Hello good people, and a very happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. Easter eggs are everywhere and I'm going to resist them this year, as always figting a loosing battle with the flab. This year I have the whole of Easter off work and nothing planned, and it feels glorious to think I have no responsibilities except to relax for four whole days. I shall however be making more pieces of jewellery for The Handmade Fair. I spent ages thinking that I had a lot of stuff ready and then someone bought up a bunch of necklaces, leaving me with a hole in my inventory which needs filling, and quick!
Seal of Approval
I love pendants made of handcarved jade and buy them regularly, forgetting each time how irritatingly annoying they are as they never have an integral way to hang them. Perhaps they are meant to be displayed on a plinth or little easel - but as far as I'm concerned, as jewellery, I need to find an engineering solution each time. Each one is different, so one answer doesn't fit all, unfortunately. However, I've always loved finding solutions to problems and enjoy a bit of a challenge.
I managed to hang the pendant on an improvised bail made of coiled wire and added prehnite nugget beads in a lovely shade of pale green. I left the necklace overnight, and by the time I woke up, had decided that it needed a bit more 'Zhoosh'. Four more strands of beads were added, and only then was I satisfied. Turquoise, ruby with zoisite and Czech glass seed beads went into the necklace in a tousled, bohemian look.
I started to make a soutache bezel around an ammonite fossil, not sure what exactly I was going to do with it - perhaps a centrepiece for a cuff bracelet? or a bail for one of my jade pendants? - in the end it seemed to cry out to be strung simply on a strand of Biwa pearls, rather than be part of another piece. The reds and greens reminded me of the military uniforms worn by the Cossack Guards and the Russian folk song 'Kalinka' began to play in my head.
Beetle wings are a tour de force of nature - the jewel colours are amazing. This will be my sixth necklace made from these beautiful wings that once belonged to the Indonesian Jewellery Beetle. My very first necklace was commissioned by Meghna who wore it to a cocktail party thrown by her parents.
Two rows of wings, with a glass tear drop adding a bit of weight to the centre of the piece, drawing it down into the decollete' - a simple, yet effective piece. These necklaces are difficult to photograph lying flat, the wings seem to have a mind of their own. I used up my entire stash in this necklace and hadn't planned on buying any more. Mike was aghast and twisted my arm into placing another order from the shop in Thailand, so it would appear that there are to be more of these on my pages. I will have to think up new and novel ways to make the necklaces as I don't really like to repeat myself. As an aside, the owner of the online beetle wing shop in Thailand is called Ronnie Biggs!! It is either a joke or he is named after his notorious ancestor, in which case, Trains, beware!
That's all I have for you folks. Have a fab Easter break and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
How are you this fine day readers, thanks for joining me again this week.
I'm not a flowery person, most definitely not, I promise you. When I pick up a piece of jewellery to wear, my hand seems to automatically go to the tribal, larger, badass necklaces - perhaps they boost my confidence when I wear them. Isn't that the reason why one wears Caprilicious??
However, as spring breaks, and the weather turns warmer, my thoughts and hands turn to floral offerings without me consciously making that decision.
When we were last in Paris, we took a taxi to the Bois de Boulogne which is a wooded garden on the outskirts. At it's heart is a rose garden or Roseraie, that today has about 10,000 roses and thousands of varieties - the scent in the air in the summer sunshine was so heady, I could have gone to sleep and thought I was in an attar of roses fantasy by Omar Khayyam. Unfortunately our time there was cut short by a thunderstorm and I have but a few pictures, but the memory of that magical garden influenced this necklace.
The pendant is made from a slice of wood given to me by my friend who makes beautiful wooden bowls. It comes from Brazil and is called Purple Heart - when cut freshly it is a greyish brown, which matures on exposure to an aubergine purple. He cut and polished it for me a while ago, and I put it away in my stash until I found a use for it. I briefly toyed with the idea of making a mosaic to cover its surface, but that would have meant that I would have lost the beauty of the wood. I recently learned the technique of polymer clay 'embroidery' and decided to try and recreate a Roseraie in clay.
I couldn't leave it as it was, I just had to string it with some really bright beads and make a lovely necklace out of it - I think it is very effective, do you??
I thought I'd bring you some Bollywood and a 'wet scene' - nothing like one of these to lower the tone!! As wet scenes go however, this is one of the more tasteful ones I've seen in a while.
I love the titanium coated quartz needles and purple and green make such an explosion of colour. The little amber coloured glass acorn I thought was a treasure - I have a few more of these in my stash. The necklace has a lively dynamic of its own and it looks as if it is going to get up and dance away all by itself.
The most interesting gemstone in this necklace is hemimorphite - beautiful nuggets that resemble sugar cubes, some of them tinged a pale blue. I pulled out all the other blue beads in my stash and finally chose blue agate, and jade to go with the hemimorphite. This gemstone is thought to increase empathy, compassion and inner strength - and if you believe in that sort of thing, it is meant to help you communicate with 'angelic' beings. All I would say is, it is unusual, and it is very pretty.
I was only a child when this lovely song surfaced - Sugar Sugar by the Archies. When I handled the hemimorphite nuggets, this was the first title that came to mind.
I had a few pangs of withdrawal from my wire addiction, so I made a little pendant from a Vintaj brass rubbing I bought in the USA last year, adding a seahorse from a clip on earring that once belonged to my mother - she bought the delightful little enamel and Marcasite creature in Paris and it is older than me - so definitely a vintage piece! The other one in the pair went into a piece of jewellery ages ago and now lives in the USA. I added strands of seaweed, and a sea anemone - oh go on, cut me a bit of slack - if you squint at it in poor light, it looks exactly like a sea anemone! And even if you won't have it about the fruits la mer, you'll have to accept that the pendant is sparkly and shiny and pretty.
My tutorial for Anastasia, the tiara made with polymer clay roses finally came out in Bead and Jewellery magazine and I received a photograph from my friend with her little daughter wearing the prototype piece. I think the little three year old looks adorable in it, don't you?
That's me for this week folks, I will have a new and exciting development to report next week so do come back and join me. Have a fabulous weekend, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.