Friday, October 17, 2008

Last Jewelry Birthday Gift of the Year!

Piece Name: Argentium Silver/Freshwater Pearls Pendant and Earrings Set

My youngest sister's birthday is this month. I wanted to make her some earrings using silver and these really nice oval shaped pinkish/purplish freshwater pearls. I actually made the pendant first and didn't like it for an earring and set it aside thinking I wasn't going to use it. I experimented and came up with these earrings. They aren't from any designer in particular, but they are inspired by earrings I've seen in my books and magazines. I am mostly happy with them and would do things a little differently on second implementation, but they turned out nice enough to use for a gift. Heck I'd wear them! I looked back at my first aborted earring attempt and thought that would make a nice matching pendant...and so it now is. I hope my sister likes these. She is PICKY!

These are made with Argentium Silver wire in gauges 18, 22, and 24 in dead soft. The freshwater pearls are pinkish/purplish in color and measure about 7mm, maybe 7.5mm.

Completed October 17, 2008.

One Melissa, Two Melissa!

Piece Name: "Golden Scrolls Paisley"

I belong to a lot of Yahoo groups dedicated to various methods of handmade jewelry making. An artist by the name of Melissa Muir was mentioned. I visited her website. Her jewelry is just exquisite. I was taken with many of her pieces, but this one inspired me and just stayed on my mind. Later on I sat down in my studio and started doodling with that piece in memory. I don't use the same techniques as Melissa used to make her piece, but knew I could make something inspired by that piece using the techniques I do employ. And so after much doodling, "Golden Scrolls Paisley" was born. It is almost identical to the final doodle except I removed one scroll.

This one is a keeper and I envision putting it on a burgandy cord of some sort. It is quite large...but I LOVE large jewelry that makes a statement. It is made with rolled gold in wire gauges 16, 18, and 24. The frame and center scroll are 16 gauge half hard. The other scrolls are 18 guage dead soft, and the coiling is 24 gauge dead soft. I worked on this piece on and off for three days. I'd work until I got sick of it!!! Those scrolls were fiddly to attach and the coiling was tedious! But I was diligent and I always returned to make a little more progress. I am quite proud of the result and that it was my very own design from start to finish thanks to Melissa's inspiration pendant! Thanks Melissa! Please do visit Melissa's website.

Completed: Early October 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jewelry Gifties A Plenty!

Piece Name: "Smokey Pearls" Earrings and "Liquid Links" Bracelet

Like I said in the previous post, September is a big jewelry gifting month for me. This post discusses the gifties I gave my sister for her birthday. My sister adores pearls and has several pieces of purchased pearl jewelry from her trips to Hawaii. I figured she'd like one more! So I created these earrings for her. They are made with Argentium Silver, Freshwater Pearls, and Smokey Quartz. The design inspiration is from Marie Lee Carter in the Winter 2006 "Step by Step Wire" Magazine. These use 18 amd 24 guage round Argentium silver wire, 7mm freshwater pearls, and 7.5mm smokey quartz faceted briolettes. These went together in 45 minutes and wear very nicely. They flounce and dazzle with body movement. My sister loves the length and has already requested a duplicate using blues and greens so they have a ocean feeling to them. I'll be happy to oblige!

I love jewelry sets so I just had to create an accompanying bracelet. So this Argentium Silver bracelet was born. The design is by Pepper Mentz in the Fall 2005 "Step by Step Wire" Magazine. The bracelet measures 8 inches and uses 18 guage round argentium silver wire. This one took me about an hour and a half or so. It is easy to make but a bit fiddly so you have to be friends with your tools or if you're a newbie have patience. I'd love to do this bracelet again in a hunky guage of wire. I am happy to report that these gifties were well received!

Both pieces Completed late September 2008.

Earrings! A Jewelry Making Gifter's Best Friend!

Piece Name: "Woven Amethyst Earrings"

My sister's birthday is September 20th and her mother-in-law's birthday is September 21st. They both love jewelry and they both love earrings. This is awesome for me as a gift giver! This post will discuss the earrings I made for her mother-in-law and the post after this one will talk about the birthday gifts for my sister.

These are Argentium Silver and Amethyst Drop Earrings. The design is inspired from Lisa Newton in the Spring 2008 "Step by Step Wire" Magazine. I used 18 and 24 guage round argentium silver wire and 5mm amethyst drops. These earrings took me approximately 4 hours to make, 95% of that the weaving. This was the first time I bent wire to a pattern (the framework) and then had to do it a second time to match. I came pretty darn close and am quite pleased. These earrings are bold but not overly so. If they didn't take an exhaustive 4 hours to make I would have made me a set too. I may just day!

Completed: Late September 2008

Purple Beads Always Work...Even if It's Not as You Originally Intended!

Piece Name: Purple Foil Majesty

This September I had a flurry of jewelry making and quilt making (nothing finished in the quilt arena yet...all still in progress). This is mainly because my studio is sooooo hot in the summer even with the air on that I don't do a lot of quilting or jewelry making then. But come September's crisper nights and cooler days I have returned to my studio again! I missed it!

Upon returning to my studio this is the first jewelry piece I made. It is a Purple Metallic Foil Lampwork bead (maker unknown) and Argentium Silver Necklace. The Design inspiration is from Kerry Bogert's bracelet in the book "Wire Style" by Denise Peck. I originally wanted to make a bracelet too, but I wanted to use more beads than the original design's three. So I shortened up the wires a bit and played. What I found was that this bracelet didn't wear well along the curvature of my wrist and in fact I don't think the original design would have either. It was so pretty though, so I was going to use it come heck or high water! I lengthened it figuring it would wear well as a necklace. I was right. This necklace wears so nicely and has weight but isn't heavy. It is bold and makes a statement but isn't over the top. I love it and wear it often and it receives compliments often. I wish I remembered where I got those beads because they are amazing!

This necklace uses lampwork beads and 16 guage round argentium silver wire and sterling silver beads.

Completed late September 2008.