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Friday, June 28, 2013

Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve Bracelet Tutorial

Many years ago I saw a picture of a bracelet made of many wire hearts linked together, similar to chain maille.  I believe it was made from 14 or even 12 gauge wire and I believe it was a piece by Lynn Merchant.  Then my friend Jeanette Blix made a version of the bracelet.  I had bracelet envy.  I made my own version using 18 gauge wire.  It was okay, but not magnificent, even tho I received many compliments. I decided, once again, to make this bracelet, but this time I used 16 gauge wire.  I like the result.  Maybe, just maybe, one day I'll tackle this project in even heavier wire.

For those of you who would like to make this bracelet, I'll do my best to write the tutorial.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Use your heavy duty flush cutters for 16 gauge wire.  This heavier wire will damage your regular flush cutter and that will make you very sad.

Use 16 gauge dead soft copper wire.  Flush cut 40 pieces, each 2" long.  After they are cut, I like to line up several together. Or, you can do the next step individually.
I hold the pieces or piece in place with my non-dominate hand.

Use a Sharpie to mark the middle of each piece.

Place the blade of the flat nose pliers next to the mark.  Place your thumb of your non-dominate hand on the wire close to the pliers and push up to form a 90 degree angle.
Here's your shape.
Now repeat, until all of your 2" wires are bent.
Place the very tip of a wire in the back of your round nose pliers.

Turn your hand to form a complete circle. Hold your thumb of your non-dominate hand on the wire close to the pliers and apply pressure to create a tight uniform circle.

 Here's what you will have ~ Sorry about the blurr.

Go ahead and get all of your links started.
Use the back of your round nose pliers to make loops on (only) two of your links to form 2 hearts.  Take your flat nose pliers and use them to flatten and align your first 2 hearts.

Align one heart on top of the second heart.

Pick up a 3rd link and thread it through the loops of the 2 formed hearts.

Use the back of your round nose pliers to form the 3rd heart.  Align the heart with your flat nose pliers.

Pick up your 4th link and thread it through the loops on the opposite side of the first set of hearts.

Use the back of the round nose pliers to make the finishing loop to form your 4th heart.  Use the flat nose pliers to align the wire.

Here is a picture of your 1st 4 hearts, aka 2 sets of hearts.

Now just keep repeating the process.
 Here's another picture of how 3 sets of hearts are linked together.
Once you have completed your chain, add 2 jump rings, one through each set of  heart loops.  Then add a 3rd jump ring to join these 2 jump rings into a triangle.  This 3rd jump ring will be used to connect your clasp.
Add one or several jump rings on the other end of your chain.
If you have used copper wire, you can leave as is, or apply liver of sulfur to give it a warm aged look.
Perhaps my next bracelet will be made from silver wire or bronze wire, or, or, or...
Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial.
Have a joy filled and creative day ~ Linda

Monday, June 24, 2013

Necklace Design Frustration

I've been making new necklaces for the Buxton & Landstreet Gallery & Studios.  They have recently re-opened with a new name and new management.  I am excited to be one of the artisans of this beautiful venue.  I have decided to create all new designs for them.

This necklace came together rather easily, once I figured out the technique.  The book 'Making Wire Jewelry'  has vague drawings and not photographs and lots of words.  So I had to translate many words into pictures in my head in-order to understand how to get this design to work out.  Once I did one link the rest were easy.

The tutorial for this necklace is from the book 'Spotlight on Wire'.
As you can see from the bags of stones, I do love Crazy Lace Agate.  The frustration comes to light when most of the stones in the bag have glaring imperfections.  Of course, natural stones are to be expected to have these, but guess what!?  Customers don't expect them.  So, before I could go any further with this necklace I had to discard about half of my stones.  So sad.  Here I have chosen the stones I will use in this necklace.  Above them are the links I have made, along with the clasp.

Here I have laid out the links with the best of the stones, so I can see if I like the design.  I was thinking and deciding whether 3 of the round components were the right amount or if I wanted to increase them to 5 components.  Decisions, decision.

This lovely necklace really frustrated me, but I stuck with it and with determination I finally figured it out.  The design came from the book 'Making Wire Jewelry', that I ultimately changed almost completely.  The original design called for coiled links where I have the 3 crystal links.  Try as I might, I just couldn't get the coiled link to look the way I wanted.  So the 3 crystal link was created.  Then it just didn't want to fit inside of the silver curve.  The curve had to be adjusted a bit and a lot of determination was mustard up to get the loops to fit.

After I had the necklace completed and tumbled I just wasn't satisfied.  I thought it looked 'raw'.  I had 2 extra links on the work table and decided to hammer one of the silver wire curves.  I liked what I saw, so I hammered all of the silver curves on the finished necklace.  Of course this is not what you should do, after all I had work hardened the wire in the tumbler, so there was some extra effort needed, plus I had to be extra careful to avoid the crystals coming into contact with the hammer.
Now I need to clean up my work table.
Thank you for stopping by.  I'll be making bracelets for my next blog post.
Have a joy filled and creative day. ~ Linda


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Gift For A Special Friend

I'm almost completely moved into my new space.  I can't express how relieved I am that the boxes have all disappeared.  Some are in storage with those items that I won't be needing for awhile and others have been emptied and their contents located to their new drawer or closet.   What a job it was to down size from 1600 square feet into a very well organized 380 square feet.  Don't fret about the small sounding space.  It is truly all that I need, with a bed room, studio, office, walk in closet and full bathroom.  I have two skylights, many large windows and a 9 foot ceiling.  Plus, I am living with some fantastic friends that let me enjoy their entire house, which I believe is about 4,000 square feet and 2 acres.
These earrings are from a design I adapted from a tutorial by Rena Klingenberg.  I shortened the silver wire by 3/4" from her directions.  I really like her original design, but I played with the dimensions for a slight variation.

