Thursday, 9 July 2020


As some of you may have seen, this last Monday 6th July,
I was on JEWELLERY MAKER TV, showcasing lots of tools
and most importantly my Whammer hammer! I was also given
5 kits to work on and from those kits I designed and created
a spectrum of samples for the show.

So, if you're sitting comfortably, you can view all the pieces
that I created! I was given seed beads, semi-precious chips,
wire, cabochons, copper sheet and metal blanks and stamps!

The first kit I worked on included copper blanks, wire and beads:

I used alphabet steel stamps to imprint the copper blanks and
textured it with my dapping head to create 2 bracelets, one was
a wraparound black cord and the other beaded with copper jump
ring separators.

Above is another necklace, with stamping detail and beads.
This just goes to show, how easy it is to create a statement piece
without much jewellery equipment to hand ... just your trusty
Whammer hammer!

I used all heads of the Whammer to demonstrate these metal
textures on the earrings.

I was also given copper bangle strips, which I stamped and

This same kit, had silver disc blanks and these rainbow
coloured beads. So I textured and domed the discs and
created a necklace, bracelet and earring set in carnival

The second kit I worked on was packed with gorgeous
semi-precious chips and beads and copper wire. The first
thing I designed was this multi-layered necklace using
the green Aventurine chip beads.

In this piece, I wanted to demonstrate, how with just a reel
of copper wire and some chip beads, you could create a
pretty statement necklace!

Above, you can see how I created coiled copper beads
to integrate between the chip beads. Plus, I added a
very simple hammered wire frame to highlight a single
bead and drop.

I used the grey/black chips to frame one of the cabochon
beads, setting it off as the centrepiece of a necklace.

I also created a long asymetric necklace, using threaded
chip beads, some of the larger beads and freestyle handmade
copper chain links.

And I can never resist making Flower jewellery! So
here's a piece I designed with some of the beads in
the kit, plus some 0.8mm copper wire.

This particular kit was also packed with lovely oval beads which
were perfect for pendant necklaces! For these, I wanted to show
different wire framing techniques.

This style of 'basket' setting is a great way of showcasing
set off the beauty of any shaped, flattish, large bead.

This kit contained brass wire in 3 different gauges (1mm,
0.8mm and 0.4mm) plus 3 tubes of Delica seed beads in turquoise,
cream and orange. So here's what I designed: lots of wire frames
and then threaded the seed beads with 0.4mm wire and wove them
in between.

I can assure you, that once you get the hang of this technique,
the bug takes over and the variations become endless!

Any shape will do and any seed bead colour will
also work.

This was probably my favourite kit to work on, as 'metal'
is where I began my jewellery journey. And this kit contained
a sheet of copper and lots of lovely semi-precious stones
plus a bottle of Liver of Sulphur to antique and blacken the metal.

As this 'stone' was top drilled, I suspended it from wire
and cut 3 copper circles from the metal sheet (textured,
domed and drilled holes in them) and created a necklace
with matching earrings.

With the other 'stones' I decided on 'tab' setting. This requires
using a piercing saw to cut away the metal, which then can be
bent around the stone to secure it in place.

For the pendant above, I glued the stonea onto the metal
and drilled holes on each side for 0.6mm wire to bind it
on for extra security.

This stone is tab set by cutting the tabs behind the
piece and bringing them over and around.

This particular stone, had a drill hole at the top centre, so
I riveted to the copper sheet with a spiral of 0.8mm wire.

Here's another version of inner tab setting and some
earrings I created with what was left of the copper!

When I opened this kit, I can't deny that I sighed with despair!
It contained Super Duo beads and the smallest of seed beads!
However, with 0.6mm wire, I created these bangles...

Following lots of other experimentation with wire, I plumped
for a needle and thread and began making a flower shape, but
used 0.8mm wire to add a spiral decoration to the centre.

And once I had got the hang of sewing the flowers, I
managed to create this necklace and earring set!

Never again! Give me wire and metal any day! I much prefer
working with larger beads and bashing away with my Whammer!
However, I can recommend it to anybody, push yourself out of
your comfort zone once in a while! It is always good for the brain
cells and provides new skills and techniques that can be
incorporated in other pieces. You Tube is full of tutorials to fuel

Saturday, 6 June 2020


If you're looking for a project to use up a stash of old beads, this
one's just for you! In my case, I wanted to make something summery
and vibrant, so I picked a range of dyed Magnesite chip beads in
a variety of bright colours.

To begin, decide how many strands you want to make and how
long you wish the necklace to be and then separate your beads into
rows and colour combinations. It's always best to keep the larger
and heavier beads for the final layer and the smaller beads for the
inner row.

Here's how to create the bead STRAND SEPARATORS:

Using 0.8mm (20-gauge) wire, work from the end of a spool
and make one small circle.  (I used my step pliers, but round
nosed pliers work just as well).


Place your step or round nosed pliers next to the first link and
create a second circle next to it, straightening the wire out to the
side. (I chose to make a 4 strand necklace, but you can stop at 3, 
or more. It's up to you!).


Once you have made your row of links, cut the wire from the
spool. You will need 2 of these units for each side of the necklace.


Next, create the hanger for your row of loops.
For my 4 looped rows, I cut 2 x 0.8mm wires, approximately 2.5"
(64mm) in length. I placed my round nosed pliers at the centre of
each length and crossed the wires over to form a central link.


Curl the ends of the crossed over wires on each side into spiral
links, as shown above. Check that the width of the hangers
correspond to the length of your row of links.


