Saturday, 28 September 2013

STUD EARRINGS

WIRE really lends itself to be spiraled,
wrapped and curled into beautiful shapes
and forms ... around beads and semi-
precious stones ... however, just sometimes,
it's nice to be able to make simple
STUD EARRINGS 
for everyday wear, or to complement
a fancy, designer necklace!






















Without a dangly bit in sight!

Above, you will see various pierced earring designs
(some of which incorporate beads).



You can create them
out of one piece of
wire, or glue an
earring back to
the base.




 I have chosen two different studs to demo, one
plain wire one and one with a bead ... and if you want 
to know more ... please ask for further tutorials!
















This random 'WWS' - Wire Wiggle Stud (above), could be made
with a flat diamante sparkle glued to the central spiral, (or, you can
integrate a bead at the centre for extra colour).
This is a quick, fun project to try with some Sterling silver or
Gold wire of 0.8mm/0.9mm (20-gauge) wire.



















1.  Cut 2 x 4" (10cm) lengths of silver wire
and using either some fine sandpaper, a jeweller's
needle file, or a cup bur (in a pin vice) ... make sure
the end of each length has a smooth finish (as this is
going to go through the ear).























2.  Next, using your flat nosed pliers, bend the ends (which are
now smooth) into a right angle to the rest of the stem. You need
to bend about 1cm in, or however long you wish your ear
post to be.






3. Go to the
opposite end
of each of
the wires and
begin creating
a very
tight spiral.

























4.  Once you've made the spirals on each, begin using your chain
nosed pliers to create random, angular bends in the wire. Try and
work on each piece together and in stages, to make them look
fairly similar - don't worry though ... a little irregularity, will add
unique, bespoke, handcrafted originality!!!





















5.  Once the wire starts running out, bend it back behind the
central spirals, so that the posts are positioned behind.














6.  Straighten the back posts so that they are at right angles
to the front and then, you can place the corner ends
of the frame on a steel block and hammer the edges to
work harden and flatten.  Now all that's required, are
'butterfly' backs, or stoppers!





And if you want
a little colour ...
stick on some
'bling'!

*********************************
Next, for another STUD tutorial! Yup! You get 2 for the price of NONE!
This one incorporates a bead and is perfect to create for a matching 
decorative necklace.
  




















So, get together your jewellery pliers and cutters ...

  
















To make a 'CBS' (Caged Bead Stud) choose 2 beads,
(I used 2 x 8mm beads), some 0.8mm - 20 gauge silver
(plate, or precious), pierced post ear back findings and
butterfly backs ... not forgetting some strong glue:
E6000 or Superglue.

















1.  Working directly from a spool, create a tight wire spiral
that is just slightly bigger than the circumference of your
chosen bead.

















2.  Cut the wire from the spool, leaving about 2" -
5cm projecting.





















3.  Push the tips of your pliers into the centre of the spiral to
stretch and elevate the coils, leaving a flat spiral base on which
you can later glue your earring post.



















4.  Pick up the projecting end of wire and spiral this into an
open scroll until it sits (like a lid) above your cage.




 5.  Pop your bead inside the spiral cage and close it up to seal
the bead within. The image above shows the caged bead from
the front and back.

















6.  Using strong glue, such as E6000 or Superglue, secure
a ready made post finding to the back of your cage.

P.Sssssss ... you can always change the bead colour to
match any outfit by opening the cage and popping
a new bead inside!!




Friday, 20 September 2013

SAMMI'S TRINKETS



















It gives me enormous pleasure 
to introduce you to a wonderful
wirework jewellery artist ...
(as well as resin, fimo and silver!):

SAMMI FLETCHER
******************************************************************************************
Sammi lives in the beautiful English countryside of
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and runs her jewellery
business: SAMMI'S TRINKETS from her home.
Her wire designs caress and dance in the eyes ...
Sit tight and enjoy Sammi's artist feature!


















(Above: Fossilised Coral Pendant by Sammi Fletcher)

WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUD?
I was born near Swindon, travelled around the country
throughout my childhood, as my Dad was an officer
in the RAF.  I also enjoyed three years in Hong Kong
when he was posted there!  It was a great place to be
a young teen ... sun, swimming and shopping!  I was
educated at Wellington School in Somerset as a boarder,
due to my Father's postings abroad.

