Lampwork Bead Bangle Bracelet

bangle bracelet

Bangle Bracelets

A bangle bracelet is a rigid bracelet.  Most of the time the bracelet does not have a clasp and just slips over the hand.

The bracelet pictured above is an oldy but goody design of mine.  Lampworked beads and cast silver beads are strung on a wire and finished with a swan clasp.  The bracelet is rigid but the clasp helps when putting it on.

These particular glass beads I made for this bracelet are very organic in shape.  I call them my desert Venetian beads because I usually make them with gold or silver foil which has been covered with transparent glass like the picture of Venetian beads below.

Venetian beads

My beads definitely have a more earthy feel.

But I just had a client that wanted a splash of dichroic glass in that shape instead of foil so I made the beads in the bracelet above.  I think you can see the splashes of pink and purple tucked underneath a transparent brown glass.  I’m very happy with how they turned out.  So the bracelet is off to a new home tomorrow.

creating the desert in glass and metal


Earrings – what kind do you like to wear?

sterling silver earrings

A new style of earrings I’m working on

Earrings as Adornment

Did you know that the original purpose for an earring was probably protection? But ears are also perfect to hold an ornament. Ears can be pierced – sometimes in many places. Ears are all shapes and sizes and can be adorned with a variety of shapes and materials. It is very seductive to wear an earring.
Of all the different kinds of jewelry worn by men and women, none has as much controversy and variety of symbolism as earrings. At times, only men wore them. At other times, they were only acceptable to be worn by women. In some cultures, they are a sign of wealth, and in others a sign of slavery, prostitution or thievery.

Regardless of who wears them, earrings are an excellent way to express oneself, and a fashionable pair that is well-designed can truly make a statement.

So what kind of earring do you like to wear?  
I prefer a small dangle earring.  
But I have been wearing my hair a little longer so I have gotten bold and my earrings are getting longer.

The photo on the top is a new design and I like them because they are formed with a cold connection.  The next photo shows a pair of earrings I made in a class at the Bead and Button Show.

sterling silver earrings

creating the desert in glass and metal

Using Turquoise in My Art Jewelry

The Meaning of Turquoise

Turquoise is perhaps the oldest stone in man’s history, the talisman of kings, shamans, and warriors. It is a stone of protection, strong and opaque, yet soothing to the touch, healing to the eye, as if carved from an azure heaven and slipped to earth.

The name Turquoise is derived from the French, pierre turquoise, meaning “Turkish stone,” because the trade routes that brought Turquoise to Europe from the mines in central Asia went through Turkey, and Venetian merchants often purchased the stone in Turkish bazaars.

For nearly a thousand years, Native Americans have mined and fashioned Turquoise, using it to guard their burial sites.  Indian priests wore it in ceremonies when calling upon the great spirit of the sky. Many honored Turquoise as the universal stone, believing their minds would become one with the universe when wearing it. Because of its ability to change colors, it was used in prophesy or divining. To the prehistoric Indian, Turquoise, worn on the body or used in ceremonies always signified the god of the sky alive in the earth.1

Turquoise Healing Energy

Turquoise is a strengthening stone, good for exhaustion, depression, or panic attacks. It enhances physical and psychic immune systems, supporting the assimilation of nutrients, alleviating pollution and viral infections. It is anti-inflammatory and detoxifying, reducing excess acidity and benefiting gout, rheumatism, and the stomach.  Turquoise is a most efficient healer, providing solace for the spirit and well-being for the body. It benefits the overall mood and emotion by balancing and inducing a sense of serenity and peace. Holding or wearing Turquoise helps restore depleted vitality and lifts sagging spirits. It relieves stress and brings focus back to the center heart.

Turquoise is the traditional birthstone of those born in December.  Turquoise is one of the zodiac stones for those born under the sign, Sagattarius, between November 22 and December 21, the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter. Sagittarians are optimistic, kind, and adventurous, and their outlook on life is extremely positive.

Turquoise Stones

Turquoise from different mines are very different in appearance.  Today I am going to talk about 2 types – Royston and Kingman because I was lucky to acquire some wonderful cabochons last year at the gem and jewelry shows in Tucson.  I’m in the process of making some rings this week.  (I need to use up my stash before I can buy new stones!!!)

