Monday, December 19, 2011
Topaz is mined from locations that span the globe. Naturally occurring blue topaz is very rare. While topaz can exists in a wide variety of colors, it is mostly found in a range of browns, oranges, reds, and yellows. Most blue topaz gems on the market are formed by irradiating topaz in a laboratory to create the desired blue color. However, some natural topaz of a very light blue hue is cut and drilled for beaded jewelry. It's hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale means it is a durable stone, and so suitable for a variety of jewelry designs. The stone is symbolic of creativity, individuality, and self confidence.
Choose your own preferred shade of light blue for your jewelry expressions this month, and feel in tune with the season!
Image Credit: Turquoise Beads by cobalt123 on flikr via Creative Commons, CC 2.0
Blue Topaz Mineral, Smithsonian Institute, The Dynamic Earth
Monday, October 10, 2011
There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that most ancient Greek and Roman sculptures were painted, gilt, or inlaid with colored stone. Color was important in the art of that era in a way that is no longer obvious to us. By the time these ancient sculptures were unearthed in Italy during the Renaissance, much of the color of the statues had been worn away, and any embellishing gemstones had been removed.
Barrias 1899 sculpture "Nature Unveiling Herself to Science" is an example of a "neo-classical" form with polychromy - colors. This statue is composed largely of marble and onyx. The onyx forms the off-white folds of Nature's veil, and sweeping red and cream marble forms the drapes of her gown. The sculpted stone of the gown is skillfully completed to allow the color and pattern of the red marble to look very much like fabric. The clasp of the gown is a scarab of malachite mounted on a blue belt of lapis lazuli. The original also apparently had red coral lips and lapis eyes as well.
It can be so easy to take the idea of stone sculpture for granted, given how often such pieces are of a single color. Using colored stone, and playing on those colors to enhance the piece, makes the art seem so much more real, accessible, and very hard to ignore.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
The aborigines of Australia have an ancient story about how opal was created. The Creator descends to earth, bringing a message of peace to humanity. The Creator’s foot touches the earth, and the rocks in that spot suddenly come to life and begin to glitter in a variety of brilliant colors. Those sparkling rocks became opal.
Most of the world’s opal, 95-97%, is mined in Australia--hence the creation story--with a small amount produced in the Americas. Opal is related to quartz; but unlike quartz, it is not a mineral. It is instead a kind of silica, and is found in various types of rocks. The most commonly found colors of opal are greens and whites, and the red/black combination is the most rare.
Opal’s most notable characteristic--its glittery, colorful radiance--is know as “play of color.” In the 1960’s, scientists discovered that within opal, tiny spheres of silica interrupted the passage of light through the gemstone, causing the light to refract. This answered a question that until then no one could answer--why opal produces the lovely play of color that makes it so popular.
If you’re looking for an alternative for an October birthstone, pink tourmaline is a beautiful choice. Because it is classified as a semi-precious stone, it is more expensive than opal. Tourmaline comes in a variety of colors, including one called “watermelon” which is green on the outside and pink on the inside.
Photographs of Opal by Opals-On-Black
Photograph of Tourmaline Ring by Liverpool Design Festival
Monday, September 19, 2011
I spotted a huge, beautiful brown zircon, cubic, almost two inches on a side. Never seen one that shade or that size. There was a pyrite sample with the characteristic cubic box shape. This one had several "boxes" stuck together at the corners, the largest appeared to be about 2.5 inches on a side. The pattern isn't unusual for pyrite, but this one was smooth and perfect. The surface of the crystals was shiny and almost mirror-like.
Some of the minerals had colors that surprised me. There was a flourite sample with colors ranging from orange and burgundy to teal and lime. A stunning chrysocolla from Arizona was a vibrant, glowing, light blue green. An azurite sample was a deep, dark midnight blue, and sparkled like stars from reflections off of the facets of hundreds of tiny crystals. Even the rose quartz was notable. It was a perfectly uniform gorgeous pink, studded over with crystals.
