Monday, October 22, 2007

a bracelet a day....keeps the rain away!

Here in Vancouver we are settling in for the loooooong rainy winter. This is my favorite time of year to get crafty. Today I'm posting a bracelet I made for my friend's birthday. I used the same technique as the baby bracelet in the last post with the wire loops wrapped to closed jump rings. I added interest and movement with the dangling charms.

The stones I used were rough cut Peruvian opals and kyanite.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tiny baby bracelet

This is the smallest bracelet I've ever designed. It's for a newborn baby girl and I can't wait to see it on her wrist! Her mom mentioned that she really wanted a bracelet for her baby daughter and I made note of it. The result is so delicate and pretty I think I'll want to make an adult sized one also!

The bracelet was made using gold filled wire and closed jump rings with alternating Arizona Turquoise stones and 4mm gold filled beads. I really like working in this style of making delicate "chain" from linked beads and jump rings. I find if I just link the beads without a jump ring the jewelry doesn't move freely enough. The links get kinked very easily when the jump rings are absent. Something I've learned from linking thousands of beads together over the years.

One of the first things people always ask me when they look a my jewelry is how I get the loops formed so perfectly. Practice, practice, practice! Exactly the same as sewing a straight line....lots of practice!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Filigree from Oaxaca

I don't have any current jewelry updates to share with you today. Instead I thought I would share a bit of my personal history in my journey towards becoming a jewelry designer.

I spent the year of 2001 living and studying in Oaxaca Mexico. It was a sabbatical of sorts from my career as a designer in the clothing and apparel industry. It was also a year of reflection about what kind of work I would really like to be doing next. (designing jewelry) ..... I have been designing jewelry for almost 20 years! I started when I was only 14. I spent my year in Oaxaca brushing up on my Spanish, and I also spent that year enrolled in a jewelry design program at a local Artisan's School. That was where I learned the intricate art of filigree jewelry making. It is a dying art I might add, as the labor and time involved in creating these pieces is enormous. Young people today are looking for more lucrative careers and are more drawn to technology. One of the things I loved the most about this art form was it's ancient, manual techniques. Everything is done painstakingly by hand! The photos here are two pair of earrings I completed at the end of the course. The amethyst pair I wore for my wedding. I also met and married my husband during this year long sabbatical!!

I have lots of new jewels on order so expect to see some new collections very shortly. The winter season is the busiest for me, so I should be getting into full production mode as soon as the rain starts here in Vancouver - end of October and ALLLLL of November!!