The Roller Coaster Weave

Just finished a design that I am very happy about. It is a pattern that I will repeat and I am calling it the Roller Coaster Weave. It is my new template for bead rings. I have been wearing this ring today and I am in love with it!

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The wire base is 16 gauge sterling silver, hammered and structured into a circle. The weave wire is argentium sterling silver. Argentium is marked by .935 instead of regular sterling silvers .925 mark. This alloy contains more silver mixed with germanium. Argentium resists tarnish more than the standard sterling silver.

Rainforest Jasper (Rhyolite) is a beautiful and fascinating stone to look at. It is volcanic material formed by the process of heating and cooling in the magma or lava. It contains quartz with a composition very similar to that of granite. It is mined in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Mexico, India, Venezuela, Uruguay, Madagascar, Egypt and other parts of the world. Every area has its own version and appearance that makes it unique to that particular place.

For those who follow the metaphysical practices, Rainforest Jasper connects one with the earth and is helpful in connecting with nature and emotional healing. Its energy is known to invigorate and add to one’s positive attitude in the enjoyment of life.

Check out the listing in my Etsy store: https://etsy.me/2RcFOu9

Polishing Wire Wrap

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Wire Wrap Pendant

So now you have this beautiful piece of wire wrapped jewelry. It is a treasure and something special you want to preserve and take care of. I receive many questions from people about how to care for the stones and the wire. Wire wrapped jewelry is not something you want to soak in commercial cleaning solutions. Sometimes, a mild soap mixed with water will do the trick.

I usually list in the description of my pieces as to whether or not I have sealed the wire with a clear varnish or clear resin to prevent tarnishing. Even with sealing, metals will begin to show the signs of exposure to the elements of air, sun, sweat and all those other things you don’t necessarily think about like, hairspray or perfumes and colognes. These do have an effect on all metals including, gold.

When you do see a bit of tarnish begin to spread on your sterling silver or copper wire, one of the first steps you can take is to polish the metal lightly with a polishing cloth. Most jewelry stores sell these cloths, you just have to ask for them at the counter.

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Wire wrapped pendant being polished using a standard polishing cloth.

Another step would be a polish that will last longer and protect the metal. There are many products sold for polishing silver, brass and copper metals. These are good polishing products and they put a barrier of protection on the metal so the shine lasts longer. You can use a cotton swab to spread the polish on and buff it off. A rinsing of mild soap and water also does the trick for lesser tarnished areas.

 

For copper, there are some more natural polishing products you can try such as ketchup and toothpaste. It takes longer with these products but, if you have some time and patience, it can’t hurt!

The best way to preserve any and all jewelry pieces is to keep them in separate containers and sealed. Jewelry boxes are fine but, if you are like me, you know how that goes. I am not the best at keeping things nice and neat and separated in my jewelry box. I am sometimes very bad at quickly throwing my earrings in the box and not thinking anything of it. Well, nicks and scratches occur when we do this so, if you really care about certain pieces, you will want to take the extra time and keep things neat and separated. Little plastic bags are the best for preventing future tarnish.

As far as the stones, you don’t want to put any stones in any harsh chemicals. If you go swimming in the pool, take your jewelry off! The chlorine is bad for metal and stone.

Enjoy that precious piece of history you are wearing and yes, it is a part of history. Metal and stone come from the earth and it has taken some time for both to evolve, grow, metamorphose into the very thing you are wearing.

The Weave

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Ammonite fossil in copper weave bezel

The weave is the most beautiful wire wrap design to me. It is a design that goes back to the foundational elements of basket weaving. Basket weaving is a craft that is centuries old. In fact, because of the natural elements used in basket weaving, it is hard for historians to put an exact period of time when basket weaving first came into practice. The natural materials in baskets often decay over time so, much of what was created so many years ago has been lost.

Why weave with wire? Well, for one, it is strong. The weave has a “basket” kind of effect. It holds a stone and a shape very well. It is a beautiful, intricate display that catches the eye. The first stone I worked on while learning the weave wrap was a river rock. The more I practiced doing the weave, the most versatility I found in the design. The weave is the staple of my designs. It is the basis of most of my work.

I just completed this ring, which is a weaved band. The band is very comfortable and strong. Since it is done in sterling silver, it will need to be polished which, can easily be done with a polishing cloth. Polishing cloths can be purchased at any local jewelry store at very inexpensive pricing (usually between $8 – $10 and they can last many years).

