So I’ve been making copper bezels for coins for a while now. I bought some copper bezel wire, but it just didn’t work too well. Maybe my hands aren’t strong enough, I don’t know. But I bought some copper sheet in a thinner gauge than the bezel wire and cut it up. And it worked. I can cut it to exactly the size I need, which is not the same as the bezel wire. So that works out better.

And I’m just getting better at making them, which is not the same as I learned in class. Of course, the ones I made in class were bezel settings for stones and not meant to be seen from both sides. But I’m getting better at making them smooth and even. Next I’ll try making some in silver and brass.

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Went to the bead show in Santa Monica today. Went to get a couple of cabochons for a class that I wanted to take.

Then to register for the one class I wanted to take this quarter. Missed the last spot on the roster by five minutes. Five minutes hanging around the booth where I wanted to buy some more chain that matched a batch I had, but they were busy and I finally gave up. Five minutes too late. Crap.

So I’ll practice on my own. It’s a bit more expensive to practice on your own, wasted materials and all. But I just can’t wait. Sooner or later I’m going to have to get a day job.

I got this book at our local bead store, Brea Bead Works and, wow, what a great book. A recommended tools section and descriptions of techniques at the beginning of the book. I’ve tried lots of different things in jewelry-making, but my knowledge of the terminology is far from complete.

The pictures are great and the explanations and instructions are very clear. I got three new techniques and ideas for things to do with them when I thumbed through iit at the store. Books are one of my major weaknesses and I often feel guilty buying more, but this is one purchase I’m not going to regret.

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I copper-plated some heart-shaped leaves from my delachampia vine not long ago. I was happy with the way they turned out and I liked the way they looked together. It gave me an idea for the piece I made today.

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But first I needed to make a copper toggle clasp. So I looked around. It appears that there are as many ways to make them as there are people making them. But I found one tutorial that was clear, concise and simple. I made one per the directions but it turned out a little larger than I wanted so I made another with a few variations that made it my own.

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Pictures of the finished piece tomorrow. Thanks muchly to Armored Drake

I kind of always have been. I’ve always like the feel of old tools. The ones you use most often, that are the most useful, tend to hang around.

As I start making more jewelry, I keep seeing the benefit of having the right tools. Paraphrasing Karen Dougherty, author of Metal Style Jewelry Techniques, if it’s hard, you don’t have the right tools. So now I can’t go through hardware store without wanting something. Going to my local bead shop can be downright inspiring.

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This was one of my Dad’s screwdrivers. I have no idea where he got it. I love that it’s mended. When the wood of the handle split, whoever owned it put in metal shims and glued it together. Kept it instead of throwing it away. Used it. Now I keep it. And I use it. And I think of Dad.