Making Jewellery

A series of posts showing my explorations into new ways of creating jewellery and components.
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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Wire Nail Polish Flowers & Pendants
Wire Nail Polish Flowers & Pendants
Recently I picked the topic "wire nail polish flowers" for a blog post a Craftsy, essentially choosing it out of a hat. I was highly...
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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.

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 show you. First, here’s the exciting thing I was doing with chalk on the raw polymer clay impressions: Faaaaaabulous, right? I was PUMPED. But it was …

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 me down the rabbithole to this post about faux ceramic. Such a beautiful result! At the same time, I was eyeing my molding material out of the …

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 to get started? I’ve been doing that with these assemblage steampunk pieces for several weeks. Arranging, rearranging, gluing, adding, then just staring. And staring. Well …

Artisan Jewelry Times – Featured Artist

A really lovely thing happened to me recently – I was approached to do a tutorial AND be the featured artist in a relatively new magazine called Artisan Jewelry Times. I’ve been a subscriber for a few months now and it’s a lovely little mag. I’m not convinced I’ve put …

Exclusive Jewelry-Making How-To: Make a Baroque Wire Pendant

I recently worked with Jewelry Making Daily to product an exclusive how-to project and thought you might be interested! This beautiful little pendant can be glitzy and glam while being relatively quick to whip up. If you want to be meticulous and precise with your wrapping, you can spend longer …

Learn How to Make Your Own Wire-Wrapped Rings

Rings are one of the few pieces of jewelry you can see when you wear them. And whether you’re into making jewelry normally or not, there’s quite a thrill to looking down and seeing some bling that you made on your own hand! It’s not hard to get started, either. You only …

Taking a Breather

There have been so many amazing opportunities coming up because of the book that I’ve been flat-out, working my day-job and completing extra projects, promoting the book, and generally going mad with joyful busy-ness, for months. So at the last minute, I took this past week off the day-job and …

Rustic Gear Pendant Sets

Super fabulous sets of necklaces and earrings! I had the most fun making these… molds made from actual clock gears used to create polymer clay medallions, hand coloured with chalk and gilded, or painted with metal paint and patinaed with chemicals, then sealed with a diamond-hard finish. I strung these …

Freeform Wire Art Jewelry – Book launch a success!

At least, I’m going to call it a success – plenty of people came, the chairman of the board at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design said some incredible things about me and my book, I got to see my favorite people, meet some fans, and make new friends, and …

Free Tutorial – Angled Frame Pendant

I figured it was time for another free wire wrapping tutorial! This tutorial will make you capable of quickly building a complex-looking pendant using just two wires! The result is lightweight and colourful, a combination of geometric and organic that sparkles in the light. With your choice of beads it …

How to Make a Copper Hook & Eye Clasp

I’ve been burned on pre-made chains so many times I decided recently to make my own. I bought ball chain and jump rings and then spent some time figuring out the best kind of clasp – turns out it’s not only cheaper, but also looks better, if you make your …

Copper Daggers & Gems

Quick look at my newest design, consisting of hand-forged copper dagger shapes, some fire-balled copper ends, various gemstones (labradorite, Russian chaorite, fossilized coral, malachite, and what I think is lapis lazuli) and lots and lots of finicky fiddling. No pre-conceived wire weaving here – it’s all freeform wire art. My favourite …

Gemstone Focus Pendants

I’m really going to miss Little Mysteries in Halifax. They were one of my favourite stores, and I was really lucky to have them place wholesale orders for my Focus pendants in the last couple of years. Here’s a flashback to the couple of orders: Two of my favourites from …

Metal & Patinas

Did you know that salt and vinegar can be used as a jewelry soldering “pickle” to clean off residue? Did you also know that salt and vinegar creates a killer metal patina mixture? And did you know that you shouldn’t mix the two because one ruins the other? Ha! I don’t …

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.


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