Using 2 jump rings for each unit, connect the outer spiral links
of your hangers to the outer row of loops.

Making Bead Links

You could choose to thread your beads directly onto beading filament
and use crimps to hold each strand in place, OR, (as above) thread each
of your beads with 0.8mm wire and form links on either side.

Wrapped Links

If you're using semi-precious chips, or freshwater pearls, you might
find that 0.8mm wire is too thick to thread through the small drilled
holes. In that case, try using 0.6mm or 0.4mm gauges and make wrapped 
links as extra security.

Wire Coil Beads

If you wish to space your beads out, or create longer strands,
you can always make your own coiled beads. This works well
if you have a Coiling Gizmo, otherwise, use a knitting needle or
your round nosed pliers and thread the coils, just as you would
thread a bead.

'Rosary' Linking

Once you've made links on all your beads, connect them together in
'rosary' linked chains using jump rings.

Creating more bead strands ...

For extra length, I have added a few extra black contrasting beads.

Connecting the Strand Separator Units:

Once you have laid out your beads in strand layers and lengths, use
jump rings to connect each end of the different bead strands to the
links in your corresponding looped rows.


For this particular piece, I decided to add a tie cord for the sides
and back of my necklace so that it could have an adjustable length
for a variety of outfits. However, a simple chain and clasp will
do just as well!

And there you have it! A multi-strand necklace in all it's glory!

*Optional: If you would rather not have a 'rosary chain' look, you
can just follow, Steps 1 - to - 6 and thread your beads directly
onto beading thread, using crimps to secure the ends. Just as I
have done in the image below.

I hope that's inspired you to make your own! A cheer up for

Other news ...

To keep financially afloat in these difficult times, I have just set up 
an online shop, so please do spread the word to anyone who wants 
a special commission or gift! 
You will find me on:

Plus, here's a note for your diary:
July 6th, I will be appearing on JEWELLERY MAKER TV
with lots of inspiration and demonstrations! Until then ...


Wednesday, 13 May 2020


For this month's tutorial, I have chosen a feather motif.
In many cultures, it represents a connection to
spiritual realms: to divinity and to angels. And, because
of the association to birds, it is also seen as a symbol of
flight and freedom, not just physically, but also in a
mental sense. Now, that's definitely something that we
could all do with right now! Mental freedom to soar
and fly out of our quarantine worlds!

Native American jewellery designs often feature feather
motifs too. They represent the soaring eagle, its strength
and bravery. In their culture, eagle feathers are given as
tokens of honour and worn with dignity and pride.

So, with all of that depth and knowledge of its symbolism,
here's my WIRE FEATHER tutorial, that you can adapt to gift
or to wear ...


Depending on the size of the feather you wish to create, (I used
about 6") cut a piece of 0.8mm, 20-gauge wire and fold it in
half. Use your flat nosed pliers to squeeze the fold together,
not completely double, but just so that you have a little bit of
a point.


Open the wires up so that they form a 'V' and create a zig-zag
bend using your flat (or chain nosed pliers) by initially bending
the wire in and then back out again.


Place your flat nosed pliers just by the zig-zag and
straighten the angled wire, folding it up to form one side
of the outer edge of the feather frame.


Repeat for the opposite side of the frame.


Depending on the overall size, you can make as many
zig-zags or niches around the frame structure, before your bring
the ends together to meet at the top.


To secure the frame, wrap one wire around the other,
keeping one projecting as the main stem.


Once you are happy with the shape of the feather frame, place
it on a steel block and with the steel planishing head of your
hammer, flatten and spread only the outer edges, avoiding the
zig-zag areas.


Measure another length of 0.8mm, 20-gauge wire and
check that there's enough to wrap around the top leaving
at least 1" (2.5cm) projecting, plus go down the centre
of the frame, leaving just enough excess for securing
around the pointed end. Attach to the top with a couple
of wraps.


Secure the end in place around the tip of the frame
and cut off any excess and neaten the ends. Create
a spiral with the projecting wire at the top, which
can be flattened to hide the wrapped wire beneath.


Snip a long length of 0.4mm wire and secure the centre of
this length around the top of the frame (underneath the
spiral). Begin weaving one of the wires back and forth, from
one side to the central spine, attaching it once around the
the frame or structure wires (as this will help it from slipping
down the frame).


If you wish to intersperse your piece with some semi-precious chip
beads, you can always thread them on, in between your weaving.
*Alternatively, you can fill by threading seed beads.


Once you have woven one side of the frame, use the other
half of the 0.4mm wire to weave the opposite side, adding
beads if desired. Once you have filled the inner framework,
cut off any excess wire and neaten the ends.


If the weaving wires look a bit messy and loose in some
areas, you can always "twist and tweak" them with the tips
of your chain nosed pliers.


Now all that's left to do is to add another bead to the top
stem. Then, using your round nosed pliers, create a link
at the top of feather which can be attached to a chain, cord
or ribbon!

*Optional: If you're using Copper or Sterling Silver wire and
wish to add a bit more contrast to your piece, you can always dip
it in Liver of Sulphur for blackening, followed by buffing it up
with fine wire wool or sand paper.
(Alternatively, if you don't have jewellery liver of sulphur to hand,
place your piece in a sealed picnic box with a hot, chopped hard boiled
egg and it should blacken in about15-20 minutes!).

Here is another version of the feather design. You could say
it looks more leaf-like, but it's still a pleasing shape.

I have created many versions over time with different coloured
beads and wires! So I am sure, you will have fun doing the same!

Stay Safe. Stay Well. Stay Creative!