Friday, April 11, 2008

Catchin' Up, Part II

These are two remaining leaves of the four I posted November 24 before I'd fired them .. I'll almost be sorry to sell them (almost) as I've been wearing them all winter. But soon (very soon, I hope!!) it'll be time to harvest some new leaves!! My friend Mary Ann Evans and I are going to collaborate on some ceramic leaves this year, too (at least that's the plan). Mare is a potter, and I'd point you to her website if she had one, but she's too busy makin' stuff to bother; and as she's got an awesome studio/living quarters right on the highway up here, she's got maximum visibility, so is probably doin' just fine without one. She'll supply the clay, I'll make the leaves, she'll apply glaze(s) and fire them, I'll finish them with leather cord or rattail .. or sterling. Who knows. Sometimes you just have to wait to see where the piece leads ya. Can't wait!

This was made by request for a customer who had originally provided her own beads from a bracelet that had belonged to her mother. She'd seen one of my herringbone weave bracelets and wondered if I could make one with her beads .. she thought they were lapis. Turns out they were a pretty cool glass imitation. So I gave her a couple choices, as her beads were only about 7mm or 7.5mm - kinda small for this weave: I could make a very delicate version with her beads - there were 15 of them, so plenty for the task, or I could find some lapis in an 8mm bead and make the bracelet out of those. She chose the latter, and I found some "denim lapis" (a lighter version) and whipped it up in time to deliver it to her at a March 29 pearl knotting class of mine she was attending. Though there was some sentimental value to her beads, she really just wanted something to wear with blue jeans .. and she's still got the beads if she decides to do something else with them.

This is another version of "Pearls with Attitude", which have become very popular. All the charm, charisma and class of pearls ... with a little Ooooomph! (And you can always wear the clasp in the back if you want). These were freshly knotted just before I took the photo, which explains why they're a little hinky on the left side. I don't use a jig for those clasps, so every one is a little different. This one is attached to a strand of Oceanic Blue Pearls .. if you're reading this on the blog and not in an email, you can click the pic to see them up close. They're a gorgeous color .. and I think this is the last strand of them I have (I'd buy another dozen if they were still available).

This little gem is yet another type of bangle, this one uses Swarovski cream rose pearls for an incredibly elegant look! I was amazed when it was completed. I immediately went hunting for other beads that size to see if I could make one with stones ... it took about 120 of the little buggers, so it would tend to be a bit more pricey if made with peridot, smokey quartz, turquoise or some other spectacularly colored bead. But I may have to try one or two, just to see. In the interim, I may make another one with pearls .. this one fits me perfectly, which means it won't fit about half the population of jewelry buyers. It looks so good on gold, I may even do gold again!

I'm still waiting for the return of my The Wild Inside stamp, which I sent back to the company who made it for a replacement. For some reason the bottoms of the letters T H and E were deteriorating, and the W in Wild was beginning to disappear as well, so that all my tags were starting to look like I wasn't hitting the stamp hard enough to make an impression. They couldn't figure it out, so I've got a new one on its way. I've got a pile of new stuff waiting for jewelry tags, including this piece.


Tracy Talbot said...

This pearl bangle is gorgeous! What technique did you use to weave the pearls on the gold bangle base?

The Wild Inside said...

It's not as complex as you might think .. I strung the pearls on wire (can't remember .. 24 or 26 gauge), wound one end of the wire three or four times near one end of the bangle, then just continued to wind the strung pearls around the core of the bangle until I reached the other end, and then wound the wire another three or four times to secure it on the opposite end. You can just see a bit of wound wire on the left side behind the larger pearl. I had to ream the larger pearls, by the way. The trick is to wind tight enough so the wire and pearls are secure and don't move. The only thing really holding them in place are those wire wraps at either end.