30 Ways to Incorporate Your Love of Jewelry into Summertime!

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Summer is next week–can you believe it?! Are you ready?! One of my most favorite things to do in the summer is to plan activities that I wouldn’t normally get to do…this involves taking days off from work, surrounding myself with people I love, and living my best life. I also like making lists or a group of goals to complete over the summer–they can be wishful thinking or very, very serious. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of 30 Ways to Incorporate Your Love of Jewelry just in time for summer!

1. Pick a gemstone, any gemstone, and learn all about it.

2. Find a gem show that is coming to your area and attend!

3. Have a gem or mineral specimen collection? Reorganize it in a cool way.

4. Plan a trip to go gem mining.

5. Do you have a favorite Instagrammer in our jewelry community? Plan a summer meetup.

6. Pick a state that is somewhat close to you, and research the best jewelry store they have to offer. Plan a visit!

7. Make a cool treat on a hot day–these gem ice trays can be filled with any fruity liquid!

8. Find a gemstone print top, bathing suit or towel and wear it to the beach.

9. Reserve a day at the nail salon and go for a gemstone manicure!

10. Buy that jewelry book you’ve been eyeing and lay by the pool with it!

11. Scout out some amazing flowers in your city, buy them, and take some jewelry photos with them.

12. Find a new way of wearing some of your favorite pieces of jewelry.

13. Take a day to clean your most-worn pieces of jewelry.

14. Plan a SWAP party with friends that also love jewelry.

15. Pick a time period you don’t know as much about as your favorite jewelry period, and learn about it!

16. Spend an entire day “hunting” for antique jewelry online–but do it by a pool.

17. Learn about crystal healing and depending on where you live, schedule an appointment with an expert.

18. Throw a gemstone-themed party!

19. Learn about a new designer you’ve never heard of before.

20. Need a new way to store your jewelry? Splurge on a jewelry cabinet and reconfigure it if necessary.

21. Take a jewelry making class.

22. Decide on creating a charm bracelet or necklace–gather charms, buy some new ones and put it together.

23. Get something very special and sentimental made into a piece of jewelry.

24. Size all of your fingers and keep it written down.

25. Get registered to bid at your favorite auction houses.

26. Put on all your favorite Art Deco jewels and watch a 1920s old movie.

27. Hit up your local estate sales or garage sales. You never know!

28. Tell someone thank you by gifting them a piece of jewelry.

29. Get lost on Pinterest by searching “antique jewelry” or “jewelry.”

30. Pick your favorite medium (water colors, arcryllics, pencil, etc) and try drawing/painting a diamond.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Search my summer favorites

Let me know which of these you want to do! –> @gemgossip

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Q & A with Leeorah of Lulu & Shay Jewelry

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Leeorah Betan-Hartman is naturally talented in many ways, but we are so ever thankful she has chosen to hone her skills with jewelry design with Lulu & Shay. Her creations are enchanting. Her finishes are unfinished perfection. Her style is effortless cool. And I want so many of her pieces! I got the chance to meet her and her husband at Metal & Smith in September, happily trying on my favorites and seeing everything in person for the first time. Excited to catch up with her and see what she has going on in the new year!

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I am always working on new pieces for not only my next collection, but I find that I often return to the collections that are the foundation of my jewelry line, adding a nuance or a different take on the theme. Right now I am working on some new pieces for my Luna Diaries Collection– an intimate look into Victorian inspired jewelry. Victorian jewelry is rich with meaning. The carved symbols and motifs are not just pretty embellishments; each have hidden symbolism and even the gemstones have multiple meanings. I am so intrigued and amazed by the romanticism of the jewelry of that era. I feel that the rich history of these pieces mix well with the natural and flowing feeling of my pieces that are influenced by nature and our surroundings – completing a full thought and story when layered and worn together.

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Even as a young child I had a deep affinity for jewelry. I would sneak into my mom’s jewelry box and try on each of her pieces of jewelry, gazing at all the different stones and colors. I also made my own jewelry as a child– first with beads and with polymer clay and then evolving into more intricate bead and wire wrap pieces. In college I earned a B.F.A. in film and pursued a fulfilling career in editing film trailers, but I missed working with my hands. I started taking classes in metal-smithing and wax carving in NYC. Wax carving allows me the opportunity to create not only more finely detailed pieces but also freer flowing and organic ones. I just love the freedom and creativity I have while working with wax.

