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· Some recent-ish earrings
· Multistrand rose quartz necklace with Shiana fine silver Sakura flower pendant
· Hammered Argentium sterling earrings
· Jade necklace: then and now

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Some recent-ish earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, December 23, 2009 at 6:44 PM (Pacific)

Apologies for the great slab of iffy photography. Particularly the last image...the light was fading, and I had to wonder when I'd be able to photograph earrings again. I pushed the rack backwards to get a better image, but then the burgundy glow of the garnets was lost, so I attached an even more out-of-focus, yet better-illuminated pic.

handmade hammered hoop, golden rutile earrings
Hammered goldfilled hoops / golden rutilated quartz earrings

The hammered hoops were to be a prototype...I had the notion of getting some solid karat gold wire and doing something with that. But these were such a bugger to make, I decided to just leave 'em be. The tiny beads are karat gold in fact but the rest is goldfilled wire.

When you wear them, the little hammered pieces flutter and catch the light.

The golden rutile pair are so simple, yet they look really neat and golden on, what with the sparkle on the figure-8 chains.

handmade peridot, prehnite, tourmaline earrings
Peridot and vermeil / prehnite, peridot, tourmaline earrings

The prehnite pair are your standard Sundance Catalog, bunch o' green stones earrings.

I made the peridot pair quite recently, and wanted to do something different. Everyone makes earrings comprised of peridot briolettes on chains, right? These are really tiny briolettes--you need to use fine-gauge wire which is almost like a hair. I loaded the briolettes on until I got a glob of green light effect--you can't see the chain, but it's a heavy hammered goldfilled chain, which reflects light behind the stones.

handmade london blue topaz, tourmaline earrings on oxidized chain
London Blue topaz / tourmaline earrings on oxidized sterling chain

I need to redo the bottom blue topaz stones. Why was I in love with the idea of using a double loop at the top? It's useful when you need extra strength, but does little here but add more bulk. What's annoying is I made the loops a tad too small; the stones have a tendency to kink when the earrings are worn.

The'd like to redo these using a more delicate version of the same kind of chain.

handmade coin pearl and tiny pearls earrings
Baby coin pearl / tiny pearl earrings on rolo chain

The baby coin pearls are pretty basic; I wear them in summer, with pearl necklaces.

The tiny pearl earrings...I wanted the effect of small white flowers, like cherry blossoms. The pearls, including the rice pearls, were from the defunct Bead Biz of El Cerrito (wah! come back!); the rolo chain from Marvin Tanner. It is a gorgeous chain, but only fine-gauge wire can pass through it, so it's ideal for smaller pieces like these.

handmade moonstone, garnet hoop earrings
Moonstone and labradorite / rhodolite garnet, grey moonstone earrings

Do not go gentle into that good night, though it may be a bit useless to rage against the dying of the light. The moonstone drops in the left-hand pair have blue flash (it's utterly lost here, I'm just saying).

The pair on the right...I wanted to do a series of grey and burgundy earrings. I attempted to oxidize sterling silver wire (see previous two posts) but the darn wire was too good to tarnish--only the niobium earring wires, and tiny sterling beads that were on them, got even remotely fried.

So version 1.1 features a mysterious grey stone...I found two on a strand of otherwise not-particularly-grey stones...a fringe of rhodolite garnets, and a grey moonstone (bottom center).

If I get more time this holiday, I'll post more pics (I have some pendants and necklaces as well as other earrings).

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Multistrand rose quartz necklace with Shiana fine silver Sakura flower pendant
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, February 15, 2008 at 12:09 PM (Pacific)

hill tribe fine silver sakura pendant on handmade four strand rose quartz necklace

This is a beautiful necklace. Rose quartz isn't that easy to work with--higher grades of it are more transparent, with a delicate pink hue, unlike your more robustly-colored dyed quartz. Hence most rose quartz pieces I've seen feature a lot of quartz at a time, typically a multi-strand design, or else big chunky quartz.

In real life the Softflex color isn't as obtrusive as it appears in the pic. Still I'm debating whether to restring on colored Softflex. I don't know yet. There gets to be a point where you can't keep on waiting for "another component" in order to make a piece, because if you do, you'll never get anything done.

The toggle in back is also fine silver from Shiana. I tried this piece out with a handmade silver hook closure, but you really need the extra weight in back.

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Hammered Argentium sterling earrings
posted by Colleen Shirazi, September 1, 2007 at 1:10 PM (Pacific)

hammered argentium earrings with rose quartz

Been playing with these over the past couple of days. They're long, but lightweight (being only thin pieces of hammered silver, with two small rose quartz beads), and because they're neither hoops nor anything terminating in a loop, they don't get stuck in your hair or collar.

This is also the first time I've made earring wires, thanks to Argentium silver. Before that, I would have had to use niobium, titanium, or 18KT gold...procuring the first two kinds would likely be more headache than buying the blanks, and 18KT gold...hardly worth making this type of earring wire (for that, you would want either a readymade leverback, for a special pair of earrings, or else a kidney wire idea where you could interchange the dangles).

About the rose quartz beads...I've had these for a long time. I never actually got rid of the inexpensive materials I started out with...and if it's possible, I recommend you don't either. My daughter is managing them now. For these earrings, I started out using two small freshwater pearls instead of the rose quartz. But the idea of the earrings was to capture light, so I decided to look for something clear or translucent.

I had in mind to use glass, something like two small rough-looking glass beads (like Indian glass). I found some blue ones, but it occurred to me that making the two stones blue would limit these earrings to being worn with clothes that go with blue. I already have a fair amount of blue earrings. So I looked for clear glass, but it occurred to me the faint pastel pink of rose quartz was actually pretty versatile, almost like "blush makeup for the ears" (on the concept you don't have to match your blush to your clothes).

Anyhow there's the theory. :)

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Jade necklace: then and now
posted by Colleen Shirazi, February 5, 2007 at 12:11 PM (Pacific)

Sort of, anyway. There was an interim version, with peridot nuggets...and the one on the right, I'm not 100% sure about yet. I was one rondelle short of putting five rondelles at the ends, instead of four...I'm debating whether or not to get more rondelles anyway (it's a beautiful jade). If I do, I would probably go ahead and make it five.

The original is dated August of last year; the one on the right was done yesterday. Same jade beads, I just cut apart the original and reused them.

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