Red Jasper Necklace with Picture Frame Part

The inspiration for this necklace came from two things – one was the red jasper cab set in silver at the top of the pendant.  The other is the blue and rust strip that sits at the bottom of the pendant.  It is a piece of painted wood that had an earlier life as a picture frame.  It had broken but I liked the colors and put it in a box to do something with – I wasn’t sure what.  I’m not a pack rat, but as a creative type, I tuck things away here and there that seem interesting.

When I started building the pendant for this necklace, I realized I wanted more dimension that just the copper strip provided.  I started digging in my box of stuff, saw the picture frame, and knew it was the right color.  Problem was, I have no experience working with wood.  Compared to my jeweler’s saw, wood saws look giant and I don’t understand the purpose of the different types of wood saws.  So, I used what I know and tried my jeweler’s saw on the picture frame and it got the job done.  I started by cutting a test strip off the frame.  I tried drilling it to see if the wood wanted to split.  The wood drilled beautifully, so I thought – this is workable.

I then cut the actual piece used here in the pendant.  The copper strip is soldered onto the silver base.  The wood piece is riveted to the metal.  I love the pendant and enjoyed working on it, bringing multiple layers together.  It only wanted a simple necklace in a harmonious soft olive green tone with the tiniest dash of blue crystals.  I obliged.

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Paulina Necklace

In my city, there is a little bit of waterfront that yields wonderful treasures.  It’s not really a beach.  It’s more like an area with rocks and tall grasses near some warehouses and office buildings.  Over the years, I’ve managed to collect a few objects that I knew would be beautiful as jewelry.  For a long time, I did not have the skills to do anything with the pieces.  They sat in a box and I would run my hands through them every so often – things worn by the sea can have such a nice feel.

The blue ceramic piece in this necklace was found at this waterfront area.  I loved the color.  I loved the v-shape that is now at the bottom.  I loved that part of it was broken and then smoothed by the water.  Maybe it was a hexagon?  Doesn’t matter – I think I like it better this way.  I set it in sterling silver with four shorter prongs and one really long prong that curves around nestling in the crevices.  I elaborated on the color blue by adding a lapis stone at the top.  Most of the time, I make beaded necklaces for my creations.  This pendant said no – it wanted the simplicity of a chain only.  I said OK.

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In addition to jars with buttons and coins, I also have a jar with keys.  Why I’ve kept the keys – I really don’t know because I have no idea what they go to.  But, like buttons and coins, keys have a likeability factor – at least for me they do.  The idea struck me to use a key as the focal point in a bracelet.  One of the challenges in using coins and keys is that you are not always sure what metal you are working with and how it will react to heat and basic jewelry tools.  I figured this key was probably brass and went for it.

I annealed the key and curved it slightly into the shape needed for a bracelet and then drilled the hole at the bottom of the key.  From there, it was simple – find complementary beads and create the bracelet.  I don’t know what key 1139 used to unlock, and I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.  It has moved on and is now part of what I think is a lovely bracelet.  Do you have items you are upcycling or finding new uses for?  I’d love to hear about them.