Category Archives: Tutorials

Jump Ring Earrings Video Tutorial – Pepe Jump Ring Maker

I made another video on how to use the Pepe Tools Jump Ring Maker (JMR2) to make the rings for a simple pair of chainmaille earrings.

Enjoy.
Here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH6iYSEQgwI

 

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.

Tool Time Tuesday – Bracelet Tutorial – Pepe Jump Ring Maker

Hey everyone, well, it is Tuesday once again which means TOOL TIME TUESDAY. Now, it will only be Tuesday here at my house for a few more minutes. But in my defense, I have been loading this video for over 5 hours, actually, I think it might be close to 7 hours. How sad. I really miss my FIOS connection.

Last week I did a tutorial on how to make a pendant using PEPE’s Center Positioning Dies. I had posted a picture of two projects on my Facebook page and asked people which project they would like to see me demonstrate. Naturally, everyone said both. Well, I figured I would rise to that challenge and have created another video, this time showing how to make a bracelet. The bracelet is made with similar techniques. The thing that is different about this project is that I also show you one of my newest tools….. The PEPE Jump Ring Maker – JMR2. They recently redesigned it and I do have to say I like it a lot. I love how compact it is. As you already know, I am already a fan of PEPE tools and it has been a fun opportunity to work with them in this fashion.

Without further ado, here is the link: http://youtu.be/feG7_DDjBcw
And the video. Enjoy.

 

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.

Tool Time Tuesday – Center Positioning Dies

Measurable progress is finally being made on the first volume of my book. I am very excited about it. I have set a deadline for myself of Thanksgiving. That is a tall order, so we will see what happens. Of course in this time, I am still trying to run a house, remodel, paint and volunteer at the girls’ schools. But I am working on it.

I haven’t really had any time in the studio to play around yet. Although I did get the chance to make a bracelet and pendant while using this weeks Tool Time Tuesday featured tool, Pepe Tools Center Positioning Dies. I love these little things. They allow you to create perfectly concentric washers. You simply punch a hole using the desired inner diameter, switch to the position of the desired outer diameter die, insert the center positioning die to align the hole of first hole, then use the larger punch to punch out the outer ring, and VOILA, you have a perfect washer.

These are great for a number of uses. You see these washers all the time for stamped jewelry. But I like to texture them up and use them as different design elements. Today, the video I am posting shows you how to make a beautiful silver drop pendant with some blue coin pearls.

One of the great things about these dies is that you can make your washers how you want them. There are some washers that you can buy already made, but you don’t get to determine the metal thickness or even how large your hole is or the outer diameter. Now you can.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQQHSWF_BWk

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.

Tool Time Tuesday – Adjusting your Rolling Mill

Well hello there. Yes, I know, I have been gone a very long time. Whew, have I been busy. It sure seems like that is the starting of each of my posts now, but it is true. Since the last time I posted I have painted 3 bedrooms and hallway (ceilings included,) created a guest bedroom, Cleaned up my flowerbeds and tamed an overgrown courtyard, packed up a lot of my studio, hosted an out of state jewelry artist retreat, unpacked my studio (sort of), had a blog cast interview on Hydraulic Presses, hosted a 3-day workshop with Andrea Kennington and, and, and….. I know there is more, but that is a good list of what I have been up to.

If you would like to hear the blogcast that Kevin Potter and I did with Cara Rae of iCreateFlix, just click here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/icreateflixradio/2013/10/03/the-pressing-topic-of-hydraulic-presses-with-melissa-kevin We talk all about Hydraulic Presses. It was fun. And from now until probably Thanksgiving or so, my focus will be nothing but Hydraulic Presses as I get ready to release the first volume of my new book. Stay tuned….

Today I finally made it back into the studio to do a video. Over the weekend, I had the great opportunity to host Andrea Kennington and Julie Brooks for a weekend workshop. If you ever get the opportunity to take a workshop with them, I would highly suggest it. It was fantastic. I can’t wait to show you all what I have learned. It was so much fun to actually work in my studio. It was also the first workshop I have taken personally in a VERY long time. Oh it was bliss. I promise to blog about it soon, that and the retreat.

One of the things that I learned in Andrea’s workshop was how to adjust the rollers on my mill. I have a Durston Rolling Mill and I never knew that the rollers could be adjusted. It turns out there is a little snap ring at the base of the stem of the adjusting handle that is meant to be there for shipping only. NOBODY EVER TOLD ME!!!! Simply remove the snap ring, the handle can come out and the rollers can be adjusted.

Why in the world would you adjust the rollers? Well, over time, as you use the mill, it will eventually just need an adjustment. All the pressure you put on the rollers from various metals will move them out of alignment. All rolling mills will need to be adjusted from time time.

