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Suzanne Wade

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Suzanne Wade

Article
Amateur Artists Fill Unique Niche in the Jewelry World

For jewelry artists, it iss an opportunity to sell work that has become difficult to place at price-conscious mainstream jewelry stores. For the public, it iss a chance to buy innovative jewelry that they might otherwise never have seen. And…

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Benefits of Concave Faceting

How does concave faceting create so much more brilliance than regular flat faceting? Imagine a typical flat, square mirror, Now push the top and bottom closer together so that the reflective side curves toward you. Than take the left and right…

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Chinese Freshwater Pearls

When Chinese freshwater pearls began flooding the market several years ago, craft artists took notice. It is not that pearls were new to them. Studio jewelers had been incorporating pearls into their designs for decades, long before the current…

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Colored Gemstone Jewelry Design and Repair

An experienced bench jeweler will often be able to create almost any design that doesn’t actually violate the laws of physics. But colored stones are softer and typically less durable than diamonds, and a setting designed for a diamond may…

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Colored Stone Retail Survey 2005

A decade ago, emerald, ruby, and sapphire routinely topped Colored Stones annual best seller list, as befitted the colored stones known in the trade as the “Big Three.” They were “precious” stones, while their equally colorful but lesser-known…

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Creative Freedom with Technology

The jewelry industry has seen a veritable flood of new technologies in recent years—from CAD/CAM and laser welders to new alloys and Precious Metal Clay (PMC). And after a tentative start, jewelry designers have begun to embrace them.…

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Design Material Alternatives

Expanding the boundaries of conventional jewelry design through the use of unusual materials — Titanium, Niobium, Copper, Metal clay, Acrylic, Resin –It is not the usual materials inventory for jewelry makers. For millennia, jewelry…

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Detecting Golden Pearl Color Enhancement

When the first warnings about color enhancement of golden South Sea pearls came out five years ago, fear struck the South Sea pearl industry. Some of the new enhancement methods for golden pearls were nearly undetectable, leaving dealers…

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Finding the Origin of Sapphires

If each sapphire deposit has its own unique chemical mix, in theory it should only be a matter of careful analysis to figure out where a stone came from. But there remains an element of art to determining country of origin, partially because of…

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Gemstone Cut Value

Imagine, if you will, two colored stones. Both exhibit good color. Both are relatively inclusion free. Both tip the scale at about the same weight. But one was cut better, and it’s simply more beautiful. Should you pay a premium price for it?…

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Innovative Approaches to Small Shop Success

When most of us talk about innovation, we are talking about new tools and techniques. But innovation is not exclusively about technology. It is about the way technology is used. A look behind the scenes in many small shops proves that new technology…

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Joan Dulla – Respect for Niobium

Dulla crochets niobium wire into airy beads and necklaces studded with Swarovski crystals. The result is jewelry that is bright, colorful, and exuberantly joyful. The sheer brightness of her work is even more surprising if you know her personal…

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Karen Mccreary – Mystifying Acrylic

McCreary is no stranger to traditional jewelry making. She took her first job with a jewelry manufacturer in the early 1970s, and spent several years casting, mold making, and model making for jewelers while she studied for her B.F.A. Her current…

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Laser Welders Impacting the Jewelry Industry

The one tool that allows each of these jewelers to do their jobs better is a laser welder, a technological advancement that is becoming increasingly common in trade shops and manufacturing facilities. By using a sharply focused beam of light…

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Marketing Your Work as PMC or Fine Silver

The doors to the craft show have opened, and customers are beginning to make their way down the aisle. One stops at your booth to look at your PMC jewelry.’What is this?’ she asks. That question looms large for many in the PMC community. Do you answer…

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Michael David Sturlin Crochets with Gold

This crocheted necklace is created by weaving interlocking loops of 18k gold wire into a chain, using a needle. Because the chain is built loop by loop, it is a time consuming process: It can take up to three hours to crochet one inch..

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Molding Multiples in PMC

Casting is one way to move into production, but you can also take your first steps into multiples without mastering the intricacies of molten metal. PMC’s moldable qualities make it well suited for short-run production. In producing multiples…

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Molding Multiples with Metal Clay Models

Metal clay has not yet proven to be an effective substitute for casting: sterling silver is often preferred over fine silver for its relative strength, and the higher cost of metal clay compared to cast silver generally makes it unappealing…

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Natural Rubber or Silicone Rubber?

Natural rubber or silicone rubber? In the world of lost wax casting, this question is hardly an academic one. The mold material chosen must be up to the task of turning a single original model into hundreds or even thousands of wax models for casting,…

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Noël Yovovich – Seeing Titanium

Noel Yovovich discovered titanium in her first year as a jewelry artist. “A friend of mine was working with it and doing fairly typical things — heating it from one side to get gradient bright colors, for example,” says Yovovich. “She showed…

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Radial Bristle Discs Excites Jewelers

how one of 3M’s radial bristle discs to a non-jeweler friend, and you are almost guaranteed to get a lukewarm response: ‘This is what you’re so excited about?’ But to the jewelers who have eagerly adopted them, these simple circular brushes…

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Revolutionary PolishPlus Process

The revolutionary PolishPlus process with MiracleMedia is a new mass finishing technology developed by Peter Richardson of Aurum Plus Resource and Development Co. in San Bernardino, California. The resulting polish is reportedly comparable…

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Seeds of Knowledge

Six years ago, the Internet was still in its first flowering, populated largely by academics, students, and computer nerds. Although terms like “information superhighway” were making their way into mass media, the Internet…

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Setting Trends with CAD-CAMs

In addition to reducing the labor required to move a design from the sketch stage to the actual model, CAD reduces misunderstandings between designers and model makers. Because pencil sketches are not always precisely scaled or proportioned,…

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The Art of Mold Cutting

Mold cutting sounds simple enough: Using a sharp knife and a simple tool, such as a can opener or a pair of vise grips, the mold maker separates a rubber mold into two halves, allowing the model and subsequent waxes to be removed. But like so many…

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The Art of Self Promotion

The art of self-promotion is less about celebrity than it is about perseverance. Breaking into print doesn’t take a magic touch or fabulous connections in the publishing world. It does take attractive work, some basic materials such as photos…

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The Effects of Global Warming on Pearl Oysters

Warming waters, changes in weather patterns, and increases in storm activity may all affect the future success of pearl farms, both freshwater and ocean-based. Precisely what impact they will have is a little harder to determine: Relatively…

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The Evolution of Metal Clay Design

In 1996, Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico, introduced artists and jewelers in the United States to Precious Metal Clay – PMC from Mitsubishi Materials Corp. in Tokyo. The material, a mixture of fine-grained metal powder with an organic…

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The Work of Ivy Solomon

Ivy Solomon combining resin, metal clay, and traditional fabrication techniques, her award-winning pendants are structured around textures and colors in ways that frequently depart from traditional jewelry designs. “When you use stones,…

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Trade Show Marketing Tip

At most trade shows, you could stock up on enough pens, notepads, tote bags, and keychains to start a thriving second business as a flea-market dealer. The problem with such giveaways isn’t that they aren’t useful; it’s that there are so many…

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Turning Down a Project

There’s nothing like landing a new client. Whether you’re a large manufacturer or a bench jeweler in a home studio, the prospect of new work coming in is always exciting. Sometimes, though, she added workload can turn delight into disaster.…

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Yang Renping: Barely Breathing

The stories are undeniably heartbreaking. Yang Renping, 41 of two children, coughs continuously and walks only weakly. He’s suffering from silicosis, a lung disease caused by 12-hour days cutting gemstones and beads in a Shenzhen factory.…