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On This Page
· Labradorite pear necklace
· Sapphire and gold hoop earrings
· Green amethyst and emerald earrings
· Labradorite necklace
· Pic of redone blue chalcedony necklace
· Rambles...
· "A" sapphire earrings
· Various pendants
· Aquamarine necklace pic
· Square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain
· Aquamarine earrings, version 1.1
· Aquamarine earrings to go with the necklace
· Aquamarine and Bali vermeil necklace on goldfilled chain
· Peridot earrings on goldfilled chain
· Coin pearl pattern
· Freshwater coin pearl jewelry
· Rambles and some pics
· Triple hoop earrings with square pearls
· Triple hoop earrings, hammered goldfilled wire and freshwater pearls
· Version 1.1 of Swarovski crystal earrings
· Swarovski crystal and chain earrings
· Turquoise hammered goldfilled wire earrings
· Green Venetian glass heart pendant
· Venetian glass bead, leather cord necklace
· Turquoise necklace
· Black Swarovski crystal and vermeil earrings, turquoise and vermeil earrings
· Labradorite and vermeil necklace and earrings
· Bali vermeil cage beads and turquoise necklace
· Chalcedony necklace, then and now
· Freshwater pearl earrings

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Labradorite pear necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 20, 2008 at 7:08 PM (Pacific)

handmade labradorite pear necklace
handmade labradorite pear necklace

In the top pic, I was leaning at a funny angle, trying to capture the schiller in the stones. It hangs much more the way it does in the bottom pic.

I made this for special occasions, imo it's too much for every day. Unless you can pull something like that off. :)

BTW labradorite is light for its size. I thought these stones would be way heavy, all together on the chain like that, but they're not. I'm not even sure this needs a counterweight in the back--I haven't finished the back, I haven't even cut the chain yet. I'm using a chain sample I got, so the last thing I'll need to do in this piece is cut the chain itself.

For this necklace (top center image):

handmade london blue topaz necklace

...I put a small smooth citrine coin in back, on an extender chain. I got the idea from Midori Jewelry. The necklaces have this neat little green "melon" in back. I didn't want to copy the melon, of course, but I liked the idea of finishing the pieces all in the same way. So I'm thinking of putting another citrine coin in the back of this piece (I've had these coins since forever and couldn't figure out what to do with them until recently).

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Sapphire and gold hoop earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 7:03 PM (Pacific)

handmade sapphire earrings

This is a somewhat lower grade of sapphire. Still a tiny bit translucent, but without the rich color of blue sapphires.

I was very pleased these beads had been hand selected...I bought them online, three packages of four beads each. Someone had gone through and made sure I got two of each color. That's how I could make matching earrings.

This is goldfill and vermeil, with karat gold beads.

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Green amethyst and emerald earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 3, 2008 at 3:17 PM (Pacific)

handmade green amethyst and emerald earrings


Quite pleased with these. The emeralds shown are really tiny, the ones that come at the ends of a graduated strand. Supposedly they're at least 2mm (which is already small) but some struck me as being even smaller. Stringing them though, they look quite pretty.

If you look at the right-most bottom pic, you can see the emerald "frame" is bent a little. I've fixed that since the photo.

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Labradorite necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 31, 2008 at 4:16 PM (Pacific)

labradorite necklace
labradorite necklace clasp detail
labradorite necklace pendant detail


I have this on the LP blog actually, only now I've worn it a few times. It's interesting, because often there's a problem putting a flat stone in front of a necklace. On many designs, the flat bead will turn sideways and stick straight out instead of lying flat. This is particularly true of a string of flat beads; it looks nice, but is impossible to wear.

This works somehow. I suspect it has to do with the stone itself--it's cut so there's slightly more weight on one side of it. As long as you face it correctly, it'll stay flat.

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Pic of redone blue chalcedony necklace
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, January 24, 2008 at 8:28 PM (Pacific)

blue chalcedony and bali vermeil necklace


I didn't change much, it's just longer in the back (the two blue beads in back were too high before), and the wrapping is much nicer.

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Rambles...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM (Pacific)

Haven't been doing many new projects lately, aside from the aforementioned earrings. Mostly, I've been going back over old projects...the ones I want to keep...and fixing them up. It's a slow but steady process.

Traditionally (if three years' worth of anything can have tradition), I've been taking a month or two off beading every year. Now I don't need to do that. I suppose I've felt a certain amount of stress, in whether I could really make jewelry.

