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Posts Tagged ‘jewellery’

It really is time I started getting some of my lovely beachcombed finds out of boxes and into the light of day and with the discovery of some findings I spent a lovely day the other week sorting through all my sea glass and pottery and choosing pieces not only that would make pretty earrings and pendants but that I could bear to part with!

First the pendants:

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I love blue and white pottery anyway, but even more so when it’s been faded by the sea.

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And this piece is just fun!

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Love the depth and richness of this blue glass.

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This piece of old bottle has the letter K embossed on the tip.

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And this is my biggest piece of Victorian Seaham glass.

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Then earrings, all in frosted white glass:

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The nuno felt made a very appropriate background!

I’ve made another section in my Etsy shop for this beachcombed jewellery. The big willow pattern pendant sold the same day as I listed it and is heading for Switzerland!

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Theatre has rather taken the place of embroidery for the last couple of weeks and apart from a few more patches of french knots on the encrusted piece, nothing much else has happened until this weekend when I was inspired by a new batch of broken jewellery to make something to add to my Etsy shop.

The starting point was a pink and gold diamanté bracelet. The catch was sound but the middle section of the bracelet was broken and quite a lot of the diamantés were missing from the strap section. I removed the broken bit and once I’d reset the spare diamantés from the broken section into the gaps in the strap, I had this:

Pink corsage bracelet 1

For the middle section I decided to needlefelt over a slim metal hoop which had been an old earring drop with some leaf green roving and then to define the edge I added a fringe of green, gold and pink seed and bugle beads.

Pink corsage bracelet 2

Putting it in place to gauge the effect.

Pink corsage bracelet 3

Now for the hard bit, working out what to add to the front of the needlefelted circle. This was my first try – a beaded stem and beaded fly stitch leaves with woven spiders’ web flowers.

Pink corsage bracelet 4

it was late last night and I was taking against the embroidered flowers so I decided to go to bed and sleep on it. I liked them no better in the morning so went looking for some flower beads with which to replace them. All the flower beads were too bulky but I did find some vintage gold tone bead caps which with seed bead centres worked much better.

Pink corsage bracelet 5

Then all that needed to be done was to use jump rings to connect the central corsage piece with the straps.

Pink corsage bracelet 6

And one sad and sorry bracelet restored…

Pink corsage bracelet 7

…and in my etsy shop waiting for a new owner.

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Not much more to see with the blue crazy patchwork, but I have been upcycling/making jewellery again.

First was a simple brushed stainless steel pendant, probably 1970s. I had various ideas for embroidery to add to it, mostly on a second smaller disc, hanging from a jump ring through the top hole, but when I went looking for a jump ring, I found one of my hand cut reticulated brass discs and that was that.

Reticulated brass and stainless steel pendant

I love the contrasts – silver/gold and smooth/textured.

Then I rethreaded the remains of a vintage white glass bead necklace and the oddments from a gorgeous very dark red glass bead necklace along with some odd black and black/white lampwork beads to make this:

Black and white glass bead necklace 1

I love that the dark red beads (the flat faceted rondelles) are so intense in colour that they look black unless they catch the light just right and then they are the most mouthwatering crimson.

Black and white glass bead necklace 2

They’re both in my Etsy shop here.

If you enter TOPAZ1 at the checkout from now until the 20th of December 2014 then you can get 20% off any item in my shop – vintage, upcycled or handmade jewellery.

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This is my current obsession and if I can do it in a way which combines textiles/embroidery in some way then even better. If you read my last blog hop post then you will have caught sight of one of my latest pendants which began simply as an old brass pendant mount long missing whatever had been set in it.

Bullion rose pendant 1

 

I used a single strand of variegated silk to embroider a bullion knot rose with French knot buds and whipped back stitch stems on some lovely slubby hand dyed cotton.

Bullion rose pendant 2

Then I cut a piece of thick felt the same size as the pendant and drew the fabric up around it before using the lugs on the pendant to fit it snugly in place. In real life it’s less than an 2cm long, so it was all a bit of a challenge.

Bullion rose upcycled pendant

A matching chain completes the upgrade from rubbish to wearable!

