Category Archives: wire wrapping

SNOW! Sitting at home looking at beads!

It’s snowing to beat the band! Not big pretty fluffy snow, just relentless little bitty snowflakes. My New York City street is covered. Just as well! I want to make something today.

Product DetailsI got Abby Hook’s book Wire Jewelry Master Class in the mail yesterday. Stayed up looking through it, reading the really clear instructions, thinking about what I’m willing to do, what I might do right away, and what I’ll probably never do, even though I wish I could bring myself to do it. Then, of course, thinking about how I could get away with not doing what she says to do and still get a similar look. Then thinking about what she shows, and what I probably will actually do. Woo! Tired myself out just looking! Then woke up this morning and started again.

I’m very happy with this book, excited to have it. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if the book included the two tutorials (KrissKross ring and Kriss Kross bracelet) I had bought from Abby back when jewelrylessons.com was in business and before my computer crashed and died, taking with it my precious hoard of tutorials. I bought several of Abby’s tutorials, but these are the ones I’d really like to have back. The book does have another tutorial that I had bought, which now looks like something I might like to do. Oh well. Never mind! There is so much information in this book! Then, there are all the pretty pictures. This may be the best jewelry-making book I’ve ever bought.

I actually saw my prehnite/amethyst/silver bracelet in bright sunlight yesterday. I hadn’t realized that the colors were actually so brilliant!  Now, I want to make a similar necklace with the prehnite and amethyst left over from the bracelet. I haven’t had a new necklace in quite some time. This will be simple. I think I’ll make some figure eight connectors, as I’m out of jump rings, and I’ll make a stab at making my own S-hook clasp, to jazz it up a little.

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MAKING YOUR OWN JEWELRY YOUR OWN

MAKING YOUR OWN JEWELRY
When you start out making jewelry, it is always good to have a teacher. I was very lucky to have one of the best: Eni Oken! (I went to a 3 hour class on wire jewelry, learned how to make a loop, made a pair of earrings, and was hooked! I went home, went on-line, and found Eni Oken’s tutorials – this was before she went big-time and started hosting JewelryLessons.com, a most marvelous site full of tutorials by all sorts of different jewelry artists) I made maybe 10 of Eni’s designs, and then I found that my ideas were migrating – well, actually, they were migrating from the start – Eni said “small beads”, and I missed that, and made my first piece with very big beads, but she talked me through it.

Lately, I have been making the bracelets I showed I my last post. I have  purchased and read through and experimented with a number of tutorials from different artists, but, with these bracelets, I haven’t followed any tutorial any further than “take a piece of wire”. I think I saw a tutorial about how to make an all in one piece with a hook clasp a while back, but, when I started making these, it was more like, well, I have seen this picture, and it should work out like this (I mean, I did not sit with a tutorial and follow it to do this). Fortunately, my idea has turned out fairly well.

So, what am I talking about? I’m talking about you, the designer. After you have followed a teacher for a while (in person or through on-line tutorials ), and after you have seen more teachers’ work, then, one day you get an idea in your head, and it is not exactly anyone’s tutorial, but, sort of, something you know you can make.

I love Eni Oken’s tutorials: I started with her Coiled Bangle, which is listed as Very Advanced (can you believe it? That’s like asking a baby to do Olympic acrobatics – but I managed, because she writes very clear, very thorough tutorials), and I still do love the ornate-ness of her work, but I have found that I can break things easily, and, so, I am very happy right now with these bangles I am making because they are pretty strong, and I think I won’t be able to break them anytime soon.

The pieces I am making now are simple in design, so the complexity has to come from the stones I use.

After you work with the tutorials of different designers, or even one, you may well find you are making something that is all your own.

Even if you just continue making the same tutorial over and over, you will probably find that you make little modifications that make the work your own.

MY NEW BRACELETS: Yes, I have been making things!

MARBLE COPPER BANGLEOver the past few weeks, probably to work off stress, I have been making bracelets.  I have used “therapeutic stones” to make all of the bracelets I have made, but, still, I have given an eye to color, design, and style (your mileage may vary).  These are very simple bracelets, but they have turned out ROSE QUARTZ COPPER BANGLE 25to be eye-catching (as in: people comment on them, even when I have 4 stacked on one arm).

