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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Secrets to Starting Your Own Home Based Jewelry Business

Secrets to Starting Your Own Home Based Jewelry Business
By []Lenna Green

If you're good at making jewelry then starting your own home based jewelry buiness could be a gold mine for you. If you're anything like me, once you make your mind up to "have a go" it's easy to rush in amidst the excitement of it all. But this approach can bring you unstuck if you're not careful. Start by taking a pen and paper and decide on the look and feel of your buisness. Think about all areas of the business from your work space through to how you are going to sell your designs.

Take Time To Plan Your Jewelry Making Business

Craft businesses can be easily operated from home – especially jewelry making businesses. Your supplies, components, and tools are small and will be easy to store and transport. Your work area and materials aren’t hazardous and probably won’t pose any major storage problems. Although if you have small children you will need to come up with some storage solutions for your smaller materilas. Most people can easily run their business from one room in their home – I know people who don’t even devote an entire room to their business.

The Transistion from Hobbiest to Professional

If you’ve been making jewelry as a hobby, starting to make jewelry for profit won’t take much more room. The transition from hobbyist to professional requires little or no adjustment in the way you manufacture your products. You may already have sufficient work space in the form of a shop or workroom. Because you will be increasing production volume, you will probably have to find or create adequate storage space, and you’ll want an office of some sort for attending to all the details of running a business. Otherwise, you probably already have most of the tools and other items you need.

Musting up the Confidence

What you may not have is confidence. Confidence is every bit as important as skill. You must have confidence in your craft, in yourself, and in your ability to run a business and sell your products. My goal is to help you develop that confidence by helping you understand how to successfully run your own business.

Don't Undersell Yourself or Your Work

I know a lot of designers who are guilty of this one. Infact I have been guilty of downplaying my work and designs. It’s important to never think of your products as homemade, but rather as meticulously handcrafted to exacting standards. Handcrafted products are in great demand, because they provide customers with a quality you don’t often find: they’re handmade, they’re unique, and they can be individualized. Handcrafted jewelry often sells for a premium, because customers are willing to pay for something unique and special.

Should You Start Your Own Home Based Jewelry Business?

No one but you can determine whether or not you should start your own jewelry business, but certain indicators can lead you toward the right choice. Of course, if you have little or no skill, poor coordination, and no interest in getting better- find another business. If you don’t enjoy making jewelry, there’s no reason to start a business. If, on the other hand, you’re a competent artisan — even a good one — but have no patience for or interest in managing a business, then you’d better work for someone else and treat jewelry making as a hobby.

Even if the idea of being self-employed as a home-based craftsperson appeals to you, and you either have or are willing to get the necessary skills and knowledge, you still need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. This is part of the planning stage of your business. It’s a process that’s never too early to start and one you should continue throughout the life of your home based jewelry business.

For more information and resources for starting your own jewelry making business please go to []

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Precious Metal Clay

Create Your Own Jewelry with Precious Metal Clays
By []Chris Ralph

Precious metal clays are a brand new method and technique for making jewelry art of all types. The difference is that most popular jewelry craft methods were first invented centuries ago. Lost wax casting was practiced near the dawn of recorded civilization. Precious metal clays, however, are a new and high tech method of creating your own jewelry.

It sounds truly hard to believe. It really does sound like alchemy: How can clay become pure silver or gold metal? Well, precious metal clays consist of microscopic particles of silver or gold suspended in a soft and pliable organic binder. These materials can be handled in formed and work with simple hand tools like normal clay products. You once they have dried, and then fired in a kiln, the organic binder disappears as it is burned away, and the microscopic metal particles views into pure silver or gold. These new products allow the jewelry artist to create unique jewelry with ease, eliminating the need for difficult metalworking processes including melting, casting, soldering, hammering and cutting. Once fired, they can be filed, soldered, cut or polished just as with any other metal jewelry product.

Precious metal clays were first developed in Japan by Mitsubishi materials Corporation. However it was not until 1996 that PMC products were introduced into the United States. Art Clay, a similar product, was developed in the United States and is also used in jewelry making applications. The temperatures required for firing these materials and converting them to metal varies depending upon the particular product being used, but is normally in the range of 1200 to 1800°F, a mild red heat. Generally kiln, similar to the types used for lost wax casting burnout is used for firing the precious metal clay.

Another important thing to note about precious metal clay products is that when they are fired they shrink. The amount of shrinkage varies depending on the product that is normally in the 10 to 30% range. This can make a huge difference when one is crafting jewelry items such as rings, as that level of shrinkage would cause a ring not to fit the wearer. This amount of shrinkage is normally specified on the package and needs to be taken into account in any jewelry project.

