Monday, 26 July 2010

Serene Green (Post 4)

I've had a busy few days and actually started putting designs to paper.  Not my usual style, but I've had so many exciting ideas that I just don't want to forget them.  Its been quite revealing really, because some of the designs lead towards PMC, others to silver sheet.  Keep watching ...

With normal bead type work, as I've said before I tend to design as I go - which is also very interesting as it usually leads to something I could never have thought of at the outset.

The next design, off the cuff, came about because I had these beautiful mixed sized acrylic beads which I wanted to do something with.

Serene Green
Beautiful marbled acrylic beads with ribbon, thai silver beads threaded on tigertail wire, and, my favourite - Italian glass millefiori beads.

When I started looking at the beads, my first priority was to match them with green coloured millefiori.  Quite a feat, because I had a bag of mixed millefiori and it was 'touch and go' as to whether I could pull enough green beads together.  The idea of the italian beads is just to have a random selection.  Thankfully, I was able to set aside what was needed.

I tend to arrange these on a Bead Tray in the order that I will thread them; that way you can change your design - easier to do this at this stage!  I knew I didn't want these large bulky beads all the way around and wanted to break up the fullness.  Too many beads can kill a design!

I decided to introduce the thai beads, which I lead up to the collarbone.  (A little tip: keep reviewing the design by checking in the mirror that it is at the right level - you'll be thankful later).

So, I had now designed up to the collarbone and stopped at this point.

I didn't want the silver beads all the way around, (waste of beads partly, but may also be uncomfortable to wear), which is why at this point I introduced the ribbon.  Gorgeous organza ribbon!  In a wonderful shade of green which blended in so well.

It dawned on me that I hadn't decided on what length the necklace should be?  So, I thought maybe it would be nice to have it a 'flexible' length.  This necklace can be adjusted to the required length by sliding the smaller green bead up or down.  The ribbons float at the back and have little thai silver beads on the ends.  Perfect!

Next the bracelet and earrings, (of course), to match.  I know a lot of people would just thread the beads on elastic.  Although this does still look nice, I do like a bracelet with a clasp - not forgetting the extender chain!

Progress on Unakite Knitted Wire Bracelet
Its finished!!!  I haven't got around to photographing it yet, but I have to admit I'm pretty impressed with it - keep watching, it'll be here on the next blog!

Future Projects
I've got to say - who knows?  I haven't thought about it yet.  As you may have noticed by now, I like to do a variety of jewellery, depending on lots of things.  It may well be wirework, that's something that I do enjoy working with.

Strange Question - but Do YOU know the answer?
At the back of my wardrobe, I have 'hidden' a pasta machine - which is just perfect for my jewellery aspirations.  I was so excited the other day when one of the local stores had a 50% sale.  I just had to buy it.

Any guesses why?

In the meantime, keep watching and I'll keep blogging!


Thursday, 22 July 2010

Power of Orange (Post 3)

Today has been a good day - did you notice I have added a slideshow of some of my jewellery?  Yes, I was amazed as well ... (that it worked).  I shall be adding to it, as and when I have time.

For those of you who may have worried about the time stamp on my last blog, just to reassure you, it was totally not right.  I did not post the blog at the unearthly time it said I did.  In fact, I've found a sneaky button that will allow me to create in 'advance' and schedule it to publish at a future date - how cool is that!

Power of Orange
I didn't realise it, but Orange is becoming one of my favourite colours; its so lively and uplifting.  This 'Power to Orange' set is made from flowered glass beads, orange glass lined rocailles, little silver beads and silver plated flower type links and thai silver clasp on the bracelet and necklace.

 I have a tendency to make sets rather than individual earrings, or necklace or bracelet.  Although I think earrings and matching bracelet can give that relaxed, gentle look.  So, it is rare that I make just earrings on their own.  On the occasions that I haven't made a matching necklace, my friends have said, 'It needs a necklace'.  This set, does have a necklace ...

The necklace is a lovely long one, but I have added a clasp because it gives it more ways for it to be worn.  In the example below, I have looped it around 3 times, it very much depends on what clothes your wearing.  Wearing it shorter, perhaps shows off the richness of the colours and patterns?  Personal decision really. 

When I start making a piece of jewellery, quite often aside from the fact that I love the colours or the beads or the textures I'm not always aware of what design to apply.  I find it better to work like that, plus its a bonus when the piece is completed.  You have to like what you create, otherwise, what's the point! 

With this design, I wanted random placement of beads and not a standard pattern.  It works well because you could wear the necklace with the clasp at the front, and it would still look pretty. There really isn't a start or finish to it - not if you throw away the illusion that clasps are 'always' at the back of the neck.

