Join me on Facebook Live

 

Since December 2016, I’ve been doing weekly “Behind the Scenes” broadcasts on my Facebook Business Page

 

I share what’s going on in my studio, and what’s coming up. For example, this week, I was talking about The Year of Jewelry Project 2017, and my progress on creating videos for Part 2 of the Foundations Skills Course. My goal in doing these broadcasts is to connect with you in a more meaningful, immediate way, to keep you up to date, and to keep myself accountable and on track :). 

 

 

In addition to sharing the projects I’m working on, I also occasionally do live project demos. (Hint! There’s one coming up in February!)

 

Look for the announcements posted to my Facebook business page for when to tune in! 

 

Fall 2012 / Winter 2013 Class Schedule updated!

Fall 2012 / Winter 2013 Class Schedule updated!

I’m pleased to be teaching classes again this Fall and Winter at George Brown College!

Classes offered this Fall are:

Jewellery Wire Art I – October 14-November 4, 2012
Chain Making – November 24-December 1, 2012

Classes offered this Winter are:

Jewellery Wire Art I – February 24-March 17, 2013
Jewellery Wire Art II – April 14-May 5, 2013
Chain Making – November 24-December 1, 2012

 

Please see my Classes page for more details and links to the registration pages.

Upcoming Workshops: Beaders Best 2012 in Hamburg, Germany

Upcoming Workshops: Beaders Best 2012 in Hamburg, Germany

UPDATE – June 4, 2012

Putting together a trip like this means a lot of planning and considerable expense.  Unfortunately, things have not come together the way I would like, and so I’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel these classes.  I want to thank Verena Greene-Christ of Perlen Poesie magazine, who made a terrific effort over the last couple of days to find a workable solution – maybe next year!

 

Previous

It’s going to be a busy summer!  In addition to returning to Haliburton this year, I’m scheduled to teach five workshops at the Beaders Best Perlenkunst Messe in Hamburg, Germany from August 17-19, 2012 .

Sponsored by Perlen Poesie magazine, this second annual show features beadwork, wirework and metal clay from all over Europe and North America.  As the only Canadian instructor, I’m excited about teaching in Germany – and in German – for the first time.  (The courses are listed as being taught in English with German translation, because I requested a translator in case I get stuck.)

More details about the classes can be found here.

 

Es wird ein arbeitsreicher Sommer sein! Neben der Rückkehr in Haliburton, werde ich dieses Jahr  ab August 17-19, 2012 fünf Kurse am Beaders Best Perlenkunst Messe in Hamburg, Deutschland lehren.

Gefördert durch Perlen Poesie Magazin, bietet dieses zweite jährliche Messe Perlenkunst, Drahtkunst und Silber Clay aus ganz Europa und Nordamerika. Als die einzige kanadische Lehrerin, bin ich über den Unterricht zum ersten Mal in Deutschland – und in deutscher Sprache – begeistert . (Die Kurse werden als in Englisch mit deutscher Übersetzung gelehrt aufgeführt, weil ich nach einem Übersetzer fragte, falls ich stecken bleibe.)

Weitere Details zu den Kursen finden Sie hier.

 

Registration Now Open for Haliburton Wire Jewellery Aug. 1-5, 2011

  • Carol Christensen

    Carol Christensen

    Carol Christensen; Freeform Bangle; Copper, goldstone, turquoise

  • Christine Neff

    Christine Neff

    Christine Neff; Bezel Wrapped Pendant; Copper, glass

  • Christine Neff

    Christine Neff

    Christine Neff; Simple Bangle Bracelet; Copper

  • Coco Kulkarni

    Coco Kulkarni

    Coco Kulkarni; Simple Bangle Bracelet; Copper

  • Diane Coulman

    Diane Coulman

    Diane Coulman; Bezel Wrapped Pendant; Copper, glass

  • Jan McNichol

    Jan McNichol

    Jan McNichol; Simple Bangle Bracelet (modified); Copper

  • jan_mcnichol2

    jan_mcnichol2

    Jan McNichol; Freeform Bangle; Copper, carnelian, mixed media beads

  • Judith Goldstein

    Judith Goldstein

    Judith Goldstein; Wire Sculpted Pendant; Copper, beach glass

  • Judith Goldstein

    Judith Goldstein

    Judith Goldstein; Freeform Bangle; Copper, dichroic glass

  • Lesley Patterson

    Lesley Patterson

    Lesley Patterson; Gillespie Chain; Copper

  • Patricia Harris

    Patricia Harris

    Patricia Harris; Freeform Pendants; Copper, glass

  • rebecca_nadin

    rebecca_nadin

    Rebecca Nadin; Wire Sculpted Pendant and Bezel Wrapped Pendant; Copper, stone, glass

