Jewelry Making Blog

Use Bead Patterns to Further Your Jewelry Designing Skills
Thursday, April 24 2014 00:00

Use Bead Patterns to Further Your Jewelry Designing Skills

 

Whether you are a seasoned jewelry designer or just beginning your jewelry designing career, bead patterns can help you further your craft. Bead patterns can provide seasoned jewelry designers starting points to springboard new ideas from. They can be used as inspiration for new ideas. For those just starting out, bead patterns can help you learn new designs and further you in your craft. Today we are going to look at how learning one simple pattern can open up a world of possibilities. 

Dog Bone Chain Bracelet

The dog bone chain bracelet is a very visually appealing bracelet with a minimalist look. Depending on how you create the pattern, it features a specific number of wire circles or 'dog bone chains' before the use of a crystal bead. 

This bracelet requires the jewelry maker to be able to cut the wire with a flush cutter, straighten wire with nylon jaw pliers, make a wrapped loop in wire, and use a WigJig tool to make permanent wire components. If you feel that you have these jewelry making skills, then the dog bone chain bracelet is for you. 

The 26 step-by-step tutorial offered on www.wigjig.com provides both text and pictures to help you make your very own dog bone chain bracelet. It is very detailed and covers the information you need to know. Once you master the steps to making a dog bone chain bracelet, you can use these same steps with a few modifications to make dog bone chain earrings and necklaces.

Wigjig.com also provides the steps on their website to help you learn how to make alternative configurations of the dog bone chain. They provide the fourteen steps that are different if you vary from the pattern shown in the original tutorial. Wigjig.com provides ample support on how to make a dog bone chain bracelet. Seasoned jewelry making experts can use this bead pattern to help them make alternative configurations, earnings and necklaces. New jewelry makers can use this bead pattern to help them learn a new skill.

No matter your skill level you can learn something new from bead patterns. Please contact us to learn more about how bead patterns can advance your skills. 

 
Neolithic Stone to Contemporary Wire Jewelry: the history of spirals
Tuesday, April 22 2014 00:00

Neolithic Stone to Contemporary Wire Jewelry: the history of spirals

 

Have you ever found yourself in a particularly dull meeting or lecture, doodling spirals in the margin of what started out as a well-intentioned attempt at thorough and organized note-taking? Did you know that your fascination with this shape can be traced back to prehistoric times?

The triskele, or triple spiral, can be found in the form of rock carvings at the Newgrange passage tomb and many other prehistoric sites around Ireland. Although its exact symbolic meaning to Celtic and Pre-Celtic peoples is unknown, by the 5th century AD the triskele had been appropriated by Christians as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Variations of this design can be found as part of the intricate knotwork of Hiberno-Saxon illuminated manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells.

The Malwiya Minaret at Mosque of Samarra in Iraq is one of the most striking examples of the spiral in architecture. Constructed the 9th century AD, this tower measures 52 meters high and 33 meters wide at the base. In Arabic, the name Malwiya means "twisted" or "like a snail shell."

The dynamic beauty of the spiral continues to inspire architects today. The Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers in Nagoya, Japan is a 170 meter high feat of engineering and design completed in 2008. It is designed to be a highly energy-efficient and earthquake resistant structure whose unique shape will foster creativity among students at the three vocational schools housed within the towers.

Ready to add your own "spin" to this age old symbol? Take your wire jewelry to the next level with one of our spiral making toolsContact us or simply take a look around our website for more inspirational tips and photos!

 
Consider Hypoallergenic Jewelry Making
Monday, April 21 2014 00:00

Consider Hypoallergenic Jewelry Making

Designs for Everyone

  The process of jewelry making is an art form and for many it is also a business.  In a business, the customers are the most important aspect.  Reaching out to them and selling your beautiful work means everything.  What if you could enhance your sales by expanding your jewelry selection? 

 Consider reaching out to those who have allergies to metal.  There are some very simple and basic designs you can create along with your other products.  All it takes is a little knowledge on the situation to give you some set guidelines. 

  An essential fact to be aware of is that the most common metal allergy is to nickel.  This is primarily because most of metal jewelry contains it.  However, other metals like gold and silver are not as likely to cause reactions unless an individual is highly sensitive.

Ideas To Play With

  • Glass and pearl are excellent choices for making hypoallergenic jewelry.  There are many ways to present them and still provide a very elegant feel to a piece.  Refer to the bead stringing and braiding with beads section of WigJig's site to learn some techniques.
  • Using polymer clay to create a metallic-like bead is another option.  You can either get the clay labeled "metallic" or buy mica powder to sprinkle on the surface of the bead.  You can also coat it with a matte finish to increase the integrity.
  • WigJig also offers a craft wire that can be used.  It does have a copper core but is also coated.  Once again, only those who are very sensitive to metals will have a reaction to this.
  •  Leather and nylon cord is also available on the site.  This can be used as a very simple necklace featuring a dazzling metal-free pendant.  You can contact us with any further inquiries about the products mentioned.

Make It Known

  Don't let people who are extremely allergic to metals scare you away.  Chances are that they have been tested to see what exact metals they need to stay away from.  Be open to requests and look at it as a way to challenge your creativity. If you decide to give hypoallergenic jewelry a go the next step is to advertise for it.  Let your customers hear about your newest item and the word will spread. 

