Jewelry Making Poll

Jewelry Making News, Tips, Tutorials, and Reviews

Archive for December, 2006

12/19/06 | Cherry Quartz Beads

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Cherry Quartz

Cherry Quartz is a very popular manufactured type of glass that we’ve been using in our designs for a few years now. It is characterized by clear to light pink transparent glass with lots of red swirled inclusions inside of it. (Sorry about the picture, which looks more opaque than transparent). It is manufactured in many different shapes including all manner of standard spheres, ovals, nuggets, drops and briolettes.

Unlike pressed glass, these pieces are not made in molds which is the reason they look so much like actual gemstones. Instead, the glass is actually cut and faceted and polished like normal precious stones. And because the manufacturing process involves swirling different color combinations within the glass first and allowing it to cool, each piece is different. This seems to be what attracts so many jewelry makers - the fact that it’s synthetic but it retains individual characteristics.

Continue reading “Cherry Quartz Beads” …

Thank you to everyone who came to visit us at the Felt Club this past weekend. We had a great time and sold quite a few pieces… earrings seemed to be a bigger seller this year.

A few questions from the Bloglander Jewelry Making Mailbag that I hadn’t gotten to yet:

Jennifer writes: “I am just beginning in the whole jewelry making/beading process. I am interested in finding out the best way to produce bracelets using jewelry wire, esp. when it comes to attaching the clasps so it doesn’t look so … amateur. Thanks.”

Bloglander Jewelry Making says: Well, I know that it will take some time to get the technique down. I’m assuming you’re talking about using crimp beads or something similar to tie off the end of a bracelet. You might find this article about creating folded crimp beads helpful. You will need a special bead crimping tool, available at or other craft stores.

Some people also like to add something called “French Wire” (sometimes known as “bullion” or “gimp”) to cover up the bare jewelry cable/wire that shows where it connects to the clasp. It’s basically very thin silver wire that comes spooled like a slinky, and you insert the beading cable through the middle of it. See this tutorial for an example of what it looks like.

Continue reading “Mailbag: Bracelets and Clasps” …

Felt Club gifBoy, I had meant to post this show much earlier but just forgot about it. The reason - we are actually participating in this for Bellaceti so nearly every waking hour has been devoted to increasing inventory for the show!

This is Felt Club (a play upon the popular “Fight Club” movie) and is a new monthly indie mini-craft fair of 20-25 revolving diy artisans making handmade goods, jewelry, paper products and clothing. It usually takes place at The Echo, but the upcoming one is going to be a larger show of 70 crafters and is taking place at the Ukranain Culture Center on Melrose Ave in L.A.

If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, stop by and say hi… we’ll be there from 12-7pm under our Bellaceti store name. More information at:

FELT CLUB: XL Holiday Edition
Saturday, DECEMBER 9, 12pm-7pm
4315 Melrose Ave. @ Heliotro

Just a quick note that Master Wire Sculptor, Inc. (Preston Reuther’s famous rags-to-riches wire sculpting company) is holding a Bead and Wire Bracelet Contest. The entry deadline is the end of the year, which is coming up rather quickly. They also are going to announce the winners on January 14, 2007 which is rather quick too!

They’ve been holding various contests like these since about 2000. Up for grabs for this one is over $1000 in wire jewelry supplies along with various certificates and awards. The best thing about it, in my opinion, is that there is no fee to enter. That’s right, it’s free - something you can’t say about a lot of the jewelry making competitions.

More info can be found on their contest page at:

Value Pack Etch Barrel Clasp-Silver

Barrel Clasps are a particular type of jewelry clasp that is sometimes used for necklaces. They are two part cylindrical screw clasps that look like barrels (hence the name), each with an eyehook or connector loop. They usually feature some sort of ridges around the barrel for easier grasping when trying to fasten - you simply rotate one part into the other.

We use these clasps quite frequently for necklaces. They provide greater security than magnetic or hook type clasps, though they are a bit more difficult to attach around the back of your neck. Barrel clasps do seem to be easier than lobster claw clasps to open up which is why we often prefer them for necklaces.

Continue reading “What are Barrel Clasps?” …