Sunday, November 25, 2007

Scalloped Fan Pendant

I really enjoyed making the pink tourmaline fan, so I thought I'd make another! I shaped the frame from sterling silver wire, including the scalloped edge along the bottom. I then did some soldering to create the framework for decorating.

The top section has been filled in with tiny Hill Tribe 'bamboo' beads. I then added some gorgeous deep teal-coloured apatite beads. The centre of the pendant took me quite a while to figure out, I wasn't sure if it was going to work until I got to the bottom and tightened up the wirework and beads, so there was always the possibility I would have to take it all off and do something different! I'm pleased with the way it turned out though, and because the wire is so fine it almost looks as though the silver beads are floating in mid air. The gemstones underneath are faceted citrine.

For close-up pictures, see my website, or Etsy store! :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Narnia Earrings

Almost time to get out the tinsel! I needed some for these photos... that's my excuse anyway ;-)

The sky blue topaz briolettes on these earrings are so sparkly, and the blue is very subtle, as is the aquamarine. As you can imagine - very hard to capture on a photo! I've added some filigree details, and as usual lots of coiling!

Desert Rose Pendant

I forgot to post this! I made this pendant a couple of weeks ago - another one that differs quite a lot from my original idea... but I'm very pleased with the result!

I soldered some heart shapes a while ago for this project, when I actually put them together into the flower shape I realised I'd need something else to strengthen the shape. I put a large closed jump ring underneath, but then actually quite liked the way it looked so decided incorporate it into the design!

There are some more twisted wire filigree details, and the beads are faceted andalucite with Hill Tribe seed beads and a pale pink freshwater pearl.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sherbet Lemons

Sometimes I like to just do some swingy, dangly earrings - these are my own soldered rings that I've coiled first, then wrapped with tiny faceted prehnite beads - the colour is quite subtle, very pretty!

The silver beads in the middle are Karen Hill Tribe 'Lotus' beads - I really liked the look of these, quite exotic and unusual.

Finished off with faceted lemon quartz marquise beads, for some sparkle!

Labradorite Earrings

I really tried to capture a good blue flash on these beads... but they just weren't playing nice!

More filigree work - soldered square frames with shaped twisted wire wrapped in between, quite a lot of coiling went into these, and as I used very fine gauge (0.2mm) it took a while! I prefer to use as fine as possible on this filigree style as it's less visible.

Blue flashy stones (really, they are!) - faceted labradorite rondelles and faceted moonstone briolettes, with the silver they look quite mystical.

I'm quite enjoying designing these filigree pieces... I get to doodle! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tanzanite Earrings

Some more filigree work here.. this time not soldered, I've just wrapped the wire shapes in between the two pear-shaped frames. Still a little bit fiddly, but much better than the last ones!

I got some new goodies in the post too... so I used these amazing faceted tanzanite beads (the colour is just gorgeous!), and pretty pink amethyst briolettes in the centre.

There are more pictures on my Etsy store, although you'll need to look in the 'sold' section now ;-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Silver Spider Web

This was fun to make, despite a few creative blocks along the way! I had a sketch of how I wanted the pendant to look, but had to adapt a few of my original ideas to make it work. That seems to be happening a lot just lately... as a result it took me twice as long as it should have done! All part of the learning process ;-)

I made and soldered two frames to form the outer beaded section, which I wrapped with Hill Tribe seed beads. The spines into the centre were added next.. what on earth possessed me to think it would be a good idea to coil 0.3mm wire with 0.2mm wire I'll never know... you can imagine how long that took!!

To finish I added some faceted silver beads, tiny faceted amethysts, and a frosted sterling bead in the centre. I guess it looks quite seasonal in the pic, but it's quite sparkly and pretty in real life, so you could wear it any time really!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Victorian Lace - Spinel Earrings

These took me twice as long as they should have done... oh, the joys of trying out new techniques!! ;-) My original idea wasn't workable (maybe when I've had more practice!), so a lot of adaptations later and these are the final result!

These are actually part-soldered, mostly wrapped! I am at least practising my soldering skills, which are getting better. I just need to set myself some limitations sometimes, and not try to run before I can walk!

The filigree work is made from twisted wire jump rings - I've had some for a while that were very soft and not really strong enough to be useful! I've been contemplating putting them in the tumbler to harden, but then decided to try this idea first. I know what to do with the rest of them now.

The beautiful stones in the centre are faceted spinel - the colours are gorgeous. I was waiting for the right project to come along to use them in, I'm happy with these! :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Iolite and Aquamarine Pendant

Another soldered pendant - this one a little more complicated (for me!). I made the three wavy shapes separately first, then soldered them together before coiling the entire frame.

