Saturday, March 23, 2013

Silver wire wrapped mothers birthstone infinity ring

Lately, I've been making many "arty" and experimental jewelry pieces, but I also have to keep my businesses in mind. Since my wire wrapped infinity rings are my bestsellers at both Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations, I've come up with a new version: my silver wire wrapped mothers/grandmothers birthstone infinity ring.

The idea behind the mother's birthstone ring is that a mom (or grandmother or aunt, etc.) wears a ring that features the birthstones of her children or grandchildren (or nieces and nephews, etc.). That said, each ring is custom made to the buyer's specifications. It's a great idea for a personalized Mother's Day gift.

For my ring, I'm offering up to seven birthstones, made of Swarovski crystals. Seven is a good limit because after that, the ring looks too crowded and just isn't as pretty. I personally think that at least four stones are needed for the ring to look its best.

My birthstone infinity rings have been very popular and I hope that my mother's birthstone infinity rings are also well received. I always like to design new types of jewelry pieces, but sometimes it feels good to rework a classic!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wire wrapped and enamel flower jewelry for spring

Yay, spring is here! It's the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the sun is smiling down on us here in New York. In honor of the new season, here's a look at some of my wire wrapped floral jewelry pieces. All are available at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Silver wire wrapped daisy necklace with Swarovski crystal pearls:

Red roses enamel pendant:

Silver wire wrapped daisy flower earrings:

Silver wire wrapped cray daisy earrings with blue and purple crystals:

Silver wire wrapped rainbow daisy bracelet with multicolored crystals:

Black wire wrapped daisy flower ring:

Silver wire wrapped daisy flower ring:

Pink wire wrapped daisy flower earrings:

Floral enamel pendant:

Tales from enameling class: new enameling techniques!

This semester of my enameling class is about half over, which is a shame because I'm enjoying myself more than ever! I'm still working on my enameled hamsa pendant and enameled cat figurine, both of which have turned out to be more time consuming than I'd anticipated. That's okay, though, because I'm really enjoying the work.

Right now, I'm busy covering the hamsa pendant with fine silver foil. Silver foil is extremely thin and delicate, but will stick to the enamel when you fire it. When you cover the foil with transparent enamel colors -- especially "cool" colors like blue or green -- it looks luminous and amazing. Since the hamsa is a spiritual object, I want the blocks of color to come out looking shiny, like stained glass.

In order to get the foil to fit into the cloisonne wire pattern which I'd placed on the hamsa, I had to cut the siver into teeny, tiny, itty bitty pieces -- and then carefully place each piece so that it stayed on flat and didn't wrinkle. After three hours of this, I ALMOST have the hamsa covered. I hope to finish during the next class and then finally add the colored enamels. After that, I'll work on the cat, which I'll also finish with a cloisonne design.

I'm kind of bummed because I won't be back in class for about a month. It's all for good reasons: the Y is closed for Passover and then my husband and I are going to Japan. The good news is, I spoke with my teacher and when I return from my trip, I'd like to try my hand and some more complex enameling techniques. I'm especially excited to try champleve, which is a process where you engrave or etch recesses in the metal and fill the "cells" with enamel. The raised portions of the metal kind of frame the enameled areas and the pieces that are made with this technique look absolutely beautiful. You can use acid to burn out the areas that you want to be carved, but frankly, that method scares me a bit! I plan to go old school and learn to engrave the metal with a tool.

With the holidays and my vacation, I'll have to put my enameling adventures on hold, but at least I have some really cool things to look forward to this spring!

You can purchase my jewelry at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chandelier confetti earrings in rainbow colored anodized aluminum

Yep, I'm still on my anodized aluminum kick, though after today's labor-intensive project, I think I may need a little break. Here is my latest creation: chandelier confetti earrings made of rainbow colored anodized aluminum:

I love how these turned out, but they took hours to make; I worked on them all day, in fact. The most time-consuming aspect probably had to be the filing of each one of those little abstract shapes that are dangling from the base.

