April 2009

Trio of EarringsOver the past few months, I’ve been exploring beaded earring components created using square stitch (my favorite bead weaving stitch, at least for now).  I’ve posted about a pair of purple teardrop earrings and the gorgeous Adriana earrings.  The ideas kept flowing and I kept making little beaded squares.

I ended up using some in this trio of earrings.  They are all in the blue/green/gold color family yet each is different in each own way.  For some reason, the little squares reminded me of Chiclets, little pieces of gum I chewed as a child.  I remember they had a small pack of mini Chiclets – tiny squares of gum in different colors.  These earrings look nothing like them, but that’s what they brought to mind.  Funny the things you remember and what triggers the memory.

I have in my sketch book ideas to use the squares in necklaces.  We will see…


yazmine-11I made this necklace to accentuate the brown ceramic face bead.  I must admit, I’ve had the face bead a long time.  It took a while to develop a vision of where to take it in a piece of jewelry.  Some of that is because one often sees beads like this on leather cording, maybe with a couple of beads on either side.  Nothing wrong with that, I just wanted to explore a different direction. 

Not long ago, I looked at it and decided it was time to see what I could do with it.  I took the time to see which colors really brought out the warmth in the face bead.  When I saw the interaction between the green chrysoprase chips and the brown face bead, I knew – that was it.  Bits of matte gray glass, light topaz crystals, tiger’s eye, and wood complete the composition.  The necklace is named Yazmine.

benchpinThis is my bench pin.  This is where most of the action takes place when I am doing metalwork.  The style I have slides onto a metal bracket that is attached to my work bench.  When I want to solder, I remove the bench pin and put the soldering station on instead.

I can remember years ago seeing jeweler’s benches that were just covered with an amazing assortment of tools and things.  I couldn’t imagine how anyone could know what to do with all of the tools.  I further couldn’t image how anyone could possibly work with the top of the bench was almost completely covered.  I didn’t know at the time that you worked in front of the bench on the pin.

This is my pin, it’s in pretty decent shape.  Over time, they get beat up, drill holes, saw marks, dents and bangs from working.  Then you start over with a new one and the newness feels funny at first.  You can see my hammers in the storage area below.

nanette earringsLengths of sterling silver wire were looped around to create silver tangles or knots at the bottom of these earrings.  For whatever reason, working with metal has made working with wire seem less intimidating, so I’ve been doing some experimentation with wire.  The trick with these was to make the second tangle look reasonably close in size and shape to the first and to keep from kinking the wire.

After practicing with copper wire, I got the knack of it and then moved on to make the earrings in silver.  I named them Nanette and hope the lovely young lady who now owns these earrings enjoys wearing them.

when it comes to jewelry photography.  The funny thing is, back when I was taking bad photos, I didn’t even know they were bad.  I took them to have historical documentation of my work.  I’m glad I have them especially because I can see growth through the years.  But, back to the pictures…

Here is a bracelet I re-photographed.  I am very happy with the result.  I think the bracelet comes to life and think the rich colors of the bracelet and background complement each other nicely.


This is a really bad photos of the same bracelet.  I didn’t have the lighting right.  I didn’t know how to get a sense of dimension.  I don’t know what I was thinking with the crumpled paper bag thing.  I have worked a lot of things out since then.


Photography is not my field of study and I have huge respect for those who do it well.  I didn’t pay much attention before, but now, when I flip through magazines and catalogs, I think about the photographers, stylists, editors, and other people it takes to get great looking product shots.  They do it so well and make it look effortless.

alyssa-earringsThese earrings were inspired by the little blue glass flower beads.  I had seen them and just liked them and envisioned creating earrings that used the flower beads in clusters.  It took a few attempts to get the underlying beaded structure correct such that the flower beads were stable and the earrings hung properly.  I’m glad I took the time to work it out as I am very pleased with the results and plan to make some variations using other colors.

It’s beginning to get warm in my area, it’s been raining a lot, and most lawns are ready for the first cutting of the season.  Some places that have not been cut yet have masses of these tiny blue flowers.  I guess they are technically weeds, but to me they are pretty and just I love the tiny fields of blue flowers.

tc1A day or so ago, I took jewelry to the gallery shop at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center to restock and freshen the items I have there.  I spent some time talking with the shop manager and our conversation turned to the economy and its impact on the arts.  I’ve had similar discussions with others about the same topic and whether it be the visual or performing arts, money is a problem right now.  Gallery shops provide an income source for many non-profit arts organizations.  They are a great resource and an excellent place to find gifts for others or treats for ourselves while supporting the arts at the same time.

This necklace is one of the pieces I placed in the gallery shop.  It features an exquisite Tuareg cross accented by glass and crystal beads.  The necklace is named Amani.

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