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Sunday, February 1, 2015


I have been honored to participate in a quarterly blog hop hosted by Lindsay Starr and Sherri Stokey.  It is the "Beading Back Through Time" challenge blog hop which has broken down our world or very existence into four main periods in time:  Before People, Ancient People, Early Civilization and a Favorite Period In Time.  Each quarter will feature one of these periods and the challenge is to create something inspired by each period in time using any medium or combinations of materials desired.

This installment of the challenge begins with "Before People."  This was a time of dinosaurs and earthly upheavals and we first saw life join a world of rocks and minerals .... a prehistoric time.

I chose stoneware and glass in an ancient fossils and stones theme.

If you follow my work, you know that I love to use the handmade components of fellow artists.  This piece is no different.

The beautiful stoneware ammonite fossil focal was made by Pam of Indian Creek Studios.  

The red stoneware ring is by Karen of Starry Road Studios.  It represents the planet earth.

The bronze clasp is hand cast by Green Girl Studios.

Two lamp work beads are by Linda Cogbill.  To me these glass beads represent stones, sand, and striations in sandstone.

I finished the design with Czech glass river stone textured beads and ammonite fossil beads and fire polished beads with copper accents finish the designs.

Thank you for visiting.  Be sure to "Blog Hop" your way through the other participants and enjoy their contributions to the Before People installment of Beading Back Through Time.

Co-hostess:  Lindsay Starr of Phantasm Creations
Co-hostess:  Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame
Kelly Rodgers of Beadin' Black & Blue
Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio
Caroline Dewison of Blueberribeads
Melissa Trudinger of Boho Bird Jewellery
Sue Kennedy of SueBeads
Stephanie and Chris Haussler of Pixibug Designs
Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions

Jean Wells of Jean A. Wells Artisan Jewelry

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Announcing Jean A. Wells Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry at IndieMade.

I would like to announce the grand opening of my website at  To celebrate, I am offering a 20% discount with coupon code GRANDOPENING which will be applied through October 27, 2014.  If you have any questions regarding operation of the site, please contact me for assistance.  

I will be moving things from my etsy store a bit at a time over the next year or so with the goal in mind of eventually leaving etsy.  I simply do not want to compete with their new policies which allow mass produced - factory made goods.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Art Feast at NOCC

I want to extend my personal invitation to all the local folks that enjoy a day of art, fun and food to join me at the Art Feast at NOCC on September 27, 2014.

I was so honored to be contacted to be the ONLY jewelry designer to participate in the Art Feast NOCC this year.

Art Feast is a small art show featuring a variety of local artists and a variety of the arts.

Did you hear me?  I was asked to be the ONLY jewelry designer.  How cool is that?

                                        ...I AM GETTING SO EXCITED...

 Now, I would like to introduce you to the participants.

Brett Myer is a midtown Kansas City resident that has been "throwing pots" for about 10 years.  

Of course, I am just sharing one small sample of this talented artist's work and I can't wait to see more.



The Browning Co. is a local Kansas City business and is rumored to be run by
three cats who are assisted by Paul and Sarah.

I am looking forward to learning more about
their company and their craft.

And, of course, I hope the "Management" shows up.

Larry Wenger has truly turned recycling into an art. 

Aren't these just the coolest things!

I don't know how to describe this artist's work except that I LOVE IT.

It has such a simple quality to it that really speaks to me, but it is anything but simple.  And neither is the artist.

Clint Ricketts is an artist whose work has been on exhibit both nationally and internationally and we are so fortunate to have this Lawrence, KS resident joining us.

Tom Schiller describes himself as a potter with a profound interest in painting and it certainly comes through in his work. 

Isn't that gorgeous.

I can see why he is famous.

And, yes, Del Sutton, guitarist, is the artist and the art.

He is a retired Kansas City music teacher and he is also a poet, a musician and a song writer. 

He will be blessing us with his "joyful noise" on the 27th. 

And, by now, you're thinking it can't possibly get any better.  Right?  Well, it can and it does.

