Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We interupt this weekend report with.... earrings?

OK, I will admit it, I'm lazy when it comes to taking pictures. I took my camera with me last weekend... and ever got it out of the case! All the pictures I had last blog are from my friend Sue who isn't so lazy with the camera. I'm hoping to get few more pics soon from the trip, but it's my own fault for not taking a few with my own camera!! So here are a few earrings I've made recently, and hopefully I'll have more Weekend pictures next time.

First up, smokey quartz and sterling silver... these have serious dangle factor! I bought the smokey quartz at the Bead garage sale back in Feb.

For some reason, I've been fixated on hearts recently. Here is another version of Sterling wire hearts with 8mm Swarovski Crystals in sapphire.

I really like how these triangle earrings turned out! Sterling triangle frames around these gorgeous bezel cut triangle quartz beads... yummy!! I sold these the first time I showed them to anyone! I'm planning on making another pair maybe with more twisted wire for decoration. I have 2 pictures here of them, I've been playing with backgrounds again. I used my own triangle earwires on them, I just thought that was a perfect touch!

Last pair for today, turquoise rounds on sterling curvy swirly- thingies.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Weekend Part 1.........

Wow!! did we have fun!!!!! I don't want to write book.. so I'll keep it short and sweet... Here is a pic of PART of our living room, most of the stuff on the tables are Cathie's and Sue's beady stuff.. wow! you can almost hear the tables groan!

These pictures show me ( in the yellow) with Cathie (in the black) and Sue (in the pinkish) showing off our marvelous challenge pieces. Cathie's is a lovely elegant piece with taupe colored pearls mostly, and she wire wrapped a large pearl as the centerpiece. Sue's is a wild explosion of pearls.. she did corkscrew fringe in wire, with pearls and crystals on the ends. Everyone did such a good job on the challenge!!!
We beaded/made jewelry all weekend... Along with our formal PMC clay class we had 2 informal classes taught by me... more pictures are coming, but this pic shows my wire wrapping cab class. The blue cabs are vintage Japanese glass, the top left was done by Sue, the top right by Cathie, and the bottom blue one by me. I think everyone did such a good job.. especially Cathie, she's not been playing with wire very long... Sue had so much fun doing the first one she did the 4th one picture... carnelian agate.
More pics to come!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Green's the thing & my trip!

OK so these are not the best pictures. I've been experimenting by taking pictures via natural sunlight. While I've gotten some great shots this way, the light is way to harsh in these photos. This bracelet is my green challenge piece. The local bead society http://iowabeadsociety.blogspot.com/ each month has a color challenge. This month's was green, in honor of St Patty's day. The beads are carved Adventurine, wrapped with 22GA twisted sterling wire. April it's purple, I"ll have to come up with something kewl!!

Speaking of poor pictures, I know my challenge piece pics from last post are not the best. It's such a big necklace it's hard to get good photos! Still I tried again this weekend, and one of the close-ups turned out really well so here is a good pic of my challenge:

And Speaking of the challenge... I'm soooo excited!! Tomorrow I leave for Omaha for my Girl's weekend with my South Dakota Friends Cathie and Sue... I finally get to see their challenge pieces... and among many other activities, we are taking a PMC (percious metal clay) class, and I"m going to teach them how to make sterling silver leaf earrings, as shown in the last photo... but SHHH! it's a secret, they don't know it yet... hehehe!! So I hope everyone has as much fun as I do this weekend!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

South Dakota Challenge part II

Once I had the frames reshaped, I decided to add a touch of color. I used crayons since I'm not selling this piece, that way if it does run in the future it's my bad and on my clothes not a customer!! It's just a touch of color, in the crevices of the sterling where I textured the rings. I hammered them flat, then used stamps to give them the design... I used a different stamp on each ring. I sealed the crayon in ( hopefully) with a micro-crystalline sealant. Originally I was going to have 9 rings in necklace, but after laying them out, I decided 5 rings was fine ( I've since thought of changing it to just 3 rings, but I've gotten death threats from my friends who don't think I should change anything)

I then started to weave in the pearls. I added 4 colors of crystals, because heck, I like crystals, and I thought the pearl mix was low on purples. I added in 3 purples and 1 redish color (the old version of ruby..yummy! I only have a few left of the old stock!)

When I've made the bracelets I don't really have any structured path of weaving, I just sort of go to town til it looks good to me. I decided to structure the rings more like a spiderweb, so I looped each wire through the prior loop, until I'm in the middle. I really like how this turned out, and I will be doing more of these in the future. It looks sort of lacy...

