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Silver Beads and Handmade Jewellery Make Great Gifts

Making your own jewellery is easy when you know how. Taking jewellery making courses or workshops can teach you some new techniques allowing you to create jewellery that looks professional. Whatever type of jewellery you desire to create there is a course to suit you. Choose from bead weaving, resin jewellery, chain maille classes and more.

Making your own jewellery is a great way to add a personal touch to a gift. Jewellery is already a personal gift and buying a friend a bracelet or a necklace often shows how well you know them. Adding charms to your bracelets is another way to make it that little bit more special and can make it appropriate for any occasion. There are also cute charms that celebrate events such as a birth, graduation and a wedding.

Making your own jewellery with silver beads is a cost effective way to create unique gifts for your loved ones. Once you have taken a course and have learned the basic techniques it is time to buy the essential beads to make your jewellery. This of course will depend on your personal preference and the idea you have in your mind regarding the recipient. It is advisable to stick to one theme as it can be tempting to buy a few of everything. There are so many choices it is a good idea to stick to a few and ensure they are compatible. If in doubt silver beads look stunning on their own or paired with other kinds of beads.


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Making Artistic Jewelry With Resin

Clay modeling has always been considered a fun and creative hobby. However, not many people may be aware that resin also scores pretty high in both enjoyment and creativity quotients.

Resin molds and casts are easy to make and let you unleash your artistic side. Take resin jewelry casting for instance.

All you need is different molds of varying shapes and sizes. Mix a little resin and pour it into the mold and let it cure properly. You can even add color pigments,beads, leaves, stones, buttons, pictures or anything else that catches your eye. What you need to do is pour some resin into the mold to form a base before inserting an addition of your choice and then cover it with more resin. Once it has cured and de-molded properly, your resin piece is ready. You use it as a statement neck-piece, wear it as a charming bracelet or make an eye-catching finger ring of it!

However, you choose to wear it, you are assured of a unique resin jewelry that cannot be found in any store anywhere!

Tips for making resin jewelry:

• You need to choose an appropriate clear resin for your jewelry project. Special resins that have been formulated for making jewelry are available in art stores.

• Cover the work area with wax paper. Wear gloves to protect your hands.

• Keep the molds and embedments ready and handy. If the filler is porous, it is advisable to first seal it with glue or to dip it in resin and let it dry, to avoid problems later.

• You will need an appropriate release agent to allow for easy de-molding of the resin cast.

• Keep the pot time of the resin in mind before mixing an appropriate amount.

• Mix slowly and properly to avoid air bubbles as much as possible.

• Use transparent liquid colors or dilute the pigments with resin before adding it to the resin mix. This will yield a spectacular color effect.

• Use a small cup to pour the resin slowly and carefully into the mold.

• Keep in mind that resin tends to shrink during curing. You need to carefully pour right till the very edges of the mold.

• If you find an air bubble or two in the cast, carefully pick it out with a toothpick or slowly pop it by blowing through a straw.


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Tips About the Best Lampwork Beads

You're looking for the perfect bead for your necklace - well a lampwork bead is a great option. These jewelry accents help to create just the perfect look. Here are some helpful hints if you are thinking about purchasing a lampwork bead for your favorite chain or necklace.

Bear in mind that good quality beads can be either new or old. You may believe that the quality of older beads is much greater than more recently-made ones. Nevertheless, things do not work like this all the time. So long as they are completely dedicated to the trade of crafting these glass beads, new and veteran artists both produce quality work. The physical characteristics of the bead itself are of far greater concern than the bead's age.

Choose expert artisans. It's important that you search out the best crafters when buying these beads. Follow the same procedures or produce the same quality of material. Although there are lampwork bead designers who will tell you that you do not need a kiln to make them, kilns do affect the durability of the bead. Designers who are not competent with kilns may still not produce the durability one would want. The artist should have previous work available, so ask to see some at close quarters if you can. Then you will know what to expect in terms of quality with your own lampwork bead.

You should go in for lampwork beads that are annealed. The bead needs to be properly annealed, which just means heated or cured. This is done so it stays strong and of good quality. You may have a discussion with the merchant as to how the bead has been anealed. Avoid any beads that have been heated using vermiculite, a heated blanket, a crock pot or an open flame instead of a true kiln. The bead will suffer greatly in quality if it has gone through any of these processes. A kiln can still produce improperly done beads, but is nevertheless recommended over other forms of heating.

Watch for a strong body. There should be no sharp edges on a good lampwork bead. On the flip side, all the beads curves and sides must be spherical or puckered. The bead should have no cracks or folds in it. You may concentrate on small corners and at the joints of lampwork beads checking it out for soft spots of crevices. And the stringing point should be solid and without weak points.

The beads you're considering buying must be properly made. If there are pupils, dots or lines attached to the main form of a bead, ensure that these are fused to the piece.

If there is any flexibility at all with any part of your lampwork bead, it wasn't heated appropriately and you shouldn't buy it. You shouldn't notice any powdery bead release coming from your lampwork bead when you tap it. The bead obviously has a design flaw or perhaps it's just a sign of poor craftsmanship. Take some time to see if the bead hangs well when it hangs from your chain. When you shop for lampwork beads, these are all of the things you need to consider.



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