Monday, September 20, 2010

View The Fork Jewelry Making Video

Another example of a fabulous bracelet made from a simple fork
I apoligize that I haven't been able to get the quick video showing how to make these wonderful bracelets up on this site. To view the fast video simply CLICK HERE.

My own technical abilities apparently need more tweeking than I thought. In any event, I've been given the opportunity to review the DVD product on this jewelry making method and wanted to share my review thoughts with you.

This DVD is called, Making Fork Jewelry: How To Make Amazingly Unique Fork Bracelets and Necklaces by Maryanne Cerubino. I was originally attracted to this video because I'm always on the look out for interesting new jewelry making instructions for my readers. Since many of those readers are new to jewelry making, making fork jewelry presented a very unique method for starting out. While I specialize in making wire jewelry, a lot of my readers are also beaders wanting to extend their skills into metalsmithing and wire is sort of a natural next step.

So when I found this fork jewelry making instruction, I have to admit I was delighted because it allows anyone an excellent entry point into making pieces of jewelry that are neither beads or wire but also quite simple to make. NO HEATING OR ANNEALING IS REQUIRED. Which surprised me. Again, anyone can make these beautiful bracelets or necklaces using only a few tools.

Anyway, on to my review: Making Fork Bracelets and Necklaces is pretty much of a slam dunk if you follow this very comprehensive video. Ms. Cherabino knows her stuff and demonstrates it beautifully in her video. She begins with quick instruction on the few tools needed throughout the process. She has you follow her thru the entire creation of two fork bracelets, including adding any stones you choose and then finishes the video by showing you how to make an equally easy neckpiece. This is a very thorough DVD showing how to hammer out the fork, polish it, form/bend it, grind away any sharp edges and then add your center stone or bead. Having been a metalsmith for many years, making all of my jewelry pieces and parts by hand, it's clear to me that you could conceivably make at least a few of these bracelets or necklaces in an hour if not several of them. That's incredibly fast for jewelry making. AND the pieces can all look absolutely professional. Another jewelry making miracle!

Seriously, compared to standard jewelry making, making jewelry from forks is one of the fastest methods I know of. With little to no previous skills, you can actually be producing your own very unique and sophisticated jewelry in literally an hour after you start watching this fork jewlery DVD.

While the quality of the DVD could be a little better, this is a how-to video and it does it's job very well. The content is excellent and if you're like me, you may find yourself wanting to jump right up and start hunting for forks to hammer!

I also just had an article published called, "What Makes Fork Jewelry So Appealing", that you might enjoy reading. You can probably tell that this whole subject delights me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Sample of One Fork Bracelet With Stone Inserted

This is just one sample photo of a rather quick bracelet made with a fork. Notice how sinewy and flowing the tines on the fork are. Let your imagination flow as well, thinking about all the potentially different ways you could make those tines go.

There are more photos like this here as well as the quick video on how to make bracelets like this.

Embellished Forks Make Art Jewelry

We're all accustomed to seeing traditional jewelry created from precious metals with or without gorgeous stones. Then there's art jewelry. Art jewelry, fabricated from a wide variety of different materials, can be about the unexpected, the unusual and the intriguing. Art jewelry promises endless inspiration and creative latitude for contemporary jewelry artists. That's part of what making jewelry from forks is all about.

Being an art jeweler often means taking the time to learn the many skills a metalsmith needs to add to their palette of techniques. While this can be immensely enjoyable and challenging, it is time consuming and can also be expensive. While many fine art jewelers are self taught, many others pay for ongoing classes because well, there's just so much to learn and so many skills to digest....... often before one can get to the point where they're confident in making their own pieces.

Not so with fork jewelry. For an aspiring art jeweler or say, a beader looking to enhance their skills, making necklaces and bracelets (pendants and rings, too) is extremely easy compared to fabricating metal jewelry from scratch. Where many jewelers trying to transition into other skills can be put off or nervous about the annealing (heating) or soldering (using a small torch) required for fabricated jewelry, there isn't any annealing or torch work in making jewelry from utensils. Once you're looking to advance your skills, there's certainly the option of doing that but no heat is necessary to make some pretty creative looking jewelry from forks.

Existing forks in sterling or silver plate are optimal for making jewelry as it's necessary to bend the forks and stainless steel is very hard to bend. These forks are also optimal in that they frequently have detailed embellishments and decorations on the ends of the handles. The art jeweler can easily play off of these gorgeous details, using them to add visual interest to the pieces. If you like shopping, then hunting for unique contemporary or antique forks may only add to your motivation and inspiration for making these rather clever pieces of art jewelry. If you're interest in making fork necklaces and bracelets is piqued, I'd recommend you take a look here on the steps involved.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

See What Fork Jewelry Looks Like

Since I forgot to put this in yesterday, I wanted to make sure that I put this pix in for you all to see. More of these kinds of pictures are available if you just CLICK HERE.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What Do You Mean By "Fork" Jewelry?

Forks have been around for a long time and while originally used as two tined cooking implements, they became objects for decoration early on as well. It just makes sense that as common, everyday items, forks were more or less ripe for decoration and often, elaborate decoration at that. The most often flat end of the handle was viewed as a natural place for both plain or symbolic embellishment that could be used in religious ceremonies.

Believe it or not, forks weren't used for eating for many centuries instead being preferred primarily for cooking purposes only. It was considered barbaric to eat food with anything other than one's own hands! In spite of this however, the fork,  as an object for decoration, continued throughout the centuries. The results of this centuries long fork decorating trend are indeed a massive collection of gorgeously designed and embellished forks. This trend applied to spoons and other eating utensils as well and has been sufficiently popular to create cadres of people who simply collect both historic and contemporary forks and spoons. This fascination with cutlery decoration continues well into today where picking out ones wedding utensils, for example, is a common occurence and a well practiced ritual.

It's hard to say exactly when forks began being used to make jewelry. Although I can only personally date its existence to the 1970's, it's hard to imagine that fork jewelry didn't arise before that time.

As I said, my first exposure to fork jewelry was in the early 1970's, hippie days, when re-cycling was a sort of cultural sub-theme. In those days, it was easy to tell the jewelry was made from forks because, well, the jewelry looked like forks or sections of forks. Rings were the most common jewelry items probably because it's simple to just saw off the bottom part of the handle (where it's most decorated) and wrap it into a ring. Often sections like that similar to rings were used to make simple pendants as well. I was so fascinated by these clever pieces of jewelry that I still have my original fork ring!

In any event, I didn't see fork jewelry for many years until just recently. Last year, while doing my usual art fair rounds, I spotted two rather unique lines of artisan jewelry (a rare event) only this time I couldn't tell that they were made from forks. As experienced a metalsmith as I am, it took me some time, staring at these jewelry lines, to tell that they were made from forks, ha! What's changed from the 70's fork jewelry? More sophistication. Both of these lines used not only the end of the fork handle but they used the fork tines (the things we use to spear the food) to imbed stones! Wow! The fork tines had been bent into sinewy forms, curved around to hold the stones in the most interesting and beautiful ways. Of course, I had to buy a few pieces.

If you're new to fork jewelry options or a jewelry enthusiast that's looking for a place to start making simple metal and or silver jewelry, take a few minutes to watch this very short video on how it's done: Just CLICK HERE and enjoy learning about making bracelet and necklace fork jewelry.