Friday, November 22, 2013

"Nautilus": Newest Necklace Design

 "Nautilus" - My newest necklace design!

I was inspired to create this OOAK design from a jewelry contest on Bead Soup Cafe (a facebook group).  The inspiration was a photograph of a reef, shown below.  The contest ends November 24th, then a week of voting, and we'll see who "wins"!  It's really about the fun and creativity, sharing and learning, more than the prizes. 

 "Nautilus" - the full necklace.  Beadwoven chain.

 "Nautilus" details - clasp, beadwoven chain with freshwater pearls.

  "Nautilus" details - back of shell, shell attachment

"Nautilus" necklace with polished shell tassel focal.
I'm very pleased with my entry - and amazed by some of the others!  You can see the other entries here:  Bead Soup Non-Blogger/Blogger Challenge.

Happy Creating,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Unique Handmade Jewelry Displays

As I gear up for the holiday season and get another month closer to heading back on the craft and jewelry circuit with my wares (maybe next year!), I've started contemplating jewelry displays.  I have some in the works being made by my brother, the woodworker.  I love wood displays - the warmth and softness.  I also think handmade wood displays will suit my jewelry, because a lot of it is inspired by nature. (I'd show pictures, but I don't have any yet!)

I've hunted for some awesome displays made by others, from Etsy, as well.  They go beyond frames and chicken wire and often into a works of art all by themselves!  While I may not choose to display my jewelry on these stands, I do love them and their uniqueness.  I might pick up a couple for my own home, especially as I'd be so sad if anything happened to them on the road.....and I thought some of you might like them, too.  You can follow the links below the images to each artist's shop.

I chose to show the few truly unique and stunning displays that I found on Etsy, but there are many beautiful, more traditional, jewelry displays also - just go search until you find what you were looking for!  Many shops will take custom orders as well.

Happy Creating,

Friday, November 8, 2013

Jewelry Techniques: Exploring Coiling

You may have noticed that most of my jewelry pieces are unique - I rarely make more than one of the same design.  You may have also noticed that I seem to lack a style - or maybe that my style morphs or jumps between techniques quite frequently!  I can't help it - I love all the jewelry making techniques, so I do flit from one to another throughout the year....

My first coils!  They add that "something" the design needed....
My husband calls these "Princess Leia Earrings" - can you spot why?!

But I also advance my skills in several areas each year.  Right now, I'm exploring wire coils.  I've seen beautiful jewelry made with coils for years, but hadn't tried it myself.  I'm not sure what changed this year, but I've begun playing with coils in my earring designs.  I think I chose earrings because they are generally small projects (when compared to wire bracelets or necklaces....) AND I have to make 2 matching pairs!  That is excellent practice - repetitive AND identical techniques!

Next:  Twisted Coils Earrings - made with twisted wire.

I haven't dove into anything too complicated yet, but here are my budding designs with coiled wire - many of them have used twisted wire for a different, more decorative look.  I've coiled all my wire by hand, but I can see the benefit of a coiling gizmo or drill with mandrel if I was going to make any large scale designs with coiled wire!

Mermaid Knot Earrings - I brought in beads and layers!

I've also found that twisting my own wire with the help of my 4 year old is surprisingly fun for both of us!  It's not as hard to get the same amount of twist in each wire as I thought it would either - just go slow the last couple turns.

Untitled - Coiled Coils Bracelet.  My most ambitious coiling project yet!

I've seen the amazing coiled knots and coiled beads and pendants and bracelets and and and!  I know I have a ways to go polishing my skills with coils, but this has been a wonderful start.  Having fun is important too - it encourages me to keep going!

Keep Going & Happy Creating!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pyrite in Jewelry

Pyrite Strand sold by KanduBeads on Etsy

I've noticed a growing trend - more and more jewelry designers are using pyrite.  With a name like fool's gold, it's no wonder that pyrite wasn't a main stream jewelry material.  But have you seen the designs utilizing pyrite lately?  They are gorgeous!

Here are some gorgeous handmade designs from Etsy artisans (in no particular order) - I found them inspiring and hopefully you will too!  You can follow the link below each image to an Etsy shop.

Pyrite comes in a variety of shapes from natural crystals to faceted rondelles, from flat nuggets to smooth teardrops.  The metallic sheen can vary from silver to gold to rainbow....  I think I might have to pick up some pyrite beads for myself!

Happy Creating,