Sunday, 30 January 2011

Trying to make posters!

I'm trying to design posters to advertise my website and the jewellery I make - and it isn't going well!

I guess this just proves that my design skills are definitely jewellery oriented, and not so able in the "poster design" area.

I've managed to decide that the posters need the company name (fairly obvious) and the website address (again, fairly obvious) and I've decided the best way to draw attention is to put photos of some of the jewellery on it.

But that's really as far as my "design" skills manage for this particular task anyway.

Attempt one I thought was quite good until I printed it out as an A4 poster and found that the captions I'd put on the photos cannot be read! If it was an A3 poster they would probably be readable - just.

Here's a scanned image of try 1 - it's worth a laugh anyway. It was printed in draft quality so the image isn't great - sorry about that.

Poster try 1

Ah well, on to try two - 'cos being me - in photoshop I had "merged" the captions down into the photos so therefore cannot change them in any way!

So, try 2 - better, much better in that the captions on the photos are readable - but now I'm not sure I'm even going about the right kind of thing. Here's try 2.

Poster try 2
One thing I am happy about on try 2 is that at least the captions on the photos are readable - whether they make sense and are good I don't know.

Tomorrow at work (the day job) I'll get opinions on the 2 I've done so far. But I think it's going to be back to the drawing board.

Until next time

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sore fingers - but worth it.

So far my idea of doing something jewellery related each week is working - that's 2 weeks in a row that I've done something! Hopefully I can keep this up but we'll see.

Last Thursday I was thinking about the fact that everything I've made recently has involved beads - so colour choices for what to wear to work mean I can't always wear a particular piece of jewellery. I was also unhappy with the fact that nearly all the earrings I have made recently have been of the "long and dangly" variety - great for evenings out but they do get caught up between jacket collars and scarves in cold weather! I kept having to take one pair off everytime I put my coat on, and that got boring quickly. So, what this all leads to is, I decided to make myself a simple set of silver earrings for everyday wear.

Now what to make??? I've been toying with various chain maille designs for a while now, but something I've not really used is "flowers" - this is a set of 3 jump rings of the same size linked together and then laid on top of each other to create a flower as shown in this earring:

Flower earring
Having made the pair of simple silver earrings I wanted I was happy, at least for 24 hours or so.

On Saturday morning I was watching TV and my fingers started twitching - some might see that as a sign of madness or something, but I decided it was time to do some jewellery making.

So I spent a little while making 3 larger jump rings of 3 varying thicknesses of sterling silver wire - I had this idea of binding them together and using them as a pendant - but it kept falling apart. At that point I gave up for the day, it obviously wasn't to be. But I've kept the rings in case I can use them later - waste not, want not as they say.

On Sunday I was having a similar problem - couldn't really settle to anything, so I decided to have another go at a necklace. This time I decided to stick with the "flower" design I'd used for the earrings. Time to make a necklace to match the earrings already produced.

I decided to try different sizes of jump rings for the flowers - I have a set of mandrels with multiple sized sections so finding things to wind the wire around was not a problem. So the largest rings had a 10 mm inner diameter, then I just worked my way along the largest mandrel so the rings are 10 mm, 9 mm, 8 mm, 7 mm and 6 mm from that mandrel. I then decided I wanted one more size down, so the second mandrel was used to make some 5 mm inner diameter rings.

I formed the flowers one at a time - one in the 10 mm size and two each of the other sizes of rings.

Then I started linking the rings together. At first I was going to use small rings with an inner diameter of 2.92 mm - then I realised that you can't get 3 pieces of 1 mm thick wire in a 2.92 mm space - it doesn't work!

So I picked up the left over 3.25 mm rings I've been trying to find a use for. And they worked a treat. Originally I started linking the flowers together directly - but then decided I wanted more space between them, so used 3 smaller rings instead of one.

This is what it turned out like - and I'm really pleased with it.

Graduated flower necklace and earrings
Admittedly my fingers were sore after making this - holding the spirals of wire while you saw through the rings with a jewellery saw does tend to make your fingers numb after a while, but it was so worth it!

Bye for now

Friday, 14 January 2011

Inspired by Egypt

I've always loved Egyptian things - the pyramids, the temples, the art work and as you'd expect, the jewellery.

I visited Egypt itself a number of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed visiting the places I'd only seen on TV or read about. At the time I had no interest in making jewellery so was not bothered by not visiting the Cairo museum or any other location at which the ancient jewellery could be viewed.

But since I started making my own jewellery I've been toying with the idea of making something based on Egyptian designs. I knew I wanted to involve carnelian (my favourite stone) and something dark blue like lapis lazuli but didn't really know what I wanted to do.

Cornelian (or carnelian) drops
Recently I was at a jewellery exhibition and there were some stalls selling beads - one of them had faceted carnelian drops and dark blue tube beads labelled as "lapis" - so I bought them, a design was brewing at the back of my mind.

"Lapis" tubes
I carefully took my prizes home and my brain continued to work on what to do with them.

After a couple of false starts I sketched up a design for a necklace I liked (sorry, forgotten to scan the sketch or I'd show it to you now).

But then I stopped doing anything to do with jewellery making for a while - a combination of "winter blues" and lack of inspiration I think.

Anyway, with Christmas over with I was determined to get back to making jewellery again. So I sat down with the design for these beads and put the drops on to sterling silver wire with loops. Then it all sat around for another couple of weeks.

A couple of days ago I was fed up of having accomplished nothing recently so made the concerted effort to move on with this piece of work. And I managed to finish the necklace that night (it just proves what I bit of will power will accomplish), so I made matching earrings.

Sorry that the photo isn't the best one I've ever taken but you can see the important bits in it. So this is what I created.

"Inspired by Eqypt" necklace and earrings
Today I am wearing the set around the office, need to check that it isn't going to fall apart, and making sure that it has no "rough" bits. So far it's a success.

I'm hoping that I can create something jewellery related each week of the rest of 2011, even if only some findings to use later (ear wires, s-clasps, jump rings, etc). And I hope to be a bit more creative with my own designs this year rather than only copying other peoples designs. Guess I'll see how it goes.

Bye for now