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Monday, May 25, 2015

I Want Your Skull

Friday, May 15, 2015

Decisions, Decision...


Or Leather?
I love this new BRIGHT blue labradorite pendant. It was very popular when I shared it on Facebook. It got several inquiries asking if it was for sale before I even hung it on a chain, or a leather cord. I couldn't decide, so I posted some pictures in a couple of different Facebook jewelry groups asking the opinion of other artists. The responses were overwhelming, but also pretty even with about half of the people saying chain and the other half saying leather cord.

I had about four people in line, wanting to purchase the pendant. And, here's what's SO funny. When I asked the first person in line if she wanted leather or chain she said "neither." She wanted to buy the pendant and make her own chain, so I didn't even have to worry about it! And, since make end caps and clasps is SO labor intensive I was actually quite relieved not to have to do that. Is that ironic? I'm not really sure.

A Fine Line

So, first of all this is one of my FAVORITE things I've ever made. It's perfect. I love this gorgeous yellow labradorite. I'm so proud of this wrap, it comes from a new technique I've come up with.

I take a few pieces of wire, and make a loop in the middle (for the bale, the part that the chain hangs from.)  Then, I weave a symmetrical pattern on each side of the loop bale, leaving some wire to pull over the stone to hold it secure.  Then, I anneal the wire. (Annealing is when you heat it up with a blow torch until the metal turns red. That makes the metal SUPER soft and pliable.)

Then, I shape it around the stone.  (The pictures are of another pendant, and I'll share that one further down the page.)

The wire before I shape it around the stone

I then secure the long strands by bending them into a symmetrical swirls making sure that nothing is poking and that everything is tight. It has to look pretty too. Then, I take different grit buffing blocks and rub the metal to harden it, and polish it until it gleems.

Here is the finished pendant:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Inspired by Spring!

Happy Spring!  I can't believe it's nice enough to take pictures outside, and linger a bit.
I've been making good use of the new stones I bought, and I'm happy to share some of my latest offerings. A lot of them have been sold, but some of them are still available. If you're interested in anything you see here shoot me a message, I'll let you know if it has been sold or not.

I'm actually going through the pictures on my phone to find all of the pictures of the jewelry I've made over the last couple of months, and I can't believe how much I've gotten done.

Amethyst Druzy, wrapped in raw copper.  This piece has sold.

So, in the interest of time, and because I haven't posted in over a month, I have decided to post a bunch of pictures of the jewelry I've made since the last time I blogged.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Rainbow Bright

I can't believe I have friends with adult children! But, I do, and one of them have a girlfriend. He approached me a few days ago wondering if I'd be able to make a necklace for her birthday.

He picked a stone from my collection and I got started.

I finished it in one day. I'm really surprised it went so quickly, but I'm also very happy at the outcome.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stone in Love

Ah!  I have so much going on, I barely have time to catch up. Lately I've been a jewelry makin' fool. I just love it. If I could add 10 hours to the day and dedicate it solely to making jewelry, I'd be in heaven.

First of all, I'd like to share with you a revision to the Sonora Sunrise pendant I made. I'm SO happy with this change. I wasn't quite happy with the slide that I made for the bale, it just wouldn't stay put. So, I sat on my hands (not really) for a couple of weeks, and had one of those Oprah "AHA! Moments™."

Here is the before and after.

The piece has sold.

I'm also having a great time working with all of the amazing stones I have recently invested in. Here are a couple more pieces that have sold recently.

This first one is a purple rainbow labradorite:

Here is a moonstone pendant that I sold to the same lovely lady:

I also made a simple rose pendant with a rose quartz. This one is still available for sale (39.00). If you're interested, please send me a message.

Finally, I'd like to share my newest piece, a flash glowing labradorite heart/crest. This was one of those pendants that went right with every twist and turn. It's actually pretty symmetrical which is pretty hard to do. I admire the artist Heidi Mandato of Mandato Jewelry Design for her symmetrical pieces. This sort of reminds me of one of hers (although that was completely unintentional.)

 I actually made most of it sitting upstairs in my chair rather than downstairs at my bench. I always wondered how people wove wire without a vise. Well, when you're using hair thin 30 gauge wire it's not that difficult. (Usually I weave with 24 gauge.)

(I'm a little disappointed in these pictures, the necklace is a lot better in person.)

Here I am modeling the necklace:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rose Jade

I'm on a roll, or should I say, a donut!

As with any of the pieces I post on my blog, if you're interested in purchasing please send me a message.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sonora Sunrise

When I saw this stone (along with a couple of her sisters) I just knew I had to have her. When I saw how much Sonora Sunrise costs, I decided it was WAY out of my league. The blue part is called "Chrysocolla" and the red is called "Cuprite". The black is actually iron. I've even heard of there being flecks of real gold in in some varieties. What is rare is the combination of the three. I got two very high quality Sonora Sunrise stones from a cab cutter that I found in a lapidary group on Facebook. She offered me the stones at a price I could (sort of) afford, and I just couldn't pass it up.

When I received the stones they were much more beautiful in person. The problem though was that they were a bit softer than what I'm used to working with. I knew I wouldn't be able to use the methods I usually use, I would have to have a light touch. The first attempt went no where. In fact, it was such a mess I posted a photo on Instagram.

I tried again today. I think I did it. It was a little more difficult and more challenging, but the process went a little quicker. I usually hammer around the stone, I usually tumble finish every piece. I wasn't able to do that. I had to harden the wire by meticulously polishing the wire, and it was soft because I annealed the heck out of it to get it to shape around the stone. I like how it turned out though. But I really think it's the stone that's the star here, and that's important with a stone like this. I hope you like it.

A Labradorite to Remember...

I am SO in love with this piece. It sold before it was even finished, and as an artist that is such a huge compliment.

I am going to share some pictures.


I hope that it enjoys its new home in Canada...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fool's Gold UPDATED

I have really been plugging away at the whole jewelry thing!  I have the Wire Wrappin' Fever and there is NO cure!

I also bought a TON of new stones!  Sonora Sunrise, Labradorite, Dendritic Jasper, Rhyolite, and I'm so excited to get to work.

I have a new piece, a Fool's Gold (Pyrite) Donut wrapped in copper, and I just love it. I must confess, I've been wearing it everyday even though it's for sale.  59.00 plus shipping...

If you're interested shoot me an email. I have made some minor adjustments since taking these pictures. Notice the end caps? Those are probably my favorite part of the piece. You see, my husband's uncle passed away recently. He was an avid trapper and had tons of copper tags in which he would use to label the animal pelts. I happen to have inherited quite a few of these tags and I just love working with them. The caps are pieces of copper tag that I rolled up, and then soldered the wire spiral across the tube. I thought they were way too cool to hide in the back, so I brought them up to the front.

Here are some UPDATED pictures (of the new configuration):

My next piece (currently in progress) is a high quality Labradorite!  It's very, very nice.
There's much more to come, so stay tuned.

Also, if you don't already, follow me on Instagram!  My handle is "LeahHoffmanJewelry".