Category Archives: Necklace

Tool Time Tuesday – Rotary Tumblers & Another Giveaway

Hey everyone. Yes, I know it is Friday. But, the video was posted to my YouTube channel on Tuesday, so technically it is still Tool Time Tuesday, right?  Hey, when you are a mom to three busy girls, you just have to roll with it sometimes. That, and Sales Taxes caught me off guard. I looked at the due date wrong. D’oh! So glad I looked again.  And, I owe a whole whopping $2.46 in Sales Taxes. LOL. That is good and bad, as it is an indicator of my sales for this past year. However, I believe I squeaked out a tiny bit of profit. Like maybe a hundred dollars or so. WOOT! Last year was probably my worst year emotionally and everything, so that tiny bit of a profit made me smile all night long, even now. 😀 <== See? Big Smile.

When I asked about topics for Tool Time Tuesday, a couple of people asked about Rotary Tumblers. I have a couple of them here in my studio so I thought I would give a quick comparison between the two of them.

If you are interested in getting a 3A Lortone Tumbler (the one featured in the video) and Mixed Stainless Steel Shot, let me know. I do sell those, however I do not keep them in stock. They do meet my minimum purchase amount from my supplier, so I can have it sent directly to you. Just let me know.

GIVEAWAY – Pepetools Jump Ring Maker

JumpRingMaker

That is right, Pepetools has graciously offered a Jump Ring Maker (JMR2). Same deal as the last giveaways. You are just giving us (Pepetools and I) to add you to our email lists. You can always unsubscribe if you would like. Pepetools only sends out a few a year. There will be a few more than that from me, especially as I would like to just have my blog posts go out to my email list. That way I can have everything in one tidy little place.

** Oh, and no worries. You won’t be added to the list multiple times. I know it says you are, but you really aren’t. So you shouldn’t receive two emails and such. But I do still need you to actually enter the drawing through the link provided below.

When will the giveaway be done? Well, that depends. Pepetools has asked that we have a certain number of entries before we do the giveaway. We are currently about a 1/4 of the way there. So please share and share and share. I am dying to find out who is going to get the jump ring maker.

ENTER HERE: http://eepurl.com/bbI3kj

Here are a couple of videos for you to get you excited about winning it.

Finally Making Some New Pieces

As you know, I have really struggled lately (like for the past 4 years) to get back into the groove of things. Between having a baby (now 4 years old) and moving across the country a couple of times, setting up a new house and trying to figure out what I want to do, it has been awful. But This year…. This year is going to be different. We are now in a  routine. The house still has a LOT of projects and I need to figure out how to get organized, but I am finding I finally have some time to myself. I have set many new goals. Utah isn’t the easiest place to have a jewelry making business. The people here are just different and value things a bit differently. Let me just say, there is a reason why I can do what I do. I grew up here. I knew the mentality of Utah when it comes to being creative and “crafty.”

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I have been approached by several online places to offer my workshops and videos. For a while now I have wanted to have my own video subscription service on my website with projects and such. This year, all of that is going to happen. Dates  have already been set for multiple national teaching opportunities. I will be teaching in Tucson at the Gem show next month. In March I will be teaching in the San Antonio/Austin area. Then in July, I will be teaching in Las Vegas. I am so thrilled to be “getting back to it.”

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The other day my husband came home from work and I left the kids in his charge and retreated to the studio. He came in and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was tired of not creating and listening to the awful enemies in my head. So I figured that if I just came in the studio and forced myself to create something, then perhaps my creative muse would awaken and I could get back to “me.” The Me that used to sit and just pull out a stone or two and create. When I was that “ME” things just came together. That is where I am going to get back to. I am excited to get back to ME. This should be a fun year. Want to see what I have done so far? They aren’t perfect but I am sure pleased with them. It is a fabulous start.

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I am also really excited that this week a good friend of mine is coming in from California to help me get the layout of my book going. I am  hoping to have the first volume of my book out in just the next couple of months. We will see how it all goes. I may be even further behind than I think. Then again, I may be further ahead than I think. Cross your fingers that things go well. 🙂

 

 

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Next week I may be a bit quiet as we get our nose to the grind stone and really push to get everything going.

