Monday, March 21, 2011

Glass Fire Opals

Glass Fire Opal Necklaces by DJAjewels on Etsy

Many of my jewelry designs such as the one pictured here are made using glass fire opals.   Also known as Harlequin Glass Art, these are some of my favorite man-made stones!

Glass fire opals are handmade, so no two are exactly alike.  Each one has it own unique combination of color flashes.  Glass artisans make these glass gems using molten glass to which various metals are added producing the brilliant flashes of color inside them.

I found other jewelry designers on Etsy also using glass fire opals, so I put together a Treasury.  I hope you will check out my Glass Fire Opal Treasury!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lover's Eye Jewelry

Lover's Eye Jewelry Pendant
Recently a friend of mine's husband asked if I had ever thought about making "Lover's Eye Jewelry."  My answer was, "No" since I actually had never heard of this particular design.  I was none the less curious so set out researching a bit and became fascinated with this unique type of design.

Lover's eye jewelry was popular during the late 1700's and early 1800's.  Usually these designs were miniature portraits of the eye of a loved one framed within a brooch or stick pin setting.  Many of these settings were ornate and elaborately framed with jewels such as pearls and even diamonds.  

There is some controversy over the origins of this design.  Some say they represented the eye of a secret lover, showing only the eye rather than the whole face - thereby keeping secret the actual identity of the lover.  Others contend the eye was one of a dearly departed loved one, keeping the loved one close to the heart and worn as "mourning jewelry."   One thing for certain is that original antique pieces from this era are often highly valuable and often sell for up to $6000 or more.

I thought it might be fun to experiment with creating my own version of Lover's Eye Jewelry. Though not as valuable as an original from the past, here is my first finished design:

In case you are wondering whose eye this is, it is mine.

To see images of original antique Lover's Eye Jewelry from the past, click here.