Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Supplies

Rings & Things was in town this week for their one day bead show. I looked forward to this show since I completely avoided purchasing beads when attending Bead Fest in August.
I'm planning on incorporating some of these beads into my Longfellow Necklaces, especially the Keshi pearls.
The African jasper (that resembles turquoise) will probably be paired with the orange African trade beads.
My favorites are the faceted aquamarine rondelles that are at the top and the faceted pink quartz teardrops. They have so many tiny facets that they appear to shimmer when light hits them. They are so beautiful that I just might have a hard time using them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Bangles

Yesterday's efforts yielded some new bangles.
Last year, I had etched some bangles but was frustrated with uncertainty. I knew that the bangles needed 'more', but I didn't know what that 'more' should be.
I think I found it.
I was experimenting with a corrugator and loved the texture that I was able to get on pieces of annealed copper. I knew that my bangles needed more texture and realized this could be a happy marriage of materials.
Using the metal guillotine, I cut the corrugated copper into strips which were then cut to appropriate lengths and rivet set onto my bangles.
Sometimes it takes a while to find the right inspiration, and sometimes it's worth the wait.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Longfellow Pendants

Earlier this year, I used the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to make a pendant that was the focus of a long, wire wrapped necklace.
I decided to go back to my stash of lovely brass utensils and my old book, 'Voices of the Night and Other Poems' written by Longfellow and published by Hurst & Co. in 1898.
Yes, I cut up old books....ones that tattered and of little value from a collector's point of view.
I used my jeweler's saw to cut off the bottom potion of the utensils. I removed the pieces of caramel-swirl bakelite that were broken and saw cut the rivets, making them flush with the underlying brass. Cut edges were filed and sanded smooth.
I searched through my Longfellow book, looking for phrases that would be able to fit within the limited dimensions of my utensil pendants.
The poetic phrases will be sealed with a gel medium and then coated in a 2-part resin.
Then I'll be ready to make my collection of Longfellow necklaces.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I recently overheard someone commenting on the decline in the number of people attending church. I am not aware of the relevant statistics, but I would suspect that there is truth in the comment. What I heard next in this unintentionally eavesdropped conversation continues to bother me- disdain for people who say that they are spiritual in spite of having no church affiliation.
The definition, in part, of spiritual in my Webster's dictionary: "of the spirit or the soul as distinguished from the body or material matters; of or concerned with the intellect; the ascendancy of the spirit showing much refinement of thought and feeling."
While my sons and I do belong to and attend a church in our community, I have always felt strongly that spirituality does not only exist within the confines of organized religion.
We are all surrounded by people who willingly give of their time, resources and talents to benefit a greater good, and many of those efforts are done independent of a church or religious sponsorship.
Those efforts speak to me of spirituality.
During my thrift store searches, I am always drawn to religious medals that physically represent the concept of spirituality. Some are worn in places making me wonder if the previous owner found comfort or strength when holding the medal.
I find a real comfort when incorporating one of these charms into a piece of jewelry.
I recently completed this necklace, 'My Only Recourse', inspired by a vintage Blessed Mary charm that I found at the local thrift store.
Inscribed around the edge of the charm is 'O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee'.
The charm is attached to a sterling wire wrapped, faceted quartz crystal bead which dangles from a vintage piece of brass filigree.
The sterling chain is wire wrapped with pearls, amazonite, citrine and honey jade, and is finished with a clasp made with 16 gauge sterling wire.