Friday, February 23, 2007

Aquamarine: The Sea Stone

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March, so I've been working with it quite a bit lately, getting ready for next month. It is a gemstone that I love to work with though since turquoise and aqua shades are just about my favorite colours. I cannot help myself when it comes to naming jewelry pieces containing aquamarine: the only thing I can think about is water, namely the ocean, the sea, the beach, mainly the colour of the water in the Bahamas.
It is rather hard to find aquamarine at a reasonable price usually. Much of the aquamarine out there is so pale as to be almost colourless. But I have been lucky to find some aquamarine with good colour that is natural - and what a stroke of luck! Good aquamarine is truly beautiful; I don't have aquamarine with deep, deep colour except in some opaque nuggets, but what I do have is clear and true and lovely even when it has inclusions.
The first aquamarine bracelet is one of the few that does not have a "sea-name" since I called it "Silent Singing;" however, I'll let you in on a secret; I was thinking of the singing of the sea sirens who lured sailors to their deaths with their beautiful songs, so it is sea-related after all.
I am very fond of the set I made with aquamarine and coin pearls: earrings, necklace, and bracelet. (The bracelet isn't shown here, but you can find it on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website on our page of Aquamarine Bracelets.)Click Aquamarine Earrings for the earrings, and Aquamarine Necklaces for the necklace. They are all quite simple, but integrate the geometric look that is so in style this season.
I have made some aquamarine bracelets without any lampwork beads (for a change), but of course, I made some like the two above as well. Directly above, borosilicate lampwork beads add to the watery look and mysterious feel, and the bracelet above it has lampwork beads from Blue Seraphim lampwork that look great with goldfilled elements with aquamarines.
We've added quite a few new pages of jewelry to the Cluny Grey Jewelry website. One features Apatite Jewelry, and another features our new Prayer Box Necklaces which feature sterling silver prayer boxes as an element in our jewelry. The apatite bracelet above is a favorite of mine (the colour of course!). Until next time, keep beading and making the world beautiful!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chatoyancy: Moonstone, Sunstone, and All Mixed Up

I am particularly fond of jewelry that glows or sparkles or glimmers or get the idea. That's why I love jewelry that has chatoyancy or the Schiller Effect (flash or iridescence). You expect flash from rainbow moonstone, but look at the glimmer in this peach moonstone bracelet. It's as though there's is a light sprinkling of glitter in these natural stones. I liked these moonstones so much that I decided to combines them only with one lampwork bead and sterly silver so I wouldn't overpower them. This is listed on the Moonstone Bracelets page on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.Above you see what most people think of when moonstone springs to mind: rainbow moonstone, here in a double strand bracelet with lampwork by James Derrick Reeves and lots of sterling silver. A ton of flash glimmers in this rainbow moonstone bracelet, and even the little sterling silver bezel-set cabochon rainbow moonstone charms have flash. I love this one. You can find it on the Rainbow Moonstone Jewelry page.
Ooooooo, sunstone! And this is great sunstone with its wonderful flash and fire. I've also added fire agate nuggets to this triple strand bracelet, and Swarovski copper crystals AB including a large Cosmic Swarovski crystal. This is the bracelet that cannot be ignored! It's on our Sunstone Jewelry page.
I went crazy, picked out some of my favorite colours in gemstones and combined them all together for this Spring themed bracelet that is very colourful to say the least. It will go with about any outfit in your closet. Gemstones include: citrine, amethyst, rhodochrosite, apatite, smoky quartz, blue lace agate, and amazonite. I have a newer page on the website that I've called Unique Gemstone Jewelry because I like gemstone mixtures so much, and I am not always quite sure where to list them. You'll find this bracelet on that page.
I've been busy with commissions and haven't blogged enough, but I remember my New Year's Resolution about updating and will try to get back on track!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Amethyst, Aquamarine, and Coral, Coral, Coral

First, halloo to the jewelrymakers in Estonia; thanks for looking in on my blog.
The first bracelet is made of chunky, and I do mean chunky nuggets of amethyst and aquamarine. The aquamarine nuggets are rather rough cut, but it only adds to their charm. They were sold to me as aquamarine (I bought them directly from a reputable dealer in China), but I really think that they are probably aquamarine quartz. Anyway, I am crazy about this chunky nugget bracelet, and it looks like a million bucks. It's listed on a new page of the website called Unusual Jewelry Of course, I can't take credit for the lampwork beads; they are the work of master lampworker James Derrick Reeves.I worked with coral as a diversion (I usually do coral for the summer)but got carried away with the blue coral that I had and mixing it with other items. This blue coral necklace I mixed with some great mother of pearl flat beads I have; the flat mother of pearl has a blue tint and a gorgeous nacre; I was quite pleased with the way that it turned out. All three coral necklaces are on the Coral Necklaces page, and pricing is coming soon. But check out my ebay auctions since I think I may put one up for auction, and if I do, it will start at a much lower bid price than it will be on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.
I've been lucky lately in finding good faceted nuggets and these fire agate nuggets are just one example. Babylonian Tiger is fire agate mixed with some quite good lapis lazuli and sunstone. This is on auction on Ebay at a lower beginning bid than the website price.Finally, I like these earwires so much that I included them in the blog today. The little faceted squares at the bottom are a peach-pink moonstone. You can find those on the Moonstone Jewelry page on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.