How It All Works...
A common belief is that there are two kinds of jewelry in this world: machine made and man-made.
In my case, there's also a third kind: woman-made. Love is poured into each piece, along with some of my DNA depending on how elaborate (or frustratingly difficult?) each piece can be.
I create jewelry.
I design it, craft it, inventory it, market it, sell it, and then do it all over again. There is so much that goes into jewelry creation beyond just clipping some wire or attaching an ear hook. I thought I would share some of the process with you in the hopes it may shed some light on why this is something I'm passionate about.
We'll start here. See this pendant?
I have never used so much copper wire on one single piece of jewelry as I did creating her. She was inspired by a design by Julie Hulick (a truly fabulous artist). I wanted to capture this fantastic Prehnite cabochon, so I had to take Julie's original design and customize it (read = math and lots of trial and error) to create the pendant.
The coil around the outside is comprised of four wires:
- A 21-gauge (gauge = wire thickness) base wire
- A 27-inch long 21 gauge wire
- Approximately 18 feet of 28-gauge wire that I hand-wrapped around the 27-inch long wire, and these were then coiled by hand around the base wire
- Finally, a 28-gauge wire that was coiled around the others to act like a spacing wire
Again, this was strictly the outer part of the pendant. I used my chain nose pliers, nylon jaw pliers, wire flush cutters, and my two roughed-up jeweler hands. Then I wrapped...and wrapped...and wrapped...and wrapped some more. I coiled, and adjusted the coil, and squeezed, and coiled, and pinched, and cut.
(Seriously, you wouldn't think wire could leave you with weathered fisherman hands. Hand-cream and a few days gets me back to new, but until then, it is not pretty.)
Then comes the second part of the pendant (yes - it was two separate pieces combined into one) that was secured over top the coil and the cabochon. This required another two long pieces of 21-gauge wire carefully hand-wrapped in 28-gauge wire. Separate pieces of this section were shaped and wrapped by hand as well.
The bail is also made up of two hand-wrapped sections, carefully laying over top of each other. The back of the pendant involves weaving the bail to the frame to secure it - also by hand.
In the end, I spent approximately 6 hours creating this pendant. That's right - 6 HOURS. I am super proud of her and think she's phenomenal.
Afterwards, she was oxidized to create the antique finish, scrubbed clean, then polished and photographed for posting on social media and in the shop. (By the way - I capture and edit all of my own photographs for my jewelry - didn't I mention that?)
I don't have any step-by-step images of creating the Oydis Pendant, but I do have some of the creation of these custom Malachite earrings in Sterling Silver:
So there you have it. It's not easy, but when you have created something beautiful by hand, it's completely worth it.
Interested in a custom piece? Contact me! We can talk colors, stones, likes, dislikes, interests - but no politics! I'll guide you by giving you some ideas, and you'll tell me once we've reached the perfect piece (for you or your loved one).