Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Collection 2010: Turquoise and Chalcedony

The title of this post is somewhat misleading since I have pieces made from Swarovski, amethysts, aquamarine and lampwork along with the turquoise and chalcedony. I simply decided to have a post full of pictures, and to put some pieces here that haven't made it into some of my other posts.
Above is my favorite piece this week: a handmade necklace with two strands of richly coloured gemstones including aquamarines, peridots, citrines, and rose quartz with a "watchchain" third strand with long charms featuring aquamarines, jade, peridot, rose quartz, and citrine. The aquamarine, citrine, peridot, and jade are colours that are "in" this Fall. Below, an amethyst necklace is made from rough, chunky amethyst points, refined sterling silver from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes, and artist's lampwork. I love the special Hill Tribe leaf beads which are a very shiny sterling silver with an interesting twist to them.
The last necklace, a lariat, below, is made from Swarovski crystals, sterling silver, and artist's lampwork. The necklaces have been running a bit longer to look great with the new Fall fashions.
An aquamarine bracelet reflects a growing interest I've had lately in making my own chain and sterling silver elements, as does the lampwork bracelet with the twisted coil immediately below the aquamarine. The lampwork bracelet features a single disk of porcelain jasper with an intriguing swirling pattern.

The next three bracelets, above and below, feature turquoise. Above, a pretty large nugget of turquoise is complemented by orange carnelian and two special lampwork beads that pull the colours of the bracelet together. One of my favorite types of second strands is made of tiny beads from the Karen Hill Tribes and has charms hanging from it. The turquoise bracelet below is simpler, but full of sterling silver and amazing blue lampwork beads. The last turquoise bracelet has one of our favorite clasps, a sterling silver bird with an oval, one of our favorite chains, deep blue faceted turquoise rectangles, and an artist's lampwork bead with a desert scene (not painted on).

The last group of jewelry is all chalcedony in its many different colours. The gold colour in the earrings above is especially striking, while the earrings below, topped with sterling butterflies have faceted chalcedony rectangles in a delicate green (referred to as "endive" in the fashion mags). The two chalcedony bracelets following are perfect matches for the earrings. (All chalcedony jewelry can be found on our Chalcedony Jewelry page on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

The next two bracelets are in one of my favorite chalcedony colours, a pretty turquoise; the first features sterling silver accents, the second 14k goldfilled metal. Finally, a three strand charm bracelet showcases the many pretty colours of chalcedony in different shapes and sizes.

The high today was a wonderful 67 degrees! Lovely! I hope it's nice where you are, too!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Jewelry Trend: A Colourful Fall

I love Fall and Winter colours, and this Fall/Winter is great for colour since brights are in! Of course, greys are big (see the rutilated quartz bracelet above), but some of the season's best colours are bright and bright darks as in the bracelet below. This handmade bracelet features mookite and artist's lampwork beads in two of the season's greats: deep gold and cocoa. The chain element is still big and you see it here (two lengths of the chain have been turned inward so that you can see the Karen Hill Tribes charms more easily in this shot). Although many of my clientele still seem to prefer sterling silver, gold metal is everywhere and dominated the September issues of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. For those that are gold lovers, and I am, see the pietersite bracelet below with its gold charms and chains and marvelous pietersite beads with a dark brown base and, in this pietersite, a gold chatoyancy that gives even more gleam.

One of the biggest colours this Fall 2010 is red - bright, lipstick red! And our red carnelian is the perfect red. The carnelian bracelet below features the ever-present charms in sterling silver, a studded and intricate toggle clasp, and carnelian beads in a beautiful red that is translucent. Below are pairs of carnelian earrings and a fantastic double-stranded carnelian necklace.

Above, this handmade necklace is one unique to Cluny Grey, but you will see versions of it everywhere from David Yurman to John Hardy. The great bonus to the necklace is its versatility: in the bottom photo with white background, you see the long, long necklace with its cultured freshwater pearls (trefoil shaped) dangling at intervals the whole length of the necklace. Wear it this way with a plain turtleneck sweater dress for a dramatic statement. The picture above shows the necklace doubled - and because the closure is a large curved lobster clasp, it can even be worn as a lariat necklace.
I'm working and working every night to get the pieces on the website with the shopping cart. If you see a piece that you want here on the blog, e-mail me, and I'll make the shopping cart button for you right away. I've had customers e-mail me about pieces that they've seen on the blog, but can't seem to find on the website anywhere. That is usually because someone has sent me an e-mail requesting that piece before I can get it listed; the most popular pieces can sell out fast. By the way, you will eventually see more pieces of each kind on the website - we will have more than one carnelian bracelet, for example.
Enjoy the Fall and I'll see you later this week with some chalcedony and turquoise that you won't want to miss!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jewelry Trend: Majestic Purple

