A Few of My Favorite Things: New Jewelry Tools and Supplies from Tucson 2013

If you're a fan of Jewelry Making Daily on Facebook, you already know that I had a great time last week in Tucson. Every year, it's the same great fun–old friends, favorite shows, visiting vendors, meeting talented and creative people–but there's also great new products and trends to be discovered. You all know how I love to share, so I couldn't wait to get home and dig through my bags and notes to share my favorites from Tucson this year.


WireLuxe by Alacarte Clasps

Our friends at Alacarte Clasps have another great product: WireLuxe. It's wider than their WireLace, with an open center surrounded by firm sides. The width makes it ideal for bracelets, but because it has the same bendability that WireLace has, you can pull it and curve it into a necklace, zigzag it, or ruffle it to suit your designs. The substantial sides provide a blingable surface for flat-back crystals or sewn-on beads and gems, and the open wired center is great for weaving in fibers or ribbon. It won't tarnish and it won't unravel, and it cuts with simple scissors or your favorite jewelry-making cutters. It was all the rage in Tucson and I can't wait to see all the new ways jewelry makers find to use it.

CobraCoiler from ParaWire

After watching Kerry Bogert's Wire Coiling Secrets DVD, I became enlightened to the design opportunities that wire coils, two-tone coils, and double coils provide for wire jewelry artists. Wire coilers are not new to the jewelry-tool world, but every so often a new one comes around that makes you realize just how dreamy a jewelry tool can be. Such was the case with Parawire's new Cobra Coiler, which works "like buttah!" as my sparkly friend Stephanie Dixon (aka The Dixon Chick) proclaimed when she expertly demonstrated the Cobra Coiler for me. First she showed how to make a quick and easy standard coil and then she got more creative, mixing wire colors and layering coil upon coil–and then even upon coil again, making wire-coil rosettes and triple-coil components that could be linked together into the most intricate and unusual chain ever, though they were so easy to make! I know you wireworkers and cool jewelry tool fans are going to love this one.

Leather from SilverSilk

I've always been a fan of SilverSilk products (flat, round, Pearlesque of course and Capture), because I think they're beautiful and affordable alternatives to chain, especially for showing off unique artisan pendants. Now they've released a new SilverSilk Leather line, the leather core of which is an all-American product treated in an age-old method using skin-friendly Pennsylvania beeswax, Wisconsin pine resin, and California olive oil. The treatment adds a bright finish to the leather, and the leather adds a whole new dimension to the knitted wire over it, providing mixed-media jewelry artists and leather fans a unique new way to show off their work. No special jewelry tools are required to cut or work with it, and they offer end caps to finish all of their knitted wire products.

BottleHood glass rings and bangles

If you were lucky enough to be in Tucson last week, you probably heard me my jangling my new glass bracelets from BottleHood all over the place. Their earth-friendly concept is simple but brilliant: recycle bottles from local venues and events–parties, weddings, restaurants and bars, etc.–slices them up and fires them into glass jewelry and components. Wine bottles, champagne bottles, curvy Coca-Cola bottles, and various other liquid pleasure bottles are turned into bangle bracelets, focal glass pieces, and components for rings, earrings, and necklaces. I'm not sure which I love more–the color of my Bombay Sapphire bangles, the tinkling sound they make, or the green nature of this business. Triple win.

 Iced Enamels and Rue Romantique Bezels from ICE Resin

I'm always on the lookout for ways to add color to metal, and Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin recently released a fun and easy new one with her Iced Enamels line. Similar to how paper crafters use embossing powders with a heat gun, Iced Enamels uses powders and a medium specially formulated for metal to create the look of traditional enamels with the weathered, aged feel that we've come to love from all of Susan's and her team's creations. Mica and Glitz powders add bling, and no special jewelry-making tools are needed, just a standard heat gun. Susan also recently debuted a new line of bezels, Rue Romantique by Kristen Robinson–which are beautifully detailed Victorian-style bezels just right as they are or with a colorful update from Iced Enamels.


These are just a few of my favorite jewelry-making tools and supplies from Tucson 2013. Watch for more, including some from ImpressArt, Green Girl Studios, Garlan Chain, Nunn Design, Beadalon, Jennifer Osner, Lone Tree Studios, Christi Friesen's Swellegant!, Barbara Lewis's Painting with Fire Studio, some cool gems, and a whole slew of companies with awesome new and vintage stamped metal components . . . not to mention the PEARLS!

For inspiration and instruction on how to use all your favorite jewelry-making tools and supplies, you can't beat our info-packed jewelry-making magazines like Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. And when you get convenient digital copies through Zinio, you'll save all kinds of worktable space for more jewelry-making tools and supplies, yay!

Post a Comment