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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
Fashion Notes: Green amethyst and emerald earrings

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, February 02, 2008 6:49 PM (Eastern)

green amethyst and emerald earrings

These are some earrings I've been fiddling around with over the past few days. They began their brief life as prehnite earrings: two prehnite briolettes wrapped at the top, sort of like these (only step-cut): Jennifer Evelyn Artisan Jewelry: Prehnite, gold fill earrings. I had them mounted on golden hoops rather than on leverbacks. My prehnites weren't big enough though; they looked fine, but vanished once you put the earrings on.

Day two: made smaller hoops, with the prehnites done with a lighter wrap. Instead of bringing the wire down to make a bead-cap-looking thing at the top, I did a small wrap to let more of the stone show. Added tiny gold beads to space things out, and three goldfilled chains hanging in nested loops.

This looked better, but again with the disappearing prehnites. That's when I started stringing these infinitesimal emeralds, the ones at the ends of my graduated strand. I made them into a U-shape around each prehnite.

Better, but eh...

Day three: where's Jack Bauer? Will these earrings ever work? Got some green amethysts in the mail. Really nice, probably Indian stones. Decided perhaps the prehnites just didn't work in this design. Ruminated on some cosmetic concepts such as making stones "pop." Perhaps a more blue-toned green stone was in order, to contrast with the yellow gold color. (Prehnite is a watery yellow-toned green, where green amethyst is watery, but blue-toned.)

Got rid of the prehnites, as well as the emeralds. Now I had a vision. The two smallest, flattest green amethysts (weight is extremely important when making earrings), surrounded by a frame of the emeralds (which are so tiny, you have to lay them flat when stringing them). Got rid of one of the hanging chains.

These are finished now; my son has already approved them. nods

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
5 comment(s)
February 2, 2008 8:02 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Hm, I know you're done with these, but, some color pairings (mostly drawn from looking at too many eyeshadows). Since the prehnite is such a delicate color, perhaps a very delicate contrast? I've always noticed, for example, that the perfect contrast works better than a near match. It seems crazy, I know, but perhaps you are not getting the color resonance you desire because the greens are similar, but in their very similarity, compete.

The prehnite might work better set against opals, or sort of watery raspberry, or a smoky grey, something with very cold fire, because anything truly strong will, as you noted, make them disappear. Even the gold might be competitive. Whereas the emeralds might resonate better with warmer, stronger colors: coral, amber, ruby, amethyst... um... yeah, what do I know?

February 2, 2008 9:48 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Actually I think you'd be great at designing jewelry. You have excellent design and color senses. I've thought it would be neat to go into a partnership...where you come up with the designs, and I make the stuff. It's not practical now...and I haven't even gotten into metalworking, which is the Mecca of jewelry-making. Once you can do metalworking, you can make any kind of jewelry. I'm not sure when I would be able to do that...but I haven't ruled out the concept.

I'm better with prosaic designs, like...I need a pair of green earrings. That's about as far as that gets.

I've concluded that the prehnites I was trying to use were too small for earrings. I have seven of them and was planning to make a necklace. I'll probably go back to that idea...I have something similar, it's just seven or so stones on a chain.

February 2, 2008 11:42 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Argh, I fixed that tiny bend in one of them. It's good photographing jewelry for that reason--anything wrong with it is gonna show.

February 3, 2008 2:28 PM, Blogger Dain said...

It's interesting how there are new challenges with every piece. When you first got into this, I was like, ok, hm, odd hobby but who am I to talk? But ever since you sent me those sites, I've been looking at each piece and thinking, now how did they do that? And it's sometimes amazing how it's all put together.

February 3, 2008 2:56 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

The craft itself has evolved a great deal over the past few years. It sort of exploded at one point...there were tons of people getting into it, people like myself, who had never crafted sweet fanny in their lives. And other people who were already crafty of course.

The market became saturated, and many people dropped out. Basically they went into it to make money, and it's incredibly difficult to make money making jewelry in a saturated market.

It reminds me a bit of programming, that is how it was. A massive explosion, tons of people jumping in on the promise of making money. The "market" for programmers was never saturated, could never be saturated; what happened was, once the people here had developed the software field, it could then be shipped elsewhere. You'll note any real software innovation is still happening here.

The similarity continues in the sense of people dropping out, and the people who really like doing it, remaining, and turning it into something ever improving.

You have to be willing to start at the bottom--that is like programming, where you start with DOS command-line programs. No one is impressed by these: to the non-programmer, programming means fancy animated GUI-based programs. To the programmer there is no difference. One looks different, but the mechanics either work or they don't. The prettiest program that

Over the next few years, we should see ever-improving materials for handmade jewelry. The people who remained in it are switching to better stuff. And because there are fewer of them, they all sort of "know" each other, so they influence each other.

Goldsmithing is really the thing. Or silversmithing. sighs If I were rich, I'd build a small factory.


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