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21  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Magazine Cover Bracelet, Gum Wrapper Chain-ish on: December 19, 2010 01:50:24 PM
I've always used that "reverse weave" technique and always been frustrated by it.  Genius and thanks for the simple "why didn't I think of it" technique.

Brava!

FJD
22  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Recycled Maps = beautiful necklaces! on: December 19, 2010 01:47:26 PM
Great minds!  We sell these under glass all over the country in gift shops as charms and necklaces.  I like your take on them as a fast and easy necklace using string tags.  Genius!

FJD
23  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Good Quality Jewelry Supplies on: November 21, 2010 04:06:03 PM
My guess is that you are not in the position to have things made for you.  The minimum order is normally $10,000 or 10,000 pieces.  There are many, many suppliers online (not ebay) that sell at nearly wholesale prices and allow you to buy one or 2 or small quantities.

Although Rio is great (I get a lot of my wire and sheet metal there) its prices are expensive if you are not buying tons of metal.

Depending on  what  you want to work in there is:
metalliferrous
breandywine
rings n things
artbeads
hhh
beadaholique
fire mountain
shiana
clasp on clasp off
gemorama
mimis gems
vintaj brass
land of odds
whim beads
turquoise magpie

omg there are thousands of places
24  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: What level of jewelry making are you in? on: November 21, 2010 03:58:28 PM
I am well advanced.
30 years
I was self taught for many years, began taking classes just a few years ago
This is my profession - I also teach
Use the right tools, prepare to waste a lot of materials, spend as much as you can on learning
25  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Beginner in need of advice and help on: November 21, 2010 03:56:19 PM
I agree with everyone else as well, but wanted to point out that at least 2 of the links you gave went to items where the wires have not been hand-shaped (the kidney earwires and small hoop were just purchased already in those shapes, and one or both may be a very rigid wire that was formed with a machine, etc, and won't bend easily.).

'Not necessarily true.  It is very easy to make kidney wires, so don't be fooled into thinking that they are necessarily machine made.  They are not what I would recommend for a beginner, but they are not hard to make at all.  And small hoops are even easier to make, and can be made in 18 g wire.  What most of us do to make earwires keep their shapes is hammer them.  Once an ear wire is hammered, it is almost impossible for it to bend out of shape when putting it in your ear.  In making your tree of life pendant (the one in the circle with all of the branches) hammer the outside of the circle or use 18 or 16 gauge wire.

As far as tools, you might want to look at Wubbers, Tronex or   Lindstrom if you can afford them.  Otherwise, hardware pliers without teeth and with the edges filed down will work just fine as long as they fit your hands.  My first pairs were from Sears.

One of the best books, if you can't come to my classes LOL, is Mark Larreau's All Wired Up.  He gives you the very basics that you need to do professional wire working.

Another book that I recommend is Wire Jewelry Visual Tips...Lots of Great Info.

Oh, and don't ever use pliers to straighten wire...never!  Use a polishing cloth and run the wire through your hand.  Let the wire uncoil naturally from the spool or the coil and straighten the wire in 2-3 foot sections.

HTH.

You're on your way!
26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Secret to good wire work on: November 21, 2010 03:39:12 PM
There are 3 big secrets....the right wire, the right tools and the right technique.  You have to use the right wire and tools for what it is you want to make, and you have to know the right technique.  After that, it is a matter of practice.  16 gauge is a little tough for someone who is just beginning to learn how to do wirework...I normally start my students with 18 or 20 gauge to get the feel for how to make a good wrapped loop, how to make a good loop, how to weave wire, etc.  If you can't take a class, there are some really great books that will act as a class...work them without going through them quickly, buy the best tools you can afford, and you will find that it will be easier to make excellent jewelry.
27  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Chainmaille Necklace with Seashell on: November 10, 2010 01:36:19 PM
gorgeous.  fp is one of my favorite weaves and one of the first i teach.  if it's taking forever, you must be doing it "wrong".  it's one of the fastest chainmaille weaves.  even with small rings, it goes quickly.
but you did a great job.
28  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Earrings Created from Metal Blinds on: November 10, 2010 07:29:49 AM
The majority of my jewelry is made from "recently retired" stuff...stuff that had a life as something else before.  I make jewelry from old vinyl and metal blinds, too.  You might think about using punches and metal shears and a sizzix or cricut machine to really cut some shapes.  They make great necklaces and bracelets, too.

great  beginnings!!

fjd
29  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Byzantine Chainmail Bracelet on: October 29, 2010 08:33:41 PM
Pretty.  It's the first weave I learned, and the first weave I teach my students.  And when I feel the need to weave, but don't want to do anything complex, I always make Byz because I can have a bracelet done in 30 minutes or less.  Faster than food delivery and way fewer calories!

Pretty, pretty, pretty, in case I didn't say pretty.

fjd
30  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Googly Eye Bracelet on: October 15, 2010 07:51:50 AM
I love these. I make them with the colored eyes with the eyelashes and eyeshadow and we sell them at my niece's school.  The kids adore them.  So quick, so easy and they think I'm a genius!

great job, I love using the hook as a clasp!
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