I'VE MOVED ! Facebook.com/LindaSinishJewelryArtisan
I hope you will come see me and my new place to post updates and pictures at Facebook.com/LindaSinishJewelryArtisan

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New High Tech Tool for the Studio

Ever wonder why it takes years of doing the same process before you realize there's a better way?  This has made me scratch my head in wonder.  Where has this simple idea been?  I have found a new tool for my studio and it was right there in my utensil drawer for years.  A small strainer.

I do a lot of dipping of copper wire into Liver of Sulphur.  I typically use a plastic fork that the good folks at McDonald's include with my salads.  I use the folk to fish out the small components and links from my solution.  Sometimes those tiny components, that haven't been connected to a piece, can be annoying as they run away from my fork.  This keeps them in the Liver of Sulphur for longer than intended and that makes more work for me to remove the excess.  Today I woke up with my little strainer on my mind.  Whoa!  What a great idea!  So I put it into action immediately!

I have found it easier for me to oxidize the components before assembly.  This allows me to clean some of the nooks and crannies quicker and easier.  Sometimes I even run them in the tumbler before assembly, especially if I've made a chain or necklace.  It helps to keep it was knotting up and putting me in a bad mood. grrrrr.

I like using the gel form of Live of Sulphur.  I stir the goop from the bottom of the container and mix it up before adding it to the warm/hot water.  I don't know why it settles and the directions don't say to stir, but it makes sense to me and seems to work.

After most of the excess has dripped back into the original container I dip the fork with the balance into the warm/hot water and swish it around.

Now I dip the little strainer with all those loose pieces into the solution.  I use my fork to move things around to make sure everything has good exposure until the copper wire becomes the color I want.

Then my little strainer takes all of my little parts for a trip over to the clear water to stop the oxidizing.  Some folks put some baking soda into the water to stop the oxidizing, but I never have.  The plain water seems to do the trick.

One more trip in the strainer up to drain off the water and then the components go onto a paper plate or paper towels to dry.  Then the real work starts.  After they are completely dry I'll take some 0000 steel wool and maybe the Dremel with a silicon disk and remove some of the oxidization, assemble, take pictures, list in inventory, add a price tag and store until it's time to take a road trip to be sold.  As soon as this necklace is completed I'll post some pictures.

Thank you for visiting my little blog.  I hope that I have written something of value and maybe entertaining.  Have a Happy New Year full of positive blessings, excellent health, abundant prosperity, fun and laughter and the love of family and friends.



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Earth to Linda

I am such a creature of habit.  Sometimes I forget to take a second look at things to see if there is a wiser way to achieve the same result.  Thank goodness someone put me in front of a PC or I'd still be using a typewriter.  This same approach just came to light with jump rings.  Why keep taking all those finger steps to achieve a goal when there is an easier and quicker way?  Not to mention customers won't care.

I was taught 'why buy jump rings when you can make your own'?  Well, certainly that makes sense - sometimes.  Perhaps this makes sense when I need one or a hand full or if I run out of inventory.  But today the light bulb finally went on.  I think I had a brown out.  I was in production making 5 necklaces.  Each takes about 30 jump rings for a massive 150 jump rings.  I found myself coiling, coiling, coiling and thinking, wow I need to cut and align each of these.  Light bulb time!  I can buy them!  And buy them cheap!  Input a picture of me banging my head against the wall.  Where or where did my common sense go?

I can buy 100 jump rings, already antiqued, 18ga at 6mm for a whopping $1.37  I bet if I do some research I can find them in bulk for even less money.

So I can spend less than 2 cents a jump ring or I can spend a lot of time making them.  I figure it is now costing me about 10 cents a jump ring based on my rate and materials.  Did I mention that I used to be a cost accountant?  Good thing I changed career directions!

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Now I am signing off to order some jump rings! 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Earring Frenzie

I'll keep this blog post short on words, but long on pictures of earrings.  I need to get ready for Santa Claus.

Copper and Riverstone
Copper and Tiger Eye
Copper and Seed Beads
Silver Filled and Crystal
Silver Filled and Crystal
Copper and Riverstone
Copper and Crystal
Copper, Resin and Crystal
  Copper and Seed Beads
Copper and Crystal
Silver Filled and Crazy Lace Agate

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  I hope you enjoyed the earrings.  They will be at Mountain Made Gallery in Thomas, WV and WV Highlands Gallery in Davis, WV.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Twisted Wire Earrings

Here are five new earring listings now in my on line shop.  As much as I absolutely love these I must admit they require a lot of time to make.  First I doubled up some wire and twisted it.  Then the twisted wire went around a mandrel.  Time in a bath of liver of sulphur, but more time removing the excess, etc.