The collection contained a sample of carved minerals. This included ones I'd seen before, such as jade, carnelian, and malachite. But there were other carved items from minerals I haven't seen used this way very often, such as lapis lazuli carved into a statue of a horse, and a head carved from aquamarine.
The petrified wood samples were excellent. There were not simply small chunks, but full circular cross sections from trees, with rings preserved now as stone. The process of turning something like a tree into a stone is amazing, and in this case left behind small crystal filled geodes right in the "wood."
Such a wonderful visit is always inspiring. The next time I pick up a smooth bead of azurite, I will remember the spectacular mineral of midnight blue, with stars flashing.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Shells have been used as jewelry and body adornment since before recorded times. Shells are numerous, have a vast array of colors and textures, and often can be made suitable for wearing with little effort. Mother of pearl, the inner lining of certain shells, remains ubiquitous in fashion, both in jewelry and in items like buttons.
My appreciation for shells has expanded very recently after visiting the Lyman Museum in Hilo, Hawaii. I went primarily to see the mineral collection (more on that in a later post) and found myself enthralled by the amazing collection of shells from pacific marine life. For some reason, I have always found it easy to forget that shells are a product of living processes. Living organisms create shells. They are an incredibly clever answer to a diverse set of evolutionary constraints found by many forms of ocean life. And the diversity of the constraints and environments has led to an amazing diversity in the shells themselves.
The colors included orange, black, brown, pink, green, ivory, yellow, teal, rose, purple, and burgundy. Textures were anywhere from smooth, nubbed, and rippled, to rough, sharp and spiked. Some lovely fluted and scalloped shells were cephalopods, a group that includes squid and octopus. Another group of shells, gastropods, shared a similar amazing coiled and spiral shape. Many kinds of shells sport patterns that look like that of leopards and tigers, both in the patterns themselves and in the colors.
One of the more interesting animals was the Xenophora Pallidula. In Latin this apparently means "bearer of foreigners." This creature has an initial shell, and then finds other shells and attaches them to itself. I couldn't help thinking that this was a kind of flattery - a shell using shells for adornment. Of course, this behavior serves many purposes, and jewelry probably isn't one of them. But some of the shells-with-shells were very symmetrical, with the additional shells 'glued' on in spiky ridges like a comb. The beauty of it seemed almost purposeful.
There were thousands and thousands of different shells. It helps to underscore the vastness of the ocean, and the mass of life on Earth. To me it is an appealing idea, and touching these shells - wearing them - seems like a small but real way to connect with the history of all living creatures on the planet.
Image Credit: wildxplorer, Le Grande CC 2.0, on flikr via Creative Commons
Monday, September 5, 2011
There are more new palettes each season than you can shake a paintbrush at, so part of the fun is simply finding one that you like. Pantone, being a leader in color, produces seasonal palettes for fashion and decor. Naturally, their palettes, and all the other fall palettes, have to be out for the industry to use far in advance of the actual season. Pantone had the Fall 2011 palette available in February of this year. For women, it looks like this:
I enjoyed going through the Lunar Blue collection and producing our own version of the Autumn jewelry color palette.
One of the phenomena I noticed was that (of course) gemstones are often composed of many colors, or swirls of related colors. Unakite, for example has both the 'emberglow' and 'cedar' hues in a single stone. Wood jasper has a nice combination of both "coffee" and "nougat." "Phlox" and "orchid" can be found in both shaded amethyst and flourite. So with cleverly designed gemstone jewelry, you can accent any aspect of the color palette you desire.
Monday, August 29, 2011
|Olive pearls and citrine are a perfect|
late summer combination, and they
serve to welcome Fall, too!
