Announcing “The Tao of Wire” Online Video Course

Announcing “The Tao of Wire” Online Video Course

For a long time, people have commented to me that they would love to take my classes, but live too far away from me.

So, last year I started work on a new project, which I’m happy to announce is almost ready to launch!

The Tao of Wire, an online video wireworking course by Dianne Karg Baron

The Tao of Wire is a step-by-step online video course to help you discover your own creative voice through making wire jewelry. You’ll learn professional techniques for making wire jewelry that you are proud to wear, give and sell.

FoundationSkillsCourse1Cover

Foundation Skills: Introduction to Wire Jewelry is launching soon!

This free course introduces you to the tools, metals, and types of wire you’ll need to start working with wire. Learn how to straighten wire, how to work with square wire, and tips for avoiding strain while you work. You’ll also learn step by step how make one of *the* most fundamental and multi-purpose links – the S-link – and a hook, using square wire.

Sign up today to start your creative journey!

 

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.

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")

Interview with Your Daily Muse News

Shortly before Christmas I was contacted with an interview request by Tina of Your Daily Muse News.  Tina’s blog is a terrific collection of unusual, inspiring and drop dead gorgeous creations that span a wide range of fine craft.  Her blog immediately became one of my regularly visited bookmarks.

While having a look at the blog earlier today, I discovered that our interview was posted!  You can read it here.

I’m thrilled to be included with the plethora of talent Tina has featured on the site!  Thanks Tina!

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

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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!

YOJ09-50 Marquise Series: Bracelet 3

YOJ09-50 Marquise Series: Bracelet 3 YOJ09-50 Marquise Series: Bracelet 3 (2009); Sterling silver, copper, fine silver; Constructed, cold-joined; L 16.8 cm x W 1.1 cmMarquise Series: Bracelet 3 (2009)
Sterling silver, copper, fine silver
Constructed, cold-joined
L 16.8 cm x W 1.1 cm

For this piece, I took the idea developed in Week 48 and extended it to a bracelet.  The design looks simple, yet it surprised me how much work was involved in adding the copper beads.

I like the bi-metal toning – it’s a nice effect, and would really sparkle on tanned, warm toned or dark skin.

Like the project in Week 45, I alternated the links in mirror image; however, the alternating pattern sets up an issue for sizing.  I noticed it with the Week 45 bracelet as well, but because it’s all one metal it’s not as obvious.   With this bracelet, because there are two metals, it becomes clear that there can’t be an odd number of links: it throws off the pattern.  This design will fit either a very small wrist (like this bracelet does), or a very large wrist.  On my wrist, which is a little thinner than standard, but not small, the bracelet fits comfortably with room to move easily, but I generally like to wear my bracelets loose so that they jingle.

The design would look stunning with the Swarovskis I used in Week 48, but adding them will also add to the price of the finished piece.  If you’re interested in a Swarovski version, please email me for a quote.

YOJ09-49 Marquise Series: Pendant 4

yoj09wk49-marquiseseriespendant4-mini Marquise Series:  Pendant 4 (2009)
Sterling silver
Constructed, cold-joined
L 3.6 cm x W 1.6 cm

Here is one more variation in sterling silver.  The original idea was to add a 2 mm Swarovski crystal, similar to what I did in the Week 47 project, but I ended up deciding against it.

YOJ09-48 Marquise Series: Pendant 3

yoj09wk48-marquiseseriesswarostripe-mini Marquise Pendant:  Pendant 3 (2009)
Sterling silver, fine silver, Swarovski crystal
Constructed, cold-joined
L3.5 cm x W 1.6 cm

Lots of playing going on!  I love the sparkle of Swarovskis, so I added a thin row of crystals to this next pendant in the series.  I love the classic “sweetheart” look that resulted!