Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recap of WWW Retreat: March 22-26, 2012

I can't believe it's already Wednesday and I'm just getting to posting a blog about our FABULOUS weekend! The first Wild Wire Women retreat of the 2012 season was so much fun and we were all so productive, it boggles the mind. In the photo above you can see a sampling of our jewelry projects completed over the weekend, including an etched copper cuff, fold-formed pendants, stamping and texturing with a variety of tools, and some wirework links, too.
I had five fabulous women in my retreat, each one so different and so talented in their different ways! Some were really focused on enameling with the torch, which we spent an entire day on. Some loved texturing metal with a variety of tools and hammers. Everyone loved our session on etching and all five women made beautiful cuff bracelets using this technique.
I also taught riveting, fold-forming copper metal sheet to make pendants and pins, torch-fire enameling headpins and cage beads, and lots of wire-wrapping techniques. We spent Friday and Saturday focused on sheet metal, and Sunday was devoted to all things wire-related.
In our wire wrapping workshop, we made twisted wire with a drill and then formed worm beads to make earrings and fibula pins. We made Celtic Knot links and Double-Spiral links (you can find these stepped out in my latest book-with-DVD from Interweave Press, Wire Art Jewelry Workshop). We twisted heavy-gauge wire to make beautiful jump rings and everyone learned how to use the jeweler's saw, riveting block, files, and polishing techniques.
Etching was a huge hit and I'm so thrilled that everyone went home with a beautiful cuff bracelet to wear and show off. We also did some riveting, an important basic skill that every metal artist should have.
Making metal forms and incorporating them into finished jewelry designs was also covered. Using our colorful cage beads (as featured in Arty Jewelry IV) in various jewelry designs including bracelets and pendants, making fibula pins embellished with beads and wire wrapping, heat-annealing metal with a torch, fold-forming and shaping textured pieces for pins and pendants... wow, were we busy!
As time permitted, we also artificially aged our jewelry in liver of sulfur, polishing the high points to make jewelry pieces that had the look of ancient artifacts. I love the pendant pictured above, made by Leah Wilson, an artist who flew in to California all the way from North Carolina! She was also a "repeat retreater" who attended one of my very first Wild Wire Women retreats several years ago.
Bracelets, pendants, pins, earrings, cuffs... everyone made lots and lots of jewelry!
Pictured above, another pendant fold-formed and textured with a simple but effective bail ready to hang on a necklace chain.
I didn't have much time to make finished jewelry myself, so pictured above you can see my fibula pin, textured heart (to be converted into a pendant later) and the beginnings of a fold-formed abstract metal piece that will make a gorgeous pin when it's finished.
What fun we had! And our weekend was over too soon, as it always is. I hope that all of my participants will practice their skills once they've recovered from our adventures in Idyllwild. If you would like to participate in a Wild Wire Women retreat, I have several dates scheduled (see below). Be sure to email me as soon as possible to secure your place in the 2012 season!
Happy wrapping,
2012 Wild Wire Women Retreat Dates:
May 24-28
May 31-June 4
June 7-11
June 14-18
July 5-9
July 12-16
July 19-23
July 26-30
August 2-6
August 9-13
August 16-20
August 23-27
August 30-September 3

Monday, March 19, 2012

Arty Jewelry IV now available for nook!

The latest news is that my brand-NEW eBook, Arty Jewelry IV, is now available to read on nook! And guess what, Barnes & Noble has put it on sale for a limited time. Normally $9.99, Arty Jewelry IV is available for $8.19 (an 18-percent savings) but only on the Barnes & Noble web site. You can access it by clicking here.
To see big, full-color photos of the finished projects and a good description, click here.
If you don't own a nook, you can turn your computer, iPad, smart phone, Android, etc into a nook reader with the FREE software they provide. Just click here.
What about kindle? Yes, Arty Jewelry I, II, III and IV are all available via's kindle device. To access Arty Jewelry IV directly, click here. I'm afraid it's not on sale at this site, but in future it may be... this is up to the discretion of and I have no control over their pricing, but in the past they have put my other Arty Jewelry titles on sale so who knows?
To download FREE software apps that turn your computer, smart phone, iPad, etc. into a kindle reader, click here.
Pretty soon Arty Jewelry IV will also be available via iBooks, Sony Reader, and other sources. For now, Barnes & Noble and are my only retailers.
Happy reading,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

NEW: Wire & Pearl Jewelry eBook from Interweave Press!

