Tag Archives: jewelry

A Few Features

Shannon of Abstract Lucidity very kindly nominated me for a creative blogger award. While honored, I’m not sure how that sort of thing works so far as the tagging others or who to tell, etc. So instead of nabbing others, I’m just going to use it as an excuse to mention a few favorite crafty blogs. I also have to apologize, I’ve been having trouble getting links to work and while they’re back I’m still having issues getting images to show. Sorry, you’ll have to click the links, but they’re worth it, promise! Just beware, you might get sucked in for hours…

 

I’m not supper active in blogging, and some of these people aren’t either, so they might not be updated as often as you hope. But they’re all worth a visit when you want some inspiration.

 

Deri made the fantastic Tut I showed off last week. She has a way with tiny details (and I mean *tiny*) and distilling intense historical research into a deceptive simplicity. She seems utterly fearless about tackling difficult places and times for inspiration. She’s probably best known for her brilliant, mad, and sometimes morbid series of Tudor dolls. (Deri’s also a lot of fun to mess with when it comes to giving her more doll ideas than she can sanely cope with…)

 

Rhissana is always so nice, patiently sharing and explaining doll and general crafting tips. She’s recently got me looking at too many cheap things to play with on ebay… (fair warning, they might start showing up on here…) Her dolls have amazing, delicate details both in their bodies and costuming. She’s also upcycling royalty-Queen of the dollar store steampunk and Duchess of Kitchen Drawer (and everything but the Sink) magic. Beware, if you click, you’ll never look at yard sales or spray paint the same way ever again. And you’ll want to try everything.

 

The first doll artist I started watching was Cynthia. Like the others, I first found her on deviantart and she is wonderful about sharing her knowledge and joy of dollmaking. One of my first entries showcases two of her autumn themed dolls and their fantastic photosessions. She always gives them the best props to play with. It makes me wonder, do you need the right garden and library before you can adopt them? I love the gentleness in her doll’s faces and the delicacy of their wings. (Okay, and envy it too. Those wings, *sigh*) She’s done some wonderful character adaptations.

 

One funny thing, I hadn’t thought about it until I was typing this up, both Cynthia and Rhissana have done variants on Alice in Wonderland. Both adorable and such different takes. So here’s Tea Party Alice and Miss R. White and her Alice Doll! For another set of contrasts The Little Prince has been ‘translated’ by both Cynthia and Deri. So it seems like I’ve a bit of a theme of artists who like to play with cultural touchstones! 

 

Chris is a polymer clay artist with an ancient (scavenger’s) soul…. Her works have the most amazing textures I’ve seen in clay-you want to pet them through the screen. And I love how she uses upcycled elements and turns them into treasures. It’ll make you want to run to the craft store and clear out the shelves. Her work has such a natural growth feel that makes it look so easy. If only!

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Through the Looking Glass Invite

I’ve had my dolls in the Wesleyan Potters annual juried show for the past few years, but this is the first that some of my jewelry will be joining them at the exhibit and sale. I’m really excited. (And perhaps a little terrified, I hope it goes well and they make a good impression!)

It opens this Friday. To my great regret I will not be able to attend their little mid-morning champagne to-do, but consider yourselves invited if anyone is in the area!

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Tektite Earrings

A quick show and tell.

I did experiment with the tektites a little-they’re awfully difficult to wrap-so I ended up just making simple coil to hold them. I opted for silver earwires, since less people have an allergy and made them out of twisted square wire for some textural interest. Plus two-tone projects match more things!

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An Ammonite Again!

A whole ammonite this time, chambers well hidden but polished to show off the wonderful iridescence these guys sometimes have.

I posted another ammonite, so decided I might as well share another of my fossil tanka. Because sometimes you just have to write on an improbable prompt to keep from going mad from boredom (or frustration) at work!

 

ammonite

 

frozen whirlpool, still

expanding, trying to flee

the growing chambers’

sutures–inescapable

rooting in the stony past

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O is for October and Opal

Precious opal is October’s traditional birthstone.

 

It’s one of my favorite stones, at least to admire if not to work with. Opal is similar to the feldspars in that it has the addictive quality of each gem being different. Boulder opals, trails and pools of opal still in their matrix stone, have a wonderful narrative feel. Like gazing at clouds they have shapes and stories and weather in them.

 

Opal under a microscope.

Their chemical composition is hydrous silicon dioxide. The stunning colors come from the fact that opal is composed of tiny spheres layered in essentially a silica jelly. The light passing through and refracting off of them is what gives them that fire. How even the spheres and how close together changes the intensity and color.

 

Opals are between 3% and 30% water. The color can diminish if the opal loses some of its water through heat or cracking. Keeping them in or near slightly moistened cotton wool can prevent drying out over time. Sometimes the play of light in old opals can be partially resuscitated with oil or epoxy resin.

