Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cookie Sheets and Jewelry Crafting

I had answered a question on Cyndi Lavin's Beading and Jewelry Blog (link is above), and figured I could expand on it, at least a little bit. So, here goes!

What do cookie sheets have to do with jewelry crafting? A lot, actually. Cookie sheets, to me, are one of the most perfect tools someone with an interest in the creation of crafting jewelry can have.
Why?
The possiblities are completely endless, and they are so helpful in a huge variety of mediums.
Beading, metal clay, polymer clay, and altered art media are just a few areas where they can be utilized.

In beading, they can be used as beading trays. The beads will roll around a lot, I hear some of yo thinking. True, but if you place a handtowel in the cookie sheet, the towel will hold the beads in place. Most cookie sheets have a lip all the way around, which will help keep the beads on your work surface. Also, they are generally large enough to hold the tools you will need for a given project.
Are you working on more than one project at a time? This happens to me a lot. Inspiration will strike before I'm done with one project, so I try to gather all the supplies I will need for the next, to keep the idea in my head. Or someone will have a strand of pearls they need to have restrung, or a piece of jewelry they want repaired, or a custom order they want me to fill. After I've gathered all the supplies I will need for the second (or third or fourth) project, I will put the supplies into its' own cookie sheet, and then put it on a shelf.
Each project I work on gets it's own cookie sheet. The cookie sheets are then stacked, in order that they need to be finished. Sometimes I'm even organized enough to put a tag with the start date on the cookie sheet, or some other information, like a type of bead I'm missing, or some other notation I will need for future reference. Once a tray is empty, it goes back to the bottom of the pile, just waiting to be filled up with beads, once again.
And if you really like the beading trays with grooves in them to assist with the laying out of necklaces and bracelets, most of the smaller ones will fit into a cookie sheet. The other bonus is that the cookie sheet with provide you with extra workspace, or, if you prefer working directly on the bead tray, the cookie sheet will provide you with a little extra stability, since sometimes those bead trays are a little too flexible.
To be continued tomorrow.

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