Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today is the best day ever. Not only can I hear the cheers of the crowds assembling for the SF Giants victory parade in downtown SF, the Fed Ex man just delivered two boxes of MY BOOK!

Here they are!
They're heavy!

Here it is!!!
For those of you who have preordered the book, your signed copy will go out tomorrow. As a special thank you I have a few little gifts that I am tucking in your package, including my DVD that came out a few years ago on Basic Stringing Techniques.

For those of you who would like to place an order, you can jump on over to my Etsy site and make your purchase. If you make your order before November 5, I'll include the bonus gifts in your packages as well.

Thanks so much to everyone who supported me through this crazy, fun, intense, and rewarding experience. I love my book and hope all of you do, too. Now I gotta run and find a good autographing pen. I have a lot of signing ahead of me.

Go Giants!

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to Clean Metal Jewelry Tools.

My tools work hard. They get hammered on. They get used in class. They get packed in a box and shipped across country. Consequently they are not the prettiest tools on the block, but who needs pretty when they are so solid and sturdy?

Sometimes though there is a blemish that I can't ignore...RUST!!! Once in a while when I unpack my tools from a class or if I accidentally leave them next to a corrosive (like Silver Black or other corrosive solutions) or get them wet and forget to dry them off, I spy little sections of rust starting to form on my beloved tools. Rust is the enemy of steel and it has to be dealt with before it becomes an issue.

If I see just a small bit on the surface I'll just buff it away with a swipe of steel wool, but that is just a temporary solution. Rust has a tendency to creep and needs to be eradicated before real damage is done.

No worries! The tool doctor is in and let's meet the patient that I am restoring to health today and the review the supplies I'm using.

My dapping block. Check out the rust. Ick.

Here are my supplies from left to right: WD40, 0000 Steel Wool, 1000 grit sandpaper, Scotch 3M Metal Finishing Pad (Find them in the paint section of your hardware store near the steel wool) and Pro Polish Pads (the best thing for polishing metal EVER. Period. I stock them in my Etsy store.)

First, lay an old towel or rag on your work surface and make sure that you are in a well ventilated area. Spray the effected area with the WD40.

Then grab your steel wool and buff the WD40 into the surface of the tool. See how the rust starts to disappear. Don't wipe off the WD40 yet. Keep it on for the next step.

Next, follow up with the fine grit sandpaper. This helps to refine the surface of the metal. Make sure to use 1000 grit or finer as you don't want to mar the surface of the tool. After this step wipe away the WD40 from the tool.

Use the 3M pad and buff the surface again. This pad is a great tool to bring metal back to life. It resurfaces the tool and makes it look almost like new.

And finally, grab a Pro Polish pad and buff the surface one last time. Make sure that the tool is completely wiped clean with no moisture on the surface. If the Pro Polish pads get wet they leave a gummy residue behind. But used dry they will make the metal shine like new!

Look! The surface is shiny and clean and there is no trace of rust to be found! The WD40 helps the metal resist further rusting. While you're at it check out your pliers, too. I'll bet the tips of your chain nose and round nose pliers might need a little love, too. 

My Xuron tools were looking a little sad, but are now revived and ready to work on an upcoming wire wrap project. 

Taking a little time to tend to your tools will give you many years of use. Do you have any tips on how you care for your tools? Share them in the comments, I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are You Innovative?

Then the Nunn Design Innovation Team 2013 is looking for you!

Nunn Design is a purveyor of marvelous, high-quality jewelry components. The company is the brainchild of Rebecca (I call her Becky) Nunn, a designer and jewelry artist that I admire greatly. Her company makes lovely and unique jewelry components that are really inspiring to work with.

I got an email the other day from Becky asking if I would pass along the word about the search for new members for her 2013 Innovation Team. Would I? You bet.

Photo from the Nunn Design Project Gallery
Here is a bit about the requirements from the Nunn Design Blog "...We are seeking artists who love to push the envelope. Are you an innovator? A trendsetter? Do you work in varied mediums (paper, resin, polymer, epoxy, metals, fiber, and more)? If you’re a creative powerhouse who wants to work on the inside of innovation, an artisan of any medium —we want to know about you."

If you would like to read more and to submit an application click this link and check out the full post on the Nunn Design Blog. Good luck!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My segments on Beads, Baubles & Jewels.

Newsflash! Do you watch the PBS series Beads, Baubles & Jewels? It's a great show on all things bead and jewelry-related. The super-talented Katie Hacker is the host and she creates a great line-up of interesting shows with jewelry experts from around the country.

I filmed three segments back in July that are airing soon. It was a lot of fun! The show shoots just outside of Cleveland, OH. But luckily I did not have to travel alone. My trusty sidekick, Torrance was there every step of the way.

While I worked hard on set...

