We have some super exciting news over here. We wrote a book! A beautiful book about how to make your very own statement jewelry. After almost two years of anticipation (mainly on our part), our first book, Make A Statement: 25 Handcrafted Jewelry & Accessory Projects, is now available to pre-order and will officially hit shelves and doorsteps on March 10th!
So what's it all about? We're sharing our trade secrets for using basic techniques and easy-to-source materials to make stylish jewelry and accessories, from a gold bib necklace and geometric hoop earrings to a classic charm bracelet and elegant shoe clips. The book features gorgeous watercolor how-to illustrations, an introduction to the basic tools needed, plus helpful information on sourcing high quality, affordable materials. Make a Statement will inspire you to craft pieces to dress up any outfit and make things that you'll love now and for many seasons to come.
We are so excited today to share a few sneak peeks along with some behind the scenes shots...
To see a few more behind the scenes photos of the past 2 years as we researched, developed, designed and wrote the book, check out #makeastatementbook. We are so excited to hear what you think of the book and we can't wait to see you with a real copy in your hands! Thanks for all your support -- it means so very much!
Also, If you're in NYC we'd love to meet you at our book launch on March 19th at West Elm Market in Brooklyn. We will be signing books, making jewelry, and partying the night away! Get the details here and make sure to sign up for our newsletter as we'll be sending more information in the next couple weeks!
A little bit minimalist, a little bit retro and a whole lot of pink! Using the pink ortho plaster from the Leif Collection and a few other easy to find items we made these adorable shadowboxes. Stand one by itself on a side table or hang all four together for a wall party.
- ortho plaster
- assorted molds (we used candy molds in the shape of different cosmetics, but silicone ice trays would work as well)
- shadowbox frames with mat board (we used the Ribba Frame from Ikea)
- pink pastel paint tile (pastel card stock also works)
- disposable cup
- craft stick
First up, you'll want to follow our quick and easy guide to mixing plaster. Since our molds are pretty shallow we only used about 2 tablespoons of plaster per piece, so 8 tablespoons total in our batch. Once that's all mixed up, fill up your desired molds to the brim and use a craft stick to level it off.
While that's drying, take the mat board out of the frames and cut the paint tile to fit. Measure the inner opening of the mat board and cut a section of the paint tile that is 1/2" wider and longer than the opening. Our frames have a 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" opening, so we cut a 5 1/4" square from the paint tile. Tape the tile evenly to the back of the mat board. Repeat this process to all the frames.
Once all the plaster molds are dry, sand the backs to ensure that they are as flat as possible. Don't forget to add a drop of water to the sand paper so that dust doesn't get everywhere. Add a dot of e6000 to the back of each plaster mold and gently press down in the center of the paint tile. Repeat this step to all the molds. Allow them to dry for at least an hour before placing the mat board back into the frame.
And you're done! These shadowboxes are sure to brighten up a bathroom, vanity or frankly any room. Share your #makertakes with us on Instagram and Twitter @forthemakers.
1. Bangle Crescioni 2. Pink Clay Mask Herbivore Botanicals 3. Bomber Jacket Ted Baker 4. Perfume Nasomatto 5. Chair Muuto 6. Salt and Pepper Shakers Menu 7. Clog Boots Hasbeens 8. Clutch Aranaz 9. Brass Pencil Midori
We are clearly obsessed with this pretty pink plaster. These bud vases are the perfect touch of clean modern and, bonus, require a very small budget to fill. Keeping fresh flowers is easy when you only have to buy one stem at a time.
What you Need:
- -Plastic cylinder mold with lid
- -Glass Vials (or re-purpose old perfume sample vials)
- -Wooden Disk
- -Glass Test Tubes
- -Craft Stick
- -Masking Tape
- -Sand Paper
To make the tall bud vase:
Follow the same instructions for our Hans Candlesticks only instead of using the pop-top container in the center, replace with a tall glass test tube. We prefer it a little off center for a modern twist.
To make the flute vase:
Step 1. Take 4 glass vials and lay them down in a row on a table. Tape across the tops of the vials with extra tape on either end. Flip the row over and re-position the vials by turning them so there is a small gap in between each vial. Set aside.
Step 2. Mix a small batch of plaster directly into the lid of your cylinder. To fill the small lid we used about 2 TBS of plaster with 1 TSP of water and stirred vigorously. Make sure there are no air bubbles or dry pockets on the bottom by tapping it on the table a few times, the air bubbles will rise to the top.
