Year of Jewelry: Custom for Nina

For Nina     I’ve been trying to get back on the bus, so to speak, where the YOJ is concerned.  I’m having a bit of a time trying to carve out creative time for myself lately considering that the beautiful weather keeps winning us over with it’s irresitable allure.  It’s hard to stay inside in all this sunshine – especially with three people tugging you towards the door. 🙂  That said, I’m using a recent custom order for my entry this week.

     At the Outside Art Fair last earlier this month, I recieved a custom order for a netted pendant made with some stunning firey orange dichro glass.  Nina wanted it netted in gold wire, set sideways, with Indian red Swarovski crystal accents on the chain.  Overall I think it turned out nicely, I certainly hope that Nina feels the same way. 🙂  I’ve taken several shots of the new necklace in different lighting.  I realize the first picture is rather shaded and probably not the best picture to show it off, however, I loved the ‘fire in the shade’ look so I kept it.  Oddly, it’s my favorite pic out of all of them. 

     This is a nice detail shot in good lighting.  I just adore the color of this Dichroic cab.  The rusty reds make my heart go pitter-pat! 

 

 

 

     This shot is a full view, so to speak, to show what the necklace looks like hanging on the neck.  It has a very asymetic look to me, so much so that I really wanted to speckle the chain with swarovski crystals in a random pattern.  I held off, however, because that was not part of the order.  That’s the thing I don’t like so much about custom orders.  My inner-kid just wants to take off with the project and often wishes to deviate from the intended design.  But I restain myself :::teeth-clenching grin::: and stick to the specifications of the client.  “Next time …” I tell myself.

     Thanks for looking!

 

Favorite Jewels: Part One

Since I am new to wordpress and will no doubt have the opportunity to be exposed to others who are not familiar with my work I thought it would be a good idea to share with my new audience (few though you may be, at this point) a few of my favorite works.

I think my all time favorite piece would have to be my Tale of a Seahorse necklace.  This was my first large scale mosaic project.  He is created with all cold connections.  There is absolutely no solder work.  I created the frame then filled it in with various sizes of sterling silver beads, pearls and faceted blue apatite.  A solitary blue apatite rondell is wrapped in a delicate herringbone for the eye and two pale green aventurine briolettes create the fin.  The chain was hand coiled wavered sections, meant to represent waves in the ocean, with splashes of bright blue apatites in between.  My little friend now lives in New Zealand, quite happily I imagine.

 

Netted Turquoise Ring

     Another one of my favorite pieces is this lovely netted Turquoise Ring.  I used the Needle Lacetechnique here on a much smaller scale than I had done previously.  I used a very fine gauge of wire for the netting and placed one single Swarovski accent on the front of the stone.  This has been a very popular ring and I currently have several on back order.  I am going to do some variations with this ring design, so if you like it, keep an eye out on the blog/website.  If you’d like one in your size you can drop me an email at Cutom@DeliaStone.com for more information.

Next I want to share my  netted bezel ammolite pendant with you.  I loved this one so much that it remains in my private collection to this date.  Oddly enough, as much as I love this piece I have never named it.  It’s just too fabulous for words.  The ammolite is so wonderfully enchanting and this one exhibits some of my favorite colors … golds, greens and rusty red-oranges flash and play across the surface.  It’s captured in a netted bezel of hair thin 14k gf wire with a tiny emerald green Tundra sapphire accent on the woven bail.  The clasp for this necklace is one of my signature Wire Wrapped Toggles.  

     Okay, that’s enough for part one of Delia’s long list of favorites.  I’ll be sure to post more of my all time favotrites later for  your viewing pleasure. 🙂

Potion Bottle Pendant: week 21

My latest piece is a whimsical piece – I call it Poseidon’s Potion!  A small potion bottle pendant created with a beautiful faceted prasolite (Green Amethyst) for the body of the bottle, a jeweled stopper of green garnet and a single pale green Tundra sapphire accent on front of the bottle.  The prasolite is netted in hair thin sterling silver wire with little windows in the netting to offer glimpses of the beautiful stone trapped within and let the light shine through.

This was a really fun project.  I actually considered making it an even more unique piece by making it a ring rather than a pendant just for fun, but I restrained myself.  I knew it would have it much longer if I converted it into a whimsical ring than if I just left it as a pendant.  It’s more marketable as a pendant, but it sure would have made a one of a kind ring for some wonderfully eccentric person. 🙂  I decided not to do it though as it’s borderline too big for a ring.  Perhaps I’ll make another smaller version of the potion bottle and make the ring just to satisfy the silly little girl in me. 🙂

Tutorial Notification List LOST!

Can you see me kicking myself? I just made a terrible mistake. I accidentally deleted my Tutorial Notification Mailing List. I lost hundreds of addresses of individuals wanting to be updated on new tutorial releases. Amazing how the click on one button can undo years of work. I just love technology, don’t you? Arrrgh!

If you were on my list for tutorial notification, or you would like to be on my list for new tutorial notification, please email me at Tutorials@DeliaStone.com with a request and I will gladly add you to the new list.

So sorry all! Believe me when I say I am heart sick over this. Now … back to kicking myself.

UGH.. heartsick. Tutorial Mailing List

Can you see me kicking myself?  I just made a terrible mistake.  I accidentally deleted my Tutorial Notification Mailing List.  I lost hundreds of addresses of individuals wanting to be updated on new tutorial releases.  Amazing how the click on one button can undo years of work.  I just love technology, don’t you?  Arrrgh!

