Something a little different...
Sometimes you get the urge to just make something, something different that will remain unique. When it comes to using natural crystals, there will only be one of that size, shape, type etc.
With today's wide ranging tastes often people are a little weary of a generic stone in a generic setting, an odd, different looking creation would most probably create a reaction, even if the knee jerk is a little negative it may register with the onlooker setting the seed that non convention is ok!
If there's a creative young person in the house, or you fancy making unique gifts on a budget here's an ideal way to nurture that creativity and develop an interest.
The cost of setting up a hobby can be prohibitive especially where working with precious metals is concerned, I favour the start slow approach buying tools as needed.
I have seen people spend an awful lot of money only to see their custom built workshop and hundreds of pounds worth of tools gradually collect dust...
Rummaging through oddment boxes in shops or at shows you can often find cheap beads, broken strings or even be able to purchase larger beads singularly.
The trick here is a bead already drilled. Failing that if you have a favourite tumblestone find someone to drill a hole for you, you may find someone at a local shop or craft event that can help with this.
What you'll need is some silver head pins at least 1.5 times as long as your bead, we found some tumbled Lapis lazuli drilled with a 2mm hole. Fancy silver beads if you want to add some decoration to the finished design.
Finally a silver ring of some type to thread your chain, cord, ribbon or whatever material you have chosen to hang the piece from.
The only real tool you will require is a pair of pliers, ideally round nose but you could adapt our method and use standard pliers.
We threaded the decorative bead onto the head pin followed by the beads then a second decorative bead.
Make sure the beads are held tightly together then grasp the end of the pin close to the top bead with the pliers and bend the pin around a jaw o the pliers to create a hoop, we wrapped it around twice.
We had a selection of fixings, jump-ring, snap bail, D shaped wire jump-ring, but you could also use triangular bails, or small split rings, just remember that with jumprings use a thick wire because you won't be soldering the joint and you want it to be strong enough to withstand daily wear.
You may have a little extra wire of the pin to deal with either cut it off or wrap around the hoop you have just formed.
Open the jump-ring (or fixing) put through the hoop and close, for our demonstration we chose a sturdy thick jump-ring.
Recently I had purchased a pallasite meteorite slice with peridot thinking I could maximise my return by further cutting into 4 pieces. After some appreciative comments regarding the slice, concerns about ruining it and a small amount of apathy I decided to just set the whole slice.
by Tracey Spurgin of craftworx.co.uk
The Raden technique is an ancient skill from Japan that takes wafer thin slivers of mother of pearl shell and embeds it into resin to add an iridescent shimmer and sparkle.
Tracey delivers a full programme of silver clay workshops from her own studio in Yorkshire but travels far and wide to other venues such as colleges, galleries and art centres, to deliver a range of workshops that appeal to the complete beginner as well as the progressing enthusiast.
art clay - the celtic love knot
The interlacing pattern of this Celtic Knot with no beginning and no end symbolises eternity
Draw or source a Celtic Knot design on paper, use a sharp craft knife to cut around the outline.
Metal Clay Artist and tutor
What is Metal Clay?
Silver clay was the first metal clay to venture onto the market.
It is silver that is reclaimed from industrial processes such as the film and medical industries. Using various lengthy processes to reclaim the silver, it is ground to a fine powder mixed with an organic binder and water.
Silver clay is an amazing material not only does it come in a lump clay form, paste and syringe there is also a product called PMC
sheet. It behaves much like a piece of paper or fabric in this simple project Tracey uses basic origami techniques to make an effective design.