Year 2006 - Second semester
October 14, 2006
Just found a review of my site written by Lynn Kvigne for BeadingHelpWeb.com. I had no idea the review had been written, so it comes as a pleasant surprise. Overall, she gave me a great review (thank you Lynn!), the only minor critique is towards my tutorial prices, which she claims are a bit high. Oh well, I'm resigned, you can't satisfy all!!!
To read Lynn's review, click here: Eni's Wire Jewelry Site Worth Your Time
October 13, 2006
I've had a lot of commissions lately, (thank goodness!). One interesting thing I noticed, though, people are asking for SETS, as opposed to just a single piece. Here is a set of necklace and bracelet I just finished,
with Amazonite and Turquoise:
Amazonite and Turquoise "Y" Necklace
This necklace goes with the following bangle:
To make the necklace, I used the Coiled Bangle instructions with a V shaped core as shown in below in the diagram, coiling independently each side. The heart bead in the middle is a ONE-TO-THREE piece, that
is, a single hole at the bottom and three holes at the top. These pieces are normally used at the ends of multistrand necklaces or bracelets.
The pear shaped drop was made using a slightly modified Capped Bead weave.
October 7, 2006
This is a necklace worked with lapis lazuli and silver. This is the second time I make this same kind of pendant, and it's mix of various different techniques:
1) The bail is made woven in Ladder weave;
2) The flower is attached using Charms and Extensions;
3) The frame is worked with a Coiled Bezel Frame.
The final touch is to add a series of beads stitched to the edge of the pendant, and a necklace strung with lapis lazuli, iolite and silver beads.
Anna's Necklace: Lapis lazuli, iolite and silver
October 5, 2006
While I was away I took a few commissions to develop. One of them was a bangle made with gorgeous bright teal amazonite, a variation of the turquoise bangle. A little bit more organic, more marine. The usual
critters just had to make appearances...
Small Tides Bangle - Amazonite, turquoise and silver.
September 1, 2006
Ok, I'm leaving on a trip in a just a few days. Thanks to the 20% sale offer in August, got a ton of commissions to take with me (thanks everybody!!!).
I also found time to release two new tutorials which were just sitting there, waiting patiently for me to find the time to post them: Chaos Necklace and the Woven Bail for Focal Bead. I used Karen Hardy's beautiful lampwork for the woven bail (thanks Karen!). She loves to give me samples of her beautiful work.
I will not be available EVERY DAY to answer email during the month of September, so if your request goes unanswered for a while, don't fret. I'll get to it...
August 14, 2006
When working with thin wire and coiling techniques, it is best to work with lengths of wire no longer than 2.5 feet long (not much longer than
your arm's length). At some point during coiling, the wire will end.
I've received a number of emails asking me how to add new wire to a piece, so today I posted a new free tutorial in the Lesson's page,
showing exactly how to do it. Click here to go to the Lessons page and then scroll down to the Easy section.
August 12, 2006
There's an Eni Oken Groupie Challenge going on at the Bead and Button Forum. The challenge objectives are to create a new style or design, based on any one of my tutorials, using the method of "progressions".
You must create 4 of 5 progressive variations, that is, start the first one with more or less the same results as the chosen tutorial. The second one is a variation on the first one. The third one a variation on
the second one and so on.
This is an exercise I used to do with my fantasy design students, and usually is a great way to come up with new alternatives that you wouldn't have thought of.
The deadline for submitting all the variations is September 30, 2006.
You MUST submit it at Bead & Button Forum, NOT directly to me. Go to the forum and register for free if you are still not a member of that community. Here is a direct link to the topic where the discussions are
being posted: Eni Oken Groupie Challenge.
After September 30, I will be judging each progression and will award one of my pieces to the one that I feel was the most successful.
Important to remember, even if you are a beginner, that the goal is NOT to make it more complex, but yet to DEVELOP A NEW STYLE AND DESIGN. The winner will be the one that can manage to have the best
balance between design, balance, technique and creativity -- not complexity.
Here are some of the parameters I will be using to judge each progression:
Was the progression able to really create a brand new style, or not?
How balanced and harmonious is the final design?
Creativity versus execution: how well did the progressions manage to create a brand new design, without stretching/compromising execution and technique?
Technique: is the execution clean and well made?
Are the progressions really linked to each other, that is, can you clearly see the influence of the previous one over the next?
I always like to encourage beginners to participate. So I will pay
particular attention to the PROGRESSION and ability to create a new design, and not to the level of intricacy of the initial tutorial chosen. You can select any tutorial you like.
August 3, 2006
When it's late at night and I'm too tired to work on commissions, sometimes I surf the net to find out what other people have done. And sometimes I find works they have done with my tutorials in their blogs
or web pages. It's really cool to see what they did...
Newest Addition to my Joolry family
Marie Cristine Jewelry
Marie Cristine Jewelry 2
Maria Apostolou 1
Maria Apostolou 2
Desiderata Designs: Medieval Nights
ES Designs 2
Kab's Creative Concepts
To Bead or not to Bead
Mixed Media n' jewelry
Really pretty abacus
August 1, 2006
I've received an email asking a question about how to organize wires:
I have those plastic folders with various pockets, the kind used for receipts, and just added tags with the various gauge numbers. Each orll of wire goes into the proper pocket. This way it's easy to carry and
they don't get mixed up.
