This blog is filled with top tips, handy tools and jewellery making inspiration whether you prefer silversmithing or beading. Kernowcraft Rocks and Gems will support you on your jewellery making journey.
For more info and products visit www.kernowcraft.com
We love rings! Statement ones with big juicy stones, to delicate stacking rings, but how do you make sure the ring you make is the right size for you or the person you are making for?
Whether you are making a ring using metal clay, traditional silversmithing or wire wrapping techniques, a wheatsheaf ring size stick is a must have for making sure your ring is the right size! Measure your finger using our simple ring sizer, if you are unsure of the size you need
The wheatsheaf ring size stick has all the ring sizes from A to Z marked onto the metal in a grooved line, so once you know your size, simply select the size you want to make and wrap a piece of string around your size on the selected size line and mark where the ends meet, measure your marked string with a ruler and you have the exact length you need to cut from your silver. If you've ever asked yourself "How much silver do I need to make a ring", this stick is your new best friend! C48 wheatsheaf ring sizing stick
If you already have your silver you can wrap it around the correct size line and mark where you need to cut with a scriber.
You can use the stick to measure a favorite ring you already have, to find out the size, so you know how to make it fit a certain finger.
If you are wire wrapping you can use your ring stick to make sure you begin with the correct size.
Why not try giving your ring some texture by popping it onto a ring Triblet (also known as a mandrel) and giving it a good bash with a cross pein hammer. You should also try out our texturing kit if you want to create something really unique!
Tip: The wheatsheaf size stick is notched with all the different sizes and is purely for making sure your ring is the perfect size, if you hit it with a hammer you will damage the markings and make it less accurate, so make sure to always use your triblet/mandrel when shape or texturing a ring. Other essentials needed for making the perfect ring are:
We currently have a stunning range of Premium Boulder Opals in stock – each one brilliant and one of a kind. They are notably higher
in price than our previous selections of Boulder Opals, so what is it that
gives a Boulder Opal its value? Boulder Opals are easily distinguished by their layer of solid brown ironstone left on
the back of the stone. Boulder Opals are mined from large ironstone boulders
under the ground. Thin veins of colourful opal forms in the cracks and fissures
in these boulders which are cut into the stones we sell.
Boulder Opals usually have a flat surface or an undulating surface and are almost
always cut in a freeform shape to maximise the size of the stone. The quality
of the work of the opal cutter affects the value of the gem as it should be polished
so that no scratches or imperfections are visible to the eye.
Boulder Opals are valued by their colour, the number of colours, size and coverage of flash
(the play of colour, sparkle within the stone) with red being most valuable
followed by violet, orange, yellow, green and blue. The intensity of colour,
pattern and the clarity are also very important.
stone with strong colour and a full spectrum range is generally more valuable
than one with a predominantly red fire, which is more valuable than one with
predominantly green colour which in turn is more valuable than a stone showing
only blue colour.
summary, when looking at an opal consider the following:
- How bright is the gemstone overall?
Spectral Range - What range of colours are visible in the play of colour?
Saturation - How pure and vivid are the colours forming the play of colour?
Direction of flash – Is the play of colour visible from multiple directions?
When designing a piece of jewellery using freeform Australian Boulder Opals, spend some time looking at it in the sunlight and turning it
different ways to determine which angle is best to show the play of colour it
holds. Do you want to be able to see the flash or do you want it to appear
brilliant to other people?
your thumb to hold the wire of the earring against the end of your bench peg, with the back of the
earring resting on the top of the peg (this enables you to push the claws
onto the stone without bending your earring backing).
with the first claw and focusing on one at a time, use your forefinger to
gently push the stone downwards so that a little gap opens between the stone
and the claw holding the stone. With your other hand, rest the corner of the
tip of your pusher on the bench peg, just behind your setting, and gently roll
the tip of the pusher onto the claw so that it lightly but firmly pushes the
claw onto the stone (being careful not to touch the stone with the
on each claw and you're done!
looking earrings in under two minutes! If you haven't tried these before they
are brilliant, great for beginners or an excellent time saver for even the more
experienced in jewellery making.
afterwards using the polishing cloth for a shiny professional finish
Or if you
would like to try a bit of soldering, you could try the 8mm version:
may already have some of these items in your tool kit already, but here's what
prefer to mix up a small batch at a time using a glass container and a teaspoon
of pickle crystals - exact measurements and full instructions are included with
the item...Also it's important to remember to only use plastic tweezers when retrieving your
piece from the pickle! As metal tweezers can react with the solution and copper
plate your silver! Remember to pour your water into your container first and then add
your teaspoon of pickle.)
remove all grease
and invisible 'dirt' that could stop your solder from flowing. Place your
snaptite setting onto your heat
block with the claws downward and your nice scratched clean surface
a small blob of solder paste to your flat plate earring
backing and press down onto your snaptite setting.
you are ready to solder.
(Make sure you tie back long hair, wear a breathing mask and/or make sure you
are in a well ventilated area).
and carefully circle your piece with the flame making sure you lower the flame
so that the blue tip (inside the flame) is closest to your work. Pass your
flame near to the solder but not so it's blasting the flame straight onto the
Tip: I like
to sneak the flame near the piece and wait for the steam (which is your flux
premixed into the paste) to burn off. Then I like to walk the flame over the
work (like walking through a waterfall). I do this a couple of times and keep a
keen eye on the solder and as soon as it flows take the flame away and switch
your piece is now hot, so you need to use your reverse
action tweezersto pick it up and pop it into the water to quench the
need remove all the black marks on your silver by placing your setting in to
solution you made earlier. Leave the pickle to do it's thing and go
and have a nice cup of tea. When you come back if your piece has turned a nice
frosty white-ish colour, it's ready to take out. Using your plastic
tweezers, lift out your piece and rinse under running water. Dry off with a
using your polishing papers to bring your silver up to a nice shine (use each
colour in sequence, each one is a different grade).
Now pop your
stones in and push the claws over using the same method described above and
finish by buffing up with your silver
polishing cloth for that high shine!
If you love beach combing as much as we do, you'll have lots of treasure!
You can make your beachy finds into attractive pendants or decorations with Sprials! In a medium or large size, you'll be able to accommodate shells or multiple pieces of sea glass and enjoy the patterns the wire makes around your objects while holding them tightly!