We know there’s no way to control the silver and gold market, but dang! Those metals sure are expensive these days. Of course, we still love using sterling silver and gold-filled beads and components, but we are finding that we’re needing to use these accents a bit more sparingly. Otherwise, we would have no money left for other beads!
Components we have grown to love as affordable (and hypo-allergenic) alternatives come from the Vintaj Natural Brass Company. Vintaj components & chain are solid brass made up of 85% copper and 15% zinc and are not antique plated. All Vintaj materials are nickel-free and lead-free compliant, making them great for folks with sensitive skin. Plus, the folks at Vintaj have really done their research when it comes to replicating ornate, intricate, and gorgeous Art Nouveau-style jewelry components. Another nifty factoid: all of Vintaj’s brass components can be polished up, transforming the pieces from antique chocolate brown to gleaming gold. Vintaj pieces can be stamped, riveted, bent, curled, strung, wrapped, and used in other crafts, such as scrapbooking and sculpture. Pictured below are just a few projects you can create using Vintaj components. The possibilities are limitless!
1.) Stamp phrases onto metal blanks using letter punches.
Our Metal Stamping class here at Blue Door Beads covers all of the tricks and techniques you need to know when it comes to making clear impressions on metal. Vintaj Altered Blanks are just a few of the components you can use while stamping, but they are definitely some of our favorites. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including leaves, birds, and more, as well as the standard circles and squares. Create personalized pendants to give as gifts, or to keep for yourself!
2.) Add color using Vintaj Patinas.
Vintaj Patinas are specially designed acrylic paints that adhere to metal. These bright, vibrant paints are terrific for when you want to add that perfect pop of color to your jewelry. Vintaj Patinas can be mixed together, painted on, sponged on, or dabbed on in a variety of ways. We have a rainbow of colors available here at Blue Door Beads, so come check ’em out!
3.) Encase beads, cabochons and other items in Vintaj filigree wraps.
These cool components are beautiful on their own, but they are also wonderful components for wrapping around large pendants or beads, especially ones that possess a flaw or crack that you would like to hide. Use round nose or bail-making pliers to bend the entire filigree, or just a portion. Attach chain, charms, or whatever else you’d like.
4.) Rivet bead caps, charms, and other items to Altered Blank Canvases.
These large-scale altered blanks are great for creating wall-hangings, ornaments, journal covers, and other fun & funky non-jewelry items. Punch holes in a canvas using metal hole-punching pliers, then grab a hammer, a bench block or anvil, some Vintaj rivets, and start riveting your little heart out!
For more on how to work with the Vintaj line, including patinas, rivets, filigree wraps, etc., visit Vintaj’s blog. Their videos and written how-to’s are so helpful and inspiring, we’re sure you’ll want to start working with Vintaj ASAP. When you’re ready, come to the shop, and we’ll get you started. 🙂 Bead boldly!
Photo of stamped pendants courtesy of Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.
Photos of “Weathered in Nature” necklace, “Festive Mulberry” necklace, and “Family Journal” courtesy of http://www.vintaj.com.