Monday, July 29, 2013

Spiro Pendant

Spiro Pendant
a new design
Remember the picture I asked about last week? Did you figure out what it might be?
I know it is hard to see so I took a closer picture.

Doesn't help much, I suppose.
I subscribe to lots of jewelry related newsletters. One caught my eye the other day. It was from Beaducation and featured a Spiro Pendant. They even had a video on how to make it.
So, I ordered the required material and followed the video instructions. Here is the results:

After wrapping the wire around the notched washer and Swarovski Rivoli crystal and fastening the ends, I added a jump ring and a chain. Voila a "Spiro Pendant"
This is a Bermuda Blue Swarovski Rivoli crystal. They come in lots of colors. This pendant will just be a sample as I am still perfecting the method. But I will be able to make it in any of the Swarovski Rivoli crystal colors. If you are interested, I'll show you what all those colors look like. Still working on pricing but I'm guessing $35- $45. All depends on availability and wholesale price.
Oh, yes, the pendant is about 1 inch in diameter.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hot, hot, hot, hot ...

Hot, hot, hot, hot...
Have you noticed how hot it has been lately? This is the second "heat wave" we have had here in MA and the longest one so far. I, personally, have had it! The brain is frizzled.
I subscribe to Dr. David Weiman's Jewelry Selling Insights monthly newsletter. I received the July post this morning. David is on vacation at the Jersey Shore and made the following comment:
"As I write this overlooking the Atlantic Ocean during my first vacation in 6 years, I strongly urge you to take some time off this summer. Replenish. Rejuvenate.
'Sharpen the saw,' as one of Covey’s 7 Habits is titled. Read great books and avoid the news. You deserve some time off to relax and watch the world go by."
Then he said: "Now go make something great!"
I got into the take some time off etc but then when he said "Now go make something great!" I wasn't sure. That has not been on my list of desired things to do lately.
But after it cooled down a bit last night, I made some more spirals. I even made a longer chain working on the bracelet I'm determined to make. Ran into another hitch but not a bad one.
So, taking David Weiman's advice, I'm taking some time off.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trouble, Trouble, Toil and Spiral

Trouble, Trouble, Toil and Spiral
(more playing with wire)
Last week I shared my attempt at learning wire work in my post  Playing with Wire. Trying to use some of what I learned, I settled on the spiral.  I think I can make a spiral in my sleep now. A friend in my South Shore Designer's group, Ann Spano, made a beautiful Egyptian Spiral bracelet awhile ago. It is amazing and I thought I might give it a go since I'm getting fairly good at making spirals.
I found a picture of a similar bracelet on the Kaboodle website so you can see the pattern.
So, I watched a few You Tube videos for some specific instruction. I picked up a few tips and started cutting wire lengths. I quickly learned the first basic requirement. You need to be very consistent and accurate in your construction. (I admit that consistency is not always my strong suit). I made, maybe, about 8 coils (2 wide) and put them together. Yuck! Nothing laid straight or looked like that picture. Fussing with the bends and spirals only made things worse.
So, on to plan B until I can learn the consistency needed. It seemed that I could get 3 together OK, so plan B is to make earrings. That turned out to be hard enough.

Here are the resulting earrings in gold plate. Not bad.
Then I decided to make them a bit fancier by changing the design a bit and making each layer smaller than the layer above. I tried it in gold plate and then in antique bronze.

I think the Antique Bronze came out the best both in the way the layers hang and in the size of each layer. You can see the gold plate ones are not hanging straight. :-(
I'm still working on my skills and learning to work with wire. Right now, however, I think I've made enough spirals for at least a few days. (I did not show you all the spirals I've made recently to practice. Remember I did mention I thought I could make them in my sleep.) I don't think making more right now will result in anything better. If I go away from them for awhile, and let the process percolate, I think I'll gather more ideas and do better. Also, I plan on calling  my friend Ann to see what suggestions she might have. It is great to have friends like Ann. I have along way to go to catch up with her on wire/metal work but it is fun trying.
Summer time....

Monday, July 1, 2013

Playing with Wire

Playing with Wire
(just getting started)
I've always wanted to learn how to use wire correctly in jewelry making. You have seen my wire wrapped pendants. (Still trying to perfect that skill)
Rena Klingenberg recently has offered a video class "Learn How to Make Wire Jewelry".
I've been watching and learning. It is great to be able to stop and start again when something is not clear. (I've worn out that feature)
After practicing a few things, I made one of her rings. (Finger rings not chain maille rings - I feel I need to make that distinction)
I like this one best.
The next thing I tried was a pair earrings. I was especially interested in this one as she showed how to make each one the same. Not an easy task I've quickly found out!!!
Here is another picture of the same earrings. My photography skills are being tested again but I'm in a hurry.
As I mentioned, it is important to practice and here are some of my practice pieces. There is a lesson in each piece.  :-) Can you see that each one is different?

These, also, show how hard it is to get two pieces the same. Each one was made doing the same thing.

If on different ears, these might make a pair of earrings. I like the looks of the design. I can turn one around to be a mirror image.
I need to practice and use the method from Rena for making earrings the same as shown above. It isn't easy sometimes, however. but as is said, "Practice, practice, practice"
I was most impressed with the section in the video series of how to make your own designs using what was taught in the class. I woke up this morning with an idea that I was anxious to try. (I do my best thinking just before I wake up). Well, I tried the idea and struck out on the first part of my plan. Using a bead on the wire. I know it can be done and I'll keep trying but I just don't have any beads with holes that fit the wire I have on hand. That is what keeps Bead Stores in business!
I'll keep trying and probably have some more for "Show and Tell" next week.