I’ve Got the Summer Blues

Recently, I’ve been totally captivated by the blues. Not low vibe depressing blues – rather bright, fun, SUMMER’S HERE kind of blues! I’m sure that was inspired by the lovely sleeping beauty turquoise I recently got in. It’s so very enchanting to me. Serene and uplifting all at once. It leaves me wanting to feel the sand between my toes, the sun at my back, the sunglasses on my face and a cold Pensacola Bushwacker in my hand. Let’s just say I was inspired and wanted to share the results of my inspiration.

I really adore this first piece. It’s one of my favorites to date. Another piece from my ‘Peace of the Beach’ line with real sand from the Florida Gulf Coast (collected from my children’s sand castle toys after our last beach adventure) fired into the sand dunes. The fine silver cloisonné jewel came out perfect (if I do say so myself) and the hand-forged chain includes the most incredible dreamy blue sleeping beauty turquoise ever! I am in love with this shade of blue. It’s a perfect compliment to the beryl blue waters in the cloisonné jewel.

Peace of the Beach

Peace of the Beach

bsc 2

bsc 1

bcs 4
https://www.etsy.com/listing/192070732/pensacola-beach-scene-cloisonne-necklace?ref=shop_home_feat_3

You may remember my Blue Fish Jewel from a few months back. I finally decided to transform him from jewel to jewelry. I’m hooked on that sleeping beauty turquoise. Have I mentioned that? First the jewel before it was set.
Blue Fish

blue fish 6

blue fish 3

blue fish 7
https://www.etsy.com/listing/191456077/blue-fish-cloisonne-on-forged-silver?ref=shop_home_feat_2

Of course, I had to make some earrings and rings with it too.
sbt set best

Fine Silver Enameled Earrings

Ring and Earrings
https://www.etsy.com/listing/192073990/sleeping-beauty-blue-turquoise-and?ref=shop_home_feat_4

One that I REALLY loved that went very quickly was my Mermaid’s Dance. I also made this jewel several months back and waited for the proper inspiration to strike to set it. I just didn’t have the vision back then, but it recently came to me and I love the way it turned out. Big shout out to Doretha of Dr. Meow Jewelry for loving it as much as I did and snapping it up before I decided to keep it for myself! I am always complimented when a talented jeweler collects one of my pieces – and Doretha is a VERY talented jeweler! So here’s the jewel before it was set:
Mermaids Dance Jewel

And here’s the jewel after it was set. I didn’t get a picture of the chain she was on, but it’s the same style of hand-forged chain as above, only with small freshwater pearls in place of the turquoise shown in the other pictures. I love how it turned out, don’t you?
mer dance2

Mermaid's Dance

Thanks for stopping by for this edition of Delia’s Show and Tell. 🙂 Remember you can find my work in my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/deliasstones?ref=l2-shopheader-name

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Faublous Fire and the Quantum Karp

Have I mentioned to you yet that I am TOTALLY addicted to enamels? Oh my have I been having fun! My journey to addiction began when I tried my hand at some simple sifted enamel pendants. I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with sgrafitto in enamels early on. If that wasn’t fun enough I then discovered Barbara Lewis’ immersion method of torch firing beads and other jewelry components. It helped me to re-familiarize myself with the torch (it’s been a while since I did any serious work with a torch) and gain confidence in my enameling capabilities. I loved watching the enamel fuse to the bead in the flame and playing in all the wonderful color. I find this new art form to be very soothing to the spirit. Therapeutic if you will, though dangerously addictive. After a long period of torch firing beads and emboldened by my success I decided to dip my toe into the world of cloisonné … and I’ve decided I’m never coming back.
After playing around with some 20 gauge round wire to make my first pieces I finally invested in some proper fine silver cloisonné wire, and what a world of difference it has made. I can hardly believe how quickly I’m going through the stuff… I already feel panic setting into my heart as I realized I have less than a foot left today. I’ll have to wait a week to get more. I can’t imagine how I’ll cope when I run out. Did I mention that this art form is like the crack of the jewelry arts? Oh yeah … I’m sick. 🙂
After admiring several pieces of Japanese themed pieces from other artists online I found myself inspired to attempt to make a Karp, or Koi in a pond with a lily pad. I started it yesterday about 5:00 and was a woman possessed, working until 1:00 a.m. to finish it. I had to be up at the crack of dawn, and through I tried to convince myself that getting sleep was the wiser course of action it was impossible to get my mind off of the little carp painting that was coming to life before my eyes.
In the first phase I prepared my copper base by fusing a couple of layers of counter enamel to the back and a base of white to the front. Once the base was prepared I drew my design out to scale in my notebook then I cut and shaped the cloisonné wire to form every detail of my carp and little lily pad. I use a product called Blu-Stick to glue the wires in place as I am setting them. It looks like blue elmers glue and is about the same consistency but it burns off clean in the firing process. You can see some traces of it in the picture. I had not yet fired the wires into place.

karp1

     In the next phase I pick my pallet of colors and begin wet packing them into the cells created by the cloisonné wire.  I add enamel to the cells, fire it in the torch to fuse that layer and then wet pack again.  This is a process repeated many times, fusing layer upon layer of glass until all of the cells are full.  The wet packed enamel is allowed to dry before firing.  The dry enamel looks like colorful sand.  The coloring is much lighter before the enamel is fired, and then it darkens with beautiful effects.