 
Five Reasons Why a Wire Jig Can Make You a Better Jewelry Maker
Sunday, April 20 2014 00:00

Five Reasons Why a Wire Jig Can Make You a Better Jewelry Maker

Wire jewelry making can be frustrating, although it doesn't have to be. If you're a newbie, your instructor will expect you to master wire folding, bending, and twisting techniques in just a session or two. She'll want you to perform these skills using hand tools, such as pliers, cutters, and round nose pliers; and she might not mention how easy these tasks would be if you used a WigJig wire jig

A wire jig is just as important as your hand tools. It's no secret that it can ease your beginner's frustration and help you become a better jewelry maker. That's just one of the reasons why you should learn how to use a wire jig, here are a few more.

1- It's Easy

WigJig.com Learning Pages make it easy to master new wire jewelry making skills. You can get your first lesson from the video, "Jewelry Making WigJig Basics Making a Wire Component." 

That's just one of many educational videos and articles that will help jump-start your creativity. With hundreds of WigJig inspired ideas and techniques, it's easy to go as fast as your enthusiasm will take you.

2- Your Earrings Will Actually Match

Even if you're an experienced jewelry maker, it's hard to make a pair of wire earrings that truly match. The chances of moving your hands and pliers exactly the same way two times in a row are pretty slim. When you make earrings with traditional hand tools, one will always be a little bit different than the other.

It's easy to create matching earrings when you use a wire jig. You simply choose your design, place your pegs, then form your wire according to the pattern. You'll get results you can duplicate time after time and earrings that actually match.  

3- You Can Develop New Design Skills in Less Time 

When you use a wire jig, you won't be limited by the skills and techniques you learn from weekly classes, magazine tutorials, or online DIY articles. You can learn to create hundreds of designs quickly and easily by mixing and matching wire jig crafted components, links, and design elements. Even a beginner can create bold, elegant, exciting designs.

4- Your Wire-Work Will Look More Professional

It takes a lot of skill to create wire jewelry using only pliers, cutters, and wire. Some jewelry artists create fabulous pieces that way, but it can get pretty tedious for others. And no matter how skillful the artist, even the most fabulous plier-made designs will have noticeable flaws.

Wire jewelry customers want fabulous creations, but they also want a professional look. They want smooth curves, sharp angles, and wire surfaces without nicks and scratches from using pliers. When you use a wire jig, it's easier to give your customers what they want. 

5- You can Create a Variety of Exciting Designs

Whether you sell handcrafted jewelry at art and craft shows or in an online store, your customers will want variety. If you sell the same pieces over and over again, they might buy from you a first time; but if you don't offer new designs, they might not buy again.

Variety is easy to master when you use a wire jig. Wigjig.com's learning pages offer lots of step-by-step ideas and techniques. You can learn to create wire jewelry components, chains, or finished pieces. You can learn how to create wire-only pieces, or to combine wire and beads for unique bold creations. And you can experiment with jig-crafted clasps, hooks, and earwires for unique jewelry creations your customers will love.  

Become a Better Jewelry Maker

When you begin making wire jewelry with a WigJig, you will be so impressed with your increased professionalism and creativity, you won't want to do it any other way. Just contact us and we'll help you get started.

 
Spring into Jewelry Making
Saturday, April 19 2014 00:00

Spring into Jewelry Making

Winter 2014 was particularly rough for some of us in the states, but with winter comes spring, and boy do we have a lot to look forward to.  For those out there who are crafty and creative enough to make their own jewelry, it’s good to know what to buy, sell or make for the current season. 

The first thing a jewelry maker should pay attention to is what color is trending for the current season.  Earlier this year, Pantone Color Institute announced that Radiant Orchid is the trend color for the spring 2014 season. This is actually great news for jewelry makers because Radiant Orchid is very versatile and has many complimentary colors. Mixing complementary colors like grey, lime, hunter green, teal and tan can make your jewelry stand out and catch the eye of a potential customer.   By using this color, jewelry makers are also able to create pieces that are adaptable to both business and casual settings.

The second thing a jewelry maker should pay attention to is what types of jewelry are currently trending.  Although some jewelry makers don’t subscribe to this type of thinking, knowing what people want to buy will help move your merchandise off your display rack and into a consumer’s hands.  After compiling lists of jewelry trends from dozens of blogs and websites, I’ve narrowed them down to the top five things that should be on your “to make list”. 

First on everyone’s hit list are pendant necklaces.  No woman is complete without that cool pendant to spark a little interest.  Second on the list is fringe.  Fringe isn’t only for cowboys, but can be made more stunning on earrings and necklaces.  Got something to say?  Say it with your jewelry.  Number three on the hit list is monogram jewelry.   Number four on the hit list is definitely friendship and macramé bracelets.  They have always been popular, but in 2014, friendship and macramé bracelets have taken a more grown up approach. Jewelry makers are thinking outside the box and opening these bracelets to be worn in more formal and professional settings.  Last but definitely not least is skinny bangles.  Skinny bangles have been trending for quite some time and it doesn’t look like the trend is going away any time soon.  Bangles can be stacked, mixed and matched and are great with any outfit. 

Now that you know what is hip and what isn’t, it’s time to start making jewelry.  Don’t know where to start?  Why don’t you check out WigJig’s website!  They have tons of products at great prices and they even have a section for learning the tricks of the trade.  For more information on jewelry making, tools and products feel free to contact WigJig here

 
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