Faux Gold Colour Match

We got a good question last night – what is the best color match in findings for the new faux gold from Parawire? So here we go – grab a roll of wire and head over to the findings counter in the store, which is sorted by colour, like the website. Antiqued Brass – it looks nice with it – but is definitely not a match. Bright Brass – this is a really nice match, very good together.   Here is it with the gold plated – it’s good – close, but not quite as good as the brass. It …

Taming the Wild Rat (Tail)

Rat Tail (Rattail, Rat-tail) – is a fat, satiny cord that is perfect for knotting, and comes in a huge selection of glossy, vibrant colors. It is strong, colorfast, UV resistant, and works well for many crafts besides jewelry making. (I can attest to it’s durability – I use a piece of it to hang the thermometer in the pool. Between the sunlight and the occasional chlorine schock – that is pretty harsh testing.) It is woven from nylon, and when you cut the end, it will fray very rapidly. The fastest way to stop this is to gently fuse …

Making a Glass Bead

Ever wonder what it looks like to make a glass bead? This was shot by, and of one of our instructors – Dwyn “DragonJools” Tomlinson. It’s just a little bead with some dots – nothing fancy – but if you are interested – we have classes! And if you think it looks as scary as all heck – then remember to buy lampwork beads from the artists that make them – so you don’t have to. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bezels, and how to fill an empty space

By Cindy Goldrick I love bezels. They are open spaces that have infinite creative possibilities. No matter what kind of technique you use, there is some way for you to fill that space with something that speaks to you. Here are some inspiration pieces and also suggestions for online tutorials to get your creativity flowing. Fill your bezels with paper and glass I’ve used watchmakers quality glass and glue that dries transparent to assemble this easy pendant. It’s a great way to feature a family photo or souvenir from a memorable trip. Fill your bezels with metal Here I used …

In a pickle

By Cindy Goldrick Firescale is the residue layer of oxides that forms on the surface of metal when itโ€™s heated. At high temperatures, oxygen mixes with the copper to form cuprous oxide and then cupric oxide. Pickle is, at its most basic, a liquid that allows you to quickly and easily remove this oxidation from your metal, especially if you’re soldering bezels and need clean metal for further soldering steps. There are many kinds of pickle. The one you’re likely most familiar with is a sulphuric acid that’s often sold under the brand-name Sparex. It is a dry acid compound …

Chain Gang

Deciding how to hang a finished pendant is a very important part of your jewellery design process. You have to consider several things: weight of the pendant, size, material, colour, delicacy and, of course, cost. In addition, whether you’re framing this work of art for personal wear or sale makes a huge impact – if it’s for sale then cost of the material and ease of replication are likely more important to you. I’ve used informal materials such as leather and ball chain to suit more contemporary designs (these materials are inexpensive and quick, easy solutions for items you are …

Gettin' Jiggy with it again

By Cindy Goldrick I spent the weekend playing with my Now That’s a Jig! which was developed by the amazing Brenda Schweder. For those of you who don’t know, this wonderful tool allows you to easily wrangle wire into and around shaped pegs of all styles.    Here’s a picture of the NTaJ! set-up to create a neckwire. I use this configuration as the basis for a soldered bezel necklace I’m teaching this fall.  This weekend I was making my version of Brenda’s Kinetic Links necklace (see pic further down). I learned about this pattern on one of Brenda’s Facebook …

First Look: Aluminum Stamping Blanks, Mandala multi-component stamps and the best stamping tip ever!

 I have to admit – I was deeply, deeply skeptical about the idea of aluminum blanks for stamping on with metal. Aluminum can look singularly unlovely – IMHO – and I figured it would scratch like crazy. However – apparently I was wrong. OK – first up – the hottest stamping tip of the century – and I discovered this rather serendipitously. I’m sure someone else has discovered it independently – but I found this out as a result of having an untidy workspace. So there, neat-freaks. The recommended surface for stamping metal is a steel block sitting on a …

How to: Copper Cuff

By Cindy Goldrick Since last week’s blog was a “How To” I decided to offer another one this week. I designed this cuff over four years ago and I still love it and wear it a lot. It has an Etruscan (or maybe Celtic?) feel to it, and looks like you plucked it from a horde on display at a museum.  Here’s how to make one of your own.  Start with a sheet of 30 gauge copper from which you will measure and cut a piece from it that measures 2.5″ high and a length suitable for your wrist. Mine …