Royston Turquoise


Royston is a turquoise mine located within the Royston District near Tonopah, Nevada. The Royston District consists of several mines including Royston, Royal Blue, Oscar Wehrend and Bunker Hill. While Royston is considered an active mine, it is a very small operation. Royston turquoise is known for its beautiful deep green to rich light blue colors. Royston stones are often two-tone, displaying both dark and light green and sometimes blue. Royston has a heavy matrix ranging from dark brown to gold in color. This matrix makes for beautiful combinations with the color variations of the stone. Today, the Royston district is still producing turquoise of high quality, but in limited amounts.

Kingman Turquoise



Copper mining in the Mineral Park Mining District around Kingman has produced a large supply of turquoise through the years. The Kingman mine re-opened in September 2004 after being closed since the 1970’s. About 95% of Kingman is stabilized which makes it very affordable. The remaining 5% of the Kingman turquoise stays in its natural state. High-grade Kingman turquoise is medium to dark blue color and frequently flecked with pyrite and sometimes quarts. In its high-grade form it has always been considered among the top quality turquoise. The best Kingman being produced today is deep blue with black matrix with some being spider web.

I’ll post pictures of the rings as soon as they are done.

creating the desert in glass and metal




Flush stone setting

Flush Stone Setting – Learning a New Technique

I enjoy learning new techniques when making jewelry.  So often I will design a project that incorporates a technique I would like to try.  I wrote about my new series called 4 corners and the first piece I designed was a ring.  I decided it needed a little bling and decided it needed a stone.  More specifically it needed a small stone which would be flush set.

flush setting

Flush stone setting is definitely an advanced stone setting technique.  So I really read as many articles about this technique that I could.  I especially liked a video by Nancy Hamilton, and an article on the ganoksin site by Gerald Lewy.  Then I practiced on some copper.  And finally attempted the setting on the ring.  I definitely need a little more practice.  Measurements and drilling need to be very accurate.  And next time I would drill the original hole for the setting before I formed the ring.  I couldn’t finish the hole on the inside of the ring the way it should have been.  But overall I am happy.  I did drill the hole with the stone setting burr just a tad too large and was forced to apply a little chemical bond to make sure the stone stays put.  So this ring will end up in my jewelry stash.  But I am very happy with the design and have more rings in progress on the bench right now.  I also designed the ring with an adjustable band so that it will be easier to fit.  And there is a pendant and bracelet and earrings designed now too.  Hope to have them in my shop mid January.

flush stone setting

flush stone setting

creating the desert in glass and metal

Mesa Necklace with Hollow Bead

Mesa Necklace with hollow bead

This necklace has a sterling silver pendant etched with a hand drawn image inspired by the mesas of Arizona.  I added an amber hollow bead.

The necklace is long without a clasp – great for layering on a fall sweater

The necklace measures 28 inches

The silver pendant and bead add another  3 inches

The pendant measures 3/4 inch by 2 inches

The lampworked bead measures 14mm by 20mm

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

It’s in my Etsy shop now

creating the desert in glass and metal

Four Corners – a new series

New Project – Four Corners

I am currently starting to work on a new series – the Four Corners – so I thought I would take you along on the journey from beginning to end.  So first is the inspiration.  Something pops into my mind that I want to explore.  This time its the Four Corners.  The Four Corners is a region of the United States consisting of the southwestern corner of Colorado, southeastern corner of Utah, northeastern corner of Arizona, and northwestern corner of New Mexico.  It is the only location in the United States where four states meet. Most of the Four Corners region belongs to semi-autonomous Native American nations, the largest of which is the Navajo Nation, followed by Hopi, Ute, and Zuni tribal reserves and nations. The Four Corners region is part of a larger region known as the Colorado Plateau and is mostly rural, rugged, and arid. In addition to the monument, commonly visited areas within Four Corners include Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Canyon, and Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The most populous city in the Four Corners region is Farmington, New Mexico, followed by Durango, Colorado.

