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Archives for Necklaces

10/25/07 | TQB Designs

TQB Designs - Neck Wrap Bettys Apron - on Jewelry Making at BloglanderI was quite taken with these interesting beaded jewelry pieces from Lisa of TQB Designs. She creates each of these wonderful small “circles, dots, rounds and spheres” by weaving a gourd stitch pattern with seed beads on top of a wooden core, and then uses them in her jewelry along with hand-crafted metal findings.

From far away, the little seed bead rounds look amazingly like nuts, or fruits (particularly, some sort of berry). The care and time that go into making each of these little rounds must be tremendous; I know because we do beaded rings and they take a long time - and it probably takes much longer to create a whole sphere like these. Each bead has between 50 and 500 individual seed beads!

Lisa is self-taught and has been making these bead rounds for over a decade. Shown above is the Betty’s Apron Neck Wrap, which contains seven bead rounds (in duckling, tangerine, cinnamon, mushroom, cilantro and chartreuse colors) along with brushed oxidized and sterling silver findings.

TQB Designs - Garnet Dot Earring - on Jewelry Making at BloglanderShe has some “harvest” colors available that are meant for the Fall season - warm shades of red, brown, orange and gold. Here’s an example of one of the earrings using a garnet red color for the bead rounds - they are paired with silver handmade ear wires and filigree bead caps. I can’t believe how much they look like natural berries!

Neck Wrap - Betty’s Apron - $120
Garnet Filigree Dot Earrings - $38
available at TQB Designs

8/16/07 | Experimetal

Experimetal - featured on Jewelry Making at Bloglander

Wow, I had decided to take a little break on posting but that quickly turned into several months! Welcome back to me. As I said before, until I get more time I’m going to focus on shorter posts, and leave the full “how-to” write-ups until a later time. Maybe I’ll try get some jewelry makers to contribute (I don’t know how I’d be able to pay you to write up techniques though…)

Finding jewelry makers on Etsy can be somewhat of a tossup. There are some truly amazing designers coming out of the woodwork now that there is an easy to use artisitc network and selling framework provided by Etsy. However, that same ease also lets in the copycats and knock-offs of jewelry that belongs at walmart more than on the web.

This is definitely not the case with Experimetal. Seattle resident Victoria Takahashi creates some truly uniquely organic and earthy pieces of jewelry and sells it through Etsy. She focuses on mostly one-of-a-kind pieces and has a good selection of necklaces, rings, brooches, earrings and bracelets. As her moniker suggests, much of the jewelry focuses on experimental, though very cleanly designed, metal working. She uses gold, silver, and copper in combination with shell, stone, and various small gemstones in her work. Like many jewelry makers, she’s mostly self-taught. Here’s a little bit from her bio:

Lets see, I started making jewelry in 1993. I took 2 quarters at a local community college, and traded work study for classes at a non-profit art school for about 3 years. Since that first class I just started to make metal stuff. I was very fortunate and got really positive and honest responses from friends and family, then it just rolled forward from there.

Captive Stone in Round BoxHere’s an example of one of her necklaces. This interesting piece features a pendant that is a round window box with a smooth beach stone encapsulated in it. The necklace is sterling silver and has a 1mm snake chain to complete it. I have to say that we have found one of the most important things with selling your jewelry online is to make sure the photographs of your work are clear, detailed, well-posed and… well, at least a little bit interesting. This shouldn’t SEEM to matter, but it certainly does - it’s because online a potential buyer has absolutely no way to judge a piece except by the photo. They can’t pick up the piece and look at it. Victoria presents her pieces in a really great way with nice backdrops.

Rununcula Blossom Bracelet CuffHere’s another one of the many jewelry pieces that really stand out from the rest of the crowd. This is a bracelet cuff that features a Rununcula flower blossom made out of two pieces of shaped copper. They are riveted onto a 7.25 inch leather cuff and the overall presentation is very simple yet beautiful. If you have a chance, check out some of the items in the Experimetal store.

Captive Stone in Round Box - $72
Rununcula Blossom Bracelet Cuff - $36
Experimetal (Victoria Takahashi)

Sorry about the recent lack of posts… I had tried to clear more space in the week to work on Jewelry Making but it’s clearly become difficult because in the past I’ve tried to make each post an in-depth article, even the ones about DIY jewelry. I’ll be trying to write shorter posts, more of a “what’s up” look at other jewelry makers rather than full writeups, in the interest of time. Thanks for your patience with this.

