Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Technique and New Media -- Turquoise and Shells

I normally use bright, colorful lampwork in my work, creating things like these:

But I've been trying to stretch my repertoire and use the extensive drawers of gemstones I've collected over the years.  I love them, I buy them show after show, but I don't use them that much.  I don't know if it's because they're in the bottom drawers, or if they don't lend themselves to whimsical things, but enough is enough.

Some time ago, a bead vendor was liquidating a ton of their ready-to-wear gemstone pendants for a ridiculously low price.  Things that were over $100 were now in the range where I could buy them and use them in my jewelry and still be able to charge my customers a rate they would be comfortable with.  Months ago, I made this necklace, but I just now got it photographed (and yes, that's how this summer has gone!).

click for a larger photo and more detail

The pendant is a large shell, genuine turquoise, a set pearl, and strangely, a set faceted aquamarine.  Color me puzzled on the aquamarine.  Anyway.  I've always admired asymmetrical designs but there's a trick to it -- keeping it balanced when worn, not using too many materials and turning it into a circus of color and texture -- so I'm not sure if I succeeded or not.  

I linked pearls to pick up the color of the shell and the set pearl.  I found some turquoise that was the same color as the pendant (that took forever).  I added one modern sterling silver bead that I picked up heaven-knows-where.  And I finished it out with fringy chain.  

I skipped adding aquamarine.  I just don't get that aquamarine.

I'm charging 158.00 for this, and I hope it goes to a happy home.  I'd be interested to know, before I post it on my web site, if you think I should change anything.  I have to admit, putting this together was a LOT harder than working in my usual color palette and preferred lampwork.  But I see more of this in my future.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes the blog Pretty Things.  Ironically, her birthstone is aquamarine.


  1. I like it. What material are the discs in the top/back section?

  2. I work with a lot of gemstones and I think you did a great job. If it feels good on and looks good on then it is perfect.

  3. I totally have those beads in the first picture and don't know what to do with them. Love the colors thought. I'm all for working outside the comfort zone!

  4. 1) Yes I can see your blog again.
    2) This is absolutely adorable, I think it is one of my favorite pieces that I have seen on your blog. Please do not change anything. (I prefer those simpler colors over the more whimsical ones, I guess I am just not a fun girl :))

  5. Lovely colours! You should definitely work with gemstones more, you have a knack for showcasing them brilliantly :)

  6. I love it I wouldn't change anything. I think I'd give it a name like Mermaid's Folly or something. The shell, the turquoise, the pearls, and particularly the chain strike me as mermaidish. And I think the aquamarine is an interesting addition but I agree it seems a tad unusual.

  7. I like the balance in this which is something I think is hard to get right in an asymetrical design. It's ready to go and beautiful!

  8. I really like the necklace and don't think anything needs to be changed! That pendant is gorgeous!
    Bead Happy!

  9. I really like it, Lori! While the aquamarine is a little unusual, I think it's okay.


Thanks so much for commenting!