Posts Tagged ‘earrings’

Today over at Love My Art Jewelry there is an artisan jewelry blog hop where designers make something in honor of the late (but always ahead of his time) David Bowie. I chose my inspiration based on the fantastic Jim Henson movie Labyrinth, in which Bowie stars as the Goblin King, reining over this huge crazy ass maze. The maze of illusion that Jennifer Connelly’s character, Sarah, must navigate in order to bring herself and her baby brother home safely, and ultimately pass through childhood into a more young adult version of herself and her own power in her world. Throw in a few goblins, some deep, dark mystery and some fantastic outfits and hair. Bowie, the ever original artist who created and recreated himself was never short on style and this movie was no exception.

I started with a necklace and as I went, a pair of earrings morphed into existence as well. (Follows the magic of the movie theme, I suppose.)

The main feature of the necklace is Opalite glass which represents the magical crystal balls of illusion Bowie’s character, Jareth, used to tempt Sarah in the movie plot.

I knew I just had to pay homage to that fantastic mullet of his… that hair just slays me. Full of awesome. So, hair it is. (Not mine, from a horse.)

The earrings feature sterling silver ear wires with patina… wisdom comes with age. lol. And some handmade polymer ‘faux yak bone’ beads which represent the instinctual nature within all of us. Blood red cherry Czech beads below open brass flowers, crystals that reflect light, and of course, that wild hair again.

The necklace wrap itself is made of banana silk… no, not an homage to Jareth’s revealing lycra pants, but instead, Sarah’s dress. Her extravagant beaded, white dress whispers of innocence, fairy-tales and the opportunity to enter into mature feminine power. And lastly, the red flowering blossoms symbolize the shift from childhood into womanhood. This is eluded to in the movie in many ways, although not tackled directly. This quote from an article over at Natural Shaman by Cat Stone sums up the underlying message.

“Women do not learn magic, women are magic.  It is nature, it is our birthright, and we should be forever thankful for the opportunities our menstrual cycles bring us.  Women are Natural Shamans, they just need to understand and use the power they hold within.”

This inner power, something that Jareth deceptively assists Sarah in discovering as she navigates the differences between the illusion of power and the power of illusion. By the end of the movie, Sarah chooses to marry her own intellect with her intuition (symbolized on the necklace by the red scarab holding power in the third eye) as she steps into a larger version of herself. In true Bowie style, his character then changes form into a beautiful white barn owl and watches Sarah from a distance, invited back into her world only upon her choosing. I love the significance of Barn Owl as it has been known for bringing what is in shadow out into the light. Tapping silently into hidden wisdom under the feminine influence of the moon.

And since I just completed a recent drawing of a Barn Owl under a blood moon, I will add that here too. I really had no link between this post and that drawing, but it does seem to fit perfectly doesn’t it?

 

To see more submissions go visit Love My Art Jewelry by clicking on this link.

 

The idea behind the design for the Evolution earrings and pendant is that you are a shining light that is continually expanding outward as you learn and grow. You can’t help but to transform and change based on the world around you. This continual expansion is represented by the spiral shape and the seed of you, your point of origin in this physical life is represented by the object in the center of the tightest part of the spiral. To see the gallery of photos skip to the bottom of the post here.

E-Volution Earrings.. the making of…

I begin with fine silver wire, cut to the size I determined would be best suited to most faces and hairstyles as a finished product. I pull the wire through the flame of my torch and liquify one end into a sphere. After cooling the wire I flatten the ball end (you’ll find out why later) and gently begin to curl the wire into a spiral shape. The other end of the wire gets hammered flat before shaping it into a smaller spiral in preparation for the supporting ear wire. The flattened ball gets drilled through and a teeny antique bronze saucer is placed there nestling a shimmering Czech bead that captures and reflects light, just like you. A very small fine silver wire is balled (by torch) and placed through the layers of saucer, bead and wire and then torched on the opposite side, creating a secure barbell style connection. The timing and temperature of this second torching is very important so as not to overheat and crack the glass bead on the other side. The flame has to get very close in order to make the wire ball up securely. I have bitten my lip and held my breath more than once during this process. To finish off the design I break out some more fine silver wire. I torch, shape and hammer the ear wires, careful to round and smooth the ends so your dainty ears don’t get all scuffed up and bleed. Scabs are not such a nice look with the shiny silver. Once the design is completed it gets a bath in sulfur to oxidize and antique the surface of the silver. Everything looks better with a little history. Then, it’s time to go into the tumbler for a couple of hours to get burnished. Finally, I bring the earrings back to my work bench and do final touch up with adding back in oxidation if too much was removed as well as using a couple of polishing and cleaning procedures (fun.. I get to use power tools) to give it a final shine before packaging. I always hold the piece and send it love before I place it in your box. Tada!! Earrings!!

 

E-Volution Pendant… the making of..

