The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Gregg Burgard’s Zombie Beads Inspire the Question: “What Are You Working on Now?” (It’s a Contest!)

Jan 30, 2012
19 Comments
Molly Therese Bell

Gregg Burgard, of Rio's tech team, has been inspiring us lately with his growing collection of whimsical and creepy "Zombie Beads".

Gregg's cast charm beads: An offbeat twist for the traditional charm bracelet.

Gregg hard at work on his detailed beads.

Gregg's "Zombie Beads" are inspired by personalities and are intended to fit onto charm bead bracelets like Frolic. They offer a fun and more personal alternative to charms of cute kittens, turtles, or teddy bears.

Salvador Dali: The most charming bead of all.

Here's what Gregg shared with me about his process (in a nutshell):

    1. The pieces are carved in wax and scupted in polymer clay
    2. Then they are RTV molded with Ditto mold rubber.
    3. Next, Gregg injects this mold with injection wax, takes this injection wax and scrapes off about 1mm off the surface, which gives him a slightly smaller smoothed over copy of the original.
    4. This scraped version now gets molded. It gets injected with a water soluable wax and is placed back into the first mold, thereby creating a core for the original bead that can be dissolved in water --This process allows Gregg to make a larger bead that is light weight and less expensive, yet still has the look of a heavier bead.
    5. Then the bead is conventionally lost wax cast.

Now, we want to see what YOU are working on!

Leave a comment with a picture or two of a work-in-progress. Tell us what inspired your project and where it's headed next.

We'll choose a favorite from among your comments add a quick $10 to the winner's Rio Grande account for their next purchase. Don’t have an account? No problem, you can sign up for one right here.

This is just the first in a series of "What are you Working on Now" posts, so keep visiting The Studio for more inspiring pictures and more chances to show off your stuff!

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Rio In Motion 2012: Some Treasures from the Demo Room

Jan 26, 2012
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Molly Therese Bell

Rio In Motion 2012 is on! Opportunities for learning abound during Rio In Motion and a favorite highlight is our hands-on demo room, which offers attendees the chance to play with the latest tools and equipment. Check out a few of our favorite demos. . .

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Thanks AGAIN for Giving: Rio Teams Up with Customers to Help our Friends at Ganoksin!

Jan 25, 2012
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Molly A. Bell
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Our friends at Ganoksin were completely overrun by flooding in Thailand last fall. With the help of our customers –who value Ganoksin’s immeasurable contribution to our industry, Rio was able to offer a helping hand to these good friends. Many thanks to all!

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In Business: A Hobbyist’s Guide to Getting Started on Etsy

Jan 23, 2012
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Amy Dalness
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Have you ever considered selling your creations in an Etsy shop of your very own? Rio’s own Amy Dalness just opened her first Etsy shop to do that very thing. Take a look at her tips, information, and encouragement for first-time Etsy sellers!

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On the Road with Rio: A Wedding Ring Crafted by the Groom

Jan 20, 2012
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Andy Sherwin
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In our latest “On the Road with Rio” installment, Andy Shermin travels to the wedding of some longtime friends and brings back the story of a groom who made his bride’s wedding ring.

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Drumroll, Please! Announcing Rio Grande’s Web Survey Winner

Jan 18, 2012
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Mike Schelle
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We announce the winner of our $100 Rio Grande credit sweepstakes. Thanks to the hundreds of customers who filled out our web survey for a chance to win!

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Video Project with Mark Nelson: Pendants Made with Colores Colored Resin Epoxy

Jan 16, 2012
5 Comments
Molly Therese Bell

Mark Nelson shows you how to add amazing colors to your creations! Easy-to-use Colores™ is the perfect way to add vibrant color and unique designs to your work. Once the color is mixed, you can add it to a bezel cup or any other concave shape that can contain it.

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Chased with WOW: Aluminum Hard Hat Custom-Made with Medium Green Chaser’s Pitch

Jan 13, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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You’ll never see another hard hat like this one! Chasing and repoussé artist Debra Montgomery made this jaw-dropping hard hat for an iron worker from Alberta, Canada and filled it with details that are close to his heart. Awesome.

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Videos with Eleanore Macnish and Mark Nelson: Perfectly Round Glass Beads and Lining them with Silver Tubing

Jan 11, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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You can give lampworked beads a polished and sparkling finish by lining them with silver tubing. Eleanore Macnish and Mark Nelson show you how!

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Ukulele Artist Chuck Moore Achieves Beautiful Inlay with the Knew Concepts Saw

Jan 9, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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Chuck Moore is a remarkable artist who uses the Knew Concepts Hand Saw to create stunning inlay in his handmade ukeleles. Check out his beautiful work and read a little bit of his story. . .

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