Monday, October 27, 2014

New pretties... and a Facebook page!

After a long period of inactivity (a new day job kinda took over for a while there), I've started creating again recently and have been prompted to create a Facebook page as an easy way to share what's new.  Here are a couple of pieces I created on the weekend.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Recent creations

"Solara" earrings. Gold tone filigree frames, imitation amber and miyuki drop beads.

"Eden" earrings. Silver tone hoops, czech glass leaves and assorted beads.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happiness is a new Lark book

Happiness is my 2 great loves in one: a new book full of beautiful jewellery.

I have several books in the '500' series by Lark books.  They're like picture books for grown ups. If you're at all interested in jewellery, art glass and the like, definitely check them out.

This one is Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry. It's amazing. Even seed beads - which I considered the most pedestrian of beads - are elevated to an art form here. I have so much still to learn, and I love it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

To wear or not to wear...

I frequently get comments on the jewellery I wear, but lately the conversation has changed with people who know that I am making jewellery. They usually go something like this:

Them: is that one of yours?

Me: (putting hands up to check which earrings or necklace I put on this morning) no, I didn't make those. Actually I'm not wearing any if my pieces today.

Them: why not??

It's logical that I would advertise my wares by wearing them. But at the moment, every piece I make and keep is one less piece of stock I have in my store.

Plus, I've been a jewellery wearer/collector much longer than I've been making. I actually have an entire display cabinet for my personal jewellery (plus pretty photo frames and other trinkets).

So, besides becoming a good judge of jewellery design, I've also learned some great places to shop. I'm working on a series of posts about some of my favourite shops on and offline.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A desk and a vision

I cannot believe my last post was in July! I have been busy making though, and just this week have finally got a dedicated work space.

Earlier this week I went to a Visualisation in Action workshop. It was a great way to creatively explore my vision for 2013.

I realised I have been downplaying my ambition and telling myself this is "just something on the side". But then I remember the vision that started all of this almost 3 years ago: "I want to love my work".

And I love making jewellery; the act of creation, playing with designs, bringing fresh beauty into being. 

I tell people I love it, that I would happily do it all day. So why on earth wouldn't I do everything in my power to make that my reality?

So 2013 is going to be big, because I will make it so. I think it is auspicious that at 12:12 on 12/12/12 I was here:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Losing time

I lost a day to jewellery on the weekend (or gained a day, as my sister commented).  I sat down with my boxes of beads and wire and played and created without any awareness of the passing of time.  I got a crick in my neck and forgot to eat lunch, but I was happy.

memory wire bracelet
What the Water Gave Me 
memory wire bracelet
Anatomy of Rain
sterling silver earrings
Basically Royal
fashion earrings 
Lolita's Fancy
fashion earrings
silver-filled earrings
Esmerelda's Tears 
sterling silver earrings

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Show me your rings (part 1)

Inspired by a series of posts called 'Show Me Your Rings' over at Gem Gossip, I remembered a photo I took a while ago of my own collection.

I crammed as many rings as I could manage one hand, only to discover I have so many I couldn't even fit them all on.  And these are only the 'small' ones... so stay tuned for part 2 (and possibly 3).

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Church of Adornment online store goes live

It's alive! Finally! My very own jewellery store, that is. 

Two years ago I enrolled in a night course to make silver jewellery, purely with the intention of making myself one piece. From that moment, hunched over a jeweller's peg in a high school classroom, something changed. I discovered that not only do I love making jewellery, but apparently I have some talent for it. 

This is just a small beginning, but it's something. And I hope it will lead to bigger things, more opportunities to bring beauty into the world.  Because that's what creating is about, ultimately.  So here it is: the Church of Adornment store on MadeIt.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Jewellery renovation: the Renata necklace

I recently purchased 2 bracelets on sale with the intention of pulling them apart and turning them into a necklace.  The beads look like they're just a synthetic resin over a shell-look background, but in lovely bright pink and purple tones.

The bracelets were not making the best use of the beads.  I found the teardrop shapes unflattering with the points alternating, and the design made them look cheap.  They were threaded on elastic strings and closed with a basic knot, so they were easy to dismantle.

The first thing I did was to organise the beads in order of colour and size, as some were slightly thicker than others and some had more intense colours, or more of one colour than the other.  I arranged them in a graduated curve ready for assembly into a necklace.

I then spent what was probably a couple of hours pairing them with different coloured spacer beads, trying different layouts, and trying to come up with a pleasing, balanced design.  I strung the beads on tiger tail wire and placed crimping beads in a couple of different places to ensure strength.

I'm quite pleased with the end result, and I think it's a vast improvement on the original bracelets.  I call it the Renata necklace.  Renata is a name with Latin origins and means 'reborn'.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

All in a day's work

These are the results of the jewellery course I went to last weekend at Ku-ring-gai Art Centre.

Coral-textured pendant with dichroic glass cabochon
This one turned out more 'handmade' looking than I'd hoped.  I didn't allow quite enough for the clay to shrink in the kiln, so it split at one of the joins.  But the dichroic glass is beautiful and it looks great on (much better than it does when I inspect it up close with my critical maker's eye).

Silver leaf imprint

These are made by painting layers of precious metal paste onto a real leaf.  Each layer must be completely dry before the next is applied.  Then they are fired in a kiln.  The leaf and the binding clay burn away, leaving pure silver.

I finished this by tracing the major vein lines with a burnishing tool, then burnishing a few raised parts of the leaf randomly.  I haven't made this into a piece of jewellery yet.  I think I might try to solder a pin to the back to make a brooch.

Open ring - textured PMC. 

Earrings for an autumn saunter
These were hand formed using precious metal clay and hand tools, sterling silver wire for the hooks.  I love the texture of these and the way the burnishing highlighted the raised parts of the pattern, leaving the rest a softer silver.

I'm still undecided about using PMC as a medium on a regular basis.  It's certainly much quicker to work with than sterling silver sheet and wire, but the nature of a clay-based medium means it's also harder to be precise.  

But the workshop was great, worth every penny. Just as it did the last time I made silver jewellery, I was barely aware of time passing.  I was happy, well and truly 'in the zone'.  It was a good reminder of why I want to find a way to make jewellery all the time.