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.

11 comments:

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

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  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.

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  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!

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  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 :))

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

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  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.

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  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!

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

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

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Thanks so much for commenting!