I'm not crafty by nature. My interest in making jewelry derives from my interest in the thing itself. But now I feel I have the capability, and it's simply a matter of keeping at it. So, instead of grinding to a halt, I've decided to do it more slowly, more introspectively, for the given month or two.

goldfilled circle pendant with pink freshwater pearl

goldfilled circle pendant with pink freshwater pearl detail


Here is a redo of a hoop originally designed with thicker wire. I ran out...of course...actually I was short in the neighborhood of a quarter- to half-inch of wire, and my supplier is out of stock of this gauge (and has been for quite some time). I don't want to switch suppliers, so I redid the hoop with the gauge on hand.

The golden circle is nice...I made it like a wedding ring in size. Haven't worked out the top 100% yet, I had to bend the loop over to get the pendant to hang straight. It's balanced, but I'd like to make the loop look more centered.

Wondering if these guys have something in common:

lapis necklace and sapphire earrings


For this necklace, I had made some "moral obligation" earrings, plain hammered silver hoops with lapis dangles. Nice, but, the sapphire earrings are nicer. I haven't worn them together yet though.

blue chalcedony and vermeil necklace


Discovered I'd fluffed one of the Bali vermeil beads in the back. If I'm redoing it though, I'll probably add an extender chain.

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"A" sapphire earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, January 17, 2008 at 5:32 PM (Pacific)

sterling silver and sapphire earrings
sterling silver and goldfilled sapphire earrings


The bottom pic was taken rather hastily, I didn't have time to hang the earrings properly so I put them down on a white tee shirt. :)

Here I went for grade over size, so these sapphires are really very small. But they're not the opaque stones normally used in handmade jewelry; they're translucent, with small areas of transparency.

This is a hoop idea I got from Midori Jewelry. That was the first place I saw such a hoop. I'm getting better at making them although I've found I need to be very slow and patient while doing the wrap at the top. It's easy to fuddle it up. I added my own "touch" by hammering the wraps. Mainly because on some of my hoops, I didn't feel the wrap was secure enough, but I don't dislike the finished look. The idea for me is to produce something that looks a tiny bit rough, after all.

I can't wear 14KT gold earrings so you'll note, I used vermeil ear wires for the gold pair (from Shiana). Normally I don't think vermeil would work, but the Shiana vermeil, so far, is as superior as they claim. The gold plate is thicker than usual, plus it's over fine silver rather than sterling.

I went for the relatively inexpensive 14KT gold tiny beads to give the earring a more golden appearance. In fact it crossed my mind you could cover most of the wire with these beads if you wanted to.

It took me forever to come up with this design, because I specifically wanted to make smaller earrings. Tiny stones + smaller earrings...the stones didn't show well with my earlier designs. For example, I tried the one where you take a piece of wire and wrap it round and round the hoop--similar to this: Going Green Hand-Forged Earrings--and the tiny little sapphires hardly showed at all. weeps! I concluded the only way to get them to show would be to use a lot of them, all together.

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Various pendants
posted by Colleen Shirazi, August 28, 2007 at 4:55 PM (Pacific)

american turquoise pendant
American turquoise


Citrine

red glass pendant
Czech glass and a tiny red glass heart

millefiori pendant
Chinese millefiori

The top two are some experiments with handmade bails. The red glass one, I made specifically with red glass, but it hangs really nicely. It could easily be used with three small gemstones instead.

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Aquamarine necklace pic
posted by Colleen Shirazi, August 13, 2007 at 4:13 PM (Pacific)

aquamarine necklace

Redo of this:



As you can see, it's a much simpler design. I knew the 3-to-1 was too busy, but didn't want to waste the chain or other aspects of it.

I ended up with three extra pieces of chain, but they're all long enough to do something with, say matching earrings (I'm going to redo the earrings too). As far as the aquamarine "bobbles," I was pleased to be able to rework some of those too...bend the top loop open, trim the wire a bit, pop the top Bali bead off, replace with a daisy spacer, redo loop, reattach.

I'll take a pic of the "tacky strand of diamonds" one after I've put the crimp covers on.

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Square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 9, 2007 at 4:33 PM (Pacific)

square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain

square pearl pendant on goldfilled chain

Please excuse the photo...I was out in the garden today, digging up holly. Can you believe holly is a weed out here? It was a cherished, Christmas plant back home. Plus there are tons of English ivy (another weed out here) and blackberries (we have a blackberry "zone," but the darn thorny things seed all over the place).

Here I am trying out the idea of finishing the ends of a bulk chain with wrapped loops (see How to finish the ends of fine gauge bulk chain).

