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Author Topic: Questions for Jewellery Makers!  (Read 3652 times)
Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
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Call me Nel :)


« on: January 12, 2011, 03:27:08 am »

Hello all,
I've recently begun to fiddle with creating a costume for the Wild Wild West event coming up in March.  I have a very limited budget, and I have a great fondness for making things myself, and so I've been scouring the forums for patterns and ideas. 
My current project is jewellery to go with the outfit; I've never made anything of the sort, and am confused about how to even go about it.  My DH makes all sorts of tiny little things (like fishing lures), and so I think he will be able to help me.  However, I'd love to know what the great people of BG think!  Please, share with us, how do you go about making jewellery? (Or, please, share links to sites that are full of information.) I love the look of the cameos mounted on gears, or brass butterfly pendants with gears mounted on the wings, but how do you go about attaching these gears to the butterfly, or the cameo to the gears?  (I will post some pics of the items I'm describing as soon as I get around to it tmro)  Where do you find good supplies?
Your help is greatly appreciated.
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"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."-- C.S. Lewis.
Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2011, 06:28:46 am »

Well, I am not sure how far you want to go with this. I do a bit of jewelry making for my own amusement, and the problem is that if you only want to do a few things for an event, you may not be interested in investing the effort in learning skills like silver-soldering, using a jeweler's saw, setting stones, and so on. If you do, you might check Google Books for things like this: http://books.google.com/books?id=8VBQAAAAMAAJ&dq=jewelry%20making&pg=PA59#v=onepage&q&f=false, which is an early 20th-Century manual, and shows a strong Arts & Crafts influence. A little searching on YouTube and Instructables will probably turn up some useful examples of working methods.
Otherwise, you may be better off working with the assembling of prebuilt items from some place like http://www.firemountaingems.com/, and mixing them in with flea-market and/or Internet finds. This is a perfectly valid way of getting things done, and you can look at their instructions and suggestions area for ideas. It's just less flexible, inasmuch as you can only work with the bits you can get your hands on, whereas learning basic fabrication methods allows you to make whatever you wish, more or less.
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Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
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Call me Nel :)


« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2011, 02:41:48 pm »

Thank you, Mr. Boltneck, I appreciate your answer.  I'm not really sure how far I want to go with it either.  On the one hand, at this very moment, I am just trying to get something made cheaply for March.  But, on the other hand, any knowledge is worth having, so perhaps in the future I may want to learn basic fabrication skills.
So again, thanks for all the resources!
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Danbury Shakes
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2011, 03:40:28 pm »

If you want to try making jewellery on a budget you could try wire wrapping.  tools needed are a couple of pair os sall smooth jawed pliers, flush cut wire cutters. A small hand drill and vice is useful for making ropes out of two round wires or diamond out of square wire.

Materials needed are round wire, square wire, d sectioned wire (good for the wrapps) and fine wire (also for the wraps).  Findings such as broach backs and chains will be needed as well.

example of wire wrapped jewellery (not mine)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

and a couple of tutorials
http://jewelrymaking.about.com/od/pendantswrappedcabs/ss/wire-wrap-cabochon.htm
http://www.wittyliving.com/crafts/jewelry/wirewrap_index.html
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Visit my Facebook page Jason's Gems Jewellery at jasonsgemsjewellery
or my website Jason's Gems
Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
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Call me Nel :)


« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2011, 03:45:15 pm »

Thank you, Mr. Shakes, I will look into that! (Also, I could not see the photo, but I know what you are describing)
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Danbury Shakes
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2011, 04:21:59 pm »

the image is at
http://1.2.3.13/bmi/1.2.3.11/bmi/www.wirewrapping.net/2/Wire_Jewelry.JPG

Wire wrapping is a great way to incorporate found things into jewellery, feathers, shells, tumbled stones, etc. Polished  Amber pieces look great wire wrapped

Other things you could consider are polymer clays (sculpey/fimo) which need a minimum of sculpting tools and an oven to bake them in.  Never use them myself but I have seen some nice and interesting stuff done with them

PMC (precious metal clay) are similar to work with but require higher temperatures to fire them.  You can fire them using a steel gauze over a gas hob or camping stove - you don't need to all these fancy kits sold as starter packages.  The cost of these clays is pretty high, but you end up with a piece of jewellery made in silver or gold (pmc items do shrink when being fired and tend to be more porous than cast or hand made jewellery and therefore more brittle, but that isn't too much of a problem really)

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Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
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United States United States


Call me Nel :)


« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 04:42:34 pm »

http://www.wirewrapping.net/2/Wire_Jewelry.JPG

I found the image here (took off all that first bit, as it brought up an error page.)  Beautiful stuff, and my DH says he's got most of the supplies to do that.  Now I just need to go find some interesting things to wrap! Amber peices, you say?  yes, yes, I think this will work beautifully!

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Miles (a sailor)Martin
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Just a head full of random thoughts


« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2011, 04:57:36 pm »

I also matters on what range you are going to be looking at it from, 12" ,5' or 20', thye detail and qualty of workmanship is different for each range, also the quality level is different if it is costume or garb...
garb is something that is wearable for 4+ hours.... and possibly washable without cpmplete dis-assembly to component parts ... most Steampunk fits here
costume is less comfy and not nessisarly washable in the assembled state...( many critter costumes or stage play costumes,and wedding gowns at the top of the price range) fit here
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Who you calling old, Sonny boy? Just because my birth certificate is on birch bark there isn't any reason to be calling names.
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Danbury Shakes
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2011, 05:08:52 pm »

When you said that he made lures I figured he would.