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Faceted Aventurine Round wired into weave wrap ring
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Antique Cross Key

The Doodle Cross

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A few years ago I did some doodle drawings using one continuous line to create patterns. A doodle, by definition, is to scribble aimlessly. There was something about the flow of the lines that an idea began to evolve. The doodle is a lot like life. It curves, turns, overlaps, seemingly goes in reverse, and spirals. A doodle can seem out of control but, something special happens once the doodle is done, you see a magnificent pattern.

I created a design from the concept of my doodle drawings and called it, the doodle cross. The first design was commissioned for a priest who was getting ready to leave for Alaska. I am a bit of a collector of minerals and gems and I happened to have a nice slab of blue jade from Alaska.

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Natural Blue Jade from Alaska

The meaning behind the design: The doodle cross has significant meaning in the continuing walk with Christ. The cross is eclectic. There is silver and there is gold. There is a little sparkle of brightness here and there. Sometimes, it is bound because of the things that hold us back in life: fear, anger, pain, unforgiveness, jealousy, hate.

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Red Swarovski crystals and other crystal beads. Aluminum wire.

 

There are various red Swarovski crystals spread throughout. These crystals represent the blood of Christ. The Cross is a symbol used to meditate upon as a reminder of a sacrifice. It is not just about a sacrifice but, for those who believe, there is an ultimate success. In the midst of the unfolding of a plan, things seemed out of control. Complete chaos and struggle pursued and then, eventually, a death. Through the madness, sense of loss and despair, there was a light and the light meant hope. The doodle represents all the struggle and chaos but, also, a light of hope that all, in the end, is not lost. No, it is actually saved.

The Doodle represents a journey. It is sometimes smooth and happy. Sometimes extremely painful and lonely. Through it all, God is ever present. The Doodle Cross is a personal reminder that through the sunlight and clouds of our lives there is a Refiner and Purifier of silver at work; a Potter molding the clay.

 

 

Astro what?

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Astrophyllite – it’s not a baseball team. Sorry to disappoint the sports fans. It is a mineral with a mix of potassium, sodium, iron, manganese, and titanium. The wonder and beauty of minerals is the whole gourmet mix! Minerals are my specialty. I love them because they are not the typical items you find in commercial jewelry stores. I work with gemstones too, but, the mineral world is just as beautiful and eye inspiring and doesn’t get the attention is so deserves.

This special mineral is found in the USA, Greenland and Norway. The most precious material is known to come from the Kola Peninsula of Russia.

For those who like to know about the metaphysical stuff, this complex mineral has been noted to have the energy to assist one in self-acceptance, self-knowledge and forgiveness.

In this piece, is my weave style of wire wrap using traditional copper wire along with a bronze color copper wire. The wire is sealed with a clear lacquer to prevent tarnishing. The beads are sterling silver with silver wire and dyed, faceted Jade beads.

This piece is currently listed in my Etsy store.

The Turritella Agate Mishap

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This piece is listed in my Etsy store

Turritella Agate or Turritella Fossil is what this stone is usually called in the “market” and by “market” that means the jewelry makers and gem and mineral wholesalers. This name is actually incorrect. When it was initially discovered this material was thought to be the spiral-shaped gastropod (snail), turritella. What it really is is a freshwater snail called, Elimia tenera, which belongs to the Pleuroceridae family.  The photo below shows the actual turritella (fossil shells). Personally, I wouldn’t know the difference but, what makes it important is that elimia tenera is extinct. The turritella is still found along the coastline of beaches.

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Photo credit: By Wilson44691 – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5526735

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Photograph of a belt buckle made from chalcedony with fossilized Elimia tenera shells (formerly Goniobasis tenera and incorrectly Turritella) from the Eocene Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA. Belt buckle made and photograph taken by Thaddeus P. Bejnar, in the workshop of Waldemere Bejnar.

By Thaddeus P. Bejnar, Bejnar – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7003062

The Journey Begins

Welcome and thank you for joining me on this new journey!

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Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaleido comes from the word kaleidoscope. I like the kaleidoscope’s magic of mirrors and the shift and change of shapes and colors. The etmyology of kaleidoscope is Greek kalos beautiful + eidos form + English -scope — (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kaleidoscope)

This is the way I like to view my custom designs in wire. Each design is its own, not from a mass production line but handmade one-of-a-kind. It makes each piece special in design and spirit.

I am excited with this new site which I am still in the midst exploring and creating! Thanks again for sharing this with me, the one or two of you out there, and I hope to have much fun with the creation of more custom designs. See you again shortly!