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Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Challenge in Sterling Silver

A spool of 24 gauge silver wire sits before me.  I'm about to un-bend the end that is keep the wire coiled around the spool. I grab the end of the wire with my chain nose pliers, pull the wire upward and slide it out of the hole. Suddenly the wire starts unraveling faster than I can stop it. This is not helping to calm my nervousness. I'm about to embark on the world of Trichinopoly in sterling.

Just as it was different making a Bold Swirl Ring in sterling, it was actually even more different and actually more difficult doing viking knit. Silver is more brittle. Working with copper is more fluid, and I never realized that before. Inserting thin wire into loops around a stick is a lot harder when it feels as if the wire is going to *snap* in half!  Not only that, but silver is so stiff.  A process that should take an hour took twice as long.  But, I'm not trying to complain, I'm trying to describe just how much different working with silver was. As I said in my last entry, it's a whole different animal.

So, here is is:


And, here are the specs:

100% sterling silver, this elegant bracelet is strong enough for everyday wear. It's bold design is comprised of 24 gauge double strand, double knit Trichinopoly chain weave, otherwise known as Viking Knit. The handcrafted end caps are of 16 gauge sterling, as well has the hand-formed and hammered end clasps, adorned with 24 gauge sterling silver coil wrap.
The bracelet also features Czech faceted beads, fire-treated for a rainbow gleam. Three crystal clear beads on one side, clear, seafoam and lavender, and fire-polished crystal clear on the other side.

The rope is a whopping 7mm wide! A lot of work and over 20 grams of silver went into this creation.

8" in length from tip to tip 
7-9mm wide

The silver in this bracelet has been oxidized for visual texture, and polished to a mirror like shine. I have used an anti-tarnish solution to keep it looking newer, longer.

Entering a New Chapter in Jewelry Design... Silver

Now, can I play with the big boys? 

 After working with copper for so long, I decided I was ready to delve into the world of silver. Having a stellar Christmas season I had a little extra money, so I invested in three ounces of the good stuff.  A week later, my package arrived.  There is nothing more nerve wracking then having over 100.00 of wire sitting on your work table, and seeing so little of it. The truth is that silver is expensive. With a fledgling jewelry business and not a lot of money to invest, there's not much room for error.

Finally, on Friday night (since I'm such a social butterfly) I got the courage to start on a Bold Swirl Ring. This is my signature piece, always made in copper.  The first thing I noticed was how much more differently silver behaves than copper. It's less forgiving, stiffer, more brittle. You bend it one way, and it doesn't budge. You have to over compensate for the way you want it to curve. Pull it harder. It's a totally different animal.  It also grinds down a lot more with a lighter touch, so I had to adjust the way I filed and applied pressure when I used the Dremmel.  After an hour and a half of heart pounding, nervous working, I was finished, and quite pleased with the result.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Double-Double Viking Knit or Quad-Knit?

It doesn't matter what you call it, it's gorgeous!  I am proud to debut my first double-double viking knit chain.  Doing a double knit with two strands is a challenge, but the end result is totally worth the extra wire and time involved.   This particular design is a gift for a family member. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Super Rosette Ring

Feeling a little uninspired as of late, last night I was playing around with some 12 (or 14?) gauge wire. I made a rosette ring with the thick wire, but felt that something was missing. I then got the idea to add a second rosette in the center using some nice, dead soft 18 gauge wire. The result was pretty cool.  I'm still working out the kinks, but I am definitely adding this to my collection.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Boldest Swirl

I was able to get a nice long piece of 10 gauge wire, so I decided if I could make a ring from it. It turned out really nicely, a BIG bold swirl.

Check it out on Etsy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

All About Copper

You might not know this, but the raw copper I work with tends to tarnish rather quickly.  My beautiful rings and necklace pendants are made of the same material that pennies are made of, and you know that over the years pennies turn from a bright and shiny coral color, to a dull dark brown. The same is true with raw copper jewelry. The good news is that it's easy to maintain your beautiful copper jewelry. If your copper starts to turn dark, you can use a very small amount of Tarn-X on a cotton ball, and dab lightly. Worcestershire Sauce and Ketchup also works, but you can be a little more aggressive when using things from the fridge.  After removing the tarnish, if you wish to re-polish you can use a polishing cloth or a polishing block. Polishing blocks are usually found in beauty supply stores or in the nail care aisle. One side buffs lightly, and the other side makes the copper SHINE like nothing else.  I include a polishing block with my Bold Swirl Rings and Bold Swirl Bracelets.

