Category Archives: woven wire

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.

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.

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.

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

 

Shades of WIRE JEWELRY ARTIST: you can now get this old info on-line

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This is almost spooky – good!!!  Before I started wireworking, there used to be a magazine called Wire Artist Jeweller, out of Canada.  Apparently because illness, they abruptly ceased publishing at the same time that I wanted to subscribe.  A resource that I perceived as imminently valuable ceased to be. No way to get all that information.  Today, I’ve been re-reading an old magazine from 2006, and I see that, at the time, I overlooked the valuable notice that Wire Artist Jeweler had been revived, to some extent.  No, there is, apparently, no magazine, but… you can get very affordable tutorials, on-line, for a number of the articles which were in the magazines.

So what’s spooky?  I’ve seen a number of these tutorials, albeit re-made, on JewelryLessons.com.  I’ve actually bought quite a few of them.  Not only that— I asked one person who had sold me quite a few pieces if she would publish a tutorial or two on JL, but she refused – tonight, I found the tutorial! (I’ll still go to that girl because, even though she was so secretive about her technique, she does make nice pieces and guarantee them, for much less than I could probably make them.)  I just won’t tell you who she is here – payback!  Find her on ebay – if you look at the tutorials on Wire Jewelry Artist, you will recognize her.)

On second look at the site, you can still get copies of some of the Wire Jewelry Artist issues, each of which includes three to four tutorials.  The trick is to figure out how to order them (I’m stil working on it. Maybe you have to write to the website for instructions. It doesn’t “click-on” for me)  It would be cool to get an old copy, not only because of the several tutorials inside, but, also, because you would be owning an authentic piece of North American beading history..

Do go visit this site. Especially if you are interested in chainmaille and/or controlled, jeweler kind of wire-wrapping with lots of measurements and precision and ways to hold cabochons.

I am so so happy to have found this resource.

STUD EARRING FINDING SEARCH

Right now I am on a search for stud earring findings. What? I mean, the things that have a straight post, go through your ear, and are secured with an “earring nut”, but have a way to attach something at the bottom.

I am looking mostly for ways to make such a thing myself, and I have found some tutorials at JewelryLessons, but I do want to look further afield as well. I remember I bought some nice diamond-shaped marcasite studs with little loops at the bottom the bottom a few years back, but I don’t rightly recall where I got them.  I am going to check out Metalliferous shortly.

Why am I looking for such a complicated thing? Well, my own ears are very old, and they were pierced by the owner at age 13 (i.e., me, when I had no clue). Not only are the holes quite low, but they are really really getting dragged down with age (I was 13 over 4o years ago).  I have a lovely pair of silver drops, with gorgeous silver beads, but I noticed the other day that, when I have them on, it looks like my head is lopsided, i.e., one earring falls lower than the other now.  I figure that big enough posts will disguise the defect (the dragged down hole) and light enough dangles will eliminate most of the drag.

Anyway, that is where my entire focus is centered (except, or course, that little corner of my mind that is working on a ring design)

I’ve looked at Fire Mountain Gems, but I didn’t see anything other than tiny studs with bottom rings. I have those.

Golly! I might have to design my own thing! Shoot. I’ll have to use my own mind and think some. Eeeuuuwww! Yuck! Think? I’d have to do that?  Oh well, I guess that’s why I was born a genius (now I’ll just have to stop being lazy and use the brain that God gave me)

JEWELRYLESSONS.COM – the greatest thing to come down the pike!

You can buy books and books and more books, and I do.  Still it is hard to keep up with the cool ideas that are going on out there.

I keep on going back to Eni Oken’s Jewelry Lessons site.  I look in there at least once a week, to see what new tutorials have come up.  Eni has created the most interesting place for people who are interested in making jewelry.  It started out as an outgrowth of Eni’s interest in cold-connection wire-working, and  has grown from there.  (I am not always interested in what is going on, i.e, now there are lessons involving fire – welding, etc.—and lessons for making clay things, etc., but I am happy that the site has grown to serve more people with more interests, and it is always interesting to look and see what is available, even if I am probably never going to do any of that).

At least once a month, I see a tutorial I would like to look at.  I say it that way because I might not make the thing in the tutorial, but I might learn a new technique I can use my own way.

Since the tutorials are most often very reasonably priced, or even free, even in my reduced circumstances, I can often buy a tutorial to pick up on a new ideas.  I can store my “wants” on the site until I am able to get around to buying them, as well (gosh! I have a huge list right about now!   I just keep going back when I have some money and buying things from my want and adding new wants to the list – there are usually 3-4  new tutorials posted every week.

Check our this wonderful place (no, they don’t pay me – I just like it, and want to spread the word, so that Eni’s idea will become more and more successful, thereby offering you and me more and more reasonably-priced, exciting tutorials.