Probably overdid it a bit here, added some Bali vermeil beads, hmmm...what would be nicer would be the small goldfilled beads, but a bit bigger than the ones I have now. The biggest size I have on hand is 2.5mm, because I don't usually use goldfilled beads except as tiny spacer beads (the ones in the pic are 2mm). Thinking more in terms of 3mm, possibly one of the fancier styles.

Oh yeah, and because everyone needs an animated gif:

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Aquamarine earrings, version 1.1
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 6, 2007 at 1:21 PM (Pacific)

aquamarine, bali vermeil, goldfilled chain earrings

Okey dokey, the version I did yesterday was too heavy. Too much silver at the bottom, stones probably too big...this one uses smaller stones and less than half the silver.

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Aquamarine earrings to go with the necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 5, 2007 at 5:09 PM (Pacific)

necklace and earrings made of aquamarine, bali vermeil, goldfilled chain

earring made of aquamarine, bali vermeil, goldfilled chain

Sorry for the less than stellar pics...I'm getting a bit tired. Soon I'll go water the garden. :)

Here the issue is how to "pop" the color of the aquamarines. In my experience, aquamarines are sold dyed, unless specified otherwise (and priced accordingly). i.e., when you wash them, you lose much of the color.

Yellow is a good color to pop blue (if you have blue eyes and "warm" coloring, you can enhance your eye color with yellow-toned eyeshadows: champagne, gold, peach, orange, brown with a golden tone, etc.), so I went with Bali gold vermeil for these stones.

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Aquamarine and Bali vermeil necklace on goldfilled chain
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 1:03 PM (Pacific)

aquamarine and bali vermeil necklace on goldfilled chain

This is what I was noodling around with yesterday. The fun part is in getting the strands to lie correctly. I'll have to try out wearing it today, but at least in theory, the weights should be in the right places.

Going to make some earrings to go with it too.

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Peridot earrings on goldfilled chain
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 26, 2007 at 10:47 AM (Pacific)

peridot earrings on goldfilled chain

As you can see, it's the same design.

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Coin pearl pattern
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 23, 2007 at 12:25 PM (Pacific)



This is what the bracelet and necklace are going to look like. I'm going to try stringing it using a three-to-one reducer, not sure about the clasp yet (thinking of using handmade wire hooks though).

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Freshwater coin pearl jewelry
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, May 20, 2007 at 6:42 PM (Pacific)

Okey dokey...

coin pearl earrings on hammered goldfilled wire

multi-strand bracelet with freshwater coin and corn pearls

They're both pretty straightforward pieces. The bracelet is "reversible" of course, you can wear the coin pearl side toward your hand or away from it.

I'm still playing with the idea of making bracelets composed of multiple bracelets, rather than just multiple strands of the same bracelet, if that makes any sense. I have a couple of these already strung...one is mostly Swarovski crystals, but I crowded all three strands into the same loop and I think it would be better to use jump rings. The other, as mentioned earlier, is the same as the one pictured above only with silver beads instead of vermeil.

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Rambles and some pics
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 17, 2007 at 7:16 PM (Pacific)

Haven't been able to make anything new (or even redo anything old) lately...been fixing up the site. Got fed up doing it for a long time...now I'd like to get it back into shape.

So far I've finished most of the active blogs and some of the archived ones. I started doing the Wit & Wisdom Blog--it used to be five enormous posts, before there were individual pages for blogs. Now I'm making it one quote = one post. (It's probably less than half done now, since you can't keep posting like that on Blogger.)

It's not going to be nearly as horrible as it looks now...I'm going to put a search engine on it (once at least some of this stuff gets crawled) so you'll be able to search it properly.

I did get to take a couple new pics as follows:

labradorite and vermeil multi-strand bracelet

^ This is all labradorite and vermeil.

citrine and sterling silver multi-strand bracelet

^ This is citrine and sterling silver. It's not a new piece, just a new pic.

bali vermeil cage bead and turquoise necklace

Top view of my Bali cage bead necklace.

black swarovski crystal and bali vermeil necklace and earrings

Same black Swarovski crystal and Bali vermeil necklace and earrings.

The rest of the new pics are in my Picasa album.

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Triple hoop earrings with square pearls
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 8, 2007 at 4:13 PM (Pacific)

Okay, decided to go with the square pearls for these. I'm still pondering the nature of the hoop...because I'd like to make some out of wire with a higher gold content. Is it possible to make a good pair without the expense of goldsmithing, yes I think it is. But I'm not in a rush over it.

