Monday, 24 February 2014


on Jewellery Artist

Nicola has only been making jewellery for just over a year,
but in that short time, her technical and design talent is very
evident!  Enjoy reading about the life behind her jewellery
making and bathe in the beauty of her stunning jewellery designs!

I am from the U.K. and currently live in Washington, which is
just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East.  I have
been married to my wonderful supportive husband for 11 years
now and we don't have children, but we do have 2 mischievous,
adorable dogs.  Noodle, a Bichon Frise and Poppet, a Maltese.

We have a passion for travel, in particular, I adore the Southern
Pacific archipelagos and I have been lucky enough to have
visited this beautiful part of the world many times.  In the
future, I also hope to spend time in the Artic and Antartic circles.
Whilst, in the U.K., Cornwall is my favourite holiday destination.

I have been making jewellery for just over a year now and started
using wire in late February 2013.  I am completely self-taught,
but I have always been very arty and ever since I was a small
child, have loved creating things with my hands.

In May 2013, I was diagnosed with severe depression and a host
of other mental health issues and found myself house bound, lonely,
incredibly desolate and lacking in direction.  Making jewellery
became my lifeline and being able to create gave me a reason to
get out of bed in the morning and a sense of self-worth.  I am never
surprised when I hear stories of people who have been helped by
handcrafting and art. It's tremendously therapeutic!

I don't have a studio as such, but the surface of my rather large
kitchen table hasn't been visible for several months now!

I work at home and even if I am just relaxing and watching a bit
of TV, I usually have a wire project in my hands at the same time.

I am inspired by all things fairytale, fantasy, myth, legend and
nature related.  I love to produce enchanting and whimsical designs
that I imagine would be worn by fairy princesses, mermaids,
mythical heroines and literary characters.  I am also really interested
in rocks and minerals and enjoy collecting beautiful gemstones.
Quite often, it's the gems that inspire the designs. Fashion and trends
don't really interest me, unless from a historical perspective, so I
tend not to be inspired by specific occasions, but essentially, I create
pieces that I personally would love to wear.  Fortunately, other people
seem to like my designs and one of the reasons I love artisan created
designs is that they are so unlike the commercialised mass-production
that we see on the high street.

I don't have a particular design or technique that I would say is my
ultimate favourite.  I just enjoy the whole process of getting my idea
to come to life and the problem solving aspect of making this happen.
I use cold connections at the moment, but I am hoping to learn to
solder in the future.  Wire wrap and precious metal clay are the mediums
that I use the most.  I love sculpting a ring or pendant from clay and
seeing it transform into solid silver!  It makes me feel like an alchemist!
I enjoy the fact that every piece is unique.  I tend to work with pure,
uncoated metals such as silver, copper and brass.  I pay lots of attention
to the finish of my jewellery and the myriad textures and patina effects
that can be created to enhance a beautiful piece to jewellery.

I promote my jewellery through my FACEBOOK page and
sell through FOLKSY.
My trade name is Rubycurls Jewellery.  I have also recently
joined an artists collective at CREATIVE IGLOO
where my work will also be on sale.  I usually have a few pieces
for sale, but most of my work is commissioned based.  Quite often
someone will see something that I have made and ask me to
reproduce it for them and I am always happy to this, or to work
with a customer to create a bespoke design.

I am just starting to write my own tutorials and I hope to be
published in a couple of jewellery magazines this year.  I don't
currently formally teach, but it is something that I would love
to do in the future ...

My advice to others is to make what YOU think is beautiful and
what makes YOU happy.  I don't try to make or sell my work to
a specific market and that means that I can create things that I
love and am proud of! It might not make me rich, but it makes
me happy and keeps the joy in it.  I would also tell people to
work to their best ability. Not everyone has the same skill set
or design ability, but ensuring that whatever you do, is the very
best that you can manage will help you to grow and evolve with your art.

I would like to able to teach at some point as well as have some
of my tutorials published.  I am always trying to develop my own
skills.  Most of all, I just want to be able to carry on creating and
for people to continue to appreciate what I do and to enjoy wearing
and owning my jewellery!

Nicola, I have absolutely NO doubt that your aspirations will be
fulfilled!  Your talent shines bright and your work is an inspiration
to others!