I visited my local automotive store today and picked up two sets of some really inexpensive feeler gauges ($3) so that I could be sure that each roller was precisely lined up. In this video I show you how I do it. Enjoy.

Link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dxYJHn8Om0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUXsx-xlz39vZaMXkeHI_6pQ

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.

Tool Time Tuesday – Super Ring Bender by Pepe Tools

School started for all three of my girls yesterday. That is a pretty big thing. Of course I had a lot on my schedule, and of course, hardly any of it got done. I guess I had more on my list than I realized. All of the girls had a great time and it is going to be nice to get back into a routine. I do wish I could figure out the magic of getting my kids to bed at an early hour though.

I just received my shipment of “Bench Tips for Jewelry Making” by Brad Smith. So if you were waiting, I now have 10 copies in stock. Thank you to all who have purchased up to this point. Both Brad and I appreciate the support.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Pepe Tools asking if I would be willing to make a demonstration/tutorial video on how to make a spoon ring with their newly improved Superior Ring Bending Tool. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I will jump at the opportunity to try out new tools, especially when it involves me doing a video, demo or review. I love doing them. If you are familiar with my jewelry, you will note that I do not typically make spoon rings, or the flatware jewelry, so this was an added benefit to me as I got to try out something new. I spoke with my friend Danielle at Bent & Twisted Creations about what materials I should be looking for and where to find them. I also thought it would be fun to demonstrate a couple of types of materials…. that was, until I tried it out with HARD material. LOL.

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Danielle was gracious and sent me a couple of handles to play with. I bought one sterling silver spoon from an auction and another that was silver plate. Did you know that if you are going to work with silver plated material, it is best to buy those that are made prior to 1913? The alloy used before that time is much easier to work with than that made later.
I was anxious to play and didn’t have anything to play with. So I went to my local discount store and picked up a box of flatware for only $6. I chose a set that had thin handles and figured I would be able to bend it. Naturally it was stainless steel. I highly suggest you avoid stainless steel. Just turn the other way. Don’t even let it tempt you. Just run away. It is THE HARDEST stuff to bend. Was I able to do it? Yes. Surprisingly the Super Bender did a great job on forming the metal, but it was not easy. I was totally discouraged, but quickly found out that it was just the material being used. Once I got my hands on some pre-1910 plated flatware and sterling it was an entirely different story. That stuff moves, not quite like butter, more like stiff taffy. But hey, it moved and I didn’t have to apply a lot of effort to get it to do it.
The Super Bender comes with 7 different dies, 5 round ranging from 12mm to 22mm, and there is a 45 and 60 degree squared set. Each die has a matching pusher. You simply place your metal between the two pieces, move the handle on bender and voila, you now have a curve in your piece.
Do you want to see it in action? Well, naturally I am happy to oblige. I created this video tutorial so you could see how I make two different spoon rings. Enjoy.

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Thank you to Pepe Tools for the opportunity to do this video.

 

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.

Tool Time Tuesday – Anticlastic Bracelet Tutorial

Hello everyone. It has been a while. It seems I say that more and more. I have all the intentions on sitting down and writing a post, posting or filming a video or even working on jewelry and it just doesn’t seem to go as planned. So I am just trying to go with the flow of things. Thanks for your patience.

Basic Soldering Online Workshop

First off, I am running my Basic Soldering Online Workshop again. Many people indicated that the fall was a bad time and asked if I would run it again after the first of the year. So I am. In addition, you can choose to take the entire workshop, or just specific projects. I will have a yahoo group and Flickr group again so that you will have access to me through those means as well as email.

View more information about the projects: www.MelissaMuir.com/workshops

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Tool Time Tuesday

I did finally get a video edited that I filmed a couple of weeks ago. though. So for today’s Tool Time Tuesday, I am presenting a video tutorial to make an anticlastic bracelet with the hydraulic press. Kevin Potter of Potter USA, has come out with some great bracelet blanking dies. There are three different sizes. I am loving them because they make working on bracelets so much faster.
I will be listing the bracelet blanks (in copper) for sale in my shop next week if anyone is interested in buying the blank but don’t have the resources to get the press set up.
In the video, I show how to use the blanking die with both the larger press and the new smaller bolt together press. There are also some considerations that need to be made with the smaller opening and smaller platen size.
Enjoy. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

The Press and press tools can be purchased at www.PotterUSA.com

And the winner is…..

Lisa from Lucid Moon Studio.

