Friday, January 25, 2013

Funky silver wire wrapped abstract rings

It's been a while since I've made new coil rings! They're among my best-selling items, though, so I really ought to make more of these. They actually do well online and at craft fairs; at fairs, people always notice them and even if they don't buy a ring, will admire them and try them on.

Anyway, I've been feeling creative lately so I designed two new silver wire wrapped coil rings. Both are pretty abstract and kind of funky-looking:

This ring is just plain weird, but I think it's cool. It looks a little like a face in profile, no? I didn't really plan for it to come out that way; I just played with the wire and created different angles and well, this is how it turned out! Sometimes the jewellery has a mind of its own and this was what this ring wanted to do. I love modern art, though, so I like the "sculpted" look of it.

This is the second ring:

I've made rings with square spirals before, but the bottom portion of the ring is unique because it resembles an arrow. It looks really nice when you wear it because it's oversized and covers almost your whole finger. It's just a lot of fun.

Next up: making more rings with colorful wire! To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fire and ice enamel necklace project

I've started a new project in my enameling class and it's going to be a complicated one! I'm making a bib necklace featuring 15 enameled circles, which I'm arranging into an upside-down pyramid shape (the bib). Not only that, the necklace is going to be reversable with a different design on the other side of the discs. It's going to be a lot of work!

So far, I've drilled the discs so that I can attach jump rings and connect them into the triangle pattern, and have applied enamel to one side. My teacher suggested that i sift on different colors right against the copper so I can get a cool, swirling design with a hint of the copper beneath. So I used transparent aqua and deep blue enamels, applying half of each color to the discs ... and sure enough, I got what looks like a funky tie-dyed design:

Actually, now that I look at the discs, they look more like little planets, no? My plan is to apply another coat of aqua/dark blue to this side and then apply orange and yellow to the counter side. This way, I'll have cool colors and warm colors -- or fire and ice. I think it'll be a neat contrast and the wearer can display whichever side she wants.

A statement necklace like this will need an amazing chain; I'm thinking of making a copper chain using spiral links. This way, I'll continue the whole circle theme -- and it'll be a nice way to connect my enamel and wire wrapping skills.

There's no enameling class next week, but I'm anxious to get going on my latest work in progress! I'll post more pics as I go along.

To purchase my wire wrapped and enamel jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Photo gallery: Wire wrapped winter wonderland jewelry

Brrrr! Don't know how the weather is where you live, but it's in the TEENS in New York City and is dropping into single digits at night. Even worse, it's supposed to snow tomorrow. Yikes!

Happily I'm warm and dry at home and am trying to find some positives in the ridiculously cold weather. For one thing, new snow is always really pretty; also, my birthday is in a few days. So there you go -- a couple of good things about winter!

In honor of this cold front, here's a photo gallery featuring some of my "icy" designs; all of these pieces are made with clear Swarovski or Celestial crystals. To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations. Stay warm and enjoy!

Silver wire wrapped teardrop bridal necklace with Swarovski crystals

Silver wire wrapped bangle bracelet with Celestial crystals

Silver wire wrapped birthstone infinity ring for April with clear Swarovski crystal "diamonds"

Wire wrapped giant Swarovski prism crystal

Wire wrapped abstract pendant with square Celestial crystals

Silver square earrings wire wrapped with square Swarovski crystals

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January gallery of handmade earrings

January is only half over, but I've been super busy! I've been on an earring-making spree this month and while I've showed photos of all of these in previous posts, here they are in a gallery. All are available at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More colorful wire wrapped heart earrings with crystals

January has been a busy month for me for jewelry making! This past weekend I went a little crazy and made a whole slew of wire wrapped heart earrings, using red, pink, fuchsia and silver wire. I'm selling these on both of my sites-- Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations:

Each wire wrapped earring is the same basic design: I wrapped a round crystal and then shaped the wire into a little heart. However, I tried to mix up the colors a bit. Pink and purple or hot pink and red usually clash, but you often see them together for Valentine's Day -- and I think they work here. I wanted to experiment a bit and use atypical color combos, and I had a good time playing around.

These heart earrings aren't too difficult to make, but they're so cute! Plus, I like seeing them all together in a series. It's like a big, blinding flash of color. I have other color wire, so I'll play around with more combos of wire and crystal and see what I can come up with!

Silver cloisonne and enamel heart earrings

It's less than a month 'til Valentine's Day and I'm continuing to build up my stock of holiday-related products. I'm not a huge fan of V-Day; truthfully, I think that you should celebrate your love for someone every day of the year. On the other hand, I really like hearts so I'm happy to have an excuse to make heart-themed jewelry!

My enamel teacher suggested that I start making things other than individual pendants so I can get used to designing series, so I made a pair of cloisonne heart earrings. They're a pretty simple design -- a deep red heart with a pink and purple background -- but they're sweet and pretty, and appropriate for Valentine's Day.

Of course, being well, me, the process of making this didn't go smoothly. First, I dropped one of the little cloisonne hearts on the floor of the studio. Before I knew it, everyone in class was on their hands and knees as they scrambled around looking for it. I felt pretty embarrassed, but it was kind of them to help out. We never did find the heart, but it wasn't a big deal; I just made another.

