Jewel School Customer Spotlight! Penny Strader, Horton, TN
Working with toggles and tools, spools of wire, 4/6/8/ and 10 mm glass beads, a shoe box full of lovely but slippery seed beads, plus all the other bits and pieces that we use to express our personality in jewelry will soon own the house if left alone for too long. Where, oh where to put beads, wires, pliers, and a visor or two?
Penny, a customer living not too far from Jewel School headquarters here in Knoxville, TN, sends us a picture of her neat as a pin bead room. We’re all jealous of the space AND her sense of organization. Penny modestly says, “I just love being organized!” Penny, if only it was that easy for most of us.
To keep track of her supplies, Penny recently purchased Barbara Carleton’s Jewelry Designer Manager and is busy loading all of her inventory into the software database. The software tracks inventory of parts and pieces, manages vendors, customers and sales, prints catalogs, price lists, invoices with pictures, prints labels. Perfect!
Our customer has been dancing around the edges of full-fledged devotion to designing and making jewelry since she was a teenager, out of necessity. In her own words, Penny explains Jewel School is a wonderfully motivating tool. “I do wirework, beading, etc. with tips I get from watching Jewel School and the DVDs and reading the books. I actually began jewelry making by revamping my own jewelry by converting older clip on earrings to pierced earrings when I was a teenager (30 years ago!). When my daughter was going to her prom 10 years ago, I made her earrings to match her dress. Recently I began crafting my jewelry again, when I couldn't find jewelry items to match my church dresses. I found the findings I needed to make jewelry in craft stores and then I discovered Jewel School!!! I really enjoy making every kind of jewelry. But my favorite bead items are the natural stone beads such as the faceted Black Onyx and Agate I just received from Jewel School. Along the way, I bought the entire bead supply and tools from an acquaintance and picked up more supplies from another lady to build up the bead supply you see in the photo, which is located in a spare bedroom."
“My customers have been ladies in the church and relatives, but I have created so many pieces, that I set up at a Flea Market last weekend. My husband and I are building a business in our hometown and I plan to set up a section in the store for my own jewelry sales!!! We hope to have the business up and going by the end of this year! I'm hooked on Jewel School and am a devoted follower! I just turned 55 years old on February 10! I worked all my life until I remarried 7 years ago when my husband convinced me to quit my job and stay home and answer the phone for him! I had always worked and staying home was difficult, so making jewelry is helping keep me busy, and I love it!”
Penny you have a forever young spirit! You are one of the many Jewel School customers that have shown us there is always something interesting for us behind the next door. Good luck with your new store and we hope you will visit us at the Jewel School Workshop in the fall. More details to come in a month or two on the workshop.
ST. PATRICK'S SNAKES NECKLACE PROJECT - Design by Christiane Ross
The legend that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland was the inspiration for this piece.
4 Smoky Quartz Nugget Shaped beads- JLW5307
6 20x15mm Green Quartz beads- JLW5593
16 6mm Carnelian beads- JLW350B
Copper wire 20g-JSWR87C
Copper wire 14g-JSWR141
Textured chasing hammer-JST470
Chain nose pliers-PLIER22
Round nose pliers-PLIER27
Nylon jawed flat pliers-JSKIT0158
Wubbers medium bail making pliers-PLIER54
Art Clay Copper & Pickle -ARTCLY049
Celtic Mold- ARTCLY025E
Pickle Pot- JST490
2 Bead Spirals
12 Beaded Segments:
2 triple carnelian segments
4 single Green Quartz segments
2 Single Smoky Quartz Segments
2 Smoky Quartz and Carnelian segments
2 Green Quartz & Carnelian segments
Art Clay Copper Focal
Cut off 3” of the 14g copper wire with the flush cutters. Roll one side into a loop with the round nosed pliers or the small Wubbers bail making pliers. This is your connecting end. You will make a spiral on the other side. To make this spiral, take the round nosed pliers and make a loop on the second side using the very tip of the cone on the pliers. Then use the chain nosed pliers or the Nylon jawed flat pliers to curl the loop around into a spiral. I will texture these spirals with the hammer so I'm not worried about tool marks from the regular chain nosed pliers.
Don't make the spirals too tight. Make sure there is space between each spiral row.
Repeat this 3 more times to make a total of 4 spirals.
2 Beaded Spirals
Cut off 3” of the 14g copper wire with the flush cutters. Roll one side into a loop with the round nosed pliers or the small Wubbers bail making pliers. String on one of the 6mm Carnelian beads then form the spiral after the bead using the same method for the regular spirals.
Repeat this one more time for a total of 2 Beaded Spirals.
If the 14g will not fit through the holes in these carnelian beads, use the 20g wire. My Carnelian had large holes.
Cut off 3” of 14g copper wire with the flush cutters. Roll one side into a loop with the smaller side of the medium bail making pliers. Roll the other side into a loop going in the opposite direction. This will look like you put two letter P's end to end facing opposite directions.
Take the medium bail making pliers and grasp your wire with the small side right under the neck of the P on one side. Bend the wire backwards around the large side of the pliers to form a larger loop. Turn the wire over and repeat this on the other end. Your wire should be making a S curve with two heads. That's why I call these “Snakes”.
Repeat this 5 more times for a total of 6 Snakes.
The first side of the clasp is a spiral but it is just slightly larger. Use 3-1/2” of the 14g copper wire and follow the same method as before,
The hook side of the clasp is a mix between the Spiral and the snakes.