I think that these earrings are so much fun, though! I call them confetti earrings because the dangles remind me of confetti that's thrown at a party. I like that they're so colorful because they're just so ... happy! You can't help ut be in a good mood when you look at all of those bright colors.

To purchase these earrings or my other jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More colorful anodized aluminum earrings!

I'm still on my anodized aluminum kick and made two more pairs of earrings this afternoon. One features different sized triangles in blue, turquoise and silver; the other pair consists on rectangles in silver, purple and lavender:

Sometimes very simple designs are the most eye-catching and I feel like tht's the case with these handmade earrings. They're so colorful and the bold shapes lets the different shades of metal stand out.

These also look as if they're easy to make, but they're really not. It takes time to cut and drill each shape and then file the ends to blunt them and get them even. The designs are minimalist, but are still pretty labor intensive.

I have an idea for something even more abstract that I plan to work on tomorrow, so stay tuned! Meantime, check out my jewellery at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mixed metal anodized aluminum earrings in gold, silver and bronze

I haven't made anodized aluminum jewelry in a while, so I decided to take a break from making wire wrapped or enamel pieces. I came across some sheets of gold, bronze and silver metal which I hadn't yet used so, of course, I just had to make something with them. I ended up creating these funky geometric chandelier earrings featuring gold, silver and bronze diamonds of anodized aluminum:

The last time I created anodized aluminum jewelry, I used a jeweler's saw to cut through the metal. AA is pretty thin and light, but it's still metal so it took a while to cut. This time, I used my Joyce Chen scissors and it took only a few minutes to cut my shapes.

These earrings were still pretty time-consuming to make, though, because I had to cut so many diamonds and make sure they were all even in size. I then filed all of the ends so they wouldn't be sharp. Nothing like wearing earrings only to have them poke you in your head!

I really like this pattern so next time I'm going to try a blue, silver and black combo. I think that those colors will work well together. Meantime, check out my other jewelry at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations. Also check out my novel REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD on Amazon.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Next project: enamel and cloisonne cat pendant and hamsa pendant

For most of my enamel jewelry projects, I've been working with squares or circles, but I'm ready to move on to more complicated shapes. Next, I'm going to make an enameled and cloisonne cat pendant and hamsa (a Judaic/Middle Eastern symbol that's shaped like a hand and wards off the evil eye) pendant.

This afternoon, I cut the shapes from 20 gauge copper sheet metal. In the past, I've cut metal using a jeweler's saw, but that can take hours. This time, I used super strong Joyce Chen scissors and they ripped right through the copper! It wasn't easy as I had to put a lot of force into it, but they worked. Now I'm eager to try these scissors on 22 or 24 gauge copper because they'll probably cut through the metal like butter.

I spent about an hour filing my cat and hamsa and crafted copper cut-outs that look pretty good:

You can see the outline that I drew on the hamsa. I plan to put the traditional (evil) eye in the center of the palm, but cover the rest with an abstract cloisonne design. I think I'll use bold jewel tones for this so it looks a little like stained glass.

I also plan to do an abstract cloisonne on the cat pendant, but I'm going to use "cat-colored" enamels: browns, black, ginger and white. I'm basing this a little on my kitty, Maya, who's multi-colored so my enamel cat will have those hues.

I have to say, I really got a kick out of using the Joyce Chens. I felt like a superhero as I cut through that metal! I'm also enjoying my enameling class this semester. I'm getting to do some more complex pieces and we have a good group of people. So far, no one has dropped out and everyone seems to be more engaged than in some of my former classes. In my first jewelry class, we went from about 12 students to three over the course of the semester, so it's nice to be a part of a group where everyone is interested in the craft.

On Tuesday, I hope to get as far as setting the cloisonne. I'm going to see if I can buy some studio time after class so I can finish my projects. We'll see. But now that I have my copper cut-outs, I'm eager to get started!

