Thursday, February 7, 2008

Combining Silver and Stone

I love silver. I love semi-precious stones. I love precious stones, but I can't afford them. I love combining silver and semi-precious stones in the same design. One of my favorite shapes to create from silver wire is a teardrop. I find it to be such a graceful shape, and so much fun to make. I also find that it combines beautifully with stones, whether round or oval or other.

I recently came across some beautiful strands of kyanite, which I'd never worked with before. I was surprised when I read that one of the places that kyanite is mined is Burma. When I lived in Burma, I don't recall ever encountering the stone, although it is quite possible my attention was more riveted by rubies and sapphires. Kyanite comes in several different colors, but the blue that I found is by far my favorite. It reminds me of mica, with its silvery striations, but it is the color of a favorite pair of blue jeans. I've combined it in necklaces with beads of a lavender or lilac hue, and it comes out looking like the color of a beautiful hydrangea. I've combined it with amber, and it looks like a deep blue autumn sky shimmering over a stand of golden aspen trees. But I love the simplicity of combining it with sterling silver.

I made two teardrop shapes out of 16 gauge sterling silver wire, soldered on a loop on top, and then hammered the base to create a contrast with the thinner silver wire. I hammered it for additional texture and lightly oxidized the teardrops to emphasize the texture. Handcrafted earwires and headpins joined the teardrops in my tumbler, which strengthened and polished the lot. A final polishing by hand to bring out a rich gleam in the silver, and they were ready to pair up with the kyanite. I love how they turned out.


Winniel said...

Really love this piece! So simple, n elegant! I'm at the moment quite inspired to make, n experiment with more designs too...:)

good luck to you!

Winniel said...

Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog too! You really think being in Singapore gives me added advantage access to more beads? N all these while I though ppl in US, south America are the lucky ones ;)

I have friends in Myanmmar too, whom I'll ask for help to get some gemstones for me...I see you lived in Yangon b4 too...WOW!

Love your pieces n style, I think they are very artistic, looks expensive, n yet reasonably priced...WELL DONE TO YOU!

MEBDesigns said...

The grass is always!