Julie Walton is a paper artist.  She has taken the folded paper "cootie catcher" that I made in school some one million years ago, to just a tad higher level.

Okay, if you remember cootie catchers you really owe it to yourself to attend and check this out.

And, I will be there with a collection of my favorites and some brand new things.  And, of course, I am always happy to discuss custom orders.

This is a small art show, not a craft show, so you will have plenty of time to explore each art form and to get to know each artist just a bit.

We have been afforded lots of room so we will all have a nice selection of things to offer.

I do hope you will mark your calendars and join us.  Everything you need to know about who what when and where is in the following cartoon, but if you would like more information you can see more about it on the Art Feast NOCC Facebook Page.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Lori Anderson's May 10, 2014 Bead Soup Reveal

As you all know, this is an annual party hosted by Lori Anderson.  Quickly, for those who don't know, you sign up, Lori partners you with another person that signed up, those two partners exchange a bead soup which MUST include a focal and a clasp and then the other partner must make something that incorporates both the focal and the clasp, but not necessarily in the same piece.  Of course, partners are free to include additional things in their soup if they choose.  Then there is a reveal date when the partners post what they made with their soups on their blogs.  Well, TODAY IS THE DAY! 
I do want to remind those of you who did not know before that my partner this year is Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree.  She is a talented polymer clay artist and author.  Check out her BLOG at The Blue Bottle Tree and look for her tutorials in her ETSY store at The Blue Bottle Tree.

Here is the soup that Ginger sent to me.  I was really worried about coming up with beautiful designs when I first saw it.  These are colors that I rarely work with, but I knew that I would figure something out.  I always do.  I just gave myself a few days to think about the beads and I began to have some ideas. In fact, they started coming faster than I could make jewelry.  So, if you are ready, here is what I did with it.

First, I turned those gorgeous yellow pendants into earrings with an exotic tribal look to them.

Her pendants, her crystals, her blue pearls, a couple of her seed beads.

These were first intended to be the dangles on the yellow sun earrings, but I decided to go with the purple druzy beads instead.  I didn't want to take them apart, and they technically still qualify because they have Ginger's seed beads on top of the faceted stone bead, so I made these short earrings from them.

Waste not, want not.

On this set, I used the lampwork lantern bead, the toggle clasp (that had an Asian feel to me), her blue pearls, and her butterfly wings.

I added silver lotus beads, porcelain beads by Marti Conrad and Natalie Pappas, glass pearls, glass flower Czech beads, and some silver yoga inspired lotus and fish charms.

I matched the earrings using her pearls, and the lotus and fish charms, and the Czech glass beads.

Ginger made the focal pendant bead, and the six accent beads.  I used some of her seed beads and crystals for accents.

I added titanium cobalt blue druzy beads, verdigris copper links (I did that) and a copper bail, made the focal bead frame and clasp.

I have always been challenged when using polymer beads.  Because of their light weight I have trouble making them do what I want them to do.  They seem to want to twist on the wire or not hang heavy enough.  On this set, I wired the polymer beads to the copper frames that I made, forcing them to bend to my will.  Hahaha  (I wish it was that easy to force my three Rottweilers to bend to my will.)

I also used some genuine lapis rounds that I have been hoarding.

I moved on to the vintage Japanese tube beads.  I loved these beads, but in the beginning had no idea.

This design hit me just before I fell asleep one night. I couldn't wait to get up the next day to execute it.

I used the blue/gray optic glass ovals she sent me, two of Ginger's polymer oval beads, the blue glass rounds, and her seed beads.

I added the black dyed bone feathers and I have to tell you, this is my favorite set. 

I used her blue pearls and crystals and that gorgeous sterling teapot and spoon toggle clasp she gave me to make this sterling bracelet.

I learned something interesting, at least to me, on this set.

I have been making my own ball headpins for a couple of years now.  I have always just used my torch to make them, but I have always made them out of copper.