Once I had a cohesive collection, I launched Lulu & Shay. I wanted a name that had personal meaning like the jewelry I was creating. Lulu is a nickname I had as a child, and Shay is my husband’s childhood nickname. My two passions — jewelry and film — are joined as I use the story telling nature of film to apply a narrative element in my jewelry line. Editing films requires distilling a big picture into its key elements, and I strive to mirror that in my jewelry making. Each piece can tell a story of its own while striking a personal connection with the wearer.

LuLu & Shay Jewelry | Gem Gossip

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Tucson Gem Show: Don’t Miss the JOGS Show!

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JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show is one of the leading jewelry events in North America, let alone the annual Tucson Gem Shows. It brings approximately 40,000 visitors to the Tucson region annually, including international and national dealers from across the globe. Jewelry manufacturers, miners, stone cutters, carvers, jewelry designers, importers and treasure hunters from 26 countries make the trek to Tucson every year! This annual show is an absolute must for jewelry hunters chasing unique jewelry and gems masterpieces, stunning new jewelry lines that manufacturers were preparing all year long for the JOGS Show buyers, making JOGS perfect event for restocking for the new year.

I would recommend checking out the JOGS Show for at least 2 or more days—why?? Because it features more than 800 booths! They also offer cool things like jewelry making classes and seminars (over 200 possibilities with classes taught by world renowned designers and craftspeople). The atmosphere is friendly and inviting, just an overall upbeat and warm place. You never know who you might run into—new business contacts, stone collectors, miners, and jewelry designers. Those are just a few special reasons to love and attend the JOGS show. Other reasons include amazing deals (liquidation prices mean you could buy a ring for under $100 and see that very same ring at a store or mall a few months later for $100s), be ahead of the trend forecast (much of what is offered will become the next upcoming trends), and other perks like free parking, free shuttles and complimentary brunch buffet for qualified buyers.

JOGS gained popularity by having diverse international and domestic pavilions: Amber Jewelry – direct manufacturers and designers from Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Indonesia and Columbia with large variety of amber cameos, carvings, beads and designer jewelry; Southwest/Native Americans – handmade Native American Jewelry, Southwestern/Indian Arts and Crafts reflect the mastery of techniques; Major miners and dealers with finished sterling silver jewelry, cabochons, beads and rough from the world’s best turquoise mines; Indonesian/Bali Jewelry Manufacturers – direct manufacturers and designers of sterling silver and gold jewelry with semi-precious stones, shells, wood, pearls and corals, handmade from Bali and all around Indonesia; Silver Manufacturers​ – superior selection of finished sterling silver jewelry presented by the largest silver jewelry manufacturers and famous jewelry designers from USA, India, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Italy and other countries; Nepal Group – ethnic tribal handcrafted jewelry, crafts and gifts from Nepal and Tibet; International ​Jewelry ​Designers; ​International ​Gemstones – international dealers bring their stocks of gemstones, precious and semi-precious from low to exceptional quality; rarest colored stones, cut stones, specimen, cabs, rough, fossils and beads from Thailand, India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Africa, Russia, Bolivia, and other countries and Stone/Mineral Decor – finished gemstone products, rough materials for decor purposes: sculptures, luxury fountains, stone and petrified wood furniture, onyx decorative home and kitchen decor, hand carved interior decorations from China, Madagascar, Brazil, Africa, and much more.

Registration is already open. To save time in line, pre-register now, just follow the link here.

JOGS Tucson Show is a not to be missed gem and jewelry event of the year!

This post was brought to you in collaboration with JOGS.

JOGS Gem and Jewelry Show

Show Dates: Jan 26 – Feb 6, 2017

10 am – 6 pm, last day Feb 6 10 am – 4 pm

Address: Tucson Expo Center, 3750 E Irvington Rd, Tucson, AZ 85714

Pre-registration link: http://jogsshow.com/register/?cmpn=gemgossip

For more info please visit www.jogsshow.com


>> P.S. JOGS Gem and Jewelry Show 2017 will host the biggest clam in the world!!!! from Volker Bassen (Volker Bassen will be showcasing it at JOGS Tucson Show along with other unique pieces).

