Monday, 19 August 2013

Jewellery making plans for Autumn

I’ve finally taken the plunge and signed up for a Silversmithing and Jewellery Making course. I’m up for some new challenges and it will be nice to go off one day a week to learn new techniques and meet some new people. The adult education centre where the course is held is lovely, right next to the river Wensum. I’m really looking forward to trying my hand at all sorts of new things. First though I need a holiday. Sometimes you don’t realise how tired you are until you actually stop.

I finished my ‘Tropical Flower’ jewellery over the weekend. I made earrings to match using the cherry quartz drops and Lucite flowers. I am pleased with the way the wire wraps at the top of the drops adds texture. Tiny woven seed bead picots at the top help them to match the necklace. A few months ago I would never have thought about using Lucite flowers or wire wrapping, but here it all is in one piece. Using wire in a garland style necklace really does help it to keep a lovely curved shape when worn.

The changing colours of Autumn always have me reaching for beads in berry shades. After my wireworking over the last few days I’ve a vision in my head for something completely different, a stack of bangles, possibly a set of three based on hedgerow plants. Needle felted and encrusted with pretty bijouterie which will include beaded beads, bead embroidery and just maybe some little resin charms that I will create myself. I’ve not done any resin casting before and it’s time to give it a whirl. No holding me back is there!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Totally tropical

Aloha! My beading desk looks very tropical this weekend. I’m surrounded by cherry quartz, fluorite, aventurine,  tiny seed pearls, red coral and some pretty Lucite flowers and acrylic leaves. I’ve always used glass beads before now, but in this instance I want a really lush garland of bigger blooms and it needs to be light and airy.

I’ve made three braided wired strands with the quartz, fluorite and aventurine and I’m playing about with the placement of the flowers and leaves. I need the back of the necklace to be slimmer, so I’m planning to make that with a woven tube of seed beads embellished with a few larger beads. Mixing techniques and materials has been wonderfully liberating!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

New ways with jasper donuts

A very hectic week. The big family get-together on Saturday was lovely and the weather was kind to us. I must admit I prefer the cooler summer days, it means I can concentrate on my jewellery making better. I had to take some time out to search for my wedding guest finery and have hair done – all sorted top to toe including new shoes, bag and a fascinator. If I lean over a stream I swear it could catch a trout! Just hope I can transport it to North Wales in one piece.

Despite limited time for jewellery making I’ve a new piece in progress. I love finding new ways to showcase semi precious donuts. This is a fusion of wire wrapping, micro macramé and bead weaving. I’m adding the smaller seed beads to complement the reddish pink in the jasper donut and add some shine to contrast with the matt linen threads. The dove coloured colour scheme is lovely to work with after the Mardi Gras colour scheme of the necklace I finished last week.


Using the copper wire in pieces meant I had to find a way to seal the surface. After some online research I discovered Renaissance Wax.  Fabulous PH neutral waxy stuff used by the British Museum to protect precious artifacts – including suits of armour. You can apply several coats to build up a lovely protective surface and it helps to preserve colour and finish.