I was so excited to see my own heart-shaped ear wires with pearl dangle earrings on the cover of this beautiful brand-new eBook from Interweave Press! It just came out, and you can download it now for $9.95 by clicking here.
You get 10 gorgeous designs for making wire jewelry with pearls, each one stepped out with full-color photos and detailed instructions. These design favorites were "handpicked by the trusted experts at Step by Step Wire Jewelry" magazine, and include chain maille plus wire wrapping and embellishing techniques with beads, crystals and pearls.
10 Wire & Pearl Jewelry Designs looks like a great publication and I like the fact that you can download it instantly onto your computer (PC or Mac). What fun to be part of this new endeavor from my publisher, Interweave Press!
Happy wrapping,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Featured on "Best of the Web"

Wow, I've just been mentioned on a cool blog called "Best of the Web!"
You can access the post by clicking here.
As the blog owners say: "We here at Pocketchange are excited to bring you a Best of the Web week that’s overflowing with goodness as we’re featuring some lovely crafters, artists and thinkers."
I agree; there are some very inspirational blogs featured including Marie Nouvelle Studio, Teach Beside Me, Polkadot Prints, myParaphernalia, On the Bright Side, moi, Villabarnes, and Life with Two Boys.
Check them out; they're quite interesting and I enjoyed getting to know some new people by reading their blogs.
Happy web surfing,

Friday, March 9, 2012

Brand NEW: Art Jewelry IV eBook Available!

I have great news! The eBook version of Arty Jewelry IV has just been released today, and it's now available to download for just $9.99!
If you have a kindle or the kindle app for iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, etc. you can download Arty Jewelry IV by clicking here.
If you don't have a kindle and you'd like to download the free app from, click here.
The eBook hasn't shown up on yet, but it soon will for those of you who like to read your eBooks via nook. I'll update you as soon as it's uploaded. Arty Jewelry IV will also be available via iBooks and Sony Reader very soon.
If you'd like to see photos of the nine projects stepped out in close-up detail in Arty Jewelry IV, click here.
Happy wrapping,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Frozen Charlotte Doll in my etsy shop!

"Charlotte" is a new art-doll sculpture in my etsy shop! She is the second in a series of wire-sculpture art dolls that I have designed and made by hand.
Charlotte features a tiny vintage "Frozen Charlotte" doll torso and is intricately wire-wrapped with solid fine-gauge copper wire. She is embellished with crystals, beads and pearls, vintage crystal buttons, a silk flower, and lots of bead dangles. She has been artificially aged in a patina solution and polished. Due to the nature of copper wire, she will tarnish further over time, but she can easily be re-polished with a jewelry cloth (such as a Yellow Sunshine cloth available from jewelers).

Charlotte is a fantasy-style winged doll who measures 5-1/2 inches long by 3 inches wide at the skirt. Her woven-wire skirt is apron-style, circling the front half of the doll but not the back, making it easier to display her in a shadow box or something similar. The back of her neck has a twisted-wire loop, making it simple to suspend her for display purposes. She is rather large for a pendant, but some women could get away with wearing her on a necklace wire or something similar.
Charlotte is offered for sale at $325.
She will arrive well padded and packaged and insured. If a gift box and/or wrapping is needed, please request this in your comments. I'm happy to provide this service at no extra charge.
Happy shopping,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

NEW Etsy Shop!

Friends and students who've seen the handmade jewelry and art dolls that I've amassed over the years have strongly urged me to start an store, and at long last I have decided to go ahead and try it.
This is a brand-new venture for me, so any comments or suggestions for improvement that you may have would be more than welcome! For one thing, I'd like to have a nicely designed store with a pretty banner, but I don't know how to accomplish this. Any ideas out there?
So far, I have uploaded just one item, a handmade doll named Celia designed for collectors of one-of-a-kind art dolls and jewelry.
She can be displayed as an art piece or worn as a pendant. Celia measures 5 inches long by 1 inch wide with a 2-inch-wide wingspan.
She is offered for sale at $325.
Special features include a vintage doll torso, hand-woven and knotted copper wire, vintage beads, pearls, vintage steel-cut button, and torch enameled headpins and crown.
Happy shopping!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Finished Necklaces, Day Two Workshop

Once I got home I was able to polish my finished, antiqued necklace and get a quick photo for you (above). We were all hard-pressed to finish our pieces, even though this was a two-day workshop! We even worked through our lunch break... I love the necklace pictured below, made by one of my students:
And here is mine, prior to using a liver of sulfur treatment:
More work by one of my talented students, who almost finished by the end of class time:
And one more. So beautiful! I'm a very proud teacher!
Happy wrapping,

Friday, March 2, 2012

Finished Pendants From Our Workshop!

The results from our first full day of wire-working are in: six completed pendants with textured wire frames, beads, charms and pearls, twisty tendrils, and hippy-wrapped focal beads. We made these pendants in a special two-day workshop held at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations in Palm Desert, California. None of the pendants have been antiqued in liver of sulfur yet, but I thought you'd enjoy seeing the fruits of our labors from day one.
The pendant pictured above is mine, and the following pendants are all finished pieces by my students. I apologize for the terrible lighting. It was fine for the workshop, but simply awful for photography... my students' pendants are a thousand times more beautiful in person than they appear in the following pix.

The following are closeups of Judy's incredible creation:

Tune in tomorrow to see the finished necklaces...
Happy wrapping,