Step 3. Keep a close eye on the plaster as it sets. About a minute after mixing, submerge your taped vials with the open end up. Try to keep the vials just half way down so you keep a solid layer of plaster on the bottom. You are going to have to hold the vials in place as the plaster sets, about 3 minutes, just make sure they stay perfectly perpendicular to the bottom.
Step 4. Once the plaster holds the vials in place, allow it to set completely for another 5 minutes. When cool to the touch, tear the plastic lid off of the plaster base carefully, use scissors as needed.
Step 5. Clean off any rough surfaces with sanding paper.
Step 6. Apply a thin quarter size layer of E6000 on the center of the wooden disk and center the plaster over it.
Step 7. Allow the glue to dry and forage for some small stems to fill your vase. We trimmed tiny cuttings off of our house plants (because the ground is covered in ice) but in the spring we can fill it with buttercups!
It may seem these freezing temperatures have no end in sight but wedding season is on the horizon and what better way to wait out the cold than craft some pretty place settings. These incorporate a few of our favorite things; gemstone shapes, sparkly glitter, and our new favorite pink plaster from the Leif Collection. You can use any kind of plaster available but we found that the larger plastic glitter works best here, as the fine glitter dust disperses too easily and is lost in the casting process.
What you Need:
- -Disposable Plastic Cup
- -Craft Stick
- -Gem Chocolate Mold
- -Dust mask
- -Filing Set
*Check the water mix ratio for your plaster. The pink ortho plaster included in our Leif Collection uses a ratio of 32ml:100g.
Step 1. Set up your work space by covering your surface with newspaper. Begin by sprinkling glitter in your chocolate molds, just a small pinch per gem.
Step 2. In a plastic cup, mix a small batch of plaster the consistency of cake batter. Approximately 3 TBS of plaster with 1 TBS water. Stir vigorously with a craft stick and immediately pour into the chocolate molds. Gently shake the mold to encourage all the air bubbles to rise.
Step 3. Repeat the above step until all of the molds are full. Allow at least 10 minutes for the plaster to set and pop out the shapes when they are cool to the touch.
Step 4. Level the bottom of the gems by gliding them across sandpaper flat against a table. Not a bad time to wear a dust mask if you have one. We jumped on the opportunity to wear one of these ;)
Step 5. To make the indentation for a place card, use a thin file to sand down a narrow slot across the top of each gem.
Repeat for all gems.
Meet multidisciplinary artist and ceramicist Lindsey Hampton. Based in Vancouver Canada, Lindsey has swept the pottery game stateside with stockists in Brooklyn to Hawaii. Understandably so, with peachy gradient colors and nods to Memphis Design, each piece is pretty irresistible. We caught up with her and talked shop, from maker memories to her favorite Vancouver haunts.
I Make...lots of things, but these days mostly ceramics.
First maker memory...my dad taught me how to macrame when I was pretty young. I made so many friendship bracelets!
Makers that inspire you...Peter Shire, David Hockney, Hans Arp. I've also been obsessed with Takuro Kuwata's work lately.
If you weren’t making pots, you’d be making... prints.
Favorite tool of the trade...I use a little flexible piece of stainless steel for pretty much everything, scraping, cleaning, applying, etc. That and masking tape.
Material(s) you want to work with...I've been meaning to take a metal sculpture class, I will soon.
Top Places to Source...for clay and stuff unfortunately there's only some weird places way out in the suburbs. I try to stock up as much as I can to avoid the drive.
Something you wish you could make...a boat.
Favorite place in Vancouver to snack....Don't Argue Pizza
Favorite place in Vancouver to get your drink on...33 Acres
Favorite shop in Vancouver to blow your paycheck at...Vancouver Special
Favorite song at the moment....Jessica Pratt "Back, Baby"
This month we gave our subscribers ortho plaster to cast candlestick holders and a bowl. Are there any types of clay or materials out there that you've used that seem so wrong but in the end are so right?
Not yet, I've found that if something is difficult to work with at the beginning of the process it usually isn't worth it in the end. Clay is a very finicky beast.
So not only have you dominated the pottery world, you're also an incredibly talented graphic designer, photographer and installation artist. How have these other outlets of creativity informed your ceramic work?
I feel like it's somewhat impossible for someone's background to not inform any current state of creativity. It's such a personal thing. Even if you don't know where something comes from, I don't believe you can ever be a blank canvas. My educational background is in Graphic Design and I worked as a designer for about 5 years before I picked up ceramics. I had already developed a distinct aesthetic with my design work so it translated in to any other medium quite easily. Ceramics, in my mind, is exactly the same as graphic design and I approach it as such, I go through the same steps. Physically there are different skills involved, but mentally it's the same. I imagine I would apply the same thinking even if I was building a house.
