Showing posts with label chalcedony. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chalcedony. Show all posts

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Finally! Getting a Little Work Done!

The work that a move entails is mind-boggling! But finally things are starting to calm down although I still don't have a place for everything and everything in its place. Here's hoping that will happen soon.
My new favorite necklace is the one above made from chalcedony, big faceted slices of chalcedony in soft aqua and yellow colours. The lampwork beads are some of Suzette Celestin's best and echo the colours of the chalcedony (or do the colours of the chalcedony echo the colours of the lampwork?). You will find it listed on our Chalcedony Jewelry page.

These faceted rectangles of rutilated quartz have streaks of black in them that emphasize the iciness of the rest of the stones. The pretty flower embossed sterling beads are a nice contrast to the quartz and add a touch of femininity to the bracelet - the double hearts a bit of sweetness! On our Rutilated Quartz jewelry page. Finally, the blue lace agate bracelet gets its softness from the lampwork beads that have just a hint of pink in them.

April is almost gone; my favorite month is May with its warm, warm Spring weather and flowers everywhere. May is fresh and inviting invoking all the wonder of the summer that is to come.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cloisonne, Et Al

I've been working with cloisonne a bit; it seems that when I get some cloisonne on the site, it sells (a good thing), but it does make keeping the cloisonne page full difficult. Cloisonne has been around for a long time - supposedly since the Yuan Dynasty in China (approximately 1279 A.D.) although some sources say that it originated in the Middle East and was perfected by the Chinese and the French (in fact, the term cloisonne is French). Little wire filaments (usually gold) are applied to metal then filled in with enamel. The cloisonne can be made with base metal, bronze, copper, brass, gold-plated, goldfilled, or genuine gold, or sterling silver. The cloisons are the spaces or sections within the wire that are filled with enamel, thus making the design. All of the Cluny Grey Cloisonne is on one page: the Cloisonne Jewelry page.For me the challenge is finding cloisonne with sterling silver filigree instead of gold since sterling silver is very popular now. I've been finding also that much of the silver cloisonne that I've come across tends to be very finely made - usually a bit superior to the gold cloisonne (which is usually gold-plated or goldfilled). The three bracelets that you see here are some of my favorite cloisonne colours mixed with, top, Swarovksi crystals in Dark Indigo AB, the red with a long cinnabar bead and tube "bangles" from Thailand in vermeil, and below with cherry quartz. I've used vermeil and goldfilled components with the cloisonne.
Below are a couple of other pieces I will also be posting soon: a Turquoise Bracelet with the addition of pink chalcedony and pretty lampwork beads of pink and turquoise; a double-stranded Garnet Necklace with a pretty cross pendant with garnets and green and black onyx.

Contest News: Leslie Turtle will be choosing the contest winner of the "Name the Necklace" contest. We've had quite a few entries (customers are sending their entries to the clunygre @ address). I will post some of the finalists in the next day or so.

Blogs: Got an honourable mention in Marie Cramp's blog about beginning jewelry-making. She's located in Calgary (why does Canada so appeal to my imagination?) and you'll be hearing more from her, I'm sure. See her blog at: Skye Jewels.

A woman after my own heart: L.L. draws, loves animals (volunteers at her local nature center), has cats, and on top of that, loves Tiffany's and Louis Vuitton! See her blog at Tiaras and Talons.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Batch of Bracelets

I love bracelets as you can probably tell by looking at this post today. New gemstones and sterling silver are a great temptation and make it hard to leave the office to go home. Sometimes I have so many pretty gemstones that it is overwhelming - I want to use them all at once, think of 10 different projects and can't get started on any of them. But I have gotten a bit done this week.
The unusual bracelet above is definitely a "happy" bracelet full of colour and fun. I pulled some of my James Derrick Reeves special lampwork beads from my secret stash and used turquoise chalcedony, carnelian, amethyst, and jade to pick up the colours in these very colourful beads.
Below, Suzette Celestin's very feminine beads are complemented by large nuggets of pink Peruvian opal and green quartz in this unique bracelet that appears to be a harbinger of Spring (ah, but at least 2 months of chill before the warm comes to Arkansas!).