Anyhow thought I'd experiment some with outdoor photography. I realize you seldom see jewelry "on" someone in professional photographs, but I secretly feel that's a shame. I love seeing jewelry on someone. I suppose it jells for me, the exact proportions and flow of the jewelry, how the earrings hang, where on the neck does the necklace lie. Funny eh?

triple hoop hammered goldfilled wire earrings with square pearls

Why the closed eyes, it was either that or squint or do the pic with sunglasses on. Detail:

triple hoop hammered goldfilled wire earrings with square pearls

triple hoop hammered goldfilled wire earrings with square pearls

I love this one ^ because of the shadow.

Indoors:

triple hoop hammered goldfilled wire earrings with square pearls

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Triple hoop earrings, hammered goldfilled wire and freshwater pearls
posted by Colleen Shirazi, May 7, 2007 at 3:22 PM (Pacific)

triple hoop earrings, hammered goldfilled wire and freshwater pearls

Not sure what to do with these yet...right now they're identical, except one has a square pearl and one has a coin-shaped one. I'm basically out of goldfilled wire of that gauge, so making too many more of this design is out of the question until I replace it...but I'm envisioning three pairs of earrings that mix and match (i.e. two square pearl ones, two coin pearl ones, two of something else).

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Version 1.1 of Swarovski crystal earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 26, 2007 at 9:49 PM (Pacific)

swarovski crystal earrings on goldfilled chain

The earlier version was terrible! I wore them in windy conditions and they were all over the place. I had the idea of stabilizing the bottom wire by simply adding more weight (hence the extra crystal) and added some on the sides to boot. The side crystals probably aren't necessary, but they look nice. This design is quite stable (I test it by grabbing the earrings and shaking them the way you would a smoothie in a bottle before drinking) but don't know yet if it's too heavy. If it is, I'll toss the side crystals.

And...Einstein that I am, I forgot not to do those teeny-spiral headpins on the bottom dangles of long earrings. Even hammering them doesn't help...they still end up sticking to your fake-fur collar, should you have one (looks guilty). So I switched these back to small-loop headpins and moved the spiral guys up to the sides.

At the end of all this, these remind me now of Indian chandelier earrings, on a slightly smaller scale.

Edited 4/27/07 to replace that horrendous night photo.

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Swarovski crystal and chain earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 4:26 PM (Pacific)

swarovski crystal earrings on goldfilled chain

This is a very simple design...I'm working toward making "wall of crystal" earrings, but these are not it. (I suspect slightly smaller crystals would be better for the "wall of crystal" earrings.)

Still they came out nicely. I'm going to wear these today.

If you look you'll see it's largely odd pieces of wire and chain. The readymade components are the earring wires; you could just as well make your own out of goldfilled wire. I haven't bought niobium wire yet--and not sure how much cheaper it would be if I did--as I have tons of preformed niobium wires on hand.

I'm running out of supplies...on purpose. Right now I need to be more creative with what I have. It's too easy for me to jump on the Internet and find what I need for the moment, or for the next few projects...more difficult for me to look at what I have and make something interesting out of that.

I do plan on buying more supplies of course, just seeing how much I can come up with before doing so.

Note: these earrings have been redone, the original design was too unstable.

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Turquoise hammered goldfilled wire earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 21, 2007 at 6:10 PM (Pacific)

turquoise hammered goldfilled wire earrings

Sweet! Got a hammer and a "block" today. The block...coughmade in Chinacough was a steel block glued to a wooden base, and the block came completely off the base after I'd used it...once.

I'm not overly concerned, as the steel block seems beautifully solid and it's simply a matter of E-6000'ing it back onto the wooden base...and you could just as well not glue it at all, and use it set on top of a wooden cutting board. Still, guys, could ya just glue the darn thing?

Anyway...still loads of hammering pleasure. Here is my first project...it's crude but I will keep it, the same way I've kept a sample of just about every "phase" of my jewelry making journey. The hammered spirals catch the light when you wear them. Plus, they feel just gorgeous when you touch them...nice and smooth.

My aim is to make more of my own components out of wire. I've seen some beautiful ones and found them inspiring. Plus, I'm tired of having to buy something every time I turn around in order to complete a project.

The bottom line is that handmade components can look better because the eye can discern that they were not mass produced.

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Green Venetian glass heart pendant
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 17, 2007 at 6:07 PM (Pacific)

venetian glass heart pendant

venetian glass heart pendant

Isn't that just a beautiful green color? The picture's pretty accurate...it has green and blue glass in it.

This also represents me being tired of buying stuff. lol I decided to try my hand making a wire bail. It's nice...the fine gauge wire in the back doesn't show much when it's on. I could also make it fancier by wrapping the entire bail in fine gauge wire, but I thought I'd save that for another bail.