I made some nice wire wrapped pendants using the baroque amber pieces (not the cabs) and they looked nice.  Unfortunately I no longer have the pieces or photos.  Sea shells also look good wrapped.

What sort of jewellery do you want to make, maybe I can come up with other suggestions.
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Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
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United States United States


Call me Nel :)


« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2011, 05:49:55 pm »

That's just the thing, I didn't know yet.  I just wanted to make something that would go along with my costume, I'm basically just building a "lady adventurer" costume...I have a few cameo brooches that could be disasembled and wire-wrapped, and would look excellent.  Right now, they look a little too well-kept for the look I am going for.

I really like THIS, but I think it is beyond what I could possibly do in the given time frame.  Then again, maybe it is not so hard as it looks?
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Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
Gunner
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United States United States


Call me Nel :)


« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 06:00:58 pm »

I also matters on what range you are going to be looking at it from, 12" ,5' or 20', thye detail and qualty of workmanship is different for each range, also the quality level is different if it is costume or garb...
garb is something that is wearable for 4+ hours.... and possibly washable without cpmplete dis-assembly to component parts ... most Steampunk fits here
costume is less comfy and not nessisarly washable in the assembled state...( many critter costumes or stage play costumes,and wedding gowns at the top of the price range) fit here

Yes, I realize I'm probably using the wrong term; I am not building a "costume" in your definition, but rather an "outfit" that I only plan to wear to this event, and others like it.  Many of the clothing peices I am using are real clothing, that I already own (my riding skirt).  So, yes, I am somewhat worried about the quality.  However, I also realize that this is my first time making any sort of jewellery, and so if it doesn't look like a professional pendant necklace, well, I made it, and that's what matters to me!
Thanks for clearing up the misuse of the word "costume". Smiley
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Danbury Shakes
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 06:16:14 pm »

you could use sculpey  to make up the form and glue/embed/carve the watch parts into place

That's what the creators of these pieces did
http://www.gizmodiva.com/home_gadgets/steampunk_style_bluetooth_is_funky.php
http://www.flickr.com/photos/valerianasolaris/3465280011/#in/photostream/
http://sentientonline.net/?p=815
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Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
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United States United States


Call me Nel :)


« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2011, 06:48:34 pm »

Oh, wow! I love that little bird!  Smiley
Well, the event is a weekend-long event, so now I'm thinking--obviously--that I'll need multiple jewellery options (my DH just rolled his eyes at me, lol).  So, I'm looking at wire-wrapping a cameo, and possibly playing around with some sculpty too!  I've got some little bitty cogs and gears laying around that would be perfect to do this with.
(DH says to tell you that you are making his honey-do list longer, and that he doesn't appreciate it, sir. LOL)
I say, THANK YOU!! I appreciate it tons!
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Danbury Shakes
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2011, 07:57:23 pm »

Tell him that I won't even mention peyote stitch or bead looms then, pity because they'd be great for wampum belts and native American style goods Smiley

Good luck with your crafting.  I hope that you'll keep us updated on your creative projects.
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Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2011, 08:20:30 pm »

Mr. Shakes' mention of beading reminded me of the fact that you can get perforated aluminum sheet, from OSH or any good sheet-metal vendor, which has small, closely-spaced holes which are ideal for bead-work decoration. Last year, I made the Smarter Half a pair of goggles with this material, which she then covered in sewn beads.
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Danbury Shakes
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2011, 09:40:48 pm »

That sounds interesting Mr Boltneck.  You know you're going have to follow up with pikkies now.
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Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
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Call me Nel :)


« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2011, 09:45:59 pm »

That sounds interesting Mr Boltneck.  You know you're going have to follow up with pikkies now.

I agree.  I'd love to see them!
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redhandfilms
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Master Augustus Redsmith


« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2011, 10:59:23 pm »

I took two years of jewelry classes in college. However, most of my work was in fabricating and casting silver and enameling, and really nothing that would be considered steampunk. Most of what I know requires a lot of money, tools and experience. Without a proper studio, there are a lot of things I can't even do at home.
That being said however, I have collected a decent list of online tutorials and tips you might find useful.
Hope these help.
For supplies, I get all my materials from Rio Grande. https://www.riogrande.com/

As for your specific questions. For mounting a Cameo, with cold connections (no soldering), I would use a bezel cup
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
, drill a hole in it and use a rivet to attach it to the gear. You can also use a rivet to attach the gear to the brass butterfly wings. Finally, here's a little tutorial on riveting.
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Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.
Dr. D.P. Nelthorpe IV
Gunner
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United States United States


Call me Nel :)


« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2011, 11:52:44 pm »

Thank you so much RedHandFilms.  You can be sure I will be checking out all those sites!
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Danbury Shakes
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2011, 12:05:56 am »

Some great links there Redhandfilms.

Another one would be http://jewelrymaking.about.com/
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