Sherry's Jewels has a great bit of information on taking care of copper jewelry, but she also has a plethora of fun facts about copper.  Sherry's Copper Care Guide

Copper has so many positive attributes.  It's antimicrobial, like silver.  It it believed that wearing copper relieves you from aches and pains.  And, although some people get a green finger from wearing a copper ring, it isn't harmful, it's actually purely chemistry. The more salt you have in your sweat, the more likely you are to get a green finger. This is not indicative of an allergy and the green isn't permanent.  I do not get green finger from wearing my rings, and wear then everyday. I also put a protective glaze inside of my rings to prevent this from happening.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bold Swirl Bracelet

Yesterday I had two different people from different parts of the country ask me the same question; Can you make a bracelet with a bold swirl like you have on your rings?  I thought about it, and then I decided I was up for the challenge. I'm very happy with the results. I made one yesterday (sold) and one this afternoon (hopefully sold soon.) Here is my new design:


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Copper Kambaba Jasper Pendant on Multi-Strand Pearl Necklace

The pendant has a beautiful piece of kambaba jasper surrounded by loops and swirls all bent and twisted meticulously by hand. The bail is a long piece of woven wire on three thick gauged wires that extends down the back of the pendant and is accented with an amethyst bead. The necklace is five strands of hand strung glass pearls painted copper with a strand of green that matches the stone in the pendant almost perfectly. The end caps are handmade. The hook closure is also hand made.

Copper Kambaba Jasper Pendant on Multi-Strand Pearl Necklace

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Peacock Swirls Pendant on Viking Knit Chain (SOLD)


This stunning handcrafted copper necklace has highly detailed and intricate wire work surrounding a square piece of deep green jasper. A genuine garnet bead tops the handwoven wire bail, a citrine coin accents the wire fan, while yellow jade and red glass seed beads punctuate the bottom. It is permanently affixed to a hand-woven double Viking Knit chain. The necklace also has a garnet bead on each side, copper plated pewter accent beads, and handmade chain that leads to a copper plated pewter lobster claw clasp. It measures 16", but is adjustable to whatever length you desire.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Garnet Ring

For the past couple of years, or as long as my three year old son Wesley has been alive, I've been hankering for a beautiful garnet ring.  Garnet is Wesley's birthstone.  I have found a few at jewelry stores that I really loved, and seriously considered getting once I had the money to do so, but it never happened. Either I couldn't justify spending the money, or Mother's Day would come and go and I wouldn't have my ring. Today, I decided to make a garnet ring. I am so in love with this ring. It has three stones, you know, for past, present and future (blah blah blah). This one is a keeper. I'm just hoping I can recreate the magic for my customers.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wire Wrapped Kambaba Jasper Pendant on Cotton Cord

I'm so excited to debut my very first traditionally wrapped stone bead pendant. Even after all of the wire wrapping I've done, I realized I had never done a traditional wrap. Yesterday I sat down, determined, and this is what I came up with. It really isn't that * traditional* at all, is it?  But it is beautiful.  The metal is raw copper (of course) and the stone is a large 30mm kambaba jasper stone disk. Pendant comes on a mutli-strand cotton cord with a handmade clasp.
Pictures link to Etsy:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Semi-Precious Cluster Ring with Wire Woven Band

A new technique I have learned recently is the wire-woven band. This is not an easy task. The folks on the wire working Facebook group were very supportive and some of them couldn't believe that I had only attempted this one time before making a very nice (but sloppy) ring.

My second attempt worked out rather well (as did my first), but this time I added some beautiful amethyst and citrine semi-precious gemstone beads for a clever cluster front. This ring is a size 6.5. The pictures link up to Etsy.

Large Wire Wrapped Cluster Swirl Pendant with Viking Knit Chain

Beautiful 3.5" wire wrapped pendant features unikite stone bead, tiger iron stone bead, real freshwater pearls, tightly woven coils and gorgeous swills. Permanently affixed to a double-knit Viking knit chain. Hand made clasp and hook. 17" necklace, 21" drop

Everything here is handmade. From the chain to the clasp and hook to the pendant itself.

Pictures link to Etsy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Viking Knit Necklace with Rustic Wrapped Poppy Jasper Pendant

Dainty Swirl Rings

These rings are handcrafted using smaller gauge wire, 18-22 gauge, usually silver plated copper. These rings are a little less expensive than the bold swirl rings.  For being so small, they pack a BIG punch!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Viking Knit Bracelets

Viking Knit is a process of weaving wire into other wire loops around a stick. The tube is then pulled through graduated holes until the right thickness is achieved. The result is a unique woven chain that can be applied to many different jewelry applications including bracelets, which is what this post features.

My viking knit bracelets range from 20.00-50.00. Please click here to see my full line of Viking Knit Bracelets.

Copper Coil Cluster Rings

My Copper Coil Cluster Rings are a unique amalgamation of tightly woven coils, spirals, springs and swirls.

Each ring is treated with a skin-safe coating to prevent further patina from forming and a green finger.