Sunday, July 31, 2005


I spent yesterday afternoon in Nordstrom's and Saks amazed at the jewelry selection. What was really amazing to me however, was how much of it:
  • resembled the artisan work my colleagues and I are doing
  • seems to be of a poorer quality than the artisan work
  • how most of it is extremely overpriced--and priced at more than the one-of-a-kind pieces that so many of the members of the International Jewelers' Guild are creating
At one time, I could have pointed out perhaps that presentation might be the answer, but most artisan jewelry designers now have their own labels, boxes, logos, etc that are unique to their companies.
When examining some of the pieces I found that:
  • most of the pieces were not necessarily sterling silver or gold-filled--but base metal gold-tone or silver-tone, some were plated.
  • jump rings were flimsy; some already had visible openings where they had pulled apart
  • what appeared to be weak metal
  • in some cases, stones that looked acrylic, rather than glass
  • too much plastic
This is not to say that many of the pieces weren't beautiful--many were--and some I would like to have (although not at those prices). And of course, these pieces were not "one-of-a-kind."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More Work

The pearls and seed beads together are a departure from my usual combinations. I then added vintage leaves, glass flowers, and Swarovski crystals for the centers of the flowers. The larger flower is pink jade.
The pink zebrastone jasper I love! I think I'm keeping this one.

This is one furnace glass bracelet that I am tempted to keep for myself. I really like these colours together. The Preciosia crystal cubes are really neat, too.
I'm about to go to Chicago and I'm hoping to see a lot of good jewelry (jewelry in museums, I mean). Meanwhile, some more jewelry I've created in the past few days.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Little Work

I've been working a little lately and experimenting with adding vintage components to my usual gemstones, mixing vintage metal with my sterling silver.

Some of the beads I bought in Portugal are used in this slim bangle bracelet. I love the bright "white" silver. And I'm becoming very fond of crystal beads although I cared little for them in the past, and being a jewelry purist, never used them in any of my gemstone designs.

Some of my experimenting with lucite vintage flowers mixed with an old style filigree. There are 3 chains on either side of the bracelet although they don't show up very well in this picture. The filigree is what is called a "brass ox" and the chains are 14 karat goldfill. The middle of each flower is a Swarovski crystal. The flowers are attached with 14 karat gold-filled wire.

One of my "Bracelets of Summer". I like the double chain instead of having gemstones going all the way around, and of course, I love the colours. The aventurine turtle is in honour of Leslie, of course, (must have turtles in the summer).

Turquoise jade with an old filigree and vintage lucite flowers, Swarovski crystals, Hill Tribe sterling silver. Bangles are my favorite bracelets usually and it was fun to put disparate elements (or disparate for me anyway) in this one bracelet.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Bracelets of Summer

I just finished some bracelets tonight (3 to be exact) that I'm calling "The Bracelets of Summer" because they are a mix of gemstone nuggets of different colours with small different coloured rounds or rondelles between each. The colours tend toward the strong pastels (as opposed to spring pastels) that remind me of summer: the colours of pastel flowers with dashes of red tossed in. They remind me of the strappy sundresses people wear around the beach.
I'll post pictures tomorrow. I'm tempted to keep them all myself though...even the one that is made for a larger wrist!