Magic by Mac In-Store!

Well!!!! I think I am in shock ….

As you’ll probably be aware if you follow this blog or are Facebook friends with Magic by Mac, we finally uploaded some of our finished creations to our Facebook page and much to our surprise, we received our very first orders!!

Yes, we were surprised, very pleasantly surprised, but after all the work that goes into handcrafted goods, it is extremely gratifying to find out that it is taken seriously by someone other than some immediate family members (others not so much).

This was pretty exciting in itself.  Then, we were approached by GDC Fashion & Giftware who had seen some of our pieces and offered to stock some of our designs in their store!

So yesterday we delivered a collection of bracelets and earrings complete with packaging and handcrafted gift bags.  We were pretty excited to think that our creations were in a real shop so you can only imagine how we felt when the first sale was made before we even left the shop!!!!

Can you imagine our delight in seeing pieces that we have made displayed in an actual shop and knowing that people … strangers … like them enough to pay money for them.

So, if you are the type who likes to see/touch/feel before you buy, head on down to GDC Fashion and Giftware who are located at 39 Cliff Street, Glenelg East and say hello to the lovely Kiri and Steve and see our jewellery display in their gorgeous shop.

For our Facebook Fans, take your phone and show Steve and Kiri that you “like” our page and receive a Christmas Gift when you purchase anything from the Magic by Mac range!  But hurry, the “gifts with purchase” are in limited supply.

Magic by Mac - GDC Fashion & Giftware - Made to Order

And remember, we can make any of these existing designs in material and colours of your choice and we’ll be adding new designs as we create them.

Merry Christmas!

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The Art of Patience

I think I’ve said before that I really like the act of creating something useful or at least something that someone else may actually like.  So to me, this business of jewellery making is perfect; I create gorgeous things that I think someone will like and wear.

Having said that, it does take time to create these items and there is only one of me (or 2 of us for some designs).  We don’t have a heap of people mass producing nor are we a factory churning out dozens of the same design.  Our designs/creations are individually handcrafted with the best components we can find and to the best standards we can achieve.

There is also the small issue of supplies – sometimes we have to wait for certain supplies to be delivered (which, as you can imagine, is frustrating when you’re experiencing a creative flow but do not have the materials to match!). So not only do we practice the art of creating beautiful jewellery but we have also had to learn the art of patience (which is easier for one of us than the other!).

Mostly we try to source our components from Australia (which usually takes about a week) but occasionally we need to get some things from the UK or the USA which can take up to 2 weeks, sometimes more depending on where it is coming from!

All this means is that when we post our newest creations on Facebook or within this blog, more than likely there will be only 1 of them already made… But others can be made to order, with components of your choice (check out our gemstone options here).  The up side of this is that you can be very certain that no-one else will have another one exactly like yours.  The down side is that you may have to wait a bit for your order.

If we already have supplies, this should only take a few days, but if we need to order, it can take a little longer.  So, should you like any of our designs and wish to purchase them, please get in early so you won’t be disappointed!

Chain Maille

Chain Maille is the art of making armour or jewellery by connecting metal rings to one another in a number of different ways, forming a mesh or a chain.  The interlocking rings can be used to make lengths of chain or in the case of armour, a sheet of chain which can be woven into shapes.

Helms Weave Chain Maille

I have always loved all types of jewellery chains, so when I discovered Chain Maille, I knew that it was something I really had to try.  Fortunately there’s a myriad of learning tools on the internet because I couldn’t actually find anyone here in Adelaide who teaches the craft.

The major difficulty in teaching yourself Chain Maille is not the patterns or weaves but a distinct lack of readily available supplies!  Local suppliers only stock plated jump rings which are great to learn with but from experience, don’t last very long which is one of the main reasons for our decision to use only Sterling, Silver Filled, Argentium or Gold Filled wire.

The silver plated rings were great to practice with but for a quality end product only sterling silver/gold filled really looks and wears the best.  This means that any of our chain maille pieces may take a little longer to complete as some of the rings need to be sourced interstate or overseas, depending on size.

