8.31.2009

Alive After 5 in Sanford, FL

Well I've decided to try my hand at a show --- I did enough of them in my childhood.

My grandparents and mother are all crafters/artists. I started helping out when I was 6. set up and breakdown mostly. But then when I was 7 I was able to start helping my mom sell things too. Then when I was a teen we moved to my mother's home town of Dubuque, IA {http://www.cityofdubuque.org/}. This is where my grandparents, and mother still live. I used to help every Saturday at the Farmers Market. My grandmother made thousands of baby blankets hand stitched with her delicate, arthritic hands. I would wander off every once and a while to go find the stones and jewelry vendors. Even then I couldn't stop my fascination with all things metal or crystaline!

So while I'm not sure if I will be picked for the event this time (it's an event presided by a committee), at least I think I'm in the runing for a spot. And it will get us motivated to create displays and custom order forms, brochures/a catalog of my previous work, etc.

I'm very happy to say that I finished the ends of the 7 loop viking weave and made it into a handsome bracelet for my husband! I've also completed a nacklace out of the 22 ga wire. Now I just need to order some more silver for more bracelets, necklaces ,etc ....

They are so fast to make it's just a matter of buying more metal.

8.22.2009

A Great Article about Spinels


This is truly a beautiful image to me the hands that bring these stones to use are so far from our minds when we purchase our pretty baubbles! I try to show everyone that there are thousands of people behind me when I creat a piece of art. The people who risk their lives to bring silver and gold and precious gems out of the crust of the earth!

Sorry for the melodrama ~ I simply love this image and all it inspires!

This is The Black Prince's Ruby in the Crown Jewels of England. The most famous not ruby in the world! It's a Spinel. When this beauty was mined all red stones were known as ruby - it's wasn't until relatively modern times that the gem was "discovered" to be a spinel.
Everyone is always chasing for those four main stones that they don't see the beauty of other things around them - they just see "cheap" imitations of the "real" thing. When today the "real" thing isn't obtainable (nor every truly was) for the masses. Those beauties are beautiful not only for their color and fire but also for their rarity.
This is why I've always been one to appreciate the misunderstood of the jewelry trade. Spinels top my list of favorites, as well as colorless sapphires, and quartz - I've always been drawn to the clarity of quartz (or lack therof when citing dedritic or rutillated quartzs). Quartz is what started my love for gemology to begin with.
But I digress, the reason spinels are important especially now is their natural range if color and availability for the masses. While you will still see tons of rough stones being "cooked & colored" you can still find affordable untreated stones with good color and clarity. The same cannot be said of sapphires and rubies and emeralds and diamonds.
As I always say we must be educated buyers rread everything, and take time to make purchases, be wise (realistic, frugal and yet fantastic) with your investments and you will be happier for the long term. Plus always remember, that brand nammes don't mean anytthing if they are selling junk! Custom made jewelry is more affordable than the name brands!
Here's the source of the images as well as my choise of topic for this blog entry:
http://fieldgemology.org/Spinel_article.php
Here are two of my favorite shops for perusing stones:

8.19.2009

Back from the Abyss

It has been too long! I fell off the face of the virtual world for a while when my computer suddenly fell ill. I though it might have been my processor again but thankfully it was just my keyboard! LOL!

With all of my "free" time I decided to dabble into knit silver wire necklaces. My first attempt I wanted to try to challenge myself. The concept of weaving the silver is pretty simple and easy to cath on to but I wanted to see if it would be complicated by adding more starting loops. I went off the "Viking Weave" technique but I decided to start with 7 loops of 20ga Argentium Silver wire.

It went off smoothly, and after a few connections I realized how to make the transition from one section of wire to the next with out a misformed loop. I had though in the beginning that I must keep everything tight and secure - but I soon found out that the weave is very forgiving if you keep it loose. So now I have this 8 inch section of thick Viking weave. It's beautiful and easy it only took 45 min to do the 8' 7 loop weave.

Thus incouraged I decided to burn through the rest of my order of silver wire ... I have now 3 sections of fine silver wire in various thicknesses. My main purpose is to make a necklace for my wing pendant. And now I'm waiting on my next shipment of silver to burn through!

I can't get enough materials ... so many ideas not enough silver and gold to eat! Ha Ha
Well -- of to see what I can do with my scraps!
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