Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gemstone Spotlight ~ Red Creek Jasper

Last week we looked at ocean jasper which is one of my favorite gemstones.  This week, I will tell you about red creek jasper which is even higher on my list of favorites.  Actually right now, it is my very favorite!

Just look at all those rich colors!  Red creek jasper is commonly mined near the Red River in China (thanks for that info, Lima Beads).  The most common colors found in this type of jasper are red, sage green, and tan.  It has a distinct lined pattern that runs through the stones.

When I was asked if I would consider donating a piece of jewelry once again to the Highland Retreat Auction, I immediately knew what stones to use in the design!  When I think of Highland, particularly in the fall, the colors in this stone couldn't be more appropriate.

This design is called "Red Oak Lodge" in honor of a beautiful facility at Highland by the same name.

The main feature of this necklace is, of course, the red creek jasper stones.  They are wire wrapped using antiqued brass wire.  The chain and the circle pendant in the center are from Vintaj Natural Brass.  I made the hook clasp which can be hooked into any of the chain links, making the length adjustable.   

This necklace will only be available at the Highland Retreat Auction.  If you are local and interested in bidding on this item and many others, head over to Shady Oak on Saturday, February 25.  

One of the other items up for bid is a fraktur print artfully created by my very own Aunt Drollene.  I have a copy of the print in my sunroom, which also doubles as my studio.  

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gemstone Spotlight - ocean jasper

"Spirit of the Ocean"

Gemstone Spotlight ~ ocean jasper

This post is the first in a series of "gemstone spotlights", in which I will choose a gemstone and provide some information on it.  Then I'll show you examples of how I've used that gemstone in my designs.  

People often want to know what stones are used in the jewelry they admire.  Some people even use gemstones for their suggested healing powers.  I don't really get into all of that, instead choosing stones purely for their beauty or cut.  

I discovered ocean jasper soon after I started designing and making jewelry.  Immediately it became one of my favorite stones to use.  I love the versatility of its varied earth tones.  Also called "orbicular jasper" due to the orbicular patterns found on these stones, it only can be found on the coast of Madagascar.  Ocean jasper is a colorful stone in shades of brown, rust, blue, tan, green, black, cream, camel, and grey.  

Close up of ocean jasper orbicular patterns (above)
and color variations (below)

I hope you learned a little today from this highlight on ocean jasper.  Look for more gemstone spotlights coming up! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

E is for Earrings

Copper Canyon

Making earrings is usually an afterthought for me.  Once I've made a bracelet or a necklace, I decide that a coordinating pair of earrings should be made.  I really need to put forth more deliberate effort into earring creativity.  

One of my "issues" with making earrings is the need to create not just one creative piece, but another matching one since earrings come in pairs!  Do you know how hard that is sometimes, particularly with gemstones which are rarely alike?  Often I just choose two stones that are similar enough, as shown in the following two pairs below.  


Captured Copper

I love it when I find beads that are just meant to be made into earrings, such as these fuchsia lucite ones below.

Fuchsia Fantasy

Now is a good time to check out the new earrings I've listed in my Etsy shop.  And as always, if you see a bracelet or necklace in my shop without a coordinating pair of earrings, just ask!  I will attempt to create something for you.