Monday, September 20, 2010

Review of the DVD On Making Fork Jewelry

Another Photo of a Fork Bracelet
I just had an article published called, What Makes Fork Jewelry So Appealing? that you might find interesting. I'll admit that this was a bit of a diversion for me but I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of it. I spent some time researching the history of the fork just because the whole idea of making jewelry from utensils is such a quick way for beginners to learn about making this very fast jewelry.

Learning to make real silver jewelry from forks is viable for anyone who's always wanted to make jewelry. In the process of learning how to say, make either bracelets or necklaces from forks, you also get to acquire some pretty quick but essential metalsmithing techniques. Like polishing and grinding, smoothing out your metal and adding all that shine that makes metal jewelry so appealing.

Since there's no annealing (heating) or fire necessary in the most recent DVD on Making Fork Jewelry, this method of making jewelry is especially appealing for beginners or novices to metalsmithing (making metal jewelry from scratch). There is so much to learn as a metalsmith that it can be overwhelming for quite awhile. Metal just isn't that forgiving and if you make a mistake and put a ding in something, it can take hours to remedy it.

Making jewelry from utensils though helps you avoid a lot of that frustration. I recently had the chance to review the DVD Making Fork Jewelry: How To Make Amazingly Unique Fork Bracelets and Necklaces by Maryanne Cherubino and was pleasantly surprised at how remarkably easy it is to do. In this DVD, Ms. Cherubino deftly walks you thru making TWO fork bracelets and a necklace to boot. The video is only around an hour long and by the time you're done, you have all the knowledge you need to make the pieces. Given the speed of working with already made forks, I believe you could make a few, if not several, within an hour or so. What other beautifully made, complex looking silver jewelry could you make that quickly? and also have it look professionally made? Being able to play off of the intricately designed forks is a sure fire leg up as well as wonderful inspiration.

In any event, there's a quick video on the process that's available to view before you purchase the whole DVD. If you're at all intrigued by the idea of learning to make jewelry from forks, I'd suggest you check it out HERE. I hope you'll be as enticed as I was.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Making Fork Jewelry

I've just come across something rather unusual in making jewelry: how to make fork jewelry! While my first encounter with jewelry made from forks was in the 1970's, today's fork jewelry is far more sophisticated and I think, appealing. Back in those hippie days, you could pretty much tell that utensil jewelry was really made from well, kitchen utensils. Nowadays, this type of jewelry making can tell you how to imbed gorgeous stones using the tines of the fork in a flowing kind of fashion. The results are nothing short of amazing! Seeing is truly believing where fork jewelry is involved. I was so excited about this new product that I started a completely new blog about making jewelry from forks.

There's a very short video on exactly how to go about making bracelets and necklaces from forks available here. I've decided to affiliate with this product and as such, do get remuneration should you choose to purchase the DVD although I'm far more interested in providing new and interesting educational resources for my readers. One of my main interests in presenting this to you is that making fork jewelry is a ready entry point for anyone wanting to either learn jewelry making as a beginner or anyone just wanting to expand their skills. Making fork jewelry is relatively simple compared to other metalsmithing projects. It's one of those few art jeweler skills that offers nearly immediate gratification. Now, what's better than that?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Change Old Wire Jewelry Designs with Fiberwire

In one of my books, FiberWire Beads and Jewelry, I coined the phrase, "wibers", which are combined strands of thin gauge wire and fiber. It occured to me recently that I could take several of my older jewelry designs and revamp them using wibers instead of just plain wire. Since I've got a show coming up and need some new, colored pieces to show, fiberwire seems a good alternative for fast production. So I thought this topic would be a good idea for this post.

All of this, of course, depends on the technique you used to fabricate your pieces and if it's compatible with wiber use. One of the primary advantages of using wibers to fabricate wire jewelry is that wibers offer you color from the yarns; an alternative to using colored wire. While there's some lovely fiber jewelry out there these days, my own preference is to use both fiber and metal in my pieces. Somehow the metal seems to give pieces with fiber more legitimacy to me. That may be just me but fiber and metal combined in pieces seem to satisfy my own aesthetic rather nicely.

I have always loved yarns and fibers and am especially fond of the many silk yarns and threads with variegated in the small skeins you can find in needlepoint shops. There you can find a tantalizing array of hand dyed colored yarns and threads that just happen to be perfect for making wibers.

So now let me tell you about making "wibers": You essentially make a wiber by twisting thin gauge wire and fiber together using a vice and a hand drill with a cup hook in it. Or, if you don't have a hand drill, you can use a stick in the looped end of your fiber/wire bundle with the vice at the other end and then twist. Start by cutting an 8 foot length of your favorite fiber. You don't want to use anything "fuzzy" or thick. Starting out with a nice cotton thread, like an embroidery thread would be a great place to start for making your first wiber. Hold on to the more costly fibers until you've got this wiber making nailed.

