Monday, March 30, 2009

Shamrock Jewelry

I started experimenting with a jig lately. I came up with a few jewelry idea inspired by Wig Jigs the makers of my Delphi Jig.

If you have never worked with a jig, I recommend you start with copper wire. It is a lot less expensive to work with and it won't hurt your pocket book as much if you make a mistake.

My local bead store sells a 20 gauge copper wire for approximately $2.00 for twelve feet. They sell 20 gauge round gold filled wire for about $3.00 per foot and sterling silver in the same gauge for about $1.70 per foot.

The wrap I completed here is called the Shamrock wrap. I got the pattern directly from Wig Jig's website. Their patterns and directions are located under Wig-Jig University.

A good jig is not inexpensive. However, I found that it more than pay for itself because aside from the jewelry possibilities you can easily make some of the findings.

It is a snap to make earwires using a gig. The best part is earwires end up costing pennies a pair verses a buck or two. My Delphi jig came in a kit when I bought it several years ago. Most kits will run about $50.00 or more but the creative possibilities are just about endless.

I have posted four examples using the same shamrock wrap. I encourage all beaders including the beginning beader to consider investing in a jig. I think it is a tool that will be well used and enjoyed for years to come.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fuchsia Tin Cup Necklace

Supplies Needed:

Silk Size 8 If using Griffin bead cord you will need approximately 1/3 of the card. Approximate cost of one card is $2.50.

26 - 4 mm Crystals I use the 4mm Swarovski bi-cones in coordinating colors. Approximate Cost $2.08

13 – Oval Gemstones In this necklace I used a Fuchsia Chalk Turquoise. The dimensions of the stone are 18 x 13mm Flat Oval. Approximate Cost $12.00 for a 16 inch strand. I was able to make a necklace, bracelet and earrings from one strand.

2 – Double Cups Approximate Cost $3.25 for a package of 10.

1 – Clasp I used a Sterling Silver hook and eye clasp that came with two jump rings. However, any small clasp will work fine. Approximate cost $4.00


1 Metal Ruler
1 pain of needle nose tweezers
1 pair of needle nose pliers
G – S Hypo Cement

The Steps:

Step 1

Unwind the silk thread from the card. It is easier to work with if you run the silk through one of the slits on the card to help straighten the bends in the silk. One end of the silk will have a fine wire needle. On the end without the needle tie a knot at the very end of the silk and a second knot directly on top of the first knot. This will make a bulky knot.

Step 2

Insert the needle end of the silk into the clam shell of the Double Cup. The needle should come out of the hole. The knot should be inside the clam shell part of the double cup. Add a drop of G-S Hypo cement. Close the clam shell with your chain nose pliers. The knot should be securely inside the closed double cup. All the remaining silk with needle should be coming out the hole of the double cup.

Step 3

Tie another knot with the silk as close to the double cup as possible. Use your tweezers to push the knot as close to the double cup as possible.

Step 4

Use the needle end of the silk string your first 4mm crystal so that it abuts the first knot near the double cup. Add your Oval flat gemstone bead and one more 4mm crystal.

Step 5

Tie a knot as close to your grouping of beads as possible. For simple knot tying wind the silk over the index finger and middle finger of your left hand, with your two fingers spread apart slide the bead group into the silk between your two fingers and pull through the loop.

Step 6

Using a metal ruler measure a half inch from your last knot. Using a metal ruler makes this task a lot easier because you can use the grooves for accurate measuring. Form your next knot. You should have a large loop. Lay the large loop over your bead group, taking your needle nose tweezers pinch the silk down as close to the half inch mark as possible and pull your knot tight to that point. This should give you a half inch space between your two knots. Add your next grouping of beads (1 – 4mm Bi-cone, 1 – Oval Flat Gemstone, 1 – 4mm Bi-cone).

Step 7

Repeat step 6 thirteen times.

Step 8

Adding your final double cup is fairly simple. Take the needle end of the silk and go up through the hole of double cup. The needle and silk should emerge from the clam shell. This is instead of going down into the clam shell like you did to start. Tie a double knot (one on top of each other) using your tweezers for a tight, snug knot inside the clam shell. Add some glue. Snip the end of the silk as close to the knot as possible. Add a little more glue into the clam shell and close with your chain nose pliers.

Step 9

Adding your clasp is the final step. Hook the double cup on to the one side of the clasp's small ring. After you have done this, with your chain nose pliers curl the hook on the end of the double cup so that it meets itself in a loop. The clasp should be attached to one side of the double cup. Repeat this on the other side and your necklace is finished. Be sure to give your glue a chance to dry completely before you wear your necklace. It is fast drying glue. Ten to fifteens minutes should be sufficient.