Upcoming Interviews

Have you ever had a question or questions about people that are jewelry artists? You are at luck, because we are going to feature interviews with jewelry artists.

If you have any questions and/or ideas of things that you would like asked of jewelry artists feel free to submit the question. Just email me at: or use the "Contact Us" button to the right of this blog.

Questions should be about the Art or designing and creating jewelry. We will not be covering questions about maintenance of jewelry.


April 13, 2010


In Nature, Turquoise occurs in the whole range of hues from sky blue to grey-green, and it is mostly found in places where there is a high concentration of copper in the soil.

In many cultures of the Old and New Worlds, Turquoise has been esteemed for thousands of years as a bringer of good fortune.

Turquoise matrix can take on different colors, depending on the host rock (sometimes called "the mother rock").

* Black matrix tends to be favored, as it creates a nice contrast. Matrix of this color is often iron pyrite (iron sulfide).

* Yellow matrix is often rhyolite, an igneous, volcanic rock. Since turquoise usually forms in rock with a volcanic origin, the presence of rhyolite should not be surprising.

* Brown matrix usually consists of an iron oxide, of which there are sixteen different types. The best known of the iron oxides is probably hematite.

Colors of Spring

Before the end of next week, April 10th, we should have more new creations photographed and ready to be posted. There will be several necklaces.

Each of the creations utilizes several different gemstones with some new gemstones you have not yet seen here on Alaska Handmade Jewelry. My feeling is that these new postings will be surprise you won't want to miss out on.


April 3, 2010

Wire Weaving Terms

As we discuss wire weaving it is good to know terms that refer to each part of the weave. Having not found generally used terminology, yet, my own terminology is evolving. The following list includes both my own and standard terms used in jewelry in general.

Here is a list of terms to assist you in reading future Blog entries.

Spine-which is the wires that support the weave.

Weave-typically a thinner gauge wire that weaves in a pattern between the spines.

Bail-the part of the complete piece of wire weave that forms the loop connecting the wire weave to the main portion of the jewelry (such a the necklace, bracelet, earring or such).

Wire gauge-the diameter of the wire. Typically the larger the number the thinner the wire.

This is a short list, however, having defined the terms it will provide for clearer communication in future blog entries about wire weaving.


March 31, 2010

Wire Weaving

Weaving wire is a technique that adds texture to jewelry. A higher gauge of wire is used for this weaving technique.

Wire weaving is exactly that, weaving the wire from one point to another. It is quite unlike the feel of weaving with typical material thread. One must handle the wire correctly. The wire tangles but at that point it breaks.

Hobby wire or practice wire is best used to learn this process.

Weaving wire reminds me of learning embroidering. One keeps working with the wire and gets to know how the wire wishes to flow and perfecting the look.

It does take some time to perfect the method. It is well worth it for the texture and new doors it opens up for the jewelry artist.

Alaska Handmade Jewelry

March 26, 2010

Spring's Color - Turquoise

The popular color for this spring is Turquoise. There are many stones that are called Turquoise. One example is Turquoise Magnesite. Stones such as Turquoise Magnesite are often sold as if they were the traditional Turquoise. It is very important for the owner of a piece of jewelry to know if they have real Turquoise or another stone that has become considered to be Turquoise.

Because it is difficult to know if a stone is indeed what it is claimed to be. For this reason, Alaska Handmade Jewelry discloses in the description what the stones are in the Jewelry by specific name. Also, all of our Turquoise of all types are obtained by requiring full disclosure of the stone.

For our latest creation using Turquoise as the dominate color is Waves of Turquoise Necklace. As disclosed in the description, the stones are Turquoise Magnesite.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you have in reference to Alaska Handmade Jewelry.

Have fun shopping our site.


New Creations

For the next several days there will be new additions added to our site.

These will be found under New Creations when added. They will be found also under each category that are the gemstones used in the design.

Because there are more gemstones used in Alaska Handmade Jewelry than there are separate categories in our catalog, the selection of "Other" will be an important place to find even more selections.

So, please check back regularly to find your one of a kind Alaska Handmade Jewelry keepsake.

Have fun shopping.

Brother Site

At present our Brother site is alive and working well. Here is the site: Feel free to take a look.

Alaska Boro will have the beads that Jim creates and no jewelry. This includes Jim's Lampwork cored, not cored and sets. These beads will be priced very reasonable.

Jim's beads are quite beautiful and often the camera cannot capture all of the detail and beauty. The beads are very dimensional. While looking into the beads one sees colors at different levels.

Every time Jim creates beads they progress in intricacy. Working in boro glass allows the colors to be more striking.

Jim will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Just use the "Contact us" button. And remember that Jim's Lampwork beads remain available on Alaska Handmade Jewelry.

I am very proud of Jim's artistic talent and invite you to enjoy his creations.

Alaska Handmade Jewelry

You Will Not Want To Miss Out

It won't be long before several new creations are completed. Pictures will be posted as soon as our Lampwork Artist, Jim, takes time from creating beads to use his quite nice photography talent and take pictures of the new creations.

These new creations are quite impressive. From German Silver with Pink Opals to pearls, Carnelian, Kambaba Jasper and even an ankle bracelet you will be delighted.

There may even be an appearance of a creation featuring our Lampwork beads in the hot color for spring. So keep an eye on Alaska Handmade Jewelry, some of these creations are finding forever homes before they can be posted. You won't want to miss out on these bargains.

Back to the workbench for me.


Invacare Oxygen Concentrator at Alaska Handmade JewelryLampwork boro beads are being made with a GTT Cricket torch and one Invacare Mobilaire V oxygen concentrator in place of bottled oxygen. Cost for bottled, in Anchorage, for 125 cu foot is $40 ($36.73 plus $2.50 hazardous materials fee) at Airgas. And just about $60 for the larger bottle.

Bead making is slow when sizes approach 22 to 24 mm in diameter using boro glass for the final melt down. In planning for a larger GTT torch, a pair of DeVilbiss oxygen concentrators were obtained. These units produce 9 PSI in comparison to the Invacare at 5.5 PSI.

A test was done with the DeVilbiss and the Cricket. The flame looks about the same, but not the heat. Now the boro glass melts faster and it is necessary to work farther out in the flame. DeVilbiss Oxygen Concentrator at Alaska Handmade Jewelry, Anchorage Alaska This indicates a much hotter flame. Even though the Cricket is designed for low LPM oxygen it would appear that 9 PSI produces a noticeable increase in torch power.

The next test will be to combine both DeVilbiss machines by using two check valves and a Y connector. The new torch will have a Cricket inner flame with an outer ring for additional heating. Thus the need for 10 plus LPMs. The Invacare may be sufficient for just the outer ring, but at this point it does look marginal.

It would be nice to test the three units for actual LPM, pressure and oxygen purity. These devices run from $250 upwards. Thus making limited use too cost prohibited.

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