Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Gift Of Jewelry

One perk of knowing me well -- or maybe it's a curse; I'm not sure -- is that at some point, you WILL get some free jewelry. Though several of my friends have purchased pieces from me, I never pressure anyone to buy from my shop. I do, however, frequently give out jewelry as gifts for birthdays, holidays... and just because.

Some may think it's "cheap" for me to give something handmade rather than to buy, but it probably costs me MORE when it comes to the cost of labor and materials. Also, we're all adults now. Most of my friends are in their late 40s or early 30s, and already have everything they need. I do give things like gift certificates or clothes, but I figure that I can also give something unique that's from the heart.

I'm not always successful when it comes to choosing a piece that's appropriate for the wearer. I have a pretty good idea of my friends' styles, but sometimes I do miss. All are appreciative, though -- and it's really fun to see them wearing my jewelry, like when my friend Amy wore one of my enamel necklaces to a play we recently attended:

My friends and family have been very supportive of my burgeoning career as a jewelry designer. I just want to show them how thankful I am to have them cheering me on!

Check out my jewellery at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Wire wrapped lapis lazuli necklace and earrings

Two things have been happening this year: I've been getting a lot more orders from Europe and Australia. I've also been getting many requests for custom pieces. The second matter is especially fun for me because while I think I'm pretty creative, it sometimes helps to get some influence from another person.

The latest custom order came from a woman who purchased my wire wrapped lapis lazuli necklace. She wrote to me asking if I could design a pair of matching earrings. She didn't have a specific vision so I suggested that I create earrings that have a similar, but not exact, design. This way, there would be a little contrast between the jewelry pieces. She agreed and I came up with this jewelry set:

I like working with lapis because the blue color is so striking and the surface is so smooth. It just feels good to have it in your hands! I wrapped it copper because I love the way the wire looks against the stone.

I'm always open to new ideas, so keep those custom orders coming! You help keep my creativity alive!

Check out more of my jewellery at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Antiqued" wire wrapped abstract brass ring

A few weeks ago, a customer asked me to replicate an old wire wrapped coil ring which she'd lost. I enjoy doing custom orders, especially when the piece of jewelry means so much to the person wearing it. Anyway, she sent me a sketch of her ring, which was a simple, but beautiful, symmetrical wire design:

She asked me if I could use very thick brass wire, so I got some in 14 gauge. I've never used this before, but I actually really like it. It's softer than 14 gauge gold or silver wire and makes a nice, chunky ring.

Though she really liked my version of her missing ring, she had another request: that I use chemicals to make it look like an antique since her old ring was a vintage piece. I've worked with ferric chloride while doing champleve enamel jewelry, but have never antiqued any jewelry. I was upfront about this, but curious as to what would happen if I soaked the ring in an acid bath. Here is the result:

No, it ain't pretty. It looks a bit like moths got to it or something. Fortunately the customer had a good sense of humor and understood that this was just an experiment... though she did refer to this ring as an "acid trip," LOL. She ended up purchasing the ring, anyway, and I made her a normal version of it.

I'm always up for experimenting with new materials and techniques -- and in this sale, I got to do both! So even though my antiquing didn't work out, the project certainly wasn't a failure.

Check out more of my wire wrapped an enamel jewellery at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.