Monday, April 13, 2009

Casting a Wide Net

Been busy learning how to use wax to create models for casting. I want to make some of my own jewelry findings instead of using store bought ones. Findings are components or materials used to make jewelry such as clasps, bead caps and bead cones for multi strand necklaces.  

A wax model can be cast in a gold or silver or a mold can be made and then the piece can be cast multiple times. Casting is a complicated process so I will have a local Albuquerque artisan, Dan Morgan, do the actual mold making and casting.

My ultimate goal is to have the items plated in 24 karat gold over silver which is what vermeil is. It is a more yellow and richer color gold than 14 karat.

Whew, this wax doesn't behave very well! Gotta keep practicing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fashion on the Street

I've come across a fun feature on the New York Times web site. A photographer, Bill Cunningham, bicycles around Manhattan every few weeks photographing and reporting on what "women and men on the street" are wearing. His commentary is very light and he obviously loves what he is doing. Just go to and search for Bill Cunningham or look in Fashion/Style "On the Street" and enjoy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bead Show

Went to the Bead Show in Santa Fe a few weeks ago. What a treat. I purchased some strawberry quartz beads that look like icicles and some gorgeous chalcedony briolettes in reddish brown, black and gray, and off white and black.

Chalcedony is a type of quartz. It comes in many colors and is sometimes dyed. Some varieties are agate, carnelian, chrysoprase, heliotrope and onyx.

Briolettes are usually teardrop, triangular or pear shaped gemstones that have a hole drilled horizontally left to right across the top of the stone. Sometimes they are faceted. They range in size from tiny (4-5 mm) to very large (25 mm).

Here is a picture of a piece I made with yellow creme chalcedony briolettes and purple freshwater pearls.

Miriam Haskell

Just received the book Miriam Haskell Jewelry. It is a history of the jewelry company with information about the Miriam and the designers who worked for her and fabulous pictures of the jewelry through the years. There are even photos of how the jewelry is put together.

Her designs still inspire today's jewelry just Coco Chanel's has influenced fashion throughout the decades. I am planning to do some pieces based on Haskell designs. Can't wait to get started.