Thursday, 27 September 2012

The latest additions in metal clay...

Here at Kernowcraft, we are always trying to expand our product range with the latest new products for jewellery making. This week sees the very exciting introduction of PMC Sterling and Art Clay Copper to our range of metal clays.
We absolutely love the possibilities that metal clay creates, whether you want to create beautiful textures, unusual shapes or a whole host of jewellery designs from bangles to pendants and rings, it really has opened up the world of working with metal to so many people. No longer is there the need for complicated silversmithing techniques that can take years to perfect, you can work this malleable clay just as you would with any other clays and create beautiful jewellery pieces with just a few basic tools.

It's finally here....PMC Sterling!
We know that you love metal clay just as much as us, so we are always looking for new and exciting products to introduce to you, and we just couldn't contain ourselves when we stumbled across PMC Sterling. This fantastic new clay transforms to 925 hallmarkable sterling silver once fired, so you can sell your designs as sterling silver! This clay can be worked on as normal metal clay, however it has to be fired in a kiln using a two step firing process. We are very excited to be one of the first companies to stock this exciting new clay!

Perfect for those on a budget...Art Clay Copper!
With the increasing price of metal clay, we thought it would be great to offer you a cheaper metal clay alternative. So we are now excited to be selling Art Clay Copper! This fantastic clay can be moulded, shaped and textured as you can with other metal clays and can be fired in a kiln or by torch (instructions for torch firing are here) It transforms into beautiful, rich coloured copper when fired. At just £16.95 for a 50g pack, it will allow you to create a beautiful range of designs at a fraction of the cost of silver clay.
For our full range of metal clays and metal clay accessories click here.

One stylish many looks!

We just love the latest addition to our silver plated settings range! This funky ring costs just £4.65 and can be customised with a huge variety of beautiful gemstones in a whole host of.... so you can get a truly personal piece at a great price! Best of all this ring is adjustable so you can make them for lovely presents or for craft fairs without the need to worry about sizing.
These rings hold two 5mm round cabochons, one 6mm round cabochon and one 8mm round cabochon. All you need to do is choose your stones and use a dab of Devcon epoxy glue to secure into place.
So here's some inspiration for this gorgeous ring, take a look and be inspired!

Protect your hands the easy way!

If you're anything like us when you're silversmithing and end up with file marks on your nails, sore fingers or even mild burns then you'll love our fantastic new alligator skin tape!
Alligator skin tape is a brilliantly clever tape that is designed to protect your fingers from minor cuts, abrasions and burns, so there's no more need for sore fingers after you've finished one of your silvermithing projects!
As we're all a little prone to filing grooves in our nails or burning our fingers a little here at Kernowcraft, as soon as it arrived in our office we were all excited to have a go with it and see if it really works. We have to admit we were a little sceptical, how can a tape possibly be strong enough to protect your fingers from cuts? But after we all had a go with it in our own workshops we couldn't believe how well it protects fingers, it's definitely going to become a staple in our workshops, especially when we're working on smaller and more intricate designs.
This tape is self-adhesive and sticks to itself rather than your skin meaning that there is no sticky residue left on your skin when you remove it (unlike a plaster!) All you need to do is wrap the clever tape around your fingers to cover the area you want to protect and get started on your silversmithing projects. Although you'll look a little 'green fingered' the fantastic tape protects your fingers without restricting your movement, so you can get on with small and fiddly jewellery projects with ease.
We love it when we discover a new product that really works and we're sure that alligator skin tape will become a workshop essential for you as well, how did our fingers ever survive before?!

Easy to set easy you can even use a spoon!

We are really excited to stock these gorgeous new settings for cabochon stones. The best thing about them (aside from the pretty design) is that they are really easy to set. If you are a beginner to the world of jewellery making, don't worry, these are ideal for those with no previous experience at all and you will get a great professional finish. They are available in either sterling silver or brass, two very popular metals, giving you the option of silver or a gold coloured finish at a much cheaper price than 9ct gold.