I'm also in the process of making some end caps out of wire. What with the E-6000 working so well, it occurred to me that handmade end caps would work just as well as bought ones...and again, I'm tired of buying stuff!

As it is, I'm out of 22 gauge wire...so trying to think of ways of trimming my costs.

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Venetian glass bead, leather cord necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 4:08 PM (Pacific)

venetian glass bead, leather cord necklace

venetian glass bead, leather cord necklace

Looks like I've found my model at last! The scale is a bit off, but I love this picture...one of my all-time favorite actresses.

I've decided in favor of this piece even though it is not a conventional design. When it's on, the chains in front hang in a sort of butterfly shape.

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Turquoise necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 12, 2007 at 4:47 PM (Pacific)

turquoise necklace and earrings

Wonder whose hand is in the background? lol...

I'm not sure this necklace is quite "it." If I were making it to sell, I would have used fancier chain or some other way to make it stand out more. In fact I'm thinking chain with long and short links (don't have any on hand).

I'll give it some thought...designed it anyway so that the turquoise dangles could easily be moved to a different chain.

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Black Swarovski crystal and vermeil earrings, turquoise and vermeil earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 11, 2007 at 6:13 PM (Pacific)

black swarovski crystal and vermeil earrings, turquoise and vermeil earrings

Not sure yet about the black ones. They're exceedingly simple, made to match a black Swarovski crystal and Bali vermeil necklace. Since the necklace was kinda fancy, thought I'd go simple with the earrings. They're a good light weight, and not too long, on.

The turquoise ones are standard jig creations...the trick is to bend them so that the turquoise drops don't flip around when you wear them. I also "soldered" the side loops with some fine gauge wire. Debated whether to wrap the bottom loops as well, but there's no purpose in doing so (I could also have wire wrapped the top loops but wondered if that would be "too much").

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Labradorite and vermeil necklace and earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 4, 2007 at 7:12 PM (Pacific)

labradorite and vermeil necklace and earrings

labradorite and vermeil necklace detail

labradorite and vermeil earrings

The necklace is actually not new, though you'll note I haven't attached crimp covers yet. It's a random design of labradorite rounds, some faceted rondelles, and Bali vermeil beads.

The earrings used to be made with tiny pearls...I made them a while ago and intended to redo them, I wasn't happy with my detail work. They were nice earrings but a bit ordinary, so I took them apart and used the chains for the new pair.

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Bali vermeil cage beads and turquoise necklace
posted by Colleen Shirazi, April 3, 2007 at 3:34 PM (Pacific)



It's...the yard chicken! I wanted to take this picture showing the few California poppies we have in the yard, but there was no place to put the necklace near them (haven't given up though, love California poppies!).

Unfortunately the toggle didn't come out at all, it's a nice plainish oval-shaped one. Don't those awful tiny thin soldered jump rings make a nice chain?



This pic makes the necklace look shorter than it is...the two barrel-shaped turquoise beads in the back show completely. I had to lean back some to take the pic. But I wanted to show how pretty the open cage bead is in the front.

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Chalcedony necklace, then and now
posted by Colleen Shirazi, March 2, 2007 at 5:22 PM (Pacific)

Then (far left):



Now:



There is another pair of the Bali vermeil cylinder-shaped beads in the back, behind the last pair of chalcedony beads, that would show in the summer when you put your hair up (in fact I think of this as a summer necklace).

These are the same chalcedony beads I used before; I bought six of them, so there is now a lone chalcedony bead in the box. I suppose I've gotten away from "wrapping for wrapping's sake" and more into trying to create simpler, more wearable designs.

Speaking of wrapping...AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! There are so many different choices even for wire for this. All along I've been using half hard, round wire, usually 22 or 24 gauge. Now I've been reading that soft wire works better. I tried out some dead soft for doing my briolettes:



...and it worked great, but I never thought of using soft wire for wrapping!

Then, to make things even more interesting, I saw a rec for half round wire, this one:


image courtesy www.rings-things.com

The idea is that half round wire lies flatter against your piece and tucks better. Now that certainly stands to reason, and it's a great idea, but I am dizzy!!!!!

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Freshwater pearl earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, October 18, 2006 at 10:05 AM (Pacific)



Believe or not, the first time I've worked with chain. This is a copy of a pair of fine earrings I got as a gift, only with creamy white pearls rather than black pearls.

These were pretty straightforward to make, but be forewarned, the components are very small.


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