Torrance lounged around the hotel and called for room service. He eventually made it to the studio and took over for one of the camera guys...

It didn't take the crew long to notice that a bear was trying to run the overhead camera, so he was banished to the green room...

...where he consoled himself with some beads...

...and hooch. (I am not sure how he got it. I should check my credit card statement. Do liquor stores deliver in Ohio?)

Torrance and his hijinks aside, it was all great fun and I can't wait to go back in December to film more segments. The previews for the current season are on YouTube and available for your perusal. The Sampler project and Ruby Tag Pendant are from my new book, and the Rolled and Wrapped Bead and Patina project is a class I teach at bead stores and national shows.

Click on each link to view: You can take a look at the entire schedule for this season on the BB&J website

Color On Metal Beads with a Torch
Ruby Tag Pendant
Soldering a Jump Ring

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Guess where I am??

I am standing in my brand new studio and teaching space!!!

That's right! As of November 1st, Kate Richbourg Jewelry Educator will have a space to call home. I have rented a great space in South San Francisco and classes will be starting soon!


Okay, so it's empty...but not for long! It's in a chic, secure and centrally located space. Oh, gang... I have great plans for this cozy and creative space. It's really well situated near the 101 and 280 freeways as well as just a short walk from the San Bruno BART station.

I am going to kick things off with a studio-warming and book launch party in mid-November. Those of you who live in the Bay Area (and those who don't!) are all invited.

More details to come soon!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Casting About...

Yep. I just can't get enough of broken foot puns.

But the reason for this casting about is I am looking for a studio space. I have come to the point where I am ready (READY) to find an art/jewelry/teaching studio and thought I'd enlist the help of my friends. I gotta have a space, you guys. I have so many classes in my head that I HAVE to get out into the world... but I need a place to make the magic happen.

So if you are local to the San Mateo, CA area and have any leads/ideas/info on a small-ish, inexpensive-ish space, would you contact me please? I'd like it to be close to home, but I would consider anything on the Peninsula if it is the right fit.

Think it over. My rolling mill is getting antsy. It doesn't like sharing the same table as my flex shaft. I fear there might be a rebellion.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bead & Button 2013

I'm in. It's official! I have 5 wonderful classes on the docket. Bead & Button 2013 is a go!

More info to come soon, but if you have not attended, then let me just tell you, '13 is the year to go! Save your pennies and start planning 'cause it the most bead fun ever.

Mark your calendars as online class registration opens on Tuesday, January 8 at 12 PM CST.

Here is a peek at a couple of my classes...

Crystal Clay the Vintage Way

Patinas & Cold Connections
Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Psst...My Craftsy Class at a Discount

Hey, this post is meant only for you, so keep it under your hat. I mean I just can't have EVERYONE taking my latest online Metalsmithing at Home class on at a discount.

So uh, it's regularly $39.95, but um...if you click the link HERE, it's yours for $19.95.

But WAIT there is more. Did ya check out my FREE class on Micro Torch basics??? If you are not familiar with Craftsy you might want to hop on over and check that one out first, so you can get the hang of how this whole online class thing works.

Then if you love it (AND I think you will) then consider jumping into Metalsmithing at Home and I'll teach you some cool stuff to make with your jewelry tools and torch.

Like this lovely jewelry. Here are a few more snaps of the action...

If you purchase the class your access to the class will never expire plus you can play and replay it at your convenience as well as post questions to the platform so I (and other students) can interact with you and answer questions.

Hope to see you in class!

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Footie...

got broke.

It's such a bummer. I have never in my life broken anything major except a couple of wineglasses and a vase against the wall in a Scarlet O'Hara moment.

Now I go and broke my 5th metatarsal on my right foot. You know they say that the kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house and you know what... they are right. Stupid puddle of water on my stupid tile floor. But I digress.

The whole point of telling you all this is that only my beader friends can relate to what happened to me at the hospital.

So, I am sitting in the patient room in Emergency waiting for the X-ray tech to come and get me to take a pic of my throbbing foot. (Gosh that metatarsal HURT!)

Fine. They wheel me in and maneuver me onto the table. Francine the X-ray lady is super nice and chatty. She positions my foot (OW!) then snaps a pic, repositions and snaps again. Then her conversation stops. She comes over with a worried look in her eye and asks, "You ever have any surgery on that foot? Anything? Pins? Stitches?"

Now that made me nervous. I thought, "Oh geez... what can be wrong?" "Nope", I told her, "Not a thing."

She replied that something was showing up on the film that she didn't like. As I began to panic ever so slightly... she examined my foot, checked the bottom and started laughing and pulled a sterling silver daisy spacer off the bottom.

Crisis averted. Embarrassment ensues.

And foot is indeed broken. Ah well. I've got six weeks of sitting and beading ahead of me. I just hope I don't need that stray daisy spacer. I think it's still at the hospital.