Four Corners

I decided that the first piece of jewelry I wanted to create is a ring.  I also decided that I wanted this ring design to be adjustable because they are easier for clients to purchase than a fixed size ring.  I plan to wear this ring on my middle finger which I know its a size 7 – ish so the ring shank has to be about 58mm.  The ring would not have much of an opening for a size 7 but could be adjusted wider up to maybe an 8.5 where there would be a little space in the band where it met on the backside of the finger.  Then I decided I wanted this ring to be one piece instead of a shank and a top.  In order to get a template I like to design in Adobe Illustrator.  By no means am I an expert on this software, but I can get some simple designs sketched this way and then they are easily printed off so I can reproduce the design without having to start drawing from scratch.

four corners design

I then print the design and cut the shape out and try it on to make sure it is what I had in mind.

four corners template

I have decided that I am going to add wire embellishments along the shank and from top to bottom which will define the four quadrants.  And I drew in 4 dots where I am contemplating adding 4 stones using a gypsy setting.  I have done a gypsy setting only a few times and not in awhile so this will be a little challenge for me.  Also forming this syle ring takes a little patience and strength.  But it will be fun.

four corners

Yep… just what I wanted..

creating the desert in glass and metal

Desert Blooms Bead – Mesa Series Necklace

Blooms in the Desert




I love the desert blooms

They are opulent

and sometimes ephemeral….  living for just a few hours

Desert Blooms in glass


So one of my favorite beads to make is one I call the “Desert Bloom Bead” and it is captured forever in glass

So the Mesa Series Necklaces had to have one with a Desert Bloom bead





The sterling silver chain is long

and slips over your head

Available in my shop October 30

creating the desert in glass and metal


Monsoon Sky

Monsoon Sky

The Tucson monsoon season is officially over.  It was certainly dramatic this year and dumped 20% more rain in Tucson than usual.  I guess that means our yard will be scattered with 20% more weeds too… but I’m not complaining.  The rain was awesome!

The skys are beautiful during or just before a monsoon rain.  Sometimes there are lots of orange.  but one night the sky had an unbelievable pink.


So I had to make a bead – right?

monsoon sky bead

Some blues, golds, pinks, and a swirl of fine silver wire heavily encased in clear glass.

So it went into one of the “Mesa Series Necklaces”

monsoon sky bead necklace


monsoon bead


no clasp

long sterling chain fits right over your head

etched sterling silver “Mesa” pendant is blackened and hallmarked

available October 30 in my shop

creating the desert in glass and metal


Scroll Bead in a Mesa Series Necklace



Can you see the delicate scroll in this lampworked bead?  If you follow me you know that I am inspired by the deserts of the Southwest.  I love the colors, the textures, the flora and the animals.  And I find the rock art and petroglyphs amazing.  Some person, a long time ago, took time to carve and paint images on the rocks.  Rock art is an expression of humanity, symbols of a culture that have persisted for millennia.  Ancient drawings, carvings and paintings on rock provide inspiration for the mind, limited only by the farthest boundaries of our imagination. Rock art is a window on our past and, most of all, a marvelous mystery captured on cliffs and rocks throughout the American Southwest.  The scroll  as it appears on my bead probably doesn’t exist per se on any rocks in the Southwest.  It is my expression of a graceful line.  On the bead it is created with ivory glass that has silver leaf mixed in.  The glass is pulled thin and applied to the base bead not in the flame but in the outer reaches of the heat of the flame.  It takes patience, control – and minimal coffee in the morning.  The result is an earthy brushstroke, a graceful arc, an undulating decoration found in many aspects of life.

Mesa Series Necklace with Scroll Lampworked Bead





It’s the shortest necklace in series.  The sterling silver pendant is hallmarked with my initials on the back.  Available in my shop October 30.

creating the desert in glass and metal

infidelity is less about sex than it is about intimacy

that magnetic line of connection between two bodies and their secret selves

Intimacy shared with another person is often the first real betrayal to any union, and the first plunge out of one’s depth.

The Mesa Series

Mesa Series

Mesa Series

I etched some sterling silver with a hand drawn design inspired by the mesas of Arizona.  I then cut the silver into various shaped pendants sometimes put together with brass rivets.  Each one is hallmarked.  I added a lampworked bead and created some necklaces.  The Mesa Series

A mesa is an area of high land with a flat top and two or more steep, cliff like sides.


These pendants will be in my shop on October 30th

creating the desert in glass and metal