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Category Archives: Musings

Shop Update!

A ton of earrings and pendants in my new series, Springflower, and lots of rings are now up for sale at my shop. I’ve also updated the gallery and added a set (with more to follow).

Birthday present pour moi

My birthday was the first of this month and I decided I needed something fabulous to wear. Aquamarine is (one of) my birthstone(s) and I bought this strand of chips at my reiki healer’s with the intention of making something for myself; my throat chakra is all messed up and aquamarine is supposed to help. I was wearing it at work when I just picked up the phone to call a stranger and didn’t realize until I was partway through the call what I’d done; usually I panic and have to take several deep breaths before being calm enough to do that. But hey, if nothing else, it’s pretty! It’s a four-strand braid. I had no idea how I was going to do this, I seriously made it up as I went along. The chunks in the pendant I already had; this is the second try at a pendant, the first one suuuuucked.

Jewellery Fabrication Class

What a great course! I made a ton of things, and learned a lot. Like, I know how to solder now! WITH FLAMES. I am invincible! This ring keeps migrating from my ring finger to my thumb, on both hands. I love it so much. I torch-soldered every single joint and it HELD. A bracelet I also flame-soldered. Not so much with the holding together – the wire was much thicker, and when I hammered it, it flew apart. Hence the wire-wrapping :) I wish I’d gone a little smaller with it though, I think it overwhelms my hand. I’m very proud of this, as I thought up the way to set this amazing dyed shell cab all by myself, and the instructor was all, “that’s a really good idea! Huh!” AND I made it work! I’m very impressed with myself. Plus, I reallllly love the hammered look. This is a ring I started many years ago, before I had a clue what I was doing. I had cut the wire too short (I thought) and didn’t have the right tools or really any idea what was going on. I ground off some edges and hammered it all around for that beautiful textured look, and it’s now permanently (sorta) on my left ring-finger. This was a cufflink my mom had of her dad’s; I cut them apart and set about making earrings. The one on the right I did first, and just as I soldered on the ring, it moved. And melted (see the blob?). the miracle is that I was able to angle the ring on the other one in exactly the same place! I had the ear wires already. Mom is really pleased :) Another bracelet, made from one of my grandmother’s spoons. Worst photo ever, but it fits and suits me so well I may never take it off. Brass, copper and silver wire, soldered, braided, and soldered again. Messy! But who cares! A ring made from another of my grandmother’s spoons. This one has her (our) monogram on it, a B.. if you look really closely you can see it on the fat part. Some random pendants I made. On the left, the beginning of a full necklace. The top piece is left over from the spoon bracelet I made, and it’s got a wee sea turtle and some aquamarine. I’ve got two more pieces of spoon in roughly the same shape that I’m going to attach to the sides, and lots more aquamarine and a wee fish and a seahorse. I’m going to find some liver of sulphur when i’m done, to darken up the hammered bits, like the inside of the turtle. On the right, some wire that I had WAY too much fun with, melting the ends until they turned into blobs. I’m not sure what else I’ll do with this.. something, though. And finally, a sword made for a very good friend. He can either wear it as a pendant, or prop it on his desk. I had a lot of fun with it. No power in the ‘verse can stop me.

Collar

I took a jewellery fabrication course over the past two weekends. But while I’m processing photos of those, check out this collar I dreamed up one day at work and just finally sat down to make:

I’m exceptionally proud.

News

I’m taking a Jewellery Fabrication course over the next two weekends – 24 hours in total – and I’m totally psyched. Over the weekend I attended the Atlantic Craft Trade Show, a journey that helped me clearly define the direction I’m going in by highlighting what I do NOT want to do: wholesaling. Not interested. I want to stay small, do local craft markets and home jewellery shows, and focus on unique pieces with meaning. Yes ladies, that means my wedding crowns are just around the corner :) I’ll be teaching four classes in basic wire-wrapping over the next couple of months, which is exciting; they’ll be paying for the fabrication course I’m taking. I love when the world balances out. OK. Lots of ideas teeming, no time to get them out! I’ll be back after the weekend with some photos of my new fabricated pieces. Very exciting!

4-Strand Braided Wire

Taking inspiration from the lovely Kate Holly-Clark, including her beautiful trees; and from various other sources, I searched for and found some online instructions on how to create a four-strand braid. Most of them were really verbose and devoid of any visual aids; but I found this great hair braiding site that had the simplest instructions: twist and cross. Awesome. So I made this: …which came out shockingly well for a first try. Oh, and look, copper! Then I decided to try it with double strands: …which I suppose I should have taken a photo of the sides so you can see the weave. But the exciting part is that if I hadn’t done any of that fooferah around the outsides, this piece is entirely reversible (as is the first). So then, I thought, why not wrap the weave across the front of something? It came out OK but I distorted it a bit at the top: And finally, I took two pieces of beach rock that a local artist collected and created cabs out of, and made a single pendant. This one is so totally mine:

For Elinor

My friend the lovely Elinor got me a great deal on some wholesale beads a few times; in return I promised her a couple of pieces with her materials. You’ve seen The Earth in the Night Sky already; here’s the second piece, with her gorgeous labradorite cabs.

A shot of the piece as a whole:

And tilted a bit to see some of the flash:

And finally, with my hand, for both scale (it’s huuuge) and to see some of the orange flash in the third piece:

I’m VERY pleased. I hope she is too!

Necklace Crown

I think I screwed up my camera settings; pictures keep coming out all grainy and I have to resize and de-noise and brighten and colour correct, and it’s no fun whatsoever. But! Look! A necklace that could be worn as a crown:

And a commission for my friend Elinor, called “The Earth in the Night Sky”:

Light Box!

I followed (vaguely) some instructions for creating your own light box today. Basically, I cut out the sides of a box, covered them in tissue paper, and inserted a piece of white cardboard for a backdrop. I still need to play with it, but I’m very pleased.

At first, I didn’t have the top hole cut large enough and I couldn’t get enough light in the front:too-dark emerald

So I cut the hole bigger:
better

Which is a fantastic improvement. But when I brought the photos into Photoshop, there’s still a huge gap in the white balance. I definitely need a second light, but I couldn’t find one anywhere in the house that I was willing to unplug. I guess it’s off to Zellers today!

excellent!

I also took some photos of the Labradorite pendant I made in the same style. One in the light box, looking very bland:
labradorite

And one in my hand under a direct light to show the brilliance of the labradorescence (the top flash actually gets redder in certain light:
flashy!

I don’t think I could love these two pendants more. Also new on the worktable recently: Crowns! Ok, just one for now, but the second one is already better than the first. This one isn’t really great, but I learned a lot from it and it’s pretty cute.
Crown Front
First - Side