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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jewelry Tips on My New ArtFire Blog

Recently I started up my ArtFire blog again.  It had not gotten much use since the day ArtFire decided to change the blog and archive all our posts.  That's ok, because I was mainly using this one by then anyway.  I wanted to find a special use for my second blog.  

A lot of people who read this blog are other artists, especially jewelry designers.  Because of that, I plan to have more behind the scenes stuff on this blog.  I wanted to offer something on my Artfire blog that was of particular interest to my customers.  So I have started a series of tips on buying jewelry, especially handmade jewelry.  

A piece of a bracelet that had less than sturdy
They say "you get what you pay for", and a lot of times that is true.  But how do you know you are getting a quality piece?  Is it going to fall apart?  Is it going to rust or tarnish?  What kind of stones are harder and which ones are softer?  How do you take care of your gemstones?  These are questions I intend to address in upcoming installments of my blog.

If you are interested in becoming a more savvy jewelry buyer, you might want to check out the first installment:   Eye Pins and Wrapped Loops or "Why Did That Bracelet Fall Apart?"   You can find it here:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cold Connections

This was originally posted in June 2011 on my Artfire blog, but since all those posts were unpublished a while back, I decided to move it over here: Well, I finally married off my daughter last weekend (in an outdoor ceremony in 101F heat!) So now I can get back to making some jewelry for my studio. Last night I went to a workshop on cold connections taught by Candie Cooper, who lives in Wabash now, but like me, she also used to live in China.

The first one (left) was done with a wire rivet. Actually it was a wire rivet on one side only, the other side was a nail head. The nail head is in the front, but unfortunately it's covered by the bead and I'm too lazy to take another picture! Anyway, you get the idea. 

The one on the right is done with a tube rivet. It's pink, and actually a rivet that's made for scrapbookers. The blue around the rivet is a disk that I cut out of a decorative tin. The other pieces I believe are components from Vintaj that I hammered and textured. 

 This last one is my favorite because I like the bright blue color. It looks like annodized aluminum (or niobium) but it's actually colored with alcohol ink. (I still have ink under my fingernails!) This one is held together with a little tiny bolt that you can see in the center. There is a nut in the back to hold it tight. 

Anyway, I have had instructions for quite awhile on how to do these rivets, but had never actually done it. Now I will have to see if I can incorporate some of these techniques into some new pieces. I already have some ideas......