Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fit for a Goddess

Despite the fact that I spent a LOT of time trying to get this one right (including special ordering that suede display device because the necklace just wouldn't photograph well against black), I must begin this post by telling you that more so than many of the photos I've taken recently, this one truly does not do this piece justice. It's warm, sparkly, elegant and delicate, all rolled into one (if you're reading this on the blog, click the pic for a closer look)! OK, that done, here's how it came to be.

The necklace is part of an order for a friend of my husband's in Albany - her son is getting married in October and she wanted two three-piece sets; one for the rehearsal dinner, one for the wedding. We actually got together back in May when I was in Albany for a show and she brought along the dress she'll be wearing for the wedding, which this necklace is meant to match. She'd emailed me with a general description of the colors included in both dresses, so I brought along a gallon-sized zip lock bag full of possible gem and pearl matches. The mauve pearls and the faceted smoky quartz beads were the two we matched to her wedding outfit. I filled in the spaces with other beads that I'd been tossing into a small basket when I came across them (and the little lightbulb came on for a good match). I've already got one set of earrings done and have an idea for another design I may try today (it's good to have choices!). My brain's been stewin' over the bracelet .. I could just do more of the same; but I'm inclined to make it match with a slightly different design. We'll see .. often times if I move on to something else, the right idea will fall into place simply because I've relaxed my brain about it. And there's still the second three-piece set to begin. This one in sterling. I'll keep ya posted (get it, POSTed?!?).

Anyway, this one's called Athena ... Greek goddess of wisdom, the arts, industry, justice and skill. Geeeez .... I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Poetry & Rubies

I think I'm finally getting the hang of creating clear and crisp images for upload! Though I took about 15 to 20 images each of the two pics included here .. the necklace and earrings with multiple display devices (the one below was definitely the best) .. so there would have been some tantrum throwin' had I not gotten at least a couple good shots out of a morning's worth of photography!

Anyway, as promised, here are a few (what's left) of the finished 'Poetry Pendants" I fired. I made five of the "expletive deleted" and sold four of them at the Clayton show the last weekend in August. I kind of thought that might be a popular one, so I made a few more over the weekend. I also sold the elongated maple leaf with the crack in the center (shown in a pre-kiln state in "PMC Impressions"). I was wearing it at the time. I love when that happens.

Since I had some new and some completed PMC pieces, I thought you might like to see a PMC progression .. so the photo below includes two freshly cut pendants (top) that still need some drying time before I can begin to clean them up (I collected some white and red oak leaves over the long weekend and hope to cut several of those to add to the collection of items to be cleaned up and sanded over the next week or two. I also intend to make several more of the poetry pendants to dry, as well).

Directly below the freshly cut "wild" pictured upper left is a "wild" that's been dried, cleaned up, sanded, and had a fine-silver cylindrical bail added. If I did it right, when fired the pendant should shrink down with a little space still left on either side of the bail. We shall see. The three fine silver pieces are what they shrink down to once they're fired. I hung them all from sterling chains cuz it was quick for show purposes .. but now I kinda like the look .. the "all silver" thing.

I went out searching for some additional "word" stamps over the weekend and found a wonderful site with not only some great additional single-word stamps to add to the collection, but a couple sheets of short sayings. Won't know if they'll work as well as these until I get them; but I'm hoping even if they're smaller, I can figure something out. Discovered several additional websites with unusual art stamps, too ... bookmarked for later exploration. New ideas are already percolating.

I felt compelled to add the necklace below because I sold it at the Clayton show and still have it only because its new owner wanted it shortened. Before taking it apart, it was 19" of slightly graduated, faceted rubies with an 18k gold clasp, delicate little 18k gold spacers and 24k gold coated Swarovski crystals. A purty piece, to say the least. Since shortening it required removing beads, I suggested to my customer that I make earrings out of the extra beads. As it happened, there were 32 total beads removed from either side of the clasp ... and it seems I got a little carried away with these freebies. If you're gazing at this on my blog and not via a new post notification email, you can click on the pic and see it up close. The earrings look like little bunches of red grapes! And since the bead holes were SO incredibly small, I had to dig through my supplies to find 26 gauge gold-filled headpins (whew! glad I had 'em!). I'm glad I didn't offer to do them in 18k!! As it was, even taking into consideration the fact that the rubies were already paid for, just the gold filled materials alone would have amounted to about $38 retail (16 little connections on each earring tends to add up). If you added in the cost of the rubies, the retail value goes to $78. I'd say she got a discount on the price of the necklace, all tolled! By the way, I have another strand of these rubies (grin).

The necklace is called Rubaiyat, which just seemed appropriate to me not only for the "ruby" aspect, but for the romance, and the Persian derivation (full of gold) and for one of the many translations I stumbled upon by Edward Heron-Allen, made in the late 19th century:

I desire a little ruby wine and a book of verses,
Just enough to keep me alive, and half a loaf is needful;
And then, that I and thou should sit in a desolate place
Is better than the kingdom of a sultan.

... from whence comes "a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou ..." (an entirely different translation, but with such an ancient language, translations are bound to be diverse!)

A little romance, a little decadence .. it fit. I may have to make another one.