May 152015
 

friday findings-wire gauge.jpg

In today’s video I explain the basics of wire gauge. It’s fairly easy to understand once you get used to it. 🙂

This Jewelers Wire Gauge is similar to the measuring tool I show in the video. It measures from 0 to 36 gauge.

Also, here are links to the wires I use most often:

I like to use the bare copper wire so it will get a dark patina. Then when you polish up the high points the details really show. If you prefer to keep a bright, shiny look, then be sure to get one of the tarnish resistant wires, like this one: Tarnish Resistant Copper Wire 24 Gauge

Here’s the chart I promised in the video. I keep mine with all my wires for easy reference.

wire gauge chart.jpg

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Wire Gauge video over at YouTube.

Apr 072015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 04 08 woyww fern frond wire & pearl necklace (1).JPG

On today’s desk is another wire work project from Abby Hook’s wonderful book, Wire Jewelry Masterclass.

You can also see in the upper left the clay colors I’ve chosen for this week’s dragon. I’m usually further along by this time in the week, starting on the newest dragon over the weekend, but there’s been too much going on. Hopefully I get this one done in time! (Check back on Thursday to see.)

2015 04 08 woyww fern frond wire & pearl necklace (2).JPG

Here’s a close up of the wire work piece. Right now it looks like a tangled mess of wires and beads, but the plan is for it to be an necklace pendant when done. We’ll see!

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a few minutes!

Mar 172015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 03 18 woyww  walking pods (1).JPG

Today’s desk show me working on the walking pods from Christi Friesen’s class over at  Polymer Clay Adventure. All of the pieces are currently in the oven. I’m hoping to add this week’s dragon #11 to it. Nobody will be more surprised with how it turns out than me. 🙂

Since I’ve been showing you jewelry in progress for the past several weeks I thought you might like to see a few completed projects.

2015 03 18 woyww  wire jewelry masterclass.JPG

These copper and silver pieces are awaiting warmer weather when I can patina them outside. (For some reason my family objects to the strong rotten egg smell that liver of sulfur gives off indoors.)

The latest project from Wire Jewelry Masterclass is that ring. I didn’t really care for it in the book, and definitely don’t like my completed version. Ah well, it was supposed to be a learning experience, and it was. However, I pretty sure those beads will soon be getting snipped off and the silver recycled.

To see what other creative people from all over the world are up to, make sure to check out What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. The party starts at Julia’s!

Mar 062015
 

Here’s something different to do with wire.

friday findings-wire words

Make words, all sorts of words, lots of words. Especially today when so many names have their own unique spellings you can personalize anything.

You may have to dust off your cursive handwriting. (Do they even teach that in schools anymore?) And you’ll definitely need to practice a little to get things to come out the way you want,  but it’s worthwhile and rather fun.

My favorite tools to use for wire shaping:

This 20 gauge craft wire is perfect for making your own wire words or sayings.  My three words “love,” “joy” and “peace” come from Galatians 5:22. What words or sayings inspire you?

I’d love to see your projects based on this tutorial at my Facebook page in the “Your Creations” album.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Wire Words video over at YouTube.

Mar 032015
 

Happy first What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday  of March!

2015 03 05 woyww wire wrapped earrings

Today I’m still working through Abby Hook’s Wire Jewelry Masterclass.

2015 03 05 woyww wire wrapped earrings close

Here is one of her Mermaid’s Purse earrings done and the frame for the second one started.

I love that the fine gauge wire was reclaimed from discarded electronics by my son. All I have to do is run it through a candle flame to burn off the coating, then remove the firescale with a bit of sandpaper.

Wondering why I’m posting photos of my desk? Well it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all go visiting the creative spaces of creative people all over the world. The blog link party starts at Julia’s.

Feb 242015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 02 25 woyww  copper S clasp (1)

Today I’m finishing a necklace using techniques from Abby Hook’s Wire Jewelry Masterclass. Last week I showed you the figure eight chain in progress, plus the pendant.

2015 02 25 woyww  copper S clasp (2)

This week I’m putting it all together by making hook clasps. The two in the upper left didn’t come out quite right, but the bottom ones will do.

2015 02 25 woyww  copper S clasp (3)

Now the necklace is all done except for a  Liver of Sulfur patina. If you’re interested in knowing what that is, I made a video explaining the process: Liver of Sulfur Patinas

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a the time.

Feb 112015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone! Today I’m coming to you from the land of ice and snow… that is, southeastern Massachusetts. We’re breaking snow total records here folks, 85.5 inches since the first of the year.

I’m just thankful our oldest son is here to help with the shoveling. So far I haven’t had to shovel yet.  (I started to suit up to go out once, but was sent back in. So, Fine. I’ll stay in and cook them warm things to take off the chill once they’re done.)

2015 02 11 woyww wire wrapped butterfly earrings

I’m also thankful that my work can be done at home, as long as we have electricity & internet.

In case you’re wondering about the beer bottles on my desk. Well, this cartoon says it all:  And quite accurately, at that. 🙂

Today (whist drinking beer) I’m working through Abby Hook’s wonderful book, Wire Jewelry Masterclass.

2015 02 11 woyww  butterfly earrings

First of all I made my own wire coil ear wires. It’s super easy and she explains it really well. In the photo you can see I’ve completed one of the wire wrapped butterfly wing earrings. They’re coming out so pretty, I really like how the fuchsia Swarovski crystal goes with the copper.

