Friday, 12 March 2010

WireWorkers Guild


Below is an image for design inspiration, using beautiful semi-precious stones from ... you can create these stunning cord cascades with any bead colour preference!

The guild is only just surfacing from a foetal position, so spread the word to everyone and anyone who loves creating wirejewellery and wire art!

Please feel free to contribute to our bi-monthly newsletter by contacting: or going to 'CONTACT US' link and quoting WWGUILD as your subject heading.

There are 5 sections to contribute to:

Section 1
... tells us about events and up-and-coming shows ...

ROCK 'n' GEM SHOW: 27th-28th March 2010
Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

BIG BEAD SHOW: 17th April 2010
Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey

GEM 'n' BEAD LINKS SHOW: 25th April 2010
Winthorpe, Newark, Notts.

Nantwich Civic Hall, Market Street, Cheshire

Section 2
... send us your questions and share personal tips ...


In these times of financial struggle and belt-tightening, we are constantly looking at ways to keep control of costs, so here are 6 tips that might help:

1. Source out 'Special Offer' deals and 'Wholesale' beads online to avoid impulse purchases in bead stores. Set a limit on the amount you can afford and make sure you stick to this! ... and don't forget to build in the P&P to your total.

2. Ask all your friends and family if they have any broken or old jewellery, pieces that they would consider getting rid of after a clear out. For example: one lone earring can be reassembled into a focal pendant on a necklace, a broken brooch can be re-styled and revitalised by being suspended from an organza ribbon or plaited cord, chains can be cut up and made into tassels, beaded necklaces and bracelets can be taken apart and re-threaded on wire to create contemporary designs ...

3. If you have a charity shop, flea market or garage sale in your area, it might be worth a visit. You can often find second-hand pieces at knock-down prices that can be re-constructed into stunning new designs. It's also a good way of building up a comprehensive bead stash for charm bracelets, necklaces and hand-bag charm key-rings.

4. Plan your design well. If you are not competent at drawing, just lay your chosen beads on a mat or tray and consider the overall balance, size, shape and colour of the components. To keep costs low, you only need to use a few more expensive focal beads at the the front of a necklace - not all the way around - the sides and back can be ribbon, cord or chain.

5. Make your own beads out of Fimo, PMC, papermache, felt, clay, seed pods, etc...

6. Be inventive and improvise with everyday household objects around you. Discarded electrical cable has a wealth of copper wire within it, or try using florist or gardening wire. Look in your tool and sewing box for components: bolts, nuts and washers, not to mention buttons can be incorporated amongst your beaded designs and when you're next on a walk, look out for nice shaped pebbles and stones that can be wire-wrapped.

Steampunk is a style that has eminated from America and is now becoming very popular here in fashion as well as in jewellery. Basically, it's a mix of Victoriana style (hence the 'STEAM' part of the word, which is inspired by the Victorian Steam Age of industrialisation and spirit of adventure ...) and PUNK, refers to using recycled or rescued components to create a piece of wearable art. It's what we used to refer to as 'mixed media jewellery', using recycled or 'rescued' parts (like watch parts, old broken brooches, keys, vintage jewellery, etc...) put together like a collage, usually with a whimsical or nostalgic theme.

To summarise: "it's a cross between Victorian and industrial - a fake nostalgia - showing both things existing at one point. It gets its popularity form a growing resistance to corporate modernisation, the mass commercialism of virtually everything, coupled with the surge of nostalgia for a bygone era, for all things vintage and antique.

Have a look by googling, 'edm designs shop' and you should get a taste for the style.

Section 3
... spread the word about new tools, bead bargains ... etc...

Anyone who's had a little experience in making wirejewellery, will know that cutters are an extremely important tool - especially when it comes to cutting jump rings off a coil. A cheap pair will squeeze the wire before it cuts and the ring will never be 'flush' closed. I can highly recommend TRONEX flush cutters, which are only available from one UK supplier as yet: They are not cheap, but will last a lifetime, as long as you don't use them to cut wires a higher gauge wire than 1mm. Put them on your birthday wishlist, if you want to create a professional finish to your pieces!
As you all know, there are some wonderful online suppliers and it's good to showcase and share your personal experiences and bargains with others. I have found particularly good for unusual, statement beads and fantastic for their semi-precious range of beads. Not forgetting, for their bargains, for their fantastic sample packs of wire and finally, for everything else!!

Section 4
... contribute a project to inspire others ...

We will soon be featuring a project, and anyone who wishes to contribute their own - don't be shy, we would love to hear from you! Please take a look at the 'Spicy Hot' semi-precious stone cascade necklace, earrings and bracelet for inspiration. All the beads are from semi-precious range, if you want a list of the stones used, just email and I will be happy to give you the product codes.

Section 5
... tells us about courses & workshops in your area ...

RIVERSIDE BEADS JEWELLERY WORKSHOPS (& shop)In the Antique Craft Centre, 50/56 High Street, Market Deeping, Peterborough PE6 8EB
Tel. 01778 346810

Introduction to wirework 4 hr course: £15 (dates available Sun. 9th May & Sun. 13th June)
Intermediate wirework 4 hr course: £15 (date available Sat. 17th April)
Tiara Making 4 hr course: £20 (date available Sun. 6th June)

Starter Creating Wire & Beaded Jewellery 1 day sessions/Intermediate courses and Tiara & Wedding Jewellery Tuition (all 6 hour courses) and 1-2-1 sessions can be arranged to suit personal requirements.
Faulkners Oast (East), Tonbridge Road, Hadlow, Kent, TN11 0AJ

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