I've been fitting in some studio time, while unpacking.  As you may have seen, I've cranked out a few new pieces.  And I'm almost back into my full time schedule of making jewelry.  I'll share a few more creations that I have just finished.
These earrings are another adaption from a design from the book 'Making Wire Jewelry'.  I used a smaller gauge wire for the 'pedals' on the hanging link. Then, I added a crystal because I wanted some color. 

My up coming goals will keep me extremely busy over the next few weeks.  I need to crank out a lot of new designs and get some inventory ready to present to the local co-ops and gift shops.  I also plan on visiting the Manassas Farmers Market to see if it is a possible venue for me and my tent.  So you can expect some pictures of new places for my jewelry to be sold.

These earrings are an older design of mine.  I believe I made my first earrings in this design about 4 years ago. Since these were a birthday present for my friend Janet, I decided to use sterling silver from head to toe.  Since Janet has beautiful salt and pepper hair I decided not to antique the sterling silver and instead added a high polish.
Tomorrow, I'll be putting the finishing touches on some hoop earrings, plus I want to get started on a new bracelet.
Thank you for stopping by and visiting.
Have a joy filled and creative day. ~ Linda

And on Facebook at Wire Wrapping and Metal Jewelry by Linda Sinish https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Wire-Wrapping-and-Metal-Jewelry-by-Linda-Sinish/130809436943721

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Queen of the Fairies & Earrings

 Isn't she lovely!?  I got so excited when I discovered her in a local antique shop.  There she was sitting high on a shelf.  Her price tag was a bit steep for my wallet.  My friend Brenda suggested that I ask if the price was negotiable.  I gently asked if the price was firm and mentioned that I would really like to buy her for my up coming birthday.  The nice man behind the counter made a telephone call to the seller and we agreed on a new price.  Now she sits high on top of one of my book cases.  I just adore every aspect of her, especially her lovely wings. So, I'll share more than one picture.

I just love her shoes.  All of her details are perfect, right down to the waves in her hair.

As you can see, the window blinds still remain unhung, but the unpacking is making progress.

I have made time to get back to work in the studio.  Here are the first earrings that have been made in the new space.

Swarovski Pearls

Blue Metallic Crystals


I've been in my new home for over three weeks and I finally unloaded the last few items from my vehicle.  I was wondering where my purses and favorite coffee cups were hiding!  I'm almost settled in.  I have a bathroom cabinet to assemble and those little piles of odds and ends.  I hope to reach my goal of completing everything by this weekend.  Fingers crossed.

Thank you for stopping by my little spot in virtual blog land.

Have a joy filled and creative day ~ Linda


Monday, June 3, 2013

Unpacking in Virginia

The move from West Virginia to Virginia is completed.  Lots of stress, but I will spare you the details.  Most of the boxes have been unpacked or placed into the storage area.  There are details yet to be done, like all those bits and pieces that I need to think about for there new permanent home.  But, today I finally cleared off my work table.  Happy dance!  Happy dance!

Here's a sneak peak into the new and smaller studio space.  It is ...not done....but I thought I'd share the progress.  If you read along, I'll fill you in on some of my plans.

A very efficient 8' x 8' dormer studio.  Up at the top is a ceiling fixture, that I managed not to photograph, there will be a very cool, funky, creative, possibility chandelier in it's future.  It's going to be fun going on a quest for the perfect light fixture.

Directly under my work table are 3 blue bins.  They need to be sorted and very soon disappear, but for now they are glaring at me to do something about their contents.  And there's Sadie taking advantage of a double layer of carpeting.  I put down a rug on top of the carpeting.

I am so darn pleased with these racks.  My small plastic bins that contain all those bits and pieces and completed jewelry, fit these shelves - perfectly!  A very happy accident.  On the very bottom are the pink, purple and blue organza bags that I give to customers.  Sometimes, I think customers are more happy with the brightly colored bag than the actual jewelry. Hmmm

My work table is NEVER this tidy!!!  I have flanked each side with pole lamps to give me plenty of light.  The lamp on the left of this picture needs to be adjusted. It looks a bit drunk.  The window is perfect.  There is a blind that needs to be reinstalled, but it will most likely remain up to allow me to take advantage of the wonderful natural light.

And here are the fairies and dolls.  The fairies will be hung with fishing line in front of the studio window. The larger fairies and dolls will find the perfect spot as my intuition directs.
Now that my work table is setup I need...err.... want to get busy and make some jewelry.  There is a lot on my to do list for my new home and business here in Virginia.  The next few posts will let you in on the studio progress, the new classes to teach and the new venues for selling.
Thank you for visiting.  Have joy filled and creative day! ~ Linda
Want to know more ~ visit my web-page at www.lindasinish.com
Or visit my on line shop at www.lindasinish.etsy.com