Jackie O's pearls + new jewels

I'm always on the lookout or listening for bits and pieces and clues for ideas and inspiration.  Include in that keeping my radar tuned for potential nice things I can do for someone else.  Nice things, little things, things that are easy and joyful for me, but could have great meaning for another.  Making jewelry is a small thing for me.  It's what I do, it's what I thrive on.  In the last couple of weeks, in between working on wholesale orders, I've had the opportunity to do some custom pieces.  A rare thing for me as I am usually quite hesitant to take on special requests.  All I can say is, I must be loosening up in my middle age.

The most recent one just went out in the mail.  It wasn't a special order, but one of my radar picks.  A recent conversation with my older sister gleaned the tidbit that she is obsessed with Jackie O's three strand pearl necklace.  Of course I remember seeing the necklace and there's been lots of 'first lady pearls' in the news thanks to Michelle O's stunning assortment of contemporary interpretations, bringing the pearl necklace to a whole new audience ... I especially love the Tom Binns pieces.  But my sister said the Jackie O version.  And I thought, "hey, I can do that!  The gem show's coming up and I'll do a bit of research and see what I pull off."

So yesterday I headed to Franklin for the gem show with my miniscule shopping list, perused and shopped for a couple of hours, found the exact pearls I was hoping for and headed home.  I had already made the 'bling' piece for the three strand closure.  Jackie's was emerald and gold, mine is pmc, white topaz and sapphires - close, sort of.  Since I got home early, I set to work right away and, well, see what you think.  Here's the clasp ...

And the full necklace.  The shortest strand is 17", graduating to 19" ...

There's something enormously satisfying about knotting perfectly graduated strands of pearls.  This is in the mail today ... I'm hoping a nice little surprise for my sister.  Unless she reads this, which I'm thinking is not likely, I don't know, we'll see.

Then there was the Talisman style necklace for a friend ...

I don't normally do text in pieces - there's just so much out there, it's hard to do anything different.  But a friend had asked if I might be able to do something with her word choices plus a couple other elements and I figured I'd give it a shot.  The other unusual thing here - the text nuggets are sterling silver pmc.  Yep!  My first batch of mixed and fired pmc3 mixed with pmc Pro.  My letter stamps were kind of big so I wanted to use the sterling for the additional shrinkage.  There will be more sterling silver goodies to come - hopefully later this month.

And then I got to make a special order version of one of my favorite new pieces.  This one is for the woman who cuts my hair, I guess that would be hair stylist, but the stylie part only lasts until I wash it.  I'm not known for fancy hairstyles or fancy product usage.  Anyway, she's buying this for a birthday present to herself.  

And lastly, this wasn't a special order, but it's a piece you may recognize.  I made this component a while back - channel set tunduru sapphires in a bar of pmc.  I originally planned to attach it to leather, then changed my mind, then decided to list the component on Etsy, it got several 'hearts' but didn't sell.  Then one day my eye caught a zip-loc bag full of bits of chain - a tiny rolo link that I've had for years.  I've always loved this chain and seeing it in a pile I finally figured out what to do with that little sapphire bar.  I'll be re-listing the finished piece on Etsy first of the week. 

Silver prices have been all over the place in the last couple of weeks and took a nose-dive in the last few days.  Normally I price things based on replacement costs, but because I've had this chain for a while and there's a lot of it in this piece, I'm going to price it at the old chain price.  Yeah, I'm softening up. 

And new jewels! 
Like I was saying, I didn't really need much of anything, but I'm always on the lookout for new and intriguing jewels.  Lately I've been obsessed with hammered gemstone nuggets - really rough, chiseled looking facets.  They're pretty hard to find, but they are out there.  Some on Etsy, a few on some gemstone sites.  I saw very little of this sort of thing yesterday, but did find a few strands to play around with.

I love the warmth of this quartz.  So much of it looked plastic and glaring and garish.  This strand was perfect.

I had to get two strands of this green amethyst - looks like green ice don't you think?

A bit of a splurge, but this gemstone is so so so hard to resist ... this not quite so chiseled moss aquamarine.  A bit more refined, but still rough enough for my plans.

And this was my big splurge, golden rutilated quartz ... $50 for a really short strand, 5 bucks a nugget - oof!  Thing is, I saw it first thing in the morning and kept thinking about it the whole time I was there, so I knew I better succumb or regret it later.  It's just so raw and I know it's going to look amazing with some big chunky something to be designed sometime soon.

All in all, a good trip and a good couple of days and, come to think of it, a good couple of weeks.  
I can't wait to see where these new jewels inspire me to go next.  That's the whole point, discovery and exploration and innovation and the delicious unknown.

Blessings - kvk