I will admit - before I began to study color more closely, I thought the idea of "trending" colors was not terribly important. Fashion can seem frivolous in the face of tough economic times and hard scientific facts. And certainly part of the fashion industry exists simply to promote its own existence. But the other side of this picture is the one where "trends" keep people interested, focused, active, and even happy.
Color is a critical part of our environment. We take in more information from visual input than any other sense. Color is one of the most prominent visual factors. For humans to be mentally engaged and interested, color needs to be present in the environment, and used in ways that get our minds working.
Color can dramatically effect our mood and outlook. When times are tough, people look for ways to feel more up, and color is a big part of that. Colors in clothes, jewelry, decor, and even cars is a critical tool for keeping us consumers upbeat and interested enough in new products to want to spend our hard earned money on them. This in turn keeps our economy chugging along so we can keep our jobs that generate said money. Ideally, anyway ...
Even with the cycle of colors from season to season, people get bored wearing the same colors in the same combinations year after year. Our need for interesting visual input always keeps us looking for something new. Consumers put demand on the fashion industry for variation, and the fashion industry does the same in reverse, creating demand by making old combinations outdated. Thus we have the preferred fashionable color trends that come to us each season of each year.
So where do these colors come from? They generally resemble or pair with the canonical colors for the season, but add a new spin or twist to keep things interesting. I spotted a line on the Fidelis Art Prints site that puts it succinctly, "Colour trends are based on observations of the world around us, taking into consideration social issues, technology, lifestyles and the moods and aspirations of consumers. It is from this information that colour experts such as Pantone and Benjamin Moore, forecast colours palettes that will most appeal to the consumers during a time period."
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Gemstones and glass have been chosen and created specifically for their colors for thousands of years. All forms of personal adornment have included colorful stones, shells, and wood since prehistoric times. Colors were chosen to convey status, mood, wealth, and other information. Some stones were only to be used by the ruling class, or in places of worship, because their color was considered sacred.
Today the psychology of color is a major area of research, since it has direct applications in industry, politics, marketing, medicine, sports, education, and just about every other sector of society. Color can change how we make purchases. It can change how we cast our vote in elections. It can make us feel energized, peaceful, or tired. It can change how we perform in sports and on exams.
One of the primary aspects of gemstone jewelry creation is the use of color, in harmony, unity, or contrast. Similarly, the buyer of gemstone jewelry makes their choice largely influenced by the color of the piece. Again, we all have personal preferences, but are likely to move towards pieces that have appeal for a variety of reasons. For example, white might not be one's favorite color in jewelry, but in western culture most brides choose white pearls for weddings, and sport white diamonds on their fingers. The context and symbolism of a wedding greatly influences our choice of color. And the reverse remains true - white gemstones bring up thoughts of weddings, new starts, cleanliness and purity.
So to delve deeper into color, I've been doing a bit of research, and will be posting a series on "The Color of Stones." I'll be posting about some of the symbolism, studies into color, the nature of chakra points, and some of their interrelationships. This will give consumers of gemstone jewelry some insight into their own minds - why they choose the colors they do, and conversely, how they can choose colors to enhance their own moods and possibly change the perceptions of those around them.
So stay tuned here for information on color you can use to improve your gemstone jewelry buying awareness! Not to mention interest and fun ...
Monday, August 15, 2011
The example at left is the meteorite Esquel. Gorgeous gem quality olvine, known as peridot of course, is liberally strewn through a shiny metal frame. It seems so perfect, one might think it was manufactured. But these incredible rocks formed naturally, far away from Earth.
This gemstone gives us an immediate connection to the heavens. Something as simply beautiful as peridot is found in abundance in the mantle of the Earth, and is one of the most basic minerals in space rocks, too. Of course, the Earth is really just a big space rock, itself.
