Jewelry Makers Network

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Karen Ferrante's Blog (19)

Bench Tip for Organizing Sandpaper On Sanding Boards

I learned this great tip from Tim McCreights “Complete Metalsmith”. In order to organize your sheets of sandpaper and to provide a solid surface for sanding, cut out three pieces of Masonite or Plexiglass 12 inches x 9 1/2 inches (or have the pieces cut out for you at a home improvement center). Mount the sandpaper on the front and back of each board using a spray adhesive glue. Organize by course, medium and fine grit. You can also drill a hole in the corner of the sanding boards, tie them…


Added by Karen Ferrante on April 3, 2012 at 12:39am — No Comments

Is it Illegal to Make Jewelry Out of Coins?

Many people people think that it is illegal to incorporate coins into jewelry making. This is not true. It is illegal to deface US currency if the intent is continue to use it as legal tender after it has been altered. The purpose of the law is to prevent counterfeiting and fraud and does not apply to objects made out of currency whether for sale or not. If it were illegal to squash pennies, the souvenier machines that you find at various landmarks, museums and amusement parks would be…


Added by Karen Ferrante on November 14, 2011 at 8:10pm — 1 Comment

Want to Be Considered To Be In Chris Simmons Etsy Treasury?

Hi everyone! Did you see that Chris Simmons is creating a Jewelry Makers Network Etsy Treasury? How exciting! If you want to be considered to be in it please send her the item # or your url and she'll choose an item featured in your etsy store!

Added by Karen Ferrante on July 9, 2011 at 3:46pm — 1 Comment

Tip for Making Chainmaille Rings

If you use a Jump Ringer to make rings for chainmaille, here is a quick tip that will help to enhance the shine of your masterpieces. Right after I cut the coil I string a piece of thin copper wire through the rings leaving enough room to twist the two ends together. I then toss this ring of cut rings into the tumbler. This will help to clean and shine the rings before using… Continue

Added by Karen Ferrante on June 5, 2011 at 12:30am — No Comments

Jewelry Making Ideas – Creative Color Design

Are you stuck when it comes to using color creatively to enhance your jewelry designs? The paint store or home improvement center is a great source for discovering new color schemes. Many paint companies will provide cards or brochures with recommended color combinations. They may even provide descriptions regarding the moods created by different colors. For example, warm colors… Continue

Added by Karen Ferrante on June 5, 2011 at 12:28am — 1 Comment

Check Out the Facebook Fan Club Group

Hi everyone! I wanted to let you know that I just added the Facebook Fan Club group to this site. Facebook fan pages are rapidly becoming a key mechanism for reaching more people and for sharing our unique designs with the world! Let's help each other out by "liking" our friends Fan Pages and use this forum to share tips. To join, click on groups from the main menu and select Facebook Fan Club or click here…


Added by Karen Ferrante on May 29, 2011 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Have You Seen the Square?

This gadget is great if you have an iPhone, Android, or iPad. Just plug it in and your device becomes a credit card scanner! Charges are deposited directly to your bank account. You can even add the tax rate to be automatically calculated. After scanning the credit card, the screen comes up to capture your customers signature - they simply sign with their finger. You can then send a receipt either via text or email. This is going to be great at craft shows! The device is free. The only charge… Continue

Added by Karen Ferrante on May 12, 2011 at 10:42pm — No Comments

Why is Aspect Ratio Important When Making Chainmaille Jewelry?

When I tried to make my first Byzantine chainmaille bracelet I had no idea how important aspect ratio was. It came out so loose the pattern wouldn't even stay together and I couldn't figure out what I did wrong. :-( Then I read about aspect ratio. Aspect Ratio or AR is how the diameter of wire in millimeters relates to the internal diameter of the ring.

AR = inside diameter divided by the wire diameter

An aspect ratio has already been determined by chainmaille artists for…


Added by Karen Ferrante on May 8, 2011 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

What is Argentium™ Sterling Silver?

