Oceanic Beads: Glass, pearl and lampwork jewelry

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Memories of Shell-combing in my beach-side childhood

Have been mostly working on the less creative behind-the-scenes stuff this past week. Totally redid all my current shop listing photos... the whole shop looks so many million times better now, much more cohesive and consistent. Also been getting my paperwork and filing sorted out properly, with proper places for everything etc. Too bad I haven't got room in my tiny apartment (just slightly more than a studio) for a dedicated office, it would make everything so much easier. My 'workshop' is my dining table, and my 'office' is the coffee table and couch.

I have some Paua Abalone shell beads on order...from Hong Kong. Despite the fact that Paua are native to New Zealand, Paua shell beads are hard to track down and quite pricey locally. I grew up by the ocean, and when I was quite young...6-7(late 1980's early 90's) maybe, you could walk along the beach and find Paua half shells washed in on the high tideline. You could also find the small variety living on the rocks under the 'hill' that stuck out into the harbour. By the time we moved when I was 13 though, they were becoming rare. Overharvesting, and people taking the immature Paua(there is a size and number limit on what you can take, but it's widely flouted).

Below is a photo of the 'hill' I'm talking about. Mt Paku, in, Tairua, New Zealand, taken from the surf beach side.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Meet the other member of my shop

Today I'm going to introduce you to the other member of my shop. She's my biggest 'help', and my biggest fan. She's always interested in what I'm doing, and always does her best to 'help':

Meet Random. Here she was supervising product photography. After all, someone has to make sure I'm doing it right...

Random likes sleeping, eating, sleeping on me, biting me when I won't feed her extra and sitting on the keyboard, newspaper and the middle of my jewelry worktable. And for some reason, she must always supervise me in the bathroom. She's worse than a toddler! She also has a habit of sitting on my laptop keyboard and making the computer do funny things. And sushi. She always tries to steal sushi, and will come running if you open a tin can (even baked beans), or pour cereal. Food is her one true love.

Friday, 14 June 2013

New listings. Fuchsia Agate, and Lapis Lazuli and Shell Earrings

Had a productive week, with 4 new pieces made, and 2 listed in my shop.

I'm having trouble photographing the other two, a pair of pink mother of pearl and lapis lazuli clip on earrings, and a pair of green glass silver chain earrings, which is proving a pain to position and photograph right.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Turquoise Gemstone Bracelet; Semiprecious Gemstones

I didn't get as much done this week as I planned, but I did manage to list this

I also managed, while trying to glue a bail to a pendant, glue my fingers to each other, to the bail, and to the pendant, but not the bail to the pendant. No photos sorry. bit hard to photograph your own fingers when they've got various objects stuck to them.

I have some Lapis Lazuli beads, and some Fuchsia-colored Dragon's Vein Agate beads on order, along with some more mundane supplies such as earwires and head/eyepins. I love Lapis Lazuli, and I rather fell for the Dragon's Vein Agate. Genuine semi-precious gemstones and minerals are my favorite materials to work with, also freshwater pearls and sterling silver for particularly special pieces. Luckily I prefer semi-precious to precious, so my taste doesn't outrun my budget, lol.

Oceanic Beads

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Golden Tangles, the Work-In-Progress. Polymer Plans; and Metalsmith Dreams.

Gold embroidery floss: Beautiful effects when finished but a right royal pain-in-the-you-know-what to work with. The embroidered pendant Work-In-Progress is to have a gold border to imitate(you guessed it) a gold metal frame. I'm halfway around the perimeter and have already lost count of the times the needle eye has cut through the thread, become entirely unthreaded, or tangled up in itself. Think trying to sew with one strand of christmas tinsel and you're not far off. The concept is always more straightforward than the execution. Always.

I have a lot of polymer clay that's been in storage for several years that I'm slowly reconditioning for a few ideas I have. I've got the brown done, but it's a slow process and a whole LOT of clay.

 One of the local High Schools in the area has an extensive offering of night classes that they hold every term. I did a small business management night class there a couple of years ago, and am looking wistfully at their beginners metalsmithing classes for next term. It's rather pricey, plus the tools and supplies are also spendy...so I don't know. But I really really want to do it. Really really really. If I don't eat for a month or two maybe I can do it...

Oceanic Beads