Image Credits: Slice of Esquel meteorite, from flikr via Creative Commons, CC 2.0, Bistrosavage. Closeup of Imilac meteorite, original image from flikr via Creative Commons, CC 2.0, aakova.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
1. Natural Baltic Amber is 100% Baltic Amber that has had no treatment that changes natural properties. Allowable changes are mechanical only, such as cutting and polishing. Beads will generally be irregular in shape, from translucent to opaque, come in a variety of colors, and have inclusions and marks. Amber does not naturally weather into round shapes, so round beads are rarely cut from Natural Baltic Amber, since it wastes material. Natural Baltic Amber is very expensive, and while highly desired by some, others are not attracted to the look of amber in this closer to raw state. Must be treated with care.
2. Modified (Heated) Baltic Amber is 100% Baltic Amber that has been subjected to heat, high pressure, or both. This treatment will change the color and clarity of most amber, making it more translucent, and the color more uniform. Beads will still often be irregular, but fewer inclusions and marks will be present. Many larger, quality cabochons are made of Modified Amber. Since these processes greatly improve the look of amber, there is much Modified Amber on the market. It is the alternative to Natural Amber for some, but remains very expensive. Heat treating makes the material somewhat harder and resistant to scratching, but it still must be handled with care.
3. Pressed Amber is 100% Baltic Amber that started out as small pieces. These pieces are then pressed together under high pressure and temperature into a single larger piece. No additional components can be added in this category and have the material still considered 100% Baltic Amber. The pressing process allows for much more uniformity in size, shape, and color. Most round amber beads on the market have been pressed, and are still a pricey choice for their 100% Baltic Amber content. This material is usually a little harder than Modified Amber.
4. Bonded Amber is almost entirely amber, but has a tiny amount of glue or bonding agent added in the process of heating and pressing small pieces together into a larger whole. Usually indistinguishable from Pressed Amber to the naked eye. It can be somewhat less expensive than Pressed Amber, which uses no glues. Similar hardness to Pressed Amber.
5. Ambroid (Amberoid) contains some percentage of genuine Amber or amber chips with another percentage of modern resins. Generally, the higher the percentage of real amber in the material, the higher the quality and cost will be. Quality ambroid, made of a high percentage of genuine Baltic Amber with some added natural modern resins, offers the look of Pressed Amber at a moderate price. However, there is low quality ambroid, made of a small amount of genuine amber and a large amount of synthetic resins, to watch out for. Ambroid is the material that is most often passed of as 100% natural amber in an attempt to get buyers to pay more. Quality Ambroid is a durable material that resists pitting and scratches reasonably well.
6. Copal is not actually amber by any definition, but can resemble amber at a fraction of the price. Copal is much, much younger tree resin that have dried sufficiently that jewelry can be fashioned from it. Price is highly variable, depending on if it is being passed off as “amber.” Untreated copal is still soluble in liquids such as acetone, and so can deteriorate quickly if it comes in contact with certain hair sprays, makeup, and lotions. Must be handled gently.
7. Imitation Amber is also not amber by any definition other than superficial look. This material can be anything, from glass to plastic, that attempts to mimic amber. Usually very inexpensive. If your amber is priced very low, it probably isn’t amber at all. Durability depends entirely on the material.
With all these choices, it can be a little confusing to ensure you are getting exactly what you want at a proper price, but the first step is staying informed! Image Credit: Amber cabochons, chamberofcommerce.pl
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Hello readers! It has been busy in the Lunar Blue Studio and I want to fill you in on all the activity.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Given that amber is a product of ancient trees, it is now found in the areas where large forests of those trees once existed. While small amounts might be encountered globally, the largest deposits of amber, possibly 90% of the Earth's retrievable storehouse, can be found on the Baltic Sea. Baltic amber has long held the position as the most dependable and desirable amber for gemstones (although this market is quite competitive). Baltic amber is mined, but some amber can actually be found by "fishing." Since amber is one of the very lightest stones, it will float in saltwater. Storms in the Baltic Sea stir up the seafloor, and allow nodules of amber to float to the surface.
|Cloisonne Necklace Highlighted With|
Orange Amber (Ambroid) Beads
Finding and using amber is also a trick for the gemstone artist, since this material is expensive, exclusive, and easily imitated. But more on that later!