Well before I go, I wanted to say - thanks for reading this far, (you did didn't you? or have you just been looking at the pictures!).  What I was going to say is, I doubt if I will publish everyday so why don't you become a 'follower' of my blog?  You can even click on the 'Subscribe to Post' link at the bottom of the page, on the lefhandside.  This way you will be notified when I update my blog.

Coming Soon
At the moment I'm designing a really lovely wirework bracelet.  Its a 'knitted' bracelet.  No, you haven't read that wrong - its knitted with wire.  I'm incorporating some lovely gemstones - they are Unakite.  Mmm, a mix of red/pink feldspar, white/grey quartz and epidote.  The gemstone is named after the Unaka mountains in the south eastern United States of America.  To me and you, its a really pretty pinkish/green gemstone.  I'll tell you more about its spiritual properties when you can actually see it.

Keep reading, and I'll keep blogging   .... Charters

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Dragon's Dream and more ... (Post 2)

Hi again,

Well, after yesterday's creation my mind went into overload!  Like sitting an exam; I ran through all the things I could have said, perhaps should have said and finally told myself  'never mind, there's always tomorrow'.  With that thought I did get to sleep!

Firstly, the silver/red set is called Dragon's Dream and today I have published some more photos in the hope that you will see the detail of the dragon.

Precious Metal Clay (PMC) silver is amazing stuff, it is as the name suggests in a clay form and consists only of water, microscopic particles of silver and a binder.  To work with it's like rolling pastry - a lot more expensive, mind!  Once the desired shape is rolled to the required thickness, you can texturise it or carve your own design.  Its left to dry and is then carefully filed to even out any flaws.  It then needs to be heated to a high temperature, and maintained at that temperature (a procedure known as 'firing').  You can do this in a kiln or for small jewellery items you can use a blow torch.  Before you do this though, I'd recommend that you go on a training course, where you'll be taught all the safety aspects as well as the techniques.  So, this clay once fired burns away the binder and fuses the silver together.  To look at, it will now be white in colour.  You can now use various tools/files/polishers to make it nice and shiny.

All that's left for you to do is to decide how you want to work it into a beautiful piece of jewellery.

Making jewellery is a great way to release your creativity, as I can guarantee if a group of people were given a set of beads and findings, (findings are all the little extras you need, jump rings, ear wires etc), that each person would make totally different items.  Why?  Because, we all interpret things differently and (as it should be) we all have different ways of working.

Crossroads ...
I'm at a crossroads at the minute, (in more ways than one), and I'm making all sorts of jewellery and have enough creativity to last me a lifetime - just not the hours I need.  I want to work more in PMC but also love wirework and silversmithing.  My aim really is to make jewellery that is attainable to all and not mass produced.  My priority is to create uniqueness.  Now by that I mean, jewellery that you will be able to buy without fear of bumping into somebody with the same accessories.  How many times have you done that - particularly with clothes at an important event!  I know I have.

Some techniques you may come have come across but will be interpreted differently, be it by using unique beads or incorporating with silver/polymer clay/lampwork beads.  Just too many wonderful mediums to mention.  This brings me nicely back to these 'cross roads'.  I want more 'uniqueness' and to obtain that means me branching out into producing my own style.  PMC, lampworking, polymer clay and silversmithing all lend themselves to individuality and my footsteps are treading their way towards this.

I suppose I'm saying, keep following my blog and you will see the variety of techniques and the fuller style of my jewellery whilst, I'm sure also end up sharing my passion.

Heart Jingle
I name all my pieces, and 'yes' - I do get attached to them but I also sell my jewellery, taking satisfaction in knowing that others enjoy wearing my jewellery. Besides, I keep the photos!

Heart Jingle is made from lampwork beads, rocaille beads, silver plated links and my very own beaded links to blend it all magically together.

It doesn't need a clasp as it is designed to be a long necklace that just slips over and jingles nicely in place.

It would look lovely with jeans or equally with a smart outfit.

Bohemian Charm
This, to me, conjures up lazy hazy days of summer, Its a nice casual set of jewellery and each donut bead has flecks of other colours in them which 'draw' them together just nicely.

You could also use cord to link them.  I used a plum-coloured wire because I was looking for a natural blend.  Had I used silver it might have taken away the emphasis of the beautiful beads.  Inbetween I have used 'goldstone' nugget gems, which sparkle.

Ok, Day 2 and there's no stopping me ... suddenly, get me on my favourite topic and I'm away.  Until tomorrow ... Charters signing off!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Charters Jewellery Blog (Post 1)


I'm Charters, and very new to blogging. In fact, where do you start? Aside from forums, this is my first link to the outside world - to show my jewellery and to meet people who have similar interests.
This set is made from Precious Metal Clay, (PMC) and coral beads.

I hope to progress to selling on Etsy - once, I've worked out how to ...