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Drawplate + Mandrel

If you want to try Viking Weave (Viking Knit) and have trouble finding the specialty tools, I have just listed them on my Kits Page. They have always been included in the kit, but now you can buy just the wooden tools if you have the tutorial and want to gather the sterling silver parts (wire, cones, & clasp) on your own.
A behind-the-scenes little tidbit… In an effort to outsource some of the hats I wear with AnneMade Jewelry, the mandrels and drawplates are now being crafted by my sawdust-lovin’ brother, Tom. He’s anal an engineering type, which means the holes are plentiful, spaced precisely, and drilled with a countersink bit which acts like a funnel when you pull the weave through each hole. In his defense I asked him to stop short of finishing these like cabinetry since they are utilitarian and not meant for display. I think it was a little painful for him to *just* sand them because he even beveled the edges. Thanks, bro!

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The Lazy

A recurring joke of mine is that I’m going to come up with a series of books for people who are too busy/lazy/easily distracted to do things the traditional way. They’d all be entitled “The Lazy [enter specialty here]” Book number one would be The Lazy Metalsmith. The projects could be completed in an hour or less with a minimal amount of tools. I actually worked on this idea with my friend Cheryl, who has an actual degree in jewelry design from Tyler. I was thinking she’d lend credibility and devil’s advocacy to the project. We sat and drank margaritas one night, hammering out (ha! no pun intended) projects for the book. We started to research publishers. And then we never did anything more with it; I don’t even know where my notes are.
A symptom of The Lazy is not finishing big projects. That is why I do better with a smaller scale, like writing tutorials. So, I am pleased to announce that my first PMC tutorial, the Lentil Bead, is now available on my Tutorials page.

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Tutorials on CD

At the suggestion of a fellow Etsy seller, I am now offering sets of my tutorials on CD. You get HALF OFF when you purchase a CD when compared to buying individual tutorials. Or if you are crazy about wire, you can buy just the Wirework CD (or Chain Maille or Beading, and hopefully soon I’ll have a PMC collection).

This is a great gift idea for somebody who is getting into jewelry-making!

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Speaking of PMC

The September PMC workshops at Sparkles are on the schedule… Click here for details. I’m working on getting photos to post for the Box Pendant, so check back soon for those. Please note one change this time: I’ve asked Connie to collect the teaching fee when students register. We had a few no-shows in the last set of workshops, spots which people on the waiting list would have loved to have.Unfortunately, because of the new addition coming to our family, September will be my last set of PMC workshops for a while. What I am planning to do is write tutorials for the PMC techniques I teach so those of you who didn’t get to come in person can learn from detailed, step-by-step instructions.

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Speaking of Ketchup

Or catch-up, rather… I’ve been on the go a lot lately, finally had a whole week at home so I worked on getting special orders in the mail. Today I did a PMC pendant using a custom texture sheet, which gave me the idea of writing a tutorial. Keep bugging me for it if you’re interested; it’s a neat technique for texture addicts.

Updated: Tutorial now available here!

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New tutorial

Sparkly and square like a princess-cut diamond, but three-dimensional like a pillow: the all-new Princess Pillow Kit & Tutorial

The one in the picture (available here) features Jet 2XAB crystals, which are black fumed twice with gold. It gives them a blue, green, and yellow palette with orange holes (which you never see if they are just strung together).

It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it’s puffy in the middle like a piece of ravioli.

The tutorial includes a 1-inch-square pattern (shown here) and instructions for making it bigger and smaller using the same size crystals.