July 31, 2006
I've got another suggestion from a friend on how to deal with the Stainless Steel core bangle: instead of attempting to make a wrapped loop, simply form a coil of loops (2 or 3) at the end of the wire. Then,
by wrapping it with thin sterling silver, it should be strong enough (and nicely made) to support the bangle.
July 28, 2006
Ok, now you know what I've been so *busy* with lately: besides working on commissions, writing my own tutorials and maintaining the website, I've also been working non-stop on editing and publishing
Guest Artist Sandy Hendrickson's tutorial on how to make the gorgeous Unicorn Pendant.
Here's a secret: when Sandy first submitted her entry to the WWJ Fantasy, Myth and Magic contest, I fell in love immediately with the pendant and decided to ask the artist to work on a collaborative
tutorial when the contest was over. I was NOT surprised when it snagged BEST OF SHOW! (Note: I was not a judge and had no influence whatsoever on the judges' decisions -- all entries were confidential).
We both put an enormous effort into making this tutorial happen: Sandy took hundreds of pictures and wrote detailed instructions for me. I edited the pics in Photoshop, manipulated the extensive text and
published the entire thing. It took us months!
One of my next tasks is going to be to make a unicorn pendant myself -- I already ordered the materials for it, and soon enough I shall try my hand... I already even have a recipient for the first pendant, a dear
friend. The question is: will I be able to make ONLY one? :-)
I THINK NOT!!!
July 21, 2006
I have received quite a few emails after I posted the problem with the "broken bangle core", asking what gauge of stainless steel is recommended. I used 24 ga, which is pretty thin and it was already
very DIFFICULT to make a wrapped loop with that -- so I don't recommend any thicker. The wire I used is the kind that is sold sometimes as "memory wire", and is easily found in jewelry supply stores.
The advantage of using the stainless steel core is that, because it's thinner, you can use nicer stones to make bangles (which normally come with very tiny holes), and it will hopefully not break unless you
are really *ruthless* with the jewelry.
The disadvantages are that it's tricky to make a wrapped loop with such hard wire, and you have to wrap the core wire ENTIRELY, even the loops and shanks, or else the bangle looses some of the
preciousness. (If you are going to take that long to make a piece of jewelry, it better look precious!).
Oh, another disadvantage is that the stainless steel is REALLY hard to cut. Don't you use your good cutters on it or you'll ruin them. Instead, get a pair of strong regular wire cutters from the hardware store.
July 17, 2006
Manage to post the first batch of faceted stones for sale, in between working on commissions and planning for a birthday party.
These are not small stones... These are huge!
After this, the cabs!
July 15, 2006
There just aren't enough hours in a day. This is a list of the things I am working on now:
1) Finishing up the last touches on a special tutorial, made in partnership with a fantastic artist and which will be released in one or two weeks;
2) Working on editing several of my own tutorials;
3) Working on a whole bunch of jewelry commissions;
4) Working on several new jewelry designs;
5) Working on re-doing one bangle which had the core wire snapped (read more about this below);
6) Keeping up with bank and business paperwork.
Yesterday, I managed to add ONE more item to the list: I discovered the most fantastic supplier of cabs and beads in Brazil who is willing to work with me and find some unusual pieces. Out of impulse I got a
small lot of stones which I will be posting on my site for sale.
So I have to photograph and describe the pieces on a page, which I will try to do this week. In the lot, I got some gorgeous cushion shape amethyst cabs, faceted rock crystals, shimmering faceted created
amethysts and my favorite stone, the blue-green amazonite from Brazil, both in rough large nuggets and smooth cabs. Yummy. None of the stones in this lot are drilled, but the supplier promised they can drill
ANYTHING, even the faceted stones, if I want to. Talk about temptation.
Back to business, this is for you bangle-makers... This is the second time the core wire of a bangle snaps. The silver wire being very soft compared to other metals maybe not be able to take all the stress. So I
am re-making the bangle using stainless steel wire, which will be totally covered/coiled with silver. From now on, I will recommend that the core wire not be made in silver, but yet in stainless steel.
July 12, 2006
My good friend Karen Hardy (an amazingly versatile artist, who works with polymer clay, lampworked beads and wire wrapping with equal ease), has asked me for a long time why I didn't convert some of my
tutorials into a book. I finally took her advice: I selected some of the most popular advanced tutorials and worked them together into a full colored book: Eni Oken's Jewelry Lessons -- Masters Selection.
The printing was done at Lulu.com, a printer-on-demand, per Karen's recommendation, and it was a great choice: I had them print one before launching the book and I was happily surprised with the beautiful
quality of the illustrations.
July 7, 2006
FSOJ Week 39
I'm late with my projects of the FSOJ, but I have a good excuse: I'm working like crazy on various commissions. Here's one made after the Tidal Wave Bangle, with aquamarines, a silver starfish and lobster: