Friday, November 26, 2010

My First Bead Show

Last weekend I attended my first Bead Show :  Intergalactic Bead and Jewelry Show in Charlotte, NC.  It was nothing short of spectacular!  It was somewhat overwhelming deciding what to buy and what to leave behind.

I usually buy my beads online where I can shop around comparing prices and quality.  But I have to say, being able to see and touch the beads before buying was a dimension I really appreciated.

Here is a photo of my stash when I first came home before organizing and pricing each bead - I always calculate the price of each bead or component and label it so that when I design a piece of jewelry I can calculate my cost and then an appropriate sale price.
My Gemstone Stash of Treasure (before sorting)
I felt a bit like I was sorting through a treasure chest counting beads on each strand and sorting them out - and I enjoyed every minute of it!  Examining each bead and enjoying the fine job nature does when creating gemstones was an absolute pleasure.

I absolutely fell in love with fire agates through this show.  They are an incredibly beautiful gemstone with all kinds of variations.  Here is a photo of a necklace I designed this week using a blazing red fire agate for the pendant and smaller fire agate rondelles for accent:
Red Hot Fire Agate Pendant Necklace
Close-up View of Fire Agate Pendant
Of course I have so many stones still awaiting their place in a jewelry design.  Can't wait to help them find their new home!

You can find all my jewelry designs at:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Steampunk Revolution

There is no doubt about it - steampunk jewelry has leapt in popularity over the last few years.  Steampunk really began to pick up steam - pardon the pun - in the early 2000's although it had been around even before then.  Google Trends took note of the steampunk movement in 2006 and noted a steady gain in popularity since then.

What is steampunk?  Science fiction writer H.G. Wells -often referred to as "the father of science fiction" - coined the term in 1987 as a way of describing his works and those of his contempories such as Jules Verne.  Initially the phrase referred specifically to Victorian science fiction and fantasies, but over time an entire subculture emerged to include jewelry, art, fashion and even music.

Steampunk jewelry blends the femininity of the Victorian era with the mechanical technology that emerged during this time.  Most steampunk and neo-Victorian items use dark non-shiny metals such as brass and gunmetal giving these pieces an antique vintage style appeal.  Steampunk jewelry is often handmade giving it a feeling of uniqueness.  Many jewelry and craft artists sell their steampunk designs on sites such as Etsy and ArtFire.

Supplies used to create steampunk designs include items such as filigree stampings, watch faces and watch parts, vintage jewelry components, skeleton keys and vintage keys, and almost any gadget or mechanical part.   Each piece is usually unique combining and layering different components.

To see fantastic examples of steampunk jewelry, view this ArtFire Collection entitled Steampunk Fantasy!

Helpful links:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Celebrate November with Topaz Jewelry

Topaz is the birthstone for November, so I decided to welcome the month of November with a post about this gemstone.

The name "topaz" originated from the Sanskrit - an Indian language of Hinduism and Buddhism.  It means "fire."  Jupiter "god of the sun" was associated with topaz by the Romans.  with topaz Most people think of topaz as an orange-yellow to brown color, but it also is found in hues of peach, pink, blue and clear.  Brazil is a major supplier for the world's supply of topaz, but deposits are found throughout the world including the United States.

During the ancient and Middle Ages, topaz was thought to have protective and healing powers. Even today, many people wear topaz because it is thought to have healing and rejuvenating powers and have the ability to increase wealth and wisdom.

Glass replicas of topaz are worn today in many jewelry designs and can be stunning!  One example is this "Topaz Glass Gem Pendant Necklace" I have listed on Etsy:
Topaz Glass Gem Pendant Necklace
For more beautiful examples of topaz jewelry - both gemstone and glass gems replicas - check out this Etsy Treasury!

Links and references I used to find information about topaz:
Bernardine Fine Art and Jewelry