Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Extremely Freaky Chain Necklace

Well, I warned you.  This necklace has a little extra "freak" built into it.  When I first started this project, I was very inspired by the great bib necklaces that were everywhere.  I had intended the black aluminum chain to lend a slightly "goth" element to it, although I must admit that the Swarovski crystals are a little too sweet for a hard-line goth.  Oh well.  But that was my starting point.  The lowest circular link in this necklace likes to move around a bit -- sometimes it goes horizontal, although most often vertical.  It's kind of cool and kind of disturbing.  I would like to continue with this concept, and one of these days I plan on making a bib necklace that dangles closer to the cleavage area.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Curb Chain's Sweeter, Sexier Side

I have wanted to make jewelry with REALLY BIG CHAIN for some time.  About six years ago I bought a length of stainless steel chain at the hardware store and  tried to make some jewelry with it.  It was pointless -- it was too heavy and I couldn't find a clasp that could stand up to it.  About a year ago I discovered aluminum curb chain, which to me is a dream come true -- this chain in particular is very large -- 14mm x 10mm -- yet extremely light.  I dig the whole "combining high with low" concept, so I enjoyed wire-wrapping it with peach freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals and silver (zinc alloy) beads.  

The chain has a gunmetal finish and is 20 inches long, with a pewter toggle clasp.  This is another necklace that I can say was inspired by my nieces, who have taught me to always have fun, no matter what. Particularly with my jewelry!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hey there.  Hope you're all out there having a stellar weekend!

As promised, here is another chain necklace, which features pewter, faceted black agate and black Swarovski crystal links.  It is 22 1/2 inches long and has a pewter toggle clasp.  I wanted to make something that really delivered, in terms of visual candy, so the links are of varying shapes and sizes, with the agate beads as a counterpoint.  This is a further development to my ongoing obsession:  "I love chains.  What is a chain?  What could a chain be?  What actually constitutes a chain?  What could I conceivably sequence in on a chain with or without looking ridiculous?  How about dreams?  Goals?  Cans of tuna fish?"


Does your brain hurt yet?  Mine does.  I'll see you again tomorrow.  Be safe.  Be happy.  Thank you.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chain necklaces

I love a really nice chain necklace, and this love affair has prevailed for a good thirty years now.  I can remember the moment it began -- I was admiring a beautiful chain necklace a friend was wearing, and she said, airily, "oh, all of my artist friends notice this."  I think at that point I realized that I had strong visual ties to my environment.

I have recently decided to revisit my great love of chain jewelry, and here's an example for you (front and back of the same piece).  The gemstone is blue agate:

One of the benefits of making a huge, honking chain is that it can really stand up to huge, honking pendants! The coil connectors are made from 14-gauge black aluminum chain, alternating with pewter connectors.  Expect more of these ...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Latest Obsession

A few months ago I discovered African beads, and my life has never been the same.  I am particularly enamored of brass beads from Ghana, which are made from the lost wax process.  Here's a recent necklace I made from Ghana beads:

This is by no means a traditional arrangement -- these types of beads are typically paired with colorful beads with lively patterns, and are strung, not wire-wrapped.  So consider this a type of Afro-American fusion, I guess.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sorry I disappeared

Hello again, and apologies for the long hiatus.  I was busy raising my family and making jewelry, of course.  I'm looking forward to hearing what you've all been up to for the last three years -- your accomplishments,  survival stories -- anything you got.  And I will try not to disappear for so long this time.

So I have something new to report -- I have fallen in love with Pandora jewelry (and imitation Pandora jewelry).  Over the summer I got together with my nieces, my Mom, sisters, nephews, a boyfriend of a niece and a few friends to assemble faux Pandora watches and bracelets.  Prior to then, I had thought that the Pandora concept was a little silly (not to mention expensive).  Well, I am singing a new tune now, as they say.  Here's a watch I assembled over the summer:

It is impossible to describe the feeling of opulence and grandeur that a Pandora piece, real or faux, conveys upon the wearer.  I found myself looking benignly at my hand, waving it in dramatic flourishes, and feeling very glamorous indeed.  I chose black as my theme because I wear lots of black, particularly at work.  So black seemed like the obvious choice.

Pandora starter chains cost about $65 for sterling silver and $1,400 for the 14K gold version.  You can get a starter watch like the one I'm wearing on eBay for about $5 or so.  (It's not sterling silver, as you might have guessed, but I'm not snobby about that kind of thing.)  The bracelets and watches have clasp ends that easily screw off and on so you can add or subtract beads.  It's a wonderful modular solution to synching your jewelry up with your wardrobe, and I wish I'd thought of it first.

That's it for now.  Till next time.