Top 12 of 2012: A Look Back at the Best of the Year on Jewelry Making Daily

What a fun year we've had making jewelry together! I hope you've all enjoyed learning new techniques and mastering ones you already knew, learning about new jewelry-making tools and supplies, and swooning over gemstones with me. I've learned two incredibly fun new techniques this year, electroforming and torch enameling, as my "to learn" list is slowly being whittled away. In 2013, I hope I can finally mark gem cutting off my list (fortunately Tucson is just around the corner–big news about that below), along with chasing and repoussé and casting.

Let's take a look back at your favorite JMD blogs published during 2012. I wonder if you'll remember each one or if you'll have to peek…

12. Speaking of Tucson . . . This blog was definitely foreshadowing for all the new ways I'd learn to use and love copper and wire (and copper wire) during 2012.

11. Though I'm still too impatient to learn it properly, I finally "tackled" a chain maille weave in 2012. It seems taking lessons from childhood learning was the key to my chain-maille success.

10. I learned a good crossover-crafts lesson during 2012, as well, and put that knowledge to good use in a favorite technique for me now: metal stamping.

9. I've always been a fan of recycling and upcycling in particular, especially when it comes to crafts and jewelry making. This guest blog by Kate Wadsworth about making jewelry using old cookie tins was a big hit.

 

8. Our newest contributing author and recurring guest blogger for 2012 was the lovely and talented Kate Richbourg, who shared her wealth of knowledge all year long about metal stamping, soldering with a micro torch, riveting, jewelry tools and supplies like the Dremel and the micro torch, and more. Her Dremel-friendly textured, riveted flower pendant was among our most popular this year.

7. Thanks to the ever-increasing price of silver (I don't even look at gold anymore), alternative metals like copper and brass continued their 15 minutes of jewelry-making fame in 2012. I think the question I see most often asked on the JMD forums is about soldering copper, brass, or copper to brass, and some of our brilliant members shared their tips and knowledge in this post.

6. Though I find myself making earrings so often, rings are my favorite type of jewelry to make, and based on your response to this blog, I think you must agree with me!

 

5. The popularity of this blog really surprised me, but it pleased me even more. I love mixing craft techniques like resin and embossing with jewelry making, and this project was a perfect opportunity to do that. It also allowed me to play, experiment, and start my love affair with using resin. I'm so happy that many of you enjoyed it and shared your comments.

4. Another fun new part of JMD in 2012 was the addition of guest bloggers and designers. Our friends at Nunn Design kept us busy with fun new jewelry-making projects featuring epoxy clay, resin, and all kinds of mixed media, like this one.

3. We continued to publish a free jewelry-making eBook each month during 2012, and this blog introducing one of them was a huge hit. It's further evidence to me that we have many crossover crafters and mixed-media jewelry artists in our JMD family and I look forward to exploring that more in 2013!

 

2. The popularity of this one doesn't surprise me a bit! Her second blog in our top 12, Kate Richbourg's micro (butane) torch 101 series was a wonderful addition to JMD in 2012. It all led up to the publication of her Simple Soldering book in October, which is a perfect gateway for people who want to move beyond wire and other no-heat jewelry-making techniques but who don't want to invest in (or use) a big torch and soldering setup. Kate was definitely a shining star on JMD for 2012 and you'll be seeing more of her in 2013.

And the number one blog on Jewelry Making Daily during 2012 was…

1. When I named this blog "Wire Jewelry Tip of the Year," I had no idea it would turn out to be true! I should've known, though, considering what a super handy tip it is and how popular wire jewelry-making is with the JMD family. Sometimes the simplest things are the sweetest.

Looking forward for 2013, I'm also excited about Tucson–it's just about a month away! Now's the time to get the 2013 Tucson Show Guide and start making plans, deciding which shows to attend, signing up for classes, finding out where favorite vendors will be as well as identifying new ones that look interesting, seeing what trends are already in the buzz. The Tucson gem, jewelry, mineral and fossil shows are incredibly fun, incredibly exciting–but they can be incredibly overwhelming without a good plan. The Tucson Show Guide is a thorough resource for show old timers as well as newbies ready to form their plan of attack. Pre-order or instantly download your 2013 Tucson Show Guide and start planning now!

Which jewelry-making techniques did you learn with us in 2012? What do you want to learn in 2013? I hope you'll share your feedback in the comments below.

Also check out our most popular JMD blogs ever (at the time) and the most commented blogs of 2011–it's like opening a time capsule!

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