Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Book Title: Picture Yourself Making Metal Clay Jewelry: Step-by-Step Instruction for Forming, Firing, and Constructing Finished Jewelry
Audience: The audience is the interested hobbyist who has very little if any metal clay or jewelry making experience.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week? Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
So begins the review that our friend Jean Yates wrote for Amazon. We have noticed that Jean is an excellent and thoughtful Artisan of Review, so much so that Amazon made her a Vine Voice reviewer. So we thought we would occassionally provide our readers with links to some of her reviews that may be of interest to the beading world. We call this post
"Snap out of it Jean, there's READING to be done!", a nod to her popular blog of a similar name.
So earlier this summer, Jean reviewed the beading book "Sparkletastic" by Margot Potter. This is a great looking title that sounds perfect for the bead artist at all levels of creativity. Check out Jean's firsthand review and you may find that it to be a book for a beader on your holiday list.
As Jean says, "We will all shine on, if we own this book!" Click HERE to find out what makes her say this...
Friday, November 23, 2007
What is your personal name, business name, website and location?
Bev Gallerani, Mango Tango Designs
I divide my time between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Naples, Florida. The common element unifying these two locations is how they inspire me to create all things related to nature and the sea. I am happiest when I can view H2O –- whether that’s the ocean, a lake, or a mud puddle!
I have two websites: MangoTangoDesigns.com, which will launch on January 2, 2008, and MangoTango.etsy.com. The MangoTangoDesigns site currently redirects traffic to my Etsy shop until it officially launches. When it does, it will carry the higher-end pieces in my line, while the more affordable work will continue on Etsy.
An oxidized bead featuring acorns and oak leaves
What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use? What is your favorite beadmaking technique?
My beads are made of Precious Metal Clay in paste and sheet form, occasionally embellished with gemstones, fused glass and cubic zirconia. The beads are created with wood clay which is hand-formed over a wooden mandrel. I paint fine silver paste over the wooden clay form in many layers, ensuring that each layer is thoroughly dry before adding the next. Most beads require 12-15 layers of silver paste before they are sturdy enough to withstand firing and the daily rigors of jewelry wear. Once I have finished layering the silver paste, I embellish the bead with handformed end caps and apply decoration in silver sheet form. When the design calls for it, I add gemstones, glass or cubic zirconia and form bezels out of PMC syringe. I then remove the bead carefully from the mandrel and fire it; the firing process burns out the wood clay and leaves the hollow silver bead. After firing, I wire-brush the bead and tumble it in a rotary tumbler to work-harden it and bring out the luster. At this stage some beads are oxidized with liver of sulfur to give them the impression of age and define the highlights; sometimes I stop the oxidation process early to achieve beautiful hues of copper, purples and blues. Oxidation can produce some wonderful surprises!
Fine silver and sterling drop earrings featuring borosilicate beads by StoneyMarie.etsy.com
How did you get into beadmaking? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
Once I discovered the joys of working with Precious Metal Clay through taking a class at a bead shop, I went through a frenzy of creation and soon became a Certified PMC Artisan. That process taught me several wonderful techniques, including creating hollow form beads from fine silver. Not only do I create my own beads, but I frequently incorporate both my own beads and those made by other artisans into my silver work. I favor borosilicate beads due to their durability, luminosity and color intensity. I enjoy supporting and networking with other artisans.
Well, I have two workspaces divided by about 1,800 miles, so that can be a little bit of a challenge! I try to keep it portable. I have two identical workbenches, one in my studio on Cape Cod and the other at our condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Using twin workspaces helps to keep me oriented. The supplies that aren’t spread chaotically all over my workbenches are stored in plastic bins and containers. On the Cape, I keep my kiln in my garage. In Florida, it sits on my lanai when it’s in use! Trying to be frugal, I move my supplies between locations rather than attempt to have duplicates of everything. The kilns and tumblers are the only exception.
A typical day finds me up and sipping coffee in my studio at 6 a.m. Sometimes I need to be reminded to eat -- I tend to become a little too engrossed in my work. I rarely look up while I’m working. When I’ve got pieces firing in the kiln, I usually turn my attention to some other facet of jewelry making. Sometimes I’ll cut or grind glass while I’m waiting … I like to multitask!
Fine silver and apatite anklet featuring my own molded seashell charms
Oh, that’s the easy part! I haven’t been doing this for very long … until about a year ago, I was a professional miniaturist. Then a friend dragged me along to my first PMC class. I got hooked and the rest, as they say, is history.
I have many more ideas than time to execute them. I’ve also taken or plan to take many more classes in complementary disciplines that will enhance my work. For example, I just finished a Kumihimo beading class so I can make my own beaded necklaces to use with my PMC pendants. I also recently completed a glass fusing workshop. In the coming months I hope to achieve Level II PMC Certification and learn to enamel and water-etch my beads.
Fine silver necklace featuring glass cabochons by liskidder.etsy.com
What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment your art beads? Do you design your own jewelry too?
I think my style leans slightly toward the contemporary, although my background in miniatures demands a great deal of detail and precision in my work. I’m not so much the freeform contemporary type as the exact replica type!
I do, definitely, design my own jewelry. I have tried really hard to plan and sketch out my pieces in advance, but things never seem to happen in that organized a fashion. My pieces tend to design themselves. Whatever flows out of my hands is what I go with!
What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
Since I have recently added glass fusing to my skill set, I plan to incorporate more glass and embellishments to my beads, as well as expand my techniques to include enameling and water etching, and create beads that are only one design element in a larger work.
My lakeside studio and workbench on Cape Cod
A special offer from Bev: ArtBeadScene1107 for 10% off any purchase over $50 at MangoTango.etsy.com, expires 6/08.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The book offers written instructions, not always the easiest for beginners to follow along. They also offer up some alternative uses for beads, like bookmarks and scrapbooking.
My only complaint is that you have to hunt for the project resources, which is spread throughout the magazine. It would have been nice if they were listed on the same page as the project.
Overall, it's worth checking out. It's 162 pages of mouth-watering jewelry designs.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Bringing you all the dirt and drama from the beading blog world...
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Beadwranger hosts the website Bead Crochet with free animated bead crochet lessons!
Try a different technique with your art beads - crochet!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
All entries must contain at least 50% beads, have been created after January 1, 2007 and be whimsical in nature. "Artists are encouraged to let their imaginations fly to create something in a whimsical spirit." Wearable and non-wearable submissions such as necklaces, purses, wall hangings and sculpture will be accepted.
The deadline for entries is November 30, 2007.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Use the lever effect and suddenly your hands are stronger.
Tweezers can make your fingers feel smaller and more precise.
Using a clamp or vise can give you a third hand while a magnifying glass can let you see really close up.
This got me thinking about what some of my favorite tools are and one that didn't immediately come to mind is my HP 3210 All in one scanner / copier. Though it took me a couple of minutes to think of it, I really do love it and use it often and for a variety of purposes. I can easily do a quick scan of a bead or pendant to send to a customer or just to keep a record for myself and I can scan finished jewelry if a better picture is not needed. For some reason - when I scan a flat piece, the scanner doesn't create as much glare as a camera flash does. The photocopier function is great for me to copy invoices, copy sketches, cut / paste sketches and enlarge or shrink an image. Anything that I can photo copy, I can also keep a digital record of just as easy.
All - in - one models are significantly more expensive than just a simple copier, but I feel I have really gotten my money out of it and would recommend a scanner / copier to anyone who was trying to decide between just a copier and a scanner / copier.
What are some of your often used "tools" that don't come quickly to your mind, but that you wouldn't want to be without?