Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Larimar princess pendant

The first time I heard of Larimar was about 5 years ago when I went to a local lapidary show. I had just joined a lapidary club then, and I saw these beautiful blue cabochons on sale at the show. One senior member of the club went by and gave me a little education session about Larimar. At the time I was a novice and had no idea how to set stones, but I bought a couple anyway because they're just so pretty. Anyhow, a couple of years ago, I wrapped one with sterling silver wire and added a few tiny pearls, silver beads, and Swarovski beads and stones, and kept it for myself. The pendant reminds me of a princess in a fairy tale, with its delicate colours and sparkles. The colours are closer to real life in the second photo, but the wirework shows up better on the darker background of the first photo. I still have a few cabs in my stash but haven't decided what to do with them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another steampunk pendant - Time Fairy

Finished this pendant necklace a few days ago, and named it "Time Fairy". Some of you may remember a mixed media collage I did recently, with the same name, which I posted on May 14th. I took a picture of it, reduced it in size, printed it out, and turned it into an oblong cabochon using polymer clay and resin. Added bits and pieces and made it into a pendant. It's really difficult to photograph the cab because of its highly reflective surface. In real life, the picture in the cab actually looks a lot clearer, and the piece is also quite sparkly because of all the crystals. The little key at the top of the pendant was bright golden in colour when I bought it, and I used a combination of ammonia and a Verdigris solution to give it this lovely patina, which I'm really pleased with. The style is obviously quite different from my other steampunk pendant "Cheshire Cat", as I wanted to experiment and see which I like better. What do you think? I really enjoy making these and have another design in mind which I will get to when I have time. Again, please click on the pictures for larger views. Hope you like!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Madam Rose of Shanghai

Well, as the Bead & Button Show is well on its way and the winners of Bead Dreams 2010 have been announced, I guess I can now post pictures of my entry "Madam Rose", which has been accepted as a finalist in the wirework category of this year's competition. I made the enamel pendant last year, and the story behind the piece was posted in my blog a little while back (see post 3rd August 2009). It took me several months to collect all the stones and beads, and another couple of months to assemble the piece. The necklace was constructed with wire wrapping techniques using sterling silver wire, patinaed with liver of sulphur then polished again. It didn't receive a ribbon in the competition, but I'm happy to have got through as a finalist and had the opportunity to have the piece exhibited at the Bead & Button Show. Just wish I could be there! Please click on the pictures if you'd like a larger view.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cheshire Cat - my first steampunk pendant

This is my first ever steampunk pendant, inspired by the recent Steampunk Alice in Wonderland beading challenge on the Australian Beading Forum. The cat's face was a small cabochon I made with white polymer clay, then painted with acrylics and watercolours, and sealed with a thin layer of resin. I used a fair bit of pearlescent watercolours (Twinkling H2O) so it's quite shimmering in real life. There are stripes on the cat's face which are difficult to see in the photos. The whole pendant is actually quite small, with the head and body measuring about 4.5cm in total length. The ears were made from cut out sections of a flattened bead cap, and the components were secured with beaded bezels using mainly size 11 and 15 seedies. I stuck a few Swarovski flatbacks on the watch movement to give it some extra sparkles. I even "sacrifice" a couple of my vintage Swarovski beads for the necklace part to tie in with the vintage theme. I really enjoyed making this and will no doubt make more, maybe a more serious one next time? Please click on the photos if you would like a larger view. Hope you like him!