Then, for some reason, the purple counter that I used (the enamel put onto the underside of the earrings) glazed over into a lumpy mess. I guess I put it on too thick in some spots? I ended up applying a third layer (usually I use two layers of counter) and that seemed to do the trick. It's still lumpy, but there are no cracks. I added an additional layer of glass powder to the front side to even things out, so hopefully, the enamel will hold steady all around.

One good thing is that I've become much more skilled at adding the cloisonne wire. The first few pieces I made fell apart somewhat because the wire was overheated and melted. But I now know to take the piece out a bit before a minute is up. This seems to do the trick!

I wish the earrings' colors were better in this photo, but it's dark and rainy here and I was eager to show these off. If it's brighter tomorrow, I'll try to get an improved pic. Still, you get the basic idea. I'm pleased with how my earrings turned out and am all set to begin my next project: a bracelet with enamel and cloisonne links!

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations. To purchase my novel, check out REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shades of blue enamel and cloisonne pendant

I had a great time in my enameling class this week. First up, I made this really cool enamel and cloisonne pendant using glass in different shades of blue. It's not yet finished, but I plan to attach it to a handmade silver chain that's adorned with blue AB crystals. It's going to be gift for my mom's upcoming birthday, so shh!

There are only two classes left in this semester and I'll admit, I was seriously considering taking another class this spring. I've done enamel for three semesters now and am interested in trying out a different technique. However, after I made this piece, my teacher came over to admire it and said to me, "You know, you're really getting quite good at this." She then went on about some ideas for projects that she has for me for next semester. And so I signed up for enameling again! My teacher's praise means a lot to me and if she has faith in my skill, I would like to improve upon it. I really do like enameling, anyway. It's one of the most popular classes offered so it's not like she has to grub for students; her eagerness to work with me is genuine and I want to take her up on it.

Meantime, I'm excited to put this necklace together and just hope that my mom likes it! I'll post the finished product so keep checking in.

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations.

Silver wire wrapped infinity symbol birthstone bracelet

One of my New Year's resolutions was to build up my MayaGirl Creations shop. I'm pleased to say that so far, it's working out! This morning I received an interesting order from a customer; she said that she liked my line of infinity rings and asked if I could design an infinity symbol bracelet for a four-year-old.

We e-mailed back and forth and I suggested that I make a delicate wire wrapped bracelet with a large silver infinity charm as the centerpiece, pink crystals and an adjustable chain. This way, the little girl can grow into this bracelet from her mom and wear it for a few years. I used pink Swarovski bicones because they're tiny and will work well on a small wrist. I curved the end of the clasp so that there would be no edges that could dig into her arm. This is what I came up with:

Since my infinity birthstone rings have sold so well, I'm planning to offer this bracelet with birthstones, too. I can also do it in rainbow colors or with alternating colors, like green and pink or blue and purple. In other words, there are about a million variations I can make with this simple design.

So thank you to this customer for putting this idea in my head. It was a good one!

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations. To purchase my novel, check out REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Silver star earrings with pink Swarovski crystals

Back in September, I created many new children's earrings for my shop MayaGirl Creations. However, it's taken me some time to photograph and list them all. This is the pair of silver wire wrapped star earrings with pink Swarovski crystals:

Making a star shape is more difficult than you'd think! You have to get all of the angles correct and all of the points even for the star to look attractive. It took a lot of practice for me to learn how to construct the star, but now that I've got it down, I've found that they're fun to make. There's something satisfying about finishing one and I like how they look. Stars are supposed to sparkle, which is why I added a pop of color with the pink Swarovski crystal bicones.

Stay tuned for more of my whimsical kids' jewelry from MayaGirl Creations! Meanwhile, to purchase my other jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Wire wrapped heart earrings gallery

Now that Christmas, Chanukah and New Year's have passed, the next big holiday to look forward to is Valentine's Day! It's still over a month away, but I already see stores putting up Valentine's Day decoration ... and I'm following suit. So to get in gear for the day of love, here are some of my handmade wire wrapped heart earrings:

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations. To purchase my novel, check out REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.

Wire wrapped lava, jade and lapis lazuli pendants

I've been on such a wire wrapping kick lately that I ended up making three more wire wrapped necklaces. For these, I used several different kinds of copper wrapped stones: one is lava, one is jade and one is lapis lazuli:

For the lava stone, I wanted to do something very different from my usual style. When making wire wrapped pendants, I tend to create swirling, spiraling designs, but in this case, I went for something modern and angular that works with the blue square crystal. Of course, I couldn't resist adding in one spiral! I think that it looks a bit as if I gift-wrapped the lava, no?

I went the opposite way with the jade and practically covered the stone with an intricate, ornate wrap that looks a little like lace. I added three small Swavorvski crystals in pink and blue-green.

The design on the blue lapis lazuli is a little like a frame as I worked the wrap along the edges of the stone. I added a couple of navy blue Swarovski crystal pearls as an accent. The design is almost symmetrical, but not quite, giving the piece a little "quirkiness."

Making wire wrapped jewelry is just so much fun, which I why I keep doing it! I'm planning to order some stones in colors I haven't yet used and am anxious to keep playing around.

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewelry, head to MayaGirl Creations. To purchase my novel, check out REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.