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Wire wrapped jewellery photo gallery: green wire wrapped jewelry for spring

Yesterday, New York City was slammed by yet another snow storm, but today's mild, sunny weather reminds me that spring is just around the corner! After enduring such a long, cold, snowy winter, I'm eager for some warmth and sunshine -- so to get into that spring spirit, here are some of my handmade green wire wrapped jewelry pieces. Get ready to spring forward! All are available at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Silver wire wrapped filigree chandelier earrings with green and yellow Swarovski crystal hearts:

Silver wire wrapped heart earrings with green crystals:

Jade pendant wire wrapped with copper filigree design, attached to handmade copper chain:

Emerald green silver wire wrapped infinity birthstone ring for May:

Peridot green silver wire wrapped infinity birthstone ring for August:

Silver wire wrapped "branch" necklace with green Swarovski crystal hearts:

Wire wrapped gold bangle bracelet with green and yellow square crystals:

Silver wire wrapped abstract earrings with green square crystals:

Jade green glass and gold wire wrapped bracelet:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wire wrapped jewelry gallery: Aquamarine jewelry for March

Browse through my jewelry or this blog and you'll see that I'm a big fan of blue. This is why I love the March birthstone, which is the light blue aquamarine. In honor of this month -- and in spring, which will hopefully be here soon -- here are some of my favorite jewellery pieces that feature aquamarine colored crystals. All of my jewelry can be purchased at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Silver wire wrapped March birthstone infinity ring with aquamarine Swarovski crystals

Wire wrapped wave ring with aquamarine and blue Swarovski crystals:

Wire wrapped filigree earrings with aquamarine Swarovski crystal hearts:

Silver wire wrapped square earrings with aquamarine crystals:

Wire wrapped filigree chandelier earrings with aquamarine Swarovski crystal hearts:

Wire wrapped triple heart dangle earrings with aquamarine and clear Swarovski crystal hearts:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Small copper enameled earrings in pink and black/blue and black

After putting in all of that work on my Fire And Ice bib necklace, I wanted to do something fun and easier in my enameling class. I ended up making two pairs of two-toned earrings: one pair in rose pink and black and the other in aqua blue and black:

I made these simply by sifting the colors onto the copper disk. First, I applied a white base coat so the colors would be bright and clear, and then added the pink, black and blue. I really like the contrast between the black and the lighter colors. I also like how the colors kind of blend.

Next on my agenda in my enameling class is to make a cloisonne hamsa pendant. That's going to be a lot of work. Meantime, I enjoyed making something a little more simple that's still beautiful.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Selling on Etsy: Pricing items on Etsy

I've been selling my handmade jewelry on Etsy at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations for about two years now and often get questions about how a prospective seller should price his or her items. The simple answer: it depends.

I don't have a hard and fast formula for how I come up with my prices. I generally charge according to the cost of materials, labor involved and also take into account the price of similar items on the site. So far, this seems to work for me as I've managed to keep my items priced reasonably while still making a profit -- though some people have advised me to charge a bit higher than I am right now.

I've started to do that with some items. My recently-listed enamel and copper wire wrapped Fire And Ice necklace took WEEKS to make and expensive materials were used. Therefore, I've listed it for $100. It's pretty expensive, but it's a one-of-a-kind piece and I can't just give it away for $10; not after all of the work I've put into it. The same goes for my copper wire wrapped Nefertiti's Kiss necklace, which I list for $50.

On the other hand, I charge $15 for my classic silver wire wrapped infinity ring. The materials aren't too expensive and it's fairly easy to make, so the cost is about right. When I add Swarovski crystals to make a birthstone infinity ring, I bump up the price to $18 to accont for the additional materials. I also charge $18 for some of my wire wrapped lava stone necklaces that incorporate crystals.

When you price your items, don't lowball too much. You want people to be able to afford your work, but you also have to remember that your work has value! Jewellery stores aren't afraid to charge hundreds of dollars for small pieces. Handmade items are very special and most people will understand and appreciate this.