Precious metal clay products are not inexpensive, especially the gold containing products. Their prices are notably higher than the value of the precious metals which they contain. The silver products are most commonly used by jewelry artists, because silver is a comparatively inexpensive precious metal. Both precious metal clay, and all the products that are used to produce precious metal clay crafts and jewelry are available through mail-order supply houses over the Internet. The larger supply houses include a variety of jewelry supplies, gemstones and other items that you might need to create your own jewelry art, including a full variety of the different precious metal clay products themselves.

Because clay products easily take impressions from other objects, it is very common that precious metal clay jewelry will display imprints of a variety of items. Some stamps with special imprints of flowers or other designs are made exactly for this purpose and can be used on precious metal clay just the way they would be used on metals to stamp an imprint. Additionally, because of the nature of hand making a clay product, precious metal clay jewelry often has a roughhewn, almost primitive type of appearance. This is not actually necessary or required, but is fairly common in a lot of pieces made using precious metal clay. This does seem rather odd; especially since precious metal clays are a very high-tech in modern product.

Common precious metal clay products include rings beads pendant items and other special pieces such as Christmas ornaments. It is comparatively easy to add gemstones to precious metal clay jewelry art. For gemstones that can withstand the heat of the clay firing, the stone can simply be set into the wet clay and left in place when the piece is fired. Other more delicate stones may require different techniques. One technique is to simply leave a place on the project for the stone and after firing to solder a pre-made setting onto the piece, and then set the stone into the pre-made setting once everything has cooled. This is the best method for setting stones that are sensitive to heat such as Opal or turquoise.

Much more detailed information about how you can easily make your own jewelry can be viewed at:

The author has an entire gem information encyclopedia on his website, be sure to check out the site at:

Information on actually digging for your own gems can be viewed at: [ ]Dig Your Own Gemstones

Chris Ralph writes on small scale mining and prospecting for the ICMJ Mining Journal. He has a degree in Mining Engineering from the Mackay School of Mines in Reno, and has worked for precious metal mining companies conducting both surface and underground operations. After working in the mining industry, he has continued his interest in mining as an individual prospector.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Turquoise - The People's Stone

Bracelet by HonuEarthCreations
Turquoise - The People's Stone
By []Alan Beggerow

Turquoise is a stone familiar and valued since 3000 B.C.E. Ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Pre-Columbian Native Americans used it to make jewelry, mosaics, and carved it into many different shapes. The stone was unknown in Europe until the 14th century, when it was introduced by Turkish merchants. It is thought that the name of the stone was derived from the French word turc, which means Turk in English. This lead to the idea that the stone itself was mined by the Turks in their homeland. This is not true. The Turks were only merchants that dealt in the stone.

Rich deposits of turquoise mined in ancient times were located in Persia (modern day Iran), and some of the highest quality turquoise is still being mined there today. The stone is also found in Northern Africa, Australia, Siberia, and the American South West.

The Sacred Stone

Turquoise has been a sacred stone for many cultures. The Aztecs combined it with gold in ceremonial items. Some cultures believed that if a horse rider wore the stone it would protect them from falling off. It is a stone credited with bringing happiness and protection from accidents of all kinds, and with many other attributes. The stone is also thought to be one of the stones that make up the breastplate worn by Aaron in the book of Exodus of the bible. This breastplate had twelve gemstones on it, each one engraved with the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Some scholars believe that turquoise was one of these stones.

The sacredness of turquoise for Native Americans goes back before recorded time. It was carved into the shape of birds and animals. Some tribes put these carved items into tombs to help guard the dead and attract good spirits. The Shaman used turquoise for healing. Warriors attached the stone to the ends of their bows, for it was thought to ensure accurate arrow shots.

Although robin egg blue is the most familiar and most highly valued color for the stone, it can be sky blue, various shades of blue-green, to greenish gray. It is not always a solid color, and can have gradations of color within individual stones. Some stones have veins of other material running through them.

A very high quality turquoise can be expensive, but there are many beautiful stones available at a reasonable price. While this stone has been used and appreciated by royalty and the rich through the ages, it has also been available and appreciated by people in more common circumstances. And it remains the same to this day. A stone for all who appreciate its beauty, and its afford-ability. It is indeed The People's Stone.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Making Beaded Jewelry Is Easy to Do

Making Beaded Jewelry Is Easy to Do
By []Sam Serio

Making beaded jewelry is an inexpensive and fun hobby that nearly anyone can do. The materials needed are readily accessible and cost very little money. Aside from the requisite thread, needle and the beads, there are also some other materials that the hobbyist can use in making beaded jewelry. Hobbyists can also experiment with various beading techniques to make interesting and unique creations.

