Monday, October 19, 2009


Remember when I posted about Reactive Metals? Well, I purchased some copper and sterling silver mokume gane from them and...well...WOW! I bought a 3-inch by 3-inch square, and Baldwin's patina to bring out the color in the copper (which the super sales representative reccomended, thanks!!). It sat on my workbench for a couple weeks 'till I got up the courage to actually cut into it. It ain't cheap, but boy is it GORGEOUS! This is the result, a pendant in a series I call "Perseverance". I used brass pipe, copper and brass sheet, sterling silver wire, brass wire and a 5mm faceted green tourmaline. Available in my Beadkeepers Etsy shop. Can't wait to make more...a matching ring perhaps?

Don't Forget to SAMPLE!

I can't believe I haven't posted about this before. I am a self-taught jewelry designer on a tight budget. With that in mind, I am constantly searching for bargains, especially with metals like copper, silver and brass. Copper and brass are relatively inexpensive and there are tons of sources for sheet, bar, tube and wire. Just do an online search or take a look at the Google ads running to the left of this post...most are about copper and brass sources.

What I wanted to share here is the wonderful world of SAMPLES. I have discovered that almost every metal sheet manufacturer will offer samples of their materials. I just got a sample pack of copper sheet colored with a variety of patinas. Ten 4 x4 inch sheets of copper, each colored with a different patina, for under $20.00!!! SWEET!

So, if you are browsing a metals site and don't want to invest in a large order right off the bat, or are not sure what you really want, ask if they offer samples!! Sometimes you can even find them for FREE!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Eye Really Like This...

Those who know me understand my continual search for unusual and unique elements to incorporate into my jewelry designs. I love a new discovery, and would like to share one here.

A few months ago I stumbled across a website that really sparked my imagination and a new line of jewelry designs. Van Dykes Taxidermy Supply. Taxidermy supply??? Yes, taxidermy supply. Specifically, Van Dykes line of glass and acrylic animal eyes. These things are amazing! There are hundreds to choose from. Mammals, birds, exotics, reptiles, can spend the day browsing the selection. The eyes are calibrated too, so you can choose from sizes ranging from 6mm up to 30mm. Perfect for standard stamped bezels. Imagine the rings, earrings and pendants! These eyes are gorgeous, a great unusual element of design. The colors are intense, the construction flawless. Take a look at the site and let you imagination run wild!

I've posted here a few photos of some of the designs I've created using these eyes, including my newest and personal favorite--the mixed metal squid necklace. I call it "Calamari". I just got my latest order from Van Dykes...shark and sailfish eyes. Have no idea what I will do with them yet....but I'm working on it. I'll keep you posted....

The image below from left to right shows "Calamari" with a squid eye, "Crocodile Tears" with a croc' eye, "Woodsman" with a coyote eye and tooth, and "Crocodile Tears" ring with croc' eye.