What tools do I need?

Usually for setting stones, you will need a selection of tools; however for these fantastic gallery wire settings all you will need is a bezel rocker to push over the claws neatly. This is the ideal tool to use and if you are going to progress to any other types of stone setting it will be an essential bit of kit for your workshop. If however you don't have one and don't want the extra expense of buying one yet (they are only £13.20) you can actually use a makeshift tool that you will definitely have at home already: a stainless steel teaspoon!
To set the stone all you have to do is carefully push the claws down over the stone to keep it securely in place. Working your way around the stone, push the claws down gradually from opposite sides, so that the stone stays central.

What if the stone doesn't have a high dome and sits too low in the setting?

If you are using a fairly shallow stone and would prefer it to sit up a bit higher in the setting, you can make a simple adjustment as you would with any other setting. Simply cut a length of round wire, make a loop and sit this inside the setting so that the stone sits on top of it. This will raise the stone up a bit to give you the look you want.

To view or buy these lovely new gallery wire settings, click here.

Beautiful Briolette Bead Inspiration

Gemstone briolette beads are just perfect for adding to earring drops, their beautiful sparkle really lends itself to earring designs, whether you create a beautiful beaded design or add them to metal designs, there are so many possibilities for these beautiful beads.

  • Green Onyx and Green Amethyst Earrings Green Onyx and Green Amethyst Earrings
  • These vibrant green onyx and green amethyst earrings are so eye catching! We wire wrapped four green onyx briolette beads per earring and added them to a short length of SN2 silver chain using small jump rings. We then wire wrapped a green amethyst briolette bead for each earring and added them to the end of the chain using a jump ring to give a nice neat finish to the piece.
  • Carnelian and Pyrite Briolette EarringsCarnelian and Pyrite Briolette Earrings We love the Bollywood feel of these carnelian and pyrite briolette earrings. Here we created a loop out of 1mm brass wire and hammered flat to create a lovely texture and shape. We then wire wrapped three pyrite briolette beads per earring using 0.3mm brass wire and added these to the bottom of the loop. The carnelian briolette bead was then wire wrapped and added to the top of the hoop with a small jump ring. (We linked the jump ring through wire at the top of the loop to stop the carenlian bead sliding around)
  • Blue Chalcedony and Black Spinel EarringsBlue Chalcedony and Black Spinel Earrings These funky blue chalcedony and black spinel earrings were really easy to create. We used 0.3mm brass wire and wrapped rough loops, about half way through wrapping the loops we added the black spinel briolettes to the bottom loop of the wire and then continued with the loops. We then sealed the loops together at the top by wire wrapping tightly around the wire. We then wire wrapped a blue chalcedony briolette and then added this to the top of the loop using more wire wrapping.

    • Lapis Lazuli Briolette earringsLapis Lazuli Briolette earrings The rich blue of these lapis lazuli briolette beads looks fab combined with brass wire. Here we wire wrapped loops in brass wire and sealed at the top by wire wrapping. We hammered these flat. We then wire wrapped a lapis lazuli briolette and added it to the top of the loops. Very simple but beautiful!
    • Pink Chalcedony Briolette EarringsPink Chalcedony Briolette Earrings These pink chalcedony briolette earrings were unbelievably simple to make. We used round nose pliers to create the curved shape out of 1mm brass wire, we then hammered this flat for a lovely texture. We wire wrapped the pink chalcedony briolette bead and then added that to the bottom of wire shape we created.
    • Turquoise Briolette EarringsTurquoise Briolette Earrings These turquoise briolette earrings were made in the same way as the pink chalcedony briolette earrings. We love the vibrant turquoise combined with brass, this lovely turquoise colour is sure to add a bit of summer brightness to your designs!
    • Learn how to wire wrap briolettes...Learn how to wire wrap briolettes... If you are feeling inspired by these designs but aren't sure how to wire wrap a briolette, then all you need to do is follow our 'How to wire wrap a briolette' technique and you can get started creating something beautiful today!