Finding the right combination

angel
Kumihimo necklace with african opal heishi beads, copper beads and porcelain angel pendant.

I bought this porcelain angel many months ago, with a specific someone in mind. Finding the right combination of material that did not detract from the focal piece, proved to be a challenge.

The Kumihimo braid was the easier part – then I tried many different gemstones to mix it with. Any colour would lead the eye to the gemstones, not the focal. The africal opal is perfect for this I think – adding some bit of colour, but not detracting from it. The copper gives the whole piece a warm tone, and a nice contrast to the white.

The recipient of the piece enjoyed it as well, which is a great reward for an aspiring artisan.

Labradorite

labradorite 3
Labradorite and sterling silver necklace

I had never heard of this shimmering mineral until I found it in an online shop. Totally mesmerized I just had to order some. I bought 3 strands in different shapes and sizes, and could finally make my labradorite necklace. I have a lovely pendant as well just waiting for me to get skilled enough to make a borderwrap. A picture just do not do this wonderful piece of nature justice. The stones I bought varies in fire, some are almost grey, while others shimmers in red, blue, green, purple depending on how light falls on them. I added some extra luxury to the piece, using sterling silver spacers and clasp. More pictures in the gallery.

 

Getting it just right

herringbone amethyst_muranoheart
Herringbone weave necklace with new jade aka serpentine and amethyst. Pendant is a Murano glass heart

That can very often prove to be a daunting task. It is typical for any profession and craft that the more you learn, the more you realize you have to learn. This is certainly the case for me. And still, I can see I am getting better for every piece I am making.

This one took me hours upon hours of making. I do hope that the work involved somehow can be seen in the finished product. That is sadly not always the case. I am very pleased with how this turned out though. This is herringbone wrapped amethyst and new jade, handcrafted chain and a Murano glass heart.

Shopping online

There are many sites that sell all sorts of tools for jewelry along with beads of all shapes and sizes. We have a few here locally, but most of my beads I buy from US or UK. I cannot buy for more than 32 $ at a time, or otherwise I will be charged custom duty plus a handling fee. That means I am usually looking for stores that can offer a cheap shipment option to my country. The larger stores offer as the cheapest solution a cost for shipment at 35 $. That is very expensive for items like headpins at 32$.

I have found that the smaller stores have a better shipment option, ranging from 6$ and upwards. Places like Magpie Gemstones, Lytha Studios, Auntie Beads with others are good places to shop from Norway. Grenland Stein & Sølv is an option if you don`t want to import. Especially on tools that is a bit on the heavy side.

More green

Golem ceramic focal
Kumihimo necklace with african opal and Golem made pendant

I had some braided kumihimo left from that necklace I made to a friend. Since I was so pleased with the combination of kumihimo, copper and gemstones I wanted to make something for myself as well.

The tiny ceramic focal comes from Golem Studio, who by the way really need help with the website. Maybe they don`t really bother since they sell through other online shops  the most. The braid is kumihimo, and close to the focal I placed some Picasso jasper and african opal heishi. Findings are copper end caps, link and clasp. Some copper rice beads and copper crimp covers to hide the sterling silver crimps as well.