Making Jewellery

A series of posts showing my explorations into new ways of creating jewellery and components.
Week One: Self Employed Artisan-hood
Week One: Self Employed Artisan-hood
Pre-emptive Verdict: IT'S BRILLIANT. Day One: I went to the post office, set up the world's fastest, easiest lightbox (seriously, have never been able to...
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Teaspoon Jewellery
Teaspoon Jewellery
Everyone knows what you do with old teaspoons if you are a jeweller: you turn them into rings or bracelets by wrapping them around mandrels....
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Craftsy: How to Antique Jewelry in 4 Easy Steps
Craftsy: How to Antique Jewelry in 4 Easy Steps
Hey look it's another Craftsy post! I sure am writing a lot of those lately. This one shows two different ways to antique your copper and...
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Tyrannical Botanical Molds
Tyrannical Botanical Molds
I have been 1000% obsessed with the organic molds I made last week. But after that first batch, something went horribly, horribly wrong! Let me...
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Organic Faux Ceramic (Polymer Clay)
Organic Faux Ceramic (Polymer Clay)
Earlier this week, I found this post on pinterest, linking to Poly Clay Corner's post on what to do with liquid polymer clay. This led...
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Assemblage!
Assemblage!
Have you ever wanted to do something really badly, and then when you get a chance to you stare at it blankly, not sure how...
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Colour. Change. Community.

About the Artist.

As a child, beachcombing with family in Cape Breton, I became captivated by the natural colours and shapes surrounding me. Making jewelry became a means to transform Eastern Canada’s brilliant scenery and calm, creative lifestyle into works of art. By capturing local colour with the sinuous curves of my native coastlines, I can tell stories from my home island through tiny, wearable canvases.

The only constant to my work, besides colour, is change. I thrive on new discoveries, so every new technique I try will merge and grow into the next, delivering surprise and joy as every piece takes shape. I delight in overcoming challenges and solving problems, for I know each piece I make is made richer by the journey it takes from raw materials to final shape.

Communities of artists, both local and global, inform my work and drive my innovative spirit. It’s self-evident that I should share my work with others; breaking down my process helps not only me, but also others who can build on my techniques, combining colour and shape in newer, richer ways to take the evolution of my work forever forward. Each piece of jewelry becomes a phrase in an unfolding conversation around the world.

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Here on gaylebird.com, I wish to share, teach, and discover new and innovative ways to make jewellery out of wire, metal, clay, rusty junk, and basically anything else I can get my hands on. You’ll find tutorials, both free and for purchase, explorations with no end, and most of all, you’ll find my rollercoaster of a ride as I try something new and it either works or fails, and how I move that into something new.

Hope you enjoy the ride!

Inspiration

A series of posts related to the things that inspire and drive me
Beads in Paris
Beads in Paris
When I was in Paris (that sounds simultaneously super pretentious and fictional), my host and I took a stroll up Rue du Temple. We were...
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Designing
Designing
Computer design has been a big part of what's happening around here lately. Logo design, pattern design, font and brand exploration - it's all giving...
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4 Inspirational Ideas for Jewelry-Making Storage
4 Inspirational Ideas for Jewelry-Making Storage
I give some unconventional jewelry-making storage ideas over at the Craftsy blog. And yep, that's my studio and my stash. Jealous? ;) 4 Inspirational Ideas...
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Steampunk Inspiration
Steampunk Inspiration
I've always felt a little squeamish putting the label "steampunk" on my work. Like putting watch bits in there doesn't REALLY make it steampunk, you...
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Art Date!
Art Date!
I'm super excited to play with my friend Whitney tomorrow... as a visual/doodle artist, she's just started with polymer clay by carving her own stamps....
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Think & Design #3: The Cluster
Think & Design #3: The Cluster
Yep, I skipped #2 but that's only because my sketches for those are upstairs - they were made while I was still doing the exercises...
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Think and Design: #1 – The Flower
Think and Design: #1 – The Flower
As promised, I've begun the drawing exercises on my journey towards a new style. Above is the first exercise in the Think and Design Jewelry...
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Concepts & Clay
Concepts & Clay
I purchased a small fistful of these tiny watch parts one time because I couldn't help but think they'd make perfect bird heads. Today the...
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Jewellery Blog

My latest posts, from musings to business discussions to play-by-play explorations in the studio.

