Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recycled bracelet

Two views of the same cuff show you a bit of the color change that takes place in the dichroic glass cabochons that I've chosen to resurrect this cuff from the recycle jar.
Originally the cuff was used for a friend's bracelet design, but it wasn't what she had pictured so I removed the stones, they had been held in place by the wire that undulates across the bracelet. I kept wondering what I was going to do the perfectly fine cuff blank. My only concern was the extra solder that was visible here and there along the bracelet, I needed to get that to blend in.
When in doubt about what to do next, I often wait for the materials to tell me what to do. So I got out my stash of dichroic glass cabs and just started looking for inspiration, eventually I found it in these cabs. What I liked most was that the large cab made by one artist was very much complimented by the 2 smaller cabs made by a different artist. I don't find that happens very often, I can't remember a time that I mixed different artist's glass in one piece.
It's hard to tell from these photos but all the cabs share blue, green, yellow and orange depending on how the cabs are turned in the light.
To cover the extra solder left over from the first time around I decided to use pure silver wire to wrap the cuff and then when heated the solder ran and attached to the wire, so everything blended in beautifully. I purposely made the cuff too large for me, as I absolutely love it and would keep it if it fit.

Jeremy's finished belt buckle

Finally finished Jer's belt buckle yesterday, I was waiting to get the width of his belt from him so I could finish the back that attaches to the belt. This is going in the mail today.
This is the first time that I have made 4 layers of metal on any project, the hard part for me is getting the solder to flow under all those tiny little copper flames.
Now Jer will look even cooler riding his Harley with his Harley belt buckle on. He has a Harley emblem that he made and wears on his necklace. For Christmas I made our oldest son, Josh, a big Harley cuff bracelet.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Money Chain

It's been a few years since I made the 'money chain' or 'Roman Link' chain. Like many chains, it's built link by link but can be easily taken apart link by link if no ring is attached at the end. The story behind this chain is that each link had a monetary value and could easily be removed to pay for items at the market or added onto the chain if payment were received. Of course I make sure that the ends are secure so that it can't be taken apart but the idea is fun.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Silhouette earrings

Silhouette jewelry is one of my more requested items. I started with tree silhouettes and then my customers started asking for cat tails, dragon flies, butterflies, dog paw prints, wolf paw prints, oak leaves, maple leaves, bear paws, wolves, pinecones, moose etc...I've even done an Iroquois symbol for a special order.
A couple of days ago I had two requests for jewelry party dates. I offer jewelry parties that are fashioned after a Tupperware party. The hostess chooses a date and I print up the invitations and mail them to her to distribute. When I arrive at her home I set up my display and her friends, family and co-workers can browse at their leisure. The hostess receives $25 in jewelry for hosting the party, $25 in jewelry for every party booked from hers, $25 in jewelry if 15 guests or more show up, plus she will earn 10% of the shows sales in jewelry. The average party hostess receives about $100 worth of jewelry. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about hosting a jewelry home party.
In May, the Adirondack Artisans Guild that I belong to is planning an Artisan show. As soon as I have a date and location I'll post it here and on my website calendar of events. Last year we had a Studio Tour and are hoping to make this year even better!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jeremy's belt buckle

Finally got my son Jeremy's belt buckle started. It's his January birthday present..... The photo shows the copper sheet partially sawn into a flame design, it will be sandwiched between the heavy sterling sheet on the back and a lighter sterling sheet on top with his name stamped into it.
I'm often asked how I make some of my more inticate designs and my saw is usually the culprit. You can see the blade is quite fine and pictured above the buckle is the wax glob used to lubricate the blade as I saw.
I'll probably make another belt buckle with a large turquoise stone in it. About a year and a half ago we were on our way to a Nascar race and stopped at a rock and mineral shop in New Hampshire. While I was there, they were unpacking a shipment of wonderful turquoise cabochons and I bought several. My thoughts at the time were to put at least one of them in a belt buckle, I may finally get around to doing that.
I'll keep you updated....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Relei glass cuff

We're experiencing some spring-like weather finally, I don't expect it to last but it's been a real pleasure to see the sun and feel some warmth and moisture in the air.
Orders have been my priority for the last week, I work on them weekly but am very close to getting ALL of the orders from 2008 finished finally.
What I really want to do is work on my new ideas. I'm getting ready for Adirondack North Country Association's 23rd Annual Buyer Days show in Saratoga Springs, NY. This is the only wholesale show that I do and it's a great opportunity to meet with shop owners from the northeast. I'm very excited to debut my 'organic' jewelry to that audience. Plus it's a great show, usually my first of the season and I love to see all my vendor friends, they are like family, as well as my customers. Some of the customers are from my basketweaving days. I've only missed Buyer Days a couple of times in 23 years.
I've made some great concho earrings and silhouette earrings, I hope to get some photos taken so that I can show you the new designs.
The bracelet above is a favorite design of mine. The cuff is shaped comfortably and I have wrapped the ends with copper wire to mimic the wonderful copper color in the dichroic glass cabochon. This piece of glass is from Carolyn Relei, one of my favorite glass artists. I buy her work on eBay and the quality and color are unmatched by any other that I have seen.