He found the clam personally in East Africa. Once cleaned and polished it weighted 355 kg, making it the biggest giant clam in the world! It took him a week to clean out the giant clam as it was full of calcified lime stone, almost as hard as cement. To his surprise, he found a blister pearl the size of a tomato followed by a smaller one, 2 pearls in one clam! He called the largest of the pearls ‘Pearl of Noah’ and the smaller pearl ‘Pearl of Siv’ (names of his sons). Being 1256 carats, the Pearl of Noah is the largest T.Gigantea pearl ever found while the Pearl of Siv being 758 carats, making it the second largest T.Gigantea pearl in the world. The pearls are now in Switzerland to be dated, estimated age between 200,000 to 240,000 years old, making them the oldest baroque pearls ever found. The clam is absolutely unique and largest one and will be presented exclusively at JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show only.

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Festive collection – Fabric Jewelry

To continue my Festive collection 2016 here are four pieces that I made with fabric beads. Fabric Jewelry has fascinated me since my early jewelry making years.

To continue my Festive collection 2016 here are four pieces that I made with fabric beads. Fabric Jewelry has fascinated me since my early jewelry making years. In 2012 I conducted a week-long workshop for design students on making fabric jewelry and accessories. Maybe the fact that I was a fashion designer once upon a time with textiles being my bread and butter has something to do with it.

I have a box full of fabric swatches and bits which I full out time to time to touch, feel and sometimes make a thing or two out of. A few years back I had made two necklaces with fabric tapes (borders used for embellishing hems) one of which you can see in this post on Sari ribbon. I had later hoped to make a full collection based on that, but the idea never materialised until now.

This range started out as a time pass exercise when I started rolling length of fabrics and hemmed them to make beads. I added small religious charms to them to keep up with the trend of talismanic and cultural jewelry. I have explored 3 different color harmonies here – 1 & 4 are complementary, 2 is analogous and three is monochromatic.

Srujana – Fabric bead necklace in magenta, peacock green, and gold with a geometric flower pendant. The Padmam (meaning lotus, here just a flower) is representative of sacred geometry and is indicative of a place that is occupied by a Female deity (usually Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth or Saraswati – the goddess of knowledge). The word Srujana means creation

Thalaipu – the word refers to something that is bold, attention-seeking and often grand. It could denote a pallu on a saree or half saree ( reminiscent of the Roman Palla) or it could mean heading or headlines (in news). This necklace is made of an old- grand saree pallu and has a Sri yantra pendant. Sri yantra is also symbolic of the sacred feminine and is used to absorb positive energy, wealth and prosperity

The variation is a sober dull pink (though it looks quite vibrant in the photo) fabric bead necklace with copper beads and the same Sri yantra pendant

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Online Jewelry making classes

I was talking to my friend and fellow blogger a few days back regarding her Europe travels and she remarked that she had only travelled to all those places as she was already stationed abroad and that it requires dedication to travel to another country (and continent) just to learn a skill and better yourself. She, ofcourse was referring to my latest USA travel to attend Beadfest Workshops

I was talking to my friend and fellow blogger a few days back regarding her Europe travels and she remarked that she had only travelled to all those places as she was already stationed abroad and that it requires dedication to travel to another country (and continent) just to learn a skill and better yourself. She, ofcourse was referring to my latest USA travel to attend Beadfest Workshops. Some people might consider me lucky but only I know the hurdles that I had to cross and planning and work that I had to do (and still doing) to make the trip happen.
Many have also written to me asking if I could teach them enamelling or Precious metal clay that I learnt there. As a full time design educator, I am not someone who takes teaching lightly and without really practicing what I had learnt ( I mean I just did it once in a few hours time!) and experimenting with different techniques I cannot teach them.
But this Diwali, we are all indeed lucky. You and me can take any class we want, from world class instructors in the comfort of our our own homes for just $20 at Craftsy. Post contains affiliate links

craftsy classes sale

Yes you heard it right! Craftsy is now having a mega sale on its classes – you can learn anything from water color painting to how to sew a bra or how to solder metal for $20 starting today till Monday. Isn’t this a great Diwali bonus?
The best part about craftsy classes is, once you buy a class, it never expires. So you can watch the demo over and over again or go back to it and watch a particular step if you ever get a doubt which is not possible in a live class which far outweighs the other benefits

 

Craftsy online classes

I do agree that not everything can be learnt online, in a asynchronous platform. As jewelry being a touchy feely subject you might think that learning online might not work out for you. This issue can be simply solved by picking classes and techniques that can easily be learnt online. Here is a handy guide aka cheat sheet to help you figure that out.