I then wrapped across each section with Hill Tribe silver beads, amazing indigo-blue faceted iolite and pale blue faceted aquamarine.

Lemon and Lime Earrings

No soldering here of course - these kite-shaped earring frames have been wrapped with fine gauge sterling wire, faceted Hill Tribe silver beads, peridot, faceted citrine and pale green amethyst briolettes - lots of sparkle!

Pink Tourmaline Fan

I'm finding a lot more inspiration and freedom with the option of being able to solder some of my frames, although it's still only a very small part of the process - there are still hours of wrapping and coiling to follow! That's the bit I like best, the 'colouring in' :)

I made the frame from sterling silver wire, soldering joints in the design before coiling with fine gauge wire. I have used tiny faceted Hill Tribe silver beads in the top section, and for the picot edging, then lots of polished tourmaline buttons in countless shades of pink!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Citrine Hoop Earrings

I must have forgotten to put these up... this is a new photo of these earrings too, it much better captures the colour of the citrine and particularly the green amethyst, which is a very subtle shade.

Lots of fine coiling and wrapping with sterling wire as usual, these are very sparkly with all the faceted beads!

Ruby Tuesday

I did actually make this on Tuesday too... I've been waiting for my new light tent and lamps - what a difference to the photos! I hardly have to do any touching up at all other than cropping, and the colours are coming out just perfect. I'm going to have to go back and re-do the rest of my photos now! :)

This pendant was made using two heart-shaped frames, which I've soldered, then wrapped together with tiny Hill Tribe silver beads and faceted rubies, and as usual lots of fine gauge silver wire. I really like the simplicity of this - still lots of detail, but not too much fuss!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dew Drops - Peridot and Crystal Earrings

I really like these... they're nothing like the earrings I'd planned to make! That happens often - sometimes it means I'm having a bad day and shouldn't have started, sometimes it's a creative day and I just go with it!!

I started by making some fan-shaped frames, which I then coiled round with fine gauge sterling wire, and faceted Karen Hill Tribe beads. I wrapped some very sparkly faceted Swarovski drops, sterling silver beads, and gorgeous green peridot beads.

Caught the sparkle on the crystal too. It's been a good day! :)

Tangerine Dreams - Carnelian Earrings

These are made with my soldered rings :)

I've added a length of pretty oval link sterling chain, vibrant orange faceted carnelian drops (these look good enough to eat, trust me!), and tiny miyuki seed beads. Hard to tell on the photo - but the seed beads are actually transparent peridot lined with salmon/orange - just juicy, citrus colours!

Oh, and of course my soldered rings... :) :) :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

First Attempt at Soldering!

I spent most of yesterday de-junking the shed - just so that I could set up work space for soldering! (We have a parrot in the house, so fumes of any kind are potentially lethal). Great motivation though, I've been putting that job off for months!

These are just simple soldered rings, about 15mm in diameter, sterling silver. One or two are slightly blobby in places, but I got better as I went along. I'm really pleased - you never know how you're going to get on with a new technique, but this was fun!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ruby Bloom - Layered Pendant

I know, I know - it looks all festive!!! I didn't realise until after I'd taken the pictures. I'm really NOT one of those people who start thinking about Christmas in September... I don't start shopping until about a week before!

Complete coincidence as I wanted to make something using these gorgeous raspberry-coloured seed beads. I made the large frame first - wrapping the petals with seed beads and sterling wire. The inner petals were then formed separately, and wrapped with fine gauge silver wire, before adding a pale gold freshwater pearl and gorgeous faceted rubies to the centre.

And yes, I guess it would look good at the office Christmas party... :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Autumn Bronze Earrings

Autumn is now here I guess - not that we really had summer! You just can't beat the wonderful colours that go with it though - and I'm anticipating them with these earrings!

Wonderfully rich red faceted garnet marquise beads dangle from these fan-shaped frames, coiled with fine gauge sterling silver wire, and wrapped with topaz-coloured seed beads and bronze freshwater pearls.

Pink Chalcedony Wrapped Earrings

The wrapped sterling silver wire on the top frames of these earrings has a wonderful sheen to it when it catches the light - a lot like the flower pendant I posted some time ago - almost impossible to capture in a photograph, so you'll just have to take my word for it! :)

Underneath are tiny wrapped jump rings with salmon-coloured glass seed beads, and faceted pink chalcedony briolettes. These are quite long and dangly at 5cm, but they're very lightweight!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Indian Summer Earrings

Indian summer is a little bit of wishful thinking on my part I think...! These earrings were fun to make - the garnet drops are gorgeous rich autumn colours, and the chains really sparkle when they move!

