Friday, May 26, 2006

Nights in Babylon

I've been working with my favorite for jewelry this week: gold. Or in this case, vermeil (24 karat gold layered over sterling silver) or 14 karat goldfilled.
The bracelet that you see above is from my "Babylonian" collection. I call it that because of the bright gold, lapis, turquoise, and carnelian which all remind me of the Mesopotamian art from Biblical times. The gold used in those works of art, artifacts, and jewelry is as pure as it can be and still retain its shape so that it is a dark bright colour like vermeil. I also used a bit of wirework with 14 karat goldfilled wire for something just a bit different. I love the look of gold with gemstones although I know that sterling silver is what is currently in vogue. Of course, I've had to incorporate some of my favorite lampwork beads as well.

Another Babylon bracelet mixes just lapis and carnelian together. I love the colours in this carnelian, and the lapis I've gotten lately is of good quality with just the right sprinkling of pyrite (fool's gold) throughout so that it has the glittery look in the light that I admire.

I also love sunstone - what's not to love. It's a peachy to coral colour and it GLITTERS because of chatoyancy or Schiller effect. Very good sunstone is so expensive, but I got some okay sunstone (it has chatoyancy) and had to play with it a bit.

To see this jewelry and more, go to Cluny Grey Jewelry or check for some on auction on Ebay under user id: chloemarie99 or do a search for Cluny Grey.

Another jewelry blog: If you are interested in Jewelry (yes, with a capital "J") check out Zsolt Balla's blog Modern Jewelry from Budapest, Hungary. It has lots of information on jewelry and jewelry styles and fashions.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tourmaline, Turquoise, and My Bracelets de La Semaine

triple strand tourmaline bracelet with labradorite and sterling silverI've been trying to work with different gemstones, since I am so bad about getting onto one and using and reusing it (I've been doing that with turquoise). In an effort to be a bit different, I've used tourmaline - not my favorite gemstone because good tourmaline is just too expensive, and I seldom see it cut in a way that I want to use and that I can afford to use as well. But I did get some pretty tourmaline from Spain with lots of pink in it, green, and very little black. I threw in some of the highest quality labradorite rondelles that I had (tons of blue flash) and used one of my labradorite nuggets with good blue flash, made three strands, braided them, and I'm pretty happy with the result.
turquoise beaded bracelet with green quartz and sterling silver
turquoise bracelet with pearls and sterling silverI've been playing with turquoise as you can see, and here are some of the results of my play. I tried it with pearls (above) and lampwork beads, muscovite and lampwork beads, and even green quartz and lampwork beads. The lampwork beads are by Burt Gumeson and James Derrick Reeves, two of my favorite lampworkers. The pearls are freshwater, and the metal components, charms, clasps, beads, are all sterling silver. Hmmm, I'm going to have to put a picture of a turquoise bracelet with gold (or vermeil) because I think that while turquoise and sterling silver are classic, gold is fantastic with turquoise and gives it a richness that reminds me of ancient romantic places, Babylon, Sumer, Ur, Egypt.
turquoise bracelet with lampwork beads and muscovite gemstones and sterling silver
By the way, if you are intersted in beading and other crafts, check out Elifce's blog where she demonstrates with video - and even has some video of her hometown in Turkey! Look on my sidebar under Elifce's for her
Cluny Grey Jewelry

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Playing with Pearls

This week I've been playing with pearls (if you can't tell). I especially love silver pearls, but except for the silver, I really didn't play with any of the coloured pearls I have. I really wanted to work only with my freshwater white pearls in different shapes and sizes, but as usual I got sidetracked because I think that both navy and black look so good with silver. and these silver freshwater pearls have a beautiful nacre, so it seemed a shame not to use them. The top bracelet features the very special lampwork beads that I don't get to buy that often, but that I love because of the way they are laced with metallic silver. I decided on 3 strands for the bracelet to counteract the delicacy of the pearls and to carry off the lentil lampwork beads, threw in some great "shadow" Swarovski crystal, and a lot of Karen Hill Tribes silver.
I've loved coral since about 1976 when I had a fabulous coral and navy necklace (the coral was a bright peach) that looked fantastic against a tan. Coral and pearls are classic and rather Victorian; throwing in the silver modernizes this bracelet quite a bit. I made a similar version with gold and 4 strands instead of 3.

Great iolite nugget beads inspired this bracelet. Iolite is so hard to get a good picture of! I can never get the depth and translucence of the stones to show through. The iolite looks great with the silver pearls - take my word for it.
And finally, pearls and... genuine sapphires! They are not gem-quality, of course, and they are opaque, but they look wonderful with white pearls and the ornate sterling silver beads and charms. I'm happy with the earrings also.
Some of these are on auction on Ebay this week: user id: chloemarie99 or search for Cluny Grey or check out the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

  • Cluny Grey Jewelry