How to Pick Jewelry making classes online

1. Material Availability – Pick a class where the materials are easily available to you (locally) or that use materials in stock as you need to be able to practise the skill that you just learned. For E.g – Take a Creative wire jewelry class if you already have base metal or artistic wire and required tools with you
2. Technique Up gradation A new or advanced technique class where you have experience with the material For e.g A Metal Form folding class will help advance your sheet metal skills, A Resin casing and sculpting class will help you further polish your resin jewelry making skills

cheat sheet on how to pick a online class

3. Learning tips and tricks To get guidance from a master – to learn tips and tricks of the trade. If you are self taught in soldering, then taking a course like Soldering Success in Every Scenario will equip you with tips and tricks that you would take years to learn by yourself.
4. International Exposure Pick a class which is not taught locally in your state or country. Believe me, it is much easier (and cheaper) to import materials and try out a technique taught online rather than flying to another country to try learning it, especially if you are not sure if you are going to practice it professionally after learning it. It is almost impossible to find a tutor to teach Torch fired Enamelling in India but it can be easily learnt online.

Pin or print out the above cheat sheet on how to pick a online class and use it as a guide whenever you are faced with a dilemma. Remember to never let your age, health or financial issues come in the way of your learning to be the best that you can be. Whether you are looking to add a new skill to your repertoire or pursue a new hobby, I hope that craftsy’s classes give you the best that you are looking for.


I hope you found it interesting. Wishing you all a very very Happy Diwali. May this festival of Lights with your lives with happiness and prosperity Cheers

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Jewels at my Doorstep: Loren Nicole Fine Jewelry

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It was the combination of ancient techniques in jewelry making and the high karat gold that had me feeling like I was transported back in time to some place in the Mediterranean while wearing the jewelry of Loren Nicole. Her background lends itself well to her eponymous line of fine jewelry, which debuted this year. Her forte: hand crafted pieces (each one created from vision to finished piece all by Loren herself at her Venice, CA studio), high karat gold (she uses mostly 20k and 22k gold) and Greek goddess vibes (granulation and other ancient Greek techniques are used).

I immediately was drawn to the 22k yellow gold Beechnut collar, which features a wide strip of gold with dangling beechnut charms, and lays up close around your neck like a choker. The piece is just utterly sexy and has a personality of its own. I felt very commanding and on a different level wearing this collar, no matter what I was wearing or doing. The earrings feature that granulation technique I keep mentioning, something Loren has mastered and is becoming her signature. If you sit and stare at each piece that features this, you will soon realize how tedious and patient one must be when employing this ancient technique. I am awed by Loren’s background in archeology and ancient civilization studies, as well as her passion for creating handcrafted jewelry. Her pieces are works of art and belong on women worldwide.

Loren Nicole Fine Jewelry has an incredible selection of rings and being the ring guru that I am, I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted to feature in this shoot! The two dome rings really appealed to me, along with the leaf ring because all three featured granulation and gave off some serious Mediterranean feels. The wide Etruscan band was a favorite for me because it seemed like one of those pieces that become your second skin, with loads of comfort and major style. I was right, boy was I right. The entire Hellenes collection flows well together and creates quite the look.

Here are the pieces featured in this post:

22k yellow gold “Beechnut” collar necklace, Price: $10,700

22k yellow gold “Granulated Leaf” post earrings, Price: $1,500

20k yellow gold wide Etruscan band, Price: $1,125

20k yellow gold “Granulated Dome” ring, Price: $1,375

20k yellow gold “Granulated Dome” ring with blue diamond, Price: $2,500

20k yellow gold “Granulated Leaf” ring, Price: $1,140

All photography shot by Lauren Newman for GemGossip.com

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Loren Nicole Fine Jewelry.

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How to: Write a DIY Tutorial

Let me open with the disclaimer that I am not a tutorial expert and there are people who are far more experienced than me when it comes to writing design instructions. But as someone who has been writing DIY Jewelry and craft tutorials for both web as well as print, I thought I’ll share my learning with everyone.

Let me open with the disclaimer that I am not a tutorial expert and there are people who are far more experienced than me when it comes to writing design instructions. But as someone who has been writing DIY Jewelry and craft tutorials for both web as well as print, I thought I’ll share my learning with everyone.

Contrary to what people think creating a jewelry tutorial is a hard job. It hard enough when you get paid for it but harder still when you write it for free on your blog. You need to come up with an original idea (that well, will work!), create it, document it every step of the way using photographs, edit the photographs and then write the tutorial. That is just the first part; the second part is promoting it, responding to comments, answering questions, and updating it as you go. Also ,tutorials are slightly different from “How to” posts such as this one, in the sense that there is a definite product/ process that results from following the tutorial and how to is just a series of steps leading ot varied results.