Luckily I have discovered that I love to learn new techniques because there are so many different chain maille weaves to try – and try I did.  I find something very therapeutic in opening, weaving and closing the rings and the sense of satisfaction when I get it right and finish a piece is indescribable.

As most of our pieces will be made to order, any chain maille can be made in wire of choice and if the pattern requires stones, these too can be selected to suit.

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A Word About Wire

I guess it’s all very well to talk about the wire we use in our creations, but perhaps it would be nice if everyone understood what it means when we talk about Gold/Silver Filled and Argentium.  Even Sterling Silver – I’m sure I only learned about what Sterling Silver really was when we made the decision to use only these types of metals.

IMG_6181I’ll start with Sterling Silver:  I don’t want to get too technical but basically, Sterling Silver is a mixture of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.  Sterling Silver wire does tarnish reasonably easily.

Argentium Silver is a modern silver alloy made up of 93.5% around 6.5% metalloid germanium. Now that doesn’t mean much to me but I figure that the silver component is higher so that has to be a good thing.  Essentially, there is a great deal of information about this metal but Argentiumwhat concerns me is this:  it’s easy to work with; there is no firescale which means less tedious work to get it all nice and shiny; it is highly tarnish resistant and it is much cheaper than both fine silver and even Sterling Silver.  This all makes Argentium wire a good metal to use in jewellery making.

Silver Filled WireSilver Filled wire is 5 or 10% Sterling Silver bonded to copper or brass alloy.  The silver is thick enough to withstand small nicks and won’t wear off and it is much cheaper than the other silvers. The downside of Silver Filled wire is that the inner copper or alloy is a different colour so if the ends of the wire were to show in a piece of jewellery, it would spoil the look.

Gold Filled wire (or Rolled Gold) became very popular early in the 20th century and is a percentage of gold bonded to jewellers brass.  The gold can be ofGold Filled Wire 10/20, 12/20 or 14k thickness.  The minimum allowable is 1/20th, by weight, of the total piece. Our usual supplier uses 14k.   14/20k means that there is 14/20ths gold of the total weight of the piece. Because jewellers brass is a similar colour to the 14 karat gold, there is no problem with cut ends showing and makes an ideal much cheaper replacement for 9 karat gold.  It is highly durable, tarnish resistant and needs no special care.

We believe in quality so we always choose the best material for the pieces and we will always state what our pieces are made from.  As we can make to order, each of our designs can be requested in the wire of your choice.

 

 

The Evolution

Much has changed since we began hand crafting our jewellery pieces – we started with beads and stringing thread and this was ok. We used any beads or crystals we could source with ease and made pieces from patterns found on the internet.

It wasn’t long before we realised that beaded jewellery, while being lovely to look at and wear, wasn’t what we wanted to make and sell. We wanted to be different; we wanted make quality pieces using high quality materials because this is the type of jewellery we like to wear.

Irish Linen Quad Wrap with Silver Charm

Irish Linen

We began using sterling silver, silver filled, argentium and gold filled wire and jump rings and realised that this was definitely our preferred medium. Our wrap bracelets are made with genuine leather cord and Irish Linen waxed thread. We also try, as best we can, to source all our clasps and other findings in these metals but if for any reason we use any other material, it will be stated in the information supplied.

Gold Plated Wire

Gold Plated Wire

To make our jewellery a little more unique, if we are making any pieces incorporating stones, we now use only (semi precious) gemstones. Not only are these stones beautiful to look at but most have a meaning or properties which will benefit those who choose to buy and wear our pieces.

The gemstones we currently use have been chosen for their size, their look and their properties, however we are not limited to these. If there is a particular stone you would like made into one of our designs, we would be more than happy to oblige if at all possible.

The current gemstones we have are Amethyst, Autumn Jasper, Black Onyx, Carnelian, Citrine, Coral, Crystal Quartz, Fluorite, Garnet, Howlite, Jade, Lapis Lazuli, Moss Agate, Opalite (Moonstone), Pearl (fresh water), Sodalite, Tiger Eye, and Turquoise but we plan on adding more as we go!