Much as I enjoy being creative and experimenting with different types of jewelry, I also have to think about my businesses. Right now, one of my most popular items -- at both of my stores -- is my silver wire wrapped infinity ring, and so I'm always looking to do variations on it. This way, I can still be creative, but sell what people want. I've found that my "artsy" items, like the hand carved copper or handpainted enamel necklaces sell well at craft fairs, but when it comes to online jewellery shopping, people have more definite ideas of what they're looking for.
My latest variation on the infinity ring is one that has birthstones on it. I personally love birthstone jewelry because it's a great way to make a gift somewhat personal, especially if it's for a birthday. I was born in February so my stone is an amethyst and I have plenty of amethyst items. My favorite earrings are a pair that my husband gave me for my birthday a few years ago; they're little amethyst and diamond hearts. I wear them almost all of the time. Here they are, in order of month:
JANUARY: garnet Swarovski crystals:
FEBRUARY: amethyst Swarovski crystals:
MARCH: aquamarine crystals:
APRIL: diamond crystals
JUNE: lavender alexandrite:
AUGUST: light green peridot Swarovski crystal:
OCTOBER: light pink tourmaline:
DECEMBER: blue tanzanite:
Here's all 12 wire wrapped infinity birthstone rings:
When making my own birthstone rings, I did not use real gemstones. I looked into it, but, boy, real gemstones are EXPENSIVE! Whenever I sell something, it's basically a crapshoot as to whether it will get bought, so I'd rather not spend money on costly materials. I can't guarantee that anyone will actually pay the price I'd have to charge to make a profit. Plus, I like keeping my jewelry affordable. I don't pretend that my pieces are high end jewels; it's costume jewelry. Granted, I put a lot of work into my jewellery so that I can make it beautiful and unique, but I don't use real diamonds!
For these birthstone rings, I have subsituted Swarovski crystal bicones. This way, I'm still using a quality material, just not the most expensive out there. I think these look really nice, especially since the size goes well with the size of the infinity ring. I made the ring and then wire wrapped the Swarovski crystals using very thin 28 gauge silver wire. I went with four crystals for each because I feel it enhances the ring and doesn't obscure the silver wire wrapped design.
So far, I've only made rings for three months: April, September and November, but I am working my way through all twelve. I had to get a little creative when substituting Swarovski crystals for gemstones. So for April, where the stone is a diamond, I used a clear crystal; for November, which is topaz, a yellow crystal; for September, which is sapphire, a deep blue crystal; for March, aquamarine; for October, a pink crystal instead of tourmaline.
As I continue with my classes, I'm looking forward to making interesting new things, but designing traditional pieces can also be fun.