When I started writing tutorials for my blog, I thought if everyone is doing it, why can’t I, it must be easy after all. I learned the hard way, that there is a big difference between writing a tutorial and writing an excellent tutorial and I cringe when I look at my old posts. So in this post, I’ll talk about the elements that make a tutorial stand out in a great way.


1. Show Finished product images:

This might sound like a no-brainer but there are hundreds (maybe 1000s) of tutorial on the net that do not show clear pictures of end products. Some of them have such tiny pictures enclosed in all sorts of fancy frames that I cannot see the details. Personally, I cannot follow text instructions and often learn how to make a product just by looking at the final picture and the material list. I look at the step wise pictures only if the product is very complicated or if the final product image is very small.
Also post at least 2 pictures (one full image showing the back, clasp or hook) and one close up. They must be in large size – one landscape and one portrait preferably as it makes your tutorial easily shareable across social media channels. Showing how the item is being used is an added bonus, though not a must.

2. Write a Detailed material list
The craziest part about writing for magazines is that they want a super detailed material list. Interweave specifies that name, size, finish, number, measurement and supplier name must be mentioned for every single consumable that it used. Also, all tools and equipment must be listed. When you write online, it doesn’t have to be that specific but it is good to have a clear material list so people know what exactly they need to create the item. When using Affiliate links, do not flood the entire list but use them only when the item is specific or uncommon as a common courtesy.

3. Take Step by Step pictures
A Majority of the craft world seems divided on this. Many say that a great tutorial must show every step (video tutorials might work better in that case) while others say that pictures showing the important or complicated steps are sufficient. I follow my “N-4 or above” rule for tutorials. That is, if there are 10 steps, I show a minimum of 6 steps visually. They can be separate images or a collage provided the images are clear and big enough. A tutorial is no place for tiny fudgy pictures. The idea is that a person who does not understand the language (in which the tutorial is written) must be able to comprehend the making process with just a rudimentary knowledge of the field.

4. Offer material or technique alternatives

When we write for an international audience, we must keep in mind that materials that are easily available to us might not be available to them. So suggest alternatives. For e.g, if the material list says Swarovski crystals, mention that it can also be created using glass, plastic or coated Chinese crystals. If the tutorial uses artistic wire mention how it can be created using base metal or other coated/plated wire. It might seem self-explanatory to an experienced person but a beginner coming across your post will require that support and guidance.

5. Discuss design Variations

Unlike Print, when we write for the web, basic courtesy demands that we discuss variations of the suggested idea. Apart from curbing plagiarism, it will encourage people to use your tutorial as a starting point to create new ideas and products.

Though there are many more good practices, I feel that the above five are an absolute must. As a bonus for all you tutorial newbies out there, here is a sample Tutorial template that I follow for every tutorial of mine. It is not restricted to jewelry making or crafts but can be adapted to any set of design instructions. So do download and share!


How to: Write a Jewelry Tutorial
A Sample Template

1. Introduction: Background of the design, your inspiration, how you chose the materials and what is the application of the idea or design
2. Finished product image no. 1
3. Material list, Material image optional
4. Method – numbered Step by step instructions with pictures
5. Finished product image no. 2, 3…..N
6.Conclusion – Summary if required (for complicated designs), any problems that you faced in the process and how they can be resolved, tips, suggestions, and variations. Add additional images if you have them as variations.
7. Call for action

That’s it for today folks, do add your tips on how to write a great tutorial in the comments section and tell me what you think of my tutorial template. If you find the template useful, please share on Social media (twitter, Instagram or Facebook) by tagging it to @jewelsofsayuri
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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Types of precious metal wire

Like most jewelry makers, I started out by stringing and knotting beads and then slowly moved to wire before going on to explore the wonderful world of mixed media and metal smithing. Apart from making ear hooks, clasps, eyepins, bails or frames on a regular basis, I do the occasional viking knit or wire crochet.While I am no expert in wire work, it is important to learn to work with wire as its ridiculously easy to create your own hooks and clasps customising them every single time.However this post is not about making any products with wire but more to do with the basics of understanding wire and is aimed at beginners.

