A Sneak Peak at the Next Week!

Pssst – hey – wanna know what’s coming up? Don’t tell anyone I told you! Squarelets – flat squares that hang like drops – a whole page of ’em, 32 colours, including a bunch of a color effect I haven’t seen before called “Silver Glow.” More of those offset lentils too. And watch for these two next week – I think these are divine – very much a “stone” look. Very organic – I plan on using some with some lampwork beads. When I have time. HA!

Fusing Fine Silver Wire

I’ve tried fusing fine silver a few times. First with Danielle Sweeney in our silversmithing classes, and then again with Kate McKinnon last week. This is low tech metalsmithing at it’s very best. You can easily do this at home with really minimal tools. Fine silver does not develop what’s known as Fire Scale, so you will not require the harsh chemicals that are needed to work with Sterling. Here’s what you need: Torch (small butane torch which you can get at any hardware store) Fine Silver Wire – Yay, we have some! Soldering Pad and some basic wire tools …

Two weeks with nothing to do?

Lark Books has a call for entry out. – Deadline June 16th! BEADING WITH METAL BEADSProposal Deadline: June 16, 2008Lark Books seeks designers to make unique projects to feature in an upcoming book, Beading with Metal Beads, scheduled for release in spring 2008. Beading with Cabachons, Beading with Charms, Beading with Crystals, Beading with Filigree, Beading with Gemstones, Beading with Pearls—following these successful Lark titles, now there’s Beading with Metal Beads! Including rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, brooches, and more, this 128-page book will be aimed at a broad audience of beginning and intermediate jewelers, beaders, and general crafters. We want …

Beyond AB – Other Bead Finishes.

Now that you know what an AB and Matte bead is, let’s look at some of the other exotic treatments. Most of these coatings are applied to only one side of the bead, making transparent beads more reflective because of the mirror-like properties of the coating, and making opaque beads more dramatic, sometimes, even making them “reversible” – completely different from one side to the other. First of all, some of the common, and not so common, bead finishes that you will find on Fire polish and pressed glass beads. Some are common on many colours of beads, and some …

Bead Finishes: Aurora Borealis is AB

AB Iris Matte Rainbow Azuro Zairit Volcano CapriWhat the heck are all these terms? Sounds like a magical incantation more than anything else! Well, as you know, there is a lot of magic in beads, but in this case – we are talking about bead “finishes” – which is a treatment to “modify” the existing colour. It is a light coating that is applied to the bead as part of the manufacturing process, and is very durable. The coating application is pretty high-tech, usually involving high temperatures and evaporating salts, and not really a reproducible home process. By the way, …

Birdsnest Rings

Every now and again I teach a basic wire wrapped ring class called “Birdsnest Rings”. This is a fairly simple project, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be whipping these out like crazy. Trust me, all of your friends will want one! Materials required: 22 gauge Artistic Wire, or 22 gauge dead soft sterling silver wire Fabulous assortment of Swarovski, or semi precious beads Wire cutters, and flat, or chain nose pliers Ring Mandrel Ring Sizer Needle File Coated flat nose pliers (optimal) Instructions: Cut a length of wire to 2.5 feet long, and gently straighten your …

Cool Beady Site

Just dashing out the door, but wanted to share this cool beady site I found: www.bead-media.com Down to earth, detailed advice and stories – I particularly like the Fussy Opinions section – it’s entirely possible that I harbour a few fussy opinions of my own on the topic of beads (well, on a few topics, actually!) Cheers!

Organization

As some of you may know, I’m really not known for my organization skills. My desk is a perpetual disaster zone, and everything I touch becomes an unorganized mess. However, every now and again the lack of order drives me into a frenzied organizing clean up day. I can feel that moment coming on. 🙂 I really want to tackle my jewelry. As a beader, lampworker, and metal clay addict, I’ve accumulated a “lot” of jewellery. Most of which I never wear, but it always wonder – If I had it organized and close to hand, would I wear it? …

It’s All in a Name

I love the internet – sometimes it seems like all of human knowledge is out there, waiting to be picked, like an apple tree loaded with apples – far more than you can consume! For instance – last weekend I bought, despite my determination not to, some more perennial plants. More plants means more digging and gardening and I have quite a few, so I’m trying to enjoy the ones I have for a bit. But, there it was, this spectacular tree peony, with a blowsy white flower the size of a dinner plate and crinkly petals so thin you …

Destructive Testing

We got in some new leaf shapes, and they are very cool: large, but light. One of the things that concerned me, though, is that I was a little worried that they were fragile, that they might bend and break or tear. We certainly don’t want to be selling items that are easily broken or destroyed, for the same reason that we don’t want to use them! If you’re going to make the effort to use something, the least it can do it last! I mean, really! So, I selected a leaf at random to be my victim! I started …