I have been going through my studio and found that I have a lot of things I don’t use. This includes tools and beads and such. So in an effort to raise money for the costs associated with  publishing my book, and hopefully getting a few things in Tucson, I will be holding a destash. I haven’t figured out how I am going to run it yet, but I need to get some things cleared out. I just don’t use some of this stuff and it might as well go to someone who can use it.

But in the meantime, I am so excited to be back. Thanks everyone for the encouragement and support.MelissaMuir-YOJ2015-Week1

 

Happy Thanksgiving – A new video workshop

Today has been a sad one for my family. My little brother, who has been my buddy since moving back to Utah, has moved to Texas. He left this morning after a breakfast here at my house. We celebrated our Thanksgiving a day early yesterday. It has been so much fun to get to know him as an adult. He is 7 1/2 years younger than me. He was only 12 or so when I got married, 16 years old when I had my first child and just 19 years old when I moved away. Getting to know him as an adult has been so much fun. He has made living here in Utah a real adventure. He is my hiking, running, biking and shooting buddy. I am so excited for his new job adventure. But selfishly, I am really heartbroken at losing my buddy.

I hope you and your family are having a happier Thanksgiving. 🙂

Today is kind of a big day for me. 8 years ago today I opened my online store and made it official that I was in business for myself. It was truly the beginning of my jewelry making journey. I NEVER DREAMED it would go as far as it has. I have learned so much. I had never been considered a creative person and this has been quite a challenge for me. I have made many friends along the way. This week I hit a couple of milestones. Of course, the first is having 8 years of this fun job. Second, I hit over 1,000 “fans” on my Facebook page. And, if I can ever get it done and posted, I will have 75 videos on my Youtube channel. I will be doing a give away this week to celebrate, so be sure to watch for my email. 🙂

Next week I am teaming up with Craftcast for a video workshop using my swage block. I have been working hard on it and I am so excited. There will be four projects. It doesn’t matter if you can’t make it to the original broadcast because it is being recorded and will be available to you FOREVER! You can watch anywhere, anytime. And Craftcast is running a 20% off deal right now until Tuesday. Just use coupon code: harvest2014 during checkout and save on all your video purchases, including my workshop.

Here is the listing: https://www.craftcast.com/classes/learn-make-lily-pendant-and-earrings-melissa-muir

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See How It Is Done

There have been a lot of threads on FB in various jewelry making groups that I belong to about people asking the artist to drop their price. You also hear a lot of people saying that something is too much. I honestly believe that is because these “customers” don’t know the true value of the piece.

We are so used to paying for cheap crap that is manufactured in factories that pay a pittance of a wage and provide horrible living and working conditions for their employees (salves really, if you ask me.) People don’t understand what really goes into making a piece. It isn’t just the materials. You also have to consider the tools purchased, the time it takes to learn to use those tools, not to mention the time it takes to learn the skill of the trade, whether it be wire wrapping, metalsmithing, or any of the other mediums out there. Then you have to consider that these people have to pay rent, utilities, packaging, web hosting, booth fees, etc. Even when all of that is taken into account, the most important thing is the artistry of the artist. Because really, you can have all the tools in the world and still be lousy at creating art.

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When a person purchases a piece from me, they aren’t paying for the materials in the piece. They are paying for a piece of art that I created with my own hands, my heart and my creativity. If they want to pay less for that, they will have to find someone else to give it to them, but then it won’t be a piece by – MELISSA MUIR! 🙂

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This week I spent a day in the studio with my tripod and camera following me around capturing nearly every step of the process. There were a few things that I didn’t film and I cut out quite a bit of the process as it is represented by a short little clip of each step. When I did the editing of the remaining video, it was still over 30 minutes long. So I sped everything up 50% added some great music and voila, a fun to watch video.

So please join me for a few minutes and see how I take a flat piece of copper and transform it into this beautiful 3D piece of art jewelry.

Teaching in Tucson

Welcome back for a new year. As always, things are busy as ever. We are about 1/2 through the studio bathroom remodel (always fun, and I can’t wait to show the pictures.) School has finally resumed for the kids, and we have already dealt with the first round of sick kids.

