"Hidden" is the title of the piece I'm working on now...chosen based on the design of the wire wrapped focal piece, as well as the last-minute decision on the featured gemstone. Originally, I wanted to hang a mixture of smoky quartz and rhodonite from the chain, but once I oxidized and polished the center piece, it just called out for the dark, shadowy, mysterious look of labradorite.

These photographs gave me some time to play with my camera, too.



(with a decrease in the F-Stop--see how the "back" of the photo is more blurry? Wheeeeee!)

I still need to wrap the beads and figure out where to hang them, and then I need to oxidize the chain, the wraps, and the focal piece once again. Rather than polishing, I'm going to tumble it, which will give it that shiny, smoky gray look, similar to the coloring you can see in my Jonelle Necklace.

How did I do the focal piece? Well, it started out as a plain ring, and I wanted to fuse fine silver spheres to the top of it. Well, I only used 16g wire for the ring, so it wasn't quite thick enough (even when hammered) to fuse the spheres. So when I did it, they ended up lopping over to the inside. This was fine with me, because I figured it would look pretty cool once I hammered them.

Then, I was going to do small wraps above the spheres on each side, ending with a spiral. However, I changed my mind right as I began wrapping, and thought it would be really cool to make a tangled mess of thin wire weaved around the flattened spheres. To add more texture, I melted my wire on each end to form the bulbs that you can see in the photo (BTW...I melted the wire before I wove it around the ring).

So...that's how I came up with the name, based on the flattened spheres "hidden" among the entangled wire, and as mentioned, the inclusion of labradorite. I hope to list this piece in my shop later this week.


Cocktails, Anyone?

This weekend's fun project involved playing with some copper, some solder, and these delicious pink candy "jade" beads. Yummy.

Available in my Etsy shop, it's called Cosmopolitan (I couldn't resist making the reference based on the color). I purchased the beads because of a custom request; in the end, the customer decided she didn't want them after all, but I loved their dainty, playful color so I got 'em anyway!


The Weekend Story

I'm very excited for this weekend; mainly because I have no responsibilities whatsoever with the exception of being creative. I'm about to get started, but I wanted to give the blog a little love before I head on down to the basement and fire up the torch.

I began last night...catching up on a wedding order, and working on two new focal pieces for some necklaces that I have in mind. I hope to get them to the point where I can post some pics later today or tomorrow; I'm pretty pumped up about all of them. I also need to fill some orders for rings this weekend; including Stepping Stones and Delicate.

The previous evening's jewelry making activities, however, bring me to my story for today...the other dog in my yard. Last night while I was soldering my pieces together, I heard my dogs--Betza and Gus (two St. Bernards)--flipping out in the kitchen. About a week ago, we had a bear visit us three times, so I figured the big guy was back. I went upstairs and found that the screen door was wide open, which I then realized my dogs had learned a new trick--how to open it themselves. Needless to say, I was a bit worried.

So, I went to the door and started calling for them, expecting to see a giant furry big guy walking on all fours, but instead I saw this halogen light coming from another four-legged creature who was definitely not bear-sized. He wasn't even St. Bernard-sized. I grabbed my Petzl headlamp and went outside in the dark, only partially nervous at this point. It turns out that the light was being worn by a Black and Tan Coonhound puppy named Samurai. What a cutie he was! My dogs liked him, too...but he had all of this equipment on and I was scared that during playtime with the big pups that it would get ripped off or hurt one of them. So, I sent my kids inside to their dismay.

I then called the phone number on Samurai's collar, and about ten minutes later, his owners showed up. It turns out that "Sam" the Coonhound was being trained to hunt raccoons, and this training was happening very near my back yard. The owner thanked me for not getting upset about Sam, and I got to meet their two other dogs, each of which were apparently avid raccoon hunters as well. I said my goodbyes and then I felt bad because I'm such a sap for dogs (and animals in general). In my opinion, I don't think Sam liked doing the job for which he was being trained for. He seemed a bit timid, and when I went inside to wash my hands, they were FILTHY from petting little Sam while I waited for his owners to arrive. This leads me to believe that he's just being groomed for hunting rather than being taken in as a family pet. I really hope that's not the case and that I'm 100% wrong. I know the purpose for hounds is hunting, but if I had one, you better believe he'd be squeaky clean. I'd also treat him like one of my kids, similar to how I treat Betza and Gus. Yes, as mentioned, I am a sap for animals. And that's fine with me.


Treasury West

I love Etsy's Treasury West, because on many occasions you can actually score a Treasury. This is mine, titled LILACS in the DIRT (click on the image to view a larger version). Notice how my gal marybird is getting many a click. I hope it finds you a sale, Mary!


Back in the Studio: Stackable Rings are Here!

Well, as mentioned, last week I was out of the shop because I had to go on another trip. This weekend I was able to fulfill some orders, as well as work on those stackable rings that I posted here a few weeks back.

Finally...they're done! They're called Stepping Stones, and they'll be listed in my Etsy shop sometime today (as soon as I get some time to sit down and write a clever little description!). I'll be offering these on a made-to-order basis, and I also plan to give my customers the flexibility to order three, four, or five rings. A basic design, really: 16g wire is soldered together to form the ring, and then a fine silver ball is also soldered to the ring. The fun part is flattening and texturing each ring with a chasing hammer. Even more fun is adding them to the tumbler and pulling them out after they're all shiny and sudsy from burnishing compound. Wheeeeee!

I'm sitting here right now looking at the set that I'm wearing on my pinky...the sparkle is fantastic! These ones are going to my little sister, as it was her birthday yesterday. Happy birthday sis!


Fun Little Earrings

So, I had a customer from Bahrain (yeah, Bahrain!) contact me about doing a custom order...a simple, classic style of earrings that includes hoops and small, dangling beads. Here they are! I call them Juice, and they're available in my shop. I really like how they turned out--the design is simple enough, but there's some flexibility there, too--you can change the beads on the earrings! As I get more made, I'll probably offer some sets that incorporate different types of beads, allowing my customers to choose their own design depending on the day, week, month, or mood. Fun stuff.

Wanna know how to make 'em? I followed the general guidelines that Sharilyn Miller provides in her book, Bead on a Wire. Enjoy!


New Materials; Old Favorites

First off, sorry for the delay. I have another deliverable for work next week so I've been working my butt off trying to get it wrapped up and finished. In other news, I had to rephotograph two of my best selling items recently, because the type of bead I used for them is no longer available. One of the products is shown here, my Santa Fe Teardrops earrings (available in my Etsy shop); the other is my Santa Fe Red Teardrops (also available in my shop). If you look closely, you'll notice the teardrop bead is flat rather than round. It's also a little more blue in color. Not big differences, but differences, nonetheless.

I have quite a few custom orders going on as well:

  • A Reloj variation
  • An Ocean Storm variation
  • A set of stackable rings (sorry, not available yet, but soon I promise!)
  • One plain hammered ring
  • A pair of sterling silver hoops that have interchangeable beads (really fun to make!)

I'm happy to take requests! One of my favorite parts about custom orders is that the customer can give me an idea of what they want, and then I just go with it. It really helps spark creativity. If you're in a slump, I highly recommend going out and marketing the fact that you do custom work. You'll thank yourself for it, trust me.

In other news, I'm out of the studio all next week; another trip for work. I'll be fulfilling orders upon my return...4/19/08. If you don't hear from me until then, don't worry, I'm still around, and hope to be back working with much wire and metal upon my return. I also hope to do another giveaway beginning this month, which will probably trickle into early May. I'm considering a ring instead of earrings (that I would make for the winner, to fit her size). Which would you prefer, dear readers?