Bullion rose pendant 3

Next for upcycling was a gold tone ‘A’ initial brooch. The gold colour was badly worn in one place, so I started to wonder if I could wrap it in fabric. However, ‘A’ is quite a complex shape, so first I experimented with a simple vintage circular silver coloured pendant and some offcut strips of printed Japanese themed cotton in red, black and gold.

I used Modge Podge thinly spread on the back of each piece and as the strips built up, I became quite excited about the effect.

Japanese print wrapped pendant 1

I neatened off the back with some more of the fabric and used the Modge Podge to seal that layer, which gives it a bit of a shiny look that I didn’t want on the front.

Japanese print wrapped pendant 2

And I’m pleased enough with both of them that they’ve gone into the new Upcycled section of my Etsy shop.

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I was delighted to be tagged to take part in this by the very creative, talented and witty Iz, from Threadnoodle and it was lovely to welcome people who had popped over from her blog. So this week is my turn to talk in a bit more depth about myself and my creative process.

I live in North Lincolnshire in the UK although I’m originally, like Dickens’ David Copperfield, from the little village of Blundeston, in Suffolk. Among other things, I’m a writer, a jeweller and textile artist. But not necessarily in that order.

1. What am I working on?

Erm… everything? I have a second book of short stories and a novel both on the go as well as an article which has been back-burnered for various reasons. There’s a box of partly completed rings,

silver acorn ring

pendants and other odds and ends which need finishing.

Norwich stitch pendant

Journals, books and altered books,

York Minster altered book

kits, summer holiday diary fragments,

holiday diary fragment

the crazy patchwork cushion for my son,

James' cushion strip 1

felted and goldwork brooches,

Goldwork brooch

 

my hearts commission,

hearts commission

my rusted fragments art quilt…

rusted fragments art quilt

…you get the picture. I long to have a go at everything and greedily want 36 hours in each day to try, test and explore my latest passion to its full extent.

My latest obsession is upcycled jewellery, whether replacing broken/damaged elements with beads like this vintage necklace…

 

broken vintage wire necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

upcycled m.o.p and haematite necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or adding textile elements – felting and beading…

 

Felted beads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncycled felted bead necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… embroidery or patchwork.

Bullion rose upcycled pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

upcycled patchwork earrings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love being able to make something from bits that someone else has discarded as worthless. Little things fascinate me too, and each of the projects is so small that I can be almost finished before I start to get bored. I really admire people with the stickability to work on large ongoing projects, but that’s not me. Whatever I do tends to be small, detailed, and precise, whether it’s stitched into fabric, wrought from metal, words on a page or even part of a show in theatre. For me, the devil (and the interest) is in the detail.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

That’s a difficult one. As regards my jewellery, with its mix of metalworking and fine embroidery, I’ve certainly never seen anything quite like it. There are other artists who create  jewellery with textile components, but it seems to fall into two categories – fairly traditional jewellery shapes such as earring drops, pendant and rings set with pieces of textile work, or textile work with metal findings to make it into earrings, pendants, brooches etc. I do both…

Turquoise spiral brooch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullion rose upcycled pendant

…but prefer to do neither

Moss mixed media pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo book charm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suppose that everything we do is unique, but at the same time, everything we create is the result of our experiences. I’ve often thought that if we could break down the DNA of a piece, trace its bloodline of influences and inspirations, it would be fascinating to see precisely how it was born from the tiny fragments we draw from so many things we’ve seen, done and experienced.

3. Why do I create what I do?

Every project gives me pleasure to work and it also gives me pleasure to see how it is received by other people but essentially I create because I need to. Like so many creative people, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t create, from wobbly junk models and roughly stitched dolls’ clothes to furnishings for my doll’s house and stories set in imagined worlds.

It’s my way of responding to something of the beauty in the world I see around me, my way of revelling in the power of fashioning something that is mine alone. I bend the media to my will and I say how it turns out – mostly!

4. How does my creative process work?

The first thing to fire it off is usually a single item but it can be anything: a bead, a thread, some fabric, a fragment of something, an image or artefact. The alliums piece below was the response to the challenge, ‘A flower beginning with ‘A’ for an Embroiderer’s Guild competition.

