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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 17, 2011

Question:

Hi Dale, I love that your instructional style is so clear and concise. It really helps me create an impressive first try!

I read recently that fruit named quartzes, like cherry quartz, are really manmade glass based. I always figured they were dyed quartz. What are your thoughts?

-Jeanne in Waukesha, Wisconsin

Answer:

Hi Jeanne, thanks for your kind comments regarding my teaching style (I really do love what I do!).

Yes, you are correct. With the exception of authentic Lemon Quartz, unfortunately nearly all of the "Fruit Quartz" items available today are made of glass.

The reasoning behind these sales labels is that glass is made of high-quality sand (meaning the mineral silica, which is Quartz), therefore, vendors deem it OK to label these glass variations as quartz.

We have had a couple of discussions on these terms, that you might also find interesting such as Red Ruby Quartz and what really is Kiwi Lapis. If you are looking for an inexpensive, yet pretty item to include in your summer designs, Fruit Quartz will fit that need.

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 10, 2011

Question:

How would I price chain maille jewelry?

-Donna in Springfield, Missouri

Answer:

Donna, chain maille is jewelry, and should be priced using the same methods and formulas that you would use to price any of your handmade jewelry pieces. For details, please read How to Price Your Wire Jewelry and the great comments and advice added by our readers. Good luck with your summer shows!

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 5, 2011

Question:

Hi Dale, I have a question about craft wire. I know it comes in different colors and different gauges, what I don’t know is- can you get it in square or half round?

-Deborah in Wenden, Arizona

Answer:

Hi Deborah, most of the craft wire that can be purchased in retail stores is only available in a round shape. Here at Wire-Sculpture, in both the Enameled Craft Wire and the Silver Plated Copper Craft Wire categories, you can choose from both 18-gauge and 21-gauge in square and half round shapes (both are soft).

I have personally worked with samples of both types of craft wire. I have beaten, twisted, rolled, folded, wrapped, and bent it, and I am seriously impressed! It is a lot of fun to work with the colors, and with today’s economy being as sad as it is, this wire is an affordable product to practice in as well as to make and sell finished items out of. (I personally like making Puffed Gemstone Heart pendants with it (tutorial here; at a retail price of $15 to $18, each they always sell well!)

Heart Wrapped in Craft Wire
Earthy Puffed Heart Pendant made using 21-gauge square Vintage Bronze Enameled Craft Wire

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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Daily Wire Tip Apr. 4: Gold Filled Jewelry Tags

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 4, 2011

Question:

I have 14/20 gold filled wire, but cannot find a marking stamp for it. I want to mark it 14GF or 14/20, because I also sell gold jewelry which is not filled. Do you have a source for me? Thank you!

-Nita in Murchison, Texas

Answer:

Hi Nita, some folks like to hang a tag on their finished jewelry, stating the metal used. However I agree that hanging an extra tag on a piece can take away from the design, or the tag is just too large (say for earrings) and it’s difficult to tag a ring!

If you would like to use a tag on a necklace or bracelet, Wire-Sculpture has a nice selection of Sterling Silver Tags. We don’t carry gold-filled tags; due to how small the tags are, we haven’t found an affordable vendor for that kind of tag.

My favorite stamp company is Microstamp. These folks will custom make you a stamp in about any size, to say anything you’d like, such the type of metal or even your personal company logo!

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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Daily Wire Tip Apr. 1: Finished Leather Cord

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 1, 2011

Question:

Dale, in a recent tip, you mentioned using a wide leather cord using half round wire on the end with a toggle. Are there instructions on how to do that ? Maybe a tutorial that I have missed.

-Faye in Nashville, Tennessee

Answer:

No Faye, I don’t think you missed anything, but maybe you haven’t had time to browse through the Free Wire Jewelry Making Ideas page.

Using the same idea as the Finished Ribbon, a suede cord or strip of soft goat hide will make a nice alternative way to wear and/or display a pendant.

Leather cord wrapped with wire

This quick photo is of the back and front of one I use personally. I did not attach any clasp, rather I wear it by lightly wrapping the cord around itself and simply tie the ends together loosely. It stays in place with no problems.

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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