I put all the comments into a spreadsheet (minus duplicates and responses) and then used Random.org to get the random number 16 and Lisa was sitting right at that spot. Congratulations Lisa! I look forward to seeing you in class.
Thank you all so much for the feedback. I certainly felt the love.
A lot of you asked about tube setting, well, I have provided a video on how to do a simple tube setting. You can find it here:
Some of you also asked about Butane torches. Well, you can also check out my video on the three butane torches that are used here in my studio:
And here is one on piercing that you might find helpful:
And my thoughts on the Knew Concepts Saw:
Another on my thoughts about the Saw from Kevin Potter:
I have a few other things that I am working on, including a tutorial for using the hydraulic press and jewelers saw, and maybe even some etching. We will have to see how it all plays out. Last night I sat down with my jewelers saw and got to work. It was so nice. I will post about that in a little bit. But for now, I am going to go and take my girls out for a “girls night.”
Thanks again for all the feedback, compliments, comments and ideas and suggestions.

Tool Time Tuesday – Making Headpins

Today’s post took FOREVER for my computer to load to YouTube for some reason. So it is rather late tonight. But it is still Tuesday in my time zone and you can’t beat that. I was trying to think of different things I could show you and I saw a picture of a couple of headpins and that got my juices going. So today’s Tool Time Tuesday video is me showing you how to make five different headpins. It is a very short video. Enjoy.

http://youtu.be/jPos9Uin6V0


Finished Filming

Today was a great day for me. I finished filming the last of the projects for my online workshop. WOOHOO!!!!!! CELEBRATE!!!! Well, I can’t really celebrate too much yet as there is still A LOT of work to do. I hope I haven’t done all of this work for nothing. But we will see what happens. The class is an introductory/intermediate soldering class. I am not sure how many videos there are yet, but I know it is more than 6 – 8 hours of material. I will have more information and pictures shortly, but for now, here is a picture of the projects that are covered in the class. Don’t be fooled by their simple looks. There are a lot of techniques and tricks covered to make everything look good. Like I said, more information and better pictures to come soon.

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GIVEAWAY!!!!

Okay, I know this is late, but in my defense I really did work on this a LOT. I can only tell you how much I despise Corel VideoStudio Pro 4x. OH MY GOODNESS. That program actually had me saying words that aren’t good for my children to hear. Then after that whole debacle, I tried to use iMovie on my Mac, and that wasn’t a whole lot better. LOL. But I did get one video from each program to work and uploaded. But I swear, I am totally traumatized. That is really sad considering I used to be a computer trainer. I am not used to being the dumb one when it comes to technology. But let me tell you, I have jumped in with both feet and am learning a lot.

Today I finally made a HUGE purchase, thanks to all of you who have purchased my tutorials and tools. I bought the Adobe Creative Suite 6. I am so excited and overwhelmed at the same time. The version I have been using was just CS. That’s right, 6 versions ago. That was before the time Adobe bought Macromedia. It has been a while. And to make it all worse or better, depending on how you look at it, I bought the Mac version. So not only do I get to learn a new computer, but all new software at the same time. Yay Me. (*HeadDesk*)

Why am I doing this to myself? I am doing it for you. Well, Okay, in the end it really is all about me, but still, you benefit too. I am gearing things up to offer online courses. I mentioned this on my Tool Time Tuesday Post earlier this week. I am so excited. I have been working on this for a while and it is fun to see it finally coming together. I plan to have my first class start on August 15th.

I have really struggled since we have moved here to Washington. Not because I don’t like it, because that isn’t the case at all. I could die happy here. It is just really frustrating to be in a space that won’t allow me to teach classes. That is my passion. Since I can’t have you all over here, I figured it was time to take my classes to you. You will be able to log in and view the classes, download the handouts and participate with others via a forum set up for the specific class. I am still working on the particulars as far as the formats and such, but it is coming together.

That brings me to a great question for you and part of my giveaway. I have identified a list of classes to offer, and eventually they will most likely all be offered. We will just have to see how well received they are. But I would like to know which one you would be most interested in.

  • Chain Making (Introductory soldering class)
  • Bezel Setting
  • Ring Making
  • Creative Findings
  • Riveted Bracelet/Pendant/earrings
  • Piercing
  • My Wire Angels
  • Fold Formed Pendant/earrings
  • Tube Setting

I have a much longer list than this, but I thought these would be good classes to begin with. If you have other suggestions I would LOVE to hear them.

I will keep you updated on the progress and registration date for the first workshop.

On to the Giveaway!

Why am I doing it? Well, there are a few reasons. This month marks one year since I have been doing my Tool Time Tuesday posts in Video format. This month, I finally hit 300 subscribers on my YouTube Page. I would love to hit 100,000 views on my YouTube Channel. I would also like your help in getting my blog out there so others can participate in the Tool Time Tuesday features.

Kevin Potter of Potter USA has been a great sponsor of my blog and he has donated one silhouette die and one pancake die for me to give away. I am also going to give away one of my beautiful Black Walnut Swage Blocks. There will be at least one other (maybe 2) gift(s) given away. So you have four chances to win, maybe five.

How to Enter:

You can increase the number of entries by doing a number of things.

