Cooking Glass: I love a challenge

I love a challenge

Recently I took part in a challenge on Lampworketc, a forum where I like to hang out.  Several lampworkers each chose a picture and the challenge is to create one bead for each of the other lampworker’s pictures.  It is a way to stretch artistic boundaries, exploring glass techniques or colorways a person would not normally choose.  It is also a great way to combat a creative block.  You know, when you sit down at the torch and look at your glass and are at a complete loss as to what to do.  Everyone who creates in any medium has experienced this and exploring another person’s creative interests or preferences is a wonderful way to find your way back to your own muse.

This was the picture I chose:

This is the necklace that resulted from the exchange, I am really happy with it.

and again……

I still have a few beads left

over that I plan to work into a matching bracelet later when time allows.

I received some wonderful beads and was truly amazed at the different interpretations of my picture.  I think as people sometimes we get caught up in the idea that everyone else sees the world in the same way that we do.  It’s a great reality check to do an exercise like this that celebrates our differences.

After I received my beads I had a new challenge.  How could I take them and create something that would express me and do justice to the all the little pieces of art I had received?  I knew I wanted a dark stringing material.  What I had on hand was lots of copper wire.  I also had liver of sulfer.  Hmmm.

I thought it would be fun to take you through a bit of my process and how I arrived at my final product and also talk about a couple of tools I use along the way.  It wasn’t a big leap for me to go from copper wire to chain maille as I had just purchased one of these:

This amazing little tool is the Pepe Jump Ring Maker.  I love chain maille and have for quite some time but the cost of buying rings to create all the things I wanted to create was becoming prohibitive so when Otto Frei had a sale on this I jumped (lol) on it.

via Cooking Glass: I love a challenge.


Using the Jump Ring Maker (PDF) –

PRODUCT TIP: Using the Jump Ring Maker

To watch our product video on how to use this tool click here.

Making your own jump rings is a pretty simple technique when you use this jump ring maker. This tutorial outlines the “how to’s” and addresses the important tips and techniques for the successful use of this tool.

It is VERY important that you wear safety glasses when using this tool. Be careful of the sharp blade on this tool. The blade on this tool is sharp and very thin, and can break after repeated use. The blade will also break if dropped on the ground. Using safety glasses is smart and safe.

Making jump rings requires two tools, the Jump Ring Maker and Foredom Flex Shaft. The Flex Shaft also requires the Flex Shaft Hanger (sold separately).

We recommend using copper wire to make a few sets of practice jump rings, then graduating to more expensive wire like sterling silver and gold-filled.

This tool does take practice. Focus all of your attention on your project when working with this tool.

via Beaducation: PRODUCT TIP: Using the Jump Ring Maker.

Etsy Top Seller Interview: Sudlow Jewelry | Handmade Success

What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?

I love my tools.  Of course a camera is essential.  I’m a Canon girl, through & through.  After that, it’d have to be my torch & my flex shaft.  Both are basic staples, but they really can do so much.  Ott lites are awesome as are Pepe brand tools. Honorable mentions: custom letter stamps, a programmable burn out kiln, and a ring stretcher/reducer.


via Etsy Top Seller Interview: Sudlow Jewelry | Handmade Success | Marketing + Social Media Training for Creative Entrepreneurs.

Talkin’ Tools Tuesday – Pepe Guillotine


Metal Me This

I’ve got friends who schedule recurring themes for different days of the week and it makes great sense! Helps to schedule and organize (two things I long to be really good at…)

So, welcome to Tuesday Tool of the Week, where I choose one of my favorite metalworking or jewelry making tools and share why I love and it and how I use it. I’m no expert by any means so maybe you’ll have some tips that will make me love that tool even more!

My current fave is my guillotine. It’s a compact “paper cutter”, but for sheet metal and who knew I’d love it as much as I do! I’ve got wrist and finger issues so my day job as a book designer and my work with metal and jewelry all take their toll, leaving me with distressed digits a lot of the time. Cutting sheet metal, even…

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Tools Of The Trade – Disk Cutters

Alene's Adornments Blog

I discovered this tool when taking a riveting class last year. I decided then and there that it would be my next tool purchase! It  cuts circles from metal. The brand you choose makes a difference. Some are made with better steel, enhancing the precision of the cut. I purchased the Pepe brand for my bench.

So you say. Big Deal. Who needs precise circles or holes in metal anyway? Most metalsmiths find this a useful tool for punching holes into metal for riveting or for design (or both). You can also use the circles as part of a design. The larger holed disc cutters provide circles up to 2″ diameter. And that can create the beginnings of a beautiful pendant… without sawing. Sawing has it’s place but it is difficult to be completely accurate when sawing a circle. Or I should say I have this difficulty!

As I add…

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