Jewelry Making Poll

Jewelry Making News, Tips, Tutorials, and Reviews

Archive for August, 2006

The latest jewelry poll held a big surprise for me. We asked readers what their favorite type of glass beads were. Admittedly, there are always only 4 choices in our polls so I’m sure many other different types of glass beads were represented. But anyhow, the winner was Lampwork Beads.

Here are the complete results:

I fully expected Czech Pressed Beads to come out by far on top as far as the “average” jewelry makers who mostly do beading were concerned. This is because they aren’t super expensive, and have a lot more consistency in quality and tend to be more “refined” in look than just your ordinary cheaper glass beads from Michaels or Joann.

Granted, at 171 votes the Czech beads nearly tied Lampwork’s 181 votes. Seed Beads were just about where I expected they’d be in third place with 102 votes - it’s extremely useful to have several hanks of various colors around at all times, but I don’t think they’re anything to write home about for appearance. But I’m sure some jewelry designers who wake those wonderful woven seed bead creations are going to beg to differ!

Well, I gotta admit that a lot of those Lampwork beads are indeed gorgeous. I actually confused everything by throwing in “Furnace Glass” into the mix which is sort of related to lampwork. But I believe that Furnace Glass is meant to refer to those beads that look like candy or licorice. They are made using long thin rods of glass that are melted and fused together and then cut into chunks.

Whereas with Lampworking, they actually may add other colored glass to the surface of the existing glass bead in order to create vibrant designs. I think that’s the difference, but again correct me if I’m wrong on that. Anyhow, Furnace Glass brought up the rear with only 57 votes. I still like these beads that look like colorful candy pieces quite a bit, and it’s evident some of you do too!

Our next poll asks what your favorite gemstone shape is. Again, I only have the four slots for my poll, so I’ve combined several of the shapes together.

Jessica Hicks LogoI hadn’t visited Stylebakery in awhile so when I went there yesterday there were a lot of new jewelry designers in their Designers on the Rise series. Here’s one that I picked to show today: Jessica Hicks Jewelry.

From her studio in Nantucket, Jessica creates bold yet highly delicate precious metal-centric pieces infused with a playful sense of wonder. Having attended Worcester Center for Crafts and later at University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth under jewelry and metals, she later decided to put her metalworking skills to the test and started up her own fashion jewelry line. Her focus is earrings and pendant necklaces though she does have a few bracelets.

Here’s a little bit about her design philosophy from her website:

“My jewelry is contemporary and bold. I design pieces that demand attention with their geometric shapes, hidden elements, movement and texture. My creations encourage further investigation; where the observer expects to see stones set, I place free-flowing crystals that give the illusion of color contained within pierced metal.”

Continue reading “Jessica Hicks Jewelry” …

I’ve decided to dig through the mailbag for the next couple of weeks to put questions to rest. That instead of putting up a new jewelry tutorial which is what I’ve been meaning to do for ages now. Have no fear though - there should be one upcoming which combines the Mailbag AND a tutorial…

From the Bloglander Jewelry Making Mailbag:

Brieanne writes:
Hi- I would like to make jewelry by setting images into pendants (like this one)

What are the empty pendants called-frames, cups, etc? And where do you find them? How does one make these? Thanks!

Bloglander Jewelry Making says: Whew, I’ve felt out of my depth trying to talk about jewelry making that I dont’ have a lot of experience in. So, I’m relying on you readers to correct me where applicable!

The above photo, by the way, is from the Etsy website who we’ve profiled here before as a great way to sell your jewelry w/out needing to be web saavy. (Credit for the photo and the seller: barbarauppsala. I don’t know how long the link above that Brieanne listed will be good for so I screengrabbed it to show.)

I’m pretty sure what you’re talking about is some sort of Cabochon Mounting (Pendant Mounting?) which is basically an oval or circle loop of metal where the cabochon stone, gemstone, crystal or other pendant sits. There are a huge variety of them. Some of them have 4 or more small pre-notched “prongs” on the mounting that you fold over the stone in order to seat and secure it.

Continue reading “Mailbag: Cabochon Mountings” …

Sorry everyone, I know a lot of people have sent in questions for the “From the Mailbag” section and we basically have not answered ANY of them yet. Too much jewelry making, not enough time! =) Anyhow, I’ll try and start catching up over the next couple months. Here’s one for today:

From the Bloglander Jewelry Making Mailbag:

Heidi F. writes: “I am looking for a cheap base metal finding. I have been buying them at Michaels Craft store, but they stopped selling them. The package calls them rhinestone settings, but they are not the kind that crimp around the rhinestone, the rhinestone is just glued to the top of the piece and it has loops on either end to string them together.”

Bloglander Jewelry Making says: I haven’t really used the rhinestone settings that you described before, but I think I know what you’re talking about. I’ve seen small base metal (brass or copper?) cups that are meant to hold beads or stones at Joann’s before. But I’m not sure if they had loops or not… actually, I wonder if they may be listed as “Bead Caps” instead of “Rhinestone Settings”?

A quick search on Rings n Things and Fire Mountain doesn’t show many results for rhinestone settings, but it does bring back quite a few on bead caps. The pic at left is from another site I found ( and seems to be what you’re talking about with the loops on either side.

The only thing is that it DOES seem to have the four crimps that are meant to go around the stone. Also, it is a concave instead of a flat surface, though if you’re gluing something down this might actually be better because it’ll cup the stone more securely and probably make it so it doesn’t get knocked off as easy. I didn’t see any that didn’t have the 4 crimps on them, though there are a variety with open / closed backs and 0, 1 or 2 loops. Maybe someone else knows if we’re on the right track… ?