  • Subscribe to my blog (Upper Right – You will receive an email each time I make a blog post)
  • Leave a comment on this blog with your suggestion of the class I should offer first.
  • Like my Facebook Page
  • Follow me on Pinterest and/or Pin at least one of my tutorials/videos or jewelry images.
  • Link to my blog from yours (I will link back to yours too – just leave the address in the comments)
  • Create a blog/Facebook/Tiwtter/Google+ post announcing my giveaway
    • Tell them to leave a comment letting me know they heard it from you and you will get an extra entry and they will get an entry too.
  • Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
  • Leave me a comment telling me how many of these items you did. Each one is good for one extra entry.

That gives you a total of 9+ chances to enter. If you are already subscribed to my blog/pinterest/facebook, just let me know and I will give you credit for those. I will also do a blog post with links back to the blogs that link to me. It will be a great way to get people to your blog too.

I will announce the winners next Wednesday, June 20th.

Today I uploaded 2 new videos. As I said before, Kevin Potter of Potter USA has been a great sponsor of my blog and has been so helpful as I have learned about the hydraulic press. These two videos are my 29th and 30th videos on YouTube. So enjoy.

The first video discusses and shows some of the differences between the old style press and his new style.

The second video shows how to use the new embossing/design dies

Thanks for everything. Have a great weekend everyone.

New Tutorial and Other Stuff

What a week it has been. Last week I was all excited about finally setting down roots and getting a new studio up and running. But you know, things change. And they did again. We will not be buying that beautiful home and setting up shop. Sigh. I have been so depressed all week that getting a post done for my blog just didn’t happen. I have been angry and sad and depressed all week long. But now, I think I have had a week of it and I am finally ready to pick myself up and get moving again, at least as much as I can. The thing that is really hard for me is knowing that I have to stay in this rental house for another 8 months. 8 Months of not being able to really make jewelry the way I want to. 8 months of not being able to hold classes the way I want to. 8 months of dealing with these stupid boxes and knowing it just isn’t worth it to unpack them…. even though I know there are things in them that I need. haha, for now, I just try to make do and get creative without those things rather than hunt through them and waste my time.

Today was a fun day. We took the girls down to the river and walked along the dike. We probably only did a mile or so, but it was raining or we would have gone longer. We hear that the sun usually comes out after the 4th of July. I hope so, because I would really like to get active outside and stay dry while doing it. Well, at least not get drenched because of the rain. We went to look for bikes too. My hubby sold his to a friend of ours in Ohio before we moved and I think I will pass mine down to my oldest daughter. A friend of ours here has a great one-child trailer that she is going to let me use over the summer so I can tote the baby around town in. It will be so nice to get on a bike again too.

This evening the sun was out for a little bit so I took the opportunity to snap a couple of photos of a chain I had done a while back. In fact, it is the fine silver fused chain that I submitted to Art Jewelry Magazine a few years ago and had published as a tutorial. While I was out there taking photos, my two younger kids came out onto the deck and played around for a little bit.

KateShoes

Check out the shoes on my little diva. LOL. Also, we just cut about 3 1/2″ off her hair last week.

Kiari

Kiari is becoming quite the little fashionista herself.

view

This is the view from my back deck. It is too bad that the power lines are right there, but it is still a beautiful view, nonetheless. We look out onto a golf course and all that beauty.

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I must say, it isn’t hard to wake up and open the blinds when this is what I have to see.

 

Fused Fine Silver Chain Tutorial

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So this is the tutorial that I wrote a few years ago. I just never put it into my own format, but I figured, why not? So here it is.

This is a great beginner project if you want to get to know silver and your torch. It is made of jumprings and balled up wire. That is it. Pretty much the only two components plus the hook. By the time you make enough of the components to make a bracelet, you will have the feel for your torch and the color temperature when working with the silver. You will want to have extra material as I can promise that you will melt a few pieces of silver.

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The chain is so sparkly and feels fantastic when you hold it or wear it. I believe my necklace weighs somewhere around 3 or 4 oz. So it isn’t an inexpensive project, but if you were to make small lengths of chain interspersed with some lampwork beads or such, it would be great.

fusedchainwood2

With the way the chain is constructed, it moves and drapes beautifully. Even though it is made with fine silver, which is very soft, again, the construction and thicker gauge of silver makes it so it is quite durable.


The tutorial is available in my online web shop – Kelsi’s Closet Jewelbox and is only $4.50. It is 11 pages long and has 25 high quality images. It is downloadable immediately upon receipt of your payment. It is published in a PDF format.

http://www.kcjewelbox.com/Fused-Silver-Chain-Tutorial-Fused-chain-tutorial.htm

 

Give Away

I am excited to announce that next week I am going to do a give away. Kevin Potter of Potter USA is going to sponsor it and will be donating a pancake die and silhouette die. I will also be offering up one of my swage blocks and at least one other item.