These copper earrings are 2 5/8" long and are listed for $20 in my on line shop

These earrings are 2 5/8" long with Swarovski dangles are listed for $20 in my on line shop

My all time favorite stone is the Crazy Lace Agate.  These can be found in my on line shop for $20

I'm always fascinated how a different stone or crystal can have such a large design impact.

Clear Swarovski crystals are like diamonds and go with everything!  They are in my on line shop for $20

These have some extra Swarovski bling with Capri Blue crystals.  They can be found here for $20

I am seriously thinking about buying my antiqued copper ear wires in bulk.  They just take so long to make that I believe it would be less expensive to buy them.  It would certainly save me a lot of time. I've watched customers and listened as they look and purchase and I have never ever had someone make a remark about the hand made ear wires.  I really don't think they notice or care.  It seems like they are focused on the decorative component.  Sorta' like buying a car.  Folks look at the body of the car and not the tires. 

These earrings have been adapted from a design in Wire Style by Denise Peck, published by Interweave.  Her original design calls for sterling silver with a lovely blue bead.  You can find this book here.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope this addition made sense.  I'm a bit tired, but really wanted to get this post out to you.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

3 Necklaces 1 Influence

I have just completed 3 necklaces.  If you look closely they have a similar theme, a similar pattern, but yet I believe they all have different personalities.  I even think I could expand on this pattern and continue to create more personalities.

This necklace is accented with blue metallic crystals is now listed in my on-line store at Artyzenstudio.etsy.com

To begin a new jewelry project I need a new idea.  I have actually woken in the morning with what I think is an original idea.  I've even had an idea 'pop' into my consciousness while engaged in a mundane conversation.  I wish this happened all the time, but it doesn't.  New ideas, for me, require research and experimentation.

This necklace is accented with clear crystals and will be at WV Highlands Gallery

Often I have my face buried in a new jewelry publication.  When I have seemly memorized every book or magazine I find myself surfing the Internet.  I love looking at the creations on Flickr.  And I'm always thrilled when my Google search presents me with a jewelry artist that I hadn't seen or found before.  This is how I came across Zoraida Bros.  I immediately fell in love with her wire jewelry.

This necklace is accented with double spirals and will be at MountainMade

Making a duplicate of what we find in a book, magazine or from a wire artist web presence is (I think) typical of so many of us.  I want to see if I can do it.  I want to learn the technique.  But, claiming the original design as our own, well I don't think that's cool.  I personally think if the design is out there in public land, then its to learn from and enjoy the talent.  But if we use it to inspire our own creations, well we should put our own personal touch on it and it would be nice to acknowledge who was/is our inspirational artist.  I don't think there is anything legal that requires it, but it's nice.  When I worked in the corporate world and a co-worker had a great idea and their boss ran with it as their own, well that just wasn't nice. 

Each necklace starts with many components being made and sorted in my high tech ice cube tray.

So kudos to all the original jewelry creators out there and thank you for your inspiration.

All of the components are assembled in their raw copper form.

I started out by falling in love with Zoraida's necklace and wanted to see if I could make one for my personal use.  As my wire was cut and shaped my mind (yes, I talk to myself) said, 'why not change the spirals in the original design to the double spirals (I call them mother and child).  So I added my double spirals.  Then as I continued to think and have an inner dialogue I thought, 'what if I added crystals?' And so I did.  Since there was still time in the day I wanted to continue and asked "what if I incorporate crystals in between the links?  Well you can see from the pictures how the personalities of the necklaces differ

The necklaces are then oxidized in liver of suphur which turns them dark.  Then each link is polished to remove most of the oxidization to reveal the depth and shine of the metal below.

I've thought about using twisted wire, using silver and bronze wire, add pearls, hammer and texture the links, change the size of the links, use more than one type of wire, well the ideas and changes keep coming simply by asking and then doing, what if I changed......