  • Sharona Brookman

    Sharona Brookman

    Sharona Brookman; Freeform Bangle; Copper, glass

Registration for Wire Jewellery at Haliburton School of the Arts has begun!

Nestled in the Haliburton Highlands in the heart of Ontario’s Cottage Country, the Haliburton School of the Arts offers week long and weekend courses in everything from painting to glassblowing to blacksmithing.  I’m pleased to be returning to HSTA for the week of August 1-5  to teach wire jewellery!  Come join me for a week of fun and fabulous jewelry-making!  You’ll make earrings, chains, bracelets and pendants in a relaxed and enjoyable learning environment.

Please see my Classes page for more information.

YOJ11-04 In Production Mode

YOJ11-04 In Production Mode

YOJ11-04 Aquamarine Bridal Set Aquamarine Bridal Set (2011) Sterling silver, aquamarine Formed, cold-joined, flameworked Pendant: L 4.0 cm x W 1.5 cm Earrings: L 3.8 cm x W 0.7 cmAquamarine Bridal Set (2011)
Sterling silver, aquamarine
Formed, cold-joined, flameworked
Pendant: L 4.0 cm x W 1.5 cm
Earrings: L 3.8 cm x W 0.7 cm

I had such high hopes this week for getting a lot done.  I did get a lot done, but very little of it related to what I wanted to be doing, which was making jewelry for restocking galleries and for an upcoming studio tour.  Oh well.  As we said when I was a kid:  C’est la vie, c’est la guerre, c’est la pomme de terre…

I’m in production mode and working on things that can be quickly made.  These earrings and pendant are part of a “Something Blue” casual/bridal line.  The stone is aquamarine – a strand I picked up last fall at the GMCS show.  I’m still on a buying moratorium but the icy opaqueness of the stone is part of what appealed to me.  I have very little blue in my stone inventory, because most of the time, blue stones can’t withstand the punishment of tumbling.

I’m actively working through my stash of stones, so pendants and bracelets are also on their way!

Tutorial – Sweetheart Ring

Sweetheart Ring - Tutorial Instant Download from wrapturetutorials.com

Sweetheart Ring
Level of Difficulty:  Intermediate

This little ring is very economical in its use of wire, but what a pretty result! Its look is perfect for delicate fingers, but the pattern can be easily adjusted for larger ring sizes and stones. For those who have mastered the basics and are looking to move on a new skill level, this project introduces some precise measuring and calculation.

13 pages, 45 photos, 40 steps, plus design notes

USD $15.00

Tools & Materials You’ll Need:

Tools:
Flat Nose Pliers
Round Nose Pliers
Chain Nose Pliers
Flush Cutting Wire Nippers
Vernier Caliper
Permanent Marker
Measuring Tape/Ruler
Jeweller’s File
Rouge Cloth
Wooden Ring Mandrel
1/4″ (6 mm) Masking Tape

Materials:
16″ (41 cm) 22 ga. (.65 mm) Soft Square wire
1 1/2″ (4 cm) 22 ga. (.75 x .5 mm) Half-hard half round wire
1x 6 mm facetted Cubic Zirconium or other stone

Substitutions:
Substitutions are not recommended for this project.

Available now from my Tutorials Page and in my Artfire Shop.

YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3

YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3 YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3 (2010); Sterling silver, fine silver, tourmaline; Constructed, cold-joined; L 3.7 cm x W 0.5 cm (W 1.45" x L 0.2")Knotted Earrings 3 (2010)
Sterling silver, fine silver, tourmaline
Constructed, cold-joined
L 3.7 cm x W 0.5 cm (W 1.45″ x L 0.2″)

Continuing on from last week, since I made several of the Monkey’s Fist knots, I made another pair of earrings!

