Saturday, September 30, 2006

October Birthstone: Opals Are Okay

In the world of handcrafted beaded jewelry, we seldom see those wonderful flash and fire opals that come from Australia since most of them are set as gemstones, but we do have some opal beads that are beautiful. First are my favorite, yellow opals, and for the men out there who want to get their October sweetie a birthstone jewelry piece, remember that not all women like pink! Yellow opals with translucence are a wonderful colour, sometimes they look like liquid butter, but they are also opaque and can range from almost white to a deep yellow with hints of green as well as many shades between. The nuggets in the bracelet above,"Emily Morgan", are very rough, but they do have great translucence so I mixed them with a lot of sterling silver - and nothing else so that the earthy beauty of the stones shows through.

The other opals that we beaded jewelrymakers use often are called Peruvian opals, and yes, they come from Peru. Rumour has it that the mines are limited and these opals will soon be gone, but I'm not sure if that's hype or truth. While they last, I love to use pink Peruvian opals, and they too, come in varying stages of colour and even translucence ranging from almost white to opaque pink to very dark bright pink. Sometimes they have yellowish or brown to black inclusions. I love the perfect ones, of course, but I'm especially fond of those that are pink with black lines running throughout. The bracelet above, "Millicent", has "pebble" opals with less pink and also a pink scarab bead that is almost perfect in colour.
The next bracelet has the type of pink opal nuggets that are quite common to find on the market today: they are pink with some translucence, some whitish parts and some black inclusions. They are perfect to mix with garnets and black lampwork beads.

"My First Love" is the name of the bracelet above; it is very sweet although a nice chunky bracelet with lampwork beads by James Derrick Reeves, a Thai Karen Hill Tribes intricate rose charm and a second strand of sterling silver chain with more small Hill Tribes charms.
Opals are formed when water becomes trapped in layers of silica. There are many kinds of opals and not all have flash or fire. Mexican fire opals, the common opal, Australian fire opals, Peruvian blue opals, Boulder opals (from around Boulder, Colorado) are just a few.
You can see more opals on the Cluny Grey Website of Unique Handcrafted Jewelry by going to Opal Bracelets and Opal Necklaces.
We will also be auctioning some opal jewelry on Ebay under Cluny Grey or look for user id: chloemarie99.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More For Fall

I felt Fall today. A breeze in the humidity, an undercurrent of something cool in the air, the trees dancing gracefully to that rushing sound - yes, it's Fall here. For those of you not in the South, I will point out that I have been known to come home from teaching a night class in October and was so hot that I jumped in the pool. So Fall seems a little early actually.
On to Fall jewelry: I have decided that the gemstone that with the most "Fall" feeling is jasper. The bracelet above features red picture jasper, ocean jasper, and a couple of pieces of agate (another great Fall stone). This is "Listen to the Leaves" and it will go up for auction on Ebay tomorrow (Wednesday) night (late).

The next bracelet is primarily leopardskin jasper and has matching earrings. Most of the leopardskin jasper beads - and especially the round ones are huge! I think that this is about as chunky a bracelet as you would want to wear. The carved bead is red aventurine as is the heart charm (really the aventurine is more of a peach colour - the peach colour in the jasper beads.

The blue lace agate bracelet I did simply because I was so attraceted to the faceted rectangular and diamond shaped beads. Although I did add charms, this is one of the few gemstone bracelets that I've made lately that doesn't have any lampwork beads.

These jewelry pieces will probably all be on Ebay auction tomorrow night: look for Cluny Grey or check for seller id: chloemarie99 .

Jewelry Designers: Don't forget the ongoing contest at Ka Gold Jewelry!!! See previous blog entry for details.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Enter Your Jewelry Designs In Contest

Ka-Gold-Jewelry artist David Weitzman is holding an intriguing contest for all jewelry designers. Jewelry designers submit their designs and the winner receives a rendering of this design in 14 karat gold! (Or if he/she wishes, 5 implementations in sterling silver).
What I love about this contest is that the designer is urged to submit a symbol that is special to him or her in some way whether it is a religious or cultural symbol or one that is unique to your website or one that has a personal meaning known only to you! You can submit your special design, website logo or the custom jewel you have always dreamed of.
The winner is selected by user’s votes. So even if you don't submit a design yourself, you can participate in the contest by going to the Ka Gold Jewelry site and voting for one of the designs that you see. The contest is an ongoing contest and every two months a winner is declared.
To see the current entries and vote for your favorite, go to
Ka Gold Jewelry ContestTo see the contest rules and enter the contest yourself, go to Ka Gold Jewelry Contest The model will also be sold at Ka Gold Jewelry(if the submit person agrees) and it will be said that it is his design - a great way for jewelry designers to receive publicity and get your designs and name before a larger audience.

And while you're there...Ka-Gold Jewelry is a site I love to browse because they have some of the best information about symbolic imagery that I have seen on any jewelry site on the net. Check their Articles for some facinating information about symbols used in different cultures and eras. But watch out! You could stay on this site for hours!
Don't forget to check Cluny's New Fall Collection!