Saturday, July 3, 2010

Studio Saturday with Lynn Davis

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This weeks winner is Cindy Wimmer! Congratulations!

You have won a set of teal birch disk beads from Heather Powers at Humblebeads!
Please send Heather an email with your address so she can ship this package out to you.

This week I'm showing you some of my cast pewter openwork disks, and how I made them into a pair of dangle earrings with a locking back. I don't like it when my earrings slide around, so I made a hook on the back that catches the earwire, to hold them secure.

I cut six inches of gold-filled wire, to create the earwires, but sterling silver would also work well. I made a large loop on my round nose pliers about 1" from the end of the wire, and put the other end through the hole in the center of the disk. This will work with any bead or component that has a hole in the center - it will even work with buttons.
On the front I made a double-look on my round nose pliers, to tightly secure the disk on the wire.

Take the rest of the length and bend it so it's pointed upward perpendicular to the round loop on the back. Bend over the top about 1" from the double loop, to make the earwire hanger.

In the back, bend a crook in the short length that comes from the first large loop, and use it to create the back locking link for the earwire. Trim the excess wire until it's about 3/4" below the hook, and sand or file it smooth. That's the part that goes through your ear so it shouldn't have any snags on it.

If you have a hammer and bench block or anvil, hammer the wire loop gently to flatten and harden it, to put just the right amount of spring in the loop. You can also hammer the hook part, to give it some firmness and work harden it.

It will hang daintily from your ear, and you'll know it's secure because it is locked in back! This method of making an earring wire will work for small or large beads, in glass or any kind of bead with a center hole in it.

If you'd like to win a pair of disks just like this, to create your own earrings or other jewelry piece, here's the question for this week, comment on this post and you might be the winner.

I'm headed out on vacation soon, and I plan to take some small mobile projects to work on while I'm away. Do you take jewelry projects along when you travel? What kind of things do you find work well when you're traveling, and do you have some hints and tips for traveling with beads? Do you like to include beadwork or jewelry shopping as part of your usual vacation or holiday travel plans?

Share your travel and vacation stories - you might be the winner this week!


Katie said...

I ALWAYS take bead projects with me when I travel. So far, I think the best travelling type of bead project is bead crochet - it can fit in a small box that I can get at Michael's.

In fact, I just made travel bead crochet boxes for the friends who were in the class with me...I decorated the top with transfers (hubby sprayed the acrylic sealer)...I put a small bead mat in the bottom, and put a magnet in the lid with a safety pin and big eye needle. I love mine, and they love theirs!

Have a great vacation!

Hannah said...

I love to take seed bead projects with me when I travel. Usually, I take "small components" projects (for instance, beaded bead or earring projects) so that the finished products aren't too large or cumbersome. I like to keep my hands busy when I have some vacation downtime.

Have a wonderful vacation!

cindydolezaldesigns said...

I usually don't take bead projects with me when I travel. I'm just not organized enough to get everything I need together ahead of time. But I always plan bead shopping trips when I go out of town.

I love your little disks. Have fun on vacation.

mairedodd said...

i have not been away - so my answers are going to be hypothetical!! i would have a hard time taking beading supplies because i wouldn't know what to bring... i think my time might be spent looking for interesting things in that region... i might take along some raw materials for components... but as i don't always know what i am going to use in a finished piece, i don't think i could plan for that... lynn, the discs are fabulous! i love them...

moonlitfantaseas said...

since I do mostly bead weaving with seed beads, I usually don't take projects with me when I travel, mainly because I have to work with an industrial strength mag light, because my eye sight is so bad, I have diabetic retinopathy and no insurance, so slowly going blind, I read when I travel or look at the passing land scape

Lucid Moon Studio said...

I have a neat little carrying case that I got from JoAnn Fabrics that holds 4 plastic organizers for beads and has holders for my tools. I usually plan out wire wrapping designs, then pack everything I need for them in this case. It works well for me. I also ALWAYS scope out any bead shops in the area and check for any potential bead/craft shows.