I’ve been doing some experimenting with photography lately, putting my pieces on a white background instead of the medium gray.  I’m looking for ways to make the images “pop” more – in my recent work I’ve been using a lot of stones that have the same value as the background, and it makes the jewellery look dull.  “Value” in colour terms refers to how light or dark it is.  (To see check the value of your stone, stare at the photo with squinted eyes – if the stone disappears it has the same value as the background.)  In order for a photo to have visual interest, it has to be either lighter or darker than the background, otherwise the eyes see what’s there, but the brain registers “ho hum”.

It’s a bit more work to deal with a white background – inevitably, and even though I have a white balance setting on my camera – the raw photo comes out slightly grey.  Photoshop can adjust the balance it easily, but then I usually still have to do some extra clean up.  It’s a bit tricky to lighten the background enough to get rid of “noise” but not so much that the jewellery bleaches out.

YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3 YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3 (2010); Sterling silver, fine silver, tourmaline; Constructed, cold-joined; L 3.7 cm x W 0.5 cm (W 1.45" x L 0.2")From a print perspective, (putting on my editor hat for a moment), getting photos with white background is a godsend for layout.  I can plunk them down anywhere on a page and build text around them.  Or I can crop and put several images close together – something that isn’t possible when the jewellery is shot on a grey or staged background.   There are no distractions – you look at the jewellery and nothing else.

While they work for print and web, white backgrounds do *not* work well for jury photos.  I had the opportunity to sit in on a jury for a show recently (something I highly recommend BTW, it’s very educational), and I noticed that the photos with white backgrounds were always very jarring.  Backgrounds with a value of medium to dark (but not black) and *absolutely no props* worked best for jury photos.  Prop shots work well for Etsy, but are distracting in jury.

More photos:

YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3 YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3 (2010); Sterling silver, fine silver, tourmaline; Constructed, cold-joined; L 3.7 cm x W 0.5 cm (W 1.45" x L 0.2") YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3 YOJ10-15 Knotted Earrings 3 (2010); Sterling silver, fine silver, tourmaline; Constructed, cold-joined; L 3.7 cm x W 0.5 cm (W 1.45" x L 0.2")

YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2

YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2 YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2 (2010); Sterling silver; Constructed, cold-joined; L 2.5 cm x W 0.7 cm (L 0.98" x W 0.275")Knotted Earrings 2 (2010)
Sterling silver, iolite
Constructed, cold-joined
L 2.5 cm x W 0.7 cm (L 0.98″ x W 0.275″)

My life is all about choices:  if I choose to focus on one area of my life, another area gets sacrificed.  For the past few weeks, I’ve had to focus on some group endeavours, and so my work on YOJ projects ground to a halt.  I’m working towards finding balance, but haven’t found it just yet.

For this week’s project, my focus was on making bridal jewellery.  My thoughts were on “something blue” and “tying knots”.

The Monkey’s Fist is a classic macramé knot, usually used as a weight or ornament on the end of a rope.  Tying them in rope is relatively easy.  When I learned it as a child, it was just a matter of sticking a marble between two fingers, and wrapping the rope around the marble and fingers, then around the marble through fingers and then through the loops created by the fingers.  Then the loops were pulled tight.

YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2 YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2 (2010); Sterling silver; Constructed, cold-joined; L 2.5 cm x W 0.7 cm (L 0.98" x W 0.275")In wire, the stiffness of the metal, and its tendency to kink makes tying challenging.  There is also the issue of trying to get the proportions right:  thinner gauge wire is more flexible to tie, but the knot becomes very small and fiddly.  I found it impossible to tie wire around a bead without it slipping all over the place.  Pulling the loops tight at the end was also a non-starter, so I had to make the initial wraps as close to round as possible – challenging since without a bead in the centre, the tendency is to wrap ovals.  I ended up creating an invent-a-tool to help.

It took a bit of practice to get consistent results (doesn’t everything?), but I did end up with a satisfying “knot”. To get the “blue” part of the earrings, I decided on adding some pale 2 mm iolites. I would love to try these in a larger gauge of wire, but I think that would really only be possible with fine silver.  Sterling just gets too stiff too fast.

