lampwork and sterling silver statement neckaces

I have been busy in the studio building up my inventory for a show I will be doing in Tucson January 20-21.  If you live in Tucson I hope to see you there.

La Encantada Fine Art Festival

I will have 12 necklaces from my newest collection – called recherché.  Roughly translated from the French it means exquisite and rare.  Most of them in this grouping are one of a kind.  They have a lampworked cabochon that I made that cannot be duplicated exactly or they contain a special stone.  There is a short and long version of the teardrop necklace without enhancements.  Here is a glimpse.

sterling-silver-statement-necklace-lampwork-bead

 

I will describe each piece in more detail in separate posts.

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casual chic statement necklace

casual-statement-necklace

I am really loving these necklaces.

I wore it all dressed up over the holidays….  but I also wear it with jeans.

casual-statement-necklace

 

I have named the collection – recherché – which means exquisite, choice, exotic and rare.  I am making them with glass cabochons that I flamework in the torch.  And sometimes I use a particularly fine stone that have acquired over the years.  Some are minimal like the one I am wearing and some of them are a little more showy.  Most of them are on the teardrop chain that I have become enamored with.  

They will be in the shop mid January.  

They will also be at the show I am doing in Tucson on January 20 – 21 at Las Encanatada Shopping Center.  If you live in Tucson I hope you stop by to say hello.

every-day-style

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I have been busy designing a new collection – recherche

I’m supposed to be designing my spring collection….   well it’s designed, so I just have to get out there and make what is on paper. 

But in the meantime…. I have these exquisite glass cabochons that I make

and a bunch of them have been sitting there on the bench… for about a year now. 

I originally was going to make lots and lots of rings, but I decided to go with some necklaces. 

And more importantly a necklace at a price point that is affordable for an every day piece.  A “go to” piece. 

One that you would wear with your jeans or whatever you wear to hang out at home. 

Of course these pieces would also look good with your workday outfit if getting up and going to the office is your daily activity. 

I even tried one out at the gym.

every-day-style

 

Definition of recherché

 exquisite, choice
 exotic, rare
I think these are exquisite.  They are bold yet minimal at the same time.
And the “stone” is a glass cab – so no 2 will ever be exactly the same…. therefore rare
The glass used in this cab is a black glass from Italy that is loaded with silver so when you work it in the flame all sorts of gorgeous colors appear.  And the glass gets a matte finish…. sometimes.  
This one is over the top beautiful.
I am going to try to get a better photo of just the glass.
The chain is sterling silver in a nice heavy gauge
It’s a tear drop shape.
I plan to make ovals and rounds and even squares
but I chose the tear drop to start because of it’s special meaning to me.
There is even a plain one – to layer.
 
Want to know when they hit the shop?
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Sorrow, saying sorry

Saying sorry  (spoiler alert – a rant is following)

(skip to the bottom to see something jewelry related)

Definition of sorrow

1 : deep distress, sadness, or regret especially for the loss of someone or something loved
2 : a cause of grief or sadness
3 : a display of grief or sadness

Okay I cannot keep quiet about the fall of many high profile men who are being called out by woman for sexual misconduct committed in the past.  First of all yeah.  Better late than never.  I can understand the silence.  And in reading the accounts I am happy that finally several brave women have come forward and are saying – what happened to me is wrong and I need to speak out.  I cannot allow this behavior to continue.  I cannot condone the crime that was committed against me with silence.  I want the world to know what I have endured and that it was wrong.

Obviously I have been treated to a daily deluge of this kind of news now for many weeks.  Men who have abused their power by having committed an injustice to a fellow person and are now being called out.  So why did the Matt Lauer story induce this rant?

I like to watch CNN or MSNBC on the tv screen on the treadmills at LA Fitness. 

(I work out 4 days a week by walking 2 miles in 30 minutes at the LA fitness near me – yeah me) 

And today I was greeted with Matt Lauer saying 

“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in a statement provided to CNN. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.” 

 

Well, Matt Lauer , it is my opinion that you are not sorry for those acts that you have committed in the past that are now being brought to light.  You are sorry that you have been caught.  You have sorrow that people will now see you in a different light.  You are sorry that you have lost your job.  You are sorry that you feel humiliated now.  And you might be sorry to see the hurt you have caused to your loved ones.  BUT I believe that if Matt Lauer was “sorry” for what he did he might have considered telling the ones he loves about his misdeeds on his own without having been called out by his victims.  That brave action would allow me to have some empathy that perhaps he has reflected on his actions in the past and is appalled at what he has done and he is truly sorry.

And there are other men and woman out there right now.  Perhaps they have abused fellow workers or have cheated on their spouse.  But right now they are sitting there all comfy because that was in the past and I have gotten away with it – whatever it may be.  But let those actions come to light and I bet the “I’m sorrys ” would come pouring out of their mouths.

OK enough…..   you get my point.

What have I been up to?

Well I finished knitting a cowl which I took to Chicago with me.  It came in very handy.

knitted cowl

 

Someone said they didn’t like cowl scarfs because they hid your jewelry……  not so….

statement-necklace-cowl-scarf

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Desert Canyon -inspiration for my art

 

Deserts are living contradictions: seemingly empty but in fact packed with life, burning hot by day yet freezing cold by night, and arid save for that odd flash flood that tears through the land, gouging out great canyons. And nowhere are these canyons more dramatic—and dangerous—than in Arizona.

