Jewelry Making Poll

Jewelry Making News, Tips, Tutorials, and Reviews

Archive for June, 2006

6/27/06 | MJSA Trade Show

I was just clued into the MJSA Trade Show for Jewelry Making which is taking place this Fall in Rhode Island. Just what is the MJSA? It’s the Manufacturing Jewelrs and Suppliers of America organization which is dedicated to helping designers, jewelry manufacturers, suppliers, gem dealers and anyone connected to the business of making jewelry achieve greater profitability. Members have access to cost-saving biz plans, marketing / promotion opportunities, buyers guides, the MJSA jewelry academy and advertising opportunities.

They also put out a print publication, the MJSA journal, and you can get a free trial copy of on their site. It’s a pretty decent mag, though more serious than your standard beader magazine. It focuses more on the business and marketing side of jewelry making as opposed to “how-to” tutorials.

Continue reading “MJSA Trade Show” …

We got the new Fire Mountain Gems catalog in the mail the other day. Fire Mountain is a fairly decent wholesaler of beads, gems, jewelry findings, and other beader related things. We’ve used them quite a bit and would recommend them for their excellent customer service, at least for the orders we’ve done.

Anyhow, featured on the front of their June-September 2006 catalog were Cane Beads Assortments. So what are these colorful cane beads anyhow? They are actually furnace glass beads made using Italian glassworking techniques. They get their Furnace name from the fact that they require a large (fairly large anyhow) glass furnace and an annealing kiln to make.

They get their “Cane” name because they are made using several colored canes of glass that are fused together on a mandrel. The resulting long fused glass piece is then cut across into various shapes and sizes. Cane beads can be cylindrical, square, rectangular and triangular in shape. The resulting beads have what look like vertical stripes because of the many different colored canes fused together.

Beginning jewelry makers often use cane beads in longer necklaces that feature pieces of random size, shaps and color. It seems to be much easier to go this route rather than try to find beads of the exact same size and color scheme (and they’re great for beginners because you don’t have to worry about matching). They are often sold in complimentary color lots and sizes so that you can just pick up a handful and string them up.

This particular assortment pictured above is from Fire Mountain and made by glass bead artist David Christensen. The package scheme is called “Crayon” and features between 280 and 580 glass cane beads per pound.

We’ve talked about the Renegade Craft Fair before so if anything this is just reminder that the New York show is taking place in Brooklyn, New York this coming weekend. Since it’s too late to signup to be a vendor the best you can do if you’re a jewelry maker is head down to the event to check it out in case you want to apply next year. However, if you happen to live in Chicago, they are now taking applications for the 4th annual one in that city which will take place September 16, 17 in Wicker Park from 11am-6pm. The deadline for that one is July 1.

Here’s the basic details for next week’s New York Renegade Craft Fair:

Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair
Saturday- Sunday June 17 - 18
11AM - 6PM
McCarren Park
N. 12th St and Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg

There are a TON of big name sponsors for the event, including Venus, ReadyMade and Bust Magazine. It has really blossomed since it first started up in 2003, with over 200 vendors.

Both fairs are “juried” craft shows and the application fee for the Chicago one now stands at $210.

You can visit their site at: