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Friday, July 31, 2015

Metals Workshop ... great fun and therapy for everyone!

Just to let my jewelry workshop students know..... I will be giving a repeat of the Metals Workshop class in September for those who missed it.   You missed one of the BEST workshops I have ever done.
 We had a great day Wednesday using the metals workshop as "our therapy" session, girls.   I think I enjoyed it as much as they did.  Nothing like taking out our frustrations   out there on the table "pounding"  away on metals.

See what the students created on Wednesday....

The texturing and coloring was the favorite of most everyone..... Exploring the possibilities of metals is endless and SO MUCH FUN!

I will have another "EXPLORING METALS" workshop in September and I might add making rings and / or a bracelet  with "flame painting" coloring  on brass and bronze metals....

One student didn't think she was that interested in the patina and coloring of metals.  She said later after the class .... "That was so much fun to do!"   " I enjoyed really that part the best!"

I will ask everyone to bring  to this next metals workshop  an apron , safety glasses, and a mask if you are sensitive to chemical fumes.

I will have extra tools available, but you are welcome to bring your favorite texturing hammers and tools.

Keep in touch on my facebook page   and here on my blog for the exact dates and prices.

I will be taking a vacation the month of August... but contact me with any questions you might have about upcoming classes.

Have a great Indian Summer .... we will talk soon!

*** Please note:  I will have to have at least a 48 hour notice if you have registered for my class and  need to cancel.  I am having to do this in order to be able to plan for the students with the correct amount of supplies purchased and still have enough students to teach.   I need a minimum of 4 students to make a class . Pre-registration ( 1 - 2 weeks in advance) is required  on each student attending.  If for some reason you cannot attend ....I do not promise that the class will be taught again.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Keeping Your Jewelry in Good Condition!

I have been asked so many times... How do I clean and keep my fine jewelry in good condition?
Well that is a good question... because so many people don't have a clue!  I always thought everyone knew these things but guess I was wrong!  We take care of our expensive cars.... our expensive clothing but  "not our jewelry" we paid thousands of dollars for!

 There are a few very good tips I want to share with you  ... and one of them is Homemade jewelry cleaner you can make at home .You could purchase a professional jewelry cleaner  or you could simply make your own cleaner.  I make my own because I use so much of it every day making and caring for jewelry.

This is a recipe I use for cleaning semi precious,precious, and most fine jewelry .  There are several ones because each type of  jewelry needs different care and precautions:

Click this link for some great recipes for different types of jewelry:
Homemade Jewelry Cleaner Recipes:

I personally use  this one:   1 part household ammonia, 1 part  dawn dish washing detergent, and 1 part warm water with most all of my gemstone jewelry ( but NOT for pearls or sensitive stone (opals and emeralds)

For PEARLS and other very sensitive stone jewelry I use the following formula:

1 part dawn dishwashing (reg. strength)
1 part household ammonia
15 parts warm water

This makes a very weak solution that is more sensitive. IMPORTANT!  Leave in less than 1 minute and scrub GENTLY  with a soft toothbrush!
Rinse immediately and dry well with soft cotton cloth.

The secret is to NEVER put your jewelry in your jewelry box while it is wet or dirty!  This promotes decay of the metals, harming the gemstones and corrosion of your fine metal..  People do not realize that many chemicals we come into contact with daily are harmful to your fine gold and gemstone jewelry.

Another Tip:  NEVER leave your jewelry soaking in the jewelry cleaner for more that 10 minutes..... REASON:  The chemicals will eat away the metal and or the finish on the jewelry.  All jewelry is sensitive to chemicals.... just like our skin... so treat it like it was your own skin..... BE CAREFUL and take better care of it!

Here is an article I find really helpful explaining the importance of "Taking Good Care of your Jewelry and What not to do!

Caring For Your Jewelry

It really doesn't matter if your jewelry is fine or just gold plated....  you will still need to clean it and store it clean and dry at all times.....

I also use a silver ( non tarnish cloth)  to wrap my sterling silver in and put it separate from my gold jewelry.   This helps keep sterling silver from tarnishing.

It is always a good practice to take you fine diamond jewelry to a jeweler every 6 - 8 months to have them check your prongs and settings.  Especially if you wear them everyday.

Hang up your chains and pendants in a jewelry stand to keep them from tangling up.... I am sure we all know about tangles at some point!  Nothing is more upsetting than to go to your jewelry box to find a tangled mess when you want to wear a special piece of jewelry.

Jewelry rolls with tabs are also very helpful to use.  They help to preserve and keep silver from tarnishing as well.

Also a good practice to invest in an ultrasonic cleaner to clean jewelry with if you have a vast collection of jewelry.  I have one  in my studio that I love to use.... pictured here in the lower right corner.  It works on high frequency vibrations and heat  to clean your jewelry.

Check out my upcoming classes I am having this month and the following few months.

Follow me :  Facebook

My jewelry collections can be seen  here:   My Etsy Shop

Have a great weekend  and check out my jewelry if you are in downtown Pensacola  on Saturday  at  Palafox Market , located off of Palafox and Gregory Street

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Metalworking Class ..Introduction to Exploring Textures, Shapes, and Patinas

July is here and I want to EXPLORE METALWORKING with my students!

It is such an exciting subject.... METALS!  Jewelry would not be complete without a course in metalworking.  I just love to experiment with all the different tools used in texturing and shaping metals.  Copper is one of my very favorite metals to experiment with because of the many possibilities it has.

Just a few years ago if someone told me I would be working in copper, I would have said No Way!
I have a vast background using gold and sterling silver.... and never explored base metals until a few years ago.  Now I just cant get enough of using copper in my jewelry creations!

So many requests have come in for exploring metalwork... so I decided to jump in and take on copper textures , 3 Dimensional  shapes and patinas.  We will even be learning how to anneal copper with a butane torch!

My students will be learning what tools they can find in their homes and tool boxes .... even screws nails and coins ... everyday items they might already have at home.  I also provide a list of tools and supplies and where to purchase them.

Patina colors in metals is another field we will begin to explore. What can be more fun than learning how to apply color to your 3D pieces of  wearable jewelry art! To personalize is so much FUN..... and applying the Fall 2015 Fashion colors onto your metal art is also what you will learn in this class!

There is so much information I will be sharing along with tips of the trade I have learned along the way.... I do have over 35 years experience creating and designing jewelry  that I like to pass on to my students.

This first in a series of metalworking classes will take place on Wednesday July 29th at 10:00 AM and last about 3 1/2 hours.  You will not want to miss this class... I promise!

I teach in my home studio at Studio PMR and like to keep my classes small for my students' benefit!  Join us for Brunch at 10 AM .... jump in to our FUN class...  I promise you wont regret it!

Contact me for more details ... Follow my blog here and please Like my page you will be kept in the loop!


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Here is some of the examples of  texturing  and patina on jewelry pieces I have done in the last few months!  You can learn  to make jewelry like this  in my class!  I would love to teach you!