Monday, 16 May 2016

Blushing Beads

My latest commission has been fantastic because I have had lots of freedom to create a theme and produce 3 different pieces for a complete set. I also got to flex my silversmithing muscles as I created a Fantasy style necklace to complete the set that is to be worn with one of my mega charm beads

Ok so the brief was to create a set of charm beads to wear to a wedding in Las Vegas!! There needed to be plenty of bling, which meant I could use lots of inclusions in my glass like fine silver droplets, fine silver foil, cubic zirconias and I could use lots of glass because she wanted the charm bracelet bit to literally be dripping off her arm; but the colour of the dress my client was wearing is VERY subtle a kind of almost pink but not too 'rosy'. A bit 'champagne' but not too yellow....

So the beads that I made could not argue with the dress at all and the colour palette had to remain really subtle otherwise the jewellery would completely overpower the dress!

Here is the dress and a close up of the fabric. You can see that what ever jewellery is worn with it has to work with the colours of the fabric itself and the colours of the shadows that naturally fall as the dress is in two layers. The holes are quite defined on the bare skin part of the dress as well which means that my client's skin tone will also alter the look of the colour too.

(My client has a good tan at the moment which means there is a more caramel look to those parts of the dress which needed to be taken into account).

This was the colour palette that we chose at the start of the project. Later on, we warmed it up with a bit of amber and caramel added in...

Here are the beads one by one with a bit of detail about each of them:

I bought in these Swarovski bricolette charm beads to complement the set. They bring an extra bit of sparkle to the bracelet...

Here is the finished bracelet shown from different angles. I took these pics in sunlight to catch all the sparkle I could! The bracelet is shown complete with a number of specially chosen Trollbeads and Redbalifrog silvers to finish it off to a tee...

And here are the earrings and mega charm pendant bead shown on a classic necklace and on the new Fantasy style necklace that I made.

We went very simple with the earrings. I chose some simple Swarovski Crystal beads and made them into earrings using sterling silver earwires.
This bead is over 20 mm in diameter. It's got lots of colours and spirals going all the way round.

I delicately put the necklace together using 100cm of sterling silver chain. I soldered the important parts that needed strength, then oxidised the entire piece and polished it back. I love the result! I can make more of them if required at a fraction of the price of what the big guys charge...

That's all for now. Thank you for taking the time to browse my blog... x

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

New Dragonfly Pendants

I have always loved dragonflies and I wanted to use them as an icon for my glass work as they stand for lightness, elegance, freshness and colour which are the kinds of values I want to imbue in my glass.

Meadowhawk was perfect as a brand name for my company. I loved the sound and connotations of the word 'Meadowhawk' on it's own. It's all about naturalness and the countryside and outdoors but more importantly a meadowhawk is a kind of dragonfly. We call them 'Darters' here n the UK.

For ages I have been working on a little side-project which is to get a nice design for a dragonfly pendant. Here's where I have got to so far....

Here is my workspace set up for dragonfly making...

Here are my dragonfly colours and tools...

First all I have to make a selection of wings.

Sometimes I make them totally clear, other times they have wispy bits of black in them and other transparent glass colours to suggest the little veins in the wings of a real dragonfly.

They don't look much like wings yet do they? Hee Hee!

This little guy has a bit of a stubby tail I think. But he's still cute

This one is the middle size one in the family. I like the way the metallic glass on his back has fumed onto the blue glass making a hazy green metallic effect....

 This one is a bit bigger and looks rather elegant on:

I hope you enjoyed my dragonflies. More coming soon xxx

Memorial Beads

Hi there! 

The other day I got a little commission request for a memorial bead, so I thought that it might be nice to show some of my memorial beads and explain a little bit about them.

When someone loses a close relative or a beloved pet there is a real need for some people to keep a little memory of them close to their heart. 

I know this all too well as when my beloved Dennis died (our eleven year old chocolate Labrador) I kept his ashes under my bed for a year before I finally decided to do something with them. I just felt happy knowing that he was near me every night when I was asleep. It gave me the connection with him that I still really needed even after he had passed away.

It is possible to encase fragments of cremated ashes within glass and I have some beads that I've made in this way here to show you. By doing this a little piece of your loved ones can be kept near you at all times and any time you want to you can look at them and remember them. It's also nice because they give you a tangible reminder that you can actually hold in your hand and touch which is very comforting! 

The memorial pieces don't have to necessarily be jewellery. 

Men for example might prefer a little glass pebble that they can keep in a drawer or even in a pocket. or little bead on a string or ribbon which is simply intended as a keepsake rather than a bead to be worn.

That's enough chat. I will let the beads do the talking for the most part!

This is a colour-changing 'Silver Glass' pendant. You can see the little swirls of ash encircle the bubble.

Here is the same pendant with a matching set of charm beads.

The following items were individual charm bead commissions:

(There is a lovely swirl around this one)

This one has a kind of Galaxy/Space kind of feel about it.... It was made big enough to be worn as a pendant on a cord or leather thong. Alternatively it can be worn on the wrist like a regular charm bead.

This one was such a beauty, I couldn't leave it out!

The next set of beads are more 'Organic' in style and more natural and earthy looking:

This picture shows a pretty good close up of what's going on inside the bead. I love the design that the ash helps to make inside. Each one is so individual and unique.

The last set shown here are much more simple in style and the ash particles are more visible in some cases. These ones I like to call 'Clarity'. Even though they can be made in all kinds of colours I think blues, greens and purples look the best.
These show various levels of visibility of the ash. Some people like that the ash is almost fully hidden so only they know that it's there. Other's like it to be fully visible...

The little bubbles seen here are a natural part of the process...
This one is a pretty bluey/pink colour.

This one is an interesting mix of turquoise and amber transparent glass:

This one is a more pure watery blue with clear encasing. This means that you can see pretty good detail of the ashes particles:

I hope you have enjoyed having a look at these.
Best wishes to everyone! xxx