InspirationFX: Greener Pastures

Snow is melting, and a warm breeze blows through the fields. Spring begins approaching as the grass reaches towards the warm sun rays. The horses nibble on the visible greenery, strengthening them for the run. As they trot off into the horizon in search of greener pastures, the sweet smell of adventure lingers behind tempting you to follow. A free-formed shaped pendant hangs from antique copper ball chain. Green beads dangle, calling to you to follow. The simply strung bracelet is a sweet treat if you choose.   Pendant: On a headpin, stack – Bead Cap, Green Asteroid Bead,Bead Cap …

How beads are made

check out this video – just over 12 minutes – sound not required – of bead production in India. (presumably). Ignore the subtitles, in most cases they seem to suffer from translation issues. (i.e. they are NOT making Swarovski beads!) Of particular interest is the cutting of hollow rods into seedbeads and small beads, the faceting of beads, and the machine for coating (not dyeing – again – translation issues.) Definitely worth the watch. The employees don’t look too happy though. But you might never drop a bead and fail to pick it up again.

 Back from Tucson

By Cindy Goldrick It was, as always, a whirlwind of excitement under sunny blue skies. I got out to a few shows but spent most of my time at the To Bead True Blue show.  At the Pueblo show I drooled over the Fretz Tools and ended up splurging on Bill’s new cast iron soldering pan — just the small one though, since I was pretty sure the big one would tip my luggage over the 50lb mark. I’m in love with it and I know it will last a lifetime.  Also at the Pueblo show I found a smoking …

Pretty pretty porcelain!

Ceramic beads – I bet most of you think of them as “cheap” and mass produced. But nothing could be further from the truth if you do a little sleuthing. There are some beautiful, handmade, one-of-a-kind, ceramic beads being created around the world, just waiting to be added into your beautiful designs.  Ceramic, or porcelain beads, have been around for thousands of years and have been unearthed in graves from China to North America. Clay is easily shaped into beads of any size and can be air-dried, sanded and painted. The first beads created by humans were likely air-dried.  Then …

Book review: Metalsmithing Made Easy

One of the best teachers and writers I know is the amazing Kate Richbourg. She is an expert at breaking down the steps in metalworking to ensure no tears and great results. Her first book, Simple Soldering: A Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry Making (Interweave, 2012) is an indispensable guide to soldering. If you don’t have it, order it today. You won’t regret it.  A few months ago Kate’s second book from Interweave was released and it picks up where her first left off, but can also stand alone: Metalsmithing Made Easy. This book will hold your interest if you sit …

Expired: Holiday Hours

We are closed over the holidays from Christmas through to the New Year, and reopening Jan 2, 2017. See you next year! (However – our trusty computers will be standing by to take your online orders, which will ship when we are back in the store in January!) Save Save

Looking at 2017 jewellery trends

I’m looking forward to an exciting 2017 – a year of designing, teaching and attending events and classes such as the shows in Tucson and Bead & Button. As I make my plans, I spend a lot of time researching trends in jewellery. Following up on my fall 2016 trend report, I can see that many trends I reported on are still going strong while some have been modified and new ones added. Here’s what the major fashion magazines are reporting as major jewellery trends for spring 2017.  Statement necklaces – the longer the better and the bigger the better. …