Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spiral Accent Beaded Bracelet: Susy Garner


Spirals are a powerful part of any wireworker's repetoire. Check out this project and learn how to make your own spiral bead caps and a unique wire toggle!

Materials: 
• 20 ga round Beadalon German Style Wire in gold or silver, approximately 5 ft.
• 10 mm - 12 mm round beads (4)
• 20 mm coin beads (3)
• 4 mm gold or silver jump rings (16)
• Toggle in either gold or silver
• Flush cutter
• Round nose pliers
• Flat nose pliers
• Chain nose pliers
• Nylon jaw pliers
• Ruler

Instructions: 
Create a whimsical bracelet with wire spirals and beads.
Skills: Must know how to make a wrapped loop and wire spirals.

Spiral Capped Beads
1. Straighten and flush cut a 7" length of 20 ga Beadalon German Style Round Wire.
2. Make a wrapped loop 3.25" from the end of the 20 ga wire. Do not trim the excess wire.
3. Slide a 10 mm - 12 mm round bead onto the longer end of wire and make another wrapped loop on the opposite side of the bead. Flush cut both remaining wire ends leaving a wire tail approximately 2" - 2.25" in length on either side of the bead.
4. Create a Spiral Cap on one side of the bead by grabbing one of the wrapped loops (created in step 3) between the jaws of your flat nose pliers and with your free hand guide the 2" - 2.25" length of wire around the base of that wrapped loop while resting it against the bead. Continue guiding the wire around the previous rotation, thus creating a spiral. Use the entire length of wire.
5. Repeat step 4 on the opposite side of the bead.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 with the remaining three 10 mm - 12 mm round beads.

Spiral Accent Coin Beads
7. Flush cut a 9" length of 20 ga Beadalon German Style Round Wire.
8. Make a wrapped loop 3.75" from the end of the 20 ga wire. Do not trim the excess wire.
9. Slide a 20 mm coin beads onto the longer end of wire and make another wrapped loop on the opposite side of the bead. Flush cut both remaining wire ends, leaving a wire tail approximately 3" in length on either side of the bead.
10. At the end of one of the remaining wires, make a spiral with the entire length of wire.
11. With your fingers, press the spiral against the coin bead.
12. Repeat steps 10-11 with the second wire. Position both spirals on the same side of the coin bead.
13. Repeat steps 7-12 with the remaining two 20 mm coin beads.
14. Using two jump rings between each bead, link the beads and toggle together to make the bracelet. Length of bracelet may vary based upon the size of the toggle, beads, and wrapped loops.
TIP: Change the length of the bracelet by using smaller beads for a shorter bracelet, or larger beads for a longer one. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Everyday Inspiration: Fernando Dasilva



What inspires you to make jewelry?
My inspiration comes from the desire of support myself through my creations. Some days I get inspiration from my spirituality, some days from my culture, other days from my dreams and some days I have no inspiration whatsoever. Sometimes even when I don’t feel inspired and I have a request for a new design, I start manipulating components and something uniquely fresh comes, and then in those days I am just lucky.

What has been inspiring you lately?
I love fashion and wish everyone could have seem the Alexander McQueen: Strange Beauty exhibit at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Amazing!

Where will we find your newest designs?
I'm still doing a lot of designs based on the ideas in my book, Modern Expressions (North Light 2010). I've been appearing on JTV's Jewel School, making designs for Beadalon and John Bead and am working contributions for Bead Style magazine.

When I'm not making jewelry...
I am cleaning and rearranging my house, cooking, listening to music, reading pop magazines, catching a movie, visiting an art exhibition or daydreaming about the future.

Fernando Dasilva
Beadalon Design Team

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Easy Wire-Wrapped Bracelets: Katie Hacker



So, our babysitter comes over the other day and announces that she and her girlfriends are going shopping for bracelets to wear in a wedding this weekend. Hold the phone! I sweep her into my studio and we whip up these quick, wire-wrapped bracelet bangles using SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS in the wedding colors...peridot, fuchsia and Montana blue.

I love this technique because it's so simple and it can go so many different ways. The wire-wrapped bracelets can be a colorful and funky, like these, or classic with a monochromatic metallic palette. She and I agreed that the silver Artistic Wire makes the crystals pop on the hematite-color bangles.

