If You Love Gems

If you love gems, if you think there is magic in the sparkle and glitter of big, coloured, faceted stones, if you can name at least three famous gemstones, if you consider seeing the Hope Diamond a pilgrimage, you should absolutely check out this blog: Gemwise. Authoritatively written by a U.S. goldsmith and insider in the world of fabulous gems, you will get to see and read about a world of high-end gems that you would never experience otherwise. Absolutely fascinating!

Exciting event for the fall

I know it sounds like a long way away, but we’re excited to be doing some preliminary planning today for the Creativ Festival this fall (October 17,18,19). While we do not normally attend this show, we have sporadically in the past. This year will be a little different. Swarovski is doing a large pavilion, with a ton of demo’s and Make It and Take It classes. Our booth will be in the Swarovski Pavilion. Nadine, Cynthia, Erin and I will be doing a ton of demo’s and Make and Take projects. These will run throughout the show. Some demo’s will …

The Customer Asks: Earring Posts

Debby asked us: are the posts on any of your earring studs 11 mm long? I need some that are 11 mm! Erin replied: Most of the studs we carry have posts that are approximately 10mm long. However, there are a few with 11mm long posts which have small divots for the butterfly backings approximately 1-2mm in from the end of the post. The following is a list of approximate post lengths for our stud earrings… 10mm – 23610916 Earring Studs – 6 mm Flat – Goldtone (Pair)12mm – 23610946 Earring Studs – 3 mm Dome with Loop – Goldtone …

Wire Wrapping 101

Have you always been amazed by wire wrapped beads and cabochons? Are you looking to do more than just wrapped and simple loops? Then this class is for you! Coming in August we will have a new teacher at BeadFX, Robert Burton! Robert, a wire sculptor, has a natural flare for creating beautiful pieces of wearable art. His 30 years of experience in the bending and shaping of metals has made the transition to wire sculpting a natural one. Robert will be teaching a 9-hour wire wrapping course spread over three Fridays. In this course you will learn basic wire …

Designing for others

It’s easy to design for yourself, or to design in your own style. What happens when you have a special request for a style you don’t normally create? Or a customer who has very specific colour requests. It can be very difficult to get inspired when working on a project that just isn’t you. Today’s post is not entirely altruistic on my part. It’s my turn this week to create our weekly inspiration, and I have still not been able to get out of my creative slump. Now that I’ve posted this, I’ve just set myself up to be forced …

More on “Standard Colours”

Last week, I talked about “standard” colours in Czech-made firepolish and pressed glass. Maybe “classic” would have been a better term – but they were the colours that you find in most lines of glass beads. These following colours are what I think of as the “2nd string” of colours, they add more colours and expand the colour palette and options but are pretty common and easy to find. Montana Blue (a dusky, grey blue – named for Montana Sapphires.)Black Diamond (because “grey” just sounds boring)Light Sapphire (a lighter blue) Light Amethyst Capri (a dark aqua) Garnet (a very dark …

Amazing Paperweights

Paul Stankard is arguably the premier paperweight maker of all time, and unquestionably in the area of botanical representations. To look at his paperweights is to know awe: the intricate detail of the flowers, roots, bugs, bees – the delicacy of the stamens, the fine fuzz on the bees, the antennae – a moment of nature, frozen for eternity. How does he get those flowers and insects inside the glass without burning them up? The secret is: they are made of glass too. They are tiny perfect sculptures, he makes them all by hand – and then encases them with …

Tag team classes!

Heather Bell Dennison and I had a bit of a play day yesterday. We’re working on creating some intensive multi week classes in metal clay. Coming soon, we’ll be hosting a 4 week ring class. Resin in metal clay, and fine silver fusing classes. These will probably start in the fall, once we have all of the projects finalized. I’ve included a few pics below, please excuse the quality. As usual, I forgot my camera, and was forced to use the camera on my cell phone 🙂 This one below is the rough clay not yet refined. Once refined and …

Sneak Peek at Next Week

What have I been slaving over this week? Well, apart from getting the database updated from the inventory results, new stuff coming up: Preciosa Crystal. A flat-out competitor to Swarovski, Preciosa makes beautiful crystal beads and pendants that are very price competitive. Currently they are campaigning extensively in the bead magazines to promote their product – you might notice some of their advertisements. We are adding more of these, and reorganizing the pages they are on to make them easier to find, separating them out from more generic machine-cut crystal. They are known as machine-cut because they are faceted after …