The diamond-shaped frames are coiled and wrapped with sterling silver wire, I've added some Karen Hill Tribe faceted seed beads - I wish I could capture the shine and sparkle on these!

Rose Quartz Earrings

I've been wanting to have a go at this 'Danish Knot' or 'Lover's Knot' for ages - it took me a while to get the hang of it, but it was well worth persevering, I love the look of them! And of course they're always a talking point as everyone tries to figure out how they've been made... :-)

The top frame is coiled and wrapped with pink seed beads and fine gauge sterling wire, and the slender faceted briolettes on the bottom of the earrings are the most gorgeous pale pink rose quartz. Very romantic!

Oxidised Carnelian Earrings

Nearly forgot to post these! I've shown these carnelian earrings before when they were 'shiny silver'. At the time I felt like they might benefit from oxidising - so I took the plunge and ordered myself some Liver of Sulphur (how bad does that stuff smell?!), cleared a space in the shed and went for it!

Lots of polishing and a turn in the tumbler later - and I'm really pleased with the result! Still prefer shiny, but these have definitely benefited from the antique effect - I will be doing this again from time to time!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Peach Moonstone Earrings

I love this peach moonstone - the colour is so fruity! Orange is 'in' apparently - sheer coincidence - I just fell in love with these beads as soon as I saw them!

I've patiently coiled the frames as usual with very fine gauge sterling wire, adding lots of tiny faceted Hill Tribe silver beads and faceted moonstone - very shiny, sparkly and pretty little earrings!

Green Amethyst & PMC

Firstly apologies for this dreadful pic - I will try to photograph these again sometime, I just can't seem to capture the sparkle and colour in these earrings!

This is my first attempt at making something with metal clay - these were great fun to make! I'm so pleased with the way these came out - how cool is it being able to make your own components?! First try with my new tumbler too... :-)

The dangles are gorgeous pale green amethyst 'onion cut' beads, pale gold freshwater pearls, and golden shadow Swarovski crystals - subtle colours, and very sparkly!

I've Been Tagged... Caroline from Crafted Gems

Over 10 days ago - which just shows how long it is since I've posted! I have been quite busy with the Etsy site, and also more jewellery which I'll show later!

But first 6 weird/random facts about me! :

1. My two sons have a 10 year age gap between them - they are 11 and 21! They have a fantastic relationship - I think because there has never been any sibling rivalry or jealousy, they have always wanted different kinds of attention from me at any one time. Just to keep things nice and tidy - I had the first one when I was 20, and the second at 30! :-)

2. I have a butterfly tattoo on my shoulder - I forget it's there most of the time, in fact I just had to look and check which shoulder it was on! (The left, if you're curious :-))

3. I am left-handed, which generally doesn't cause me too many problems, I do quite a few things right-handed - like eating, using corkscrews, using the kettle, etc. I also damaged the little finger on my right hand many years ago - which severed the tendon and means I can't bend it properly. Luckily this doesn't affect my making jewellery - it does however mean I have problems with the more difficult stages on Guitar Hero......

4. .....and talking of computer games - I am a self-proclaimed geek! Along with playing (amongst others!) Singstar and Guitar Hero on the Playstation with my sons, I also love adventuring on the PC with games like Guild Wars and World of Warcraft. I have also dabbled in the past with 3D art and animation - just for fun! lol

5. I love the smell of petrol! Along the same lines.. I also like creosote and freshly laid tar.....mmm!

6. Before I took up jewellery-making full time, my job for 4 and a half years was as a support worker for people with special needs/learning difficulties. Out of all the jobs I've had in the past - this had to be the most wonderful and rewarding one ever! The unsociable hours and shifts however caused a lot of stress for both me and my family, so sadly in the end I had to give it up... if anyone wondered where I got so much patience from, now you know! :-)

Phew - finished! Although it might take quite a while longer for me to find 6 people to tag... who haven't been tagged already that is!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Amari on Etsy!

I have now opened a shop on Etsy called Amari Jewellery to use as an extra outlet for my pieces. It's taking me a while to upload everything as I am having a bit of a sort out and also experimenting with photos - I don't do things by halves!

I think the dark grey background is perfect for showing off shiny silver jewellery - I'm using a large stepping stone from my local garden centre, which I've coated with a couple of layers of matt varnish to get rid of the 'dusty' finish.

I must thank Jo of Gem Heaven for the inspiration - her gorgeous gemstone and lampwork jewellery is really shown off by stunning photos!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Citrine and Peridot Earrings

My new favourites... the citrusy colours on these earrings look amazing with the shiny silver, and there is lots of sparkle from the tiny faceted gemstones and silver beads!

