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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway - Handcrafted Metal Findings

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Making your own findings from wire and metal really does up the ante on handmade.  By doing so, the jewelry designs will truly be unique and one of a kind. Sure it takes extra time but the effort is worth it in the long run.  The most common findings people make are ear wires and clasps. But there is so much more you can do.

I recently received this new book Handcrafted Metal Findings from Interweave (also available on their website)  for review.  Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson were the main designers behind this book.  This is the follow up to their first book, Handcrafted Wire Findings.

There are 30 projects in the book which cover both cold (wire or riveting) and hot connection (easy soldering) techniques.  Both the projects and the methods used are not that difficult and can easily be tackled by a determined late beginner or intermediate jewelry maker.  Cutting metal, for example, is accomplished with metal shears not saws;  simple hand held butane torch for the basic soldering.

Most of the tools used in the book are common ones  like pliers, hole puncher, hammers and dapping blocks. But there are tools which may yet be on wish lists - disc cutter, Crafted Findings Riveting System (see my past post), tube ringer (for corrugated metal effects).  This book, while not intended as such, also serves as a handy reference for the kind of tools and techniques one needs to advance in jewelry making.

The techniques are covered at the back of the book.  The templates used for some of the projects are also there. Here too is a helpful list of metal supplies - some of which are more unusual like the patterned wire.

Shown here are some of my favorite projects from the book.  The Poppy Bead Caps by Kiersten Giles is a simple metal work project requiring punching holes into a metal disc and using metal shears to shape the bead cap.  Hammering and patination really enhances the pieces.

I was indeed Easily Charmed  by this design by Jane Dickerson. The snap rivet is a clever adornment.

Other standouts from the book are the toggle clasps like this one, the Fizzy Flower toggle by Cassie Donlen. The copper enameled flower is riveted while the central lamp work bead is glued on.

The Bubble Wand Head Pins by Denise Peck shows how versatile bead wire can be. The bead wire is soldered into a circle and another wire is soldered on.

The all in one textured ear wires (Speak to Me) by Denise Peck also caught my eye.  18G wire was used which may not be okay for those with smaller ear holes.  However, there were two other projects in the book where short textured pieces of a narrow metal strip are soldered onto thinner ear wires.

The Starlight studs by Denise Peck required the soldering of shortened head pins behind the small metal rectangles. The unusual texture was formed using dimpling pliers, one of the less common tools in the book.

The Buttercup Bead Caps by Jane Dickerson demonstrates how a tube wringer can be used to add texture to metal discs.

The instructional pages had large and clear closeup images in this beautifully presented book. Each project also had a resource section for suppliers.  There was just one thing I wished this book had - an indication at the beginning of each project whether the techniques used were hot or cold ones. Not everyone is ready to use the torch. So it would have been useful to be able to quickly pick out the relevant project given a particular skill set.

If going totally handmade is your thing, then this book might just rev up your creativity.


If you'd like to win a copy of Handcrafted Metal Findings
please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.
If the winner has a non-post box US address, the prize will be a physical book.  Otherwise it will be an eBook.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Thursday, September 3, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

I receive books and products for review.  I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links.   The opinions expressed are solely my own.  They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fun Wire Wrapped Owl Jewelry Tutorials

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 Comments

Creating wire animals is a lot of fun. Not only that, there are many ways to go about doing so. Adding beads certainly adds color.  Here are some fun wire wrapped owl jewelry tutorials to try!  The first one is delightlful and is by Poe Pearls.  It is not really much of a tutorial as there is only 1 photo which shows the major parts to do.  The frame is clearly constructed first, then the bead and wire eyes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gorgeous Shibori Ribbon Beaded Jewelry by Perline e Bijoux

By on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Comments

Japanese shibori (tie dyed) ribbon is simply lovely.  The most common application in jewelry design is to use it to hang pendants from. But truly innovative designers will do something totally different. Italian designer, Simona Svezia, besides others like Sherry Serafini, uses it to create gorgeous shibori ribbon beaded jewelry for her Etsy store, Perline e Bijoux.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Winner of The Best Beads Shop's $50 Giveaway for Czech Beads

By on Monday, August 24, 2015 Comments

Thanks to the readers who pointed out that the alternative name for the dia beads featured in last week's The Best Beads Shop giveaway is silky beads. No matter what they are called, these diagonally drilled two hole beads as with so many Czech bead types are simply gorgeous.  There are a wonderful range of shapes and colors.

Review & Giveaway : Patrik Kusek's $40 Silver Metal Clay Online Workshop

By on Monday, August 24, 2015 Comments

Don't get me wrong.  Metal smith techniques - especially the basic ones are very useful skills to have. But metal clay is a fantastic alternative to get more complex metal jewelry designs without having to deal with cutting and forming metal sheets.  Patrik Kusek's Silver Metal Clay: Adding Stones and Dimension online Craftsy Workshop, which I received for review, demonstrates why precious metal clay has so many advantages.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pretty Bugle Bead Jewelry Beading Tutorials

By on Sunday, August 23, 2015 Comments

Bugles are fantastic for beadwork. Pity they aren't used more. Here are some lovely bugle bead jewelry beading tutorials to try.  You won't be disappointed!  The first one is a pretty butterfly inspired necklace was posted by Elena Tvetkova over on  It is a pictorial so there is no need to translate.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Faux Gold Dipped Pendant Tutorial

By on Saturday, August 22, 2015 Comments

Silver has always been popular but lately, gold is making a come back! But there is no need to break the bank given how expensive gold is.  I love Denise Mathew's easy peasy faux gold dipped pendant video tutorial because it adds a little elegance to plain wrapped pendants.   I like how she kept the gilding only at the top of the wrapped pendants.  She said she was inspired by this tutorial.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wire Wrapped Dia or Silky Beads Earrings Tutorial

By on Friday, August 21, 2015 Comments

Czech beads are not just for beaders!  If you love working with wire, consider using them for a wire wrapped project.  Here I take advantage of the two diagonal holes just as I did with the beaded earrings tutorial earlier this week.  Four of these are grouped into a square and placed in a diamond orientation.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to Makeover Your Fitbit Bracelet

By on Thursday, August 20, 2015 Comments

I've been wanting to get an activity tracker for ages ever since I got a chance to try out 5 different types on the market. I need more exercise and I knew a tracker will give me the incentive,  I held out for Apple watch but when it launched I found it was too pricey and disappointing in style.  Most smartwatches just don't cut it for people with smaller wrists.  So I did ask for the Fitbit Charge as a birthday gift.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to Make Framed Dia or Silky Beaded Earrings

By on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Comments

Czech beads are so much fun.  They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and in recent years with more than one hole.  The extra hole makes a big difference as they allow the beads to be connected in far more ways than if they had just the one.  Here is a simple beaded earrings tutorial using Dia beads.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Copper Wire Wrapped and Metal Work Jewelry by Nastiva Jewelry

By on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 Comments

Russian artist, Anastasiya Ivanova of Nastiva Jewelry is one of those rare talented jewelry designers who can turn wire and metal into wonderful one of a kind designs. A prolific artisan, I had a hard time trying to select from her many stunning copper wire wrapped and metal work jewelry designs. Each and every one of her designs is a work of art.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Winner of Victoria Lansford's Granulation Techniques Demystified Online Class Giveaway

By on Monday, August 17, 2015 Comments

Thank goodness for the internet.  Not all of us can get to a local jewelry making class. Let alone something really specific and advanced.  So it was no wonder Victoria Lansford's Granulation Techniques Demystified Craftsy class struck a chord with some readers when I wrote about it in last week's giveaway.