Beau Dangles

Handcrafted Jewelry — Designed to be Different


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Easy Earring Display

I’m teaching a new class on earring making and needed a way to display samples so that prospective students could see firsthand what they might make.

I tried several ideas but none of them showed the earrings off to advantage — they looked crammed together and uninviting.

Styrofoam to the rescue!

I have several pieces of styrofoam that I use under display cloth at my show booth. Also in my stash of why-did-I-ever-buy-these things were some pins I’d bought years ago and never used.

I covered the styrofoam with a large sheet of white paper. I did a neat, taped down fold to finish it off so that I could pin earring samples to all 4 sides.

Sytrofoam block

The tricky part was getting the display to stand upright without falling over. I thought about making a base around the foam but didn’t have time.

Instead I made foldover loops of masking tape, stuck them on the bottom of the foam and then stuck that into the bottom of a pretty glass plate. I filled the plate with dried beans to add more support and to finish off the display.

This turned out to be a quick and easy display and it didn’t cost me anything (always a nice benefit).

While I’ve used it to show off individual earrings, it could be used to display earring pairs. Although I put most of my earrings on individual cards, I also have some discounted and sale earrings that sit in a small basket. This upright display would show them all at a glance.

Since these forms are easy to make you could create a nice tiered effect by adding 1 or 2 more of different heights. When earrings sell and you want to add another pair, use the same pinholes to keep it looking neat.

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Earring Bling Class

Earrings are fun to wear — and even more so when you’ve made them yourself. If you’d like create your own earrings you might want to sign up for my new class Earring Bling! 

The class is designed for beginners (more experienced jewelry makers are also welcome). I’ll take you step by step through the process from idea to finished piece. At the end of the evening you’ll have 3 pairs of lovely earrings.

I bring all the supplies — beads, crystals, pearls, charms and more — and the tools. I’ll have earring samples you can use for inspiration or you can create your own designs. If you have beads or charms at home you’d like use, be sure to bring them along.

The class runs Wednesday June 10 at the Sundre Library. Registration is limited to 8 people. Please call the Library to register (403) 638-4000.


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A Desire to Wire

Sometimes the quickest way to learn something — for me, at least — is to take a class. A few weeks ago, with my renewed desire-to-wire, I signed up for Rena Klingenberg’s new online class titled “Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components.”

I’m an avid reader of her Jewelry Making Journal and I’ve learned a lot. But I also know there’s a heck of a lot I don’t know. That’s why her course appealed to me.

The lessons are very well structured — videos, printable lesson plans and detailed how-to sheets. Rena starts with the basics — learning to make simple loops, spirals, hooks, folds and an assortment of squiggles. A solid base from which to set off in new directions.

It was while I was practicing the flat fold that I wondered what would happen if I opened it up. So I did. Now, what if I wrapped it around a pen? And then scrinched it a bit here? And then a bit there? And why not add some beads. And maybe a couple of loops.

Wait a minute! Houston, we have earrings! I made some hoops and we’re done. It was love at first glance.

Pink Heart

I was truly enamoured with these delicate delights. For a day. (I am so fickle.)

I’ve been working with copper lately. What if . . . well, out came some copper wire and dyed copper pearls. Once more I made some flat folds (Rena, thank you for starting us with basics). Moments later, a new pair of heart earrings.

Copper Heart

I love these two too.

Meanwhile back in online land, I’m into Part 3 of the course making clasps and bails and surprising myself with how easy it is to learn — thanks Rena!

P.S. Eagerly looking forward to your next course. 🙂


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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Okay. Not all of it. Just one week. But what a week!

I took “Introduction to Jewellery Making” at Red Deer College. It was one of numerous courses offered as part of the College’s Summer Art and Fine Craft Workshops. (Unfortunately as each course ends they delete it from the website so you aren’t able to see the array of offerings.)

The class was taught by Calgary goldsmith and metal artist Linda Chow. Not only does she do beautiful work she’s an amazing instructor.

She seemed to know exactly when to introduce new ideas and techniques so that we weren’t overwhelmed but also weren’t waiting to tackle something new.

The course focussed on working with metal, mainly copper and brass. There were 11 women in the class and although a few had done some work with metals most of us were beginners. We learned so many things — cutting and sawing, sanding and polishing, riveting, soldering, layout and design, colouring.

And we surprised ourselves with how quickly we gained confidence using acetylene torches. 🙂

The women in the class were such a creative group, sharing ideas and offering feedback.

As the days unfolded the techniques we were learning began turning into wearable art.

By the end of the week, our classroom looked like a jewelry store.

Copper and brass cuffs …

More cuffs, a necklace and earrings …

And more …

In addition to this introductory class Linda also offers a week-long self-directed course. I’m already looking forward to taking that one next summer!