Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My very first setting

Sorry that I haven't been blogging yesterday, what with the day job, the studio, the shows and etsy sales popping, things have been a little thick.

So, from the studio, I've managed to do my first setting, with a 5mm stone, on a sheet of silver. Small, sweet, and something I have wanted to accomplish. I've done it. Now, back to the studio, got a two day show this weekend, gotta be ready.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Ring a Ding Ding

I've gone and done it!! My first soldering in 35 years, and I created 9 rings to celebrate. I haven't had this much fun with using all my tools, and knowledge in the 35 years I stayed away from making jewelry. This makes me real proud that I finally came back to it.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A New Torch Makes All The Difference In The World

Yesterday, I was finally able to set up my new torch. I purchased a Little Smith Torch Unit, with 5 tips, oxygen tank and propane. Nervous about setting up a new piece of equipment, I spent the week reading and learning what I needed to know about torch set ups. I spent part of the day yesterday, creating a small pendant, that my husband now wears, as he always gets the first attempt.

Today, I had set up links, and used the old propane torch to ball up wire creating one side of a link. I then lit up the new set up, and torched the other side. OH MY GOODNESS. It's wonderful. Fast. Easy. Delightful. I think I'm in love.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Something Over the Top

I've been working with Linda Chandler of Woven Wire Jewelry, and she sent me a silver base to weave upon. I wove it, tumbled it, polished it and finished it. So, here it is in all it's glory. A fabulous cuff of Silver.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Using Pattern Wire for Earrings

Here's a reasonable way to create one of a kind earrings, with Sterling Silver. Buy premilled pattern wire, and cut it to straight lengths of 1 inch. Round the ends using a nail file or emery board, drill the piece, and sand the back with the emery board to soften the harshness of the pattern wire. Add a handcrafted earring wire, and you have a beautiful design.

Simple and elegant.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New wire, new color

Sorry that I haven't been on for a while, but since the Bead and Button Show, it's been non stop commissions and getting ready for summer shows. Here's the lastest wire creations that I've been working on, Princess Royale. This time in my Parawire Antique Bronze color, and using the custom woven braid to craft a necklace. I'm very happy with the drape of the braid, it's very comfortable on. It finishes the design, and after seeing in my first show yesterday, I can tell you it's going to be a hit this fall. Luckily I purchased two rolls of it.

Let me know your feedback on this type of design, and the color choice. It's important to hear abuot it.


Monday, June 8, 2009

The Aftermath of Bead and Button

I went to my yearly migration to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee this weekend. I came back with new and delightful things. I found beautiful but expensive bling balls, tiny 6mm beads, interwoven with Aurora Borealis stones, that glitter and gleam, and woven wire, by my favorite wire people, http://www.parawire.com/.

Parawire provided me a piece of the jewelry puzzle, a woven wire chain, made of the same beautiful wire that I use every day. So it matches, fits right in. The combination cannot be beat.

So, here is a Grand Dutchess, larger than a regular Dutchess, but better, so a Grand Dutchess is appropriate. Let me know what you think...I know you're going to love it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Better Ring Bling

So much difference a week makes.

I've been working on rings all week, and gee what a difference a week makes. I've already sold my first one off etsy, and they are proving to be a wonderful add on. Quick to make, a joy to oxidize and polish. I love opening up a tumbler after an hour and seeing what gleaming gems come out.

This will definitely stay in the act.

Even thinking of trying for Trunkt....Should I? Am I good enough?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ring Bling..Part 2 Dialog..

They forgot my dialog on this piece...Oh my, I'm still learning to blog.

Anyway, there's the picture on my ring number 2, hope you like it. I'm off back to the bench for more wire work. Let me know what you think.



Ring Bling Part 2

Okay, I did another...this is getting real repetative.. But fun!! I used a trillion 10x10mm stone in aqua topaz Cubic Zirconia to really make this piece sing. Oh boy, does it sing.. Like an opera... Can you hear Ride of the Valkeries? DatadaTAda...DatadaTAAAda...

Sigh.. onward to new weavings...


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ring Bling

After much haranging and pushing on my husbands part, I've succumed to his wishes and finally made a ring. And yes, the views on my etsy webpage shows it. He was right. Darn it... Here's what it looks like...