Copper wire makes a warm and inviting metal for this spiraling pendant. I begin by drawing my wire through my torch flame and creating a molten ball at one end. Once cooled, the ball gets flattened and I begin to shape the wire into a free form spiral. The opposite end gets hammered flat and curled into a smaller spiral before brazing it securely against the main frame of the pendant. Now for the super fun part. I turn fine silver wire into a hot sphere (blob) on my fire brick and then begin the process of hammering it flat. There are several successive torchings in this process as hammering work hardens the metal and it has to be softened again in between every few blows of the hammer. When it is the just right size I stamp the edges with some little tools I created from nails (see this post to read about how I made some cool tools http://www.gaiacopia.com/2013/blog/make-your-own-texture-tools/) and then form the flat pancake into a little bowl to hold a small Golden Rutilated Quartz stone. The stone is captured here using the technique described in the earring monologue above.. careful torching and lip biting. A small orb of fine silver is added to the outside ring of the spiral to represent the poignant moments, milestones and challenges you encounter on your journey. Additional hammering, texturing and squinting at the spiral happens for some time until it is just right. It gets oxidized, spends some time burnishing in the tumbler and then gets polished up before being strung onto some high quality leather necklace cord (17″ length including clasp). Fine silver wire is hammered and textured and securely wrapped on either side of the spiral, holding it in the center of the necklace. The cord ends and clasp are all hand forged out of copper wire. All metal is polished, cleaned and then sealed by hand with museum quality micro-crystalline wax. Each piece gets held, admired and sent love once more before being put into it’s box on it’s way to you!

I don’t often get requests for clip-on earrings. However, when I do.. I find that a little alteration is necessary. I try on the clips myself to see how they feel and I just don’t like them. They pinch and are painful. I think, gosh, how awful that my customers would have to wear my pretty earrings and feel discomfort like this. So, I got out my leather punch and scissors and made some custom clip-ons with suede lining the inside. I wore them for a while on a test pair and boy, oh boy.. they are more comfortable than regular earrings to me. I don’t wear earrings all that often but I have to say that the clip-ons with suede are something I could wear for hours and hours and still feel really good.

In this photo I show the before and after in progress on a pair of Lily earrings.

Lavender and Crystal Teardrop Necklace

So, I met this amazing gal. She requested a custom order for her birthday. Oh, what an honor these types of orders are for me to do! She and I have a lot in common except…she challenged me to use colors I had never thought to use. I LIKED this a LOT. Through our back and forth communications on designing for her we have become close friends. She lives in Germany so our communication has been rich via Facebook. How fun! So, when I really wanted to get down to business I sent her over to Design Seeds.com to pick out her colors. She picked me some pretty pinks, blues and greens. The soft cool tones were not my usual palette and I found them so fun to work with!

Sooo….that translated into this…

The original necklace she saw when I listed it and knew it was for her…

Lavender and Crystal Teardrop Necklace

Lavender and Crystal Teardrop Necklace

We co-created the earrings and extra necklace wraps using the color palettes mentioned earlier.

 

 Happy Birthday to my dear friend An Ja Lu who is a jewelry designer now too! Check out her shop here http://en.dawanda.com/shop/black-cat.

march-photos-70 march-photos-70 Molded from paper thin shells, these polymer clay pendants are sure to catch a curious eye. Shades of deep Aubergine change into shades of bronze and copper. The lines of the original shell can be seen and felt as well as very small mica flakes that are embedded and adhered to the surface of the shell, front and back. The center of the shell has a large Swarovski crystal in the unusual shade of Tabac. The stains and mica are sealed to preserve color and protect the design from handling. I hand hammered red brass into swirling loops and attached copper balls with brass wire to them to give the piece a finished feel. The ear wires are oil rubbed bronze.  After carefully setting the polymer clay in the mold I had fun with painting stains and metallic finishes onto the clay and mica powder. Check my Artfire Shop to see if they are still for sale. I found these paper thin shells on the beach in Carmel, CA on my honeymoon nearly 13 years ago. I’ve never known quite what to do with them. Now that I’m designing jewelry these became a source of inspiration. At once I knew I had to make a mold of them and try my hand at making over nature in my own artistic way. The shells are so thin I was worried they would break in the molding process but they did not. Yeay! 

 

Pea Green Lily Pads  3 Turquoise, copper wire, red stones, Swarovski crystals and a bit of glitter Polymer Clay handmade lily pads with Swarovski crystal set in the center. Accented with dangling turquoise stones and complimentary Czech glass in turquoise set above the lily pad. Deep red Czech crystals and glass bead accent play against the shades of greens and teals. Copper wire is wrapped in around and through these dangles and is then distressed and buffed. At the very bottom dangles a teeny little Swarovski crystal in Palace Green and rests against a little asian coin drop. See my Artfire Shop to see if it’s still for sale.

SYMBOLISM:

Water lilies are symbolic of strength and transformation in a person’s life where that person has come from out of a dark place in life and into the light just as the lily rises up from the mud and breaks through the surface of the water into the light. The lily pad itself captures sunlight and sustains the plant. Water is symbolic of the emotions.

Turquoise: (5th Chakra, throat area) This yummy gemstone is representative of wholeness, communication and spiritual expansion. Especially good for spiritual integration. All parts are valid and make up the whole. On your spiritual journey it is important to integrate and validate all aspects of the self, even the parts that are perceived as negative. This stone is great for self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.

 

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