Thank you for visiting.  I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.  Linda

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Great Folding Cart For Hauling Our Creations

I was blogging around the jewelry world and found this perfect and very helpful list prepared by Jennifer Kahn, for those of us that haul our creations to festivals, fairs and farmers markets.  I'm planning on buying this folding and expandable cart that she mentions.  Plus, I love the idea of handing out stickers to the children of my shoppers.  I hope that you will find this link helpful.  Have a wonderfilled and joyfilled day. Linda

Here's the link to read Jennifer Kahn's list and for a link to the cart. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Double Helix Pendant on the Drawing Board

I was looking and thinking and contemplating a new pendant idea.  It was staring me right in the face. My favorite bracelet!  I've decided to design a double helix link into a pendant.  Sometimes if I look to hard I miss what's obvious.  I'll post a picture, as soon as this new design comes off the drawing board and becomes a dimensional new piece of jewelry.

Here's my inspiration.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reality Check

When I would walk through the aisles of art and craft fairs, as a customer, it was so much fun.  Excitement filled me with what new treasures I would find.  The crowds of people would enhance my experience.  I so looked forward to the up coming events.  I would day dream about my future plans to be a vendor and exhibiting my jewelry creations.  Notice I am writting in the past tense and as a customer.

Just a few pendants that have been oxidized.  Now for the steel wool.

Fast forward to the present.  My goals are quickly unfolding.  I have done some smaller fairs and the experiences were pleasant.  Then I achieved my next goal for a large festival.  I submitted to the jury process and was accepted for the Autumn Glory Festival in Oakland, MD. 

My least favorite part is using the steel wool to remove the excess darkness.
Now for the reality check.  I don't mean to be a downer or complainer, but it's interesting how a dream doesn't have all the facts, simply because they aren't in my head - yet!  Since I didn't know how the crowds would respond to my wire jewelry I decided to make as much inventory as I could.  I knew that any extra jewelry would sell at either MountainMade Gallery or WV Highlands Gallery.  But still, I didn't have any numbers to relie on, so mass amounts were made.  This process was a new high in stress for me.  Rushing and making consumed my time.  I was intense.  Where was the fun? I asked myself.  My dreams of these events were filled with fun.  This certainly felt like work.  Not to mention all of the mental anquish I put myself through.  My friends who have years of experience tell me that it will get easier, but some of the stress will remain, just not as much stress.  I'm looking forward to it getting less tense. 

Getting there.  Now for the tumbler.
Yes, the event was successful.  Whew!  And the 2 days that followed were spent sleeping late and chill'n out.  In fact, I didn't touch my tools for a week.  Nor have I blogged.  Both of which I typically enjoy.  I was burned out.

The bottom line....My goals are to find a couple more galleries or shops.  Tamarack is high on my list.  I'll do some fairs in the future, but not as many as my initial goal. 

More pretties!  I enjoyed making these.  I love the colors!
Thank you for visiting.  It is my wish that you will achieve your goals and that happiness fills your days.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A New Jewelry Book to Inspire Us - 'Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry'

I'm so excited! 

Two of my favorite jewelry artists and bloggers Erin Siegel and Lorelei Eurto have their first jewelry book published.  I say first, because these ladies are so talented that I'm certain there will be more publications in their futures.  I have never met these lovely ladies, but I follow them on Facebook and their blogs. I just can't wait to get their new book Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon, and Cords.

Now that I've tempted you, I'm sure you want to check it out, perhaps do as I'm doing and pre-ordering it so that we will be the very first to be mesmerized and inspired by their talented designs.

As soon as my copy arrives I'll let you all know how addicting it is!

Have a joy filled and creative day!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rainy Day Change of Plans

Each Saturday morning, I typically take my tent and jewelry on a drive along the winding mountain road and setup at the Elkins Farmers Market.  Here I enjoy conversations and jewelry sales with the many tourist that are waiting for the trains to arrive.  But, not today.  Today is filled with rain and wind.  So today I will spend the day inside the studio.

I'm getting ready for a the Autumn Glory Festival in Garrett County, MD.  So I will be putting some final touches on jewelry.  There's a lot of tumbling and polishing in my future.  Here are some of the final pieces.

I decided to make my outside in the rain photo-shoot really quick and have all these pieces in one picture.  I have a covered deck, but it's wet and chilly.  Brrrrr.

