Sunday, May 24, 2015

Necklace of Summer

Part of my recycled copper stash has been on my workbench.
Years ago, I bought copper by the pound at one of the local metal recycling facilities.
I was surprised that I was allowed to look through the huge bins and gather what I wanted, so I grabbed as much as I could.
That was a great investment!
I had ideas for several necklaces and used one of recycled copper wire bundles to cut segments for links to be used in those necklaces.
Some of the links were simply hammered flat at each end and then drilled for connections.
Others were formed at each end with my favorite round nose pliers.
Some of the wire segments were shaped into clasps with one of my bail-forming clasps.
The first necklace included some blue agate beads that I've been itching to use.
The blue makes me think of cool water on a hot summer day which is good because we're due for our first heat wave of the season later this week.
Yikes....and it's not even summer.
Anyway...also included in the necklace are some of my new copper links and a new clasp, a faceted honey jade feature pendant, disc pearls and aquamarine.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Jewelry Community

Each year I take part in a few juried art/craft shows and each of those shows invariably includes an abundance of jewelry designers.
For security reasons, the various jewelry displays are often grouped together.
After one of these shows, a friend asked if I was frustrated by so much jewelry competition.
I said that I never feel like I'm competing with my fellow jewelry makers and explained that I think of our small community like a town that has a variety of good restaurants.
Much like each restaurant has unique menu focus, each jeweler has a unique design voice.
I am convinced that everyone benefits from each other's success.
I meet some of the nicest people when I start talking with my craft show jewelry neighbors.
I met Andrea Abrams-Herbert when we both took part in a holiday show at Main Line Art Center.
Getting to know the inspired designer of the jewelry that I was already familiar with made the show much more enjoyable for me.
Andrea's jewelry is beautifully crafted with sterling and wonderful bezel set gems.
Everything Andrea makes is one-of-a-kind...
and each piece captures her kind hearted spirit.
Andrea's work can be found at Woodmere Art Museum, Mount Airy Garage, Michener Art Museum and Langman Gallery.
I met Barbara Hanselman when our displays were adjacent to each other at the Wallingford Community Arts Center Holiday Show.
As with Andrea, I had already been familiar with Barbara's work and appreciated the opportunity to meet her.
Barbara is the creative force behind BH Claysmith.
She regularly teaches at Wallingford Community Arts Center where I'm told she has a devoted following of BH Claysmith groupies.
Using her handmade ceramic pieces,
Barbara creates jewelry that is soulful and richly textured.
When I realized that Barbara also sold some of her handmade beads and components,
I knew that I wanted to bring some home to my workbench.
I purchased these large ceramic beads...
and planned to make them featured pendants in necklaces.
The large slider bead was wrapped with sterling wire
 and features etched brass bead caps and dangles of aquamarine, citrine and prehnite.
The bead pendant is the highlight of a handmade chain made with sterling, aquamarine, citrine, prehnite and etched brass.

The cone shaped bead was wrapped with recycled copper wire and features dangles of yellow jasper and carnelian.
The chain consists of wire wrapped yellow jasper, honey jade, carnelian, vintage glass beads, hand forged copper links and a handmade clasp.
Both necklaces were recently delivered to Woodmere Art Museum.
I'm looking forward to working with the other treats
that I purchased from Barbara.
I'm already imagining how these wonderful slider beads will look in future necklaces.
You can also purchase Barbara's clay beads and components at her etsy shop and at Blue Santa Beads in Media, PA.