So much for thinking that I would write a post the next day! Life intervenes, and in this case, the blog suffered. However, I am back now with the next jewelry trends for Fall 2010. The colour is purple and here the gemstone is amethyst. The amethyst bracelets on the Cluny Grey Jewelry site range from pale amethysts which are known as "Cape Amethysts" to the dark nuggets you can see in the bracelet below. Above is an amethyst bracelet with lighter (although not "Cape") amethyst, clear and pretty, to dress up those purple outfits or add a new touch of purple for this Fall. The bracelet has 2 strands: one is amethysts and sterling silver while the second strand is one of our favorite sterling chains from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes. In contrast, the amethyst bracelet below features dark purple amethysts with a purple fluorite carved flower as the center. The next picture shows a pair of earrings with the same dark nuggets topped by filigree and hanging from filigree earwires.
If you are not a purple lover and new purple clothes won't be making their way into your wardrobe this season, the bracelet below may be just the touch you need to add for a pop of new colour and to update last year's outfits. These amethyst nuggets and the amethyst charms around the bracelet are complemented by special borosilicate lampwork beads that contain purple, shades of blue, and pinkish red. It's perfect for integrating a touch of purple with a red, blue, or pink outfit - and it also looks great with white.
The earrings above are some of our favorites because of the transparent nuggets, the gem-quality coins, and especially the posts which have a peacock pearl bezel set into the middle of a dome. They would look great worn with the amethyst bracelet, below, made with the same amethyst nuggets, with a pretty blue aquamarine nugget. The sterling silver bead has flowers in relief for a nice touch.
Below are lampwork earrings in purple (no amethysts). These gorgeous earrings feature lampwork beads from the same set as the amethyst bracelet pictured under them. A gorgeous rutilated quartz focal adds a touch of pale grey and elegance.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Jewelry Trend: Clear and Chunky

The First of the new Fall Collection. The jewelry trend is clear and chunky with chains. Yes, chains are still in, and are not about to go away anytime soon. The trend with chains is to wear them with gemstone or other jewelry. While there is a "minimal" side of jewelry (and you'll see some more of that later) most of what was on the Fall runways and in the fashion magazines is big and chunky, glittery and glitzy. Although not all of it looks wearable (especially for daytime wear), crystal quartz is a great exception. This natural stone is sparkly and looks great when cut into big chunks and sharply faceted as you see with the bracelets here (above and below). The quartz bracelet above is mixed with gold (high quality 14k goldfill - and gold is everywhere! Don't worry though, if you are a silver fan, it is still a staple in jewelry this Fall. Below is another quartz bracelet that combines faceted quartz crystal with sterling silver chains in three different sizes. It gives a wonderful edgy look to a business suit, and of course, it looks great for going out. We often think of the drama of quartz crystal against a black background, a black dress, a black cashmere sweater, but quartz also looks fantastic with white! And white is big this season.
Below are two pieces of jewelry made with what looks like quartz but is actually a very high quality, beautiful resin; it's wonderfully sparkly! The earrings are accented with flower decorated earwires in white sterling silver. The good news is that while the earrings have lovely faceting and flash, they are actually much lighter than they would be if they were actual quartz crystal. The same is true of the handmade necklace below; although it looks just like inclusion-free quartz crystal, it is actually a lightweight resin (this resin jewelry showed up everywhere on the runways this year, Spring and Fall) making it much easier to wear for a longer length of time. The large olive shaped chunks hang from a sterling silver textured chain. It's a personal favorite!Tomorrow: More from the new FALL COLLECTION 2010!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Today: Sapphires and Cameo Necklaces

It is already September, and that means that the Cluny Grey Fall Collection comes out this coming week! September also means that the sapphire is the gemstone of the month. So for those of you looking for birthstone jewelry, or those who just love sapphires, above is a sapphire bracelet made with sapphires and sterling silver. And yes, even the golden yellow gemstones that you see is a sapphire as well! The sterling silver filigree and flowers makes this unique bracelet pretty and feminine. And below are sapphire earrings, also with sterling silver, that hang from leverbacks. Happy Birthday to all the Virgos and other September birthdays!

Below is an iolite bracelet made with the gemstone that is also known as the "water sapphire". In fact, some people actually prefer iolite to sapphires since it is easier to find less expensive iolites that have a translucent or transparent blue colour - especially in beads. This three strand iolite bracelet has a pretty true pink rose quartz faceted rectangle and a sterling silver toggle with freshwater pearls bezel set into the ends of the bar. The following 3 pairs of earrings are also made of the gemstone iolite; the iolite earrings include faceted rondelles of iolite, iolite coins hanging from sterling chandeliers, and faceted iolite nuggets hanging from sterling posts set with white freshwater pearls.

The rose quartz bracelet below features some of our favorite lampwork beads which have an incredible depth that isn't showing up that well on camera. The bracelet is punctuated by sterling silver Karen Hill Tribes charms and a single smooth emerald nugget.
Below is the latest antique style jewelry: first, a golden necklace with pretty rhinestones in a peridot colour that sparkle and shine; second, a silver art deco style pendant hangs from a silver chain and flashes small clear rhinestones surrounding a large Azores blue rhinestone.

Following are cameo necklaces (remember that these are made usually of plated metal). Below a blue cameo is surrounded by rhinestones and set in silver; a second fan-shaped piece has a single rhinestone. The cameo pendant hangs from an oxidized silver chain.
The gold cameo has 6 little rhinestones set into the gold filigree. The cameo hangs from a gold and freshwater pearl necklace. Another gold cameo is set into a heavy metal bronze oval, surrounded by pearls and accented by three dark aqua rhinestones. This cameo necklace hangs from a freshwater pearl necklace also.

Immediately below, a silver cameo with a single tiny rhinestone on the neck of the cameo.

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