Tree and Owl

Today has been quite productive. I finally got round to trying my hand at making a Tree Of Life pendant. In fact, Jenny and I learnt to make them together ūüôā¬† Jenny made three to my one LOL!¬† For mine, I used mookite, Botswana agate, peridot, amethyst and aventurine chips. The wire was silver plated copper 0.8mm and brown 24 guage.¬† For the necklace, I used three aventurine chips plus two clusters of frosted “leaves” attached to “twigs” of the brown wire twisted together, all strung on monofilament.¬† The toggle clasp I made from scratch, using the 0.8mm wire.

Tree of Life necklace

Tree of Life necklace

Tree of Life close-up

Tree of Life close-up

Tree of Life clasp

Tree of Life clasp

Having completed the Tree Of Life, I moved on to something of a fun project.  I made an owl pendant from scratch, using the same wires as above plus a small amount of 28 gauge silver plated copper wire and a few mookite chips:

Owl pendant

Owl pendant

Beads of Clay

I was recently persuaded to have a go with polymer clay by Jenny. I’ll admit that one thing I was lacking was confidence! Combine that with no more than scraps of knowledge and I was definitely not working from a position of strength. Regardless, I had a vague idea of something to make as a major item, plus some smaller items. Of the smaller items, one set will appear at a later date: filigree bead caps. The rest of the items were all used in this project! I used Sculpey clay, which is less prone to staining hnds or oher surfaces.

In addition, this project features, in its simplest form, another new activity: Gizmo wire coiling! The Gizmo is a simple tool that can be used to achieve some remarkable results. In essence, it makes coiling wire extremely easy, and it’s in this most basic way tht I used it for this project, using light wires.

Sculpey Garden Necklace

Sculpey Garden Necklace

Sculpey Garden Necklace Close-up

Sculpey Garden Necklace Close-up

 

The close-up shows the polymer clay elements more clearly. The pendant has peridot and amethyst chps embedded in it, which are supposed to suggest flowers. The hexagonal bead and the three yellow beads lead up to the gemstone beads of the neckace. It is rich in gemstones! Aventurine chips, smoky quartz nuggets, amethyst chips, Picasso jasper rondelles, snowflake obsidian rounds and garnet rounds all combine with brown, red and bright copper wire in creating the necklace.

My Favourite Gemstones : Peridot

Peridot was one of the first gemstones that I bought, mainly because of the price-to-quantity ratio. That purchase consisted of a strand of small chips. When they arrived, and I drew the strand out of its rather cloudy zip-lock bag, I was stunned! These tiny chips were amazing. They shone with an inner light, in a way that I’d never seen before, especially in our lounge, which is seldom brightly lit. In fact, I’m happy to describe my reaction as one of awe!

I’ve since learnt that such tiny chips aren’t really that wise a purchase. Peridot is somewhat prone to breakage, and these tiny, jagged shapes are very vulnerable to damage. They are most likely to survive in jewellery that is more protected, such as earrings and necklaces. Bracelets and rings are not recommended, until larger stones are obtained.

Having seen peridot in real life, I now long to get some larger stones, preferably faceted (form is less important). That inner light I witnessed is, apparently, a well known characteristic. In fact, ancient miners are believed to have abstracted it at night!

I can heartily recommend peridot. Just remember that it must be treated gently!

Recently I learnt that peridot is the birthstone of one of my wife’s colleagues. ¬†As I still have some, it seemed to be right to make her a bracelet:

Corinna Bracelet

Corinna Bracelet

To Boldly Go….

OK, so I’m not going where “no man has gone before” as in the quotation! ¬†In fact, there are many men and women making jewellery. ¬†Probably more than ever before in our history! ¬†It is, however, very new for me! ¬†I’ve spent years watching my wife Jenny working on various beading projects, from 3D animals and flowers to exquisite jewellery sets. ¬†She’s tended to work mostly with seed beads and crystals as she loves their delicacy and flexibility. ¬†Of course, I said on many occasions that there was no way I could do anything like it, especially with beads that I could barely see, let alone find the holes in!

A few months ago, in the wee, small hours of the morning (I have major problems with sleeping!), television was so entertaining that I was browsing through the hundreds of entries in the on-screen guide provided by Sky. ¬†It was then that I discovered JewelleryMaker.Com. ¬†I was immediately¬†impatient¬†for Jenny to get up LOL! ¬†I just knew¬†that I’d found a very valuable channel for her beading hobby. ¬†What I didn’t realise, of course, was that my fate was sealed! ¬†The more I watched, the more fascinated I became. ¬†Before I knew what was happening, I was hooked! ¬†I just had¬†to get some gemstones and have a go…

I purchased a strand of purple/pink banded agate from Magpie Jewellery and a strand of peridot chips, of picture jasper rounds and a half-strand of faceted amethyst rounds, plus a set of antique gold tone heart-and-bar toggle clasps from The Crafty Beggar. ¬†I’ve used findings provided by Jenny to produce several pieces, some of which are below:

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