 

Couldn’t get a decent photo of the ring I’m trying to salvage, so a boulder opal I wrapped with amethyst instead 🙂

(I’m trying to use oil treatments to save the opal from an old beaten up poison ring. But it was a poison ring, with my birthstone, I had to try it!)

 

Some attribute the stories about opal being a cursed gem to the fact that special care needs to be taken when working with it. It’s a soft stone, so sensitive to knocks as well as to heat, acids and alkalis.

 

(I can sympathize with this, I got some Ethiopian opal wet and that was the end of that…I’ve never had trouble with any other sort, but then wire wrapping doesn’t tempt fate too much in terms of either heat or pressure.)

 

The same is true of wearing them. They’re stunning and not particularly high maintenance, but rings especially are susceptible to being knocked about and dried with or abraded by harsh soaps. So part of the bad luck bad rap may be also be that heirloom quality rings don’t seem to last as long as other gems unless they’re well taken care of over the years!

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Prepping for Leaf Peeping

cool nights bring russets,

gilded undertones emerge

in syrupy light.

green- naively pushed aside

or conqueror overthrown?

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Growly face and dougnuts

Spiderweb obsidian, like most semi precious stones, shows infinite variation. I love it because even though it isn’t fancy like a diamond, unlike a diamond, each one is unique. Which is also why I can identify the ones taken from me, even if the fact that I know my own wirework and can provide dated photographs isn’t enough…

I know this isn’t even a blip in the radar of things that really matter, but I’m vibrating between tired anxious and annoyed right now and can’t focus on anything useful. (And my wire jacaranda trees are not behaving, I’m running out of stones and can’t get it *just right*)

Feel free to skip, I’ll try to have something fun and fuzzy up shortly.

In May I had some pendants on consignment with a shop whose tent at Brimfield was robbed during the night. (He only brought his most expensive pieces home, I will confess annoyance that he left pieces that weren’t even really his to leave behind..) My pieces were amongst the pieces stolen. When the shop owner finally told me (a few weeks after the event and one day before I was leaving on vacation) I tried to email pictures of some of the pieces to the police. Never heard back, didn’t really expect to.

I was shopping Brimfield with my mom today and I found two of those pieces being sold in another tent.

I failed at not reacting, and my mother really failed and started asking the dealer questions. He said he got them at auction and wouldn’t tell me where or what or whose auction, claiming he didn’t keep records of that kind of thing.

I wasn’t sure what to do and just had to walk away. Another dealer who saw me upset told me to call the cops.

With the help of some very nice people I eventually managed to reach the police, who over the phone pointed out that I couldn’t prove the pieces were one of a kind.

They’re hand made-I couldn’t make exact copies of the wire frames even if I try-so chances are pretty good no one else could make an exact replica either. Plus each stone has a pretty unique pattern- one cut gem might look like any other cut gem of the same type, but cabs tend to have designs unique to them, especially the freeform ones I use. One stone was a spiderweb obsidian, and I’ve not found another with a similar pattern. I’d been looking to replace this stolen one. The other was an orthoceras, so being a once living thing it too is near unique in its exact formation. The orthoceras I’ve a photo of, with other wraps by me, posted on my site almost exactly two years ago.

This guy was also pretty unique. Besides my wrapping style, it’s a fossil of an ancient squid sort of creature, and there tends to be some variation in individual fossils. I know the one I saw today was this one, stolen from me in May.

However, an officer did come, but by the time we got to the tent the man had suddenly packed up for an unnamed auction in Connecticut and his belligerent friend was packing up because he had a wake to go to. There was no permit that I could see to give any identification or number, and all the friend would say was that the man’s name was either Bill or Bob. As said, the officer was nice to me, but didn’t seem to make any effort to look for the missing permit or call the guy on it, let alone make him give up the name of his partner. (Or even give his own name.)

So I was given a badly photocopied incident report which I have to fill out and bring back tomorrow (since apparently email and fax aren’t options) plus find a way to print decent copies of my digital photos.

What’s also kind of classic is that he was selling the coated copper piece (which I had labeled as such) as sterling silver by weight. I guess it’s like my father says, once dishonest, always dishonest…

I know it’s pretty irrational, but this really ruined the show for me.

So many people there are really nice, but it isn’t fun anymore. I’ve been going (often all three shows) practically every year since I could walk. I used to love rummaging through all the stuff in the hopes of finding broken bits and bobs to work into my jewelry. Before it hit the fan today I got some fun old coins to wire wrap. Less on the rummage side, I’m also working on collecting antique books.

(Okay, that sounds more highfalutin than it really is. I’m a sucker for turn of the century fairy tale illustrations, so I collect those.

Mostly Arthur Rackham, a little Edmund Dulac.)

Now whenever I rummage I’m a) worried that its through things stolen from somebody else and b) half looking through the silver to see if I see any more of my pieces. It didn’t feel like a rusty treasure hunt anymore. So I treated myself to an apple cider doughnut and went home.

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