Sunday, October 21, 2007

Too Busy to Blog

It is not that I am procrastinating. Nor have I fallen off the edge of the earth. I just have been terrible busy with custom orders, singlehandedly hosting a birthday party/sleepover for my son and four of his friends, raking leaves, walking, and creating new designs for my etsy shop. Please stay tuned for more blogging....any day now!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Black Flower Earrings -- Oxidized Sterling Silver

I have been itching to try out my Liver of Sulphur ever since it arrived a few weeks ago. Liver of Sulphur, which smells as bad as its name, is used to oxidize silver. To tarnish it, in other words. Why would you want to deliberately tarnish silver, I hear some of you asking. It seems oxidized silver is quite popular these days in the jewelry world and, I have to admit, it has a very interesting effect.

With some 18 gauge sterling silver wire, I hand-formed two flower petal designs. I hammered them for strength, and then soldered into the center of each a flower-shaped bead cap, followed by a flower-shaped bali bead spacer. I like the way these draw the eye into the center of the flower. I pickled them, then tumbled them until hard and polished. I was tempted to leave them that way, all bright and shiny, but decided instead to use my Liver of Sulphur. It takes a little getting used to, as either the solution or the silver has to be hot, but it finally came out to a uniform, dull black. I then took the flowers back to my studio, where I hand-polished them to a rich gleam. I'm very happy with my rare and exotic flower earrings!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fuschia Flamengo, Ghost Deer, and Other Distractions

I find these days that it is very difficult to stay indoors. The blue sky and changing colors beckon. And yet, when I am outside walking, I find my mind half in my studio, working on a design, or thinking about what I'm going to make next. I enjoy the walk, the feel of the warm sun, the sound of acorns crunching underfoot, the crash and thud of falling black walnuts and apples from the trees above, the sight of a leaf floating gently from the sky like a snowflake presaging a blizzard. And always, always, when I'm walking, I keep my eye out for a white deer which comes to nibble on a neighbor's garden some evenings. I saw this photo, which my neighbor happened to snap, and it took my breath away. The deer doesn't look real. It looks like a photographic negative or, perhaps, a ghost. How does it stay hidden in the forest, I wonder? Do other deer attack it for being different as, I was told, horses often bite others that are white?

I realized today as I was walking and pondering the last thought, that there is a connection there with the necklace I'm making. The connection has nothing to do with the colors in nature, as this necklace has much more in common with a tropical garden than a temperate forest. Rather, the connection is with the girl for whom I am designing the necklace and a white horse.

A number of years ago, when I was living in Peru, I met the girl and became very close to her mother and her family. My son was the same age, and they used to take riding lessons together. One day, the horse her sister was riding reached out to bite the white horse upon which the girl was mounted. Horrifyingly, the horse missed and, instead, bit down on the girl's thigh with such force that it lifted her up out of the saddle. Understandably, the poor girl was very reluctant to get back up on a horse again.

But, I digress: I got distracted. Back to the walk, back to the thoughts of the ghost deer, back to the thoughts of the girl and her necklace. The necklace is called Fuschia Flamengo. It is spectacular, it sparkles, it has a star's big personality....pretty much like the girl herself! Happy Birthday and enjoy your homecoming!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Dress

Stay tuned for the necklace I am designing to go with this beautiful dress, which will be worn by the lovely daughter of a dear friend, to her first high school Homecoming Dance!