Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boulder Opals

"And lo! the beautiful opal - That rare and wondrous gem - Where the Moon and Sun blend into one is the child that was born to them." - Ella Wheeler Cox

I was at Ketner's Mill Country Craft Fair a couple of weeks ago and a lady came by with a stone (it always amazes me when people have these things with them) that blew my mind. It looked like a solid tiger's eye or jasper, but it had a window with shimmering opalescence. She asked if I could wrap it in copper, and I did, and she was so happy with the wrap that she hugged me (she'd apparently been told a price once that was ridiculous, and had put off having anything done with it for a very long time). I'm still kicking myself for not having my camera with me to take a better picture of the finished pendant; it really was amazing. There are some crappy pics I took with my phone on Facebook.

I decided I needed to figure out what that stone was ("opal" was all I had) and get my hands on some for myself, so I found a supplier and spent more than I probably needed to, but I am so excited to get them and wire wrap them in time for Christmas. The pictures above are two of the seven I bought, but still pictures really don't do them justice. The fine veins shimmer and dance with color and iridescence when you move them.

Boulder opal was discovered in Australia in the 1870s. The opalescent veins can be many different colors, and run through ironstone matrix, which means that every one of these is very different. It's hard to cut them into traditional cabochons so they're usually cut kind of free form.

I also got some other beautiful stones from my usual supplier that will be getting some attention shortly. There is a new option on the website to choose a stone and have me wrap it custom for you. I don't know if any of these will make it there, but there are lots of pretty stones available. And, as always, if you've been carrying around a stone (it has to be bigger than about 10 mm for wire wrapping) that means something to you, and you'd like it custom wrapped, contact me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ear Cuffs

Ear cuffs have become one of my best-selling items; theyr'e definitely unique. What are they? Basically I take a piece of wire, add embellishments, and bend it so that it can cling to your ear at the narrow part up the side. Most of them require no piercing (except a few like this one that have an earring attached as well). I can make them in a variety of colors out of enameled copper including: burgundy, red, amber, orange, yellow, lime green, bright green, seafoam green, teal, dark green, dark teal, ice blue, peacock blue, royal blue, navy blue, purple, lavender, violet, lilac, eggplant, pink, fuschia, gunmetal, black, silver, gold, copper and antique brass. All of them are coated with an enamel finish so should not bother anyone with nickel allergies.

Check out my gallery of earrings on the web site here: The cuffs are part way down the page. Let me know what color wire you'd like and any other directives on color scheme, whether you'd like chain embellishments or charms, and I'll whip one up for you for less than $10 (depending on how complicated you want it). Or, if you like to shop in person, you can stop by Fragrant Mushroom Gallery in Sparta and see the ones that are available there for sale. Try something different!

Friday, June 10, 2011


We met our friends Yvonne and Randy last year at MidSouth Con and I knew right away we'd get along. They do chainmaille and wire wrapping that's a style similar to mine (but still recognizably different, we think). They like a lot of the same things. A year and a bit later, we're buds. We've done several shows together in the interim and I discovered something: Von is a way better salesperson than I am in person.

So we struck up a partnership of sorts: they are taking some of my jewelry to shows with them, and in charge of customer contact at shows we are both at. I, on the other hand, am taking over their online sales and promotion PR.

So, without further adieu, I present to you Back to Earth Creations. On their website you'll find a variety of jewelry (it also is in the process of being updated). I tend to wire wrap pendants, whereas Von creates these intricate full necklace pieces like the one above . She also has amazing bellydance outfits, and wood burned boxes. I am in charge of their Etsy shop, where I'm in the process of getting lots of goodies listed. Do check them out, and expect to hear more about them on this woefully neglected blog (I have the best of intentions, I really do...), which will shortly reflect the partnership since I'm going to promote both businesses from here. Welcome!