Raw Amber from www.wonderful-denmark.com
Cloisonne Necklace from our site, lunarbluedesigns.etsy.com, one of our unique designs! This one includes vermeil gold (gold plated over sterling silver) accents, along with Swarovski crystal, amber (ambroid), and fresh water pearl.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
So it's a little dream come true - Lunar Blue Designs will be a vendor at Downtown Boston's Art Friday this very Friday, June 3, from 11am to 6pm. It is located right smack in the middle of all the action in Downtown Crossing, right next to the orange line stop, and only a block from the Park Street green line stop. Amy and I have gone to browse several times. There are all kinds of vendors selling jewelry, sculptures, paintings, purses, scarves, belts, and even organic honey. Not to mention that the area always has great street carts with yummy food, and local music talent plying their trade.
And it is supposed to be a gorgeous day! I just checked the weather - high of 74 degrees, sunny, and no chance of rain.
If you are looking for a Father's Day gift, we'll have gemstone key rings available for both men and women, as well as bolo ties for people who like a little southwestern flair in their fashion. Our malas make great gifts for meditators of any gender. And of course we'll have a selection of earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Amy will be taking custom orders for malas, both 108 bead malas and smaller wrist malas. So if you don't see what you like, or if you want to create something special, you can work directly with her.
Looking forward to Friday!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Given the complex history of each nugget of amber, it is no surprise that trying to navigate through the use of amber and amber imitations in jewelry is equally complicated. Especially since the amber "gemstone" isn't really a stone at all.
Amber begins as a liquid secretion from some trees. It is not derived from the sap of the tree, but instead comes from the outer layers. This is a natural hydrocarbon resin, and depending on the source, it can be used in creating lacquers, adhesives, and varnishes. The use of this substance to the tree is not clear; it might be a way for the tree to rid itself of material it does not need. Although in some cases it seems that this secretion may either repulse creatures that might eat the tree or attract beneficial insects.
Depending on the part of the world the amber originates, it is probably 40-50 million years old. The very oldest amber found *might* be as old as 130-140 million years. Part of the appeal of this lovely "stone" is the knowledge that it comes from a close genetic relative - trees - and is the product of living processes.
Image Credit: Insects in Baltic Amber, Wikimedia Commons, CC 3.0
Sterling Post Earrings with Green Amber (Ambroid), Swarovski Crystal, and Malachite - Lunar Blue Designs
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This is a meaning often encountered in sites that deal with gemstones and their symbolic properties, such as healing. This meaning might also be encountered on sites interested in selling materials for use in wicca, like wands for altars or pendulums for divination. As noted in previous posts, this use of the word "crystal" is not incorrect - it is a reflection of history and culture. There are many people who would be disappointed to purchase a "crystal" and find it isn't "crystal shaped."
Crystal points do make lovely jewelry, either drilled through as beads or wire wrapped as pendants. The shape evokes a sense of mystery and magic. Depending on the nature of the stone, they might range from delicate to sharp, and so might need to be treated with some care. No two points are ever exactly the same unless they are mechanically cut or lab grown - gemstones all have natural variation. Because of this pairing them for earrings or to use in sets takes some patience and design skill.
So to wrap up this four part series on crystal, the "point" again is know what you are using in your designs, and purchasing from your favorite sites. One simple word like "crystal" does not mean the same thing to everyone, and so be sure to get specific details before you buy. That way you can be certain you will love your jewelry when it arrives, and treasure it for years to come.