 













(Above: Cleopatra Pendant by Sammi Fletcher)

DID YOU ALWAYS ASPIRE TO BE JEWELLERY DESIGNER?
I have no formal training, but I have always been creative, loving
pencil drawing - although having said that,  I have not done any for
many years now. I stumbled across jewellery making by accident - 
I wanted a Nalu bead bracelet - but couldn't afford the ready made one 
in the shop! So, I bought three beads and taught myself macrame 
from 'You Tube'. Then, I made a few friendship bracelets after that 
... then my friends wanted some ... and one friend started selling them 
at her work! Following that, I started playing with wire and bought a jig 
and began creating necklaces using wire jig shapes ... and that was it!

It all began with seeing those gorgeous beads in Woolacombe - 
that's how I discovered my "thing"!

 

 











(Above: 'Gomti Chakra' Pendant by Sammi Fletcher)

WHERE DO YOU WORK?
My studio is at home.  My husband has built me a jeweller's 
studio, including bench, in our house.  I love working from home,
as it means I can work as many hours as I like and not miss out
on the children.  They love to see what I have made and how I
am making it!  However, I do leave the blowtorch work until 
the younger ones are at school, or in bed!

 












(Above: 'Owl' pendant by Sammi Fletcher)

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
I take inspiration from the stones I use, as well as nature.  I choose
a cabochon stone and it just decides what it wants to be!  The silver
does too ... sometimes, it just wants to curve in a certain way and I
go with it.  Other times, I have a clear idea from the start, but on
the whole, I just go where it takes me ... ! That's the beauty of it -
there is no right or wrong!





















(Above: Amethyst and Moonstone wirewrapped pendants by Sammi)

DO YOU WORK WITH OTHER MATERIALS?
I also work in Sterling Silver Sheet, doing Silversmithing.  Although
I am still quite new to this, I really enjoy exploring where this aspect
of my work can take me alongside the wirewrapping.  I love fusing
these two techniques!  I also love using Fimo, being inspired by the
lovely Bonnie McGough, a hugely talented lady! I also use Epoxy Resin
and enjoy combining resin with bronze for my quirky Steampunk
designs.  However, I mainly work with wire and natural stone -
natural stone, most probably more than anything else! 








(Left: One of
Sammi's 
Steampunk
designs)











DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TECHNIQUE?
My favourite technique is definitely anything wire related!
It's what I am more comfortable doing.  I love making pendants,
as anyone on my FACEBOOK page and WEBSITE will see.
I often start the day thinking: "Today I must make some 
bracelets" ... and three pendants later ... it's time for bed!!   

(... I still need to make bracelets ... !!)

 










(Above: one of Sammi's Bangles!)

WHAT IS YOUR MAIN TARGET MARKET?
Anyone who loves my work! 























(Above: 'Naunet' Turquoise Pendant by Sammi Fletcher)

WHERE DO YOU SELL YOUR WORK?
I sell my work on my own WEBSITE and FACEBOOK page.
I promote myself on TWITTER.  I have a BLOG, but due to
recent ill health, I haven't been able to upkeep this - I do need
to start it up again when I can!

I sell at craft fairs and big shows alike, anything to get my
name out there.  I am doing a HANDMADE CHRISTMAS 
exhibitionat the 02 Arena this December and I have been asked 
to permanently exhibit in Deepspaceworks Art Gallery in
Chelthenham. 


  











(Above: "Calanthe" orchid pendant by Sammi Fletcher)

WHAT PIECES ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?  
Gosh!  I have many buzzing around my head waiting to be born!
However, I am currently working on a Moonstone pendant
(one of my favourite stones), as well as creating a gorgeous Blue
Topaz pendant for a private commission with a matching cuff
style bracelet.






















(Above: Topaz pendant by Sammi Fletcher)

DO YOU TEACH OR WRITE TUTORIALS?
Not yet, but I have a lot of requests!  So, when my health
allows, I will be!  (I have been suffering from chronic
migraine, but finally I have a referral to a neurologist, so
fingers crossed that my appointment comes very soon!).



   


(Left: Smokey
Quartz 'Snake'
Ring by Sammi
Fletcher)













WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU PASS ON TO OTHERS?
Enjoy it!  That is my main advice, because your joy and passion
will show in your work.  Don't be afraid to try new techniques
and use your different mediums.  It it looks complicated, don't let 
that put you off! Think to yourself: "What's the worst that can 
happen?". You might lose and ruin some plated wire, or you might 
find another technique that you can express yourself in ways you
never expected!