If you were on my list for tutorial notification, or you would like to be on my list for new tutorial notification, please email me at Tutorials@DeliaStone.com with a request and I will gladly add you to the new list.

So sorry all!  Believe me when I say I am heart sick over this.   Now … back to kicking myself. 

New Tutorial – Which one to do next?

     As many of you know I create jewelry making tutorials from time to time and I am about to start another one.  My problem is that I just can’t decide which one to do next.   I have so many pieces that people have requested tutorials that I just don’t know where to start.  I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities but I just can’t seem to make a decision, hence I pose the question to you.  Any feedback is welcomed.

I think I should either do the ‘foray pendant’ tutorial next, which is a very basic lesson in the rainbow style using a strip set crystal as the focal.  See the pictures below:

 another example:

The second option would be my sculpted coil pendant.  A few examples of the sculpted coil pendant are below:

Example 2

 

 
     So, after having seen the possibilities of the two techniques, which one would you prefer to see published next?  Drop me a comment here, or email me at Tutorials@DeliaStone.com with feedback.

Free Lesson: How to Develop Your Jewelry Making Skills

Recently, on a jewelry making forum that I participate in, a fellow member posed a valuable question.
Beautyseek writes:
“A Wise Guide is a Gift … This was a saying I saw while reading Tim Mccreight’s book. For those who have been working with wire and metal for sometime, what would be the most important piece/s of advice you can give to those at the beginning of the journey?”
That question set me to thinking about what I had to share that might be valuable to others.
My Answer would be:
Practice, practice, practice! Be daring and try new things even if you think they are beyond your level of experience. You will never expand your level of experience otherwise.
Continue to browse the forums and take inspiration from other artist. You will discover techniques that will take you in new directions.
When you make a mistake, keep it around for a while … continue to play with it and watch how mistakes can become treasures.

Below is a very useful exercise in helping to develop yourself as an artist:

Choose a technique to work with. Commit to making at least 3 pieces, each time changing something about the design but utilizing the same basic technique. Watch the technique evolve right before your eyes.

To offer an example, I will share the three stages I went through in developing my needle lace line.

Stage One: Flat Work

Stage one was actually the most difficult. I had to refine the technique, and that took practice.
Back to what I was saying about how mistakes can become treasures – my first attempt to create a flat worked needle lace piece landed in the scrap pile. I was disappointed with it and reached the point of giving up. I left my apparent failed experiment sitting on the end table next to my favorite chair in my temporary scrap pile.  Items thrown in this pile either evolve or they eventually get thrown into the permanent scrap pile.
The next time I was sitting in my chair having a conversation with my other half, I unconsciously reached over and started to fiddle with the piece. I wasn’t really very invested in what I was doing … I just let my fingers do the walking while I did the talking. Suddenly, I looked down and was surprised to see that I actually LIKED the piece I had in my hand. No longer a failed experiment … it was now a unique and lovely pendant! I made a second pendant and was even more pleased with the results. I was encouraged to move forward.
Sometimes, my hands just want to be busy whether I am in full jewelry making mode or not – this is the perfect time to fiddle with experiments gone awry. Because I am no longer afraid to ‘mess them up’ I am much more relaxed and prone to take more chances with my experiment. The results are often favorable.

 

 
 
 Stage Two: Circular Work
I found this stage easier than the first. Having something to cleave to and to form the wire to seemed to make a big difference in the difficultly level of the project. Of course the practice I had with the techniqe while experimenting with the flat work no doubt contributed to making it easier as well.
In stage two, I worked the needle lace in a circular pattern to ‘cage’ a stone in order to make a pendant. The results were more than encouraging once again.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 


Stage Three: Circular Bezel Work

Now THIS was fun! Filled with confidence from my success with the circular work I ventured further and applied the use of an armature to adapt the needle lace to create a netted bezel pendant. I wanted to keep it simple to keep the focus on the netting while showcasing a beautiful stone. This stage was more difficult than either of the previous stages, but the effort was well worth the outcome.  

After becoming comfortable with the needle lace technique I began looking for variations on the technique.  Below are two examples of variations;

 

 

 

 

Button Hole Stitch:
 

Button hole detail:

Adding Windows to the Netting:

 
 
 

     The same technique results in three very unique though clearly related pieces.  Adding variations only adds to the fun and adds additional interest to the work.  This was really a fun experiment. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot along the way and you will too if you apply this exercise to a technique.  It doesn’t have to be an uncommon technique.  You can work variations on border wrap styles, coiled work, scroll work – your imagination is the only limitation!

     It’s important to try new things if you want to keep your interest in jewelry alive and feed your inspiration. Set a personal challenge for yourself and go for it. The above experiment is ideal to get you started. If you pick a technique and apply the same principle I think you will be delighted with your results and learn a great deal in the process.

      If you would like to learn the netting techniques used in the experiment above, you can check out the downloadable tutorials on my website, DeliaStone.com.  The Needlelace Caged Pendant (example number two) and the Netted Bezle Pendant (example number three) are available in a tutorial package for just $12.

    

So what are you waiting for? Pick your technique and get started today!

Delia Stone
Unique Artisan Jewelry and Tutorials
www.DeliaStone.com