Image Credit: Quartz Crystal, Rob Lavinsky, CC 3.0, Wikimedia.org
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
|All Swarovski crystal (in |
other words, lead glass)
and sterling silver suncatcher
First things first - how is it that a 'wine glass' can be 'crystal'? Didn't I say previously that crystal had an ordered structure and glass did not? Yes. Crystal wine glasses aren't crystal. They are made of glass. They are made of a specific kind of glass that has had lead added to it to make it more reflective and prismatic. The use of 'crystal' to describe this substance is historic, coming from Murano glass manufacturing in Venice. In those days the manufacturers were trying to imitate some of the properties of natural quartz crystal. This idiom, or convention, has remained. 'Lead glass' is the same as 'lead crystal' is the same as 'the stuff my crystal wine glass is made of.'
This confusion of terms has translated to the bead market, where both glass, lead glass, and synthetic and natural crystal are all used side by side.
So what is it about high quality, expensive 'crystal', like say Waterford, that makes it so desirable? Regular water glasses, even if nicely etched and cut, do not have the flash and brilliance of, say, Waterford crystal faceted wine glasses. As I said before, lead has been added to regular 'glass' to make it 'lead crystal'. Lead increases the index of refraction of regular glass, which means that light going through the material is reflected around more, and also split like a prism. 'Fine cut lead crystal' is a phrase that means a sparkling, fiery wine glass that will look impressive on the dinner table.
|Gorgeous trio of designer glass|
earrings. Even the Swarovski crystal
accents are of course glass.
I'll talk more about why I choose to use various glass and crystal materials in a later post!
Images: Suncatcher and earrings are our designs, and available in our Etsy store. Stop by to see these and similar items!
Monday, March 14, 2011
Over on RioGrande's blog, The Studio, they are running a little contest that combines haiku and jewelry. I couldn't resist the opportunity to try my hand - the act of designing and creating jewelry seems rather poetic as it is. And you already know how I feel about the stories in the stones - there are tales to be told by the gemstones and jewels in our lives.
So here are my two little haiku offerings ...
gemstone bead demands
the company of sterling
wisdom bows and nods
these stones are silent
yet there are stories inside
design is language
That last line "design is language" really resonates for me. Design is how we interpret the stories in the gemstones, and give those stories voice. Might be corny, I know, and yet I still believe it. :)
Image: Gorgeous triple strands of peridot, crystal, and glass mingle with sterling silver in a celtic celebration. Available on our Etsy site.
Friday, March 11, 2011
|Our 11" Suncatcher Talisman showing|
off a variety of crystalline solids, such
as a smoky quartz faceted crystal
A common place to find confusion is in the use of 'crystal' versus 'glass' in the materials listed for a handmade piece. To a geologist, these terms have a specific difference based on structure. To a bead artist, these terms are more likely to be differentiated based on chemical content. Let's talk about structure first ...
'Glass' is a solid substance where the structure of the atoms is irregular and amorphous (and which will turn into a liquid when enough heat is applied). There is no large scale order to be found in 'glass'. Conversely, the structure of a 'crystalline' solid is very regular. The internal matrix of a crystal is repetitive and highly ordered.
It is possible to have a 'glassy' form of a material that has the exact chemical composition as a 'crystalline' form. The most most well known crystal is quartz, made of silicon and oxygen, SiO2, in a nice repeating pattern. But SiO2 is also the major constituent of 90% of the glass in our everyday lives. A crystalline substance can be formed by cooling a liquid slowly, allowing the atoms to line up into a nice, repeating pattern as the stuff becomes solid. A glassy substance can be formed by cooling a liquid very quickly. The stuff becomes a solid before the atoms have time to line up.
This means that any 'crystal' in a necklace need only be made of a solid with a repeating structure to be referred to as 'crystal'. A designer that uses quartz crystal in a necklace will call it crystal, and be absolutely correct. Yet this can be misleading if you imagine all crystal means 'Swarovski.'
