My Favorite Things... Metal Version

This is what happens when a tune gets stuck in my head while I'm up late working on things.

(sung to "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music)
Metal and torches and tumblers and pliers
Rocks set in bezels or maybe square wire
Doming blocks, files, when hammers go TING
These are a few of my favorite things - - -

Kilns fusing glassware and PMC gold
Liver of sulfur and cuttlebone molds
Anvils and pickle and pearls on a string
These are a few of my favorite things - - -

Draw plates, wax carvings, roll printings, crochet hooks
Tubing and lubing and reading McCreight's books
Headpins and eyepins and Links for a Queen
These are a few of my favorite things - - -

When the fuel's out
When the ring flings
When my eyes are had
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Real or Fake? Does It Matter?

I just finished reading an article on Smithsonian.com about the increased quality of lab-grown diamonds making them practically indistinguishable from natural diamonds. I've never been a big diamond person. Sure, I think they're beautiful, but the main reason I got into jewelry making was to work with elements that at one point in time were a part of the earth. I'm just as impressed by a well-cut diamond as I am a great piece of jasper with tons of color and character. Their price differs greatly, but their value is equally as precious.

The nerdy, science-lover side of me thinks the ability to create specimens that are nearly indistinguishable from the natural thing is amazing. There are functional areas that I think these diamonds are perfect for. But the other, earthy side says they will never be the same. Part of the fascination of stones for me is that they're just THERE without the intervention of humans. I guess it depends on the reason you like the stone. Is it the stone's visual beauty? It's history? It's chemistry? The energy that went into making it?

For those who make jewelry... Is there a difference between what you work with and what you like to wear personally (when it comes to natural/lab-created stones)?

For those who enjoy wearing jewelry... Does the stone's origin factor into your decision when buying a piece?

See the article on Smithsonian.com

[photo by Max Aguilera-Hellweg]

The Artist Formerly Known As...

I've been wanting to come up with a unique symbol I could use on my e-maille jewelry tags and other things. I've been using just an "E" until now, because nothing before was really working or 'grabbing' me. I finally came up with one, so the next logical step was, of course, to make a pendant of my artistic identity. You know... like Prince... because he and I are so similar. I like purple. And rain. Anyway...

My new mark consists of my initials "ELM" arranged in a sort of skewed way. I couldn't have it too straightforward. That's not how I roll. My initial arrangement is enclosed by one big ring, because it was one ring that started all my maille madness, and I'm thankful. My new pendant is symmetrical, relatively simple, and, although I've been told it looks like a TIE Fighter turned sideways, I like it. So, now I just need to order a metal stamp and emblazen the world like Zorro. Again... so similar we are.

If any of you have ordered a custom metal stamp, I'd appreciate any info either way--who you'd do business with again or who you'd avoid.

Happy Flag Day!... Surprise!

Since today is Flag Day, I thought I'd celebrate by giving away a "Can You BeWeave It?" Make Your Own Chainmaille kit. Here's how you can Win Something!...

Somewhere on the Make Something site is a Win Something! icon like this one. Click on the icon to send an email. (Do not change the subject line.) The first person to find the icon and send an email will win their choice of one of our new Flags of the World "Can You BeWeave It?" 15"/16"/17" necklace kits, complete with instructions. (Tools not included.)

More surprise Win Somethings will be posted throughout the summer here on the blog. Subscribe to the Blog Feed and get ready to grab free things!

UPDATE : The Win Something has been found!
Congratulations to our winner!
Thanks to everyone for playing...

Let Your Flags Fly!

I was inspired by the forthcoming Flag Day and Olympic Games and decided to make some flags of the world. Come see the new collection! Even more flags will be added soon...

Flag of the United States of America/USA European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace


Flag of Italy European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace


Flag of France European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace


Flag of England (St. George's Cross) European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace


Flag of the Netherlands/Holland European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace


Flag of Belgium European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace


Flag of Germany European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace


Flag of Sweden European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace


Flag of Poland European 4-in-1 Chainmaille Necklace