Many factors come into play when creating a distinctive piece of wearable art and there are many steps I take in the construction process to ensure longevity.
I use only the highest quality of materials available, picked with care, such as Swarovski crystals and pearls, glass beads in a variety of sizes, colours and shapes, and gemstones. Sometimes I will make polymer clay beads and other components to add interest and fancy.
Below you will see some of the most common types of jewelry techniques I have used in the making of the pieces exhibited in the gallery.
Bead Weaving – “Go Big With Fashion!”
There are many different types of beadwork. In the most general sense, beadwork is any type of work with beads. The most common types of beadwork, which you will see on this site, include bead stringing, bead weaving, bead embroidery, and wire wrapping with beads.
‘Bead Weaving’ which suits me best, is constructed from hundreds and sometimes thousands of tiny glass beads sewn together in a pattern either with thread or nylon line. This type of bead art is extremely intricate and time consuming and asks for lots of patience, but the results are well worth it!
Bead Stringing – “Love the Big Beads!”
‘Bead Stringing’ is the most straightforward form of beadwork, but that doesn’t mean it is the simplest. Stringing beads involves adding beads to any type of thread, cord, elastic, leather, beading wire or similar material. The resulting beadwork can be a single strand, multiple strands, or braided strands. The beads may be separated with knots, such as pearls often are, or other spacer beads.
Wire Weaving – “A Line, a Curve, a Twist, a Flourish!”
Although wire starts off rough and rigid, you can wrap it, weave it, twist it, tie it, braid it, loop it, and much more. Put flame to it to change its shape or coil and cut it to make jump rings. But, unfortunately you can’t expect to simply pick up a spool of wire and get it to do exactly what you want right away. It takes practice and an experienced wireworker knows the proper keys to success!
Wire weaving creates dimensions and texture through intricate designs that can be beautiful on their own or can incorporate other materials such as gemstones. It is an art, whether you’re going for a very consistent look or for a weave that’s a little wilder and unexpected.
Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making handmade jewelry. This technique is done with some jewelry wire and findings similar to wire (like head-pins) to make components. Wire components are then connected to one another using mechanical techniques with no soldering or heating of the wire.
Chain Mail – “A Little Touch of History!”
The chain mail technique of linking many tiny metal rings together has been around since the medieval years. It was originally used in making armor for knights and soldiers, but is now most commonly used to make jewelry. Today we have a wide variety of ring sizes; colours, metals and some are even made of rubber. I like the feel of the finished piece on my wrist and it is very rugged and durable for active wear but can also be worn with evening or daywear.
Copper Metal Jewelry – “Discover the Beauty!”
Copper is an extremely durable metal and when used as jewelry, copper will last a lifetime or longer, when cared for properly. First, I use a metal shear, circle punches and other cutting tools to create the shape I want. I then use patinas; alcohol paints, including torches to achieve the colour I want. Sometimes I will pair the copper jewelry with semi-precious gemstones to compete the piece.
The healing properties and simple beauty of copper make it a fashionable and highly sought after jewelry item. If you have not tried copper to date, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and discover the true beauty of copper.