|Black Onyx and White Jade Necklace, Shadow Dog Designs|
There are many different types of handmade jewelry, so I thought I'd share a few of them with you here. Maybe you'll discover something new! These are in no particular order.
1. STRINGING: First of all, we have stringing. This is basically just stringing the beads on beading wire or cord. Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs does a great job of this. Here is one of my favorites. It's not so obvious here, but when you look at the whole necklace, it reminds me of our California Banded King Snake named Ringo! Stringing is usually the first thing a jewelry designer learns to do. Although, some people are more talented at it than others, and Catherine is certainly one of them.
|Wire-wrapped Nautilus Pendant in Copper, Wagoner Wire Works|
2. WIRE-WRAPPING: Wire wrapping involves making things out of wire. It could be as simple as connecting two beads together, putting a little accent on something, or making a bail to attach a pendant. Then there's the advanced version, and this copper wire wrapped pendant by Wagoner Wire Works is definitely a prime example. I can't imagine the skill and the time involved to make something like this nautilus pendant. I also love the back lighting in this photo!
|Teal and Orange Flower Earrings, Blue Morning Expressions|
3. POLYMER CLAY: This is special clay that when you bake it in the oven it turns into something like plastic. Crafty people have all kinds of fun with this, including making miniature food, etc. Also it doesn't require a lot of equipment to be able to do it. A talented polymer clay artist can make very intricate and beautiful designs, Floral designs are popular, such as these teal and orange floral earrings by Blue Morning Expressions.
|Picture Jasper Cuff Bracelet, Lunar Skies|
|Dragonfly Necklace, Rio Rheba Boutiques|
5. RESIN: Resin jewelry has become very popular lately. It's easy to make and doesn't require a lot of equipment or special skill. People who make this type of jewelry frequently purchase a bezel to use, although some make their own. You can cut out a photograph, text or patterned image for a background then pour the resin on top. This necklace by Rio Rheba Boutiques looks like she has two images, the dragonfly on top of a newspaper clipping. If your bezel is thick enough you can add rhinestones, small flowers or other 3D objects under the resin. It can also add color to jewelry when depressions in the metal are filled with colored resin.
|Lampwork Glass Bead Earrings, Crystal Bazaar|
6. LAMPWORK: Making lampwork glass beads does not require a lot of equipment, but it does require skill. You have to be able to put that hot glass in just the right spot to get the desired result. At left is a pair of lampwork bead earrings by Sally of Crystal Bazaar. The blue dots in these beads were drops of molten glass, as were the white dots underneath those. To get them all about the same size and place them exactly where they need to be, and then to get them round and smooth, takes some talent in my opinion.
|Multi Color Swirl Woven Cuff, Irish Expressions|
|Antique Yemeni Chain Mail Bracelet, Crafts of the Past|
|Reflection of Tree in Pond Pendant, Meant 2B Cherished|
|Enameled Leaf Pendant by Iron Mountain Jewelry|
8. CHAIN MAIL - Chain mail (sometimes called chain maille) jewelry is made by attaching lots of jump rings together tightly in a pattern. This can be fairly simple, as in a pair of earrings, or very complicated, for example if you are trying to make a ring in a certain size. I came across this antique chain mail bracelet at Crafts of the Past. This pattern is so tight, I'm guessing the person who made it may have pulled it through a draw plate to make it smaller and tighter.
|Turquoise and Beaded Earrings by Bijoir Designs|
9. FUSED GLASS: The difference between fused and lampwork is you need a kiln to make fused glass. Compatible glass, usually in sheet form, is stacked on the shelf and then melted. This is why it usually has a flat bottom. Metallic looking dichroic glass is very popular with fusers, as are enamel or gold fuse on decals, like the tree on this beautiful wire wrapped pendant by Maureen of Meant 2B Cherished.
10. ENAMELING: Enamel is actually powdered glass that is fused? onto a base layer of metal. This is usually done with a kiln, but can also be done with a torch! There are many different enameling techniques, most of them with French names. My favorites are cloisonne and plique-a-jour. I'm not sure what enamel technique this is, other than maybe what is called "painted enamel". The round green bead is actually a lampwork bead, but the green on the leaf is the enamel. This copper and brass pendant is made by Iron Mountain Jewelry.
11. BEADING: Native Americans are known for this type of jewelry. I think often the beads are stitched onto a supporting piece of fabric or leather, but they don't have to be. I have seen some unbelievable beaded creations at the Bead and Button show. Here is a pair of beaded turquoise earrings by one of our newer members, Bijour Designs.
|Textured Reverse of Desert Rain Pendant, Shanghai Tai|
12. METAL CLAY: A a relatively new medium on the jewelry scene, this clay is made from microscopic bits of metal mixed with an organic binder. You can shape it like clay, then fire it in the kiln and all the organic material burns away. Only the metal is left. It is wonderful for putting textures in metal. This is actually the back of a pendant by Roxanne of Shanghai Tai. This one is fine silver, but it also comes in gold, copper, bronze and even steel!
So, I'm not saying these are the only methods, or the best methods, they are just twelve that popped into my head. (So don't send me angry emails!) Thank you to all the artists of the Jewelry Creators Unite in Numbers (JCUIN) guild for providing the jewelry photos!