Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Bead Soup

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Kalmbach Books puts together a fun event called “Bead Soup” on their Facebook page, which we were happy to participate in this year.

 

Here’s the premise: different bead stores send in a mix of beads, which Facebook followers of Kalmbach Books enter to win and make a piece of jewelry.  Fun, right?

Our bead soup was won by Stephanie Weiss.  Look at this beautiful wire wrapped necklace she created!  She added some copper wire and smoky quartz to the mix.

Thanks Stephanie for participating!  We love what you created with our bead soup.

Wonderful Video Tutorials Using Wubbers

Friday, September 14th, 2012

We stumbled across this wonderful collection of free tutorials on You Tube (while browsing Pinterest, naturally).  Rachel is a very talented jewelry artist from Loughrea, Ireland, and teaches there.

We were absolutely THRILLED when we saw her using Wubbers Pliers in the videos.  You can see her round nose Wubbers on the far left!  Here is the video that initially caught our eye:

 

We hope you enjoy all of her videos, which you can view on her channel.  She even uses her “well-worn” Wubbers pliers handle to form ear cuffs.  What a creative use of Wubbers!

We can’t wait to see what she does next, and we have to admit we love her accent almost as much as her tutorials.

Rachel gives her advice for beginners working with wire:

I’m a great believer that things happen as they will, and it has not always got a lot to do with us, when making jewellery I suggest that people relax and allow the wire and tools to almost do what they want, I am often amazed and surprised at what I produce. 

The frustrations caused by faulty of inferior tools only add to a stressed environment and I don’t think that beautiful things can be created when you are worrying about whether the pliers will mark the wire or if they twist worryingly when you bend a piece of wire.  Mangled bits of jewellery are frustrating enough when you have years of experience behind you but for a beginner it is devastating, soon they believe that they can’t make jewellery and almost wish they had never tried in the first place, but if they get the basics, the right tools, wire and information and then I think that anyone can relax and let their own creativity take over the task.   It’s what I teach in my classes, there are no mistakes in wire jewellery just new designs and design features.

Thanks Rachel!  Here is some of her gorgeous work, all made with Wubbers:

New Item: Dimple-Forming Pliers!

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

We just received a batch of the brand-new dimple-forming pliers, and we love these for adding texture to metal!  So simple to use–instead of getting out your hammer and punches, you can add perfectly round dimples with just a squeeze of the hand.

We spent some time using the pliers on our metal shapes, and here are our findings:

  • The dimples were rounder and more uniform than using a hammer and dapping tools
  • They work best on metal sheet 24-gauge or lighter
  • Working with dead-soft metal eliminates the need for annealing (all of the metal shapes we carry are dead-soft)
  • Should you work your metal so much that it becomes work-hardened, annealing the metal will soften it to make texturing easy again
  • No annealing was needed for the already-soft aluminum Lillypilly discs and sheet metal.

There are so many fun things you can do with these pliers!  They are not just for texture–you could use them to write a message in Braille, or a Zodiac constellation with dimple marks representing the stars would make a great personalized piece of jewelry.

Below are some pieces made with the dimple pliers.  We hope it sparks your imagination!

 

 

Copper Earrings made using:

  1. 24-gauge copper sheet
  2. Lindstrom Metal Shears
  3. 20-gauge copper wire
  4. Chasing hammer
  5. Large Wood Dapping Block
  6. 1 mm Hooked Jaw Dimple Pliers
  7. Euro Punch Pliers
  8. Liver of Sulphur Patina Gel
  9. Lortone Tumbler Kit

Copper Heart Bracelet made using:

  1. Copper heart shapes
  2. 1 mm Hooked Jaw Dimple Pliers
  3. 3 mm Hooked Jaw Dimple Pliers
  4. Chasing hammer
  5. Euro Punch Pliers
  6. Liver of Sulphur Patina Gel
  7. Lortone Tumbler Kit

 

Brass Earrings made using:

  1. 1″ Brass discs
  2. Chasing hammer
  3. Fretz Circle Texturing Hammer
  4. 3 mm Hooked Jaw Dimple Pliers
  5. Large Wood Dapping Block
  6. Euro Punch Pliers
  7. Liver of Sulphur Patina Gel
  8. Lortone Tumbler Kit

Cozy Up and Make Something Special!

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Some bracelets are sure to make you smile, and this Christmas Past Bracelet design is one of them!  Featuring Tierra Cast fine pewter charms and findings in either antique silver or gold, these new kits will be a welcome adornment for your wrist or that of someone special to you.  Tierra Cast products are certified as lead free, and have a high quality fine metal plating that lasts for years.  Skip the long shopping lines, and order our carefully assembled kit, which includes all the materials that you need to make a true keepsake.  Here’s wishing you time this weekend to cozy up with your pliers and a nice big mug of hot chocolate for some quality jewelry making time!

The Beauty of Beads

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

We have had some really amazing artists teach in our studio here at Wired Up Beads. One of these artists is Sam Hibler, and we are so excited to have her back in our studio again this year! Her classes have become a favorite among our students. She is an amazing artist and she does a great job at helping others develop their craft.

Recently Sam was featured in The Crafts Report, a monthly business magazine for the crafts professional. It is an honor as an artist to be featured in such a magazine, and we are so excited to be able to host an instructor who has achieved such high praise! If you haven’t checked out the class line up she is offering in our studio later this month, be sure to take a look.

 

 

Have you ever had a class with Sam or seen her work? Tell us about it!