Thursday, 13 February 2014


Take a deep breath!
Fasten your seatbelts!
The beautiful flowing wire of the 
very talented and inspirational 
jewellery designer and tutor ...

is here to share her story ...

I was born in Bridlington a little seaside fishing town on the
East Coast of the U.K.  My mother ran a Bed and Breakfast
and my dad was a diesel mechanic.  Mom, also ran a
small shop selling wool and fabric in the out of season months,
so the idea of having my own business was pretty fixed
from an early age.  We moved to Halifax when I was about
9, where my mom took a shop in the Piece Hall.  That is
an amazing building and at the time, the shop units were
only let to crafts people who used the units as both sales
and workshop areas.  It was a great place to grow up and
I learned a huge amount of different crafts.  

I now live in Southern Ireland with my two sons in the 
rural idyll.  I have two dogs, two cats and a small army of
chickens.  It's wonderful!

When I left school, I went to college to study silver smithing, but
it wasn't what I expected and my swirly designs were dismissed
by the tutors who were more interested in teaching me how to
create vases and teapots.  So, I left and trained to be a veterinary
nurse.  I have had quite a few different jobs: I have worked at a
boarding school as a matron, an electricity company training
call centre staff, a bank doing the same thing and I also trained
as a Hypnotherapist! However, through all that time, I always
created things - especially jewellery!

When I had my youngest son, I decided it was time to run my
own business and that's when I started making jewellery full time.
Wire was a passion, it was so far removed from what I had learned
at college and it allowed me so much freedom, that I was hooked!

I run courses and workshops 'IN THE STUDIO' which is the most
amazing jewellery school, run by Teresa Speer (BA Hons jewellery).
She is resident lecturer for many of the disciplines taught at the
School and has exhibited both nationally and internationally - and
is both an inspirational jeweller and teacher!

When I first found 'In the Studio', I was a student taking courses
in stone setting and casting and although I dabble with lots of other
techniques, I always seem to come back to wire!  Teresa saw my
work and was really impressed and asked me if I was interested in
teaching.  So several months ... and one teacher training course
later ... I started teaching classes at In The Studio, this was about
14 years ago.  I loved it from the first hesitant class, where I was
so nervous, that I created a pendant back-to-front! I always really 
look forward to my classes, we have wire wrapping and weaving 
courses and I try to pack in as much as I can in the two days.  On the
wrapping course, we make at least a dozen rings, two pendants
plus a bangle!

Just recently, I have set up  WIRE GUILD.  
Wire Guild has been one of those things rattling around in my
head for years and with the success of things like FACEBOOK
I had an awful lot of followers from other countries who wanted 
me to teach them.  Books are really not my thing, too many 
restrictions from publishers, so I started creating tutorials on 
'YOU TUBE' using pictures and voice over, describing what I was 
doing and these turned out to be very popular, so I then moved on 
to video ...

After two years practicing on You Tube, I found a web designer and
together (he did all the hard work) we created:
WIRE GUILD an online teaching facility for wire jewellery.
Each member gets two full video tutorials a month, a selection of
skill set videos that demonstrate techniques and small items, a
discounted shop for members only, plus access to the forum.  The
forum is already growing to be a wonderful place where people can 
share tips, help, suppliers and pictures of their work and of course, 
I am always on hand if someone needs any help.

I wanted to make sure this was an affordable thing, especially
as so many people have been affected by the current economic 
climate and often, if you want to watch a video tutorial, they can 
be as much as £20 ($32) each, whilst membership to Wire Guild 
is only £3.70 ($6) a month for two tutorials!

My design inspiration often comes from the gems, or stones I use.
They have to be wrapped in a certain way to ensure that they are
safe and secure and that in turn, lends itself to the wire flowing
in a certain way.  I don't really draw designs, I just start with the
wire and let it happen!  When making a tutorial, I will take the
first piece and then think about how a beginner would manage
to make that piece, I then start to alter and amend the design so 
that it can be created by anyone.  I like all my tutorials to be 
accessible and creatable by anyone, whatever their skill level.
I'm a great believer that with enough instructions, anyone can
create anything!!

I particular love to oxidize copper. I really have no love for bright
untreated copper, although it's nice to use I dislike how brash it
can look.  However, once it's oxidized, I just love that antiqued
mellow look and the way it emphasises all your wires and the
gaps between.  It's definitely my favourite thing at the moment,
but if you asked me again in a month, it most possibly could be 
something different - there is always something new to inspire 
and motivate me...

