Thursday 29 September 2011

A Nested Statement

Yes, being a programmer calls for pun-intended headlines.

A very unexpected post today about an idea from the dear Lisa Martinelli to create a pendant based on a bird nest. As soon as I saw it I wanted to make it. So I did. My first attempt below is quite a small pendant using 5mm rose quartz beads, and wrapped in silver-plated copper wire (22 Ga). I think I can do better with a bit of practice and bigger, more egg shaped beads.

Quite easy to create, but hard to master the effect of the nest. I think you have to make sure you use enough wire to get the nest effect. Not too little wire that you have no nest, but not too much so it looks like a bunched up wire ball hiding a stone (sounds like a possible experiment though).

I must thank Sarah Ortega for the inspiration to create the pendant from her tutorial here -
Very simple instructions and easy to follow with some amazing examples of her bird nests.

I think I'll start selling these with a first commission possibly from another co-worker, Emma Lawson (Thank you!)

A quick note also - I'm back at university now so I am still planning on creating when I can and completing some tutorials soon, however my work may get in the way of updates at times so I apologise in advance for long delays on posting.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

The Tree of Life

Since I began creating gemstone jewellery, I always remember coming across a pendant that always caught my eye. The name 'Tree of Life' alone had me urging to replicate whatever could sound so peaceful, and then I saw what the pendant looked like - I was stunned by the beauty of people's creations.
From then on I decided I would make my own Tree of Life pendant, however the design was quite difficult and very delicate for me as a beginner. So I did what I do best and researched the pendant and collected the tools, materials and knowledge to create my own.
Below is the final product:

I used 1mm square, sterling silver wire for the main loop, 4mm silver plated wire for the trunk, branches and roots, and finally I used rose quartz chip beads for the leaves. I believe that using rose quartz against the silver really makes the pendant shine on the wearer.

I could certainly do a much better job, especially on the roots. I made a small mistake when wrapping at the bottom, but couldn't unwrap as it would have ruined the whole pendant.
I will definitely be creating more variations of this pendant in the future, however due to a lack of funds I will be unable to buy any more sterling silver wire for the time being.
This pendant will be going on sale on my store at in the next few days.

More good news keeps on coming this week with my new directory listing at UK Craft Blog which will hopefully allow my blog to expand and get comments from all over. I'm ready for some good ol' criticism (constructive of course =) ).

Thursday 1 September 2011

Wire Squiggle Rings With A Final Farewell

A couple of weeks ago I finished my university placement at Carat Manchester. I was very sad to go, and will miss all my team! I love you guys (especially if you're reading this).

Although I may be gone, I am still very much in touch with my ex-colleagues including the intern who took over from me - Holly Keenaghan.
Holly was kind enough to commission me to create new rings for her and family. The rings themselves were created by wrapping a small length of silver or copper wire around a pen, to create the ring shape. Then I used pliers to create the squiggle (hence the name). These rings were created with inspiration from my new wire jewellery guide by Linda Jones.
Adding a small gemstone to compliment the ring perfectly is up to the buyer, but Holly chose the lovely colours below, and chose amethyst and candy jade for her mother. I unfortunately don't have pictures of these rings yet, but Holly will hopefully provide me with modelled rings soon. Below are the four I created for Holly:

Each ring has a different coloured double
As I couldn't decide which was the right one for Holly, I decided to create fours rings - a silver and copper with a rose quartz bead, and a silver and copper with three 4mm aventurine beads.

As with most of my team at Carat, I wanted to make everyone something at least once, and Alex Pickering was the only one left without a gift. So I decided to do something on a whim and drill through a D20 die. Luckily Alex's die drilled through instantly, unlike another poor D20 afterwards that has a drill bit snapped off inside of it.

Green D20 fully drilled through and pendantised (It is a word...)
The pendant originally was going to be made using silver wire, however after testing with copper, I thought the effect with the gold numbers worked the best. Alex liked it anyway, and brought him luck as he passed his Microsoft advertising exam with flying colours.
I'm hoping to dill a few more dice to make similar items. Share your dice creations, or comment on mine below!

Before I go back to university, I'll be completing at least one tutorial here, and I've decided to do it on the rings. I'll be using my own techniques from what I have seen in Linda Jones' book.
Let me know below if you'd rather see me do a video, or old school step by step tutorial too. I'd love to know if you'd like to see my face.