Monday, October 18, 2010

The Candy Store Comes to Town

I let myself loose in the candy store, otherwise known as the International Gem & Jewelry Show, which was in town this past weekend. I like to get my precious and semi-precious stones from some of the vendors who travel from India to take part in this show.

I came home with such a gorgeous bounty of beads- amethyst, aquamarine, blue topaz, carnelian, citrine, garnet, iolite and more.

I spent last night restringing all of the beads, putting them on thin fishing line with a loop on one end. I am a visual person and work best when I can actually see my inventory. I tried in the past to keep my beads in small containers but ended up spending too much time hunting for different items. I now keep most beads in full view, hanging in my work area. Restringing new beads is tedious, but worth the effort.
With the exception of a couple of large pieces of jasper, all of the beads that I bought are faceted. A premium price is paid for the faceting due to the work involved, and I pay that premium because of the way the facets capture and reflect light.

These earrings were made with soldered sterling rings that were reshaped and/or textured. I used my rolling mill to shape the oval rings. Three passes, with increased pressure each time, got the desired shape. Aquamarine and quartz crystal beads were wrapped with sterling wire.
Small garnet beads wrapped with sterling wire were used in this pair. The texturing on both pairs of earrings was done with steel stamps.

I have a small collection of steel stamps that I sometimes use when I want to add a pattern or texture to a piece. Old screwdrivers and chisels that I find at thrift stores are also great for adding texture.

And, completely unrelated...........the week got off to a beautiful start.

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