Gee, I hate it when he's right...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Back Working With Silver

I'm back working with Silver, getting ready for the show season this summer and fall. I'm also trying to make it economical for my customers to purchase pieces, by making them smaller, but just as intricate. Not an easy combination for me to do. So, here's a piece to give you an idea of what I'm trying to do.

The other good news is I've found these Trillion Cut Cubic Zirconia, very easy to work with. The setting is 3 wires of 20 guage wire, 30 wraps around one of 20 guage wires, with 28 gauge, wrap the 3 wires individually across 4 times, repeat 3 times. Bend with your flat nose, into triangular setting, and then using a needle to open space between wire 1 (wrapped wire) and wire 2. Insert the stone and then using the 28 guage wire, seal the opening between the beginning of the wrapping and the end of the wrapping. The cubic zirconia, rests inside the wires 1 and 2. I use the remaining wire, to form a bail, and then embellish the setting. Of course it needs to be properly finished and tumbled.

If you have questions about setting this type of stone, you can email me at jillfrnk@aol.com

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Newest Creation

Since I did so well with my "Queen" series, I've changed and now I've started a new line called the "Dutchess" series. Beautiful, but difficult to set the two side stones. I keep trying and growing. Isn't that what art is all about. Take a look at the newest pieces.

Introducing, The Dutchess.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh, I forgot to tell...

The sterling silver bracelet, 2 posts down, sold last Thursday, to a repeat customer in Florida. I'm proud, but also saddened that I didn't get to keep it longer.

Oh, well...I could use the income, and I know the artist, and she can make another...

The commissions continue to add up

Hooray, I'm caught up on commissions for the moment, although 4 more stones are coming, and will have to be made. I am waiting for them and another person to commit, so I can play now in the new studio. Although I have 5 guests due in an hour and a half...darn.

So I'm taking a minute, to share what my latest comissions were. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Finally, new furniture!!

I've finally invested in myself. I purchase new furnishings for the studio. I've always lived with hand me downs, either made by me, or made for me. I've done so well with my wire work, it was time for the company to purchase some fixtures that I would not be afraid to show to a customer or students. So, here is the new Twisted Sister Arts studio. Take a look, let me know what you think.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oh, how silver works versus the use of copper enamel wire

Oh, I had made a beautiful bracelet the other day, and I listed it on Etsy. I loved the look of the final design, and it really had class. So, with my new Sterling Silver in hand, I wanted to make a treasured piece that would be just as classy.

Sterling Silver, is not as easy as my parawire. As a matter of fact, it is a bear. And it hurts. It takes twice as long to weave. It still doesn't break, thank goodness, but it's not as user friendly. Then it has to be oxidized, polished, tumbled and polished again. But ohhh, the results are stunning....take a peak.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Something of Silver

I finally did it. I purchased Sterling Silver, and did a pin. And it turned out pretty, real pretty. Another struggle, get over the fact that I can design with something that is valuable. Something that costs more than 5 dollars. Make something that will stay out there longer than I will. So here it is, a beautiful pin, sculpted by hand, woven with wire, something, someday, someone will ask...I wonder who made this...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Inspiration Comes From a Variety of Sources

I haven't had the time or pleasure to post lately, to which I apologize. Here's some of the latest work, an inspired design from the movie, The Lord of the Rings. I loved the pin that Gandalf was wearing, made of silver. I haven't been blessed with having silver, but I did have in my stash, lovely leaves of filigree. The hard part, how to set them. It took all evening, but I finally wove a backing and sewed the leaves on. I had to give up control of how many leaves to use, just make it beautiful. And it really did.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

To Dream or Not To Dream

I have always followed my dreams. They lead me on a path of peace, give me the ability to climb higher and higher peaks. They lead me to safe places, when the world is full of turmoil.

Last night I had a dream, what to do with all the watch works I have, something different, something with an edge. Steampunk!!! Steampunk is a combination of Victorian design and Cyberpunk, a very new look. So, here's my lastest dream, a Steampunk pin, that encompasses the watch pieces, cubic zirconia, swarovski beads and the filigree that I just purchased.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Such Simplicity

Sometimes it's better to be simple. I've always had difficulty being simple. Life now is complex as it has ever been. I've decided to slow down a bit, keep things, elegant, simple, and beautiful as I can make it.

