Farewell To Jewel Enamels on Jewellery Maker Live Shows.
Way back when, I was privileged to be the one that launched Jewel Enamels on Jewellery Maker TV. David Lawrence, Sarah’s husband asked me to do the thing that Sarah could sadly not do as she was no longer at his side. He asked me to demonstrate Jewel Enamels on the new shopping channel dedicated to jewellery making. I gladly did this for him and for Sarah’s memory as she was such a good friend who’s products deserved to be seen by a wider audience. Sarah Lawrence created some wonderful crafting mediums under the Craftynotions brand name, she put her heart and soul into making them the best she could, and had a great eye for colour and was a veritable demon at discovering unusual things to bring to market. The ones that all Jewellery Maker viewers will recognise are Jewel Enamels, Gleams, Mica Powders, Fusible Film, Angelina and Crystalina Fibres, Gilding Flake, Stellar Flash, and all those lovely felting packs that Gemma Crow uses so well. These are only a few of the things she developed, and if you check out the Craftynotions website you will see many more unusual products to try out, whether you are jewellery makers or textile artists or general crafters. Sarah is sorely missed.
The opportunity of taking Jewel Enamels to air with Jewellery Maker was something I was extremely happy to do, not least because I found that I would be working with some really great people at JM, full of ideas and keen to take everyone with them. The launch show was at the end of August 2012, so it was rather nice that I was given the final show in August this year. I was keen to bring to air some techniques that I had not shown before, so it was a fairly chaotic and fast paced show. Below are the pieces I made.
If you pour Jewel Enamels into water you get some very interesting shapes happening. However if the water is too deep then the shapes tend to look like weird and wonderful blooms but they are a bit delicate for jewellery making. If, on the other hand, you pour Jewel Enamels into a shallow dish of water then you get a lovely wiggly effect that is just the right thickness for a pendant. You can leave the back as it is or do as I have done with this pendant and wrapped a bit of Friendly Plastic around it to protect it from knocks. Gleams metallic wax highlight the raised areas. The thing that really helps here though is to use Craftyflex, about 30% of your total volume – it changes the viscosity of the Jewel Enamels and makes it pour much more slowly and thickly. It also helps to make the finished piece more robust.
This pendant is about 12cm long, and I have changed the colour of the Gleams highlights from deep gold to deep red as you progress down the pendant.
I put a heart shaped cookie cutter into the water and poured the Jewel Enamels into it, carefully avoiding touching the cutter itself – it was more of a guide, but you could “draw” any shape you like. Water Wiggles are fun, so give it a try and share your results with everyone.
Having demonstrated many techniques with Jewel Enamels on Jewellery Maker, I realised that I had not actually shown how to cut out shapes from Jewel Enamels. After pouring it out onto a texture mat I quickly pressed two cookie cutters into the hot Jewel Enamels, one large one and a smaller one to make the hole. Let it cool briefly on the texture mat, then transfer to the worksurface and press down hard. Even if you don’t manage to cut all the way through, you will still have the mark to make it easy to cut out. Concentrate on making a good clean cut with the smaller circle as that is harder to cut out with scissors.
This delicate little pendant was made from a bit of wire that I formed into the leafy shape then dipped in Jewel Enamels. Once you have a decent coating, I used an embossing ink pad directly onto the coated wire, and then sprinkled finer embossing powder on top, cleared away any excess and heated it. I repeated this process about 8 times to build up the layers and to add a touch of colour to the tips.
I love Fusible Film! Every time I work with it is an adventure. The colour you see is not the colour you get when you heat it or put it against a different background. These earrings are Fusible Film beads dipped in Jewel Enamels. Cut a long strip of Fusible Film and wrap it around the end of a kebab stick, twisting it as you go. Gently press it down onto the work surface to hold the end in place and heat with a heat gun, turning it over and around until you get the effect you want. I can guarantee that it won’t be the effect that you expect, but I hope you will want the effect you have got!
It comes in lots of colours and I have three great variety packs to chose from at Rare Bird.
Angelina Fibers are like very fine hairs of Fusible Film with Crystalina Fibres being their slightly coarser and more sparkly sister. By wrapping them both around the end of a kebab stick and heating to secure and meld together with a heat gun, these rather fun and vaguely bridal earrings were made. I drizzled Jewel Enamels mixed with Craftyflex around them and dipped their ends in it too.
I can’t stay away from colour for too long, and these Angelina fibre beads are made in the same way as the white ones above. I have dipped these and the large and unusual Angelina and Crystalina bead below in Envirotex Lite resin to give it protection and add a hardness and robustness to the pieces.
Fusible Film can be used in so many ways, here I have stamped on it and embossed it with embossing powders and fused it to the back of a Jewel Enamels moulded shape. The front of this necklace is in the image below this one.
Finally this rather more elegant pendant made from a thick twist of Angelina and Crystalina fibres with a bouquet of Jewel Enamel coated headpins suspended below.
If you want to learn more about Angelina Fibres and Fusible Film from the lady who brought them to UK crafters, then you can do no better than buy Sarah Lawrence’s DVD Simply Fused. It covers all sorts of techniques and I have it on special offer for you for a limited time only of £10 instead of £14.95
Although this was the last time Jewel Enamels will go to air on Jewllery Maker TV, they will still be stocking it on their website, as will I on Rare Bird Ltd. I also still have some Melt Pots which are now fast becoming a scarce commodity as Ranger who make them have discontinued them.
I have my fingers and toes crossed that the Setember 11th show will allow me to bring something new to you on Jewellery Maker, but whatever happens I will be bringing you more Friendly Plastic ideas, so I do hope you can tune in or record the show. 1pm -5pm on September 11th.