Friday, August 31, 2012

Finished - Just in Time for Isaac

We've been waiting for rain all week - but it looks like we might actually get some today.  Just in time for me to have this necklace finished.  
As I suspected, making these wire wrapped beaded links over and over again has really improved my skill.  The tedium has paid off. This is good as I have several ideas in my  head that will no doubt include this technique.

Speaking of technique:
I am loving this style of closure.  It provides such a nice, finished look, and it is really easy to attach behind one's head.  It's comfortable, and it stays closed.  I will probably never use a lobster claw again.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fiddly Work

Here is the focal point of a necklace that I started a little while ago.  I decided the best solution for the chain was to make a beaded chain, and you can see the start here.  Those little blue bicones are the exact same color as the blue briolettes.  
But I didn't have enough of the blue bicones to make a necklace, so I had to add another bead.

The added beads are a cloudy Swarovski bicone - I thought the cloudy color was a bit of a visual pun.  So I started making beaded links, and made more, and made more...
and then it was time to go to bed!  
Those little beaded links are very fiddly to make.  I'm using the smallest gauge wire I have.  I didn't get very far, did I?

Well, and I thought I might work on this project:
This is a necklace I made months ago, and I've only worn it twice.  The concept didn't quite work out like I wanted it to, but those big crystal beads would be perfect with the smaller bead pictured in a necklace to match the bracelet I made earlier this week.
So, I'm gonna...what?  Frog this necklace?  Cannibalize it?  How does one talk about dismantling a piece of jewelry in order to make a new piece?  I'm so out of the loop!
Maybe I'll figure out some lingo by the time I finish the other beaded chain.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just a Pair of Earrings

I sold a pair of earrings like this yesterday, only they had a different bead trapped in the hoop.  So I decided to try a similar design with a different bead.  I changed the way the ear hook attaches to the hoop on this pair, and I think I like it better.  It seems a bit more sturdy.
And that is what you call "live and learn."

So, the answer to yesterday's question: a pair of earrings to match the necklace first, or a necklace to match the bracelet first? 
The earrings require fusing, and I think it might not be wise to try to use a torch after a long day at work and coming home to make dinner.  That will have to wait for the weekend.
But the necklace....that is an intriguing thing to think about.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Finished Necklace, and a Bracelet

After feeling like I wasn't sure if I liked the lashing between links on this necklace, when I went back to it, I really liked the lashing.  So I continued to connect the links together, and then I had to come up with some way to suspend it from my neck.
Beaded chain to the rescue, again!
This feels like I'm working in a series, and although I really love this piece, I know it will lead to other designs in the same category.
And I am really loving this easy-to-fasten hook and eye closure.  It's so much nicer than the lobster claws I used to put up with before I knew how to make a closure myself.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday, and since we celebrated all weekend, I had very little time to get into the studio.  I became a grouchy little thing last night, and after he went to bed, I had a little time to create.  What an improvement in my temperament!  And I finally got these photos taken. 
Here is a bracelet I completed before all the festivities.

Usually I shy away from making bracelets because they get hammered by the wearing, and I worry that my designs won't survive.  But this design insisted on being made, and I wore it all day yesterday.  Very lightweight, comfortable, and it withstood any abuse.  
Now I have to decided, earrings to match the necklace first, or a necklace to match the bracelet first?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Finish, A Good Start

After figuring out how to do this for the eye, the hook was a breeze and only took a few minutes.  I'm pleased with how it turned out, but I don't like the bracelet.  Oh well, what'reya gonna do?

Now this is making me happy.  I wasn't so sure about the look of the wire wrapped connection between the links, but when I came back to it last night, I decided it was just perfect.  
And so I'm off on a good start with this piece.  I started making the beaded chain, and then I noticed it was getting late.  I continue to have slightly achey hands, so I decided it's best to take it easy for a bit.  

This morning I looked at my inventory and discovered I had made some pieces that I have forgotten to take pictures of and to post in my etsy shop!  Wha?
So here is a first look:

This is a new necklace, similar to one I posted for sale recently.  Silver plate and 3 gorgeous chalcedonies.  And I made matching earrings!

Again, silver plate and 2 chalcedonies.  See you on etsy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Learning Experience

Sometimes you get what you aim for, sometimes what you get is experience.
What you are looking at is the 5th attempt to attach a eye closure to this bracelet I took on as a commission.  I think I am finally pleased with this.  I will add a few drops of superglue just to be certain it doesn't pull off, although I have fashioned a hook that embeds in the middle of the depth of the braid.  
I will attempt the hook portion on the other end of the bracelet tonight. 

I'm not sure I like this.  Now that I have my wire, I have to find some way to connect these links.  A simple jump ring will slide around too much, making all the wired-on beads rotate to the bottom of the rings.  I don't want that, so I have to come up with something else.

Seems like all I made last night was scrap wire.  Sigh.

I was just fooling around late Sunday night, and I fused this wire piece together.  I'm left with the inevitable question:
Now what?

Stay tuned.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Reveal, A WIP. and A Commission

Here is a completed shot of the necklace I had started before.  It was given as a belated birthday present to my darling coworker, whose personal coloring was perfect for the peachy bead.  I was really pleased with how this piece went together.
Especially the closure.  Very easy and comfortable, and she wore the necklace all day without any problem.

I made some progress on the sterling links necklace, too, even though I was lacking sterling wire.

I used these bead tip wires to wrap the cube beads in place, thus reinforcing the circles and squares theme.  
Another shot.

And I am glad to say that I am back in business!

I got my wire order in today!  20 feet of three different gauges - this should keep me busy for a while!

I also have a commission for which I was awaiting wire to complete:

I work at a jewelry store, and one of our customers wanted to know if someone could make a clasp for the bracelet on the right like the clasp on the bracelet on the left.
Luckily, my coworker suggested I might be able to do it, and so I might.  I think it should be no problem, although I will have to cut the braid and make sure it doesn't fray while I'm attaching the new clasp.  I already have that worked out, too.

Unfortunately, I overdid it yesterday and found my hands were aching all day today.  Time to give myself a break - right when I have so many interesting projects to work on!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dead in the Water

As I am waiting for my next sterling wire order to arrive, I am spinning my wheels in my studio.  

I had this idea on Friday, and made a sketch at work.

This is supposed to be a necklace.  Some of the links are made of sterling wire that I will fuse.  Some of them are these great new beads I bought - they are ceramic beads dipped in sterling silver.  Hand made in Mykonos.  Very shiny.

I have the heavy gauge wire that will make the fused links, so I began that work on Saturday afternoon.

I started by making these loops of different sizes, filing the ends so they would fit together nicely.  As I began building the design, I discovered that I needed to simplify it a bit, so I didn't make as many links as I had drawn.

This is the simplified design.
I find it makes things easier if I take a picture to remind myself what I had planned on doing.  

Here are the fused rings, filed and positioned.  Just waiting now, for the finer gauge wire to show up so I can finish this...

In the meantime,

These are also on my work surface, awaiting wire or my attention, or both.
The cloud is sterling, and I definitely want to wait for the sterling wire to finish it.

The pearl/crystal/peachy chalcedony piece, however, is wired with silver plated wire.  I have bunches of that.  
This piece was just happy serendipity.   The "curls" were mistakes - sometimes the wire curls up on itself instead of fusing.  I'm getting better at using a torch, but I still make mistakes.  However, when the three curls were placed together and fused, no mistakes were made and this cloud shape emerged.  
I will wait for the sterling wire to finish this piece, too.