More in blue

 

Kyanite earrings

 

I do not know why, but I always come back to this colour. The blue . Light and dark . I try to make other things with other colours, and sometimes I succeed. Then I need to make something blue again. The name Kyanite comes from the Greek word “kyanos” – meaning blue. If you are into geology, there is plenty of information over at  mindat, an excellent source of information on all things mineral.  If you are into the metaphysical aspect of things, the stone is “unlimited in application” according to a website. Not so happy with the picture though, it is a constant work in progress.

Taking photo of my work

Product photo is a challenge. Finding the right background, and setting the correct light as well. I am not at all an expert, but I am hopefully getting better at it.

Stubbe - used as background
Stubbe – used as background

I was on a cabin-trip this summer down south, near the ocean – and there I found this beauty on the beach. I just had to take it home with me of course.

Notice how much better the earrings looked when I used this as background. These are the same, just with different light and background. The right one is taken outside in natural light on a cloudy day. Need to keep that strong sun away from your photo.

SKU77 total

Aquamarine sterling silver earrings
Aquamarine sterling silver earrings

 

Moldavite

SKU# 35 total
Handmade silver sterling necklace with moldavite pendant
SKU# 35 detail moldavite
The picture is taken with the sun as backdrop, in regular light it is more of a dullish dark green colour.

Moldavite is the result of a meteorite impact in Bavaria 15 million years ago. It is a form of glass, produced in the immense heat after the impact. I bought this piece from Magpie, my favorite gemstoneseller online.

It already came with a border wrap in sterling silver, so the choice of wire to use was obvious. I would have made that choice anyway, since this piece was quite costly. Moldavite is of the more expensive mineral to buy, since it only exists in a few locations and the source will be depleted in a few years. This is not AAA quality, those are more transparent than mine is.

I made a chain using sterling silver wire, and experimented with various solutions to combine it with. The one I ended up with was the best choice, it hangs beautifully on the neck. The challenge was to find a combination that would let the long link on each side lay correctly, and not twist.

Now I am contemplating whether I should oxidize the silver or not. Choices, choices.

 

Metal

Metal wire is a key ingredient in many different techniques for a an aspiring artisan jeweler. Deciding what metal to use is important, as it dictates everything from the wire guardian to beads and clasps. You need to have a variety of findings in the metal of your choice.

I invested in copper at first, with a range in wire gauges and a collection of findings. I love copper. The warm tone, it`s softness, the look and feel of it. But, no matter what you do with it – it will always give this rustic impression. Which is fine – if that is all you want to create.  I added some sterling silver and gold filled as well, both have what copper does not have. But it is expensive working solely in silver and gold of course. So what to do ?

Then you have jewelers brass. According to Rio Grande where I buy all my metal, it is also called red brass, NuGold, Jeweler’s Bronze or Merlin’s Gold. It has a rich yellow tone to it, and works well with goldfilled.  It is still copper, with a twist. An alloy of copper and zinc, where the amount of zinc dictates the colour of the finished product. To me the yellow tone was a tad too distinct, so I ended up with bronze instead.

Wonderful and lovely bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. The one I use is a 92/8 mix. 92% copper and 8% tin. It has, according to one reviewer a much warmer, more elegant look than brass. And after seeing it in person now, I agree. I am so happy I decided to go for bronze as an addition to the copper.  It will give me exactly the look I was after, and much cheaper than using gold filled. It has the same price range as copper and brass. There is one downside though, it is not as mallable as copper and brass. When I buy copper for example I like to buy half hard – as I find it better to work with. You can only order bronze wire as dead soft, even the very common 20 ga. After working with it now I can see why, Dead soft bronze really behaves as half hard copper. Struggling with a 16 ga piece was a real work out.

Adding some bling

kyanite og aquamarine
Kyanite and aquamarine, with sterling silver chain and beads

Making daily jewelry for ages 20 and up is a daunting task for me. They like a completely different style than my own. Simple, with a dash of luxury. Big chunky is a no no, metal coloured yes – but not extensive use of colour. That was at least what I saw my nieces were wearing. I used a simple sterling silver chain and added beautiful kyanite and aquamarine. Some windowed sterling silver beads gave it a bling factor.