Monday, September 7, 2015

Bigger...Bolder, Round 2

2015 has been the year of custom orders. I've always done them, but this year they've really been coming regularly, one on top of the next. I currently have a list of eight custom orders, in various stages of progress (some are, so far, just a list on the whiteboard).

These more recent "bigger, bolder" designs were made for a lovely collector who likes BIG gems. Not that *I* mind. :)

This HUGE Royston cabochon had been sitting in my stash for about a year. I was a little hesitant when I bought it, but I was looking for larger gems, and it was too wonderful to leave behind. The blue is stellar, the patterning is excellent, and it's got that organic-y shape I love. So I took it home with me.

And then my collector saw it, and she certainly didn't hesitate. So I started working on it. I love how the embellishments feel very much in tune with the patterning of the stone.

Here's the entirety:

A whole lot of gorgeousness. I gave it to the customer last month, and she was thrilled. She was beyond thrilled. She always says, "My jewelry pieces are my babies" and this might just be her newest favorite. :)

But wait...there's a bonus. This same customer had purchased an AMAZING boulder opal, years ago, and she wanted that set as well. Soooo......

This fabulous gem had so much play of color going on that I didn't want to get too carried away with the embellishments. So it's a little less WOW but still glorious. It's so reflective that it was hard to capture the colors, but here are a couple more photos:

Also, I played with the clasp on this, making a symmetrical clasp / embellishment design. You can see it in the first photo - the "hook" connector on the right side of the photo is soldered shut and permanently attached. So when the customer attaches the other hook, the pendant hangs perfectly in between them. It means that the necklace isn't adjustable, but I know her very well and knew what length to make the chain so it would lay where she wants it to.

And, I have two more wonderful gems to set for this lady. They have bezels and back plates, but no embellishments yet...hoepfully soon...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Bigger...bolder. With the exception of the Sweet Somethings, that's been 2015's mantra. The necklaces below are two examples of my desire to really push my own envelope a bit and make some showpieces.

Crazy lace agate and a LOT of silver fabrication. :) This design was actually started late in 2014, just like the designs I shared here. But I just couldn't "get to" getting it finished, with everything else that was happening, so it sat for a few months. I finally made the arms and the set the stone, and I am so happy with the result.

And then this:

An amazing, and amazingly large, labradorite. I've been hoarding this gorgeous gem for a while and I guess it was just time for it to have a new home in metal. It's one of the more symmetrical designs I've made in a long time, and it is a stunning statement piece. It just GLOWS. :)

I can't wait for the chance to make more of these larger, challenging designs...right now I'm in the midst of prepping for fall events and haven't had much chance to spend the time (they are wonderful, but they take so much time!) on the statement pieces...but I have a few more to show from this summer's production. :) Stay tuned...