Archive for June, 2011

Fold Forming Friday!

Friday, June 24th, 2011

We love Fridays around here! Not only does it mean that the weekend is on its way, but it also means we get to play during Staff Development in the morning. Today’s staff development was about fold forming, a technique in metal working that was developed by artist Charles Lewton-Brain. Here are some of the projects we came up with after a morning of experimentation:

Charles Lewton-Brain published a book in 2008 called “FOLDFORMING” that takes you from the basics of the techniques he developed in the ’80s to all of the innovations in the art form since. It is an excellent book to add to your bench and the perfect reference guide for anyone wanting to try the technique at home. We used it today as a starting guide for our projects, and hopefully we will get to try some of the more advanced projects soon!

Have any of you tried fold forming before? We would love to hear about your projects and experience!


 

 

 

 

 

ooooo Bench Block Helper ooooooooooooooooooooo Copper Sheet Metal Set

 

 

Stamping Inspiration!

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Stamping is one of those fundamental building blocks of metalworking that can be intimidating. It all seems simple from afar, but once you have that hammer and stamp in hand you start to realize it isn’t as easy as it seems: your letters are all wonky, you can only get half a leaf to imprint, and you hit your thumb too many times to count. Don’t give up, we’ve all been there! We have a few helpful hints to make your next stamping project a success.

These are some of our favorite stamping tools:

(1) Thumb-Saver, $18.95; (2) 40 Hole Stamp Stand, $9.50;(3) Bench Block Helper, $29.75; (4) Small Economy Disc Cutters, $51.95; (5) Nickel Silver Discs, $10.50; (6) Leaflet Stamp, $9.25; (7) 1 lb. Brass Hammer, $24.99; (8) Nail Head Rivets, $3.00; (9) Sleeping in the Clover Stamp, $9.25; (10) Red Brass Sheet Metal, $6.25; (11) Circle with Lines Stamp, $9.25.

We have also been really inspired by the projects in this book:

 

There are some basic guidelines for stamping that are helpful to know:

  1. Always practice your design on scrap metal first.
  2. Hold your stamp as straight as possible, otherwise you may not get a complete image.
  3. Hit your stamp firmly–a heavier hammer can help you do this without straining yourself. Our 1 lb Brass Hammer works well for this type of job.
  4. If you are stamping a word, it helps to use masking tape or a sticky note to line your letters up against.
  5. Sharpie can be removed from metal with steel wool or during the  pickling process, so you can use one to outline your design.

It takes a while to get used to the process, but with a little practice you’ll be a pro in no time!

Below are some photographs from a Staff Development we did on stamping–there are only 3 or so of us that would be considered stamping “experts”–the rest of us are novices. We had a great time though, and our pieces didn’t turn out half bad!

So get out there and try some stamping, we know you’ll come up with some great projects!

 

 

 

Exciting News: Coming Soon!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

For several months now we have been working on a huge project here at Wired Up Beads. It is something so big that we have been reduced to all sorts of stress-relieving activities: rolling around on exercise balls, weird yoga poses, and plain old hiding under the desk!

But now all our hard work is about to pay off, because Wired Up Beads will soon be launching our newly updated website! We are so excited to finally be able to share it with all of you.

The first change you will notice on the site is the new look. We might be a little biased, but we think it is beautiful! We have carried over all of the fun WUB style over from the old site and have given it a bit of a face-lift. You’ll find clearer, bigger pictures of our products, more organized categories, and lots of new helpful features!

The good news doesn’t stop there though. We have done research, talked to customers, and tested out many ways to improve your shopping experience with us.  You will  be able to:

  • Save your shopping cart
  • Create a wishlist
  • Set up a gift registry
  • Choose your shipping options
  • and much, much more!

There are also many improvements on the site that include:

  • an easier check out process
  • gift wrapping options
  • and a ton of new products!

We know that it is a possibility that there will be a few bugs as we get everything switched over, so if you run into a problem let us know! We will do everything we can to make this as smooth of a transition as possible. There are also some features that we are very excited about but won’t quite be up yet when the website launches, like the “Gallery”, new “Tutorials” and the “Blog”. We hope to get those up as soon as possible though, so keep your eye out for them over the next couple of weeks.

The new site will be launching in a few days, so be sure to stop back by and check it out, we know you are going to love it!