The Joy of Metal Clay – Bronze Patina, an experiment in ammonia fuming

It is Halloween so let’s mix up a potion for our metal clay! Last week, I talked about firing FastFire BronzClay. This week I am going to take the bracelet from that experiment and discuss using a technique called ammonia fuming to patina it. About a year ago I was inspired by a piece and directions I found from the Squidoo Lens on BronzClay by Margaret Schindel. It is an extensive discussion about the original BronzClay (which is different than the FastFire BronzClay that I was discussing over that last two weeks). This site contains lots of useful ideas and …

The Business Chat – Craft Show Displays

Ho ho ho, yes people, ‘tis the season. Christmas craft shows have begun and hopefully many of you have one or two on your calendar. Let’s talk about making each show a super success. First of all, what would you consider to be a successful show? Will you be happy if you cover your costs and don’t throw up from stress? Do you have a target dollar figure in mind? Do you want to pay for a month on the beach from your profits? We all have different goals and standards and you need to know yours before you set …

Inspiration Friday

If you would like to participate in our Inspiration Friday posts and get some free publicity…Come on people – free publicity is good!  It really can be anything at all, as long as you were inspired from the post to make something. It should be new. Once you’ve got it made, send us a picture and we’ll post it here. Submissions should be sent to info@beadfx.com with the subject line “Inspiration Friday”  There is no timeline, so please don’t worry about trying to complete it within a week.  If you have a blog, or an etsy (or similar) site – …

Costume Idea from Craftster.org

I know, this one has nothing to do with beads, but we have quite a few avid knitters in our midst. And it’s just too cute not to share 🙂 While, you probably don’t have time to make anything up at this point – it’s a cute idea, and like one of the commentors mentioned – have someone in a cat costume to accompany you/her/him! craftster

Lampworking Weekend

This weekend, Amy Waldman-Smith will be teaching two fun lampworking classes: Amy is famous for her Tree Beads. On Oct 30, learn the various techniques required to create all four seasons of tree beads, including encasing, stringers, twisties and more. On Oct 31, you can also take a 5-hour Introductory to Lampworking class with Amy. This class is short and sweet. You’ll learn: the basics of making glass beads, the types of glass out there, and glass studio and equipment safety information. To register for any of the above classes give us call and reserve your spot! Adios Amigas.

Micheal David Sturlin class

Well, as Jen mentioned, I took part of the Michael David Sturlin classes this past 4 days. I took the forging class on Thursday and Friday, and dropped by the sawing class briefly on Saturday. Here, his sawing students watch with rapt attention as he demonstrates the finer points of handling a jewelry saw and making it do what you want it to do. Actually – as I stood and watched for about 10 minutes, (I was just passing through on Saturday) I learned about 3 valuable tips – so it was worth it. I was there to drop off …

Joy of Metal Clay: Fast Fire BronzClay – Part 2

Success!!! Last week I began discussing the new Fast Fire BronzClay (check out last weeks post). I managed to successfully fire my first two batches of Fast Fire BronzClay test pieces. I am excited because the base metal clays can be finicky in their ability to sinter properly. I am hoping that there will be better consistency with this Bronze.?!? Above, is a photograph of some of the fired bronze pieces next to unfired pieces. It gives a visual of the shrinkage. (I forgot to measure to difference between the pieces in order to determine actual shrinkage). Directions for firing …

Inspiration Friday – er Saturday

Kids go back to school finally next week – I should be back on track to regular posting soon! If you would like to participate in our Inspiration Friday posts and get some free publicity…Come on people – free publicity is good!  It really can be anything at all, and not necessarily related to jewelry. Once you’ve got it made, send us a picture and we’ll post it here. Submissions should be sent to info@beadfx.com with the subject line “Inspiration Friday”  There is no timeline, so please don’t worry about trying to complete it within a week.  If you have …

The Business Chat – Marketing Materials

My car is sitting outside, packed to the roof with my booth stuff, I’m off on the road again for another show. It’s the Signatures Christmas show. Yes I said that word, Christmas. It’s October. Yikes!!! As I pulled my booth together over the last few weeks I referred constantly to my handy checklist of booth materials. (I’ll be discussing this next week). On my checklist are all my promotional materials and packaging (which I count as promo stuff). Promotional materials and packaging are incredibly important for keeping my business alive. They promote my brand, reinforce my message, and keep …