Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Pearls just wanna have fun!
Pearls aren't always so serious; they've been known to be whimsical on occasion. These are 6mm oceanic blue/green fresh water pearls hand knotted on silk and attached to sterling silver stars with French wire. (French wire, also known as bullion or gimp, is a very fine coil of silver or gold-filled wire used by jewellers to conceal and/or protect beading wire or silk when attaching to a clasp. Proponents maintain that French wire gives jewelry an elegant, professionally finished look while also protecting and strengthening the ends of the beadwork. I tend to agree. Most of the pearls you find in jewelry stores use French wire.) The hook-in-the-front clasp is a handcrafted "pendant dependent" on which hangs a stunning blue faceted apatite briolette. Pearls, like girls, just wanna have fun.
This piece is headin' out to a silent auction for St. Marguerite D'Youville Academy here in Ogdensburg .. though I have two or three more strands of these pretty blue pearls if you'd like one for your very own. : )
THIS was almost going to the silent auction, but I couldn't quite part with it. This is a Sequential Byzantine chain. The origin of the Byzantine chain is a mystery (trust me, I've looked); but I have seen variations of it in several of the books I've collected for my studio library. One variation on my list of new things to try is called Inca Puno .. it's a similar repetitive sequence of knot formations without the connector pairs in between. I've been making the Byzantine for several years .. but generally only when someone has seen the one I wear and asked for one of their own. They're substantial pieces .. lotta silver. Both of the other jewelers in my Guild make them regularly (out of both silver and gold), so I thought the Inca Puno might be a nice variation to work on instead. I cut enough 16 gauge rings for the Byzantine above to make four or five of them .. and I can whip one out in about an hour and 15 minutes now .. so I made a few for a couple upcoming shows. This one, however, is the only one with an ornate clasp. The others have lobster or toggle clasps. It's a little bigger than the others, as well. I can slide it over my hand with the clasp closed .. just about 1/8th of an inch under 8 inches. A show piece, to be sure.
OK .. gotta make three or four more of those funky copper bracelets and a buncha earrings! I'll try not to stay away so long next time!