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Traditional Handmade VS Fair Trade Handmade

First, handmade is handmade whether it's made in Ghana, Peru, China, or the United States. It's the hands that count. Traditional handmade is a new term for me. Traditional could mean an item was made using long-established techniques that are heavy...

Wild by Design

It's difficult to deny the appeal of feathers, leather, bone, horn and other animal products in jewelry designs. Diverse in trends, but never ordinary, animal products are posh and affluent, exotic and enviable and often wild and primal. Finding...

Perceived Values

I suggest you price the work to be attractive to you--profitable. I've written about this before and devote a chapter in my book to getting the price right. Basically, all pricing must start with accurate information about the cost of materials and...

Metal Clays--Tips for Working with COPPRclay™ and BRONZclay™

COPPRclay is easily sculpted, molded, carved and formed, and becomes solid copper when fired. Your imagination and just a few simple tools will allow you to create solid copper pieces, from jewelry to sculptures! And because COPPRclay is pure...

Stepping Stones

There's nothing more exciting than learning a new technique and imagining how I can extend and develop it to create something very different than the class project where it was introduced. That's what was going through my mind when, during a ring...

Intro to Glass

Glass has been around since 3000 BC. In present day, glass is most commonly found in households in the form of windows, drinking glasses and decorative objects. Bring the scale of the glass down, learn a few new techniques and voila, jewelry...

The Meaning of Metals

The materials in a piece of jewelry carry a message with them: socially, culturally and metaphysically. Does your jewelry say what it means, and mean what it says? In addition, Art Clay® gold clay is created from 22Kt gold powder. Mold it, shape it...

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...

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...

Cold Connections

- Amazingly tiny but mighty and finely engineered screws, washers and nuts in brass and in silver and copper finishes. - These guys are essential when making holes in the materials to be joined as they create holes which allow the passage of the...

In the Mood (for Color-Changing Jewelry)

So, how do mood components work anyway? While some people will tell you the stones are magic, the truth is, mood jewelry is a lot more scientific. Tiny liquid crystals inside components directly react to temperature changes. The crystals twist in...

A BIG Statement: Multi-Strand Necklace and Dangle Earring Jewelry Set Featuring an Eclectic Mix of Crystal, Glass, Pearl, Resin Beads and Chain

The earrings are cleverly created by using Celestial Crystal faceted cones turned downwards, paired with a gold-finished brass cone for an elongated look and feel that flatters the face and neck. Pull hair back to best show the sparkle of these...

An Expert's Journey with Apoxie® Sculpt

A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to teach a class on how to use Apoxie Sculpt at the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee, WI. I was thrilled when Bead and Button accepted my pavé-style ring design as the class project. Apoxie Sculpt is one of...

A Sterling Reputation: Is Your Piece Fine or Sterling Silver?

When you're a devout visitor of garage sales, secondhand shops and church bazaars, you encounter a lot of old jewelry for sale at amazingly low prices. Some of it is colorful costume jewelry--but some of it can be sterling or other grades of silver....

What is Polymer Clay?

Polymer clay is a clay-like material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plasticizer and pigment. It is available in many colors and brands, with each brand offering its own color palette and properties. Polymer clay is an amazing art material that...

Jewelry-Making Clays: Compare and Contrast

There are a lot of polymer clay brands for jewelry-making on the market. How do you know which polymer clay you should use? In this article, we’ll compare and contrast the top clay brands so you know which works best for your jewelry-making...

Metal Jewelry: Finishing and Polishing

Finishing and polishing a metal jewelry design can mean a highly-polished surface to one designer or a finish that is matte and darkened with patina to another. The design itself may help make that decision for you. A surface with deep textures may...

History of Sequins

Wear ’em and walk like an Egyptian. Or, at least, like Michael Jackson. Who knew people were sparkling with sequins all the way back in King Tut’s time? Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, a historical textiles professor at the University of Copenhagen,...

Metal Jewelry Components, Precious Metal Clay and U.S. Law

Precious metal and other jewelry sold commercially often displays stamped marks such as 14K, .925, etc (called "hallmarks"). They are placed there in accordance with United States laws and statutes as a guarantee of the purity or fineness of...

Style Snapshot: The Anklet - A Bracelet for the Legs

Flashing your ankle used to be scandalous--embellishing it with ankle jewelry? Even more so. The anklet has come in and out of fashion for the past 4,000 years. It's a popular jewelry style in cultures around the world. And why not? We wear bangles...
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