where they will help you find one near you.  I also liked a feature of the website called a "Viewer", where you can try out your designs interactively before committing them to metal! 

Although I already have a ball peen hammer, I read about the brass hammers and found out that steel striking steel is more likely to bounce minutely and give you a double strike image.  The softer brass does not bounce off the top of the metal stamp. 

Another thing I learned is that when you choose thicker metal pieces to stamp, especially if they are soft metal and/or you've annealed them to be soft, you're more likely to get a ring around your stamped letter from the stamp going too deep (you can see this faint outline in the little piece above).  This is also the case with polymer or metal clay...the stamp can sink in deep, so be aware of that and use a lighter touch.  The metal blanks that I received from ImpressArt were thin enough to avoid this problem.

Tomorrow, I'm going to share a couple of pieces that I made with you, and show you how easy it is to make an original charm, pendant, or bead for your designs!

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received these tools free of charge from ImpressArt in order to write a review and/or create a project free of charge for you.  I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

New daisy rope pattern

My friend Stacey Gibson has a brand new Daisy Rope Pattern available in her etsy shop.  It joins the pattern for a garland rope and her cute flutterbies pattern. 

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Art Bead Scene
Take a tour of the many blogs and jewelry creations that were inspired by our Picasso challenge last month! 

Beads & Books
Michelle shares some tips for designing jewelry with bright colors.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is VERY excited that the 2nd reveal of Lori Anderson's 6th Bead Soup Blog Party begins on Saturday, Aug. 11, this week! Check her blog for the deets! <--cool word for details!  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Exciting news! Andrew announces a Weekend Intensive with Gail Crosman Moore in Ligonier, Pennsylvania! Four amazing classes with this supremely talented artist and jewelry-maker! Jewelry Making
New for August, another interesting designer interview, this time with Kathy Pines of World Wise Jewelry.  

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Update from metal clay artists Maureen and Rebecca Worth

Prevent Child Abuse America's signature
Pinwheel Jewelry Collection
for Pinwheels for Prevention

Sylvan Spirit

Sylvan Spirit features botanical jewelry collections that are hand sculpted from porcelain and red clay and fired in a pottery kiln. Flowers are then painted and adorned with pearls and semi-precious stones on 14k gold fill or sterling wire to create pins, earrings, necklaces, and headpieces. Maureen and Rebecca Worth, a mother-daughter team, design and make each piece from their studios in Virginia.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial I Have a Dream collection

Without the use of molds, no two items are exactly alike and an artist signature completes each piece. In addition to the colorful florals and leaves, the artists use Precious Metal Clay to design collections in sterling, bronze, or gold options. Sylvan Spirit has been commissioned by organizations to create jewelry lines that carry a message. Inspired by the symbolism and meaning that art brings to each of us, it is not the "what" but the "why" that makes their pieces special.

2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives, and the duo's gallery in Lexington, VA called Artists in Cahoots is celebrating its 30th Anniversary as a co-op. There will be a fabulous celebration on October 5th where the street in front of the gallery will be closed down for only foot traffic. 

The National Cherry Blossom Festival
2012 centennial celebration Sakura Hai ring

The Sakura Hai ring (shown above) was made in collaboration with Japanese jeweler, Tomoko Nakashima. Rebecca created the  flowers with PMC, while Tomoko made the ring with sheet metal. 

Tomoko and Rebecca working together

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