Archive for July, 2011

Feathers, Leaves, Medallions and More!

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources”

-Albert Einstein-

Let’s be honest: sometimes as an artist, original ideas are hard to come by. Everyone encounters that sense of burnout, a time when  you want to create but you can’t seem to find a vision for what that would look like. We’ve found that during these times the best thing to do is start with a basic shape, a simple concept, and then make it your own. Take the projects below for example. Each project featured in our blog today was created from pre-cut copper and bronze shapes. You can’t get more simple than that! What makes them into works of art is how each designer left their mark–by adding texture, dimension, and personality to each piece.

The simple touches, like stamping and patinas, can really make a piece stand out from the crowd.

The design possibilities are limited only by your imagination! Don’t let your fears of attempting something different hold you back. When you are working with economical mediums like copper, you don’t need to worry about the cost, experiment to your hearts content!

Check out all these new metal cutouts and let us in on your creative works. We know y’all will come up with some amazing pieces!

Taking Control of the Mess

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

“Creating art can sometimes be a messy job.”

-Eric Carl-

If you are a Type A sort of person, when you start a project you probably make a minimal mess and then compulsively clean it up as soon as you are done. For the rest of us, keeping a sense of order takes a more conscious effort (we are easily distracted). Often this means the “craft room” takes a hit–and ends up looking like the victim of a natural disaster. Take this photo we found online for example:

It definitely evokes that same overwhelmed feeling that takes over at the end of a project doesn’t it? That moment when you’re suddenly aware of the chaos you’ve created. But fear not! There are a lot of ways to wrangle in the mess and make your creative space a more inspiring environment. Here are a couple of articles that can help you get started:

TLC: How to Organize a Craft Room

DIY DISH: “Green” Craft Room Organization

Here at Wired Up Beads, we are familiar with the concept of “wrangling the mess”. With classes, new products, and staff projects in the works there is always something new going on and that means there is always something to organize! With the launch of our new website these organization tasks have become even more important, and we’ve gotten a whole new system going. Our most recent additions to the website and to our own organization routine are the Best Craft Organizer storage solutions. They are helping us manage our mess, and we are so excited about them that we decided to offer them to our customers as well.

(WUB Tip: Right now all our Storage products are 25% off!)


 

What do you think readers? Are you ready to get your creative space under control?

 

Summertime

Friday, July 15th, 2011

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.  ~James Dent


Summertime is often the perfect opportunity to embark on new projects and expand your jewelry-making expertise. Whether it is a long drive to a relaxing vacation spot, taking advantage of the longer days, or the fact that social obligations are not as demanding in the summer, there just seems to be more time to pursue personal interests in the warmer months.

If you are looking for a project or two to get your hands on this summer, you should definitely check out the tutorials section of our website. We have topics from basic techniques to wire working to fusing projects, and the best part is they are all free! We have recently posted a couple of new tutorials that we know you are going to love. Our featured kit this week is the Summer Triplicity Necklace.

We’ve also put a kit together to make this project a stress-free adventure! You can get it here: Summer Triplicity Necklace Kit.

While you’re at it, check out the New Items section of our website, we are adding new products daily and there is sure to be something new to inspire your next masterpiece!

Gems of Inspiration

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

If any of you have ordered online from us recently, you’ve probably noticed the colorful index-sized cards placed in your package. If you haven’t yet, be on the lookout! These cards are little treasures designed to inspire and instruct about all kinds of topics related to jewelry-making. They are all a part of the Creative Gems – A Treasury of Ideas collection.


Designed to enhance your skills and inspire your imagination, this series will include topics such as:

• Work with wire to create free-form designs

• Use shape as a catalyst for design inspiration

• Create custom ear wires to enhance your earring designs

• Increase your color confidence

• Gain mastery of your tools

And many many more!

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned jewelry maker, this series will earn a place of value on your jeweler’s bench. We are also now introducing a special collectors file box (pictured above), designed to house all of your collector cards. At your workspace or on the go, keep your Creative Gems organized and on hand for creative inspiration.

Starting your collection of Creative Gems is easy! The cards are free with any order from Wired Up  Beads, and we will be sending out a new one every 3-4 weeks. To get your special collectors file box simply make an order of USD $30.00 or more, put the collector’s box in your shopping cart, and we will ship it with your order for free! (Limit one per customer!)

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Have you started your collection yet? Let us know what you think about the cards, and if you have any suggestions for what topics you would like us to cover.

Simple Elegance

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

It is amazing what you can say with a piece of jewelry, especially once you’ve gained  the skills to create it yourself. You can tell the world what mood you’re in, what causes you support, a little about your personality, your culture, your family, your interests…the possibilities are virtually limitless. Take the pieces  featured in the following photograph for example. Each one communicates a different message, but they are all based off the same challenge: to use pearls as a central feature in a piece.

All of the staff were inspired by this challenge, we found that pearls are the perfect medium for expressing that part of you that is elegant and cultured. Pearls are not flashy like diamonds, earthy like precious stones, or playful like glass beads. Instead they are clean, simple, and understated, adding a touch of delicate grace to any design.

The main challenge when working with pearls is the fact that most pearls have a very small hole. Typically when trying to incorporate them into a wire or metalwork piece jewelry-makers use a very thin gauge of wire–around 26 or 28 gauge. It is rare that you come across pre-made eye pins or headpins in such a thin gauge, and that can present a challenge for the standard jewelry hobbyist.

We suggest solving this problem by making your own components at home. You can use round-nose pliers to help create eye pin components (see photo below), and you can even make your own headpins at home! If you don’t know how to do this, we would suggest taking a class, or looking up some tutorials online. Just remember to always use caution when working with a torch, you want to be as safe as possible !

 

What are your favorite occasions for wearing pearls? Are you an everyday necklace type or do you reserve them for special events only?