We're a little more than one month down in 2015, any big plans for the year?
I'm moving my studio into a nice quiet room at the end of the month, and I have a feeling this room will be very productive. It's got good mojo. I'm hoping to just make as many things as I can, experiment, test some boundaries and find some boxes to think outside of.
All photos courtesy of Lindsey Hampton.
If you're like us and crave candy all day everyday...then we've got a super quick and easy Valentine's Day idea, perfect for gifting to all your lady friends!
- - various candies
- - pipe cleaners
- - jewelry clippers
Step 1. Wrap the center of a pipe cleaner around a round object like chapstick or a tube of mascara. This will create a perectly round ring base. Twist the top 2 overlapping sides to lock the round shape in place.
Step 2. Place a piece of candy on top. Depending on the candy shape, wrap the pipe cleaner sides around it tightly.
Step 3. Once you've wrapped the sides back around the candy and down to the ring base, clip them with your jewelry clippers and fold the end pf the pipe cleaner over the round ring form to lock it in place.
Step 4. You can add an additional pipe cleaner over the top of the candy if needed (like we did for the round jaw-breaker candies). Just remember to always fold the ends over and attach them to the base so everything stays in place. Clip the pipe cleaners as needed.
Step 5. Try and wear these without eating the candy. You cant:)
Happy Valentine's Day!
In the Leif Collection we're using a non-traditional material known as ortho plaster. When selecting this material we tested lots and lots of other plasters but we loved the pale pink color, quick dry time and ease of use in this one. If you're ready to go off the grid with your plaster ideas read over this 411 for the need-to-know before starting!
First let's talk safety! This plaster is pretty low key on safety requirements...but, that doesn't mean you should go snorting it and sprinkling it in your eyes, ok? No need to wear a mask but you can if you think a lot of the dust will be kicked up by your projects. Don't use this plaster to cast any body parts. Although it doesn't get very hot while drying, it still omits a low heat and is not safe for body casting. Ok, you're ready to get started!
This plater sets fairly fast; with a working time of 60-90 seconds and a set time of 2-5 minutes. Use cold or room temperature water. If you use warm water the plaster will set faster and have a shorter working time which means you have to move faster, so try at your own risk.
The water to plaster ration is 32ml/100g of plaster. I know, we're all like wha? But here's the breakdown:
You can measure it easily in tablespoons and skip messing up your kitchen scale.
1TBS of water = 15ml
2 TBS of water = 30ml
...and so forth
1 TBS of plaster = 15.5g
2 TBS of plaster = 31g
...and so forth
Basically for every 6.5 tablespoons of plaster you're adding a touch over 2 tablespoons of water. Also, we should mention that you don't really need to be so specific. This plaster will set up with a little more water than needed or a little less. So eyeball it. The consistency once the plaster and water are combined should be that of cake batter.
This month's collection came with roughly 8 ounces of ortho plaster, so about 226 grams or 15 tablespoons. Due to the speedy working time of the plaster we suggest that you only mix what you need for your intended project, otherwise it could just go to waste.
Again, a dust mask isn't necessary, but if you happen to have an adorable designer one on hand, why not?
Depending on what mold you're using you may want to sand the ridges or logos off your plaster cast. To do so you'll need to add a splash of water to some water-proof sandpaper (we included some in the Leif Collection.) This prevents dust from going all over the place and also allows for a smoother polish.
And there you go, you're a plaster pro! We're super excited about all the possible makertakes this month and would love for you to share them with us on Instagram and Twitter @forthemakers using #makertrakes. Happy Making!
Mixing plaster has never sounded this good. Get your maker party, or any other kind for that matter going with Scandinavian booty bouncing beats, dreamy love songs and some major single lady anthems! Inspired by this month’s Leif Collection, this playlist is all about that L-O-V-E. Listen up on Rdio.
1. L-O-V-E (Fuff City Kids Remix) Boom Clap Bachelors
2. Maiden (Yen Sleep Remix) MØ
3. Blush Chet Faker
4. That Feeling Diana
5. Rose Quartz Toro Y Moi
6. Need U Oceaán
7. Pale Fire El Perro Del Mar
8. Open Com Truise
9. No Rest For The Wicked (feat. A$AP Rocky) Lykke Li
10. Firestones John Cali
11. All Good Av Av Av
12. Like Some Dream Daniel Wang
13. Strandbar Todd Terje
14. Origin Studio
15. Dancing On My Own Robyn
As fashion week descends upon New York City, we're looking to Stockholm Fashion Week for winter color inspiration beyond all black. A mix of powdery pastels really pops against a snowy backdrop and reminds us all that spring is just around the corner (fingers crossed.) Pair a full skirt and turtleneck sweater with this month's Noma Bracelet for a defined feminine look. Get the look below.