Maybe it's because I have wire and crystals on the brain (I'm proofreading my forthcoming book: Live Wire Jewelry) but we made all five of these in less than half an hour! I love custom wedding jewelry because it makes such a nice memento, too.

Katie Hacker
Beadalon Design Team Member

Monday, September 19, 2011

All About Jump Rings: Lauren Andersen




Did you know that there are two main wire gauge measurements that we use in the United States?  The first wire gauge measurement is the “Standard Wire Gauge” or SWG.  The SWG is primarily used for industrial metals such as aluminum, steel, etc.  The second, and the measurement used for making the Artistic Wire® Chain Maille Jump Rings is the “American Wire Gauge” or AWG, also referred to “Brown & Sharpe”. 

The AWG is the primary gauge system for nonferrous metals or precious metals.  And to confuse you further the larger the gauge number the smaller the wire diameter!
Why is this important you ask?  The SWG wire measurements tend to run smaller than the AWG wire measurement.  Say the instructions call for your jump rings to be 18 AWG and you purchase 18 SWG rings.  You will find more likely than not that the SWG rings will actually be a smaller wire diameter than the AWG even though they are both 18 gauge rings.  This means that the SWG rings may be too small for the chainmaille pattern to work.

Another term thrown around in chainmaille is Aspect Ratio.  What the heck is that?  Well, quite simply it is the way of describing how thick or thin a jump ring is.  Technically the AR is equal to the inner diameter of the ring divided by the wire diameter of the ring.  If you are a beginner, I wouldn’t worry about AR at this juncture.  Most chainmaille instructions that you purchase or find for free on the Internet will tell you what size jump rings you should use. 

Jump ring mandrel sizes.  To make a jump ring the raw wire is wrapped around what is called a mandrel.  Mandrels come in two basic measurements for chainmaille, inches and millimeters.  You may have noticed on the Artistic Wire® Chain Maille Jump Rings packaging that the jump rings are listed by wire gauge (18Ga) and then in inches (9/64”), then in millimeters (3.57mm).  This is because instruction writers will list their jump rings in either inches, millimeters, or if you’re really lucky both!  Some creative chainmaillers use aluminum knitting needles or wooden dowels as mandrels.
And the final fun fact about jump rings is that they can “fly”!  Just try holding the jump ring in your pliers to tightly and you will see what I mean!

Lauren Andersen
Beadalon Design Team Member

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Chainmaille Video: Lauren Andersen



I am very excited to announce that a video of me demonstrating the European 4-in-1 weave has been posted at JTV's Jewel School. To watch the video click here. On the website click the "watch now" and click again on the on the big screen.  If it starts buffering and you can't see the picture than you can click on the << on the bottom left of the big screen. 

Be sure to tune into JTV's Jewel School on Sunday, September 18! I'll have more great new kits and ideas for Artistic Wire chainmaille rings!

Lauren Andersen
Beadalon Design Team Member

Monday, September 12, 2011

Experimenting with Artistic Wire Mesh: Leslie Rogalski


I tell my students, play with your beads. Play with your materials. And then I get hold of this really cool new product -- Artistic Wire Mesh--from Beadalon, and I don't follow my own advice--at first.

Check out my progression from dainty dabbling to dynamic play:

First I cut small 6" pieces of Artistic wire mesh from a one-yard piece. I think I was trying to be frugal. So I pulled my little pieces tentatively into ginko leaf shapes, which I wire to Beadalon rubber tubing. YAWN!
Okay, maybe aspects of these are okay and I will apply some of the design to other works. But these are certainly do not showcase Artistic Wire Mesh. What was I afraid of? I fold again into little controlled crinkles:
Next, I wire them up with pearls. Not pushed far enough. I needed to loosen up my grip!


I get a rush of abandon and take out my whole two-yard stash. With great glee that I pulled it, crunched it, played with the way it molded and stretched--and finally, FINALLY, took advantage of its best properties--the generous amount of stretch, the firm but not scratchy holding of a shape, the density of color in the crunches and folds:
What did I ultimately come up with? Stay tuned! And remember--you get what you PLAY for!

Leslie Rogalski
Beadalon Design Team Member







Thursday, September 8, 2011

Artistic Wire & Cardmaking: Julianna Hudgins


I'm so thrilled to share a sneak peek at my new book here on the blog! This is a fun project you can try. It's called Friendship Blooms and it combines two of my favorite things: paper and Artistic Wire!


