Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rocks, Stones, Natural Found Objects - Awesome Finds for Jewelry Making!

I recently picked up a couple rocks from the local chapter of the Rock and Mineral Club.  They had a wonderful show and I couldn't help but pick out some tumbles native rocks of Idaho for use as pendants and magnets, too!  While I love gemstones and imported, cut stones, sometimes a more down-to-earth statement piece is nice too.

I've created some fun pendants with rocks and stones I've picked up on my travels, but here are my latest creations with Rocks of Idaho, the 1st one features tiger iron and the 2nd one is a simpler blue-black rock.....and then I'll show you some additional pieces by other jewelry artists!

Rocks of Idaho I by PZ Designs

Rocks of Idaho II by PZ Designs

Wonderful and beautiful pieces by others:

Just think of the beautiful jewelry you can make the next time you pick up a stone, a rock, a shell, or other natural found object!  And if you aren't inclined to wire-wrapping techniques, then check out a local artist or handmade artist on Etsy, Artfire, or other online revenue!  

If you are interested in the featured pieces or other works by these artists, please follow the links in the titles.  I've linked them to DeviantArt accounts, and from there you can view the artist's galleries and contact them!

Happy creating,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Memory Wire - More Versatile Than You May Think!

I've been absent of late for many reasons, but one reason is that I've recently taken a job at Michael's Craft Store as a Jewelry Instructor!  I have my first class tomorrow, and it's on using memory wire.  I've played around with this medium before, but now I realize that it is useful and fun for so many types of jewelry and decoration projects!

The most basic memory wire project is the bracelet - it often looks like a matched bangle set when worn.  Seed beads, crystals, and pearls are all common beads used in this project.  Here are some less basic memory wire bracelet designs:

Another basic memory wire project is the necklace - it can be as complex as the bracelet, with several loops, or simplified down to a single loop for a stunning look!  Here are a couple necklaces that I think stand out among the rest:

Less often seen, but just as cool, is the memory wire ring!  I've chosen one ring to show you below, but there are as many designs out there as you can imagine:

Another project that can be accomplished with memory wire in the ring size is wine charms.  The pieces below use actual wine charm wires, but you can see how memory wire would serve the same function:

A final project that I'm hoping to make this coming Holiday Season is a memory wire dangle (for lack of a better name).  I plan on using memory wire in the bracelet or necklace size, stringing it in reds, greens, and golds, and embellishing it with small ornaments or Christmas-themed charms.  Then, you hang one end up and let the rest "dangle"!  I think it would be a cute way to hang mistletoe as well.....

I couldn't find an artist's version of the ornament, but here is a simpler commercial version if you can't quite visualize it.....hopefully I'll post my own photos soon!

EDIT:  I haven't made the Christmas Ornament with memory wire yet, but I did make a fun necklace with dangles!  It could easily be made into the ornament I mention above simply by using more loops.....

I'm sure there are other designs out there, so please share!  Happy Creating, PZ