It’s official. The Summer Issue of Step by Step Wire magazine is finally out. Included amid the various projects offered in this issue is my very own Needle Lace Caged Pendant tutorial. I am excited to have my first tutorial in print media. I am waiting eagerly for my copies to arrive in the mail. Thanks go out to Denise Peck and Sarah Gram at Interweave Press for their help and patience!
For those of you who subscribe, look for your copy in the mail box any day. The rest of you can expect to find the Summer 2008 issue on new stands around August 5th.
I have two extra copies on the way that I am willing to part with for the cost of shipping. The first two people to request a free copy via the comment box will be the lucky recipients!
While I enjoy the challenge of doing very detailed work with intricate coiling and sculpting I also enjoy reaping the rewards of simplicity from time to time. After working on the upcoming Rainbow Wrap tutorial I need a break from all of the coiling and weaving … it was time for something simple. I also needed a creative fix void of the pressures of tutorial making. I decided to play with my hammer and copper wire.
Textured metal work has always appealed to me. I even bought the tools to experiment with it a few years back (hurricane Ivan to be exact) and still I never really did much with it. I decided now was the time …
After about thrity minutes of forming and hammering I had these two styles of simple earrings. While I could appreciate the simplicity, they still needed dressing up to me. They were just too lackluster. I gave it some thought for a bit and then decided that a simple bead embellishment was the way to go. To that end, I selected some 4mm facted carnelians and affixed them to the first pair of copper earrings.
You can really tell that these were the first ones I affixed the stones too. One side is a bit messy. From this pair I learned that I would prefer beads that were better rounded, so I searched my bead stash for some. I found several varieties of perfect 4mm rounds that have not seen the light of day for some time. I was glad that they were still there. I made two pair of the smaller simple spiral earrings. On the first ones I added lapis lazuli, which I really like against the copper.
On the second pair I added rose quartz. I wasn’t sure if I would like the rose quartz with the copper, but as it turned out I did.
Overall, nothing grand, but I really liked the results. Plus these are so easy to make that I can see myself creating some nice bread and butter items for my shows. Something that I can price very reasonably that doesn’t take me a lot of time or material to produce but I can still net a decent profit on. However, before I get too enthusiastic and make 25 pair of earrings or something, I think I’ll test them on the market first.
I am still working on the Rainbow Wrap tutorial but it’s likely going to come out later than I originally anticipated, unfortunately. I am preparing to move, a bit unexpectedly. My landlords have put us on notice that they will not be renewing our lease because they have family who wish to move to the area in October whom they wish to rent the house to. While this does present a bit of a challenge for us, we planned to move into a house with more room for our growing family after the first of the year anyway. This simply moves up our plan a bit, which is fine with us.
We’ve been looking around a bit and as funny as it seems, a house just across the street has become available which seems to fit our criteria and then some. I’m really excited about the detached studio that comes with this house too. It’s sort of attached … by a covered walk way, but it is separate from the house making it not only great for a jewelry studio, but perfect for a musical studio for my other half as well. The yard is a bit smaller, so we won’t be gardening on the same scale as we do here, but that’s a fair trade for a studio. At least I think so. So much of my jewelry making tools have remained boxed up over the past two years. I have a very nice Little Torch rig that has not been touched, a double barrel lortone tumbler, tons of metalsmithing accessories, my po-womans fordom unit (okay, it’s a dremel with tons of fun attachments and a drill press) a little metal clay kiln I’ve NEVER used and more! All going to waste! There’s just no room and no space appropriate for it in this house. I have my bench set up, but it tends to serve more as a desk because I can’t stock it with my supplies and accessories because it’s accessible to my year and a half old baby girl, who is still in the ‘must taste everything’ stage.
The studio has a refrigerator and a small bar in one corner of it too – it will be awesome to truly have an ADULT zone again where children aren’t always under foot and getting into your projects. I’m imagining the beauty of leaving a half finished project on the bench as is and being able to come back to it later to pick up where I left off! Sounds like a little slice of heaven to me! A studio space will be a welcomed change of pace indeed! Oooohhh the things I could do!