Cut off 4” of the 14g copper wire with the flush cutters. Roll one side into a loop with the round nosed pliers or the small Wubbers bail making pliers. This is the hook side. Make the top of the hook by wrapping the wire around a mandrel. I used a round permanent marker I had handy. It was a little larger than the medium bail making pliers. You can also use the large bail making pliers. Don't make this loop by starting directly under the small loop at the end. Move down the wire about 1/2”. This will make the hook larger. Start on the other end and make a spiral as before.
12 BEADED LOOPS SEGMENTS
All of these segments will be made with the 20g wire.
2 Triple carnelian segments
Cut off 2” of the 20g copper wire with the flush cutters. Make a wrapped loop on one end. String on the three carnelian beads then finish with a wrapped loop on the other side. Cut off any excess wire. I wrapped each loop 2 times. Repeat to make one more carnelian segment.
Use the same process to make the following segments:
4 Single Green Quartz segments
2 Single Smoky Quartz Segments
2 Carnelian, Smoky Quartz, Carnelian segments
2 Carnelian, Green Quartz, Carnelian segments
Using the texturing hammer and bench block, lightly hammer all of the components on both sides to give them a rough, hand forged look. Don't forget the loops on the beaded segments. Hold the beads off the side of the block to avoid hitting them.
ART CLAY COPPER FOCAL
Lightly oil the Celtic Heart mold with Olive oil. Press in the Art Clay Copper. I allowed the copper to dry slightly in the mold to keep its shape before removing. You can immediately remove it wet if you are careful. After the clay dries, trim and smooth the focal piece using the Art Clay file set and sandpaper. Since the metal components in this necklace are hammered with texture for a rough finish, the focal piece doesn't have to be very smooth.
Following the Art Clay Copper kiln instructions, fire at 1778 deg F for 30 minutes wrapped in fiber blanket then remove and quench. Place in the pickling solution for 30 minutes to clean. As an option, I also tumbled the focal for 1 hour with dish detergent, water and steel shot.
The Art Clay Copper can be given a patina using Liver of Sulfer. Most Copper can be also, however I am using Artistic Wire brand copper which has a non tarnish coating. To give the metal an ancient look, I used the torch to heat patina the wire and the Celtic knot heart.
***I utilized this process outside for my well ventilated area. Please do not try this indoors***
Hold the metal component with a pair of tweezers or pliers and briefly run the torch over the metal then immediately quench in water. Try a test piece of wire first so you can see how the piece will react and what colors you will get. If the piece stays in the flame too long, it will turn completely black. If this happens, you can place it back in the pickling pot to clean.
Repeat this process with each of the metal components.
You will do the same with the stone components but don't turn the flame directly onto the stones and don't hold the heat on them for very long at all. The heat can actually change the color of some stones and I did break one of my carnelian pieces and had to remake it. The quartz are a little bit more durable but honestly, a little heat goes a long way.
In order to make all of the metal match, I used the torch to patina the Celtic Heart as well using the same method.
After all of the pieces have been cut, shaped, textured and aged, it is time to assemble them.
Starting from the focal in the center and working your way out, add two of the spirals by opening the connector loop and capturing the top of the focal triangle. Bend the stems of the spiral so that they lay flat.
Next are the components that have the Green Quartz and two Carnelian beads. Since these have wrapped loops, you can't open them. Instead, thread loop through the center of the spiral and work it around until it is on the outer edge. You can then close the center circle of the spiral so the piece will not work it's way out.
The Snakes come next. Open one loop of the snake and attach it to the previous Green Quartz segment. Do the same on the mirrored side making sure the pieces are symmetrically mirroring each other.
Add the single Smoky Quartz segment to the other end of the snake by opening the other snake loop, sliding it on then closing that loop.
The Spiral with the Carnelian Bead is next. The spirals face the Smoky Quartz so you will thread the smoky quartz loop around the spiral starting at the center until it is hanging from the outside. Repeat on the other side of the necklace.
After that is the Single Green Quartz Segment. Open the loop on the Carnelian spiral. Use it to attach the Green Quartz then close the loop. Repeat on the opposite side.
Next are the Snakes again. Open one loop of the snake and attach it to the previous Green Quartz segment on both sides.
Open the other loop and attach the Segment of the Smoky Quartz with two Carnelians.
The next segment is a spiral. The loop end opens to attach to the previous Smoky Quartz segment. Do this on both sides.
Attach the single Green Quartz piece by following the spiral from the center to the outer edge.
Attach the last pair of snakes to these ends.
The last segment is the piece with three carnelian beads. Attach these to the other end of the snakes.
The clasp hook attaches by the spiral side to the last Carnelian segment leaving the loop end that will hook into the other clasp side. The other part of the clasp is the spiral “eye”. The loop for this piece attaches to the Carnelian segment on the other end of the necklace. After this is attached, adjust the spiral with your fingers to make sure there is enough room on the outer edge for the hook to fit into.
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
Have you tried Wubbers® ?
If jewelry making projects are sometimes hard on your hands, you may want to consider Wubbers®. The long handles with the cushy cover feel good under your fingers and allow you to develop a smooth and consistent movement. You will love the longer handles as you make perfect loops, coils, and bends. Those bright aqua-teal pliers will become the go-to tools on your work table. Every pair comes with a instructional CD, too!