Green Fuse Wire Works - on Jewelry Making at Bloglander

I saw some very nice wire based jewelry over at Green Fuse Wire Works, including this “Pepita D’Oro Bracelet” made of chunks of amber or topaz colored Italian art glass that is lined on the inside with gold or silver foil. It’s wirewrapped and sports the occasional playful spirals curl of silver wire.

Felicia Parsons runs Green Fuse which focuses on wire wrapped jewelry with an eye toward environmental and fair trade concerns.

Pepita D’Oro Bracelet - $75
Green Fuse Wire Works

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Anna Sofia Designs

Anna Sofia uses an interesting material for the bulk of her jewelry: Paper! Using a variety of brightly colored decorative papers, she fashions glazed paper pieces for use in necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The papers most often used are Japanese Chiyogami (vibrant silkscreened paper reminiscient of kimono patterns) and Katazome-shi (stencil-dyed paper with softer and organic design).

Her jewelry is strung on silver chain and findings, and she also makes use of crystals, semi-precious stones and pearls as accents. But the real stars in her jewelry are definitely the multicolored paper centerpieces. I didn’t know this, but each glazed bead consists of a core made of illustration board which is then covered with the paper, one surface at a time! The paper bead is then sealed with a special glaze to protect it and give it some shine.

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Anna Sofia, Besito NecklaceThere are so many wonderful designs in different shapes and colors that it was difficult to pick out just a few to show. This Besito Necklace is an example of the pretty colors and designs available. The pendant is made out of orange, ochre and green floral Chiyogami paper and then strung on a sterling silver chain. It’s a very pretty piece in the shape of a rounded rectangle. You can see how the side of the beads is actually covered separately.

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Anna Sofia, Monteverde EarringsThese Monteverde Earrings consist of three connected paper bead rounds that feature green lotus designs on stencil-dyed Katazome-shi paper. They dangle 2.5 inches long from sterling silver ear wires and are connected with jump rings. Fun, flirty and fresh. There seriously are a ton of different paper designs on the earrings so you should take a look at all of them on the site.

Besito Necklace, $43
Monteverde Earrings, $35
at: Anna Sofia Designs

3/21/07 | ES Designs

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - ES DesignsWe’d posted about selling jewelry on Etsy nearly two years ago when it first launched, and they are doing quite well over there with tons of crafters selling wares on the site. You can find a lot of great jewelry designs there just by surfing around - the latest one we came across was Elizabeth Scott’s jewelry.

From her studio in New York, she handmakes a variety of light and airy forms out of different types of metals. Sometimes the metal is combined with other items like pearls, but more often than not the focal point is the actual shaped metal object. The metal is often oxidized and polished, and a number of her pieces are also made using Precious Metal Clay forms. She makes a good variety of necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets.

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - ES Designs - Filigree Vine NecklaceHere’s an example of one of the beautiful designs she can make. This is a Filigree Vine Necklace made out of sterling silver. The pendant looks like a wire vine inside of a teardrop shaped enclosure. It’s attached to simple cable chain. Very elegant and simple, like the best jewelry designs.

Visit: ES Designs

2/6/07 | Stones on String

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Stones on String LogoAnother jewelry site that I came across recently through indieshopping is Stones on String. Melissa specializes in making handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets and even men’s jewelry.

I like her focus on “natural” looking pieces. While she does make good use of crystals such as Swarovskis as accents, the focus of many of her pieces are earth-toned gemstones and silver single-word “message” beads. A lot of her jewelry is also complemented by leather cord which extends the rustic yet beautiful nature of the designs.

Here’s a little bit about Melissa’s design philosophy from her website:

My style has evolved and I create the type of jewelry that I myself am drawn to. Earthy, natural pieces designed with gemstones and crystals, sterling and gold. Jewelry that is stylish to wear, yet also feeds the soul with beauty as well.

Continue reading “Stones on String” …

10/24/06 | Original Hardware

Original Hardware logo

I came across some elegant jewelry through Style Bakery the other day. Carrie Schafer of Original Hardware creates beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets characterized by earthy colors and textures. Taking much of her inspiration from nature and travels abroad, the Colorado-based artist uses rustic handmade silver paired with warm-colored precious stones like carnelian, smokey quartz and jade in her pieces.