I have wrapped the triangular frames with fine gauge sterling silver, Karen Hill tribe faceted seed beads, faceted citrine button beads and tiny faceted peridot briolettes. Just to give you an idea of scale... the peridot briolettes are about 5mm long! Very delicate and sparkly.

Just to add... on all of the pictures if you click on them you get a slightly larger image which shows a bit more detail :)

Ruby Earrings

I'm still on quite a strong geometric theme with these earrings! The colour of the rubies is quite bold against the silver... I have some Liver of Sulphur on the way and I think these may get the treatment! We'll see...

Oxidised or shiny... these have been wrapped and coiled with very fine gauge sterling silver wire, tiny seed beads, faceted Hill tribe silver beads and gorgeous faceted rubies. Bold and decadent!

Pink Chalcedony Earrings

Well I say pink... when I made these earrings outside on a warm sunny day (we got one - yeay!!), they appeared a gorgeous lavender colour, so maybe pinky-purple is more accurate!

Either way - these are cute little faceted chalcedony briolettes, framed by a coiled sterling silver frame and tiny seed beads - pretty and girly!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Garnet Art Deco Earrings

These earrings are inspired by the Art Deco style of the 1920s-30s, probably due to my watching lots of old episodes of 'Jeeves and Wooster' just lately!! I love the geometric shapes and bold colours, I think I'm going to be doing a few more in this style.

I've coiled and wrapped the rectangular frames with fine gauge silver wire, adding tiny sterling beads and gorgeous faceted garnet rondelles in a rich red colour.

Netted Pearl Pendant

I love this wire netting technique, it takes a while to get it right - I'm still not there yet, but I'm very happy with the way this turned out!

I first shaped and hammered the frame, then coiled it with sterling wire. I added the pink freshwater pearls to the inside next, then formed the net in the centre with the wire.

Raindrops Wrapped Earrings

Yet more earrings! Not hard to work out the inspiration here... the summer here in the UK has been pretty awful so far - we've finally got some sunshine I think, so fingers crossed it stays for a little while at least!

I've wrapped across the teardrop-shaped frame of these earrings with very fine gauge sterling silver wire, and added some Swarovski crystal dangles in peridot, indicolite and erinite.

Honey Hoop Earrings

I am so behind with updating - I've a few more pieces to add, and photos of others to do yet!

These hoop earrings have been coiled with gorgeous honey-coloured glass seed beads and very fine sterling silver wire. I've used some violet Swarovski crystal dangles in the centre for added colour.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Garnet and Citrine Pendant

When I made the garnet and citrine earrings, someone suggested that they would make a nice pendant - so here it is!

As usual, I first shaped and hammered the wire frame, then I wrapped across the top part of the pendant with very fine wire, I included some sterling silver beads to add interest. The little faceted drops are garnet and citrine. The bottom part of the pendant was then coiled with sterling wire and beads to form the lacy 'picot' edge.

Tourmaline Drop Pendant

This pendant has been made by shaping one continuous length of wire, with wrapping in between the circles. I've then decorated the circles using tourmaline (again, sorry!), sterling silver beads, seed beads, and a freshwater coin pearl (a happy coincidence that the top circle was just the right size for the pearl!).

This was one of those occasions where I thought of the frame shape first, then decided how to finish it afterwards! I have a couple of frames ready and waiting for me to decorate them at the moment... sometimes I know exactly what I'm going to do on a piece and other times I have to wait for inspiration!

Diamond-Shaped Crystal Pendant

This pendant consists of a simple wrapped diamond -shaped frame, shaped and hammered, then coiled with tiny sterling silver beads and bicone crystals.

I love this colour - it reminds me of blue cornflowers, it's the light sapphire shade Swarovski crystal. I've used a few on the chain too to add some interest.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tourmaline Chain Earrings

More tourmaline! I'm waiting for a parcel of goodies at the moment so that I can make some new pieces, but in the meantime I'm still using up my gorgeous little tourmaline beads.

In these earrings I've used 8mm closed jump rings, coiled them with fine sterling wire, and added a couple of polished tourmaline buttons to each one. At the last minute I decided to use the little twisted jump rings in between - I quite like the effect, they go nicely with the coiled ones.

Banded Agate Necklace

I love this red banded agate, I know it's not very summery and is probably more an autumn shade, but here in the UK we're not having much of a summer to speak of!

Gorgeous polished agate rectangle bead with faceted red agate and bali silver (round beads and the little bead caps), with oval-linked sterling silver chain.