In contrast to all the colour above is this jasper bracelet handmade (of course) with ocean jasper in soothing shades of green and off-white and wonderfully subtle lampwork beads to match.
Below the jasper is a new combination for me: porcelain jasper ovals with faceted and smooth muscovite, gold-laced lampwork bead with the same quiet tones as the jasper and intricate sterling silver. You will be able to find this one on the Unusual Jewelry page of the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

Finally, for those who love what I call "strong pastels" a chalcedony bracelet with pink, tuquoise, and blue chalcedony - beautiful gemstone beads - with matching lampwork and a second strand made up of Karen Hill Tribes sterling silver chain and charms.
Remember: Wherever you go, wear your jewelry!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jewelry and the Economy

I do not want to make light of our troubled economy, but I had to shake my head when I read in my WWD (Women's Wear Daily, the insider rag for fashion retail) about a scenario reported on by one of the editors of the paper. Apparently, a woman was looking at two sweaters, one very trendy and wildly patterned and one plainer in a neutral colour. According to the editor, because of the economy, the woman chose the plainer, neutral sweater - and this was a bad thing. Now, I fail to see this as a sympton of our problem economy at the moment, and more as evidence of the woman's savvy as a good shopper and possibly a true fashion lover; I would have done this in the money-flowing '80s (and did) , the '90s, and I still do.

What does this have to do with jewelry? Well, first of all, although many people believe that jewelry is generally an impulse buy, I don't think that is often as true with the people who buy handcrafted jewelry, especially those who buy on a regular basis. First, they know the worth of what they are buying, jewelry that is made with sterling silver that will last with real gemstones, not costume jewelry that often sells for the same price but is made with base metals that "turn" making the piece unwearable, made with glass or plastic stones that are glued in, with no intrinsic value to the piece past the season when it is bought. Handcrafted jewelry made with genuine gemstones, artists' lampwork beads, and sometimes goldfill and vermeil (both of which will last a lifetime if cared for properly) is the equivalent of the neutral sweater - only better because it lasts much longer. An added benefit is that you can "go wild" with handcrafted jewelry since unusual colour combinations and designs will change the look of all those neutral outfits that make so much sense to buy. And even if you wear a piece for a few years, then put it away for a while, ten years later, you will pull it out again and it will give a whole new look to whatever clothes are current at the time!

What usually happens during times when the economy is slow is that people don't really stop buying - they stop buying poor quality, they consider purchases more carefully if they are smart, and they will spend more money buying one good thing instead of the same amount (or larger) buying many cheap ones.
Above, the first bracelet made of fluorite is an example of a bracelet that will dress up the neutral outfit - and a piece of jewelry that will last, even though fluorite is a softer gemstone. Below are fluorite earrings with a classic look.
The look of jade never goes out of style, and the jade bracelet has the added appeal of lampwork beads (by Lynn Nurge) as well as some candy jade beads.
Finally, below are chalcedony earrings and a chalcedony bracelet made with my favorite chalcedony smooth nuggets in aqua (called Peruvian chalcedony from the dealer I bought them from). The bracelet has the most marvelous taupe and aqua lampwork beads by Suzette Celestin of Gaslite Lampwork.

Although all the jewelry I've shown today is made with sterling silver (which does occasionally need polishing a bit), the goldfilled and vermeil jewelry on the Cluny Grey Jewelry site will also last. The secrets: keep the jewelry in a plastic baggy when you're not wearing it or inside the pouch that comes with it; do not swim or bathe while wearing it, especially in a chlorinated pool, and you'll find that the gold jewelry stays bright and shiny as well.

P.S. I'm trying the look of white background with black print for those of you who find the black background with light print hard to read. Let me know which you prefer!