Jewelry Making Poll

Jewelry Making News, Tips, Tutorials, and Reviews

Archive for June, 2005

I just created a tutorial for how to make zig zag earrings. I originally saw this type of earring in a bead magazine and was initially sort of skeptical if this would look any good, especially because the items we make are mostly understated and less “jangly” or “flashy”. However, after experimenting with the technique, they actually came out pretty well and are fairly easy to make. So I changed my mind and wrote something up on them.

I think you may want to experiment different shapes on each dangle for variety if you decide to make these. I just used the same for consistency while taking pictures of the process!

Zig Zag Earrings

I hadn’t been to the Jewelry Making site (moderated by Tammy Powley) in awhile. When I visited today, she had put up an article where she talks about the technique of annealing metal and other materials. I’ve always been interested in someday trying out techniques like metalsmithing and true wire work one of these days.

Continue reading “Annealing in Jewelry” …

I put up some ideas on getting wholesale prices on jewelry making supplies. It’s pretty easy nowadays for the average person to get some great prices on jewelry supplies what with the internet and Ebay. Some of the things talked about are: buying jewelry online, buying in bulk, buying at jewelry shows and wholesale shops, and getting a resale tax ID.

Amy Peters' StudioSome really cool inscribed metal jewelry can be found at Amy Peters’ Studio which is located in Avila Beach, California. Amy designs and inscribes both large and small metal charms and uses them in necklaces, bracelets, and even rings. She is no stranger to designing jewelry, having started at the ripe old age of 8 years old. Although she was always involved with beading and jewelry making and even went on to receive a degree in Metal Arts and Jewelry Design, she never thought about actually making jewelry design her main profession until moving back to the West Coast. Here’s a little bit about her philosophy on jewelry design from her website:

It is important for Peters’ that her jewelry be affordable and accessible to everyone. “I want the designs to be inspirational and to be keepsakes and talismans for everyday life” states Peters. “I especially love the time in a girl’s life when she is just finding her voice, My hope is that my designs can help them along their voyage”

She credits her love of inscribed jewelry to a good luck token machine at the local Woolworth’s store during her childhood. It was called the Harvard Metal Stamper and for 25 cents you could put your own special message on a good luck coin that you could put on a keyring or wear on a necklace chain. Peters’ chain of choice was always ball chain. After searching antique stores all over the United States for over 2 decades Peters’ finally has one of the rare arcade machines in her home game room. Thanks to Ebay!

Continue reading “Amy Peters’ Studio” …

Finished Earring ClusterI wrote up a short article on making an earring cluster. These are small and pretty earrings that feature a “cluster” of items, usually crystals (Swarovski is often used), pearls, or small faceted gemstones. Some people like them (or don’t like them) because they don’t hang down too far but are more fancy than just a single small gem earring. But you can easily extend the cluster with chain or use multiple clusters attached to each other if you’d like to. Here is a picture of the finished earring.

6/11/05 | Vintage Faerie

Vintage Faerie
I came across some really cool looking jewelry from Vintage Faerie the other day. Amanda Kane utilizes antique vintage photos to create unique handcrafted jewelry such as pendants and charms. She also creates hand-stamped “wish” bracelets along with more traditional items like necklaces and earrings. But it’s her photo charms and pendants that really make her work stand out from the pack. Rather than trying to explain exactly how they are made, here is Amanda’s description of the process from her website:

Vintage Photo Charms and Pendants are art, or photographs, behind glass and framed to be worn as jewelry, or perhaps, placed in a special spot to be admired. The purpose of each charm or pendant is to invoke feelings to the wearer, or admirer. Feelings of dreams, creativity, imagination; endless possibilities… or feelings of special moments in one’s lifetime.

Uniquely handcrafted, each charm and pendant goes through a number of processes before it is completed. We begin with a high-quality photographic print of the original. All image designs are from our extensive personal collection of antique or vintage images, text and documents dating as early as the late 1800s. We then cut glass by hand to insure quality and size accuracy. Next we expertly frame the glass encased print by melting a silver metal over high heat to create smooth and thick frames. Lastly sterling bails are added to make the designated piece into a charm or pendant.

Continue reading “Vintage Faerie” …

BellacetiHere is a necklace we created for Bellaceti using material from our latest buying extravaganza at the Rings & Things wholesale bead show. This Pink Candy Jade used in the necklace that we found at the show is actually jade that is dyed a bright pink… it looks just like candy! We had been wanting to use some larger briolettes for awhile in designs, so we stocked up at the show.

Along with the jade drop we used up some pink crystal that are non-Swarovski to form the rest of this simple necklace. I know a lot of people swear by Swarovski bicone crystals because of their shape regularity and sparkle, but if you’re on a budget then they sell similar crystals for a lot cheaper in bulk. Just don’t expect the crystals to be perfect in shape… you will come across the odd crystal that is misshaped every so often.

We wirewrapped this briolette using 22 gauge wire… it’s been awhile since I wrapped briolettes that are top drilled instead of center drilled, so I had some trouble. I’ve been meaning to put up a tutorial for wirewrapping these things; right now there’s only the tutorial for wire wrapping briolettes that are drilled straight through.

Candy Jade NecklaceThe Candy Jade Necklace features a pink jade briolette as the focal point, paired with pale pink bicone crystal and white pearlescent Japanese seed beads. The briolette drop is about 3/4″ wide and wrapped with sterling silver wire. SoftFlex™ beading wire is used to string the crystals and it is finished with a antique silver toggle clasp and is about 16 inches long.

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

6/6/05 | Bead Storage Tip

I just put together a short tip with some pictures on using Tic-Tac containers as bead boxes. Tic-Tac boxes have got to be one of the most useful things that you’d ordinarily throw away (along with Altoid tins, of course). The most important thing here is to cut the sticker open so that you don’t have to mess around with peeling it off… saves time!

Tic Tac Bead Box

I wrote up a short article on how to correctly open jump rings. It’s pretty simple, but if you are just starting out using jump rings it’s pretty important to know. Here’s a picture of the right and the wrong way.

Jump Ring Usage