Swarovski Drop Earrings

Some quick little wire-wrapped earrings - these are fan-shaped frames coiled with sterling silver wire and tiny slate-grey coloured seed beads. I've attached a faceted Swarovski crystal drop for some added sparkle. I always have problems photographing crystal, especially any with an AB coating - these look different colours! If anyone has any tips I'd be very grateful.... :-)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cherries Pendant

I sketched out this design first on a piece of paper, then created the frame with one continuous length of sterling silver wire similar to the 'Satin Flower Pendant'. The wire was a little more difficult to handle this time, but once I started coiling (particularly the stems), the piece began to take shape nicely! The cherries and leaves were 'filled in' with seed beads and cherry-red murano glass, the effect is almost like embroidery. The murano glass is gorgeous, the colour is quite vibrant and the cherries really sparkle! I'm so pleased with how this turned out I already have more ideas.... watch this space!

Wire-wrapped Garnet & Citrine Earrings

These earrings are quite delicate -looking and feminine, mostly lots of shiny silver with a little bit of subtle colour! I've wrapped across the teardrop shaped frame with very fine sterling wire and then added tiny faceted garnet and citrine briolettes. Along the bottom of the frame I've coiled some sterling silver beads to create a lacy border.

The wrapping at the top of the frames, like the flower pendant I've made previously, has a 'satiny' sheen when the light catches it that is so hard to capture on a photo!

Oxidised Jewellery

This is the first time I've oxidised any of my silver jewellery, so I've used the 'boiled egg' method as I didn't have any Liver of Sulphur. I put the pieces into a plastic bag with a (hot!) chopped up hard-boiled egg, and waited just over an hour to get the effect I wanted. I'm quite pleased with the result - after giving them a good rinse and then a polish to highlight the detail in the wirework. I'm still not entirely sure which I prefer, but it's interesting to see the difference the oxidisation makes!

Herringbone Wrap Bracelet and Earrings

I'm quite new to the herringbone wrap but I was quite pleased with how these turned out, I still need lots of practice! I've used faceted red agate and oval-shaped hematine beads, sterling silver wire of course! In between the beads a simple 'knot' from three interlocked jump rings, I've also made the S-shaped clasp with coiled wire and a silver Bali bead. I usually prefer my silver bright and shiny - but for some reason I had the urge to oxidise these pieces - so in the next post I'll be showing the results!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tourmaline Pendant

I was so looking forward to receiving these polished tourmaline button beads - and I wasn't disappointed, the colours are stunning! My new favourite gemstone I think....

This pendant didn't quite turn out how I'd originally planned - the bottom section where the tourmalines are ended up smaller than I wanted, but I'm still pleased with the result - the citrine is very subtle and doesn't fight with the other stones! I've also coiled around the frame with sterling wire and tiny silver beads.

Carnelian Drop Earrings

More geometric shapes... this time a diamond frame coiled with sterling wire and tiny silver beads.

The drops on these are pretty faceted carnelian briolettes, I was so pleased with the colour of these when I got them - they're a wonderful rich brick-red. I'm half tempted to oxidise these.. maybe I'll make something similar and give it a go!

Amethyst Earrings

These are simple geometric earrings with a square frame that I have coiled round with glass seed beads and sterling wire. The drops are gorgeous little faceted amethyst beads.

These look much prettier in real life I think, the seed beads have a violet-blue colour to them which really lights up the silver coiling.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Watermelon Cocktail Pendant

Summer's finally arrived here - and I love this combination of fruity tropical colours. The faceted drops in the centre are carnelian in a gorgeous mandarin orange, and the frames have been hand-formed and coiled with metres of sterling wire, seed beads and red onyx.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fire Agate Pendant

Real 'fire agate' is found mainly in places such as Arizona and Mexico, is relatively rare and has a spectrum of colours running through it similar to an opal. The stone in this pendant is also commonly known as fire agate, but is actually carnelian that has been heat-treated to produce the distinctive pattern that can be seen on this bead. That having been said, it's still a very pretty gemstone in its own right!

I've coiled around the frame of this handcrafted pendant with sterling wire and silver-lined salmon coloured glass seed beads to bring out the warm orange tones in the fire agate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Silver Satin Flower Pendant

This has to be one of my favourite wire pieces so far I think - the photo doesn't do it justice however, the silver wrapping on the petals of this flower have a lovely 'satin' sheen to them when the light catches them.

I shaped the wire frame from one continuous length of wire, then wrapped and hammered the 'bail' at the top of the pendant. Then onto a couple of hours of wrapping very fine sterling wire! The centre is creamy aragonite surrounded by tiny pink seed beads.


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