Find Inspiration in Your Values
People don’t buy what you sell; they buy what you believe




From Jane Dunnewold’s   talk at the

2011 Surface Design Association Conference 

What Matters?

“All of human culture is one massive creative act…

“We can and must choose to believe there is enough…

“..recognizing that our gifts are intertwined with our limitations and being willing to deal with it, without passing judgment…

“In order to be in community you have to know yourself.”

Read the whole thing here

Torch Fired Enamel

I am doing a lot of experimenting this summer while I can have the windows open and the fan system going.  Most of the enamels used below are old Thompson lead-based enamels that I wet pack.  Even when I use non-leaded enamels (like on the beads.  You can’t wet pack these; I use the dip and fire method),  I wear a respirator, and use eye protection. 

 It’s kind of tricky wet packing on curved surfaces but it can be done with a little practice.  I’ve tried Klyr Fire,  gum tragacanth, gum arabic and water as a binder.  I think I prefer the gum tragacanth.  I was wandering around in Dick Blick the other day and saw something in the ceramics department called Amaco Gum Solution.  The directions say it can be used for dry and wet enameling.  Since it sells for half the cost of Klyr-fire, I might give it a try in the future.


There are two relatively new Ning enameling groups.  One is Painting with Fire moderated by Barbara Lewis.  Her eagerly awaited (by me) book torch-fired enamel jewelry is due out in September.  The other group is  Grains of Glass moderated by Trish White.  This group attracts every level of  enamelist from all over the world.   I belong to both groups and highly recommend them.

On-Line Ideas and Inspiration for Jewelry Makers

I troll the Internet in search of ideas and inspiration.  Here are some new finds and some old favorites I want to share:

Nancy LT Hamilton offers free metalsmithing videos on sawing, riveting, soldering,  making findings and other techniques.  She offers a few metal working tools and her site is full of  useful  information about tools, metal, measuring, ring sizing, drill bits and more.

Beaducation sells jewelry making tools, books. DVDs and findings.  In addition paid on line classes,  Beaducation offers  free on line classes in several mediums including metalsmithing, felting, resin jewelry making  and beading

Brenda Sue Lansdowne  sells cool  vintage jewelry supplies on her web site, B’Sue Boutique  and her  blog, Jewelry Making Outside the Box  is chock full of interesting information.   She also offers free on line videos  showing how she uses her products to make eye-catching  mixed media jewelry.  The videos and blog are great places to get ideas and inspiration.

Speaking of ideas and inspiration,  I found these silver plated serving forks at a flea market.  I plan to saw off the handles and make the serving ends into pendants. 

If you think you have seen it all when it comes to jewelry made from spoons, knives or forks, you must watch this  video  by Italian Artist Giovanni Scafuro.