I especially like her use of hand-dyed chocolate colored silk and leather to compliment the natural colors of the stones and oxidized silver pieces. Another common design touch in her work includes the use of loops and ovals of silver with gemstones hanging within. Carrie is all about the “road less traveled” and that’s clearly reflected in her design… here’s a blurb from her website:

My design philosophy is simple: make pieces that reflect the strength, beauty and individuality of its wearer… I like to make pieces that are off-the-beaten path and incorporate the cultures and colors of the exotic places I’ve travelled.

Continue reading “Original Hardware” …

12/28/05 | Kiku Fused Glass

Kiku LogoKiku is a little DIY shop that I came across the other day that makes fused glass jewelry and other accesories. I like the unusual shapes and colors of these playful items.

The fused glass is actually made by putting the pieces of glass together into a kiln and melting them into each other. I’ve always wanted to try fused glass but since I don’t have a kiln handy just yet, I’m once again in “admiring others” mode when it comes to glasswork like this.

Laurie from Kiku makes a wide array of fun necklaces, pendants, bracelets, earrings, pins, rings and even belt buckles and cufflinks. Her site says she uses “Bullseye transparent and opaque glass” as well as CBS Dichroic glass to make her jewelry. I believe that she’s based in the Chicago area.

Sizzle Pin - Kiku Fused GlassSome of my favorite Kiku pieces of jewelry are the unusual shaped items like this aptly named Sizzle Pin. It a starfish shaped opaque red, orange, and yellow glass pin that is about 2 3/4″ wide.

A lot of her jewelry seems affordably priced as well… this one was marked down to $20. There are quite a few other cool abstract pins like this one.

Ambush Necklace - Kiku Fused GlassI also like the mod styled “Tag Necklaces” which feature colorful thin discs of fused glass with an offcenter hole in them. This golden amber one is called “Ambush” and is accented by specks of crushed lavender glass and is hung on a 16 inch sterling silver chain.

Two others that I liked that aren’t pictured here are the “Balance” disc necklace which features turquoise glass layered with purple, and the “Purple Donut” which is dark purple with crushed pink accents.

You can check out other items at the Kiku site:

10/31/05 | Glint Jewellery

Glint Jewellery LogoI often like to check out what jewelery (er, jewellery) makers are doing across the pond. Some of the best looking and more unusual pieces we’ve discovered have been from countries outside the U.S.

Designer Kate Wood hails from London and is top notch at creating airy jewellery pieces featuring muted tones and textures. Pearls and vintage-colored metals seem to be two of her current favorite materials for making a good selection of bracelets, necklaces and earrings. There is almost a bit of an art-deco feel to some of the items but with a hint of a more modern touch. From her site:

Glint jewellery is feminine and flattering, striking and subtle, characterised by soft, organic forms and strong combinations of colours and surface textures.

The entire range of earrings, necklaces and bracelets is hand crafted by the designer, Kate Wood, making each piece unique. When worn, this jewellery comes alive with movement and light, enhancing your individual beauty and style.

Continue reading “Glint Jewellery” …

10/4/05 | Sharma Designs

Sharma Designs Logo

California jewelry designer Sharla Samuelson has a great selection of delicious looking items at her site Sharma Designs. As usual, I got there through a crafty collective portal (this time around it was Indie Designer Labels). Sharla makes a wide variety of fresh and interesting necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Although she does use some of the standard colors for precious stones, I liked that she also had some alternative “darker” pieces that featured material like Onyx, Carved Bone and Horn, Dark Jasper, Carved Horn, and Brown Jade. A bit more unusual choice of material, which makes for an interesting look.

Some info from the “about” section of her site:

So, how did my personal quest for unusual jewelry morph into a business? Unintentional advertising. After I made my own pieces, I took them out on the town. And, well, the town took notice. Some people sell their creations out of the trunks of their cars, I was selling them right off of my own neck. I quickly realized that I needed to set up shop.

So you know I treasure my own individuality, but did you know that I treasure yours as well? Every piece is a one-of-a-kind. Sure, I might riff off of themes, but no two necklaces are ever identical.

Continue reading “Sharma Designs” …