Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Q&A: Is jewelery making something you have an interest in?

Broach from ancient Greece
 From a recent question and answer time about Jeweler's Apprentice, I was asked...

Q: Is jewelery making something you have an interest in?

 A:  Yes, it is! I have done quite a lot of wire-wrapped jewelry. (Where you use strands of precious metal to create jewelry. Designs can range from simple to amazingly demanding, and I enjoyed pushing the limits of my skill and creativity!)
I didn't have access to the high heat equipment needed for casting, but it's something I always swooned over; so I've studied it quite a bit.

I've been privileged enough to see the works of some artists whose expertise was literally overwhelming. One man did a lot of wildlife in his designs, as lifelike as photos, and all in precious metal bas relief ranging in size from a scene a few inches across, (three tiny, perfect ducks flew across a green-stone pond in my favorite pendant of his,) to smaller than your little fingertip. (A man's ring showcasing an ivory elk tooth; with half of the bezel (the part that holds the stone in) being a bugling elk's head with the antlers sweeping back out onto the shank. (the part that goes around your finger.) The whole head was letter perfect, and less than the size of the tooth. ) The artistry took my breath away!

  His pieces were out of my price range, and justifiably so... but I'll always carry the image of them with me where ever I go!

 And, who knows? Maybe if I end up rich some day, I'll find him and buy something for me!

 In the meantime, I'll keep working on my own skills, and enjoy writing about the things I haven't quite gotten yet!

 What's your favorite piece of jewelry? (Real or otherwise!)

A Quarter horse logo pendant I did several years ago. Sterling silver.


Mary Ruth Pursselley said...

My favorite piece of jewelry by far is my compass rose pendant. I bough it a couple of years ago, put it on a nice chain, and have worn it literally almost every single day since then. It needs a new chain, since the finish wore off (leaving me with a very attractive black smudged line around the back of my neck that would NOT wash off), but I absolutely love it!

E. KaIser Writes said...

Compass rose pendant? Wow. i just had to look that up. :-)
Boy, those are neat! I'd never seen them before. Now I want one! :-( Oh, dear.
I can see why you wear it all the time.
Yes, definitely time to get a new chain. :-)
thanks for chiming in! I loved this new jewelry idea!
(Did you know that we once made a Compass Star for the middle of a friendship quilt? I fell in love with the compass design right then, I think.)

Kelsey Bryant said...

I had to look the compass rose pendant up too - it is soo pretty!
Hmm ... I don't know if I can pick a favorite piece of mine ... well, I do love this necklace whose pendant is a fan that opens and closes; it's painted with a bird!
I'd love to get my hands on a reproduction of Arwen's Evenstar necklace in LOTR. That's my favorite fictional piece (though I don't remember it from the book).
Your jewelry sounds lovely! I loved that aspect of your book, as well.

E. KaIser Writes said...

Aww, thanks Kelsey!
And your pendant sounds very cute! My sister and i love those old painted fans that open and close like that. It's make a cute pendant!

As for your necklace, Mary Ruth, it just occurred to me that you might want to replace that chain sooner rather than later, because some of the base metal that is making the black mark on your neck is quite possibly lead. (Yes, like the lead-poisoning lead. Ick!!)
The jewelry industry is still hiding many sources of dangerous lead in the baser products, and thinly plated stuff is suspect. American made is safer, but so many things are made overseas where these safety issues are completely ignored, and it can be highly dangerous. There was an article in a jewelry magazine I used to subscribe to about a little girl who became brain damaged from playing and sucking on a little pendant her parents bought her. It had high percentage of lead, and she'll never again be the bright child she used to be.

I don't mean to lecture here, but this isn't something that is even thought of these days; we're used to makers using safe materials. But that is no longer the case, and consumers need to become aware of it.
I once picked up a cute jewelry st for my sister, but afterward couldn't find out the metal content. So I took it back, 'cause it's not worth risking that!

I'd hate to see anyone suffer the ill effects of lead overexposure.

Unknown said...

Probably my most remarkable piece of jewelry is a large, elaborate fish pedant. It is so fancy I'm not comfortable wearing it on just ordinary occasions! It's a family heirloom.
My favorite fictional piece of jewelry would be that butterfly that was in the lady's hair in Jeweller's Apprentice-- gorgeous! :D
I also love creative earrings. And the classic heart shape always works for me. :D