Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Contest Alert, Part 2!

In my previous post, I mentioned that www.craftsy.com is running a terrific contest. The main prize? Lifetime free access to an online class called Big and Bold Wire Jewelry, which I just filmed in Denver last month. There's still time to enter, so if you're interested, click here!
Pictured above, you can see one of the more advanced (but still doable) projects from the second half of my class lessons. The last three lessons (out of a total of seven) focus on fine-silver fusing, manipulation, forging and texturing, and embellishing with wrapped pearls and beads!
(Picture above by www.craftsy.com)
If you're new to fusing with fine silver, no worries. I begin my lessons right at the very beginning, with tools and materials, how to use two different kitchen torches safely in a home environment, setting everything up, and lots of troubleshooting tips—we all need those. I promise you'll feel very confident of your ability to fuse fine silver once you've finished the very first lesson. And there's still more to come!
We'll make simple finger rings, spacer beads (from melted balls of fine silver, demonstrating how to make use of our mistakes!), fused shapes with jump-ring connectors (see the photo below), interlocking links that can be used to make bracelets (such as the one pictured at the top of this post), fusing wire shapes inside other, larger shapes, and wire-wrapping beads or pearls onto fused and textured shapes to make gorgeous bracelets, earrings, and more.
These are valuable skills to have. For example, the heart earrings that I make (pictured above) typically retail for $55 a pair. If you sell just one pair of earrings from your class, you'll have paid for the class and made a profit as well.
Fine-silver fusing is a blast! I love the technique. With this approach to joining metal, you may get some unpredictable results. Your look will be a bit more "organic," but the little imperfections that are part of this art form are simply beautiful. That's why I love it!
I also appreciate the fact that I can very quickly join metal without using solder, flux, pickle, or other harsh chemicals. You needn't pickle your fine-silver jewelry because it doesn't oxidize (darken) from the heat of the flame. When soldering sterling silver, copper and brass, you must pickle it with an acid-based solution to remove the fire-scale. With fine silver, simply cool the finished piece in water, and it's ready to wear.
Here's another great thing about fine silver: Customers love it. They'll appreciate it when you offer a fine piece of jewelry made with 99.9 percent pure silver. With sterling-silver jewelry, who really knows if it's pure sterling or silver-filled? The only way to tell for sure is to cut the wire and take a look inside to see if it's pure all the way through. Nobody wants to do that, so customers have to take it on faith that your sterling-silver jewelry is the real deal, and they're getting value for their money. Not so with fine silver!
Besides fusing fine silver, finished links are fun (and super easy) to manipulate into a variety of shapes, big and small, geometric, organic, or abstract. Fine silver is very soft and malleable, so you can have a lot of fun with it. I also love hammering and texturing my metal pieces, and given that fine silver is so soft, it naturally takes deep impressions from hammers and chasing tools.
In my www.craftsy.com class (Big and Bold Wire Jewelry), I show you how to shape and forge and texture your pieces to make them stand out. I also show you how to "force tarnish" fine silver jewelry using cold liver of sulfur and a dipping/polishing technique. You can get amazing colors on your jewelry this way! There's nothing like fine silver.
(Picture above by www.craftsy.com)
I also demonstrate how to wrap pearls, beads, gemstones, etc. inside your finished links to make unique jewelry pieces. Adding just a few semi-precious gemstones to your jewelry at little cost will dramatically increase the appeal of your jewelry, so those of you who like to sell your pieces will have something extra to offer your customers.
Big and Bold Wire Jewelry is a class jam-packed with lots and lots of techniques. The emphasis of this class is on manipulating heavier gauges of wire to make bolder jewelry pieces, but you can easily substitute finer gauges of wire to make similar jewelry if you choose. I show you lots of options and set you free to explore your own creativity with wire. It's a great adventure, and I hope that you'll join me when it begins this September 21!
You have a few more days to enter the contest. Just click right here.
Happy wrapping,


Caitriona Lui said...

Hi, I read your blog and saw your jewelries and designs. Recently I got engaged. I prefer silver jewelry a lot, so I bought a silver engagement ring from jewelry1000.com for my engagement, which I like most.

Jiim Leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jiim Leroy said...

I never used to wear jewellery, but it's something I'm starting to enjoy more and more as I get older. There's a huge bead shop named "CreativeArtyCrafts" near my home, and I'm so keen to explore it since reading this. These ideas are all so gorgeous - I would wear them all!

Sharon Smith said...

Nice blog. The jewelry designs are very modern and we can use it in our regular fashion. I prefer the latest type of modern pearl jewelry for any occasion to match with this modern fashion. Recently I purchased an Empress Pearl Bracelet which is looking very pretty. Keep blogging.

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