Thursday, April 24, 2008

Playing Catch-up with YOJ - Weeks 15, 16 and 17...Yay!

Of course, I a have already broken my solemn vow of not falling more than 1 week behind!  I am officially caught up as of this morning however, and feel pretty good about my entries.  The second part of my "personal" challenge was not to cave in and submit what I like to call a "bead on a headpin" type of design. No offense to "beads on headpins"...I love them, some of my closest friends are "beads on headpins".  But I am trying to take my designs to a new level and run with the big dogs as it were, so this was important for me. 

Week 15 - Iolite and Sterling Earrings

Iolite and Sterling Earrings

These went through a few gyrations before they actually ended up as they are now...18g sterling frames, coiled with 28g, webbed/netted in a less than orderly fashion, then embellished with of my favorites.  I wanted to make my own earwires, but am not really comfortable with that yet, so I used sterling leverbacks that I embellished a tad.  I am still a LOS novice, but I like the patina.

Week 16 - Greens of Spring Bracelet

Greens of Spring Bracelet

On my drive home from work for the last month, I have watched the bare trees put on their tiny green buds in a variety of hues. Every day, more and more leaves appeared with the color of the view ever changing, becoming richer and deeper.  Being a lover of all things green, I have a cache of various green stones at all times, just waiting to be used.  I envisioned a piece incorporating all (well, a few) of those wonderful shades of green.  I sort of got stuck in the new growth, sort of yellowish hue in this piece, with only a few hints of the mature, deeper green that is yet to appear.

I wanted to incorporate some of the new techiques I have been working on as well, so there is some woven and coiled fine-gauge wire and a hand-wrought clasp. Other components include serpentine in several forms (olivine, and lemon), rhyolite, vesuvianite, green tourmaline, prehnite, olive keishi pearls, and some cool Thai Hill Tribe silver.  The big star was a bead cap in a previous life before I hammered it!

Week 17 - Tundura Sapphire* and Citrine Necklace

Tundura Sapphire and Citrine Necklace

I have been working on this piece off and on since last year.  I used Magda's tutorial to create the teardrop shaped pendant wired with tundura sapphires*.  After I got the 1 row of stones on, other things kept getting in the way of me finishing it...custom orders, a show, holidays, having to cook and clean, no know.  It laid in my tray with other unfinished pieces for months.  Every so often, I would pick it up and think, "wow, I need to do something with this". 

Finally, this week, as I had finished a couple of other things, I had a flash of inspiration for this one.  You see, I had always meant it to be a traditional teardrop.  The other day I  turned it upside down in my hand, and suddenly life had new meaning!  Uhh, okay.  Seriously, the tutorials that I have been working on for months, and new techniques that I have been practicing finally sparked some flame!

Any whooo, I decided to add the citrine briolette, which really brings out the pale yellow sapphires, then I decided to wrap a few more layers of beads on the frame.  The little sterling beads on the innermost row sort of move around a bit, and I like that.  I added the little sapphire fringe as a last step, because the citrine looked a bit naked and unhappy. Finished with a few strands of sterling chain and a lobster clasp, the piece took a dip into the LOS, which I am not sure I am happy with, but no turning back now!

* A note on these...I bought them as "sapphires". I have since seen them labeled as garnets and quartz, so will have to research a bit.  Whatever they actually are, they are pretty!

Now, off to re-work a portion of my Iza cross, and finish it.  Hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful Spring day!


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