Friday, June 13, 2008

Handy Jewellery Tips

I'd like to share a few hand hints I've discovered over the years, and hope they may be helpful to some of my readers.

When I am about to start a new project I like to have everything organised, and all together at fingers reach. I went hunting for something to put all my seed beads/gemstones and other beads I needed where they were easily accessible and in view. I found some great paint pallettes, these came in sets of 2 for less than $3.00. I bought them at Big W in the stationery department, if you do not have that store in your location I'm sure they would be available in any large store that carry stationery items.

I like to work with sterling silver, but find the tarnishing that all silver seems to go through in time really frustrating. I now rub Renaissance Wax onto all my completed silver projects and then store them in a ziplock plastic bag. The Renaissance Wax places a coating on the silver which prolongs the tarnishing process. You use such a minute amount, and the tub should last a long time. This product is also used in the British Museum, and is used as a protective coating on metals, furniture, leather, paintings, marble, ivory, etc. Here is a link to one of the stockists, I haven't bought the product from this site so I can't personally recommend their service. Conservation Resources have it available at $20.00 for a 200 ml tin.

As many of you already know I create wearable art using the finger weaving process. When I began in finger weaving I wasn't all that pleased with leaving the knots visible when ending the threads. I now have a method where they are not seen. To do this I place a lampwork spacer bead followed by a gemstone then an 11 seedbead, bring the thread up through the gemstone, then make the knot, add G-S Hypo Cement, cut the thread, and then using my awl I push it up into the centre of my lampwork spacer bead where it cannot be seen.

with visible knots

without visible knots

I found this tip in an old Bead & Button Magazine. If you need to carry seed beads with you to match other beads with them,
an easy and non-spillable way is to string a single colour of beads on a 1" (2.5cm) safety pin. Write a label on a small piece of card for the bead item no. and attach it to the other side of the pin. Slide the loop of the safety pin onto a split ring. Just add as many safety pins of beads as you need.

I hope these have been helpful tips, if you have any you would like to share please add them to the comments.


Jewelry Making said...

Thanks for the great tips! I really like the one about seed beads. I had my own way of doing that but yours is much better so I am switching. Thanks!

Glass and Splinters said...

I'm glad you found the tips worthwhile!