Jewelry Making Poll

Jewelry Making News, Tips, Tutorials, and Reviews

Archive for August, 2005


Urban Craft UprisingI hadn’t taken the time to look online to check for Jewelry Shows and Fairs lately. But yesterday I found out about the Urban Craft Uprising show on the IBuyDIY site (which in itself is a pretty cool place to visit)

Like we’ve said before, it can be really difficult to get your jewelry designs in front of a targeted audience. This is especially true if you’re just starting out. So it might be helpful to spring for a table at a smaller independent craft fair where the traffic is already interested in handmade things. This can also be a great way to network and compare notes with other jewelry designers.

Urban Craft Uprising looks like a fairly good sized independent craft show featuring the work of vendors in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, the show is taking place at the Artists Gallery of Seattle on Sunday November 6, 2005 from 12-6pm.

Here is the mission statement from their website:

We are funky, independent designers with craftitude. We will bring to Seattle, Washington an annual juried show of over 50 vendors whose work is handmade and reflects the current DIY revolution. Our goal is to provide the optimal environment for vendors to showcase their creations and for the public to have the opportunity to buy unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind items.


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Bella Jolie LogoWhenever I’m surfing around on DIY jewelry sites and come across an interesting piece, I almost always file it in a “Check Out Again Later” bookmark folder. I was going through my folder the other day and I came across Bella Jolie Designs again. Tricia Miller, who has been designing the jewelry for Bella Jolie at her home studio in Washington state for the past four years, creates elegant and fun necklaces, bracelets and earrings using hand picked precious stones. She uses a wide variety of gem materials including Tourmaline, Peridot, Citrine, Amethyst, Rubies, Garnets and Sapphires. These are combined in her jewelry with a choice of 14k gold filled or sterling silver findings and wirewrap.

Some information about her design process and philosophy from her website:

I create jewelry because I have a passion for the process. From selecting high quality tools and materials to completing a piece of jewelry- I love every bit. I am inspired by beautiful gems and stones. I hand select them much like most people would a diamond: in my case for richness of color, the cut, and quality. By the time I get these treasures home, I am already excited to begin creating. I love putting different shapes and colors into my hand admiring the beauty of them. Next I spend hours happily working these gems into the finished products you see on my website.


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8/18/05 | Indulgems Jewelry

Indulgems LogoI came across some really beautiful jewelry through Stylebakery’s Designers on the Rise yesterday. The company in question is called Indulgems Jewelry and from their name you might be able to guess a little bit about what their philosophy regarding jewelry is. From their site:

At Indulgems we believe in something very simple: Indulgence should happen often, in small dosage or large, to add that necessary warmth and pizzazz to life.

Our one-of-a-kind jewelry creations are hand-made with this idea in mind. We want you to pamper yourself, to wear exquisitely crafted jewelry with confidence and joy. We also believe that indulgence does not need to come with a shocking price tag…

If you believe that indulgence is a necessity and pampering is a must; if you have the confidence to stand out from the crowd, to express your inner poise with outer beauty; if you aspire to adorn yourself with jewelry that makes heads turn, and to never shy away from compliments, then you have come to the right place.

I think that’s a pretty wise way to go… for while the pieces at Indulgems are not exactly your everyday affordable item, everyone needs a little something special once in awhile. As long as you don’t go overboard, these types of gifts to yourself are important!

Indulgems main jewelry designer is Grace C, who like quite a few designers is self taught and sort of fell into the profession through business school. She creates one of a kind necklaces, earrings, and bracelets that feature luxurious precious stones often wrapped with silver, gold and gold filled wire. Her pieces can be very ornate but for some reason I was really drawn to them especialy in their frequent usage of vibrant, multicolored stones (something I don’t tend to gravitate to usually) and twisted wire work sort of in the style of “French Beaded Flowers” that I mentioned in my previous entry.

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8/16/05 | Beaded Flowers

Beaded Flowers Website

I’ve found my way to the Beaded Flowers site more than once so I decided to give it its own entry finally. Although, this isn’t technically jewelry making, I’d been investigating some of the interesting ideas and techniques to see how they might apply to making wirewrap beaded jewelry.

The technique of French Beaded Flowers involves wrapping beads and wire around central rows of beads in order to create the likeness of flowers and plants of various types. When performed correctly the results can be astonishingly lifelike and in fact from a distance or in a smaller photo they appear to be the plant in question!

I looked online and it seems this has actually been around for a long time, perhaps the 14th or 15th century in Europe but didn’t come to the United States until the 1800s. Recently, French Beaded Flowers have experienced a renewal of interest, particularly with the advent of the internet making the techniques and materials widely available.

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I held a little poll the past couple months that asked where people sell their jewelry. Here are the results that came in:

This actually seems to be pretty much on the mark. A majority of people sell their jewelry through some sort of online shop or perhaps through an online jewelry consignment site. I’d assume that a number also sell their jewelry through Ebay as well. It is just much easier in the beginning to “get your feet wet” by putting your handmade jewelry online, than hitting up boutiques locally around the area.

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picture of Crimp Bead Folded

Creating a folded crimp is one of the most important techniques for stringing simple bead and gem necklaces. Generally, you will be using some sort of jewelry wire or cable for the stringing. While other materials such as silk can be knotted, you will need a strong enough termination point for wire. This is where bead crimps come into play.

In this article, I talk about the basic technique of making a simple folded crimp using crimp beads and crimping pliers.

Tutorial on Using Crimp Beads and Bead Crimping Pliers

The other day, I read with interest a tidbit on Tammy Powley’s Jewelry Making About.com site about a technique for cleaning up metal jewelry. Cleaning up metal can be a huge issue for jewelry designers, especially those that specialize in metal jewelry that involve chain or chain mail links, or those who make their own jump rings.

This method seems a bit unorthodox and I never would have thought of it myself. Basically, it involves using a Rock Tumbler of all things! Rock tumblers have traditionally been used by hobbyists and jewelry people to smooth the surface of rough cut stones. The basic idea is to use a rock tumbler along with stainless steel shot in order to really shine up jewelry. Pretty interesting, and since there’s probably quite a few jewelry designers out there who already have access to a tumbler, this might be a cost effective way to clean up metal. Apparently, the tumbler also tends to harden the metal as well as cleaning it which I guess would be an added bonus for a lot of people.

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Jewelry from Naughty Secretary ClubYou may just want to join the Naughty Secretary Club, but not because there’s anything particular naughty about it! I always maintain that a catchy or unusual name for a DIY jewelry company can make all the difference in the world and this is a good example.

Not that they’re hiding at all behind their slightly flamboyant name. Jennifer Perkins from NSC (as we shall abbreviate hereafter for this review), creates funky jewelry that emphasizes one of my favorite aspects about DIY jewelry making - reused and renewed items from the past. Along with her mom and sister, she has created a myriad of unique necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches that are very colorful and creative. She also features a large selection of non-jewelry items that are just as cool including home accessoires, purses, and fashion accessories like hair clips and belt buckles.

NSC has three basic lines for each jewelry category which include Revamped Vintage (creative pieces made from older, antique jewelry bits), Nostalgic Notions (older antique jewelry stock that have not been worn or used before) and Nouveau (tasteful newer reproductions of vintage costume jewelry).

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