Antelope Canyon

Here are some photos taken at Antelope Canyon in Arizona.

desert canyon

desert canyon

desert canyon

desert canyon

 

the desert is inspiration for my art jewelry

When I sit down to make glass beads I usually have an idea now what I need and want to make.  That wasn’t always the case.  But I loved to work in the colors found in the desert.  Here is a necklace I made several years ago.  The focal glass bead is from the “canyon” series.

canyon inspiration

 

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Starbucks

I just read that Starbucks is releasing a new fall coffee drink that might just be better than the Pumpkin  Spiced Latte.  It is the MPL  for short – or Maple Pecan Latte.  It is described as an espresso drink with flavor notes of maple syrup, pecan, and brown butter.  Whoa.  That sounds decadent.  I always look forward to the Pumpkin latte but this new drink sounds like something right up my alley.

starbucks maple pecan latte

 

So that brings me to a question. 

How often do you imbibe at a Starbucks or the equivalent? 

My oldest daughter lives in Seattle, and I think I can safely say she has a coffee drink every day. 

Me – maybe once or twice a month. 

I have an amusing story about my parents and Starbucks.  Way way way back in 1990 my parents had a financial advisor who wanted them to invest in a company that was going public.  They lived in Northern Virginia at the time so he invited them to go to a Starbucks in Washington DC with him.  My Mother gleefully told me that she thought he was going crazy.  Her exact words…  who in hell would pay $3.00 for a cup of coffee.  So I guess I don’t need to say out loud that they didn’t invest. 

My Art Jewelry – something new

“Alabaster” Lampworked Beads – in a new necklace

art jewelry

There is an alabaster box
Carved, and beautiful
but fragile
just like my heart.
I trusted.
I felt certain.
But now live with broken promises
But like the box
I will endure

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Earrings and A Few Changes

My Blog and My Newsletter

So if you subscribe to follow my blog I want to let you know that I have changed the way the blogs are delivered to you.  You will get one blog update a week.  I might update the blog more frequently, but this way you will not be inundated with emails from me.  

I also plan to send my newsletter out once a week.  My goal is to have it delivered to you every Sunday morning.  the newsletters will focus more on a history of beads and jewelry while my blogs will give you more behind the scenes of me making beads and jewelry as well as showcasing my work in progress and finished pieces.    The blog and the newsletter should compliment each other.

Please let me know what you think.

If you want to sign up for anything here are the links

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I also send a newsletter which might be more your style….

Stay connected by joining my e-newsletter group

 

So What’s on my Bench Now?

earring
I have challenged myself to make a pair of earrings a day for the month of October.  (Most of them are going to a local shop, but some will hit the website and my new store…)

Earrings always seem to challenge me the most.  I have to make 2 of them…   do they really have to match?  Well, we will see.  Since I will be traveling a bit in October I thought I would get a little head start….  So here is a sneak peak at a pair of earrings I just finished.

 

Speaking of new store…  have you visited?  I would love to hear your thoughts on my fall line…  Harmony

Thanks again everyone for all of your support…

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Yucca Leaf – inspiration for the fall 2017 collection

yucca leaf

Yuccas have long sword-shaped leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are often about 1 to 3 feet in length. Numerous yucca leaves grow in a rosette formation from a thick base.  

 I tell you this because I used the yucca leaf as the inspiration for many pieces in the Fall 2017 Harmony Collection.  I am showing you a photo of a yucca necklace with a handmade glass cabochon.  

yucca leaf necklace

This yucca necklace is a series of links in sterling silver cold connected together to form a collar necklace.  It is lightweight, and very easy to wear.  This yucca necklace has a lampworked cabochon from the Desert Bloom series.

The necklace can be found here

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Giving Back – Art Jewelry for the Humane Society

I love creating my beads and art jewelry.  I’m really not sure what my day would be like if I couldn’t do something creative.  So to give back to the community I have several organizations that I support.  Today I want to talk about the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Art Jewelry for the Humane Society

My husband and I started to volunteer for the Humane Society here in Tucson last year.  We have taken several classes on dog handling and dog walking, so every Saturday morning we get up early to help walk the dogs.  It’s a no kill shelter so the animals stay until they find their forever homes.  And it’s really nice to see what a great job this shelter does both taking care of the animals while they are there as well as finding the right home for the dogs and cats.  I am proud to be a part of this organization.

So I was happy to see that they will be having a big fund raiser on April 22nd called “Putting on the Dog”.  Music, food, auctions  – a fun event to support the Humane Society.  So I thought I would donate a special piece of art jewelry to support the cause.

art jewelry - giving back

This pendant necklace just got dropped off.  I made the bead based on a book I have by Claudia Trimbur Pagel.  She shows how to make several beads and one of them is a “dog bead”.

It felt good to make and even better to give to the Humane Society.  I hope it finds a forever home on April 22nd.

creating the desert in glass and metal

REST IN PEACE

Homer

Homer

2003 – 2017

I miss you

Totally Handmade

handmade

Totally Handmade – what does that mean?

  • sketch the necklace – about a half hour
  • make the lampworked beads – about 2 hours
  • anneal the lampworked beads – 24 hours
  • clean the lampworked beads – 10 min
  • create a template for the silver links – 30 min
  • use template to saw the silver links – 1 hour
  • refine the silver links, and polish – 1.5 hours
  • fabricate the jumprings – 30 min
  • wire the beads – 1 hour
  • fabricate the clasp – 20 min
  • solder the clasp – 10 min
  • clean all of the silver components – 15 min
  • patina the silver components – 15 min
  • wire wrap semi-precious stones to one link – 15 min
  • connect the necklace  15 min
  • photograph the piece 30 min

It’s a lot of work; but I LOVE doing it.

Louise