Like most jewelry makers, I started out by stringing and knotting beads and then slowly moved to wire before going on to explore the wonderful world of mixed media and metal smithing. Apart from making ear hooks, clasps, eyepins, bails or frames on a regular basis, I do the occasional viking knit or wire crochet.While I am no expert in wire work, it is important to learn to work with wire as its ridiculously easy to create your own hooks and clasps customising them every single time.
However this post is not about making any products with wire but more to do with the basics of understanding wire and is aimed at beginners. It is a culmination of my learning of many years (I still have a lot to learn) so it will include snippets from many books and websites apart from my own observations.

What is wire?
Wire is a usually thin, flexible strand of metal that can be made in many shapes, diameters and hardness. It can be finished using many processes including coating and plating and can be electrically insulated. Thin individual wires can be twisted together to create a cable. Wire, like cord, can be used for twisting, wrapping, bezel making, prong making, weaving, knitting, crochet and macrame while making jewelry


Jewelry Wire Materials
Jewelry wires can be majorly classified into three categories – Precious metal, base metal and finished wire or wire with effects. In this post, I’ll discuss only Types of precious metal wire with reference to usage and yes, availability (in India).

sterling silver bangles – Yoola Design

Silver
Most commonly used precious metal wires are pure silver and sterling silver. Sterling Silver or SS is an alloy consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, Fine Silver is 99% pure silver while Karen hill tribe silver is 97% pure silver. Pure silver is nonreactive, less likely to cause allergic reactions and tarnishes slower. Silver that is used to make ornaments like Anklets, jhumkas (earrings), nose studs in India are 80 – 85% pure. The Cost of the wires varies from place to place and from day to day depending on the Share market. In India, any silver jeweller with a manufacturing unit will smelt and roll out silver wire in any gauge that you want (however, it might not be uniform). Locally I have found sterling silver to be more expensive than fine silver.
Argentium® sterling silver is a tarnish-resistant variety of sterling silver that consists of 92.5% silver, 1.2% germanium, and 6.3% copper. It does not develop fire scale easily and makes cleanup relatively painless. As its tarnish resistant, the wire remains shiny for a longer period but it is not very easily available and is not as cost effective as fine silver, in India. Though not as wire, Argentium is available as jewelry and as vessels in premium silver jewelry stores like VBJ and NAC in India

Infinity Wire necklace – Yoola Design

Gold & Vermeil
Though Gold wire is unavailable in India (for retail buying purposes) it is the most used wire by Indian jewellers. Internationally Gold wire is available in many karat values: 12K, 14K, 18K, and 22K. Karat (K or KT) refers to the purity of gold. 24K gold is the purest gold and is too soft and therefore alloys are preferable. Apart from yellow gold wire, rose gold (red gold) and white gold wires are also available online.

Vermeil is 24K gold electroplated over 925 sterling silver and its purity is gauged using the microns of plating (usually 2-4 microns). To be considered VERMEIL; (pronounced Vehr May) the gold must be at least 10 karat (42%) and be at least 2.5 micrometers thick. Vermeil was initially produced by fire gilding process which was then abandoned as it was considered unsafe. One gram gold is not Vermeil as the one here refers to 1 micron plating.

Palladium
Discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, Palladium is an incredibly rare silverish metal. My only knowledge of palladium is that it is used to give white coloring to white gold and it is often suggested as an alternative to Platinum as it is less dense. Only as I was writing this article, I came to know that palladium wires are also available. Experts who have used Palladium wire, please share your knowledge in the comments section.

Silver filled and Gold Filled
Silver Filled and Gold Filled wire are made by bonding a layer of sterling silver or 14K gold onto a base metal core, which is usually a copper or a brass alloy and are finished with an anti-tarnish coating to preserve the shine. Here the layer of precious metal is much thicker than the film on plated metals. The thickness of the silver is denoted with a fraction, 1/20 or 1/10, referring to the ratio of silver to brass/copper by weight, For Example, 1/10 has a thicker layer of silver than the 1/20 variety. The core of silver-filled wire will be visible on the ends of the wire; if wire ends will be exposed, they may need electroplating to cover it, particularly if the wire is very thick. But this can be used to your advantage as you can create many usual textures by sanding or hammering. In gold filled – the ratio of gold to brass is denoted as 14/20 or 12/20 to denote the karat value of the gold 14 stand for 14-karat gold and 20 represents 1/20th or 5% of the total weight of the material.

