Give Us A Ring Anytime…

A few days ago, when we were making the Trees of Life, I found an amethyst chip that struck me as being perfect for a ring! ¬†Amethyst being Jenny’s birthstone, it just had to be made for her, of course ūüôā ¬†I’d had a few goes at making rings but I’d never been entirely happy with them. ¬†This time, it turned out much better! ¬†In fact, I’ve been asked to make one ¬†like it for a friend ūüôā ¬†Have to get some more amethyst chips first! LOL! ¬†Many of these rings have the actual ring wrapped with a lighter wire, but I opted not to wrap this one.

Amethyst Ring

Amethyst Ring

There are many sites online that can help if you’re inmterested in wire working.¬† One of the best is Wire-Sculpture.com, take a look at Gold Filled Wire for one of their popular lines of wire!¬† You’ll find that there’s a wealth of information there.¬† CGMaille.com and MAIL (Maille Artisans International League) are excellent sites for information on chain maille.¬† I certainly recommend having¬† a go – it’s very rewarding!

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By Moonlight…

Very recently, our eldest (Damien) gave me some beads, including moonstone!¬† Now moonstone is one of my birthstones, so it was very appropriate.¬† It was essential that I make something special, with other gems.¬† After some thought, I decided to make an illusion necklace, combining aventurine and moonstone, on monofilament thread.¬† It would be my first effort!¬† I’m quite pleased with the outcome ūüôā¬†¬† Strangely, the moonstone round reacted powerfully to the flash,¬† producing a fiery glow!

Illusory Moon Necklace

Illusory Moon Necklace

The wire cone I made myself, using my round nose pliers.

In my stash was a strand of Picasso jasper puffy coins.  While using these, I noticed that some had such beautiful markings on their faces that it would be a shame to, effectively, hide them by stringing them normally.  As a result, I turned four of them into a pair of earrings:

Picasso Jasper Earrings

Picasso Jasper Earrings

For the Love of Jenny…

There is no doubt in my mind. ¬†My jewellery making efforts originate in my fascination with gemstones and, more powerfully, my love of Jenny. ¬†In the case of the former, it represents the fact that I would¬†¬†love¬†to become a gemologist, an ambition which is sadly unrealistic. ¬†The latter case¬†is something I can and will continue to demonstrate. ¬†So, these new items are most definitely in pursuit of the second, and primary, motivation! ¬† Oh, and you’re likely to find that amethysts feature frequently, because amethyst is Jenny’s birthstone.

First up on the ‘gemwalk’ ¬†is an earring set, which I rather lamely called the Triplets Set. ¬†Inspired by nothing more than possession of the rather beautiful findings from the¬†Precious Accents range by Cousin Corporation of America (indubitably my favourite accessories supplier!). ¬†The gemstones are carnelian, smoky quartz, garnet and amethyst.

Triplets Earring Set

Triplets Earring Set

The following is the Amethyst Falls Set.  Based on a desire to make an attractive but minimalist piece, it obviously required something other than my usual stringing material.  The necklace is based on oval chain.  The drops are populated with smoky quartz nuggets, as a weight, and amethyst chips.  The two flanking drops terminate in eyes, to permit some degree of adaptation, so that the necklace may have different looks.  The earrings reflect the centre drop of the necklace, and features the same gemstones.

Amethyst Falls Set

Amethyst Falls Set

I’m happy to say that Jenny loved them!

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

My Favourite Gemstones : Jasper

Jasper comes in many guises. ¬†There are very few that I don’t like but there are some that I most definitely favour. ¬†Picture, Landscape, Paintbrush and Picasso Jasper are very high on my “must have” list! ¬†It’s a rare piece of jasper that has no markings but still it is amazing how often it manages to mimic other gemstones. ¬†That’s not actually the attraction for me, though. ¬†I love the patterns that this brand of Silicon Dioxide displays, thanks to the presence of other substances (“inclusions”).

I’ll admit that I’m not inclined to believe in the healing properties ascribed to various gemstones but I do find it fascinating that ¬†I was drawn to jasper very early on. ¬†I’ve been suffering from chronic pancreatitis and jasper¬†is claimed to be of help in the pancreas, and against sciatica and toenail problems. ¬†A strange coincidence!?!

I haven’t yet been making jewellery for long enough to determine a definite favourite stone shape or treatment. ¬†So far, I’ve only been able to actually work with picture jasper rounds, but I’m definitely keen on obtaining other forms and shapes. ¬†Priorities have to be rondelles and coins, as well as larger pieces than the 8mm rounds I’ve used. ¬†I’d also like to obtain particular types: large picture, paintbrush, Picasso, Imperial and white-spotted-blue/blue-spotted-white. ¬†Of course, if other varieties make themselves available at the right price…. LOL!

As I was born in June and find pearls not suited to me, as a male, I’d be very happy indeed to have jasper as a “birthstone”. Sadly, alexandrite and m0onstone have already been selected as alternatives…

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