Monday, June 25, 2007

Remember the NBC peacock?

In Living Color .. right?!?! The Baby Boomers among you will remember. It's that point in television history when a distinction between black and white television and color television was significant. And it seems I've made the same distinction!! That's what I've been doing for the last week or so .. ordering, and working with, colored wire! And boy, does it really(really!) dress up the Viking Knit pieces!

Today I hope to finish another necklace .. in dark blue with pale olive briolette dangles (I'm awaiting an order for more of those little bullet ends before I can complete it or any others). I'm also looking for a less complicated sterling slide for a slightly different pendant look. The pendant I used on the solid sterling piece, as well as the one on the left with the graduated peach jade briolettes, has ten little rings to which you attach beads. I'd like to find a nice slide with just a single ring beneath it .. maybe attach just a single stone or do a little multi-stone dangle with different colors and sizes (much like the bead burst pendants .. maybe a bit fewer beads .. two or three). I'm so excited about the possibilities I could just about explode! There are a couple colors I have on hand that haven't yet been made into anything, and a few new shades I ordered after a couple days of playing with the stuff ... matte lavender, purple, dark purple, red (hot cha!), and matte turquoise.

The bracelets below, while they look complete, are awaiting some sort of little charm(s). They look great as is .. I've worn each of them around already .. but a little dangle off the "eye" on the end adds a bit of interest. I ordered a stamp of my logo (the head with all the little elements popping out of it at the top of this page) to be used with precious metal clay; and I hope to make some little logo charms to attach to these funky, chunky style bracelets (the more delicate sterling jewelry tags just don't look right) .. perhaps together with a semi-precious stone. But, while I had expected the stamp to arrive by now, I'm still waitin' ... anxiously.

Anyway - from front to back - are matte olive, forest green, aqua green and dark blue shades. The shade differences are evident when you see them in person - and they're evident on my monitor, though perhaps not on yours. The wire is "permanently colored copper" .. baked on, per the company from whom I purchased it. Though I did discover that the color can be scratched off with a bit of careless plier action, it does hold up surprisingly well through the process of drawing the finished weave through my rosewood drawplate .. multiple times! So I have no qualms about continuing to use it for these purposes. I can't imagine anyone scratching the color off during normal wear; I even wore multiple chunky pieces along side for several days, with no problem. The rest of the piece is sterling.

And speaking of sterling, beginning in early 2008 I expect to start collecting a stock of Argentium sterling to use in these and other pieces. Argentium is a relatively new version of sterling - sterling silver being defined as 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals. Argentium is simply a modern adjustment to the sterling formula. It's still 92.5% pure silver; but it replaces some of the traditional 7.5% copper with a rare metallic element called Germanium. In general this results in a change in sterling's tendency to tarnish under normal use and to form oxides while it is being heated and worked. It's much closer to fine silver in its ability to resist tarnish .. which is nice, for those designs you'd love to remain bright n shiny.

I've put off participating in the whole Argentium craze because (1) it's more expensive than traditional sterling (and even traditional sterling is still relatively pricey these days); (2) the longer it's out there, the more information gets circulated with regard to its properties and peculiarities; and (3) initially only sheet and wire were available in this new medium - while one can now find Argentium earring findings, beads, bezel wire, etc.

In the interim, I've got a whole lotta traditional sterling to get through first! But those of you who are annoyed by the slow tarnish of your favorite silver pieces, keep a look out here for pieces made with Argentium .. next year around this time.

One more bit of news - I finally set the wheels in motion for a real website .. with pricing and a shopping cart and everything. However, I'm not expecting miracles. I'm using the same folks to do the programming who did The Remington Museum when my husband took over and decided the website needed updating ... and it took nine months to get theirs up and running. I try to keep in mind that my site won't be nearly as big or complicated, so perhaps by January the shell will be complete and I can begin loading photos and pricing and be on my merry e-commerce way! Time will tell. The woman who designed my logo, business cards and stationery is doing the design side .. she and the programmer will get together once I've settled on the design I prefer. And while all this is going on, I've got some decisions to make about what to ultimately put up .. and then there are ALL those photographs to take. Yep .. lots to be thinkin' about, lots to be doin'. I'll keep ya posted.

Ciao for now!

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