Friday, 23 May 2014

Make Gemstone Stacking Rings Easily with Bezel Cups

Stacking rings, perfectly formed little beauties that you can mix and match. With Bezel Cups you don't need to worry about making tiny bezels from scratch Use wire to make the band or even a ready made ring.


Our Plain Edge Bezel Cups provide an easy way to set cabochons with a neat and professional finish. Simply solder the Bezel Cup to your design and your are ready to set your stone. 

Simply bezel the cup over the stone using a Bezel Rocker and Burnisher until your stone is held securely in place.



Experiment with making the band in Silver Wire and choose from Round, Square or D-Shape which you can then hammer or add marks to.

Then choose your size of Bezel Cup and a Cabochon in the corresponding size. Note that you will still need to check that the Cabochon fits inside the Bezel Cup.

Tip: Either leave the Cabochon in the plastic seal bag or lay a hair over the Bezel Cup to ensure it doesn't get stuck whilst you push the Cabochon in check the size is correct. If it's too small simply run a Burnisher around the inside of the Bezel Cup to widen it. If your Bezel Cup is too deep simply place a piece of wire around the inside edge of your bezel under your stone to raise it to a better height.

Solder your Bezel Cup onto your ring band, for ease we like to use Solder Paste

Tip: You can use Binding Wire to help hold the pieces together whilst you solder, or a Third Hand Tool is a great trick.

Clean your piece by dropping it in Pickle and then use a Bezel Rocker to push the silver against the stone gently. Use a Curved Burnisher to smooth the edges around the Cabochon and ensure it is sitting in the Bezel Cup securely.

Polish your piece with Polishing Papers or Sanding and Polishing Sticks and shine up with a Jewellery Polishing Cloth to finish.




Saturday, 10 May 2014

Learn to make jewellery in the stunning North Wales countryside



Lucy Copleston gives expert one-to-one tuition in precious metal jewellery making to all levels of ability at her private workshop in the Vale of Clwyd, North Wales

Enjoy learning how to make your own Precious Metal Jewellery in the scenic splendour of the Vale
of Clwyd, North Wales, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Lucy Copleston is a qualified teacher with a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art. She offers expert one-to-one tuition in a wide variety of techniques including PMC, enamelling, silver soldering, resin and bead work, wire wrapping, stone setting, Keum-boo, acid etching and much more.

Everybody completes at least one finished piece of jewellery. Each session is customized to your individual needs and ability so you quickly master specialist techniques.

Fees from Monday to Friday are £125 per person per day: for Saturday and Sunday £135 per day. Local accommodation is available.
Gift Vouchers for tuition make a special present and are posted to you.

For more information phone Lucy: 01745 710347 or email: lucy@exclusivejewellery.co.uk and visit the website: www.exclusivejewellery.co.uk/workshop/



 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Top tips on photographing your jewellery at home - no expensive equipment needed!


Producing good photographs of your jewellery is an important factor if you want to sell your work online or exhibit at fairs. Even if you make jewellery as a hobby it is nice to keep a record of the things you've made and show them off to their best if you like using social media.

At Kernowcraft you might be surprised to hear that we don't have expensive studio equipment as we want to photograph new products quickly - we are always so keen to share them with you! The majority of our photographs are taken using a compact camera in our DIY studio.

Here are our top tips on photographing your jewellery at home and how to make your own portable, micro DIY photography studio.

Choose your time of day
Last thing at night when you've just completed that pendant and next stop is bed is not a good time! You really need
some good natural light to show your work off at its best. While lamps and artificial light can be useful, when used as the primary light source at home they can make big reflections on gemstones and metal often in a yellow tone. Artificial light will also give silver a yellow hue.

Choose a time of day with good natural light, also avoiding very bright sunlight that will produce harsh shadows.

It is all about the angle
When photographing your jewellery, remember that people will want to see it from different angles so they can understand what shape it is, what sort of clasp it has or what size the gemstone is among other things. It can also be useful to have close ups of details such as charms or particular texture you have used.

Angle is also important when photographing gemstones as the slightest movement can mean that you pick up the colour of the flash better or that the facets show up much better. It is best to take several photographs with slight changes in the angle so you can pick the best. Through practise you will also get an understanding of which angle works best.

Make your DIY micro studio
Make a light reflector
No expensive equipment needed here! All you need is a couple of pieces of card covered in tin foil. Add some tape at the back (like hinges) and your light reflector will stand up!

Find a piece of shiny white card
This is what you will photograph the pieces on. A sheet of white card or paper will pick up the light nicely helping to show your jewellery off at its best.

Use a coloured textured surface
Photographing your work on a piece of wood or slate can provide a really nice background with the added benefit of not having to make sure your set up is absolutely perfect. It can also mean that you don't need to edit them.

A smart phone or compact camera is all you need
Again, you don't need to invest in expensive equipment. Smart phones have excellent quality cameras these days. If you have a compact camera, make sure you have it set to good quality (larger, higher resolution) and experiment with adjusting the exposure when photographing on a white background - you may need to increase the exposure when photographing on a white background to make sure you get a good finish.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Alexandrite, the rare colour-changing gemstone

 
We don’t get to handle Alexandrite that often, but when we do it is always exciting as we love to look at its amazing ability to change colour. Alexandrite is green or bluish-green in daylight whereas it reflects colours of red, purple or raspberry in incandescent or artificial light.
 
Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia and was named after the Russian Tsar, Alexander II. Alexandrite has since become available from mines from Brazil, Sri Lanka and India among other countries.
 
Alexandrite is rare due to its chemical composition – it is a Chrysoberyl  but differs in that is contains iron, titanium and also chromium which is the element which accounts for its colour change. Fine quality Alexandrite which is relatively rare has a green to bluish-green colour in daylight changing to a red to purplish-red colour in incandescent light.  Less-desirable stones may have daylight colours of yellowish-green and incandescent colours of brownish red.
 
http://www.kernowcraft.com/products/just-arrived/alexandrite-colour-changing-45x35mm-oval-faceted-stone-9759/Alexandrite has a hardness of 8.5 making it a stone that can be worn regularly. Other characteristics associated with it are the ability to strengthen the wearer’s intuition and aid creativity.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Make texture easily with metal clay - turn your beach finds into silver jewellery!


pmc, metal clay, silver clay, fingerprint jewellerypmc, metal clay, silver clay, fingerprint jewellery, The sunshine is real treat at the moment and we've enjoyed walking on the beach around Kernowcraft. Beach finds are perfect for making textures on Metal Clay or even for making moulds to make whole pieces.
We made the pendants pictured above using the Seashore Mould for Metal ClayHere's everything you need to get starting making these beautiful silver shells and sea creatures:

 make your own beach inspired jewellery,shell pendant, silver art clay,
Metal Clay
Rolling pin
Insulated Reverse Action Tweezers
Gas Torch
Soldering Block
Small Brass Brush
Burnisher
Seashore Mould

We also supply everything you need to get started with Metal Clay Kits.

silver clay jewellery, pmc, metal clay, fingerprint jewellery




Or try turning your own beach finds into silver jewellery! Simply using our Moulding Compound and make your own moulds that you can use again and again. We have the full instructions on how to use Moulding Compound to make a Metal Clay Seashell Charm here.

For more information about using Metal Clay, we recommend reading Magical Metal Clay.

If you are enjoying making jewellery using metal clay you can invest in a gorgeous firing kiln! These can be used for glass fusing and all sorts of other techniques.