The bracelets I’m making are “bangles”, in that they aren’t “slinky”, like bracelets strung with jewelry wire.  I’ve made each one by first making a big loop BLACK AGATE COPPER BANGLE 25on the end of a piece of 18 gauge wire, then threading the beads onto the wire.  With my first two bracelets, at the end, I made another loop and added a purchased lobster clasp.  With the latest ones, LEPIDOLITE LAPIS BRASS BANGLE 2however, I have made hooks at the end, to form “self-clasps”  (ah! free from buying stuff until the wire runs out!)

Along the way, I have run into problems. For example: the first bracelet, which I made from big blue-dyed marble chips turned out to be to short. I connected a copper coil I had left over from when I was learning how to use the Coiling Gizmo, with a copper jump ring to loop at the end of the beads. Voila! Saved beautiful bracelet! 

When I made the agate bracelet, the third one shown, it turned out to be too big. I had made a loop at one end, and a self-hook at the other end. I cut off the loop, removed 4 beads, and made a new loop.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be too short then.  I pouted for a couple of days, then took a piece of copper wire, made a loop, connected it to the end loop of the bracelet, wrapped the wire twice, then made another loop big enough to accept the hook, and wrapped the end of the wire around the bottom of the hook.

What I am saying is: sometimes, you come up with a fabulous creation.  Then again, sometimes it seems you’ve crashed and burned, but you can find a way to make it better

These bracelets are so easy, and so pretty, that I am going to start a new line. I mean, I can make up a bracelet in 1/2 hour, so the only cost, really, is the cost of the components. Expensive beads and wire will of course cost more. At the same time,  On the other hand, if I choose cheaper wire, say, silver-plated wire, or “craft wire”, or  brass or copper, I can lower the price of my work (I will still charge for my design and labor!)

 

LOOPY FREE FORM FRAME BRACELET from JewelryLessons.com

JL LOOPY FREE FORM FRAME BRACELETOh, I think I want to make this bracelet! I found it on JewelryLessons.comThe price for the tutorial is very reasonable (if you are not totally broke, but I am going to get this as soon as I can.

LOOPY FREE FORM FRAME NECKLACE

It comes with an interesting necklace tutorial, as well, but the bracelet is what has me entranced.

Check out other tutorials on JewelryLessons.com

BEAUTIFUL “ORIENTAL”RING TUTORIAL at JewelryLessons.com

JLOriental Ring

I usually post about free tutorials I’ve discovered, but I am very much in love with the look of this ring.   The tutorial, which is available for purchase at JewelryLessons.com isn’t very cheap, but neither is it overly expensive .

While you are at JewelryLessons, take a look around. It is truly a one stop shop — you can spend hours just browsing through all of the ideas found there.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of tutorials  of all sorts, from many many creative jewelry artists, are gathered there, some free, most at jl eni coiled banglereasonable cost.   I love this site, which is the brainchild of my teacher, Eni Oken, whose own tutorials are truly fabulous. (here is the  tutorial for the first piece I ever made – complicated, but I did it)

Here are the first two bracelets I made from this

Chrysocolla bracelet

coral3

tutorial. The turquoise chrysocolla was the first one. Then I made the coral one.  Then I discovered that I was using much bigger stones and beads than the ones Eni suggested, but it was already too late, and I had these gorgeous bracelets.  While I was struggling through the lesson, Eni was very helpful, bless her heart.  She is up there with the best all-time teachers I have ever had (in any subject)  She is the only teacher I have ever had in jewelry-making, but that goes miles, since I have never needed to go to any other teacher.

SIMPLE WIRE KNOT STUD EARRINGS from Dream a Little Bigger

EARRINGS WIRE KNOT STUD

I saw this easy tutorial for  little wire knot studs on the  Dream a Little Bigger blog.   The instructions are very simple, with good pictures to follow.

POST 137: CHINESE PIPA KNOT EARRINGS: 3 versions – 2 free tutorials

PIPE KNOT EARRINGS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=szNIJxDOhik

This is a link to a video which shows how to make a simple, yet very interesting  pair of earrings. (it’s a little funny, too, because the narrator is a man, but the hands in the video are a woman’s)

cord pipa knot

This is a link for instructions for the original macrame pipa knot – scroll down on the page for full step-by-step illustrated instructions.

wired pipa earrings

Here is a wired version – you might be able to figure out how to do it,  once you have watched the video for the leather version and read through the cord view. If not, then you can get the tutorial (kind of pricey) at
http://www.etsy.com/listing/62327497/diy-jewelry-pattern-pipa-earrings-wired