I love the disc earrings! Have a great vacation!!


EmandaJ said...

Hi Lynn, I love the disc earrings and thanks for the tutorial! If I am taking a road trip, I will pack some beading projects -- sometimes If I am organized, I will have made up some little earring or bracelet kits to work on either in the car or at the destination. I always am on the look-out for beadshops!


Erin Strother said...

I don't travel much, and I try to pack light, so I usually don't try to take any jewelry stuff with me. I usually wish I had, though.
Would love to win the pair of discs-gorgeous!

Ann said...

I always take projects with me when we travel. Always some bead crochet since the beads don't scatter in the car or plane. Sometimes I take my travel tray with beads to do some peyote or RAW bracelets. I love the long plane trips with such good lighting!

Wherever we are going I always find one or two bead shops to stop in. My husband has gotten quite sweet about letting me have some time in the shop and several times has pointed me toward a shop I didn't know was there.

Have fun on vacation!

Amy F said...

I never take bead projects with me -I'd be afraid I'd lose them! But I do take my camera, sketchbook, and colored pencils to records observations, ideas, and sketches. Travel is so inspiring!

Alice said...

When we travel we leave everything else at home--except for things to keep the kids busy. I get carsick easily, so beading is not an option. But I'm always on the lookout for bead shops along the way.

Your earwire is a great idea. Thanks for the tutorial!

I'd love to win a pair of those sweet discs!


Susan Marling said...

Yes,I do take bead or quilt projects. I love the fishing cases that screw together. I like visiting other jewelry/bead shops when on the road. I enjoyed the tutorial. Have a fun trip.

Mary Newton Designs said...

I take projects with me anywhere and every where-I feel naked without my tools. I work in waiting rooms, hotels, cars, etc. Since I use a lot of varied components it's hard to bring everything I need for a complete project so I make clasps or coil wire or do basis wire wrap links. Then when I get home I can put things together.

Gail W. said...

I love your earrings,and the method you showed us to keep them from sliding around or getting lost.I have so many earrings that have lost their mate that I pierced another hole in one ear to wear them in.
No,I don't take beads with me anywhere,anymore.I get so absored in them,all I want to do is talk about them,and most people just aren't that interested.

Edie said...

I always have multiple projects in carryable boxes in the car - I never know from one moment to the next what I'm going to feel like working on, so I take several options!


Susanm said...

When I travel by car or by train, I take bead projects with me. I do a fair amount of embriodering on felt balls, which are aesy to carry. I have a number of Altoids tins which are the perfect size for needles, a small role of thread (fine fishing line) and a few felt balls. I carry the seed beads in a ziploc bag and keep loose beads in the tin. When I go to my cottage I usually have a few projects on the go - I organize everything I need for each project into small ziploc bags and carry everythng, including my tools in a larger bag.

Joy aka GoddessJoy said...

I like to do wire wrapped chains while I'm traveling. A few years ago, the hubby and I got our hair cut off to donate and we were left with short spiky hair that required "product". That didn't last, but I saved all of the little tubs that the pomades and goop were sold in. A lot of them are the perfect size to hold a coil of wire and the beads I want to use. Then I tuck that little jar into my tool pouch and I'm ready to go! I just toss all of my wire ends in the tub and when I get home I empty it.

Nicki said...

I always take beads with me when I travel. The hardest part is to select what to take with me when I travel (not a lot of time to pack, and I am not sure what I will be in the mood for when I start beading). So what has proven to be a good travel pack are: pliers, different gauges of wire, and a bag of individual beads and pendants. I sometimes go to the little shop around the corner and select beads randomly: I dodn't sort them into my bead boxes at home, so I have a variety of beads available that has a lot of possibilities for me to make all different kinds of pieces.

Jeannie said...