When I attempted to make these headpins using the torch on 22 gauge sterling wire (which is the only wire that would go through the pearls) my torch just burned up the wire.  I put the project away to think about it and I had an idea.  I have always had, and prefer, a gas cook stove.  I actually made these headpins in the flame of my gas cook stove.  It was hot enough to ball the wire, but cool enough not to burn up the wire.  I'm sure others already knew this, but I felt like I had invented the wheel!

These earrings are made from Ginger's blueberry quartz stone heart beads, her crystals and the four lucite flower beads.

I added the purple opal faceted fire polished beads, copper beads, glass beads, bead caps and made the copper earwires.

These would actually make two pairs of earrings as they are a bit long, but they are not heavy so I guess it would just depend on how long you like your earrings.

My "Everything Else" bracelet.  This piece was made using the third clasp she sent me, a floral charm she made, some faux biwa pearl beads she made, some nugget beads she made, two lampwork beads, those three purple glass tube beads, two vintage lucite rondelles and I accented with her pearls

Although I made matching earrings for most of the pieces I made for this Soup, I did not make any for this bracelet because "There Wasn't Anything Else".  (Get it?)

But, that isn't quite true.  At this point, I had the silver stamping, 12 blue pearls, 24 crystals and 4 seed beads left.  I had an idea brewing for the silver stamping, but I had to ruminate (I love that word) on it for a week or so.

The Victorians loved their stripes (wallpaper) and I liked the addition of the hammered copper and to me the stamping is more of an Edwardian design.  I connected the stamping to the base with rivets.

I used butter soft deerskin leather on the back and a silver pin back to finish the brooch.

But, I wasn't done yet, I still had 24 crystals, 12 pearls and 4 seed beads.

 I have had this set of clay pieces that were made by Barbara Hanselman for some time.  They give me a tribal vibe.

I don't believe it would ever have occurred to me to mix pearls and crystals with tribal had it not been for the challenge to use all of Ginger's materials.

So I just went for it.

I used copper wire to wrap pearls to the holes, made a couple of links for the neck chain, decorated the Irish linen with the crystals and seed beads and here you go.

Finished out the neck chain with carved burnt horn, sand river stone, and serpentine olive jade.

This is my fourth participation in Lori's Bead Soup Blog Party.  It has always been a personal goal of mine that I use everything received from my partner. A couple of times I managed to use every single thing, right down to the last seed bead.

I didn't use the toggle from that beautiful toggle clasp used in the necklace with the Asian flare.

Perhaps I will design my Fall line around it.

The purpose of this exercise is twofold:  First, we get to know someone in the jewelry community that we might not already know.  Second, by making something with a soup chosen by someone else, we may (or may not) be challenged to push beyond what we are comfortable making.  That was certainly the case in this installment.  When I first saw Ginger's soup choice, I was stunned.  I had no ideas!  I just thought "Oh My God."  But, once I got started, ideas came pretty easily, so I guess I can now say that in the future, I will be more comfortable working with pink, purple, and blue "pretty beads."  Thank you Ginger for your choice.  I love everything I made and I hope you do too!

Now that you have seen what I made, here is the soup that I sent to Ginger.  Our soups were so similar, they could have been litter mates.  Let's go see what she made with hers.

I hope the rest of you enjoyed my reveal as much as I have enjoyed participating in this year's party.  Please leave comments, they mean so much to me.

I usually include links to all the other participants, but there are more than 500 this year.  So, I have included only two links.  The first goes to my partner's blog, Ginger Davis Allman
Go to her blog and see what she made with her soup.

The second is a permalink to Lori Anderson's blog.  She will have a complete list of links there.

List of Other Bloggers

My Previous Soups
2-29-12 - Partner Erin Grant
February 29, 2012

7-28-12 - Partner Judy Turner
July 28, 2012

 July 29, 2012 Update Judy Turner

4-13-2013 - Partner Jelveh Jaferian Johnson
April 13, 2013

Monday, May 5, 2014



First of all, let me say that I rarely have a sale in my shop.  I generally feel that my prices fairly represent the quality of the materials and the artistic value of the piece offered; however, I have also been working diligently to downsize my shop so in order to speed up the process I am having a 20% off everything in the shop sale.

