Lighting Up Your Life!

Started yesterday, and finished lunchtime today, these earrings feature mookite, Botswana agate, amethyst and red manmade crystals. The findings are handmade.

Chandeliers

Chandeliers

I departed from jewellery making briefly, to make some novelty items for the grandchildren.  Here’s one as a sample:

Wyatt

Wyatt


I’d like to point you to an online shop for handmade jewellery.  CinLynn Design and Boutique offers some really beautiful jewellery, and her prices are extraordinarily fair!  In fract, having seen many of the items she has made, I’ve even been converted to pearls!  You certainly won’t regret visiting her shop!

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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 🙂  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 🙂  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!

The News On The Wire…

Yesterday (Sunday), saw an increase in activity involving wire. Jenny and I were both working on different projects, with the sole exception being wire wrapping undrilled stones. In fact, I made a fairly good number of things. Unfortunately, I don’t yet have a photo of one of the items I’m particularly pleased with. I find wieworking challenging but it offers vast possibilities for expressing what creativity I own 😉  This is exhibited by the first item I have to show:

Summer Days Comb

Summer Days Comb

This is a first. Hopefully I can improve on the look and how to make decorative combs. As I was making it all up as I went, I’m kind of pleased with the result. The comb was well hammered to help harden the wire, before the gemstones were added.  The gemstones were aventurine, Botswana agate and mookite chips.

Second is a variation on the Tree of Life, using a single interesting stone, which has no value but for that:

Tree of Life Pendant - Front

Tree of Life Pendant – Front

Tree of Life Pendant - Back

Tree of Life Pendant – Back

Third, another piece involved wire wrapping an undrilled stone.  This was kind of heart-shaped and a very deep red-brown.  I couldn’t possibly not turn it into a pendant:

Red Stone Heart Pendant - Front

Red Stone Heart Pendant – Front

Red Stone Heart Pendant - Back

Red Stone Heart Pendant – Back

 

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 🙂  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

Getting Experimental!

I’ve never really been one to stick with one or two tried-and-trusted techniques in anything. It’s inevitable, then, that I’d end up exerimenting with jeellery making. The two necklaces I’ve just finished reflect that. Of course, I only have Jenny to provide immediate feedback so I’d love to hear what you think of these designs 😉 Do they work? Does only one work? Do make allowances for the fact that Reborn is a gemstone necklace while J is all man-made beads!

Some years ago, Jenny happened to find a bundle of jewellery that somebody had tossed into the  “skip” they’d hired. OK, so it was all broken and appeared to be very old, and probably “costume” jewellery. Despite all that, or maybe because of it, Jenny rescued it all. It’s quite possible that there are stories behind the pieces – maybe years of happy memories tied to tokens of love. It pleases us to think so, knowing that we’ll be recycling as much as we can so they’ll not be lost forever in some landfill! Reborn is based on a section of a broken bracelet. Way back, I made a few findings that I planned to use to make “chandelier” earrings, but never quite got there LOL. It happens that one of these plus one section of old bracelet fitted together perfectly! I added Picasso jasper, mookite, botswana agate, amethyst and an unidentified gemstone. Thus, Reborn.

"Reborn" Necklace

“Reborn” Necklace

The second necklace, which like Reborn includes a pendant, is obviously made for Jenny! It’s really an ensemble design – a sort of jewellery collage 🙂 The “J” is on 0.60mm wire, which was also used to make the loosely wound section. That wire was again used for the part beaded in pink and clear beads. The upper part is made of tiger tail, the “gold” beads helping to hide the crimps. Finally, the same wire was used to make the catch. (By the way, I made the catch on Reborn too, to a very similar pattern!)

"J" Necklace

“J” Necklace

Here’s a close-up photo of the catch:

"J" Necklace - Catch Close-up

“J” Necklace – Catch Close-up

I rather like these catches, though perhaps I shoudn’t say so! It’s good to know that I’ll always have a clasp available. And the clasp is easy to use!

 

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 🙂   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

Mini-Pearl Roses and Amazing Links

Pearl Rose Mesh Necklace

Pearl Rose Mesh Necklace

This woven mesh necklace features real freshwater pearls, in a cluster of four rather like a dog rose flower. All the other beads are man-made. It’s very pretty in real life. I’m currently working on a pattern of my own which I hope to unveil tomorrow or Thursday this week.

You may be interested in my recent discoveries on the Web. First up is Scientific Wire Co., or the retail arm thereof! Scientific Wire suppply the best quality wire products we’ve found. Go along to wires.co.uk to take a look and, hopefully, do some shopping. We recently placed an order for a kilo of 0.8mm (20 gauge) silver plated copper wire (that’s about 220m!) on a mid-morning and the parcel turned up at 8:30 the next day! You can’t beat that LOL. That’s the “proven” suppplier. Second, we come to Semi-Precious Beads. This online shop, part of The Bead Lagoon Ltd., which also has a bricks-and-mortar shop in Sidmouth, Devon, supplies various semi-precious gems at fairly average prices, mostly. What attracted us, though, was the fact that they offer 36 inch long small (5-8mm) gemstone chips at really excellent prices! OK, so we don’t want to get stuck just ordering chips, or even chips and nuggets (the pairing that constitute “gemlets”), but we certainly don’t mind using the best of them for some projects, and 36 inches of them will last much better than the usual 15-16 inch strands LOL. Have a loook at semipreciousbeads.co.uk and see for yourself! Third and last, we come to the informational site, The Mineral and Gemstone Kingdom. This is an excellent A to Z site of gems and minerals, giviing detailed data for each item in their database, including the best use of the gemstones. If you’re serious about your addiction to gems, this is a must-visit web site! So pop along to minerals.net to feed ytour addiction! Have fun…

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