Skip to main content

A Real Gem - Joopy Gems


I decided last week that I was going to start making rings to sell. I've made a few for myself but so far have shied away from making them because of the possible size problem. By that I mean sending a ring off only for the buyer to contact me to say it's great but it's a bit too big/too small can you resize it? Making to order in the size the buyer asks for should hopefully make this a fairly rare occurance (I hope!) 

I'm going to start with stacking rings - plain and with gemstone cabochons as they seem very popular. I do have a lot of smooth cabs but after closer inspection I found a lot of them are a bit rough in places or even scratched. The saying "you get what you pay for" definitely rings true with cabochons! I've decided for my own sake and the sake of my jewellery it's worth spending more on stones to get the quality I would expect if I was buying handmade jewellery myself. There's nothing wrong with buying cabs in bulk for low prices but if half of them aren't useable it doesn't make much sense really.

After a bit of research I fell in love with rose cut cabochons so the next step was to find a supplier. Rose cuts are cabs that are flat on the bottom and faceted on the top. As usual finding something a bit different is virtually impossible in the UK at the mo, Kernowcraft sell a limited selection but one of the best sources I've found is Joopy Gems. You can also find them on Etsy.





Joopy Gems is run by Brit Julia Aufenast. Based in Hong Kong Julia specialises in rose cut and faceted cabochons as well as smooth cabochons, faceted gemstones and a large range of pearls. What's nice to know is that Julia sources and selects all of the stones herself, seeing the stones in the rough before they are cut. The quality is high and the prices are reasonable. All the photos here are from the website and as you can see the cabs look lovely! I asked Julia if it was ok to do a blog post about her website and she was very happy for me to do so. She told me she has family in West Sussex and also here in Eastbourne so it really is a very small world!




I spent quite a long time deciding what I was going to buy as there is a lot to choose from. The prices are more than I've paid for cabs previously but the quality and choice make it worth it in my opinion. In the end I went for 6mm rose cut cabs in labradorite, prehnite, almandite garnet, amethyst, carnelian and blue chalcedony. A nice rang of colours but there were so many other stones I loved which will have to wait for next time! I did get 10% off my first order which helped too. I'll probably get clobbered for VAT by customs (about £14 according to their online calculator) but it will still make the total cost for each cab reasonable. The postage from Hong Kong was under £4 too which was a pleasant surprise.




I'm eagerly awaiting my first order and as soon as I've made some rings using the cabs I will write a post. I'm so keen for the cabs to arrive I've already made the ring bands!
And here just for the sake of it some more lovely gemstone and pearl photos.......









Comments

  1. I was as you are now, a little skeptical of making rings because of sizing issues. Still haven't ventured past anything over 5mm wide in ring shank, but it's something on my list to get done as I love the big wide ring shanks other artists use. You'll find those little stones are great for earrings too! Have fun, can't wait to see the finished pieces :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've used this supplier and been very happy with my purchases from her and even been back for more! No customs hit yet either which was great. Looking forward to seeing what you make and wish you good luck with your rings.
    Kristin :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kristin! They arrived on Friday so really quick delivery from Hong Kong and I didn't have to pay any duty on them either :D
      Just finished soldering the bezels to the rings this afternoon so they will be finished soon.....

      Delete

Post a Comment

Your comments and questions are very welcome!
If you would prefer to contact me directly please use the contact form on my "get in touch" page.

Popular posts from this blog

Etching Silver Using Nail Art Stamps

So my love/hate relationship with etching sterling silver continues. I've tried a few times now and always end up with different results most of them not that great to be honest. I've tried connecting the silver and a piece of copper to a 9v battery and also heating the ferric nitrate. Sometimes the results are good sometimes not so good. I currently have an etched piece of silver sheet waiting to be reticulated and rid it of the mess that is the etched "pattern". 
I now know that using stamps and Stayz On ink just doesn't work with silver - the time needed to etch using ferric nitrate is much longer than etching copper and the ink starts to wear away after about an hour. This results in the pattern being patchy as the resist is eaten away and the silver ends up quite lumpy and course looking. I have yet to try using pnp paper. I don't know why but it all seems a bit of a faff to do. I don't have a laser printer so would need to find somewhere or someone…

Embossing Metal With My Sizzix Bigshot

I must admit up until a few weeks ago I was vaguely familiar with the name Sizzix but as to what you actually did with a "Sizzix" I was completely in the dark! That was until I stumbled across a video from Vintaj showing how you could use their embossing folders with a Bigshot to create designs on metal ("metal" - my favourite word after chocolate!)
I was really impressed and itching to have a go, I just needed a Bigshot........ I waited a few weeks then when the urge to possess one overcame me I went out debit card at the ready..............and the shop had sold out! So I trundled off to The Range on the off chance and came home clutching my own surprisingly heavy pink and black wonder machine. It sat on the dining room table for a couple of days while I waited for the embossing folders I'd ordered online to arrive then the time came to start playing!


I started with some pre-cut 24g copper hearts and the Wildflower Vines and the Butterfly Swirls Deco Embossin…

Rolling Mill Textures On Metal

I had another play with my rolling mill last week using some of the texture sheets from Etsy shop Rolling Mill Resource. I used some sterling silver and copper sheet and soon discovered it's best to get organized before you start!

I cut the sheet to size and worked out which design was going on which piece of metal. I also tried a feather but more on that later. Most of the sheet I used was 20g/0.8mm with one piece of 18g/1.0mm and one of 22g/0.6mm.
I've read that you should do a dead pass of the metal through the rolling mill with the gap the same size as the metal and texturing item. I'm not sure what this is supposed to achieve but I don't bother doing it. Judging the correct size of gap between the rollers is a trial and error thing that you discover by setting the gap then starting to roll the metal through. If there's too much resistance you make the gap bigger until there's just enough resistance to roll the metal through without giving yourself a herni…