So what have I been working on now? I am still working on my book. This is turning into something so much bigger than I anticipated and so much more work, But it is coming, I promise. I have been playing with new techniques and tools in all things hydraulic press.
Along those lines, I am going to be teaching four workshops in Tucson during the big gem show. I am still working on all the photos, but I have included a few below. If you are going to be in Tucson, I hope you will stop by. All classes are held from 5:30 – 9:30 pm, so you can shop all day and play all night. Each course is only $150 and includes all materials. All you need to do is show up.

 

Bracelet Making Workshop
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Have you ever wanted to use a hydraulic press, rolling mill or other tools to further your bracelet designs? Then this fun hands-on workshop is for you! In this workshop we will make multiple bracelets while exploring the various tools to manipulate the metal. We will play around with various surface textures such as hammering, roll printing, fold-forming, embossing and several others. And it keeps getting better…you will also learn all about pancake/blanking dies and how they can help improve your productivity. In experimenting we will use various forming tools that will allow us to create different bracelet forms such as anticlastic, synclastic and we will also learn about a few others that will add dramatic effects to your designs. This is a technique based workshop where you will take your creative process to the next level while learning to utilize the many fun tools available to create many different looks. This is the perfect class for beginners to advanced, there is something for everyone. No prior experience necessary.
Cost: $150 – All materials included
When: Saturday, February 1st. 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Where: Potter USA’s new shop.

1934 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Register Please visit:


Component and Metal Bead Making Workshop
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So you have a  Hydraulic Press. Now what? In this technique based workshop, we will be working with pancake/blanking dies. Don’t worry if this is all Greek to you, by the end of this workshop it will be second nature to you. With these dies we will make all sorts of components that can be used for things like earrings and pendants. We will learn how to add depth and dimension by forming with Silhouette dies. We will even go one step further and learn a few ways to use these formed pieces to create hollow forms or beads.  You will learn many different texturing techniques to add to your repertoire such as roll printing, stamping, forging, fold forming, piercing and more. You will create more than a handful of components and at least one bead if you desire. No prior experience is necessary.
Cost: $150 – All Materials included
When: Sunday, February 2nd. 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Where: Potter USA’s new shop.

1934 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Register Please visit:

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Captured Druzy Pendant

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In this project based workshop you will discover how to use a hydraulic press to create  the Captured Druzy Pendant. You will be amazed by the form, beauty, and dimension you can create with the hydraulic press. We will first create a formed piece that will then be pierced to allow the durzy quartz to be seen from behind. Next, we will solder wire prongs onto a backplate in order to secure a flat backed druzy quartz. When the final design is created we will secure all layers with tube rivets, including a bail of your design. You will be excited about the beautify of this design. Think of the possibilites. Experience with a jewelers saw is highly recommended, but not required.
Cost: $150 – All materials included
When: Monday, February3rd, 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Where: Potter USA’s new shop.

1934 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Register Please visit:

Silhouette Die Making Workshop
You may already be familiar with silhouette dies available through Potter USA or even Bonny Doon, but you have also seen other forms that have been made by other people. So how do they do it? Well, this workshop will introduce you to several ways that will add endless possibilities for your own custom designs. We will also go over good and bad design ideas that will help you achieve consistent results with a minimum of post forming work. The best part is you will be introduced to many methods to create and test your silhouette dies using a product called Faux Bone. I am still getting pictures taken and ready.
Cost: $150 – All materials included
When: Thursday, February 6th, 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Where: Potter USA’s new shop.

1934 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Register Please visit:

All content and images on this blog are the property of Melissa Muir and use of them in any context is strictly prohibited unless written permission is first obtained. Please feel free to repin any of the pictures of pieces done by Melissa Muir only.

30 Days of Art Challenge

November already? How can that be possible? And not only that, but we are already 9 days in. Time just flies by anymore. I could swear we just started this year. I am sure that I am not the only who feels this way. I think that as I get older that time just goes faster and faster. Sometimes it makes it hard to enjoy it.

How was your Halloween? Ours was pretty fun. Riley is getting a little old for it, but she still enjoyed dressing up for school and going out with the girls. We didn’t really decorate this year. I don’t know where all of my stuff it. Imagine that. But the two younger girls really had a great time.