Cleopatra necklace – Yoola Design

Silver Plated and Gold Plated
These are Copper or brass (depending on the country) wire plated with Silver or Gold and technically come under finished wires. The wires look as shiny as the real metal in the beginning but plating wears off over time often becoming yellowish, greenish or blackish in the process. On over manipulation (bending, twisting and repeated straightening) or on rough handling, the coating will chip away leaving the base metal wire visible. To create a more luxurious product, articles made of silver wire can be plated in Gold water (different from Electroplating) and is often referred to as “Gold dipping” by Indian Jewellers. A similar Rhodium dipping can also be done.

Dancing fish silver necklace – Ksemi

Tips for Working with Precious Wire
1.The first thing to do is get yourself a set of good wire working as there is no point in marring gold wire with a cheap cutter or pliers. Coat pliers with Tool magic (or equivalent potions) and use nylon jaws, fingers to wrap wherever possible.
2. Plan ahead and measure well. A precious metal wire is expensive so it is essential to use only the required length to keep your piece cost effective. It will help to prototype the piece in copper or brass before you work with expensive metals
3. Collect end bits – you can melt bits (of silver) into balls for granulation work and bigger bits can be flattened to use as dangles or ornamentation.
4. Know your metal – especially when you are about to solder or patina it! Silver or gold filled wire act differently when you try to ball them using a torch and develop firescale which is hard to remove.
5. Avoid using abrasive sandpapers or sticks on the filled and plated variety

I have also come across Platinum wire, particularly in electronic circles but I am not sure if there are independent artists who use them for jewelry. I have worked with silver, sterling, Vermeil, Filled and plated wires before, though in a limited capacity, and can safely say that you don’t require extremely advanced wire working skills to handle them. I encourage you to go for it, if you feel that it will add value to your designs. Some popular sites to buy precious metal wire are Rings-things and Cooksongold apart from etsy stores. Contact your local jeweller for silver wire and gold and silver plating on the wire.

Those were my tips on working with precious metal wire. Please share your tips for working with precious wire and your experience of working with them.

Wire Crochet jewelry pictures courtesy: Yael Falk, Yoola Designs

I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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Resin Workshop Alert

With Facebook’s constantly changing policies and feed display many have remarked how my workshops updates are not reaching them, so I am posting the latest update here. If interested in the workshop, please email me your confirmation

With Facebook’s constantly changing policies and feed display many have remarked how my workshops updates are not reaching them, so I am posting the latest update here. If interested in the workshop, please email me your confirmation. I will require a token advance to reserve your seat which will go towards your workshop materials.

Resin Workshop Alert
A 3- 4 hour comprehensive Resin workshop that will introduce to you the wonderful world of resin where you’ll create a variety of components using two part epoxy resin and leave with a whole lot more ideas than we can possibly fit in the workshop.
The Class will be conducted in small batches of 4-5 people to provide individual attention

You’ll be taught using a slow curing resin
– The basics of resin – types of resin, brands available, curing time, process of mixing
Designing for mixed media – planning components

– Preparation of papers/fabric for embedding
– Doming process
– Coloring resin
– Cold enamelling Process

– Resin Casting using moulds
Demo of the finishing process will be shown which you can use to finish your pieces at home.

The pieces made in the workshop will be mailed to you after 72 hours, once they are cured or they can be collected from my place.

Batch 1: 1-2 seats available
Saturday, June 25 between 2 PM – 6 PM


Batch 2: Three seats available
Saturday, July 2nd between 2 PM – 6 PM

Fees – Rs.4000 (incl workshop materials -take away resin kit)
Location – Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai


No jewelry making experience is required and beginners are invited. The techniques learnt can be applied to product design, scrapbooking, collage making, or any mixed media art apart from Jewelry.
All material will be provided. It’s a make-and-take workshop and left over resin (enough for 4 future pours) can be taken home by the participants.

Email me – jewelsofsayuri(@)gmail(.)com by 24th June to book your seat.
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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DIY Empress Cord necklace

For a while, I was tempted to try my hand at Soutache jewelry. Soutache originated as a flat, narrow braid used to ornament clothing and hide seams.

For a while, I was tempted to try my hand at Soutache jewelry. Soutache originated as a flat, narrow braid used to ornament clothing and hide seams. It was also used to indicate ranks and to monogram clothes and accessories. Over the years, it was adapted as a jewelry making technique, as you could form loops, curls and swirls easily, creating excellent ornamental bezels to hold cabochons and beads over a flat base. Though I am not exceptional at embroidery and a mere novice when it comes to beadwork, I can handle embroidery projects like a yoke or even jewelry. But at the same time, I am impatient; I like projects, that can be done in a matter of minutes, or a couple of hours at the most making soutache less than ideal as a technique that I would enjoy pursuing.


