Friday, April 27, 2012

YOJ Week 18 - The Ribbon Cuff

I like to play with metal. I like to make it move and I like to make it take organic shapes. Sometimes it's a hit, sometimes not quite....

Not exactly sure which category to put this one in....constructive crits welcome...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We'll always have Paris...

ahhhh......sweet memories with my sister Liz in 2010.....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Writing a book is....

1 step forward, 12 steps back, retrace steps, get a call from book editor requesting all photographs be re-shot, cry, throw things, sigh heavily, call it a day, stay up nights mentally designing, loose 3 weeks learning new camera operation, re-shoot re-designed projects, get a call from co-author saying ISO set wrong and all photographs must be re-shot, cry, throw things, sigh heavily, call it a day...

 something like that...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Grand River Beads & the NE Ohio Bead Shop Hop

This delightful post by Lauren Potts is about our shop. Thanks so much Lauren and it was a real pleasure to meet you!!! You can read about the rest of the NE Ohio Hoppin' Bead Shops here, but of coarse I'm a mite partial to mine. :-)

What an awesome place this was!! Such beautiful quality pieces and such artistry around the store with student and employee made pieces. The store had a great feel to it and everything was just lovely.  I also met a lovely woman who it turned out I was already following here on blogspot. Her name is Eva Sherman and you can follow her BLOG too. What a talented lady she is and a very inspiring artist!

Grand River was having a Czech glass trunk show. I didn't buy much just a few strands.
The promo at Grand River was pretty sweet. Eva taught me (a beginning wire-wrapper) a pretty awesome wire bangle design.


I loved this design! It was so simple and definitely sparked something in me to try more often. I'd like to do this and fire one with a torch or use different patina dyes. Here she just dipped it in the liver of sulfur to oxidize it and what a feel it has afterwards. I definitely am inspired from this piece and can't wait to make more as stackers!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

YOJ Week 17 - The Textured, Twisted & Jury Rigged Cuff

Not exactly sure where I was going with this design, except that I was trying to "build" a 3D cuff....I won't show you the inside of the cuff, but trust me, there was a bit of "jury rigging" going on...

Oh and FYI, riveting chain to sheet is somewhat akin to nailing jello to the wall...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Re-post from a Bead Fest Student

Thank you Kathleen!!! :-)
You can see Kathleen's original post here...

On Saturday evening I took a class with Eva Sherman, owner of Grand River Beads, titled Textured Copper Cuffs. Eva showed us how to anneal copper with a torch, texture it, form and rivet it. She also brought in some gorgeous cuffs that she created, wetting our appetites.

She then set us loose to create two-three cuffs of our own. It didn't take me long to get over my torch phobia either! Here is what I created...

Both Eva and Brenda were fantastic instructors! I really enjoyed each class and my newly acquired knowledge. Can't wait to create! By the way, both classes will be offered at Bead Fest in August!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

YOJ Week 16 - Roman Glass Scribble Ring

My newest, most favorite material to create with is "Roman Glass" which is 700-900 year old glass that has been recycled. This piece comes from Afghanistan and I think it's the perfect accent for my "scribbling with wire" technique! :-)

FYI - I sell these strands here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Philly Bead Fest

I've been attending the Philly Bead Fest for 6 years now; as student, a vendor, an instructor and of coarse, always a shopper! My best find this year? THE most comprehensive book on jewelry making I think I've ever seen; in addition to covering the basics (soldering, riveting, texturing, etc.) it provides info you might not find outside a college level fine arts program. Want to know about marrying metals? It's in there. Reticulation? In there. Electroforming? Well, you get the idea. Seriously, the best $40 I spent all weekend.

This was also the first year I taught classes. I had 5 students for "Scribble Cuffs and Doodle Rings" and 10 for "Textured Copper Cuffs". Both went smoothly, I didn't forget any required tools or materials (being an obsessive list maker has it's upside), and all the students left on time and with finished projects. Whew....

Earlier this year I hooked up with Gina Galli of the Jewelry Making Professor and arranged to shoot some videos at their studio in Philly. This is me, on the set. And yes, I am a jewelry nerd......

And the icing on the cake? I got to spend some time with my Dad! :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tips for using Guilders Paste

Gilders Paste is a non-fading metallic gilding and coloring medium for metals and other surfaces. Create beautiful color effects on any type of metal and many other surfaces. Embellish silver, bronze, and copper clays. Add color to metal stampings, castings, and fabrications in steel, copper, brass, bronze, aluminum and other metals. Gilders Paste works beautifully with brass stampings, filigree, metal castings, ceramics, wood, etched glass, polymer clay, resin and more. Check out our quick tips below for using Gilders Paste!

