Author Archives: julialowther

Make a Wire Knitting Spool

In my opinion, the hardest part of spool knitting with wire is finding an appropriate knitting spool.  There are commercial versions available (also called French Knitters, or Knitting Nellies), but I prefer to make my own, so that I have … Continue reading

Posted in Chain Making, Tools to Make | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Portable Jewelry Display Cone

If you travel out-of-town to do craft fairs and shows, you are probably already hungry for ways to make the stuff you have to lug with you as light and durable as possible.  If you aren’t hungry yet, do a … Continue reading

Posted in Tools to Make | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Micro Sanding Strips

If you are in the habit of doing elaborate and detailed piercing, you have probably discovered that it’s easy to make crevasses and crannies with a saw blade that are tough to clean up and finish with even the smallest … Continue reading

Posted in Tools to Make | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Pricing Your Work

There are two ways to set prices. You can take a market-based approach, and look at what other artists charge for similar work, or you can take a cost-based approach. I feel that many artists choose a market-based approach because … Continue reading

Posted in Mewsings | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Make Your Own Lemel Trap

Every year I cut a LOT of silver wire into tens of thousands of jump rings.  As the saw bites through the precious metal, it throws off lemel, the metal equivalent of sawdust. Unlike sawdust, silver lemel remains precious, and … Continue reading

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The Secret Power of the Sliding Gauge

The humble brass sliding gauge is a powerful tool, and no self-respecting Shoebox Studio should consider being without one.  I have two.  When one goes with me to teach classes, the other stays at home snug on my bench, just … Continue reading

Posted in Get the Most from Your Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Wooden Dapping Punches

Wooden dapping punches are useful little things to have about the jewelry studio. They are gentle tools, and won’t mark your metal the way metal punches will. To the uninitiated – and those without cabinet-making experience – they may look … Continue reading

Posted in Tools to Make | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Gah! Pickle Turned My Silver and Brass PINK…

Copper is awesome.  It carries electricity through our world, and it makes many things blue, like octopus blood and turquoise stones.  We’ve been making stuff out of copper for, oh, something like 10,000 years. Yep. Really. No surprise that we magpie … Continue reading

Posted in Studio Chemistry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

The “awwwh” Factor: When Failure is Success!

STOP!! Don’t throw away that misshapen, mangled, completely-didn’t-turn-out-how-you-wanted-it-to-be project! Instead, toss it into the bottom of your toolbox and let it marinate with scraps of metal and seldom used tools. Why am I so emphatic about this? Because you need … Continue reading

Posted in Mewsings | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Heat Shield vs. Heat Sink: or Where Do I Put the Tweezers?!

You’ve put a bunch of time into a piece, and now you have to solder a ring onto the end of a chain, or an ear post onto the back of an earring, and you REALLY don’t want to ruin all … Continue reading

Posted in Soldering | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments