As a jewelry designer, you always strive to create unique, wearable pieces of art. In the past year or two, there have been a lot of products on the market that let you truly create original, personal pieces for yourself and others. We call these products our Glue In and Glaze line. If you are looking for something new and fun to add to your design repertoire or just want to understand the product a little better, then you have come to the right spot!
We started our collection with pewter charms. I especially love the oval and round charms because their shape is just so versatile but we also carry them in squares, rectangles, and links. The best part about the pewter frames is the template so you don’t have to keep cutting your image down. Simply place your image under the template, trace, and cut.
After you have gotten your image down to a certain size, you will want to adhere it to the inside of the charm using Gem Tac and then give it a few hours to dry. If you are using shallow charms or pendants, you will want to use the Diamond Glaze which applies a thin, glossy clear coat on top of your images. In order to fill up the charm, you may have to use more than one coat; if so, let each layer dry thoroughly before applying the next. (I usually give mine at least 48 hours drying time.) A tip: always keep a paintbrush or toothpick—or some object with a small, fine point—handy so you can work out any bubbles that may try to arise within your work.
In addition to the pewter charms, we carry pendants that are perfect for customizing as well. Some are deeper than others, though so you have to be change gears a bit when working with these. Instead of using Diamond Glaze, you will want to use DG3 Gel. Both are clear drying products but Diamond Glaze tends to get a little cloudy when too many layers are applied. DG3 Gel will allow you to put multiple coats on without compromising the color or finish of your photo. Like the Diamond Glaze, DG3 Gel requires adequate time to dry between coats. Again, I would wait at least 48 hours between each coat. To take it even a step further, I usually wait a week before I will sell one of my finished pieces using the gel. Because it is water based, it requires a lot of time to fully cure. I have found that putting my pieces under a lamp helps expedite the drying process but I am still very cautious about handling my pieces until I know each layer is completely dry.
Let’s say you’ve got the whole process figured out but you make a mistake and accidentally stick your finger in the gel while it is drying. (Yes, this is written from a little bit of personal experience.) The best part about working with these gels is that, because they are water based, no mistake is permanent and clean-up is easy. All you have to do is soak your piece in water and you will be able to salvage your pendant or charm.
I honestly didn’t think this gluing and glazing thing would be something I would be into but it really is so much fun. From photographs to collage sheets, I have been able to create truly unique, personalized, wearable works of art with just a hint of glue, a smidge of glaze, and a dash of patience!
Shanna Steele, Auntie’s Beads Designer