Well, lets see, if I ever go on vacation I would leave the beads at home.
My traveling studio would include things for art journaling. Maps of the places I'm traveling to. I would pick up things along the way like ephemera, business cards, tickets, postage stamps, photos, post cards, brochures, wine labels, napkins. You get the idea.

Oh and don't forget to bring a bunch of prepared journals.

Instead of jewelry/bead shopping I would explore outdoors for "found objects" and intresting pebbles on shore.

Lynn have a fun and safe vacation.

cw whitedogjewelry said...

Thanks for your great suggestion on using a disk to create earrings! The possiblities are endless with this technique.
Yes, always travel with seed beads and a needle, some wire and a few tools in a small carrying case. Inspiration while away from home creates some of the best results. Being a Gemini, I usually have a few projects going at one time, always looking for inspiration in new surroundings. Bead on and enjoy! Chris

Unknown said...

Really lovely earrings! I havent been away lately but if I were wirewrapping something I would take that along. Otherwise I dont think I would take anything! Getting away from everything is vacation itself! I would take books or mags or relaxing crochet.

TesoriTrovati said...

I absolutely love this little tute! Thanks!

I do seek out things for jewelry making on my travels. And it doesn't need to be jewelry stores either. I will seek interesting bits and baubles. Often I find the going to flea markets or antique stores in another area than where I live is fun.

I ususally take head/eye pins, charms, beads and caps to whip up earrings. I also have taken wire and beads like pearls and made little birds nests. I try to keep it small. I use a Snapware container with a felt pad, a few tools, and baggies of beads. I leave the ear wires at home to put together later. I ususally carry a used small bug wipe container for my garbage and wire snips.

Have a great vacation!
Enjoy the day!

Betty said...

I always check out bead stores when I travel, and always have a kumihimo project and a wire wrapping project that I pack in a small plastic container. Last time I traveled I also took along a viking knit project. Love the tutorial and disks!

Elizabeth said...

I take a small altoid tin of beads and wire and make something, usually book thongs or key fobs. I also always like to shop for beads.

Anonymous said...

i'll be traveling from CA to TN by car in a couple of weeks. i'm planning to take some crocheting with me. i think i'll make bracelets and necklaces with some of my fav beads and waxed cotton thread. i'll do this in the car.

we'll be staying in CO for a week and there i'll take some other supplies to do some wire work. my metal clay will have to wait until i get settled in TN.

enjoy your vacation and hope you had a great 4th!

Maneki said...

I don't travel much and when I do it's usually short trips where I spend time doing other things so I don't need anything else. Also, I get carsick so I can't do much sitting in a car.

I would, too, be afraid of loosing my beads so I think I'd choose a simple project that doesn't really require more than one tool plus scissors and not too special or expensive beads. Or many different beads. Perhaps bead crochet (I only do chain stitch loops) or a beadweaving project.

More often, if I know there will be time for it, I prefer taking a couple of bead books or mags with me. And paper and pen for those ideas that keep popping up. Let the travel be a time for inspiration more than anything else.

Shai Williams said...

I love your disc beads! Those are gorgeous!

Now on to the question. I do take crafts with me when I go on vacation. I usually end up taking along some kumihimo. I find that I can make up some neat jewelry mindlessly and I am always hitting bead stores looking for unique focals for my braiding.

LissC said...

IT has been so long since I have been on a vacation or traveled anywhere! I do like to check out the local bead shops. One thing I do for any vacation or special event is try to buy a charm to remember it by. I haven't made one yet, but it is my intention to make a charm bracelet that will be full of memories.

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Thank you all for sharing your tips, stories and hints! Very wonderful all...

LissC said...

oh my gosh!! :: DOING HAPPY DANCE ::

I was on my blog updating my list of contest and such and was I shocked when I clicked on this blog and saw my lil ol name was a winner of Lynn's so very cool disks!!! I can not wait to post on my blog and share my incredible luck with everyone!

Can't thank you enough for having all these fantastic artist writing on your blog and discussing their new projects and products, and on top of it to win a piece! .I will be on a cloud all day :)