The bracelet is from a tutorial by Denise Peck from her book Wire Style 2.   Here's a video of Denise Peck being interviewed and lots of pictures of the beautiful jewelry in the book. http://www.amazon.com/Wire-Style-New-Jewelry-Designs/dp/1596682558

Friday, September 23, 2011

Things 'They' Don't Tell You When You Decide To Sell Your Jewelry

Here's a bit of information that 'they' don't tell you when you decide to start selling your jewelry.  Once you have enjoyed the process of designing and making a piece of jewelry you 'aren't finished'.  Here's a short ugly and time intensive, not so much fun list of things I need to do before each piece of jewelry is ready for sale.

This is going to be boring...
  1. Clean the piece of jewelry
  2. Take at least one excellent picture
  3. Edit the picture to get rid of the extra space since I only want to see the piece of jewelry
  4. Apply an item number, write a description and enter each piece into my personal inventory data base (so I know what shop or gallery has the piece and if it sells I know to make more.  If it doesn't sell - lesson learned)
  5. Go get that picture and copy it into my inventory data base (this usually require me to crop the picture to fit.
  6. Attach a business card to each piece with the price, item number, and whatever else I think the shop needs.  I use a business card because it's an extra bit of marketing/advertising.
  7. Attach a removeable sticker with the item #, price and my last name to each business card (a gallery requirement, they need to peel and stick to something for their reference and it helps to get me paid)
  8. If the item is earrings, peel and stick the plastic hanging thingy to the back of the business card.
  9. if the earrings are for certain venues the earrings on the card need to go into a clear plastic baggie
  10. Prepare an inventory form (different from above) that has been supplied by the shop or gallery
  11. Wrap everything up
  12. Drive to the shop or gallery.  Get inventory form signed as a receipt.
  13. Bring signed receipt back to office and file it.
Look at the time and realize you've been doing admin things all day long.  I thought I quit my job so I wouldn't have to do this stuff.  Where's my secretary?

Thank you for reading along as I whined.  I really do love what I do, but sometimes, well you know, the paperwork can get ya'.


Getting Ready For Christmas Sales

It seems a bit weird making Christmas Jewelry in September, but that's the nature of art and craft fairs and festivals.  I personally start to shop for my Christmas gifts and decorations early.  It helps with the budget and of course to help reduce the stress of last minute shopping and the search for the perfect gift.  So I have begun.  There is a lot more that needs to be made.  I'm waiting on a delivery with silver wire so there will definitely be more designs, not only earrings, but bracelets and pendants.  In the meantime here's some eye candy for the Christmas season.

Copper, antiqued and crystal

Bronze with crystal

Bronze with lampwork

Bronze with lampwork and crystal

Bronze with lampwork and crystal

Bronze with lampwork and crystal

Bronze with lampwork and crystal

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Jewelry Adventures in the Waiting Room

I've had a few interesting jewelry making encounters lately while sitting in the waiting room.  For the past couple of months I have been traveling with my niece to her dentist appointments at the School of Dentistry at Morgantown University.  She has several very long appointments scheduled.  The drive from our small town in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia to Morgantown, WV is 2 hours through some isolated forest and yes, mountains and there isn't always cell phone service.  It's a good idea to travel with a friend.

Have tools will travel.  Carrying a tool bag with me, most of the time, does create some staring.
While waiting for my niece I use the time to cut and spiral wire.  I'm getting use to the staring, but recently I was approached twice by lovely ladies with their curiosity and smiles.  As we spoke they shared with me what they create, from quilts to crochet.  What a  wonderful way to meet and share creativity with new friends.

Inside my tool bag there is usually a book or magazine.  Today it's all about art business.
I've learned that I need to have a completed project with me so I can show them how the wire link I am making will look in a final piece of jewelry.  It can be hard to imagine a piece of wire and a bare crystal as a finished herringbone weave bead cap earring.

Under the book are some yummy crystals.
I'll be making several more trips with my niece, Brandy.  But, my unexpected demonstrations in the waiting room will have the finished product with to me.  And should they seem interested, my business card will be handy so they can look at the pictures of my jewelry in the gallery section of my blog.

Here's the finish project that I didn't have in the tool bag this time.

Also in my tool bag is my must have wire.  The wire in the clear cosmetic bag is pre-measured and pre-flush-cut and ready to wrap.  The zip lock bag has some jump rings to be cut for inventory.
I love meeting new people.  Who would have thought that a waiting room would be a fun adventure and experience.

The most important part of my tool bag is of course the tools and my visor.
Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my adventures.

Have a wonderful and prosperous day,