Next, cut an 8 foot length of a 28 or 26 gauge metal wire like brass (if it works well with your fiber choice) or copper or sterling. Best to start out with inexpensive wires like copper or brass to get a good feel for making the wibers before using sterling or fine silver (what I use mostly).

Next, lay both fiber and wire strands out closely next to one another and then fold them in half together. Now take the end with the loop you've just made (by folding them in half together) and sort of set it aside. You'll need the vice for this part: take the other four loose ends and tie them in a knot and clamp them into your vice. You'll need a hand drill with a cup hook in its end (or a stick) for this part: take the looped end of your untwisted fiber/wire strands and hook it into your cup hook on the hand drill.

Stand back from the vice with the 4 foot group of strands, keep the strands taught, and begin winding your hand drill (or turning or twisting the stick)..........all the time watching your four strands winding smoothly together. Continue to twist until the whole strand of fiber and wire starts to don't want to twist any further than that. Voila! You should now have about a four foot length strand of twisted wire and fiber to use in your jewelry pieces instead of just plain wire.

One picture and it would all clarify nicely but I don't know how to insert pix yet so bear with me. If any of you have trouble with this, send me an email at and I'll send you a little pdf on making wibers. You can also send me an email to that address to receive a free tutorial on making a gorgeous, hollow silver wire bead.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great Things Coming

I haven't written in awhile because I've been busy redoing my Beadifferent Press website. Last year I put up my Woven Wire Studio website for showing exhibit and more advanced work. This year it's all about getting my tutorial and books up and running again.

The new Beadifferent Press website will be dramatically different from the original site. It's going to be top notch with a slide show of available tutorials on the homepage. There will also be featured designs/tutorials showing on the homepage.

I've been working on roughly 50 tutorials on necklaces, bracelets and earrings, each of which has a unique wire technique. I've also almost finished a 50 page technique tutorial on tubular braiding that I've been working on for over a year.........I'm very proud of this particular technique tutorial since it's got around 40 step by step photos and is very thorough.

Many of the techniques that I'll be presenting at the new Beadifferent Site are ones that I've created over the past 20 years. The real challenge in wirework for me is the creation of new techniques, something original. Getting all of it down in pdf's has been and continues to be, a massive undertaking. But, I promise, it will be well worth it. Right now I'm targeting this Fall for the launch. In the meantime, if you haven't already done so, please feel free to sign up on the Beadifferent Press website for my free wire bead tutorial. More soon..........

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Best Wire Jewelry Making Books

I've had so many requests from my readers to review wire jewelry books that I've finally put my head to that. While I have my own extensive library of wire books, I've done some searching as well in an attempt to provide some book reviews on the best wire jewelry making books I can find. The result of that search is at Best Wire Jewelry Making Books on the web.

As I started looking for good wire books to recommend to my readers, I started writing short book reviews, then just decided to write longer reviews, enough to help folks really tell if the book was good for them. Since I'm not fond of doing things halfway, I ended up building the Best Wire Jewelry Making Books website. That way, I can add new books and book reviews as I continue this newest labor of love.
I'll be posting the individual book reviews as I go along but in the meantime, please feel free to go there and check it out. I'd love to hear any comments, thanks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How To Begin Making Wire Jewelry

I've been thinking about starting this blog for several months now but since jewelry making is primarily a visual thing, I was left  mulling on the advantages of a blog. I'm a bit surprised though that I seem to have a good deal to say to my readers about making wire jewelry that doesn't require pictures. For example, I wrote this article called, "How To Start Making Wire Jewelry" a few months ago: .

The article describes the way I typically think about jewelry techniques and describes a rather methodical way of using several variables (ie; wires, different types and sizes, patinas) and dowels (those round, hollow brass ones you get in hobby stores) to make a wide variety of wire beads for earrings. For anyone wanting to start making wire jewelry, I thought this might present a good and easy way of getting comfortable with the wire which is a critical first step. You need to get the "feel" of the stuff first, master what can feel unwieldy in the beginning and then move on to some simple techniques like braiding, weaving, etc. Take a read on the article and see if it suits you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

About This Blog

I've been an art jeweler for many years and I specialize in wire jewelry, woven wire jewelry. I work hard to create new techniques for wire jewelry and I started this blog mostly due to the lack of good, new techniques available. I also want to share some of my own techniques and maybe show folks that there's a different way to approach wire jewelry making. It's very possible to make stunningly beautiful wire jewelry using some very simple techniques. I'll be talking about that a lot so please stay tuned.