 So, in case you have had your eye on a piece, you can either click Jean A. Wells Artisan Jewelry and make your purchase.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

I don't know how long I will run the sale, but it will last for at least 10 days, maybe longer.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Vintage Pearls and an Ocean Theme Set

My baby sister, Karla, recently asked me to create a piece of jewelry for, Barb, my sister's mother-in-law that would be made from a strand of pearls that had belonged to Barb's mother.  I had done the same thing for Barb a couple of years ago from a couple of other strands of beads that had belonged to her mother. 

Of course, I told her I would be pleased to.  When I got the strand, there were a lot of pearls there so I knew I could make more than one piece.

The harder part for me was that Karla also wanted me to keep a diary, if you will, of the creative process and how I came up with what I came up with.

Not being formally trained, or informally trained for that matter, in the creative arts, I really didn't know how to do that.  A law degree does not do a whole lot to prepare you for doing something like that.  But, I told her I would do my best.  I found it to be very enlightening and I realized that I really did go through somewhat of a "process" that I had been sort of unaware of before.

I have always that that I get my inspiration from the beads and components themselves.  Well, that is true.

First, I realized that I was coming up with a theme.  And, since these were pearls, even though they were Vintage glass pearls, I wanted to do something ocean related.

And, that led me to choosing blues and aquas.  It was also a good color choice as I had used red coral and turquoise and topaz yellows on the pieces I had done for her before.  So, it was a color she didn't have.

I did the looped design first, and I used a marvelous pendant that was made by Kristie-Lou of Sculpted Windows.  She made the turtle of polymer clay on paua shell.  They are amazing.

I also wanted to use Green Girls shibuchi shell clasp. It had to be special ordered and made by hand and the weather slowed down Greg's shipment of metal, but it was definitely worth the wait.

I used handmade blue lampwork with a sandy brown finish, a beautiful brown and blue marbled bi-cone lampwork bead by Linda Cogbill, chalcedony quartz,  African opal, pyrite, amazonite, Czech glass, Tierra Cast spacers, Trinity Brass shell ear wires, etc.

It is a beautiful set and Barb loved it.  Karla loved it.  I loved it.  And, I know Barb's mother would be so happy that these beads have had new life breathed into them.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Scarabs, Blood Moons, Lapis and Urchins

New Redesigns.

This necklace grew out of a bracelet that was getting really old.

The focal is a double sided terra cotta stoneware piece by Barbara Hanselman.

I used kambamba jasper wavy rectangles, handmade lampwork, Czech glass, and some very old silver "tin" beads.  These beads are getting hard for me to find.  I'd love to acquire some more if anyone has any.

And, here is the old bracelet. 

Next, I redid a multi-wrap bracelet that wasn't really that old, but I never did really like it that well - and apparently, no one else did either.

The stoneware is by Marti Conrad.

So I shortened the strap into a single wrap and now I like it much better.  I don't know why I didn't see it when I first made it.

Much better.

This four-strand lapis lazuli blue (dyed, I'm sure) necklace was pretty enough to me with the offset focal bead, very similar magnet clasp and sterling spacer beads, but it always seemed very heavy to me.  Now, some people like that, but when it wasn't sold after two years, I decided to redo it.

I tried to keep with the original feel of the necklace, but to lighten it up some.

I removed one strand and then softly braided the three strands.  I like it much better now.  We will see if anyone else does.

I made this necklace at a time when my sister was telling me that my jewelry was too "artsy".  She said that some people liked simpler jewelry.  I knew she was right, so I went through a phase of trying to make more simpler jewelry.

I made two versions of this - one had three urchins and this one with the five urchins.  The one with three sold right away, so of course, I knew she was right.  (I knew that anyway.)

I kept looking at this one and just thought it needed something more.  Maybe I just "do my own thang" more now.

So I went to work on it.

