Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Simple Tribal Beads

This ethnic necklace was made by a complete novice from left over polymer clay.  Although there was more black than white, both colours were rolled into logs of the same length. 
The logs were then placed side by side, folded in half and rolled together into one log. 

The log was divided evenly with a sharp craft knife by halving, halving again, and so on until it was divided into 16 pieces. 

The finished necklace has 17 beads of varying sizes.  A small amount of clay was taken off the other segments to make the 17th piece.

Each segment was rolled into a ball and then alternate balls were rolled into logs approximately twice the width of the ball.  Quite a large hole was made using a small knitting needle.  This is so that leather thong, a lace or ribbon could be used to string the necklace together.  A silver chain was used in this example.

Leather thong is probably the most effective way of stringing up these beads as it adds to the ethnic feel of the piece.  A simple method of connecting the ends of the thong, and for making the length adjustable, is illustrated below.

To browse our range of polymer and silver clays, jewellery findings, and tools, visit the Jewellery Making section of the website > 


Thursday, 23 June 2011

Luxurious, light transmitting Silk...

Rolls of Habotai Silk
Did you know that the weight, and therefore thickness, of silk fabric is classified by the Chinese system of mommes, pronounced mummy?  The term is normally shortened to 'mm', as shown in the product descriptions on our website.

The metric equivalent of 1 mm is 4.3g per square metre and a small Pongee silk scarf, 28 cm x 28 cm (10" x 10") weighs just under 13g.

We offer a range of undyed 100% silk fabrics, plus a number silk mix fabrics. The lightest silk is Gauze Chiffon 3.5 mm and the heaviest is Noil Poplin 36 mm.

Chiffon scarf dyed with Acid Dyes
The two most popular silk fabrics for silk painting are Pongee and Habotai silk (often referred to as plain silk or China silk).  They are both finely woven and have a high sheen, providing an ideal surface for receiving the paint or dye which is instantly absorbed into the fibres. 

The light and airy chiffon is excellent for building layers in embroidery and can be used as a base in Nuno felt making.

Visit our website to view the range of silk fabrics >

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ashford Tekapo Semi-worsted Wool Yarns

The Ashford Tekapo yarns are spun from super soft Corriedale wool fibre and are suitable for weaving, knitting and felting.

The 200 metre balls of 100% New Zealand semi-worsted wool yarn are especially designed for softness and strength.  They are available in a selection of 9 random colours, 23 flat colours, and 5 natural colours.

Here are examples of the random colours, left is 'Carnival' knitted and right is 'Seascape' woven.

See more about the Ashford Tekapo wool yarns on our website

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Scrap Booking Ideas

The handmade books featured on this page have been made from Lokta paper.  The handmade Lokta paper is made from the bark of the Daphne tree which regenerates after a few years, ensuring resources are never depleted. 
Skeleton leaves, paper yarn & Mulberry paper surround the photos.

The album pages above have been decorated with dyed skeleton leaves, paper yarn, and Mulberry paper mounts.  To make the feathered edge on the Mulberry paper, first make a fold and dampen the edge with a little water.  Unfold the paper and gently pull apart.

The Lokta paper pages of these books (which are held in place by removeable screw posts) have been calendered, making the surface smooth enough to run through an inkjet printer.  The example below shows the page printed with text and frame borders to showcase the precious photographs.

Petals & ribbon decorate this inkjet printed page
If you would like to know more about the materials use, please visit the Paper Crafts section of the George Weil website.

Crafted Creatures

Here are an assortment of creatures crafted from the materials sold at George Weil!

The mouse and caterpillar have been made from felted Merino wool tops.   The fibres were wetted with soap and hot water before being rolled between the hands to make them felt together. The caterpillar is made from a series of different sized felt balls threaded together (find out more about how the felt caterpillar was made), and the mouse was created using the same technique, after first teasing the body into shape.

Jane Rodgers crafted this charming teddy by needle felting Italian silk waste.  The sharp felting needle has small barbs along its length which hook the fibres back on themselves and knot them into the mass.  It is possible to create remarkably detailed models using this technique, see our range of Felt Making books to get you started.

Although an early attempt at modelling with polymer clay, Sophie Scanlon achieved this model of a tiny giraffe.  Polymer clay is a highly versatile, non-toxic, modelling material that can be hardened by baking in the home oven. Once baked it is permanent and can be cut, sawn, glued, painted and more.  The wide range of colours and translucent clay, which can be used alone or mixed with colours to make pastel shades, are appealing to modellers and jewellery makers alike. 

Liam Farlow used his imagination to create this 5 piece dragon which gives the illusion that the creature is swimming in water. Liam used Newclay air-dry clay and then painted the dragon with Jacquard Lumiere acrylic based paints. George Weil stock a large range of modelling clays including Newclay and Makins air-dry clays and Modroc, Sculpey and Fimo polymer clays, and Art Clay silver clays, find out more.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Magical Angelina Fibres

The glistening Angelina fibres can be used in a number of ways. This 15 denier synthetic fibre has a low melting point which means it can be fused together to make a flat sheet or molded using boiling water, as in this vessel made by inserting the fibres between two plastic pots and adding boiling water to the top pot, find out more >

Fusing Angelina into a sheet is very simple and various effects can be achieved. The fibres become momentarily sticky when the heat is applied and items such as flower petals and threads can be captured in a delicate web. This surprisingly robust cone was made by scattering a small amount of the fibres and some dried flower petals between two sheets of paper before fusing. The cone can be used to carry confetti or to contain wedding favours.

Fusing larger amounts of the fibre together creates a denser sheet which is strong enough to be cut or stitched, as in this heart which has been used to decorate a card.

To fuse the fibres, spread a thin layer between two sheets of paper and brush a warm iron across the paper. After a few seconds, carefully peel back the top sheet to see if the fibres have fused and iron again if they need more time.

Angelina is so fine, it can be carded into wool or silk fibres and spun to create a an effective novelty yarn which will withstand hand washing in cool water. The fibre can also be added to pulp during hand paper making, or sprinkled into wool fibre when felt making.

Due to their reflective properties, the fibres are notoriously difficult to photograph and their true qualities need to be seen!  Visit the website to see the full colour range of Angelina fibres >

Angelina Heat-Bondable Fibres available in 9 colours