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Stringing and Jewelry-Making Fundamentals

Using Accu-GuardsAt one end of a length of Accu-Flex beading wire (cut to the proper length for your design) thread on a crimp bead (or crimp tube) then thread the wire through one side of an Accu-Guard wire protector. Continue passing the wire over...

Mandrels

A mandrel is a metalsmithing tool used to size and shape many types of metal and wire. Mandrels are typically used with a vise and a hammer or mallet to properly shape metal for jewelry making. Mandrels come in all different shapes, sizes and...

Getting Your Schtick Together: How Cohesive is Your Work

In this column, I frequently talk about the importance of exploring new paths in both your personal life and work. Trying new things is a viable antidote to stress, career burnout, or creative blocks. This can be especially effective for established...

10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Occasionally, though, our creativity needs an infusion of joy and inspiration. For artists, there are many ways to stoke those temporarily dim embers and light a renewed creative fire. Often, creativity flows out of everyday experiences and simple...

The Beadmakers' Handbook

A Message, If it wasn't for a wrong assumption on our part, this catalog would never have existed. Customers were coming in our store requesting information about bead stringing. We're delighted to share what we know, but as our customers became...

The Importance of Daylight Lamps

The most popular lighting for artists throughout history has been the cool mid-morning northern light. This is the light that fills Vermeer's tiny treasures, Renoir's portraits and Raphael's frescos. These artists created in the very best light--the...

Beginner's Guide to Loomwork - Part 2: Basic Terms, Tools and Materials

Now that you've selected a loom, let's talk about the tools and materials you'll need to do some bead weaving with it. But before we do that, here's a review of some basic loomwork terms. Thankfully, because the looms we are dealing with are basic,...

Choosing Jewelry for Your Color Season

Jewelry makers often talk about color "seasons"--oranges for autumn, jewel tones for winter, pastels for spring and neons for summer. Even though those categories are no longer socially enforced, they still have a grip on our preconceptions of which...

Jewelry Guide for Clothing Choices

Fashion, including what jewelry you wear, is a reflection of your personality. Whatever your style is, the power of jewelry can make the wearer feel special, beautiful, chic and any number of other positive emotions. Jewelry also spices up your...

Extending Your Component Usage – Alternate Uses for Extender Chains

One of the rewards of jewelry-making is incorporating new uses for components in your designs. The traditional use of an extender chain is, as the name implies, to extend the length of a necklace or bracelet. Most often this is achieved by adding...

NO Rules for Making and Wearing Jewelry

Remember those old rules of fashion? The ones that told you what you were "never" supposed to do with your clothes and accessories? Well, you can breathe a sigh of relief: they just don't apply anymore. These days, the only limits are the ones that...

Fun with French Wire

Have you been searching for the perfect way to finish off your beaded jewelry for a beautiful and professional look? Whether you were actively seeking or not, works of beaded art will no doubt benefit from the incorporation of , also known as...

How to Use Lacy's Stiff Stuff™

is a favorite jewelry-making base for beadwork--especially seed beads. Aside from this beading foundation showing up in many of our jewelry contest entries, Fire Mountain Gems' own jewelry designers also love to incorporate the backing in many of...

History of Seed Beads: Europe

Though tiny in size, glass have played an epic role across cultures for thousands of years. Miniature masterpieces, created from natural resources, seed beads have been objects of adornment, as well as function. They have represented power, wealth...

5 Simple Steps to Make More Time for Jewelry-Making

How would you like more time to make jewelry? Many artists juggle work, family and more, in addition to managing their jewelry-making business. Oftentimes jewelry-makers are working from home and find themselves unable to avoid distractions. Here...

Jewelry Designer Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa Claus, Our in-house jewelry designers have a few things they want from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads for Christmas--and truth be told, we're pretty sure they're on the ''Nice List'' this year. We also think this wish list could be a handy...

Festival of Seed Beads

Bright colors, lots of fringe, tassels and big, bold patterns and shapes all characterize the current craze of boho-style jewelry. This earthy, free-flowing style, prevalent in Europe more than a century ago, was revitalized in the late 1960s with...

Celebrate St. Paddy's Day with Jewelry

This Saint Patrick's Day, be pinch-proof! Create and sell green jewelry with a St. Paddy's Day theme to join in the revelry. Whether you're Irish or not, this jewelry-making opportunity awaits designer-artists each and every year for a boost in...

How to Use a Bead Board

Have you ever wished there was a way to lay out designs and fiddle around with them before committing to stringing? Have you ever strung a design only to realize you forgot a bead in your pattern? Have you ever wondered how multi-strand jewelry has...

Traveling with Beads

Why would you take your jewelry-making on the road with you? Plenty of reasons, from the creative to the productive: When you decide to take your creativity on the road, you have the power to choose easily portable projects. Some ideas are:
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