I do quite a lot of craft fairs, although not as many as I did when
I lived in the UK.  I still travel back to the UK as some fairs are
too good to miss.  I like the fairs that are themed - where you can 
dress up - everyone gets into such a great mood that the whole 
atmosphere is just electric and that always helps with the sales.
I particularly love Ludlow Medieval Faire, it is brilliantly run
with an amazing atmosphere and I get to wear a long dress and
a cloak - win, win!  I also supply and sell my jewellery in shops 
and galleries and of course, I sell on ETSY.

Promotion is an on-going constant thing, I always wear some 
of my jewellery and carry business cards.  I give out my cards
anywhere: to doctors, in shops, or on an aeroplane!  You just 
need to be proud of what you do.  As soon as you are, it's easy 
to say: "hey, this is what I do" ... you will be surprised by the results!

I am currently working towards a large show coming up in
August this year in London, so I am building up my stock.  
The clientele of the show is a little different to a normal show, as
it is a world convention for science fiction and fantasy writers,
therefore, my imagination can go that bit further and wilder than
normal -  lots of over the top jewellery and quite a few headpieces!

The advice I would give to others, is to TRUST YOURSELF!
I know it's hard and you are always your own worst critic, but
if a friend or neighbour sees something you have made and says
it's lovely, or pretty, or stunning, then BELIEVE them!  Don't
go away thinking that they were only saying that to make you
feel better.  If they didn't like it, the conversation would have
just moved away ... so take the compliments and BELIEVE.

Also, ENJOY what you're making! If I don't like what I am 
creating ... it shows!

My current aspirations for the future are to build and grow the 
Wire Guild by adding new members.  I want the forum to be
a really happy buzzing place - after all, we are the home of
'Happy Wrapping' and the forum should reflect that!

Eventually, I would like to add other skills to the tutorials, maybe
other Guilds like Precious Metal Clay Guild or Chain Maille Guild,
or, even a Knitting or Silk Painting Guild ...  

Whatever happens, I will always continue to make the jewellery
I love and to share that knowledge with others.  After all,
it's what I love doing!

Happy Wrapping - Love, Rachel x

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


There is SO much wirework talent out there and the
internet is such a great way of uniting and inspiring
budding artists!

This week's wonderfully creative jeweller comes from
Indonesia and his name is:



Here's Teguh, telling us all about his work in jewellery making:

Hi! My name is Teguh Rahmanto.  I was born in Sragen, a small
town in central Java, Indonesia.  I grew up learning all kinds of crafts, 
from sewing, knitting, crochet, in fact all handicrafts were my hobby!

While I was in junior high school, I loved reading books on handicrafts
and that's where my learning and talent began.  Actually, wirejewellery
became my hobby by chance, when in 2010 I moved to a small town
called Sampit in Central Kalimantan, and making my first acrylic brooch,
I gradually became interested in wire and then on May 18th 2011, I began
to establish my own jewelry brand: "JOENG2JEWELRY".


I am completely self-taught with my wirework, learning by lots
of practicing and experimenting, as well as browsing on the
internet and being inspired by other wireworkers around the


I particularly like wire wrapping and 'Euro' style of wirework
jewelry.  Even though I work as a Tax Accounting Officer, I have
a burning ambition to eventually have my own studio for 
Joeng2Jewelry, however, at the moment I am working on my own 
from home.


I have been inspired by many different jewelry artists, such as:

I really like the European design style of wirework jewelry,
it has a characteristic elegance!


I currently sell and promote my work through:
FACEBOOK (Joeng2Jewelry)

I usually promote my new pieces on Facebook and my fanatic
customers, who have already bought from me, network and share 
it with their friends.


I do run workshops but not recently, because I have been very
busy at work as a Tax Accounting Officer.  However, I have
created 2 Tutorials, one called:

If I had to give any advice to a newcomer, I would first of all
recommend lots and lots of practice, trying out as many different
styles, techniques to create colorful pieces.

Also, try not to copy other people's work, be honest with yourself
and that way your designs will become more original and your
personality will shine through!

My future dream and plan is to eventually have my own studio
to make, sell and design my own range of wire jewellery designs!

Teguh, I have no doubt your dreams will
come true!  Your work is beautiful and you
deserve to be noticed and much admired!