Instructions Rose: 
1. To cut the flower die cut shapes use the Grand Calibur and S5-050 Rose Creations die templates from Spellbinders.
2. Cut 5” of the rose wire for each petal on all the flower shapes for a total of 15, 5” pieces of wire.
3. Take a piece of rose wire and place one end of the wire in center hole of the flower.  Using the Round Nose Pliers shape the wire to match the shape of the petal, then wrap wire around the bottom of the petal and insert in the center hole, tape wires to hold in place. 
4. Repeat step 3 on all three flower die cuts until all of the petals are wire wrapped.
5. Use a bone folder to curl the paper petals on each flower.
6. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the rose together, be sure to offset the petals.

Instructions Leaves: 
1. To cut the leaf die cut shapes use the Grand Calibur and S4-321 Nested Leaves die templates from Spellbinders.
2. Cut 5” of the green wire for each leaf shapes for a total of 3, 5” pieces of wire. 
3. Using the Round Nose Pliers shape the wire to match the leaf, twist wire at the bottom of the leaf, fold wire to the backside and tape wires to hold in place.
4. Repeat step 9 on all three leaf die cuts until all of the leaves are wire wrapped.
5. Use a bone folder to curl the paper leaves.

Julianna Hudgins

Beadalon Design Team Member

Monday, September 5, 2011

JTV's Jewel School: Katie Hacker





I'm heading back to Knoxville for JTV's Jewel School on Thursday, September 8th! I'll be sharing a new Katiedids™ Creative Components kit along with fun ideas for memory wire, antique-look findings and more.

Be sure to enter JTV's Jewel School Design Contest! 
There are some absolutely amazing prizes. The contest ends on September 25, so enter now for your chance to win!

Katie Hacker
Beadalon Design Team Member

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Jewelry Trends: Chunky Beads & Wire





Twisted Coils Jewelry Set by Katie Hacker
Make your own gorgeous coils using fancy round German Style Wire in this nature-inspired jewelry set. When I created it, I was thinking about fall leaves and fall fashions. Get your BIG beads on with this multi-technique project!

Materials
Necklace – 21" long
Bright .018" diameter Beadalon 19
22-gauge silver fancy round German-Style Wire
2 silver #1 Beadalon crimp beads #JFC1S-2.0G
2 silver lines crimp covers
silver toggle clasp
30 silver head pins
4 silver 8mm jump rings
19 jasper 8mm rounds
9 smoky AB 6mm glass v-cuts
6 jasper nuggets

Earrings – 2" long
22-gauge silver fancy round German-Style Wire
2 silver head pins
2 silver 8mm jump rings
2 silver kidney ear wires
19 jasper 8mm rounds
9 smoky AB 6mm glass v-cuts
6 jasper nuggets

Tools
Round-nose pliers #201A-104
Chain-nose pliers #201A-101
Wire cutters #202A-105
Crimping tool
Coiling Gizmo with small mandrel

Instructions
Necklace
1. Use a coiling tool or a bamboo skewer to coil the entire 5M length of fancy round wire.
2. Cut two 5 ½" lengths of coiled wire.
3. Open a jump ring and pass it through a piece of leftover, coiled wire. (As you pass the wire onto the ring, you'll need to trim the coiled wire so that it will cover the entire ring while allowing the ring to close.) Repeat this step for four rings total.
4. String 15 jasper beads and 15 glass beads onto separate head pins. Make a wrapped loop on each dangle.
5. Cut two 22" lengths of Beadalon wire, hold them together and pass them through: 5 ½" wire coil; glass bead; ring; 8mm; ring.
6. Pass through a nugget, three glass and three 8mm beads; repeat until all nuggets are strung.
7. After the last nugget, pass through: ring; 8mm; ring; glass bead; 5 ½" coil so the necklace is symmetrical.
8. Use crimp beads to attach half of the clasp to each end of the necklace. Attach a crimp cover to each.

Earrings
1. Open a jump ring and pass it through a piece of leftover, coiled wire from the necklace. Repeat for a matching ring.
2. Cut the remaining coiled wire in two equal lengths.
3. Pass each head pin through: 8mm bead, jump ring, glass bead, coiled wire.
4. Make a basic loop on each head pin and attach one loop to each ear wire.

-Katie Hacker
Beadalon Design Team Member