Jewelry Making Poll

Jewelry Making News, Tips, Tutorials, and Reviews

Archive for May, 2005


5/30/05 | Bakelite Bits

Bakelite BitsBakelite is a favorite plastic for many collectors. Invented in 1907 by Leo Baekeland this extremely versatile plastic went on to be used in a multitude of products through the 1940s. Lately, they’ve experienced quite a resurgence in popularity. I’ve seen a bunch of antique bakelite things at various garage sales and swap meets, but usually the items offered are the actual old products (such as bangles, dishes, and even radios).

Aileen from Bakelite Bits ups the ante by creating original one of a kind jewelry pieces from colorful remnant pieces of Bakelite, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and pins.

From her website:

I adore vintage materials and I have developed an appreciation, dare I say LOVE, of early plastics, particularly bakelite. My love affair started with a wonderful red/butterscotch Fada 1000 bullet catalin (bakelite) radio that came my way and has evolved into an enthusiasm to make things from this beautiful substance. I have been creating pieces of jewelry and other objects of whimsy from vintage beads, buttons and parts (found in flea markets, antique shops and from folks who have purchased old stock and remnants from defunct plastics factories) which are inspired by those fashioned in the heyday of this vibrant phenolic resin and infused with my own sense of fun.


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Better Through DaisyI came across some fascinating DIY jewelry from Better Through Daisy the other day. (Interestingly, Better Through Daisy is not run by someone named Daisy but by someone named Colleen!) Based in Wilmington, NC, Colleen has come up with a really creative idea to reuse items that might otherwise sit unloved in someone’s basement junk box.

Fly Away Shard PendantThe idea behind the necklaces is really unique. Basically, she takes porcelain pottery shards from antique vases up to 900 years old from China and sets the pieces in sterling silver. The vase shard pendants are then made into necklaces and earrings.

Much of the spirit of this original, handcrafted approach comes from her overall philosophy of jewelry design. From her website:

When I look around at all the jewelry in stores or online, I find much of it looks the same. The same earrings, the same necklaces. My inspiration comes from women who dare to be different. The jewelry on many of the high profile celebs often speaks volumes about their personality and that is something I want to reflect in my pieces. My jewelry is unique, no question about it.


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Tiffini Dooris JewelryFrom her studio in Venice, CA, Tiffini Dooris creates an array of elegant jewelry pieces including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and other specialty pieces including bridal items. She started out as many jewelry designers do, designing the pieces for her friends until people began to take notice and asked about actually purchasing them. I notice use of lots of Peridot and Citrine in her earlier work, though her newest line features a lot of Turquoise.

A little bit about her design philosophy, from her website:

Tiffini loves to mix unusual combinations, such as pairing something traditionally feminine with something a little rougher. In keeping with her aesthetic philosophy, Tiffini is dedicated to using the very best materials: precious and semi-precious stones handpicked for cut and clarity, sterling silver, gold, hand painted charms…

While Tiffini is designing, she steps back and allows the gems’ personalities shine through. “When I’m shopping for stones I’ll sit and stare at them for 30 minutes, putting them on my arms, my neck, my head; just seeing where they go. I’ll fall in love with a color or shape and play with the gem until the design emerges…not the other way around.”


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I’ve created a short article on how to wirewrap a drop simply for use as a pendant or earring part. This is a picture of the completed drop.

Wirewrapped Stone

Enchantment By AngelineI came across a site by an Oregon jewelry designer named Angeline who has a cool take on unusual jewelry. Enchantment By Angeline specializes in necklaces, bracelets and earrings that feature actual real flowers, herbs, leaves and other plants that have been cast in precious metal. She combines this with precious stones and gems to form beautiful and elegant jewelry. I believe each item is one of a kind, by default, since each real flower or plant is definitely going to be slightly different!

From Angeline’s website:

Angeline has been designing jewelry for the past eleven years. Her jewelry is a part of collections all over the world. Inspired by nature and the gemstones that brought her to this amazing career you will find a little “magic” in her pieces … Angeline is not only a designer but also a certified jeweler, a certified master of crystology, she has faceted her own stones, and is a mother of three beautiful children.


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Laurice Curran JewelryAs the vibrant colors on her website suggest, Laurice Curran creates jewelry that utilizes striking colors from every corner of the rainbow but stops well short of appearing too gaudy. She makes earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings using a wide variety of precious stones. Some of her more unusual pieces are her bracelets which employ materials such as chunky resin and vintage glass for a funky, fun look. Another unusual line is her “vine” earrings which feature an amazing array of wirewrapped tiny stones that cascade off of a long length of chain.