While I’m not really over excited about having to move so unexpectedly I AM excited about the prospect of getting this new house complete with a studio. And imagine all the gas we won’t burn in the move. I admit, it will be a little odd just moving across the street (literally), but it would certainly have it’s advantages too. Think of all the gas we won’t have to burn in the move – not to mention that we’ll be saving the rental fee for a moving truck. We will no doubt be quite the spectacle in the neighborhood – shuttling furniture back and forth across the street. I’m sure we’ll be the talk of the neighborhood coffee circles. lol
All of that aside, I had to take a break from the tedium of the new tutorial I’ve been working on and do something creative. I decided to just play around in copper wire and I made several pairs of hammered and textured copper earrings embellished with various stones. One pair has rose quartz, one carnelian and one lapis lazuli. Just simple textured shapes, nothing fancy – but I was surprised that something so simple could look so appealing. I’ll have to take some pictures of the earrings and post them later. Just haven’t had the time lately for photography. I’ll get to it though and get ’em up before the weekend is gone. 🙂
Time for a progress report on the Rainbow Wrap tutorial! I am over half way done with taking pictures at this point. Can you believe that I’ve already taken 183 pictures for this tutorial and I’m still not done. Don’t panic … the tutorial isn’t going to have 183 or more pictures. It’s not THAT complicated. 🙂 I just take multiple pictures of multiple views of each step so that I can select the best one that best illustrates the step. It’s really a lot of work to produce a tutorial. So far, several days of my time have gone into taking photographs and I still have nearly as many to take. After the pictures have been taken, then I have to crop and edit the pics. Then and only then can I begin to work on the text for the tut. After the text is completed, then there’s editing, re-editing and more editing to be done.
To give you an idea of where I’m at in the process, I am including an ‘ugly shot’ of the pendant in progress. At this point, it gets complicated for me. The technique is so organic that it’s nearly impossible to plan out in advance. Much of it is trying decide what to do in the moment while attempting to predict where you might go with it in the next step – and the rest of it is rethinking and replanning the next step when you get there anyway! Arrrgghh! It’s also difficult for me because I have to maintain a course that others can follow. For this reason I am attempting to keep the pendant simple … as simple as a rainbow wrap can be, at least. There’s more than enough to get you started and to provide a jumping off point for your own experimentation.
While all tutorials take a fair amount of time to produce, this tutorial in particular is a very time consuming project, but I am loving every minute of it. The hardest part for me is slowing down to take the pictures! 🙂 I am shooting for completing it by July 20th or 21st – hopefully! Whether or not that is feasible remains to be seen. I am working on it!
I recently made this offer available on ebay and on my etsy Tutorialshop and I am spreading the word!
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Included in the package is the Twist Ring, Needlelace Caged Pendant, Netted Bezel Pendant, Egyptian Coil Bracelet, Mosaic Eye Earrings, Wire Wrapped Toggle and the Hand Coiling Tutorial.Individually, these tutorials would cost you $40 but you can get them in this package deal for only $24.99!
Tutorials are heavily illustrated with photos and detailed descriptions every step of the way.Nothing is left to the imagination!
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Okay, so this ISN’T the rainbow wrap tutorial yet … but it’s in the works! I have started taking pictures in preparation, but I am not going to rush the Rainbow Wrap tutorial as I want the final product to be the best that it can. The Rainbow technique is so involved that it will take some time to do a tutorial properly.
Meanwhile, I had a real need to get some sense of satisfaction today so I completed this short little tut and at last feel that I’ve accomplished something! When I started the rainbow wrap tut, I realized I would be in for the long haul with this one and that it will be a week – maybe two – before I can complete it. But something inside of me just needed to complete a tut today, even if it was just a little one. 😀 So here it is … my little tut.
This tut teaches the basic technique and talks about some variations on the technique and how it can be used to create more than just rings. It’s a very straight forward and easy to follow tutorial suitable for a beginner. It has 19 full color photographs to take you through every step of creating a twist ring. I am also working on a supplemental to this tut to show you how to create earrings and accents for your other pieces with this simple technique. So stay tuned! 🙂
I sell these rings at shows for about $15. They make really great bread and butter items. I make them in sterling, copper and in mixed metals. The mixed metal rings are by far the most popular at shows. And yes, the copper ones DO sell! People often ask me if anyone buys the copper rings. I sell them all day long as a matter of fact. You can too – if you learn to make them. With a little practice you can make these rings in 5 to 10 minutes tops. With so little labor and so little material invested, they’re great little money makers with a nice profit margin that everyone can afford – even in this economy!