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I have been working on my book and I am sad to say that it has been going much slower than I would like. Also, as I was working on it, I realized that I need more experience in the section that I was writing. So I have changed the focus of the first volume. While that is good, it does mean that I am starting over from the beginning on this one. Luckily, it is going much more smoothly than the section on making your own pancake dies.
Because of all that is going on with kids, schools, remodels and everything else, I haven’t really had time to actually get into doing any kind of art at all. I mean nothing. So I decided to give myself a 30 Days of Art challenge here in November. I have to make or work on at least one piece of art a day. It doesn’t have to be finished, but I have to do something. Some days I get 3 or 4 pieces done, others, I am lucky to sneak one in before going to bed.
So let me show you a little of what I have been doing.
Day 1 – Spinner Ring. This is the ring that I made during the demonstration video for Pepetools Ring Shank Bender.
SpinnerRingMelissaMuir
Day 2 – Silver Synclastic Earrings I made using my Arbor Press from Potter USA
SilverEarringsMelissaMuir
Day 3 – A great big bow for my front gate. I have never made a bow before, so don’t pick on me.
BigBowMelissaMuir

I know it doesn’t look all that big, so let me give you a little perspective:

BigBow2MelissaMuir
Day 4 – Copper and Silver Earrings. I used the Ring Shank Bender to coil the wire (12 gauge copper.) When I hammered them, they got all out of shape. Without annealing, I used the Ring Shank Bender AGAIN and reformed the earrings. I am really starting to like that tool a lot.
CopperSilverEarringsMelissaMuir
Day 5 – Quick bracelets made from 12 gauge aluminum
AluminumBraceletMelissaMuir

 

Day 6 – This is progress made on my first ever stained glass piece. I don’t know that I will ever master this one, but there is a HUGE panel in my near future. I need to cover up the window that looks out on the AC unit that was installed in the middle of my studio window.
StainedGlassMelissaMuir
Day 7 – This is just a prototype of a large wire angel. I was trying to figure out how difficult it would be to work with 12 gauge wire, as well as figuring out how much wire I would need. I will be making a Christmas ornament with three angels. It is a commissioned piece for a mom who lost her triplets earlier in the summer.
WireAngelMelissaMuir
Day 8 – I was trying to do an experiment with a fold formed piece and the hydraulic press. Well, I made the fold formed piece too large and it wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to so I made a little bit of abstract art for myself. It now sits in my window and brings me joy.
FoldFormed_MelissaMuir

I actually had multiple pieces. This is a simple formed piece in the hydraulic press.

HydraulicPressJewelryMelissaMuir
Day 9 – Doing more work on my book I was playing around with various techniques and this little guy emerged. I just need to figure out a bail for it. I actually really like how it turned out and watching it evolve was so much fun.
HydraulicPressJewelryPodMelissaMuir

All content and images on this blog are the property of Melissa Muir and use of them in any context is strictly prohibited unless written permission is first obtained. Please feel free to repin any of the pictures of pieces done by Melissa Muir only.

Catching up – 30 Days of Art

WOW! I am so far behind. I was doing really well too. Then of course, it is that time of year and the sickies hit our house. Luckily, it was a short lived one, but it got us all the same. It is amazing to me how just one or two days can throw everything off for weeks. So let’s get caught up shall we?

Day 6:

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Day 7: A pendant made for my daughter Kate.

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Day 8: Sterling textured earrings

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Day 9: Copper and Sterling pendant

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Day 10: Textured Copper Cuff
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Day 11: Ever have an idea in your head that looks really neat? Then you
make it and it isn’t so neat? Yeah? Well, that is this piece. And then
the picture magnifies all of its super UN-GLORIOUSNESS and makes it even worse. LOL.

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Day 12: Beautiful Happiness, at least those are what they said on the stamps.

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Day 13: Sterling and Copper

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Day 14: More copper… imagine that.

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Day 15: Textured Copper and Forged Sterling Silver

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Day 16: Rainy days. Sterling, copper, acrylic and glass (Front and back)

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Day 17: Copper and Carnelian

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Day 18: Copper and carnelian

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Day 19: Shooting Stars

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Day 20: Ring – Copper and Sterling

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Okay, so I am still about 4 days behind, but at least I am finally much closer than I was.

See you soon!

Spinner Ring Tutorial is Finished!

