Even though I'm at the age when women start saying it's some anniversary of some other acceptable birthday, my dad still asks me for a Christmas list each year. When I was younger, it usually included a doll, an electronic game or two (remember Merlin? Simon? Atari???), and clothes. As I got older, the dolls fell off and the clothes part grew (and I added pursessss). It was just a matter of time before the sparklies made their way onto the list and I started asking Daddy for jewelry for Christmas.
Eventually I had "enough" jewelry (ha! as if that's ever possible) and got interested in making my own crafts--so I asked him for a Dremel tool. That was the beginning of jewelry craft supply Christmas lists for me! (And also the start of lists I think he liked, because they included stuff from the hardware store and the electronics store, which is dad territory!) I asked for a tiny CrockPot for pickle, a Mr. Coffee warmer to dry my metal clay, a flex-shaft tool, and a torch. This year, I'm asking Santa Daddy for a big dapping set (or this one?), some fancy Fretz hammers, and maybe a disc cutter set.
After all these years of making-the-lists, I like to think I'm kind of an expert. (ha!) So whether you're making the list or buying the gifts, I've got some great suggestions for jewelry supplies for the jewelry makers in your life--even if that means you
For the Metalsmith
Oh, the things Bill Fretz can do with hammers and stakes! Watching his Hammering and Forming DVDs opened my eyes to all the amazing ways that hammers can move metal. Of all the jewelry tools and supplies in my studio, hammers seem to be the one to give me the most bang (ha!) for my buck. Learn great ways to use them by watching Basic Jewelry Hammering and Forming and Hammering and Forming Jewelry, vol. 2.
Another great way to help metal fulfill its greatest potential is by adding texture and/or patina. You'll find lots of ways to do both while adding depth and interest to your designs in the Metalsmith Essentials: Textures and Patinas DVD, including how to create patina on metal using simple household supplies and how to prep metal pieces so they'll accept patinas well. And, of course, no metalsmith's library is complete without a soldering DVD from Lexi Erickson!
For the Metal Stamper
For Christmas last year, I made one of the most meaningful gifts I've ever made, thanks to metal stamping--and I was inspired to do it by Lisa Niven Kelly's Stamped Metal Jewelry book. Think of all the things you want to say to a loved one (I love you!), all the cute little catch phrases that make you giggle thinking about your best friend (shew girl!), all the ways a friend could use encouragement (dream, wish, hope). You can share all these sentiments through stamped metal jewelry (or other stamped metal gifts, like bookmarks, ornaments, etc.) and this book will make sure you do it in style. This year I'm stamping sweet nothings into the bowls of silver spoons for Mama and some other family members so every morning when they stir their coffee, they'll know I love them. Aww!
For the Mixed-Media Jewelry Maker: Enamel and Resin
I'll probably be adding enamels to my Christmas list this year--if I can wait that long without buying my own, because torch enameling is my current favorite jewelry-making technique. Barbara Lewis's Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry book is a must-have for anyone interested in enameling, expanding their metal jewelry repertoire, or adding color to their metal jewelry designs. I love torch enameling most because it's so hands-on and you can watch the magic happen right before your eyes--no kiln needed.
Speaking of hands-on jewelry techniques, resin is right up there with my favorites. The possibilities for embedding and preserving all kinds of paper ephemera, natural treasures, and found objects in bezels with resin make me giddy! I find ways to use resin every week that I wouldn't have thought of before I started using it. And who better to teach and inspire you to create gorgeous resin jewelry than Susan Lenart Kazmer, the resin queen? Grab her Exploring Resin Jewelry-Making
DVD and you (or the lucky recipient of it!) will be making gallery-worthy resin jewelry in no time.
For the Wire Enthusiast
When I first started working on Jewelry Making Daily, I wasn't a fan of wire. Poor me! I was sadly blind to all the amazing ways you can use wire in jewelry making--and how much like metalsmithing, which I love, working with wire can be. Now sometimes I think of wire as pre-cut skinny little strips of metal, ha! Lucky for me, a talented designer (Mary Hettmansperger) came along and made a DVD about unique basketry-inspired ways to use wire in jewelry designs, including weaving, looping, and twining. It's one of my favorite jewelry-making resources ever, partly because it's so unique and partly because the results are just stunning--and not hard to do! The jewelry maker who owns Weaving Wire Jewelry will never be without ideas for making great jewelry.
If you don't know where to start (for buying the gift or making the jewelry), The Workbench Guide to Jewelry Techniques is the book for you. It's a hugely handy and complete resource that covers every jewelry-making technique you can think of--making it perfect for beginners who want to start making jewelry and for experienced jewelry makers who need refreshers on their skills or want to learn new ones. I heard Santa himself placed a big order for these awhile back, I'm just sayin'...
All of these great jewelry-making supplies and resources are on sale now! Find them and hundreds of other great products for yourself and every jewelry maker or jewelry lover on your list in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop--and use coupon code EXTRA15 to save an additional 15% off through Sunday, Nov. 25!
What jewelry-making books or DVDs are on your list this year? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. One of you just might win what you wish for . . . ho ho ho!
Filed under: resin, jewelry design, metal clay, stone setting, metalsmithing, soldering, jewelry making, jewelry tools, jewelry artist, enameling, Wire Jewelry Making, Jewelry Making Techniques, Jewelry Supplies, Metal Stamping