Once the wire work is done I’ll be carrying on with sculpting this week’s Thursday’s Dragon. We’re up to #6 this week. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see how it came out.

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a few minutes!

Happy creating 🙂

Mar 312014
 

Well, phew, I made it! And here it is, the final project of March.

braided wire bracelet (1)

It’s a cuff bracelet braided and woven of 20 gauge jeweler’s bronze wire.

(Click on any of the pics for a closer look.)

braided wire bracelet (2)

Woven in are a floral finding and a few 4mm Swarovski crystals.

braided wire bracelet (3)

Those wire coils on the end loops were first coiled on the Coiling Gizmo, then  slid onto the wires when needed. This is a much faster, easier and neater way of doing it rather then trying to wrap each individual coil onto the loops.

I  love the way a hard material like wire can have such an organic and flowing look.

My newer readers may not realize what I’ve been doing this past month. At the beginning of March I challenged myself to take the time to do something creative and blog about it every weekday in March.

So, what did I learn from this challenge?

  1. There IS time to do the things you set your mind to do. (Just gotta get off the stinkin’ computer more, lol.)
  2. Making a commitment to others is great incentive for FINDING that time.
  3. Blogging about it makes a project take many times longer than just the creating of it.
  4. You never know whether a project is going to be a success until you dive in and try.
  5. Often the failures are the roots of future successes.

None of this was stuff I didn’t know already, but what I’d hoped would happen did. I get into the habit of breaking free of the inertia that kept me reading about, watching about & planning about new projects and got to WORKING on them.

Was the challenge worthwhile? Absolutely. Am I going to continue it into April? Sorry, but no, it was too time consuming. Hopefully, though, as a result of getting my butt into gear, you’ll be seeing lots more productivity in the coming months. 🙂

What challenges do you face in the work you do?  What have you found to be ways to overcome them?

Jan 182014
 

Hi all!  I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  I’ve been having fun trying out a technique I learned in a Craftsy class I bought a while back, Wire-Wrapped Stones Crystals and Clusters.

(Click on any of the photos for a closer look.)

craftsy-wire-pendant-before-liver-of-sulfur

I just finished this pendant. It’s not exactly anything that was taught in the class, but she showed us the concept of twisting two wires together with a power drill, hammering the twisted wires flat until spaces open and then using the resulting piece as a frame for other wire work.

It was my idea to wire wrap the scrolls, pearls and crystals inside the frame.  I used 20 gauge silver filled wire for the frame and 26 gauge silver filled for the wrapping.

earrings-from-craftsy-class

The class  instructor made two pairs of frames and wrapped beads in between to make a pair of earrings.

twisted-wire-frame-ring

This style of earring isn’t exactly “me,” but I went ahead and made one, just to try the technique. Don’t know what I’m going to do with this, it’s too small to be a ring for the finger. Maybe someday I’ll make it part of something else.

wire-wrapped-bangle-from-craftsy-class

You might remember that I made this bracelet a couple months ago. If you’re going to use copper wire for a bracelet I’d suggest a heavier gauge than the 20 that I used. Probably 16 gauge would be best, so it’s nice and firm. Mine’s kind of squishy and flops about.

craftsy-wire-pendant-after-liver-of-sulfur

Just before Christmas I picked up some liver of sulfur to add patinas to my wire work.  I finally got to play with it this week. (I had to wait for the weather to warm up so I could do it outside as the family strongly objected to the stench of rotten eggs in the house. Huh.)

Here’s the first pendant I showed you after 20 minutes in the Liver of Sulfur and then polished a bit with a Pro-Polish Pad. I need to shine it up a bit more so the darkened areas in the crevices will really contrast.  Kinda looks like an antique piece of jewelry, eh?

Btw, Craftsy is having a flash sale this weekend. Craftsy Flash Sale 1/18-1/19 For the next 48 hours, choose from over 50 classes in 14 categories that are up to 50% off.

So, if you want to learn this twisted wire frame technique, and many others check out the class, Wire-Wrapped Stones Crystals and Clusters, it’s one of the ones on sale this weekend.

wire-wrap-class-jpg

Of course, if you want to learn something else, they’ve got classes in cooking, photography, sewing, quilting, fine art, knitting and more.

Have fun and Happy creating!

Jun 142012
 

Have you ever used a wire jig? Maybe you thought it looked scary or complicated?  Actually, it’s a fun tool and a great way to get creative with wire with consistent results.

In the video below I show you how quick and easy it is to make these cute earrings.

wire-jig-loopy-earrings-hanging-centered

For tool and materials you’ll need:

    • 2 ear wires
    • 2 jump rings
    • 2 head pins
    • 2 small/medium beads
    • 2 4-inch pieces 20 gauge wire
    • 2 pair chain nose pliers
    • Round nose pliers
    • Wire cutters
    • Wire jig tool such as the Thing A Ma Jig or the Beadalon Jewelry Jig

 

If  you want to make a matching bracelet or necklace, just make more loopy components.  Instead of putting the beads on head pins, put them on eye pins so you have a loop at each end to connect. Add clasps and you have a set.

wire-jig-loopy-earrings

Happy Creating!