Here's a piece I made this afternoon, keeping those goals in mind. I'm sure, eventually it will get complex again, but for now, simplicity.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Repeat of a good idea

I finally got to photograph last weeks second filigree design. This is the new idea that I've been playing around with, and it's coming out very nice. Here's my latest work, if I get enough response on this, this maybe the beginning of tutorials and kits that I'd like to produce.

What do you think of it?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Whoo Hoooo!!!

I just found out that one of my pieces has been selected by a customer in France. She chose it from my etsy website and has asked if I shipped internationally. I researched it quickly and of course said yes. So tonight, Twisted Sister Arts is now an international company...


Here's my piece, off to France.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Different ideas...

Okay, this is part two of different ideas today. I'm needing to get creative, and stir the pot.

Here's what I created today. I've got samples from a filligree supplier, who has a wonderful line, and I used 1/2 of the pieces to create this design. If it goes over well, I will offer it in a kit, and create all the instructions to allow you to make it. It's a step in my desires to teach how things are made.

Please let me know if you like this design.

It's good to change a bit.

I've been wanting to change my work a bit. Get away from the same wire. Wanting to make something ....simple. I don't know why, but it''s always been very hard for me to do something simple.

My husband had requested for his birthday, a bracelet. Something that would be real. Something in REAL silver. A change. Different wire, different techniques. Oxidization techniques I've read about for years. Oh, the expense of working with real wire. I have finally made the next level in my creativity.

Here is the final result. A bracelet, simple, but elegant bracelet. With a Dream Agate. A Dream Agate, to dream on....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Trash to Treasure

Oh... finding wonderful treasures ... something to stir the creative juices.

Yesterday was spent in Waukegan. Childhood home of Jack Benny. Right on Lake Michigan. Beautiful undiscovered little town.

I spent the day in a undiscovered art gallery, brand new to the community. Next door to an undiscovered antique sale. Oh how fun it was. New people, trying so hard to bring people into a new/old area. This area will be so hot in 5 years, and I'm on the ground floor as a featured artist.

While waiting for customers, that did arrive, I paused and went to the antique sale. I found this fabulous box of old watch bands. Masculine and Feminine pieces, Gold Fill bands, leather bands, chain bands...Still mounted on their antique place cards. With original prices. I was savy, and traded a shawl I had woven in another lifetime, and was given the entire box. Of course, last night I had to weave a sample, which is posted. You should consider, going somewhere other than a bead shop, to find inspiration. You'll never know where you'll find it.

(I sold 4 nice pieces, which more than paid for my trouble, and came home with a treasure.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let's talk wire...

Let's talk about wire today. Often people ask what wire I use when I'm creating my designs. I use a copper core with non tarnish silver overlay. It comes in a variety of colors, but I prefer the silver and gold colors. The base I use is 20 gauge, and wrap with 28 gauge. I've found that if I need strength, I'll use a 18 guage base. I will occasionally use 30 and 22 gauge, for very light projects, but when I pull on the 30 guage, it often breaks, so it's used in placing rhinestone chain.

I've transfered the smaller wire, as you can see in the picture, to a spool that fits comfortably in my hand. I have found the commercial spools that come with most wire, clumsy to say the least. If you don't use a spool, the time it takes to "spin" is doubled and your wire kinks and breaks. Yes, you can splice in the piece, but it increases the chance of making snags, and your weaving is never as even.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lastest Work

Here's the submission to the ISGB/B&B entry. Portia Mandel and I worked together to make a design for the International Society Glass Beadmakers and Bead and Button contest. She was wonderful and created this "fire" bead, and gave it to me to embellish. I did the wire work and photography. We hope to win with this design.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Introduction to Twisted Sister Arts

Welcome to Twisted Sister Arts

My name is Jill Lawrence, I reside in an area of Chicago, Illinois and I am a wire weaver. I work with wire and create one of a kind designs, that are different and unusual.

The use of this blog is to show what I do, and to share this knowledge with others. There will be tutorials, pictures, and creative ideas. I will show my work, as it is done, and provide access to my work.

There will be more things to come, be sure to check back often.