Wire work

bracelet bronzitte rosen
Bronzite and rosenquartz bracelet

While stringing beads on a wire really doesn`t feel like much of an accomplishment, getting a wire loop just right does. Theres something about working with wire that appeals to me. A combination of my previous hobbies perhaps, or maybe just the feeling that you are adding a real craft to your design.  I am still working on getting the technique just right. The tutorials made by Rena Klingenberg has been a tremendous help. I am also looking forward to a wire working class she has been producing that is available soon. Just hope it will not be too costly. Although I have no intention of selling my jewelry just yet, I have found the above mentioned site very useful.

Getting that professional look to your piece, is certainly not that easy. I had to redo the bracelet a couple of times, until I was happy with the result.

Turquoise – what is and isnt

turquoise
Is this turquoise?

I find it extremely difficult to know whether the turquoise I buy is the real thing, or just some manmade mock up. There are so many different terms in use, I am terribly confused. This is what I have gathered so far, do tell me if any of this is wrong – thanks.

  • Stabilized – means that the gemstone is processed afterwards to preserve the colour, and to prevent marks.
  • Dyed – Using another gemstone such as magnesite as base and then colour it as turquoise.
  • Composite – turquoise dust really, that has been mixed with resin or other glue to harden it. Some refer to this as reconstituted turqoise.

And all the variations between.

Now one should think that it`s rather easy – with vendors marking their wares appropiately. It isn`t of course. I have bought a few pendants that was marked as turquoise – but the price told me otherwise. I have no idea what it is though. Composite perhaps? I do hope so, then it`s still the real thing – after a fashion. ..

Inheritance

s-links
Handcrafted necklace chain. Glass beads.

My niece had a stash of some really lovely beads. Since she no longer have the time to make anything with them, she gave them all to me. These are just a few of the rather extensive collection she had. Again I am testing out the s-links. I want to see how they hold up over time.

Kumihimo

L1000184
Kumihimo necklace

One of the many techniques I have tried, is the traditional japanese braiding one called Kumihimo. I ended up with a finished piece just a bit short as a necklace, so I added some hammered s-links made of 20 ga wire. It turned out quite nicely, and I like the combination of the braid and the wire-work.  Think I will have to try out something else with those two, when my skills are on a higher level.

The beginning

I started making jewelry for myself, after I bough a couple of necklaces on the norwegian equivalent of Etsy. I was so dissapointed when I received the items. They were not at all how I had envisioned them to be from the photos I had seen. And I was struck how easy they were to make. Neither necklace was expensive, but it was no more work then to apply a small focal to a premade chain with clasp. I can do this I thought to myself. So I did.

I like to see where the real craft is visible  in any piece I make now, which is why I am constantly learning new techniques and trying to hone them. Not only in applying beads on a string, but that it involves at least a tiny bit of skill. Often struggling, seldom satisfied – but in this hobby the journey is truly the most important part of it.