    















(Above: 'Kawther' Cuff by Sammi Fletcher)

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS AND ASPIRATIONS?
To continue to enjoy making beautiful things from bits of wire
and stone!  I aim to approach more galleries to showcase my
work and continue to spread the word about what I am creating,
through which I hope to meet lots of new and interesting people
to whom I can sell the things I make.  What could be better than
doing a job that I love and watching people love what I do 
(... apart from the occasional 4am starts to get to a big event!).
I would also love to start teaching at some point, even though
I still feel I am learning something new every day!






















(Above: 'Sun and Moon' Pendant by Sammi Fletcher) 

**********************************************************************

Thank you, Sammi for sharing your story 
and work with us and I have no doubt, 
you will achieve your every goal, as your
talent shines so beautifully bright!
 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

PAISLEY TUTORIAL














The history of the PAISLEY pattern is very interesting
and you can find lots more information by surfing
the web.  Having said that, here's my little bit of potted
history to wet your wirey whistles:

The term 'Paisley' is an English word for an ancient
design using the 'boteh', a droplet shaped vegetable
motif of Persian and Indian origins.  Such designs became
incredibly popular in the West during the 18th-19th
centuries, following the imports of the design from
British India in the form of Kashmir shawls.  These
patterns were imitated initially in the town of Paisley
in Scotland and that's where the name stuck!

The pattern was also particularly popular during the
psychedelic '60's 'Summer of Love', with the Beatles 
pilgrimage to India and their interest in Indian spirituality
and culture... 

It's really never gone out of fashion and I think it's a
perfect shape for jewellery design. Over the years, I have
made many earrings, pendants and brooches using this
beautiful, linear contour.

So here's a simple tutorial, to get your creative
juices flowing.  I hope it will inspire you to create some
variations of your own!




1.  Begin by wrapping
some 0.8mm-1mm wire
around a circular dowel
or mandrel (mine was
about 1"/2.5cm) in
diameter) to create
a 'tear-drop' shape to
your desired size.












2.  Using the tips
of your chain
nosed pliers,
secure one end
around the stem,
leaving a projecting
tail of approx. 2-5".

Place aside.



























3.  Working from the end of a spool of 0.8mm wire, thread
the end with a bead of your choice (I used a 4mm faceted crystal).
Using your round nosed pliers, create a curve at the end of the
wire ...























4.  ... and push the bead into the curve, and continue
to spiral the wire around the bead - until the
spiral is the same diameter as the base of the
frame you created in steps 1-2.























5.  Cut the wire from the spool, leaving approx. 2"
projecting and create another, much small spiral
at the opposite end.























6.  Working from the spool of 0.8mm, use some
bail making pliers (or, a cylindrical mandrel
such as a pen, or round nosed pliers, etc...)
to create a row of loops. (*I used the 6mm
mandrel of my bail makers).























7. Place all the components that you have
just made together, so that you can plan where
you are going to attach and bind them together.























8.  Cut a long length (approx. 12") of 0.4mm wire
and use this to bind and attach the spiral within the
teardrop frame.  Be as creative as you wish: you
could add small seed beads, coloured wire ...
Anything goes!





9.  Keep binding
until you have
used all the wire
up and if you run
out, just add more!

Once the spiral is
attached to the
centre of the frame,
you can either cut it
off, or create another
small decorative spiral
with any projecting
wire.



























10.  Next, begin binding the loops to the
side of the frame: Cut another long length
of 0.4mm wire and use this to attach them
along the side of the frame, as shown above.























11.  Once the loops are secured, cut another
long length of 0.4mm wire and use this to
connect the beads within each loop.  I used
4mm faceted crystals and wrapped the wire
around each side of each loop, framing the
beads inside.























12.  Above - you can see all the beads are
in place and if you have any leftover wire,
a small tight spiral always looks good as
an extra embellishment.























13.  Finally, thread a bead onto the wire projecting
from the top of the frame, and following step 3,
curl the wire around the bead, so that it is positioned
as a suspension hanger for your pendant.























14.  If, like me, you have any left over wires
protruding, just make spirals out of them!
They will add extra decorative enhancement!























15.  Now spend a little time adjusting it -
you can wire more beads into it, or tweak
your wires to add extra movement ... You can
also, push the base spiral out slightly for
an extra dimensional quality.

This is just a simple openwork design to
get you going... Infinite variations are possible!!























Now it's ready to suspend as a pendant from a
chain, cord or both!




Experiment with different coloured beads, and binding
patterns!













Plus, different ways of suspension!























BRING SOME 'PAISLEY'
BACK INTO YOUR LIFE
WITH WIRE!