Gemstone Focus Pendants

I am extremely happy to finally be able, after nearly a decade of wiresmithing, to present the public with a line of jewellery that is centered on the lore of mystical properties of gemstones. They’re my Focus pendants, and here are a few! Happiness: Renewal: Strength: Friendship: I also have …

Christmas Loft 2008

(Click for Larger) This private shopping party at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design is going to be totally fabulous. I will be dressed to the tens (the nines aren’t fancy enough!) and we’ll have a jazz band and martinis, and it’s going to be beautiful and intimate …

Rack Cards

The very kind people at the CBCCD, through a funding program, have allowed me the financial ability to have rack cards printed – plus business cards and the Moo cards I talked about this week. I spent far too many hours designing these things – struggling with niggly details, staring …

Coal Pendants

The coal industry has been a big deal in Cape Breton for decades. It’s been slowly shutting down, but of course the coal is still here – and it washes up on our beaches, all soft and beautiful. I give it a semi-gloss coat of sealant (because coal, it is …

New Moo Business Cards

You’ve probably seen my tiny finger-sized business cards from moo.com. I’ve got funding for more print materials so I’m using part of it to print some business-card-sized cards from Moo. The very best part is every card can have a different image on it! I chose 30 different images. Here …

Earrings

In the ramp-up towards this fall’s craft market, I’ve made nearly 100 new pairs of earrings, most of them from a fabulous batch of new glass beads I received recently. In my never-ending quest to find the best way to photograph my jewellery, I tried hanging earrings from the top …

Photographs

I finally found a setting that doesn’t look completely lame when taking beach glass pendant photos – a fistful of my white beachglass, a couple pieces of driftwood, some sand dollars and a shell! I think these came out really fabulous and as soon as my camera’s battery is charged …

Fall Beachcombing

I think the fall is one of the best times to go searching for beach glass and other bits, because A) there’s fewer people around and B) the storms really churn up what’s out there and drag it up onto shore! I’ve made some of my best finds in the …

Beachcombed, sorted

I sorted my beach glass! This is everything I have. I thought it might be neat to show the actual rarity of the colours by volume. Here is all of it: (click for larger + notes) And a close-up on my precious pieces: I’m surprised at how little brown I …

Phew!

I’ve finally managed to get a real sort of update onto my website. I replaced the Rings and Earrings pages with representative images instead of individual works for sale, as that just never worked out very well – those always have a high turnover and I just can’t keep the …

Earrings

These are the earrings I made for the home show I had on Sunday: And yesterday I got a whole passel of new beads, including flowers, raspberries, butterflies, leaves and crackle beads – so of course I had to make more! These are destined for the Cape Breton Centre for …

Home Shows

I had a wonderful evening on Sunday. My man’s mother wanted to host a jewellery party, so I packed up and went out. I had no plans, but it worked out really well! Lots of people had fun, everybody got a wee pendant for a door prize, and I did …

Beachcombing

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve beachcombed this year. I really need to get more of it done, I am running out of what I picked up last year. And two evenings out, I found a PINK piece, my very first true pink! I’ve been really enjoying the limestone – …

Beachcombed Jewellery

I had a very fun weekend making a lot of new jewellery from old glass, shells, pottery and coal found on the beaches of Cape Breton. There’s a new Ocean Harvest Charms series which consists of local stone drilled by Laird and wrapped by me with the inclusion of pewter …

Lampwork

I recently received shipment of these amazing lampworked beads: They’re gorgeous! I did this with some of them: Laird has my photo studio so the lighting isn’t the best here. Also I’m lazy. The large pendant in the middle on the neckwire is all mine. The rest are pendants I’ll …

Studio Pictures

Don’t you just love getting a look at other people’s workspaces? Here’s mine! Click through for the full set of images plus descriptions on Flickr.

Starfish Series & Hair Adornments

I’m rolling out this starfish series with a bang. That thing has been rolling about inside my head for a very long time. I’m SO glad I finally got it out! Plus, I totally made it another kitchen-sink necklace (gotta stop doing that)… it’s got: hand-sculpted polymer clay starfish & …

New Packaging

For the past few weeks my friend Angie and I have been working in her amazing paper studio. She’s teaching me things and letting me use some of her materials while she works on her own projects, and I am making boxes in which to store, display, and sell my …

Starfish Series

Today I woke up wanting to make more starfish. The clay is exactly what I needed to kick-start my creative mojo again. I needed something different. Today’s batch is more colourful. I also started to wrap them and they’re turning out pretty great. Exciting! I’m putting some leather in as …

Contact

If you want to leave comments or ask questions, please fill out the form below and it will email me directly.

Note: I just can’t do commissions right now. I’m simply too busy to give each commission the special attention it deserves.

Commission Requests will be open, along with details, in August 2017.

Booking Private Wire Jewellery Workshops now! Contact me for details.


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