I'll post soon about crystal versus glass - composition!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Sometimes a little thing can really make your day. Diane over at The Mind body Spirit Marketplace on Facebook is featuring our Etsy shop on her page tomorrow. Check it out! It's a lovely amalgam of spiritually-minded jewelry, art, and shops, with a little eastern philosophy binding it all together. She also has a great blog. I'm glad she found us so we could find her!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
|Quartz crystal point in back, propping|
up a rhyolite gemstone flecked with
'Crystal' is a common constituent of handmade jewelry, but the word is very often used in ways that are confusing. Is the designer talking about the composition of the material, its shape, its clarity, or saying it is a single piece of rock, uncut? When designers describe their jewelry, sometimes they do not provide enough information to let the buyer know exactly what they are getting. Unscrupulous sellers may even allow misinterpretations to remain unaddressed, hoping the buyer will think they are getting something of higher quality than what is actually included in the piece.
So to start, I simply want to point out how problematic the word 'crystal' can be. In the first image above, we see a nicely formed quartz crystal. Some people would call it a crystal because of the regular geometric shape. Others might think 'crystal' because it is made of solid quartz. A geologist might call it a crystal because it is a uncut chunk of a mineral in its natural form, or because its atoms are in a nicely regular matrix, instead of scattered about amorphously. A geologist would also use the word 'crystals' to describe the granules of different minerals found in the rhyolite.
|Crystal martini glass displays a pair|
of earrings, each with a crystal
bicone bead on top.
So with all the different ideas for what a 'crystal' is, or what 'crystal' can mean, there is no surprise that confusion exists. Stay tuned here for more information about how you can be more informed about what is in your jewelry, and how to make sure you are getting exactly what you want!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The big event in February for many jewelry fans falls on the 14th, with the arrival of Valentine's Day. It has become one of the most popular celebrations in the United States. Everyone seems to be looking for a personal and special way to express affection to friends and loved ones.
We've added a new line of products to our offerings at Lunar Blue Designs - lanyard charms you can use to add personality and sparkle to almost anything, anywhere. Slip the lanyard through zippers to create zipper pulls, use as charms for cell phones, or jazz up purses, belt loops, key rings, or whatever your imagination suggests.
This is one of the first lanyard charms I created, celebrating Valentine's Day in my own way. The charm centerpiece is an elegant, puffy Murano-style glass heart with embedded silver foil, topped with a pink bicone of Swarovski crystal, and highlighted with all sterling silver findings and spacers. The length is about 3.75 inches. This is one of those pieces that almost didn't make it out of the house. Although I am partial to skulls and darker themes and icons, this charm has so much appeal. It showcases so much of what makes glass an attractive material for beaded jewelry and accessories - shine, smoothness, glow, flash, and lovely color.
Image Credits: Murano Glass Heart Charm posted in our Etsy store January 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
|One of our pieces sold this winter - my|
favorite sterling and lapis necklace!
Thrilled to see it find a home.
Happy New Year! We're looking forward to 2011 - we have lots of plans and ideas, including attending international bead and gemstone shows, developing some new products, offering workshops, and as always, creating unique gemstone jewelry, devotional pieces and accessories. It's what we do :)
The end of 2010 was busy, which was nice both from a sales perspective and because busy winter holidays mean fun, family, and friends. One perk of having a partner (and sister) who makes devotional malas is the prospect of getting one for a gift - which I did. I picked out the beads for it; a set of lovely blue lapis 8mm beads, as well as sterling silver markers and a filigree guru bead. Amy hand knotted these into a traditional 108 bead mala and added a metallic blue handmade tassel which brings out the dark glints of pyrite in the lapis. I love it.
We now have a presence on deviantArt, under my login name of DesignerMoon. We've been highlighting the artistic aspect of our work there. It seems a great place to get inspired by other great art, interact with more of the online beading community, and use the space to provide expanded descriptions and stories for the pieces. Check out the journal there for updates and features unique to the dA environment.
Keep your eyes on the blog here for more updates, but especially for features about the interesting stories behind gemstones and the unique stuff we make from them! Hope you have a beautiful New Year.
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