Thursday, May 29, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Going clockwise from upper left:
1. Pendant with 3 bottom holes for attaching dangles. Done with a scratch finish and then patina'd in a liver of sulfer solution. In real life (instead of this crappy scan) it's actually different shades of rose, copper and blue and then I used a burnishing tool on the raised areas of the design to remove the patina and expose the silver again.
2. Oval pendant with stamped design. I did this one with a mirror finish - super bright and shiny. It could probably be better, but I got impatient with the sanding process.
3. Rectangular pendant with rolled bail and stamped design. This was actually a "rescue" piece. The original stamped design on this was too light and didn't really show up so I added the smaller, deeper impressions on top of it and it actually worked out okay. I did a mirror finish on this as well and then added a patina with liver of sulfur. I rubbed more of the patina off on this so it just has some touches of dark blue and burgundy here and there.
4. Two small diamond shapes for use as earrings. I did a scratch finish on these and then used a burnishing tool to shine up the raised areas. This leaves the background kind of a satin finish and the raised areas are very shiny and almost "sparkle" in contrast.
Hope everyone else is having a good Memorial Day weekend!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Only 3 days left to help me pick which design to enter in the OC Fair by voting in the poll (see the upper right hand corner of the blog to vote).
To see pictures of the choices, you can click here and for a better picture of the Antique Smoke necklace, you can click here.
Otherwise, that's all I got until sometime next week when I return from tradeshow hell.
Have a nice weekend and try to stay cool (if you live in So Cal where it will be umptymillion degrees).
Thursday, May 08, 2008
My son will be "graduating" from pre-school next month and headed to kindergarten in the fall (that's assuming there still IS a kindergarten after the budget cuts) and I wanted to thank his wonderful pre-school teacher for doing such a great job and working so patiently with both the kid and me during the year so I put this necklace together:
This design was made much easier by the fantastic lampwork beads from artist Criss Hunt. I just added some black onyx rounds, red Czech firepolish beads, Bali silver, a little judicions wire-wrapping and finished the whole thing off with a sterling silver box clasp set with black onyx.
I especially love the little bookworm - he adds so much personality to the piece.
I've got a couple of other goodies almost finished...they're just waiting for the perfect clasps to come along to complete the design. I couldn't find anything in my stash that was both the right size AND the right color so I ordered some things. They arrived yesterday and...still not right. GRRR!
Looks like more shopping in my future (oh darn!).
Also in my future, as I just learned today, is an Art Clay Silver class. YAY! I've been wanting to take one for several years but just couldn't seem to find the time. I also know I'll never be able to afford a kiln so it seemed like a waste of effort to learn how to use the clay but not be able to fire it. However, I've learned there are some alternatives to kiln firing the clay that are actually affordable so who knows? This may open up a whole new world for me.
How awesome would it be to make my own charms and pendants to add to my jewelry? I know...totally awesome ;-) Plus, I still have all my rubber stamping supplies and I know the stamps (and maybe some of the mica powders and stains, etc.?) will be useful for working with the clay.
Class is May 24th at Brea Beadworks in Brea, CA. I can hardly wait!!
Music: None - my ipod shuffle ran out of juice and is sitting on the re-charger right now :-(
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
It's very important (and also kinda difficult) to be as informed and knowledgeable as possible about the various kinds of stones on the market when you are a jewelry designer. Not only do you want to be able to accurately identify your materials when talking to customers, but you also need be able to accurately judge quality and pricing when shopping for your materials.
Case in point: turquoise. I can't tell you how much fake turquoise I see at gemshows that is priced and marked as the genuine stone. In fact, there's so much fake stuff that there are even gradations of "fake" (turquoise dust mixed with binders, chalk/resin dyed to a turquoise color, howlite dyed to a turquoise color, plastic, etc.) Although, I suppose an argument could technically be made that beads made from turquoise dust ARE "genuine turquoise," but I would personally disagree with that.
While you're checking out the index, be sure to do some shopping as well. R&T is a great vendor!
Friday, May 02, 2008
And a detail shot of the clasp:
I wonder...does this change anyone's vote on the poll (see the right side of the blog page to participate if you haven't voted yet or to change your vote if you want to).
Here's a new set I just finished last night:
I started with an iridescent metal leaf pendant and decided to pick out the purpley sheen it has by adding Swarovski pearls in a deep purple-blue shade and some other copper beads. I had enough pieces left over to make a matching bracelet and earrings. The clasp on the necklace is a really pretty copper toggle, but I could NOT get the camera to take a decent picture of it so here's the scanned version:
They look completely different, don't they? The pendant looks better in the scanned shot, but the pearls look more true-to-life in the camera shots.
When will they make a camera or scanner that has an "auto-jewelry picture" function? That's what I want to know!
Happy weekend, all!
Music: "Love in Store" by Fleetwood Mac