I used 20GA sterling to make bow tie spiral links, and connected them with 14GA half-round wire lightly hammered.

I think it looks great! I wish the pictures were better, this is so big it's hard to get good pics of it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

South Dakota Challenge 2009 Part I.......

For the last 3 years, my very good friends Sue and Cathie (from South Dakota) and I have gotten together at least once a year to party, make jewelry, girl talk and generally have a heck of a good time together. Typically we find a nice hotel in Omaha, NE and met up for the weekend.. Omaha happens to be almost exactly (by drive time) the same distance away from their home as it is from mine. We have various little rituals and traditions when we get together, like any good girlfriends do... and we added a new one last year. We got the same beads and challenged each other to make a project to show off the next time we met. We had a fabulous time picking out the beads and putting something together. We had to do it again... For this Year I got a great little Christmas package in the mail from the ladies, and it included the cutest little plastic box chock full of pearls. I just stared at the stash off and on for a few days, I just didn't have any good ideas. I had to force myself to sketch out some ideas. Below is the sketch that finally took...

The idea was to adapt a project I've made before, a version of my "crayon id" bracelets. (I've reposted a picture of one of them) Only this time I wanted to solder the frames closed and connect them in a huge neck piece. As you can see on the bracelet, it's not soldered but connected by wrapping. I love this look, but I seriously wanted to try it soldered to see how it looks that way. The last picture shows the frames after soldering but before I cleaned them, filed and sanded them and reshaped them. More to follow in part II

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Daydreams in oil spills"

OK, see the lovely sketch? LOL. Quite a few of my projects now start out as a sketch that only I can read, as my drafting skills lacks, well, skill. But my translation skills, ah, I think that's a project with improvement! This necklace is made out of Titanium that I shaped, pounded, textured and colored in my class. Then I added in the pearls. You know how you see things in clouds? I see things in clouds, in flowers, in the recyling bin, and in water puddles with oil in them... and I sketch. I didn't always sketch, it's something I've been doing for 3 or so years now. I wish I had sketched when I started making jewelry, 12 odd years ago! You see, as an artist I get ideas all the time. Sometimes they happen in inconvenience places... say at one's day job. Old me would most likely forget the idea... new and improved Sketching me won't. I write it down or do a quick doodle. Just something to capture the idea. I don't always remember to get it down... but I loose fewer ideas now. Not all the ideas bear fruit, like this one did, but it's good to get them out of my head... sometimes when I can't get it sketched out, I go CRAZY! until I get something of it down on paper!

OK, this piece is approximately 21 inches long, and I stuck to "oil slick" type colors. Coloring titanium isn't an exact science, but I"m pretty pleased with the results. I got a good range of colors on the pieces. Each piece was dipped separately, and then I put it together with the fresh water pearls. The larger pieces are 18 and 16GA, I wrapped the pearls on with 28GA. This was a fun piece. I'm hoping the titanium and Niobium pieces do well this summer, so I can buy me an anodizer and experiment some more!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More photo experiements.....

This weekend before I got sick I purchased more photo paper to experiment with photos. Below are 2 pictures, 1 using the dark grey linen, and 1 with the marble-ly light grey. Wow! the titanium colors really pop on these papers! Which do you like better, the dark grey or the light? let me know..... Tomorrow I'll finally get pics up of the titanium necklace.. these are the earrings to it btw.....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More handcrafted earwires......

I thought I would show more of my experiments with handcrafted earwires... this time actually attached to the rest of the earring! First up is an all in one heart design, I actually made this around Valentines' day but it took me abit to get pictures done. This pair I made with crystals. Second pair up is the round style, which I though perfectly complimented the wirework on the earrings.. doing these loop in loops were fun!

Next is my leaf or feather earwires, with a simple faceted agate beads I purchased at the beadfair 2 weeks ago. Yummy!

Ok it's hard to see them in this picture, but the earwires are just simple ones, made with a ball on the end... The fab beads btw is again lampwork beads from Jodie Marshall. It's kind of funny, I bought some new ones from her, and as I was putting them away ran across these, and just had to make more earrings! I've been on an earring kick!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Titanium and Niobium finished jewelry... woo hoo!

I love these first earrings... made of titanium, I added pearls... I made the earwires also.. same with earrings pair 2... the bead is another pearl in this really wonderful dark dark Capri color, hard to tell that from the photo.

Next up is my "crayon id" bracelet design, only the base of this one is Niobium. Last is a pair of vintage crystals with a coil of titanium around them, on titanium earwires. I'll more stuff in the future.