January 2010

Jewelery Video Tutorial - Wire Wrapping

Carrying on our beginners' jewelry making video tutorial series,  here is a great how-to video for one of the most useful jewelry making techniques: wire wrapping.  This is a staple technique for many jewelers, including those who only make use of cold connections and do not fabricate their own metal elements, beads or settings.

This tutorial from jewelrysupply.com kills two birds with one stone by illustrating wire wrapping briolettes and making loops.


Saul Bell Designer Awards Finalists - PMC Category

The Precious Metal Clay has to be one of my favourite categories of the Saul Bell Designer Awards.  It is tough to rival the complete flexibility that the medium allows for in both design and fabrication.  What was once a tricky, sticky clay is now available in multiple formats and metals, and can be used with just about any other type of material to allow for endless possibilities.  This is why I find this category so inspiring: because the designs are limited purely by each artist's imagination. 

Here is a look at some of those imaginative artists...

Saul Bell Designer Awards Finalists - Gold and Platinum

Of all of the categories within the Saul Bell Designer Awards, the Gold and Platinum one is the one that intimidates me most.  Partly because I have little experience working with these metals and partly because so many of the designs rely on an accuracy and attention to detail that I fear I could never master!  "Awe", is probably the best word to sum up how I feel when looking at the amazing work of most of these finalists.


Shannon Kennedy, a designer at Cynosure Jewelry in Ontario Canada

A Bead In Time - A Refreshing Guide to Beading

This week saw the launch of another great jewelry making book, A Bead in Time, by beading expert Lisa Crone.  This colorful book captures the best of work featured in her blog, A Bead A Day.  The blog showcases different beads and artists each day, and since it's inception has become a lively and friendly community where jewelry artists discuss design and trends. 

Jeweler Interview with Jim Dailing

There is a strange and intriguing fusion of industrial and organic influences in the work of Jim Dailing.  Concentrating on high end bespoke designs, he is lucky enough to be able to focus on individual clients and designs and be fully immersed in the creation of each unique piece.  Here, he shares some of his loves and hates about his work.

Where do you find inspiration?

In the past I have been greatly inspired by the Art Nouveau movement as well as Art Deco. Currently my work tends to take on a certain European simplicity though I am mostly inspired by my clients and their stories.

What is your favorite design, and is this your best seller?

Saul Bell Designer Awards 2010 Bead Finalist Jill Hurant

Next up in the line up of Finalists for the Saul Bell Designer Awards 2010 Bead Category is Jill Hurant.

Jill Hurant, Morganville, New Jersey.

When Jill describes her work as "Fine handcrafted work in 22 karat gold..."  she ain't kidding about the fine part.  Obviously gifted with as much patience as talent, her designs are intricate yet immaculately crafted, with every tiny bead, wire andjump ring neatly in place to create complex designs that suggest both fragility and strength.  Using advanced crochet, weaving and chain mail techniques her jewelry has a unique and enviable style. 

Saul Bell Designer Awards 2010 - Bead Finalist Chihiro Makio

Continuing our look at the Saul Bell Designer Awards 2010 Finalists in the Bead category, here is a short bio and review of the next finalist, Chihiro Makio.

Chihiro Makio, Sommerville, Massachusetts

After graduating from Massachusetts College of Art in 2000 with a fine art's degree in glass and small metals, Chihiro Makio started her own jewelry design label, 314 Studio, and quickly began to gain accolades from within the jewelry design industry.  Her appearance in this year's Saul Bell Designer Awards finalist list should be no surprise, as she scooped up prizes four years in a row, from 2003 to 2007!

Saul Bell Designer Awards 2010 - Bead Finalist Pallavi Foley

All this week we will be looking at the talented finalists of this year's Saul Bell Designer Awards.  Now in their tenth year, the awards are a prestigious competition showcasing the work of some of the most talented and creative jewelry designers in the world.  Although the finalists actual designs are not yet available to the public, we take a look at the artists' portfolio of work to give you a background for each candidate.

Jeweler Interview - Mindy Recht (Part Two)

Here is the second installment of answers to our interview questions from Mindy Recht, of CJ Recht jewelry brand.  Read Part One here.

What keeps you motivated?

I love doing trunk shows! When people try on my jewelry and look good in it and say they love it, I get jazzed. I take a highly personal approach to designing and making jewelry. After all, there’s years of work and dreams behind every piece, so it’s gratifying when someone really appreciates the work.

Jeweler Interview - Mindy Recht

Mindy Recht, the design/creator behind the CJ Recht jewelry brand eloquently answers The Jewelry Report questions in this open and honest interview.  In fact,  her answers were so appealing that we gave her twice as much space to express herself!  Check back on Wednesday for part two of her interview. 

I love the stylish simplicity and flowing lines of your collections. How did you develop your style?