Here is the wet packed design unfired:

karp2

And here is the design after firing when the enamels have darkened:

karp5

     After several layers are fused and the cells are full the image is ground back with an alundum stone to level the surface and remove excess glass that may be covering the wire design.  I was very pleased with my little coy!  I then torch fired beads in matching colors to create a necklace to show off my new friend.  I absolutely love the colors, the design and everything about my latest piece.   I cannot wait to see what my efforts over the next year will yield if I remain steadfast in my enameling experiments.  I am enamored with enameling, so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.

karp3

karp4

And the Winner is …. Moi! Brag Post!

Back in December I submitted two of my pieces from my Winged Things series to the Fire Mountain Gems ‘Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wire Work and Chain’ jewelry making contest.  The results are in.  I am thrilled to announce that I placed first in my category, Fashion Accessories, with my Madame Flutterbye Brooch!  I was very happy just to have made it to the finals round and really did not expect much more than that.  Even as a finalist I would have had the added bonus of having my work displayed in full color full page ads in jewelry making magazines nationwide, which alone carried quite a thrill for me.  I am just over the moon to with excitement to have won the gold medal.  True that I didn’t win the Grand Prize Gold Medal … but then there’s always next year. 😉

Feel free to take a peek at all of the wonderful designs that were submitted by so many talented artist to get your creative juices flowing. I am the seventh person listed in the winners at the top of the page.  Thanks to all of you for the kind words of encouragement over the years that gave me the courage to submit my work.

http://www.firemountaingems.com/galleryofdesigns/jewelry_design_gallery.asp?docid=BC2011METALWINNERS

It’s been a busy couple of months!

The last few weeks have been exhausting!  I have so much to tell that I have a hard time knowing where to start.  Of course no matter how busy I get in order to stay sane I simply have to stop to make jewelry along the way.  It’s my therapy, my ‘me time’, and I am a much kinder and gentler person when I take that time out.  🙂  Recently I have really been having a LOT of fun with Viking Knit.   I took a few pictures to share with you.  If your interested in learning to create your own Viking Knit bracelets, be sure to catch my Workshop in June.

Goldfill with Spiral Seashell and Pearl

Now one in Sterling Silver

Sterling with a Carved Bone Owl

Beautiful Bronze Wire Viking Knit with Chrysophase and Pearl.  I just love the rosy glow that comes from this bronze wire.  It’s so lovely…

Beautiful Bronze with Seashell and Pearl

Not only have I enjoyed playing with Viking Knit, but I’ve also made some of my signature Wire Sampler Bracelets as well.  In the past I have made these exclusively in copper, but decided to venture into other metals.  Here is my first Silver Wire Sampler bracelet.  I chose to keep it shiny rather than oxidize – a departure from the usual for me. 🙂  This piece contains, carved bone, Quartz, Magnesite, Coral, and a beautiful ammonite fossil.

My first Wire Sampler in Gold; carved bone, magnesite, quartz, tiny freshwater pearls, spiral seashell.

And Finally, this lovely little spiral shell sterling silver herringbone bracelet – one of my favorites!  I had to make two of these, one to keep and one to share. ;0)

VIKING KNIT BRACELET JUNE 23rd 1:00
     Look for my viking knit bracelet workshop to come in June.  This workshop will be offered at A Bead and Crystal House (711 West Garden St) on June 23rd @ 1:00.  This is an intermediate to advanced level class.  Cost is $65 plus materials.   If you have the required materials you are welcomed to bring them.  If not, you can purchase them from A Bead and Crystal House on site.  Bring basic hand tools for wire work.   Be prepared for this workshop to run 2 to 3 hours.

I hope you enjoyed my eye candy.   I have lots of great news to share when I get a moment to compose a worthy blog post. 🙂  More later!

Fire Mountain Gems Jewelry Making Contest

As some of you may recall I blogged in January about entering the Fire Mountain Gems Jewelry Making Contest.  I entered two pieces from my Winged Things series, Marthra and Madame Flutterbye.  Today I received notification in the mail that one of my pieces made it to the finals for round two of judging!  I’m very excited.  I was sure that it would be Marthra that drew the most attention out of my two entries but I was wrong.  She was not selected for the finals.  Madame Flutterbye, however, made it to round two!

So what’s next?  I will send it in to Fire Mountain using the address label provided so that they can examine it in hand and have professional photographs taken.  This means, if I understand correctly, that my beautiful butterfly may appear in full page full color ads inside and on the back cover of jewelry magazines and the Fire Mountain gems catalog.  The national exposure certainly can’t hurt. 🙂  Now I am off to set up at the Gulf Breeze Celebrates the Arts festival in preparation for this weekend.  I just had to pop in to post a brag before heading out the door!

Envioius Eudialyte

     I recently had the honor of creating a special necklace for a friend and fellow artisan in Germany by the name of Cat.  Cat is a very talented wire artist herself.   She selected a very fine piece of Eudialyte, a deep magenta glassy stone that I have fallen head over hills for.   It was a pleasure creating this beautiful necklace for Cat and I thank her for honoring me with this comission.

      The handmade filigree chain was embellished with tiny faceted rubies and freshwater pearls.  The finished piece was then antiqued and hand polished to bring out the detail in the wire work.  I was very proud of this creation and hated to see it fly away so quickly but glad to know it is going to a home where it will be loved and appreicated. 🙂

Be sure to click on the images for the detailed view: