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Posts This Month
·· Some cool sites
·· Latest piece
·· Jigs...
·· Today's project...
·· Rose quartz, garnet set
·· Turquoise, freshwater pearl, gold plated bead set
·· Moss agate, freshwater pearl, gold plated bead set
·· Rose quartz, lustre glass, lampwork set
·· Turquoise, glass, silver and fluorite set
·· Some pics, finally...

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Beading Blog - thebroadroom.net: June 2006




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One woman's adventures in the wide, wonderful world of beading.
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Some cool sites
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 18, 2006 at 10:52 PM (Pacific)

Beads

This is a photo gallery with pics of original work. What I love is how creative she is, her eye for color and shape.

Olia NYC

This is a commercial site, but a nice one. Love how original these designs are and the attention to detail.

Souleart Jewelry

Here is a commercial site of a single artist. The work here feels lush, chunky...individual.
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Latest piece
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 16, 2006 at 7:09 PM (Pacific)

Okay, I've just today finished my current piece...I'll have some pics soon. Anyhow it is a blue lace agate and crystal design using gold-filled wire.

I got the idea for using blue lace agate by posting a poll on LP. In fact my future projects will include some of the other ideas from that poll, such as amber, citrine, tourmaline, and so forth.

The new piece uses some "jigged" pieces of the classic four-leaf clover design. I used wrapped links to connect the blue lace agate stones to the clovers. How the crystals came into it...once I'd finished the piece, I decided it was too plain. So I took some crystals that I'd had for a long time (they were given to me by my paternal grandmother) and made some little charms out of them, and added them to the clovers.

Here it is two things. One is that I often make the current piece more difficult than the one before. I try adding in a new technique or else practicing a technique that I find difficult.

Two is that I have been using fancier materials. It's not that I'm making a change over to semi-precious and then never going back. Not at all. It's occurred to me though that when you make your own jewelry, you can use bigger and better stones than you can afford to buy in ready-made jewelry.
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Jigs...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 14, 2006 at 6:33 PM (Pacific)

I bought the jig! I found one at Baubles and Beads in Berkeley. What they carry is the WigJig Olympus Lite.

Oh, this thing paid for itself the first time I used it. I'm making a new piece now using jigged (is that a word?) pieces to connect some wrapped links. I've found it slightly difficult to find "free" jig designs on the Net (aside from the WigJig site itself), since many places sell pattern books. But you can always look for places that sell jig-made earrings and make your own patterns based on what you see:

Contemporary Concepts
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Today's project...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 11, 2006 at 6:41 PM (Pacific)

What I was fooling around with today...something like this:

Triple Loop Technique

This is basically a jig design, done without a jig. I don't own a jig, but I'm giving it some consideration now. The thing is this. If you own a jig, you can easily make your own earring components...you need not buy components (which are expensive). Neither are you limited in your earring design, to whatever's being sold pre-fabricated.

I did the same triple loop component, adding the fourth loop at the top to make the flower design. It's really nice. I used 24 gauge wire since that's what I normally use (many semi-precious beads have drill holes too small to use anything thicker) but I can see that something heavier would be better for this concept.

Returned to jewelrymaking.about.com to see what they had to say about jigs:

The Battle of the Jigs

Here they tested three jigs made by WigJig. (WigJig btw has lots of excellent information on wire techniques, both jig-based and general.) Reading this article, I decided a small jig would be a good investment.
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Rose quartz, garnet set
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 6, 2006 at 3:44 PM (Pacific)





This is my fanciest piece to date. I made it last night...I couldn't sleep so I got up and made it. I'm not going to make a bracelet for it. The necklace alone is a whole lot of frou-frou. :)

The necklace came out longer than I'd planned because I fell in love with the oval faceted rose quartz beads. I didn't want to make the piece entirely out of them, but I wanted there to be a lot of them. And I love the little round garnet beads too.

I'm hoping it's not too long to be practical. Or, I could just make another one, but shorter. :D

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Turquoise, freshwater pearl, gold plated bead set
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 3:41 PM (Pacific)

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Moss agate, freshwater pearl, gold plated bead set
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 3:36 PM (Pacific)



Here what I like are those moss agate beads. There's a terrific range of harmonizing colors within a single strand.

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Rose quartz, lustre glass, lampwork set
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 3:33 PM (Pacific)



Here is me engineering the triangle (got the idea from Rainbow Rabbit Designs linked to in an earlier post). It took a long time to get it just right. Perhaps because it is quite different; it's not the standard design.

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Turquoise, glass, silver and fluorite set
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 3:26 PM (Pacific)



This is oddly the hardest of the sets to photograph. For some reason, the blue-grey lustre glass beads tend to either look grey or else bright blue in the pics. Here at least you can see the fluorite hearts. (There is more commentary in the Image Library itself.)

I've officially switched over from base metal to sterling silver or gold-filled components btw. Base metal is great to practice on, or if you wish to produce very inexpensive pieces. But the first time I used sterling silver (my supplier is out of the gold-filled wire gauge that I want, which is why all of the wire work that follows is silver), I felt that it paid for itself. It's so much more beautiful than base metal wire.

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Some pics, finally...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 3:22 PM (Pacific)

Here are some pics of what I've been doing. All of them are hosted on The Lipstick Page Forums Image Library in the Fashion Gallery.
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