There are several techniques involved in making beaded jewelry. Stringing is one, and wire-working with beads is another. Various types of string are available: cords, plastic, twine. Additionally, silk and nylon threads can also be utilized in making beaded jewelry. Using hemp fiber in beaded jewelry making is a nice touch – it makes for an unusual product and would also be a great topic for conversation. Wire of various thicknesses is another popular option. Additionally, wire is used to make beaded jewelry items such as necklaces, hairpins and earrings, and to attach clasps.

Beads for jewelry come in all shapes and forms as well. In spite of beaded jewelry’s reputation for being inexpensive, a person can also use precious gemstones like pearls and precious metals, such as gold and silver, to make beaded dress accessories. For beginners, however, less costly materials are widely available for making beaded jewelry: glass, crystal, coral, to name a few. Whatever materials the artist uses, he or she is easily able to customize the type of beaded jewelry to be worn personally, given as a gift, or sold to beaded jewelry enthusiasts.

To enhance the overall visual effect of the beads, a number of knotting and stitching techniques are recommended. There are simple knots and stitches for beginners, and with practice, they will be able to progress to the more complicated and fancier methods used in making beaded jewelry. It’s interesting to note that knots have mystical connotations in some cultures. For some East Indians, knots can be used to curse a person. In Gypsy lore, it is important to untie knots in the clothing of a woman in childbirth. And the expression ‘tying the knot’ derives from the ancient Romans, when the groom would untie the knots of his bride’s girdle before consummating the marriage. In which case, it should be ‘untying the knot.’

Sam Serio is an Internet Marketer, musician and a writer on the subject of jewelry and gemstones. For more information on jewelry and gemstones, we cordially invite you to visit to pick up your FREE copy of “How To Buy Jewelry And Gemstones Without Being Ripped Off.” This concise, informative special report reveals almost everything you ever wanted to know about jewelry and gemstones, but were afraid to ask. Get your FREE report at

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Beauty Of Sterling Silver Jewelry

A Beauty Of Sterling Silver Jewelry
By []Victor Epand

The second most common metal used in jewelry making is silver. The various types of silver like oxidized silver and sterling silver have dedicated markets of their own, world wide. The versatility of this metal and its ability to last like a heirloom, makes the metal an all time favorite.

This metal is known to offer a rich look to any ensemble and silver rings, chains, trinkets, bracelets, bangles and even the exquisite earrings can be worn daily, to work, at home an at parties, both formal and informal. Of the different variants of this metal, sterling silver is definitely the most sought after.

Sterling silver jewelry is the next best investment for the common man after gold. The affordability and designs make the jewelry good investment. In fact, even as the metal tarnishes and oxidizes, it takes on a new look that is very ancient and original in appearance.

The black and dull metallic appearance looks great on ethnic attire and especially the colors black, white and red. Now, with hip hop bling being the in thing for teenagers, sterling silver jewelry has found a new market niche. The metal amply satisfies the urge to sport great jewelry such as eye brow rings and belly button rings that are very popular among the young enthusiasts.

Sterling silver is basically a metal with ninety two percent of silver. The high quality and the silver rich metal is thus naturally exposed to tarnishing and hence this type of jewelry demands a lot of maintenance. Routine cleaning ensures that the jewelry is kept looking new and shining.

The cleaning process as applicable to this form of jewelry is directed towards maintaining the luster and shine associated with the metal. When buying sterling silver jewelry, which is definitely not very cheap, you should look for the stamp on the piece that specifies the purity or the word 'sterling' somewhere on the underside of the jewelry.

The tarnishing that this jewelry is susceptible to arises out of the fact that the essential oils from the body react with the metal. However, in the case of silver, unfortunately, all variants tarnish and so does sterling silver. This type of jewelry oxidizes i.e. it reacts with the oxygen in the air and loses the original shine.

There is a dedicated market of clientele and jewelry-designers world wide that caters to the demand for coated or protected sterling silver jewelry with rhodium that helps to prevent tarnishing. There are a number of specially created dips and polishes marketed that make the maintenance of sterling silver jewelry easier. They restore the original color to the jewelry in little or no time at all, fractions of seconds in fact!

You can look after your exquisite collection of sterling silver jewelry with a home made solution of any mild liquid soap and water and a drop of ammonia. Then, dip the pieces in the solution and wipe them dry with a clean and soft cloth. The general myth that vinegar helps in cleaning sterling silver is a farce. It does not and should be avoided.

Victor Epand is an expert consultant about jewelry and diamonds. When looking for jewelry, we recommend you shop only at the best online jewelry stores for []sterling silver, loose diamonds, diamond rings, []sterling silver fashion jewelry, fashion earrings, fashion pendants, []engagement rings, wedding rings, and wedding bands

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