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. 😉

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 …

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. …

Monograms in wire

By Cindy Goldrick I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I was making presents for friends and family this year and that people would be getting steel wire ornaments or broomstick lace cuffs. Well, I taught myself broomstick lace in my leftie way, but I’m not ready to move on to smaller projects yet so I decided to throw myself into what I know better — steel wire and designing on the Now That’s a Jig! I set about creating letter ornaments for my great nieces and individualizing each letter to reflect their loves and unique personalities. I’m really …

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 …

Stick a pin in it

The humble pin. It’s back in the news this fall in a big way — both as a political statement and as a fashion statement that harks back to a political statement of the 70s.  Here’s a sample of pins used in runway jewellery as part of the fall collections.  As we are all very aware, after Brexit and now the US election, safety pins are being donned by those who want to indicate they are friendly and a safe haven for anyone experiencing hate crimes and to show solidarity against xenophobia.  But today’s blog is about this oldest and …