Friday, September 5, 2008

Create a Beautiful Cagework Brooch

This brooch is made with Brass Bouquet's drilled Petuna Filigree, A flat brass filigree, A Big 12mm Copper flower Bead cap, A copper pronged brooch back, 20 guage brass headpin, and a brass bead cap. The cobalt bead is my last one and is over 20 years old. I was in my 20's when I found it in an old man's sewing box when he gave me various buttons and things as a gift.
I joined the main pieces together with the 20 guage headpin and wrapped it very tight in the back. I did a wire wrapped loop in the back and flattened it after I made sure the ensamble was tight. Then placed the flat filigree on the brooch back, then the Petuna filigree (which I bent a little because of the little hump on the back from the headpin loop). I bent the prongs and pinched with flat pliers. :)
Thank you Jill for your wonderful inspiring pieces of filigree!
Kathy Noda - Bajuna Jewelry and Custom Beaded Creations

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Riverside Park Art Show!

My friend and fellow artist Patti Kobelin put together a really nice neighborhood block party at Riverside Park in Ft. Lauderdale. It included an art show from friends and neighbors, ponies, games and prizes and lots of barbecue from the neighbors. The neighborhood grocery stores even donated food and one even a gift basket to give away for a raffle!
I was invited to participate as one of the artists, how cool :).
I learned several things that I feel that will be very important for next time.
1. Be at the show and set up early.
2. Have all unnecessary items off the table! At one point even my lunch was on the table! That's not pretty! I should have had a little lower -of-sight place for such items.
3. Have a plan. Have a look that you want. Have a fast portable orderly way planned out to get set up fast, neatly and not have a scrambled look. (My way of setting up has the scrambled look, I got to the party late because of traffic.) I could have packed my jewelry and supplies better so I wouldn't have been scrambling. I would have looked more professional.
4. Have a plan B!!!!!
I found out about the party about one week in advance. I knew that I wouldn't have much to sell. I mostly had just my Etsy Items plus about 3 other items. I had to have a plan B. This was it. I decided to bring my tools and wire and several beads and components to let people see how to wire wrap a pair of earrings. Children especially love to watch this so be prepared to answer and teach them. Also showing everybody how fun it is to pound a link to flatten it for a different look and flatten wire and roll and make a spiral or scroll it is really interesting to all.
5. Make up your mind that even if you don't sell anything you are going to create a neat experience to all who visit you.
I was supposed to be at the party from 2pm-6pm. I got there at 3 something and it started to rain at 5. I was able to talk to some ladies about some of my items and sell a necklace and a bracelet. These two ladies want to do business again. I feel that because I was friendly and talked about the materials and how nice and relaxing it is to make jewelry that they felt comfortable enough to ask for my email and give me theirs for future projects and sales. A young girl was asking me about the whole business end. I think she may have been a future artist.
Because of the rain the event was cut a little short.
6. Another idea I had was to bring a very inexpensive bag of beads and wire so even the little girls that were there could have something custom made for about $1 - $2.
This whole event was very fun. I discovered the joy of sharing my art and meeting other artists. I also enjoyed sharing with the kids. I made money and was thrilled from my two sales but the joy of being able to share my experience and knowledge whether they bought something or not felt even greater!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wire Wrap Your Jewelry Securely

Queen Ann's Lace

Queen Ann's Lace is a 20" necklace all hand wrapped with brass wire and each link pounded to give a nice shape.
Featured is a BIG Pink Chalcedony Quartz Drusy Pendant about 4cm x 3cm with a pretty lacy patina brass filigree. The back of the drusy pendant has very light faceting and is very pretty also.
The hand wrapped links include several 8mm Swarovski Crystals in Cantaloupe which is that neat one that changes colors in different lights ie. Sunlight, Neon, Halogen, incandescent from Peach, to Pink, Green, Blue and Clear.
The other beads are 6mm pink rose quartz, frosted green glass, and brass donuts. There are several brass filigree bead caps.
The clasp is a pounded brass swirl and loop.
All the brass is 100% brass it has patina that I buffed off in some places that will darken.
* Notice that the wire wrapping has several wraps on each link. When a piece of jewelry has this type of wrapping instead of just bending the wire closed; there is less risk of it coming open. This takes a lot of time, too. Even if a piece has one good wrap - most of mine has two or three - even one good wrap is very dependable and keeps a piece of jewelry from coming apart. Wire wrapping that has bends to fasten links or to close on stones or charms should be work hardened to make the bend more secure.

More examples of sturdy wire wrapping can be seen in these photo's on Jill's Blog.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Working With Gemstone Chips

When I took the string out of my peridot chips I thought OHHHH NOOOO! This is going to be a long night to try to string any of these to make any thing. So I got an idea. I laid them out on my bead board and turned on two lights. One was next to me and the other across the room to hold up the bead and see the hole! My bead board has inches marked of on it and I could separate everything into two rows for my double stringed Peridot and Citrine necklace. I pushed the peridot chips into the grooves of the bead board. That just made an organized mess! I found it was EASIER to work from the focal Citrine Bead out to the ends of the string. I Just picked up the big peridot chips first and took turns stringing them on the beading wire evenly on either side of the Citrine. I used a clip on the side I wasn't working on. I measured as I strung and only after they were on the string. I made sure they were tight when I measured. I believe this technique made this necklace look quiet nice.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Take Your Time

Research and take your time. You are selling a one of a kind piece of art! Not just a piece of jewelry. Do your homework. What do people like? They like class. They like to make a statement about themselves. They like to show style. They have class. Present yourself as being in the buyers' shoes. Would you buy that? For that much? Is this a good investment? Will it be timeless and be fashionable in years to come? Does it look like it was mass produced or an individual work of art?
This set is called "For the Love of Turquoise" . It won the Brass Bouquet May 08 Jewelry contest! - Thank You Brass Bouquet!