Tips and Information about making jewelry

With this blog, I hope to share my knowledge, successes, trials and errors, student's work, tips, and information about making jewelry.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Its always nice to hear

I have created many custom items for people over the years. Mostly these pieces have been made to be given as a gift to someone, so I never hear how the person receiving the gift liked it. I just received an email from my customer who had me make the below mentioned pendant. She gave the gift to her daughter for her 40th birthday. Here is what she said:

Hi Janet,

My daughter loves the opal and silver pendant you designed for her.  She’s gotten many compliments on it.  When she isn’t wearing it, she sets it on the table as a lovely decorative piece.

Thank you so much for helping make my daughter’s birthday very special.
Its so nice to get the feedback on something I made. All last month I wanted to call to find out, but was too scared to call for fear that she didn't like it. 

How many artist out there have had these thoughts too?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New personal web site

Well, I have my own domain name now, I am in the process of creating my site. I hope to have it going in a week or so. I still may tie it into Etsy.
I am now PMC Certified with Rio Grande. And no, the discount is not that good. I get better prices through other web sites.
 It is now confirmed, I will be teaching at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in May! Woohoo! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Personal web site or Etsy?

I am working on my personal web site where I will offer up for sale DVD tutorials, some of my metal art, and advertise my classes. Now, do I go the cheep route and have the address with some other name in it (example:  or do I pay extra dollars to have my own address?
Would it be better to put this stuff up on and just be done with it?
Decisions, decisions, decisions!

I hear with Etsy, in order to be found, you have to list many items daily! Is it worth listing amounts and time for listing? I haven't heard of anyone making good money off of Etsy. Most of the items sold on it list for under $30.00. Most of my art is over that price point.  Hmmmmmm.

Does anyone out there have a "real" success story by listing on Etsy? Let me know?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Custom Box Made

I found a box at a hobby store. Painted it gold and then added decorations on it using a hot glue gun. Since the client's daughter is an out-door person and lives in Oregon, I put a neat looking fungus, that grows off of trees, on the lid. It kinda looks like Stag coral or Sponge coral. The inside has blue shredded paper to go with the ocean theme.
 I ran a piece of ribbon through the pendant's back loops and glued the ends to the side of the box so that it won't move.
I can now call this job finished. I met with the client tomorrow to finish the deal.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Final Approval for pendant

Today I recieved final approval for the pendant.

Hi Jan,

The pendant and stones are beautiful!  You really captured the expression of what I was feeling when we met.
Jan, do you know where I can purchase a box for the pendant?  I’d like it to be something special (and possibly unique).

Thank you Jan for the exquisite work you’ve done.  Seeing the pictures of the pendant takes my breath away.  When you’ve completed the pendant, would you mind taking a picture of it that I can keep.  I don’t have a camera that would do justice to such a piece of art.

Now I need to set the stones and make her a special box for the pendant.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pendant Polished and Photographed

I have polished, given it a patina, and placed the stones on it
(they are not set). I took photos of it laying two ways and sent
them to my client. She will tell me how she wants it to hang.
I like the first photo. It will hang on a black leather cord.

I will wait to see how she likes this pendant (another approval)
and then attach something on the back so that it hangs correctly
and then set the stones.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Making the Piece

I decided to create the pendant using PMC (precious metal clay).  I
could carve it in wax and then cast it, but it would take too much time.
I rolled out the clay
4-cards thick and then used the prototype to trace around it,
so I could get the same shape and size.

I cut out the shape and
dried it on a light bulb to get the dome I wanted.

I sanded the edges and
top. Then  I carved the design on the left side.

I located where I wanted
the center stone to sit, cut the hole for it and  started
adding my texture down the middle using PMC paper chips. 

I cut areas for the two
smaller stones and then fired it.

Now I am
working on the back side of the pendant adding a place for the
center stone to sit on. Next I will send the client a photo and
gain approval before I continue.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Creating a custom pendent for a customer

I met with my client today. She wants to have a pendant made for her daughter's 40th birthday. She wants opals in the pendant. She picked out three opals one 10 x14mm and the other two 3 x 5mm.

She showed me photos of her daughters home. I was trying to find a style her daughter likes. I noticed a dish hanging on the wall with a pattern on it. She told me about what her daughter enjoys doing in her spar time, walking on the beach, nature, and such. From this I started drawing an idea. The first one, didn't interest her; it was a takeoff from a design on the dish. She said she would like something more organic, ocean like.  So I drew something that looks like a shell.

She sat up-straight in her chair and then leaned in. That's it!

From there I tweaked the drawing, and incorporated the stones into the design.
I made a copy for her to keep and I went back to my studio to make a prototype in polymer clay.

I sent her a photo of the prototype. She had some concerns about parts of the design and I made adjustments.

Now its time to start on the real pendant!