1. Bomber Jacket Oasis 2. Pearl Studs Stella Dot 3. Neoprene Skirt Reiss 4. Turtleneck Sweater Uniqlo 5. Noma Bracelet For the Makers 6. Snakeskin Pumps Roberto Festa 7. Trouser Socks J. Crew 8. Faux Fur Clutch Pixie Market
The first photo is by Soren Jensen for Style.com where you can see more Stockholm Fashion Week Photos.
You know that cheesy saying "new year new you"? Well in 2015 we took it to heart and gave ourselves a major office upgrade (more details coming soon). Needless to say we were a little all over the place this past month. But after much organizing, some serious mood-boarding and about 10 pounds of plaster (no joke) we designed this month's collection. Inspired by blush tones, Scandinavian pottery and raw materials, all four projects have a striking minimalist design that will go with any style of home or outfit. We are beyond excited to introduce the much beloved Leif Collection!
Mood board galore! Who doesn't love a little pink? Err....or a lot....
1. Soft washed pinks are all over the Leif Collection. We loved this watercolor background we created in house for a past tutorial so much that it had to go on our mood board. 2. Whether you're tickled pink from a surprise valentine, wind chill or with a swoosh of powdery blush, rosy cheeks are a winter time must have. 3. With our new office comes new desk accessories. We're loving the shapes of these Saikai Toki paperclip and pencil holders. Now all we need are power suits! 4. What's a new collection without our signature illustrated lookbook? Here are our Hans Candlesticks. Flame on! 5. What we would do for a kiln and personal pottery studio! These muted matte ceramics would be the center of attention at our dream dinner party.
After many plaster tests we settled on using ortho plaster for the Rosewood Bowl and Hans Candlesticks in this month's collection. Yes, ortho plaster as in those creepy molds of teeth that dentists love showing you when you haven't flossed enough. We love when we can use unconventional materials in beautiful ways! Above are some of the plaster sample tests.
6. An illustration of the Jensen Necklace 7. Nanushka's Spring 2015 collection is cozy basics at its best. Nude turtleneck and pink shorts! Yes please! 8. Uh, can we just live in the Ferm Living catalog? We'll take one of everything from this Danish design studio. 9. Natural leather cord, pink tumbled stone, glass and brass beads align together in the first sample of the Noma Bracelet. 10. Sometimes the best statements are the simplest ones, like this wood and brass necklace by Sew a Song.
Our look book in the making...we told you there was a lot of pink.
Let us know what you're loving this month and tag us in all those pink instagrams because we're obsessed with the color of-the-moment.
xo, For the Makers
With all the bedazzling going on in the Havisham Collection, we thought we'd keep it simple with a wrapped rope bracelet. Using the viridian velvet ribbon and e6000 from our Velvetine Headband and two other easy to find materials you've got yourself a new bracelet within minutes.
- velvet ribbon (found in the Havisham Collection)
- upholstery cording 1/4"
- magnetic clasp with safety lock
- e6000 glue, or any multi-purpose material glue
Step 1: Glue one side of the upholstery cord into one side of the magnetic clasp. Let dry for 5 minutes. Add a little glue to the outside, side of the clasp and the cord.
Step 2: With the velvet in a diagonal position place it on top of the glue at the base of the clasp. Hold in place for a couple minutes to secure. You can use a paperclip to hold it as you go or to free up your hands.
Step 3: Add glue down the length of the cord as you wrap the velvet around diagonally. The sides of the velvet should touch each other as you wrap around so that no white cord is showing underneath.
Step 4: Continue wrapping and gluing until you've covered about 7" of cord.
Step 5: At this point measure the bracelet around your wrist. Add more wraps of velvet or take a couple away to fit your wrist.
Step 6: Cut the cord at the fit point you measured. Cut at a very slight angle which will make it easier to squeeze into the magnetic clasp.
Step 7: Glue the cord into the other side of the magnetic clasp. Glue down the rest of the cord length and partly of the clasp.
Step 8: Finish wrapping the velvet around. Hold in place for a couple minutes to dry.
Step 9: Trim the excess velvet at an angle. Add more glue if you need. Set aside to dry for at least an hour before wearing.
And that's a wrap!