Posts Tagged ‘earrings’

Simple Elegance

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

It is amazing what you can say with a piece of jewelry, especially once you’ve gainedĀ  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 piecesĀ  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?

 

Ready for the Weekend!

Friday, July 1st, 2011

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.”

Bill Watterson

Well, its Friday again and we thought we’d celebrate by posting some photos of our favorite earring projects, and we have an assignment for you all!

It is now midsummer, and here in Texas it is HOT outside. Our weekend high is 102*F! This is prime time for jewelry making. It is too hot outside to venture outdoors (unless you have a pool, and in that case we’d love to come over!), so why not spend your downtime creating and experimenting?

So, your assignment this weekend is two fold:

Part 1: Take some time for yourself.

  • One of the best ways to revive your creativity is to take time to relax. So, take a bath, an evening stroll, see a movie…just take some time to enjoy yourself!

Part 2: Create!

  • It doesn’t matter if the project is simple or complex as long as it is something you want to do. Nothing feels better than knowing the work in front of you is something that you created, its exciting!

We’d love it if you shared the results of your weekend projects with us. You can always email photographs to clara@wiredupbeads.com if you want to share them in our Facebook gallery (send us your business information too if you want to post it along with the picture). We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Texturing it up!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Texturing is one of our favorite methods for adding dimension and character to our jewelry here at Wired Up Beads. If you ever happen to stop by the studio when we have a metal-working class or project in the works you might want to bring some earplugs, because we don’t hold back when it comes to using our favorite texturing tools! Last week’s staff development was a fun morning of creating earrings from copper and experimenting with various texturing techniques. Below you can see some of the fun designs the staff came up with!

 

 

There are many ways to take your jewelry to the next level with texturing. Whether you are using a simple chasing hammer technique or engaging in “guerilla” texturing, you are sure to add an element of authenticity to your work and have a blast doing it! Take the earring below for example. It was textured using the Crosshatch/Stars Texturing Hammer–you can see the raw quality the texture gives to the earring to complete the overall look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another hammer that provides a similar texture is the Euro Tool Texturing Hammer with 9 Faces. It has the cross-hatch design and 8 other fun texturing faces!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a fun charm-style earring design. This look was created using a standard dome-faced chasing hammer. This texture can be re-created by using the small end of your hammer at an angle, hammering lightly until you achieve the desired level of texture. This is an excellent way to add clean and simple texture to a piece. We have two chasing hammers that we just love here at Wired Up Beads. One is our standard Dome-Face Chasing Hammer, which you will find in our classroom at all times, and the other is our Fretz Chasing Hammer, a top-of-the-line hammer that produces bench-jeweler level results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last earring design shows a different approach to texturing that provides a smooth, linear finish. This design was created using the striped side of one of Euro Tool’s two-sided texturing hammers. The hammers are the Dimpled/ Narrow Stripe and the Checkered/Wide Stripe. This style of texturing lends itself well to creating a unique, fluid dimensionality in your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you are in the mood for an experiment, try your hand at “guerilla” texturing. This method doesn’t require a special hammer or stamp to complete, you find your texture in the world around you! One of our favorites is concrete–you just take your metal outside and use the concrete as your texturing surface. You would be surprised at what a unique and interesting texture you can get with this technique. You can check out our full line of texturing hammers by clicking this link: Wired Up Beads: Hammers.

What are your favorite ways to texture a piece? We want to hear your tips and tricks!