As a mixed media artist, whenever I come across a labor intensive technique exclusive to a particular medium, I look for ways to simplify the process by which I can combine it with another material or technique. I try to come up with alternate methods that might imitate or bring about the concept or simply the look of the piece but from a different perspective. By doing this, I mean no offense to the original craft, artisan or the process. Instead, I try to establish a new, previously unsought route to practicing a familiar craft. In this case, I thought, why not adapt the concept of ‘capturing a focal using a cord bezel’ from Soutache jewelry and morph it into something modern by using round cords and wire wrapping. Copy and adapt, as they say in Marketing – Simple!
While I was mulling over this idea, I came across these beautiful fine silk twisted cords at Endless Leather and thought that they would be perfect to create quick and easy jewelry that was fit for an Empress. Check the tutorial below to see how I made this beautiful necklace in 10 minutes, excluding drying time.

DIY Empress Cord necklace

Materials
1.Silk Cord 4mm – beige
2. Silk Cord 4mm – gray taupe

3. 1.5″ long Maroon Crystal Focal with brass setting
4. Champagne gold rhinestone shank button
5. 26g brass wire
6. Jewelry findings (gold plated) – 6mm End caps – 1 pair, 1 lobster clasp, and 2 jump rings
7. 2 part epoxy resin or any strong glue
Tools – Nose pliers, wire cutter, scissors and clear tape

Method
1. Cut the cords to size (mine are 25″ and 24″) leaving 1 cm extra on each end. Tape the end to stop the yarns from untwisting and fraying
2. Bend the cords in half to find the middle point. Make a little loop and place your rhinestone focal in the center to mark the required length. This is the point where you would be wire wrapping the button. Remember to keep both cords, flat and parallel to one another while measuring.
3. Cut about 8″ of wire (more or less depending on the no. of wraps that you want) and insert it into the shank of the rhinestone button. Place the button at the marked point.


4. Making sure that the cords are flat, start wrapping by coming to the center and feeding the wire into the loop before coming out the other side. Repeat 2-3 times until secure and do not cut the wire.You can use 28g wire if your shank hole is very small.
5. Cut about 10″-12″ of wire ( you can take more and cut away the excess), make a “U loop” and insert it at the bottom (center) of the focal*.
6. Push the focal into the loop pushing the wire behind
*My focal was back open with gaps all around its circumference making it ideal for this design. You can also pick a focal with multiple holes or channels.


7. Starting from the back, wrap the focal to both cords, keeping them flat, one side at a time.
8. Repeat the wrap on the other side
9. Insert the ends of this wire into the previous (horizontal wrap) and secure
# Optional – Wrap around cords once again before you tuck the ends into the horizontal wrap
10. Finish the ends of the horizontal wrap wire by twisting and tucking them into the center gap. Press all wire ends down to smoothen them and eliminate pokey ends.

11. Cut away the individual clear tape bindings and carefully wrap both cords together with the same piece of tape. Cut away the excess tape and repeat on the other side. Instead of tape, you can also use sewing thread to bind the cords
12. Glue the end caps on and let dry (depending on instructions on the glue) and add the clasp and rings once dried.


#Tip 1 – Wire Wrapping- make a small loop at the end of the wire that you are tucking in. Even if it gets out of the nest it will blunt and will not poke
# Tip 2 While using resin to glue the cords to the caps, apply glue on the inside of the caps, push the cords in and hold. The tape on the cord might make it slippery, so it’s necessary to bind the cords until they dry
#Tip 3 For a more Soutache flavour, add seed beads on the outer cord or create beaded wire wraps

Once upon a time, fine jewelry was the prerogative of just the rich and royals folks. Master craftsmen would spend multiple hours, days or sometimes even weeks perfecting a single piece by hand in a manner that would be worth presenting to an emperor or an empress. Any and all surrogate procedures were considered shortcuts and were severely condoned as they brought down the value or the “fineness” of the product. Over a period of time, with fashion as the epicenter of change, costume jewelry came to the forefront and alternate materials were accepted. Now simplification, abstraction, reduction and morphing of procedures are not just allowed, they are in fact encouraged in the same way as fine jewelry practices.
So do not shy away from morphing traditional techniques and ideas to create new forms and if you try my tutorial do share your pictures on my Facebook page or tag my Instagram profile.

I hope you found it interesting

Cheers

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