When I first got this stone in hand, I knew it was something I wanted to keep for myself (I’m a big fan of purple, AND labradorite. Didn’t know it came in purple!!) I made this alongside the labradorite demi-parure in June 2015; a few pictures overlap.
Last month was my mom’s birthday (hi Mom!), and I decided to make her a pendant using one of the stones I bought last summer from a fellow RAGMS member. I chose a blue-green oval, which the club member said was “turquoise” — not entirely incorrect. I believe it’s an Eilat stone: a combination of malachite, azurite, chrysocolla and turquoise (all copper-bearing minerals.) It’s a gorgeous stone, and I thought it would contrast well with Mom’s red hair and fair complexion.
I’m really happy with how this pendant turned out, I think it’s my best to date! I explained my design idea to my mentor, he broke it down into steps so I could work most efficiently, and I completed the piece in about 2.5 hours (a speed record, for me!)
As I was pressed for time, I only took a couple of in-progress photos (and didn’t want to post any more than these to Instagram or Facebook, for fear of ruining the surprise.) I soldered the bezel closed, then soldered the decorative beading wire closed in a ring, hammered it flat and fitted it to just outside the bezel, then soldered both to the back plate at the same time, which saved time, pain and stress. I then cut out a heart shape on the back plate, so the color of the stone would show through. (Definitely something I’d try doing again!)
As I said, I’m pretty pleased with how this ended up, and so was the recipient! ♥
If you follow my Instagram, you’ve seen that I’ve been busy this summer, making jewelry. I’ve been meaning to repost those progress photos here for a while, but, well, here it is, September. (I need to repost my Fabrication 3 class photos, too.)
I’ve been making a lot of pendants, and now I’m trying my hand at some earrings. Rings are always happening, I can’t make enough rings. A lot of the stones I have now are more pendant-size, but there will still be a few rings in there. And at least one pair of earrings. Stay tuned. [Read more…]
On July 2nd and 3rd, I had a booth at the Mt. Shasta 4th of July street fair (the Mt. Shasta Boulevard booths come down prior to the 4th, to clear the way for the fun run/walk, and the parade.) Although I have experience working and cashiering for someone else, this was the first sales booth I ran myself, with my own goods featured. It’s a lot of work! (Captain Obvious, at your service.)
It took a while to set up, mostly because I had a lot of things to display and arrange. I could swear my inventory grew overnight; I don’t recall there being as many when I put the tags on! (The pictures you see are from the first day; I didn’t have time to take any the second day.) I got a lot of compliments on the colors and decorations at my booth, and some great feedback on my jewelry.
That said, because the 4th fell mid-week, attendance was low, and I made only a few sales. (My little sister would like everyone to know that she made one of those sales, while I made a lunch run.) However, I now have a lot of inventory to try on consignment locally, and on my Etsy store, now open for business! (NOTE: Only some items pictured here will go on Etsy; if you see something you like, let me know and I’ll gladly put it aside for you!)
Fortunately, I earned enough from my sales to order more equipment for my gemology studies, and my posts will be swinging back in that direction for a while. Next up: a horribly belated account of my unexpected trip to San Francisco to hear a double lecture by one of the world’s great jewelry historians, Dr. Jack Ogden.
If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, this past month, well…. [points to post title] I will be selling my jewelry (for the very first time!) at the Mt. Shasta 4th of July street fair, July 2nd and 3rd, from 10 am to 7 pm. If you’re in the area, come find my booth on Mt. Shasta Boulevard! I’ll be somewhere between Castle Street and Alma Street. (Bonus points if you bring me a latte.)
In this post, let me show you the resin pendants I’ve made, using washi, postage stamps, and things snipped from magazines and calendars. At the heart of each piece is an image or paper/pattern, creatively cropped. I sometimes layer multiple images, or embed Swarovski crystal rhinestones, watch parts, beads and charms in the resin.
I fell in love with resin last fall; there’s always more to learn, but I think I’ve got a pretty good process going. One more batch to finish, and I’ll have almost 100 pieces to sell!
When I mentioned all this on Twitter, Fusion Beads asked to see my work (I buy my bezel pendants from them), so I tweeted some of the pictures shown here. Their response makes me giddy:
@manyfaceted Ur pieces are absolutely stunning! U have a great eye for framing. I <3 how you chose the perfect spot in ur beautiful papers!
— FusionBeads.com (@FusionBeads) June 20, 2012
I hope my work is as well-received when I get out there and sell! I’m pretty nervous, but excited too. Once the 4th is over, I’ll get started on Etsy, and see how it goes.
Next post, I’ll show you the beaded and wire jewelry I’ll have to offer. Stay tuned!
Introducing a new topic with this post: jewelry making! In the past month, I’ve had lessons in two new (to me) techniques: wire-wrapping, and silversmithing. I mostly make strung jewelry — I took up beads and stringing in high school. Last fall I dove into wire work, and resin/collage pendants; I adore both. Even before I started beading, I recognized the practical advantages of knowing your way around jewelry, from making one’s own accessories, to basic repairs. Broken clasp? Need to change out those ear wires? NO PROBLEM.
On Tuesday, I came away from my first silversmithing lesson with a pendant… not just any pendant, but something I feel I might have purchased. Something I designed, and executed. I’ve made lots of jewelry I’m happy with — I’ll be starting to sell it, this summer — but I’ve never had quite the feeling I did upon completion of this piece:
I admit, I was terrified of metalsmithing. Oh, I wanted to try it, I’ve been thinking about it for months now. But… well, it involves fire. And machinery. Hand tools. And I am more than
hair-brained clumsy skilled enough to thoroughly damage myself with any of those things. After months of being too afraid to pursue this next logical step in my jewelry making, I met a silversmith, Bob Sharp, at the Roxy Ann Gem & Mineral Show last weekend. He offers private lessons, and I found him a very patient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic instructor. (We also seem to have very similar design tastes, which helps. He was loath to let my pendant out the door! Ha.)
The first thing I made was a brass ring, to practice soldering. (Bob was kind enough to polish it up for me; it’s sitting on my desk, along with my first resin pendant.) I’ve never welded nor soldered, except two stained-glass projects a long time ago, which I’m told is an entirely different kind of soldering. It was enthralling to behold; I’m fascinated by how the metal heats and changes color, and how the solder flows toward the torch. It seems almost impossible that it all starts with tiny strips and pieces of metal, and that the assembled piece cleans up so nicely! After a lot of filing and polishing, that is.
Wire-wrapping is pretty difficult to learn from a book (which is why I paid for the class, although it didn’t help that the book I bought is not very beginner-y.) Seeing it done in person was enlightening, and though I’ll need to practice quite a bit before I feel comfortable, I understand more of the mechanics. I think I’ll be able to follow my book more easily, having seen and made the correct wrist motions (things that static pictures can’t really capture.)
As I gear up towards my first major attempt at selling jewelry, I’ll post more photos of my work. Stay tuned!