Argentium™ Sterling Silver wire is relatively new in the world of jewelry making. It is a highly tarnish resistant sterling silver that will keep its shine for years without any polishing. It was invented in 1996 by Peter Johns, a professor of silversmithing at Middlesex University in England. It is a patented and trademarked alloy that is at least 92.5% pure silver just like traditional sterling… Continue

Added by Karen Ferrante on May 7, 2011 at 4:09pm — No Comments

2011 Spring/Summer Color Report from Margie Deeb

Margie has done it again! This 2011 Spring/Summer Color Report is full of excellent information and ideas that are guaranteed to spark your creativity! Here are just a few things that you will get out of this report:


  • Seasonal inspiration for your contemporary designs
  • Forecast information designated by the individual PANTONE® Color #
  • Suggested…

Added by Karen Ferrante on April 29, 2011 at 5:43pm — No Comments

Deb Moffett-Hall 2010 Birthstone Ornament of the Month and Birthstone Bracelet of the Month Clubs

My friend and very accomplished bead artist Deb Moffett-Hall has announced her 2010 Birthstone Ornament of the Month and the NEW Birthstone Bracelet of the Month Clubs! I've purchased many of her patterns and have found them to be very easy to follow. Treat yourself to 12 presents this year, a new box to arrive on your doorstep every month! Each beautifully packaged kit comes with everything needed to make the project, no need to search all over town… Continue

Added by Karen Ferrante on December 30, 2009 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Jewelry Making Patterns for the Holiday

Here are a variety of some free jewelry making projects for the holidays that I’ve come across that I think are really nice!

Fire Mountain Gems Holiday Bracelet

Santa Claws Necklace from Artbeads…


Added by Karen Ferrante on December 5, 2009 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Simple Bead Storage

Have you seen these watchmaker cases from Lee Valley Tools? They are great for storing beads. The containers with clear lids enable you to see the contents which makes is very easy to sort and store your beads by color, size, type, project etc. The smaller boxes are also great for taking your beads with you. The cases range in size from 33-70mm. Here is the link to the catalog page for more information about these handy storage cases.…


Added by Karen Ferrante on November 22, 2009 at 11:07am — No Comments

Here's A Tip For Making Your Beading Projects Portable

An Altoids candy container is a great way to make a beading project portable. It can easily fit in your purse or pocket and there is plenty of room for beads, a needle, thread, and a small pair of scissors or thread cutter. You can even add a container of Thread Heaven (thread conditioner). Line the container with beading mat fabric and you can use the container as a beading surface while on a plane, in a waiting room, at a sporting event or anywhere else where you would to pass some time.

Added by Karen Ferrante on October 1, 2009 at 12:39am — No Comments

How to Use a Rotary Tumbler to Polish Sterling Silver Jewelry

As many of us have discovered a rotary tumbler is a great investment if you make sterling silver or precious metal clay jewelry. It is the easiest way to bring shine to your silver pieces as long as you are not incorporating soft stones that can scratch such as pearls. Tumbling will also help to work harden the silver.

Here are just a few questions that I have been asked by those new to tumbling:

* How much stainless free lead shot should I use?

* What kind of shot… Continue

Added by Karen Ferrante on September 9, 2009 at 11:52pm — No Comments

Swarovski Crystal Bicone Bead to Be Replaced

Well not exactly. The 5301 bicone bead has actually been redesigned to be even better in a number of ways. You can read all about it at

Added by Karen Ferrante on July 7, 2009 at 8:34pm — 1 Comment

Jewelry Making Forums

Forums are a great way to connect with other creative jewelry makers, learn new tips and tricks, get questions answered, and to help others. You will need to register for some of these to access the best content, but they are all free.

Here are a few for you to explore.

The Jewelry Artist Network



Added by Karen Ferrante on July 7, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Where Can I Find Free Jewelry Making Tutorials?

The most professional and highest quality videos usually have a cost, but for basic tutorials there are plenty or resources available on the Internet. Here are several great resources to get you started:


There is a very good selection of videos here. There are several for beginners including overviews of basic techniques such basic wire wrapping, soldering and sawing. There are also some high quality videos for… Continue

Added by Karen Ferrante on July 7, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Tips for Bringing the Shine Back to Your Silver Jewlery

I'm sure that we all have a piece of silver jewelry that we would like to wear but it has become tarnished from being exposed to the air over time. It is actually the metal part of the alloy in sterling silver that causes tarnishing since pure silver, just like gold, is resistant to oxidation. To make your silver shiny again you can rub the piece with a cotton cloth or a jewelers polishing cloth. For pieces that are extremely tarnished you will need to add polishing paste.

Here's… Continue

Added by Karen Ferrante on May 25, 2009 at 10:00am — 3 Comments



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