Thursday, January 25, 2007

Could You Call Me Eclectic?

First, "Hello" Hei, to all my friends in Finland. I haven't made it to your beautiful country yet, but I'm planning to get there. I hope the winter is not too dreadful for you this year, and that you were spared the terrible winter storms that Germany and other parts of Europe are getting.
I have been busy this new year of 2007, mostly working on the site and on special commissions for people, but I do have some pieces that have not made it to the website yet, or that I've just managed to put on in the last day or so.
The first is a rainbow moonstone bracelet - three strands of blue flash that is so difficult to capture in a photograph - but this bracelet is flashy. The lampwork beads that are in the bracelet have a special glow to them that reminds me of the moonstone. This would make a great piece for a wedding member - or even a bride.

The next two pieces are rose quartz, a bracelet and a necklace made of rose quartz nuggets (thinking ahead to Valentine's Day - see the heart charm on the bracelet?). Some gemstones look really good in nugget form; rose quartz is one of those gemstones.

When I have "nice" gemstones - precious stones that are well-faceted and have a good colour, it is very hard for me to use them - I want to have my cake and eat it, too. I hoard them, but I finally made myself use these great sapphires. They have a great colour though they are not transparent and it was hard for me to let go of them and actually put them in a piece of jewelry. (I'm like Scrooge; I like to take them out, look at them and handle them, and then put them back knowing that I have them). I'm pleased with the way the bracelet turned out. The clasp is one I've had for quite a while. It has a faceted iolite of very good quality in the toggle; I decided to use it for the sapphire bracelet (iolite was referred to as the "water-sapphire" after all).

More moonstone - only this is peach moonstone with little sparkles of chatoyancy; I really like it and can't wait to order more. Of course, I love peach.
This is not a combination that you see a lot: lapis and tourmalinated quartz with a greenish hue, but I'm blaming the colours on the borosilicate lampwork beads from Irene Collier. Only these beads gave me the idea to put these two stones together, and it's one of those mixes that I personally find rather exotic, so, of course I like it. It should probably be listed on my Unique Gemstone Jewelry page, but I am listing it under Lapis Jewelry.

Chrysoprase is always good when I have some that is ever so slightly translucent like these little pebbles of chrysoprase. The lampwork beads by laffingull were just made for chrysoprase, so here they are!

Finally, just a little bridesmaid jewelry with blue freshwater pearls, but that wonderful Swarovski bead in the center is so beautiful that I decided to put the picture here.

I do have a couple of auctions on Ebay this week: go to Studio G Ebay store to get a great deal.
The rest of the jewelry will be or is already listed on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pearls...Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings

I've been working with pearls, and loving it although I seem always to have to make myself get started with them. I'm especially fond of Biwa pearls, as you can see here, but I also love anything in the grey or silver family. With the first bracelet, I used these funky Biwa pearls that are rather large and have strange, but not unattractive, rings on them. I used some Swarovski crystals (small ones) and large Karen Hill Tribes chain. I wanted at least two strands of the Biwas to make an impact. Pearls are so beautiful when you're working with them in the studio, but if there aren't enough of them, they are diminished in a piece of jewelry. The pearl bracelet is listed under Freshwater Pearl Bracelets.The earrings are smooth flat Biwas that have the most beautiful nacre that I wanted a pair of earrings for myself out of them. Earrings are my least favorite jewelry type to make, but I decided to wrap some gold wire around these, and couldn't stop at making one pair. They're great, if I do say so myself.
The pearl necklace was inspired by the large blue pearl slab I had that I wasn't sure what to do with. I wrapped it, and wrapped a little shell bead on the front of it and decided to make a whole necklace instead of just a pendant. I had just gotten in new Karen Hill Tribes silver that day, so I had to experiment with some of the pieces I received. It's a very feminine necklace that also makes a statement. I already have it posted on the Pearl Necklaces page.Finally, I returned to those great Biwas pearls and wire wrapped a bracelet in goldfilled wire. I liked it so much that I'm going to keep it (I wore it today).

Friday, January 05, 2007

Garnet: January's Birthstone

Garnet probably got its name from pomegranate because the gemstone resembled the seeds of the fruit. Garnet has been used in jewelry for thousands of years, and is still extremely popular today. While most people usually think of garnet as being a dark red, in some cases it almost looks black when it is very dark, it can also be brown, amber, and green (in fact, green garnet called grossular garnet is one of my favorite stones). Garnet looks wonderful with other gemstones and in combination with pearls and mother of pearl. Because it is January, I've been working with garnet quite a bit, experimenting with it. The only thing about garnet that I don't like is that it is hard to find in large sizes (in beads). So when I find large faceted garnet nuggets as those you see here, I grab them fast!
I had fun with the mother of pearl and garnet and made this wirewrapped bracelet using some large white mother of pearl rings and ovals that I had. Deceptively simple, it looks fantastic on. You can see this bracelet on the Mother of Pearl Jewelry page on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.
I have large faceted iolite nuggets that I like and decided to combine them with the garnet and I'm very happy with the result which is a bracelet that goes with many of the clothes in my closet. The iolite is translucent and is a good complement for the mostly opaque dark garnet nuggets. This bracelet and the bottom one can be seen on the Garnet Bracelets page.The necklace features garnet and sterling silver and has a very nice sterling silver and garnet pendant that I've had in my stash for some time. I used the large linked Karen Hill Tribe imprinted chain and connected it in the middle to the bottom strand of the necklace (the pendant actually hangs from the bottom strand, not from the chain). I also added some borosilicate lampwork beads (I believe that these are from Frozenfyre). Borosilicate lampwork beads look wonderful with garnets. The necklace can be seen on the Garnet Necklaces page.
Finally, the last bracelet here has two strands of garnets mixed with sterling silver, lampwork beads from Irene Collier, and just two large faceted nuggets of rose quartz. The little garnet cabochon charms are the the Thai Karen Hill Tribes. Quite a few pieces of fancy silver on this one.
So to all of you born in January: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (And remember, if you want birthstone jewelry, but don't care for dark red garnets, look for them in other colours).
I also have a couple of garnet pieces on auction at Ebay this week at low, low starting bids. Go to Studio G, my Ebay store and the auctions should be on the first page.