Voila la!

I added a hammered brass ring and a Shiva shell.  It is more asymmetric which I prefer.

We'll see.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter Monday - Turquoise and Trees - Jewelry Makeovers

Two more necklaces that I have redesigned recently.  Major, major difference.  And, much, much improvement, IMHO.  My shop is beginning to feel so much more fresh to me and it has become more management as well.

 New Version.  Love this natural and rough turquoise ladder pendant.  I used some kambamba jasper daggers, yellow turquoise, chrysocola and chrysoprase beads.

I also used some vintage copper "knot" beads.  I've had these for a long time and have been hoarding them.

I tied the beads on Irish waxed linen.
Old version.

These focal beads were made by Gabriel.  I made a copper and beaded frame for them, used a porcelain bead, some very nice tiger ebony wood beads, and some very nice lampwork by CherylsArt.

I tied them all on Irish waxed linen.

I made it long, about 24" to accommodate the long 5" pendant.

The original.

In the past, I used a lot of waxed linen.  In fact, the original of this necklace was made on waxed linen, but I had gotten away from it.

I love the way it hangs and good quality linen will last a very, very long time.

The thing I didn't like, mostly, about the original is that I couldn't keep the polymer focal beads from twisting around.  That is why I went with the copper frame.

So do you want to see more?  I still have a few more things that I am redoing.  Check back.

But, be sure to check back Saturday, May 3, 2014, for the Reveal of Lori Anderson's 2014 Bead Soup Blog Party.  I have a lot of pretty things to show you.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Another Redo....

Here is another example of a necklace that I redesigned recently.

Unfortunately, I did not save a picture of the before version.  It was quite different though.

The focal bead was made by Ingrid Mueller.  I complimented the focal with African hand painted glass, red mala bone beads, dyed turquoise bone, and fire polished picasso Czech beads wrapped to my hammered copper collar.


After redesign.  The focal was made by Cindy Doleazal.  I love the simplicity of her stick figures of children playing with their dog in the sunshine.  I used the same cube glass beads, and added peanut or farfal beads, hand made paper beads by Dee Rick, a hand made bird bead, again by Cindy, and a dragon vein jade bead.  I also added a bit of sari silk to frame the top of the pendant.

Better or worse?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Making Bangle Bracelets From Reclaimed Copper Tubing

The other day, my husband, Joe, came into the house.  He had been out in the garage and I had heard some banging, but you know how old guys do when they are semi-retired.  The sounds of banging are not an unusual sound around my house.
He held out something at me and said, "Look what I made out of that old copper pipe we had."  I must say I was stunned.  I was looking at a beautiful bangle bracelet.  He had polished it and buffed it and it was gorgeous and I told him so.
 He asked me if I thought I could put it in my Etsy shop.  Now, he has asked me this before and the answer has always been a resounding "NO".  But this time, I said yes. 
I really like the simple design of this bracelet and I told him so.
 I had seen a recent tutorial on making bracelets from copper piping but he hadn't seen it.  
 I think I like this one better.

 He went back out to make another one, but this one was a bit lopsided.  
I pointed out that it wasn't round enough and he tried to pass it off as being handmade.  Being the perfectionist that I am I told him he would have to go try again, but we were both concerned that the copper might be too brittle at this point for much more manipulation.

So, I used it as an opportunity to talk to him about heat annealing.  He doesn't like me showing him how to do anything - he takes it as criticism.  I guess 32 years together can do that to a couple.  But, he listened and watched while I played with it over the burner on our gas stove.  I knew that if I was careful, it could become a beautiful rainbow of color and he watched as it became the beautiful bracelet you see above.  
It didn't take much for him to maneuver it into a beautiful bangle shape.  After a bit of hardening and polishing in the tumbler, it was ready to go.  
I also loaned him my steel bracelet mandrel that I have had about two years and had never taken out of the box.

He is working on some different textures and having a ball.  Nothing makes him happier than a big hammer and being able to pound on things.
 What do you think about these new bracelets?