Category Archives: wirework

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.

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

Great new book! Weave, Wrap, and Coil by Jodi Bombardier

POST #121
To tell you the truth, I have never been quite so inspired by a jewelry-making book as I have been by Weave, Wrap, and Coil: Creating Artisan Wire Jewelry, by Jodi Bombardier.

For years now, I have been following Bombardier’s work on JewelryLessons.com, where she has published quite a few jewelry-making tutorials, so I was excited to see her new book.  Just the cover picture made me drool (I have seen a lot of jewelry-making tutorials since I started making jewelry, but Bombardier’s projects in this book are the only ones that have caught my interest as much as those of my first teacher, Eni Oken, the founder of JewelryLessons). 

Weave, Wrap, and Coil has 25 very clear tutorials for creating dazzling pieces.  The projects, which are grouped by level of difficulty, are very clearly described step-by-step, and photographed so that anyone can make any one of them.  (As my first assay into jewelry-making was with an “advanced” bracelet tutorial by Eni Oken, I am here to tell you that, if you know how to hold pliers and a piece of wire, and if you can see and read, you can manage any of these tutorials, and you will learn a great deal with each piece that you make).

If you fancy bold wire-wrapped jewelry, you’ll love Weave, Wrap, and Coil

 

BAR NECKLACE TUTORIAL: Quickie gift idea, for sure!

NECKLACE brass bar POST #111
Oh my gosh! It’s December 5th already, and you don’t have all the presents yet!  I’ve just  been trolling the DIY sites and found this  “bar necklace tutorial “: a VERY easy solution from Stripes & Sequins.com  for at least a couple of gifts (basically, all you need is time to get to a hardware store, time to get to a store that sells chain by the foot or by the yard, a clasp, a couple of jump rings, and about 5 minutes with a wire cutter, and jewelry pliers, to make a cute necklace).

I’m thinking you could even get fancy with little added effort, adding big-hole beads, or crystals….

MEMORY WIRE HAS A LIFE: it will die eventually

POST #98

I was sad sad sad last night when, as I took off my lovely, much complimented six-loop silver bead memory wire bracelet, it snapped, spilling the collection of silver beads all over, hither and yon, and places unknown. (the worst part was that I was on my way to bed, to sleep, and I had to pause and scoop up as many beads as I could find, no matter how drowsy I was).

So, now I know, and I want you to know, that a memory wire bracelet worn every day will only last 3-4 years (I always took off my bracelet before bathing/showering, and I never slept in it, but it died anyway).

I’ve moved onto the three-loop memory wire bracelet that I made at the same time.  It’s beautiful enough, but not as eye-catching as the 6-loop one.  I haven’t worn this one as much, so, hopefully, it has a couple more years left.