A little bit about Laurice, from her website:

In the fall of 2000, I returned home to New York after a number of years of living in New Orleans. There, I had worked as an apprentice for a family of jewelers who had worked in the craft for eight generations. During my time with them I was exposed to the intricate techniques of filigree and Etruscan design, and honed my skills at delicate metal work. This exciting working environment sparked a desire in me to apply these skills toward something of my own.

My inspiration to create a line of jewelry came in the spring of 2002, when I happened past a gemstone store in New York. I walked in and found it impossible to leave. The colors, shapes, and textures of the stones mesmerized me. I wanted to take all of them home. With a small selection of beautiful stones that I bought that very day, I made a few pairs of earrings, and I realized I was onto something. I started telling my friends I was starting a jewelry line, and soon enough I really was.


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5/11/05 | Kimberly Earrings

BellacetiWe got inspired after a big buying spree at the Rings & Things wholesale bead show so we put up some new jewelry at Bellaceti including these Kimberly Earrings. I hate to say it but when your in a jewelry designing or production slump one the best things you can do is go and buy some new raw materials to play around with. Not that it’s the best thing for your wallet!

Kimberly Earrings

The Kimberly Earrings feature luscious pearls, pale pink bicone crystals and beautiful pink quartz briolette drops. A classy and elegant design perfect for spring. Semi-precious beads are wire-wrapped with sterling silver wire on sterling silver hooks. Earrings hang approximately 2 1/8″ long.

[Full disclosure: I personally help make some of the pieces at Bellaceti.com]

Rebecka Boyd Jewelry

From her studio in Richmond, VA, Rebecka Boyd creates necklaces, earrings, and bracelets that are infused with a retro sense of style but often include more contemporary touches and flourishes in her work. She often uses warm reds, oranges and yellow colors in her designs, occasionally offsetting them with touches of cool pastel blues and green.

From her website:

After graduating with a B.F.A from Longwood University in Graphic Design Rebecka moved to Richmond to start her career as a graphic designer but continued to pursue her passion of designing jewelry as a hobby. “I went to local bead store and fell in love with the various colors and cuts of stones and glass beads. They looked like candy… so yummy! That’s when I started making jewelry for family and friends.” She started making designs with recycled glass beads that were made from coke bottles in Africa. Working with the crude and primitive qualities of the beads intrigued her…

After receiving numerous compliments from people at work and strangers on the street, Rebecka decided to pursue her dream of becoming a jewelry designer. She began working art and jewelry shows for an acquaintance. Soon Rebecka was asked to showcase her own designs which encouraged her to enter other shows that concentrated on quality and design as opposed to the more craft-oriented shows.


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Rings and Things Bead Show 2005Whee! This past Sunday we got to attend the annual Rings & Things Bead Show 2005. The one we went to was located at the Holiday Inn in Costa Mesa, CA. Each show is only 4 hours long. Ours started at 1pm and lasted until 5pm. We got their at around 2:30 but stayed until past closing!

So, you might be wondering, “What’s the big deal about going to a show when I can just order easily online or off their catalog?” Well, there are 2 things. The first is, that the prices of the items at the show have tags that show the RETAIL price. However, the sale for the show is 50% off the retail price and then an additional 15% off of that! So, even though I believe that their catalog prices are less than retail (by how much, I’m not sure). They are certainly not an additional 15% off of half price!

Secondly, it can make a huge difference to look at a stone in real life than in a catalog or on a website. The catalog picture on the website may cover up flaws, may be different in color, or it just might be something different than you pictured. There’s no way that can happen when you’re holding the stone in your hand. What you get is what you get!

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring our camera to take some pics of the actual show tables, so you will have to do with a picture of the stuff we ended up buying. Last year, we ended up with mostly “fall” colored stones and crystals in red, brown and yellow. This year we got a veritable rainbow of colors! Among the items we picked out were Amazonite, Amethyst, Cherry Quartz, Pearls, Crackle Glass, and various crystals.

In case you’ve never been to one of these things, the shows are held in a medium sized meeting room. They lay out the strands of stones, gems and crystals on many tables. I think there were about 30-40 large tables just filled with stuff. In back they also have a few tables with findings, jewelry tools, and large size pendants. They give you a large tray and then set you loose. It was pretty crazy at the beginning with tons of people all grabbing at stuff.


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