Year of Jewelry, week 17: Fish Net

Trying to be on theme, really on theme, for once. Lately I’ve decided to explore more weaving/basketry techniques after being inspired by the Pink Lady and Blue Beauty pendants. I bought the book “Fabulous Woven Jewelry” to research some additional weaving techniques (I will edit this post later to include the authors name).This was a quick attempt, somewhat botched, but the general idea comes through well enough. I wish the picture showed it off a little better … it does look better in person. In case it doesn’t come through really well, it’s a fish in a net. 🙂 I made some mistakes along the way, but that’s okay, I learned from them and that was the point of this experiment. More to add later.

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Introducing the Blue Beauty

Week 16 of the Year of Jewelry Project, 2007.

Well, still working on this woven bezel technique. I think that this pendant beats the last one hands down! I used a 28 gauge wire for the weave this time which resulted in a tighter, neater weave which adds more to the detail of the piece. I loooove the london blue apatite I used in this piece. It just POPS in the nicest way next to the peridot. The colors remind me of the waters here on the emerald coast. Beautiful blues and greens line our shores.

I am working to hoan this technique in prepartion for a new tutorial. I am making progress without a doubt. 🙂 However, I am going to make a few more so that I can make the tut as clear and straight forward as possible.

My First Tutorial: Wire Wrapped Toggle Clasp

This week I intended to both create my year of jewelry project piece and finish my first tutorial: Wire Wrapped Toggle Clasp. However, I learned a lot this week. I learned that creating a tutorial is hard work! I could not believe how long it took to create a tutorial for a clasp that it takes about 15 minutes to make. Try about 10 hours.

First, I had to make the item – taking one handed pictures the whole way. I took about 5 or six pictures of each incremental step to be sure that I had at least one good shot of each to work with. Then I had to sort through the pics, pick the best ones to work with then take them to photoshop to edit them. Crop, adjust lighting, etc. Rename and reorganize…

Then begins the actual work of writing and preparing the tutorial. You write, organize pics, lable pics … then you rewrite, reorganize, edit and add text for clarity. Re-edit text for clairity… proof read… well, you get the idea.

Ultimately, you have the result:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now you can make your own toggle clasps to coordinate with your handcrafted jewelry with this simple tutorial. These little beauties add impressive detail to any piece giving it a truly distinctive look. If you’ve ordered toggle clasps in the past, you know that they can cost several dollars each. Gold-fill toggle clasps are not only difficult to find, but they are especially pricey! With this tutorial you can make custom toggles to suit your project for literally a few cents each by utilizing scrap wire lying around on your bench.

Now Available!

Cost: $5.00

Year of Jewlery Begins

Finally I am on board again with the Year of Jewelry Project. I have sooo missed being a part of this project. I can look back and see how I’ve grown over the years that I was a participant thanks to the personal challenge and the feedback, inspiaration and motivation that I recieved from it.

While my initial entry is nothing to die for, and not *exactly* on theme as it were, it is something I’ve been planning to make for years now and just recently decided to commit to. My dear friend, Karen, is the owner of Beach Bride Weddings. She performs destination weddings on the beach in the gulf coast area from Pensacola to Destin, Florida along our emerald shores. She recently gave me a solid push to make some barefoot sandals, also known as scandals as they are very popular with her brides. Above are the first two I’ve created at her behest.
My favorite is the neutral toned one made with moonstone and Light Colorado Topaz swarovski crystals. It sparkels so beautifully! Of course, I couldn’t capture that in the photo. 😦 The blue one is made with turquoise and swarovskis.
Check out my website if you’re interested in these beauties. You can also contact me for custom request for your destination wedding.