  • Thin with mineral spirits to create a wash, paint or stain.
  • Metal surface should be abraded for good adhesion.
  • Apply with a sponge, paint brush, clay shaper, cloth, stencil brushes, rubber stamps cotton swabs, or fingers.
  • Apply in coats of different colors to create exciting textures and effects.
  • Colors can be blended for more design options.
  • Buff base coat immediately after application with a dry cloth or one slightly damp with mineral spirits to remove Gilders Paste from the high spots, but remaining in the recesses.
  • After 12 hours of drying, lightly buff metallic colors to produce a gilded finish.
  • Drying time varies depending on materials, thickness of application and substrate, approximately 30 – 60 minutes to the touch on dry, low porosity, debris free surfaces.
  • Can be sealed with clear lacquer, varnish, or urethane, Sealing is optional.
  • Re-hydrate with mineral spirits.
  • Apply above 60F.
  • Store above 55F.
This article has been reprinted from

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

YOJ Week 14 - The Rosette Bangle Cuff

The rosettes I've been playing with as rings have grown up and become bangles...and from there it was only a short leap.....

Here's what I did; I took some leftover (WireKnitZ) textured metal from my rolling mill play date last weekend, created a cuff, cut the rosette bangle and riveted it to the cuff.

I think I'm liking it! :-)

FREE Caged Bead Bracelet Tutorial

Looking for an easy wire wrapping technique that can be used to dress up almost any kind of bead? This caged bead wire wrap pattern works particularly well on larger round beads like the gorgeous ones used here. This design may also be adapted to create a necklace by increasing the number of beads.

This tutorial was created by me and may be used for your personal use. I respectfully request that you not copy it, but feel free to direct others to this link. Thank you!

  • (8-10) 10mm beads
  • (12') 18 gauge copper wire
  • (2") of 16 gauge copper wire
  • (1) 4mm copper jump ring
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Hammer
  • Steel block 


1. Cut 14” of 18 gauge copper wire. Using your round nose pliers, make a small wire wrapped loop at the center. String bead on vertical wire and make another small wire wrapped loop at the other end.

2. Holding the top loop with your chain nose pliers, begin to gently wrap the wire over the top of the bead in a spiral pattern. Make approximately 5 to 6 wraps. Be careful to apply even tension and pressure and you will form a bead cap. Repeat the spiral wire wrap at the opposite end of the bead.
Caged Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

3. Bend leftover wire towards the opposite pole with a gentle curve and loop it around the wire wrapped loop. Trim excess wire.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

4. Create another loop at the other end of the bead in the same way. Repeat the previous steps through the first loop only with your second bead.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

5. At the opposite end of the second bead, start the wire wrapped loop as shown.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

6. Before closing the wire loop, slip the first bead on, then continue with making the wire wrapped loop and the bead cap. Repeat these steps until you have enough beads to go around your wrist, less 1/2 inch.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

7. For the dangle bead begin by making a spiral as shown. It should be about the same size as the other bead caps.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

8. Instead of a spiral wrap on the other end, create a loop: Bend leftover wire towards the opposite pole with a gentle curve and loop it around the wire wrapped loop. Spiral wrap back to bottom again. Trim excess wire. Connect the dangle bead to the last bead with the jump ring.
Caged Wire Wrapped BRacelt

9. Make an “S” hook using the 16 gauge copper wire. Hammer it on the steel block to harden. Attach it to the last bead as shown. Hook the “S” hook in the jump ring to close. The dangle bead will keep the bracelet evenly weighted so it does not spin on wrist.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    YOJ Week 13 - The Rolling Mill Cuff

    This weekend I had a play date with my good friend Carla Meinberg, who showed me and a few other daring souls the ins and outs of working with a rolling mill. A whole new world of textured metals has now opened up to me and I look at everything, and I mean everything as possible fodder for the mill. A few idea's for future use....raffia, sand paper, leather, old t-shirts, packing paper......and I'm sure I'll come up with many more.  This cuff was created with WireKnitZ to texturize the base, copper wire on the the top layer, and then heat patina'd after an LOS bath.  Pretty. Darn. Fun. Day!!!