Well, I finally got it done. Not only that, but I also made kits that can be purchased so you don’t have to worry about cutting the metal to the width needed for this tutorial. I also added kits for the Lily Pendant and Cone Earrings. So check them all out and let me know what you think.
MelissaMuirSpinnerringsTutorial

The tutorial is just as in-depth and detailed as I usually am. So you know it will be easy to follow and understand.

This tutorial is not a beginner project. I do not go indepth about soldering basics. Please watch my introductory video on how to create a soldered band.

I have a kit for the Spinner Ring!

Spinnerringkit1

Don’t want to have to cut your own materials? This little kit is a great compliment to the tutorial. it includes:

  • 3 strips of 10mm wide copper that is 3 1/2″ long. I have cut this with my guillotine shear, so there is no need to remove any curves left by hand shears, or filing to do on the edges left by uneven cuts with a saw.
  • 12″ – 18 gauge Sterling Silver round wire.
  • Cost: only $8.50 and includes shipping (US Domestic.)
  • http://www.kcjewelbox.com/Spinner-Ring-Materials-Kit-Spinner-Ring-kit.htm

 

kit

I have also come up with an all inclusive materials kit for the Lily Pendant and Cone Earrings project.

New Jewelry Making Tools Coming

New swage blocks are coming! I went to Portland a couple of weeks ago to pick out some more Black Walnut. They didn’t have the same size wood I had used for my previous blocks, but the had some that were beautifully marbled and colored and slightly larger. So I changed the design of the block a little and added a few more shallow grooves. They were shipped to me today and I will post pictures of them next week once I have them.

In addition, I have just purchased a great tool called a drill press vise and I am loving it. I wish I had had one a long time ago. It would have saved my fingers a number of times. Watch for the video on that one soon, and the product will be available in my shop (in limited quantities.)

Oh So Riveting

I have been playing in the studio again today trying to get some more sample pieces done for when I teach my riveting class tomorrow. We will be doing three types of rivets; wire rivets, tube rivets, and telescoping rivets (a type of tube rivet.) I actually have one opening in my class tomorrow night if anyone is interested.

Also, the Tube Setting classes are so popular, I have changed the schedule for the 27th and we will be doing tube rivets one more time. I have at least one opening in that class. Class will go from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Here is what I did today. The beautiful beads are by my really good friend Laura Crtichfield of Chestnut Ridge Designs .

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The cord is made with the finest Greek Leather. Metals used are sterling silver and copper. The necklace measures 19″ long.

Busy Night in the Studio

It seems that I have not been in the studio to make jewelry for the sake of making jewelry. I love the Tool Time Tuesday posts because I knew they would make me post on my blog and get into the studio at least once a week. I am glad that people are enjoying them as well. My readership has increased about 25% too, so that is great. Thank you to those that have subscribed and regularly visit and feel that what I have to say is worth reading.

Last night and again tonight I was able to get into the studio to play with some new components and tools. Yes, I have even more new tools. I think I have an illness. I wonder if there is a 12 step program for tool-a-holics.

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This is a picture of the piece I featured on my Tool Time Tuesday post . Copper, sterling silver and 6mm cz.

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This bracelet is made with etch pieces that I did tonight using my new Electro-Etching kit by Sherri Haab. I will be writing a Tool Time Tuesday post on this coming up pretty quickly.

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These earrings have been textured with my Raw Silk hammer and the sterling swirls have been forged. I hand made all the ear wires.

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Again, textured with my Raw Silk hammer and forged silver.

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This is probably my favorite pair. I call them English Ivy. The leaves have been textured with Raw Silk, forged swirls and stamped circles.

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I used one of my texture hammers on this pair of earrings.

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This is a fun little pendant I thought I would offer as mother’s pendants. The ring, is actually pretty small. I made this one for Kate, and Riley will be helping me to make hers later this week.

I have come into a great deal of copper lately, so you can expect to see a LOT of copper and mixed metal pieces from me pretty soon. I have begun to populate my Etsy shop once again and will be adding things to my website as well.

Thank you to those of you that have purchased my Angel Tutorial. I would love to hear any feedback (good or bad) that you might have to help me make future tutorials even better.

Also, I thought it would be kind of fun to do a give away. I now have over 100 blog subscribers. Once I hit 150 I will do a give away of some sort. Not sure what I will give away yet. It could be a piece of jewelry, a tool, or tutorial, but it will be pretty cool whatever the prize. So spread the word.