More photos:

YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2 YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2 (2010); Sterling silver; Constructed, cold-joined; L 2.5 cm x W 0.7 cm (L 0.98" x W 0.275") YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2 YOJ10-14 Knotted Earrings 2 (2010); Sterling silver; Constructed, cold-joined; L 2.5 cm x W 0.7 cm (L 0.98" x W 0.275")

Registration for Haliburton Classes August 2010 Begins!

Sunset Skyline Park Sunset view from Skyline Park, Haliburton, Ontario, July 2009

Registration for my classes at Haliburton School of the Arts is now open!

I’m very excited to be heading back for my third year teaching at Haliburton!  I will be teaching two classes, Wire Jewellery I (August 2-6, 2010) and Wire Jewellery II (August 9-13, 2010).

The school is nestled in the heart of Ontario’s Cottage Country near the shores of Head Lake.  Come for a peaceful and relaxing week, and have fun making jewellery!

See my classes page for course descriptions and a link to register!

YOJ10-01 Marquise Series: Pendant 7

YOJ10-01 Marquise Series:  Pendant 7 Marquise Series: Pendant 7 (2009); Sterling silver; Constructed, cold-joined; L 5.2 cm X W 3.3 cmMarquise Series: Pendant 7 (2009)
Sterling silver
Constructed, cold-joined
L 5.2 cm X W 3.3 cm

I made this pendant in the early part of the week, knowing that the first project for the new YOJ was due today.  Up to now, I’ve been working with marquise shapes as single pieces, either as pendants on their own, or linked together in a bracelet.  This one is a compound structure, made from one piece of wire.  It took a bit of torturing to get it to look like this, LOL, but I like how it resembles a whirligig.

YOJ09-52 Marquise Series: Pendant 6

YOJ09-52 Marquise Series:  Pendant 6 YOJ09-52 Marquise Series: Pendant 6 (2009); Sterling silver, ribbon; Constructed, cold-joined; L 9.8 cm x W 3.4 cm, Ribbon: L 52 cm x W 3.0 cm (approx.)Marquise Series:  Pendant 6 (2009)
Sterling silver, ribbon
Constructed, cold-joined
L 9.8 cm x W 3.4 cm/Ribbon: L 52 cm x W 3.0 cm

.
My ex-husband used to say “Go Big or Stay Home”, so I’m finishing off the Year of Jewelry 2009 with a super-sized version of the Marquise Pendant.  This started off as an experiment to see if the basic marquise shape would translate to a bangle, but I haven’t worked out the kinks to that yet.

I also decided to give the ribbon necklace another try, although again, it’s technically uneconomic to make.  Ah well, I wanted to finish up the year in style!  LOL

YOJ09-52 Marquise Series:  Pendant 6 YOJ09-52 Marquise Series: Pendant 6 (2009); Sterling silver, ribbon; Constructed, cold-joined; L 9.8 cm x W 3.4 cm, Ribbon: L 52 cm x W 3.0 cm (approx.)Here’s another shot of what it looks like on:

And so this very challenging year comes to an end.  I’ll have a look back over the year and post some thoughts about what I achieved.

Until then, I wish you and those close to you a very Happy New Year, filled with enough challenge to keep you interested, and enough joy to keep you inspired!

All the best in 2010!

YOJ09-51 Marquise Series: Pendant 5

YOJ09-51 Marquise Series: Pendant 5 YOJ09-51 Marquise Series: Pendant 5 (2009); Sterling silver, fine silver, Swarovski crystal; Constructed, cold-joined, nalbinding; L 6.5 cm x W 1.3 cmMarquise Series:  Pendant 5 (2009)
Sterling silver, fine silver, Swarovski crystal
Constructed, cold-joined, nalbinding
L 6.5 cm x W 1.3 cm

This pendant is made of two “recycled” pieces from Bracelet 3, which didn’t match the other links.  Initially I only added the Swarovskis as embellishment, but the pendant looked unbalanced.  So I decided to add some viking knitting – nalbinding – and create a ribbon-like effect.  The work involved in adding the nalbinding bumps this up from production piece to a “couture” One of a Kind or Limited Edition.

I’m not completely satisfied with how it turned out, but I’m also not able to define what is bothering me about it.   It might just be that it doesn’t work as a pendant.  The design would certainly make a fabulous pair of earrings.  Comments are welcome!