Alliums sketchbook page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alliums hanging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An idea from a curtain I saw on a course

kantha patches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and an image from a dream…

Dream kantha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be a very dangerous process to sort through my stuff – I get sidetracked onto new projects very easily!

In terms of how things then evolve, I let my creative subconscious do a lot of the work. Usually I have clear idea of the starting point and an image of roughly what the end point will look like (I write like this too). Then it’s a case of starting and seeing how and where things go. If I get stuck I just walk away for a while and its unusual for that break not to have straightened things out in my head.  If I’m lucky, things work out as well, or sometimes even better than I’d hoped. If not, then it’s good to learn from your mistakes and chances are, I can always turn it into something else one day…

Phew! I think that’s the wordiest post I’ve ever put up! If you’re still with me, then please go and visit my two nominated bloggers.

Firstly, Debbie at Debbidipity. I met Debbie at our Embroiderers’ Guild when I joined several years ago and we’ve been good friends ever since. In the last 5 years, as a mature student, she’s done ‘A’ levels in Art and Photography and then followed them up with a Fine Art degree at Hull. She likes to experiment with all sorts of media and her inspirations are rooted strongly in the natural world that she loves.

From the local to the other side of the pond and Penny at Art Journey. Penny creates wonderful textile artwork in areas that I don’t tend to dabble in but love to look at – punch-needle, doll-making and beading are some of her latest delights, and I consider myself very lucky to have Valentine, one of her wonderful unique dolls sitting on my shelf watching me as I type.

Penny's Valentine

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the next stage of the bloghop!

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I’m home from holiday: a wonderful week in North Cornwall with a big group of friends in addition to our family…

Constantine Bay August 2013

…and after all the unpacking and sorting, finally managed to get down to my most important summer job: to open my own Etsy shop, Under A Topaz Sky, here.  All the jewellery I made during my 6 month course in Sheffield has been listed and is up for sale. 

I was quite surprised at how effective it all looked properly photographed and displayed together!

         Fire pendant          Moss pendant         Almost perfect earrings

Eregion pendantleaf pendantvolcano pendant

paisley brooch Spirals brooch beaded leaf brooch

turquoise book charm indigo book charm bubbles book charm

Unfortunately the Etsy widget doesn’t seem to work on WordPress blogs, at least not without a lot of going round the houses but I’ve added a link in my sidebar and will look into it further when the beginning of term and all the extra work that generates isn’t looming quite so awfully.

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I’d heard about the beach at Seaham in County Durham being an amazing place for sea glass and after googling some pictures and drooling heavily, I persuaded the family to take a run up the A1 a few days ago, as it was half term, to make a visit.

There was a glass factory at Seaham from the middle of the 1800s to the early part of the twentieth century and with true Victorian disregard for the environment, at the end of the day, the glass waste was poured into the sea. The resulting glass, tumbled and frosted by the waves, comes up as little nuggets on the beach.

Seaham beach

I’m afraid I didn’t notice much of the actual beach or surroundings – as soon as we got there my head was down, searching, and marvelling over the way the shingle and sand is dotted with little globules of glass like bubbles, most of them smaller than my little fingernail.

Seaham beach green glass

I collected and collected, mostly whites, pastel aquas and greens but also metal, pottery, tumbled safety glass with the metal grille still inside and a few prized pieces of the brightly coloured glass for which the beach is famous.

 

Seaham sea glass 1

Dry, you lose the incredible depth and subtlety of the colours, but the frosting gives them a different beauty.

Seaham sea glass 2

Seaham sea glass 3

Seaham sea glass 4

Then I sprayed them with water…

Seaham sea glass 5

Seaham sea glass 6

Seaham sea glass 7

Seaham sea glass 8

Seaham sea glass 9

The wired safety glass.

Seaham wired sea glass

The wave worn metal.

Seaham metal

And the coloured beauties. Firstly, dry and frosted.

Seaham coloured sea glass 1

And then wet.

Seaham coloured sea glass 2

Seaham coloured sea glass 3

Seaham coloured sea glass 4

Seaham coloured sea glass 5

Seaham coloured sea glass 6

Seaham coloured sea glass 7

They’re only very small – the largest, the one with the big brown circle, is only about the size of a penny, but they are utterly beautiful and I can’t wait to get them incorporated into my textiles and jewellery.

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