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Friday, January 26, 2007
My path to a finished piece of jewellery varies greatly - sometimes a design springs to mind fully formed, and I have only to work through the task of making it up, and (more often) components and ideas sit and age for awhile, periodically plucked from the shelf and mulled over, set back to simmer some more, until the day it becomes blindingly obvious what they were meant for all along. One of my favorite pasttimes, particularly when quiet bench time is unavailable, is to pull out the spool of fine silver and a crochet hook or pair of knitting needles, and play with forms - sometimes mathematical ideas like the mobius, and sometimes patterns and motifs borrowed from the world of textiles. A few months back, I was playing around with hyperbolic planes in crochet. The squirmy little bundle of ruffles had obvious potential, but just wouldn't settle into a form I was happy with, so I set it aside. I pulled it out again the other day, flipping it this way and that, when suddenly it folded tidily back into itself, becoming a lovely little orchid.
A luminous strand of graduated purple fluorite completed the transformation.
Posted by Ruth at 1/26/2007 03:14:00 PM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Yesterday, I spent several blissful hours wandering the winding paths of visceral intuition toward a harmonious setting for a large and lavishly layered silver flower. And today, a less blissful but similar expanse of time creating a photographic record to do it justice, helped to some degree by the plodding process of actually reading the camera manual and recording the settings.I was slightly crestfallen to discover the obvious - that a blog's limited file size means there is effectively very little difference between my old and new cameras when displaying the entire piece of jewellery. Also that crocheted silver is not magically rendered easier to photograph by more megapixels, particularly when the sparkle of its highly detailed surface is juxtaposed with richly coloured pearls.
It is also much easier to play with depth of field.
Posted by Ruth at 1/24/2007 05:08:00 PM
Monday, January 22, 2007
A very generous Christmas gift from the in-laws allowed me recently to fulfill my longstanding dream of owning a digital SLR camera. I have a great deal to learn, but even fresh from the box it has been good fun to play with:
This is part of a bracelet knitted in fine silver and freshwater pearls.
Posted by Ruth at 1/22/2007 03:11:00 PM
Friday, January 05, 2007
I've been presented with a very exciting opportunity to collaborate with a talented local glass artist, Duane Perrett of Snow City Glassworks. He handed me some of his fabulous dichroic glass and I let my imagination run wild to create some wonderfully wearable works of art. 1) This flower pendant is crocheted in fine silver around a shimmering dichroic centre, and hangs from a sterling silver chain with handforged sterling clasp.2) This glass pendant is set in a sparkling crocheted silver bezel. Iridescent black shell pearls linked in sterling silver provide the perfect accent.
3) This piece is a bit of a fantasia in hammered sterling silver, swirling sensuously down to the shimmering depths of the focal pendant.
4) And finally, a crocheted silver setting showcases this dichroic piece with elegant simplicity. These pieces will be on display in the showcase at the Fairmont Chateau Mallard Lounge (Whistler) and may be purchased through the Fairmont Chateau Art Gallery.
Posted by Ruth at 1/05/2007 03:35:00 PM
Monday, November 13, 2006
I don't know what took me so long, but since I am both an avid knitter and a jewellery artist, it was a natural extension to develop a line of knitting accessories. The stitch markers are created with Argentium silver, a non-tarnishing sterling silver alloy, and feature fine semi-precious gemstones and pearls. I am also excited about the potential to create imaginative pieces of jewellery to hold the stitch markers when not in use.
Posted by Ruth at 11/13/2006 11:38:00 AM
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. --- Albert Camus Tourmaline has a magnificent depth and range of colour, reflecting the glowing tones of autumn to perfection. I clustered the various hues into little floral motifs, using crochet techniques in fine silver. But the fall garden is also about ending, fullness of days, completion - the glory of summer drawing to a close, the essence of the next generation safely hidden in seeds that will wait out the long sleep of winter. The single droplet of blood-red ruby symbolizes that distilled abundance, next year's hope and continuation.
Posted by Ruth at 10/26/2006 09:44:00 AM
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
A few botanical beauties in fine and sterling silver, finished up yesterday and coming soon to the Impulse of Delight webstore:
The bracelet combines Irish crochet and chainmaille techniques - not only does it create a wonderfully fluid effect, but the juxtapostion of the two traditions pleases me no end.
The floral pendants coordinate beautifully with any outfit - casual or dressy, and are unique without being flashy.
Posted by Ruth at 10/18/2006 02:31:00 PM
Monday, October 02, 2006
I have a longstanding fascination with droplets, both gemstone and silver. There is, of course, the whole symbology of water - birth, new life, feminine energy, Spirit - but more than that, the form of the droplet itself compells me. Such a perfect, curvaceous entity, yet so ephemeral - stretching gracefully from its origin, existing for only the briefest moment before falling to rejoin the whole. Perhaps it is the process of maturity and accumulated loss - both timely and untimely, that makes this ephemeral nature of the individual and the moment feel so acute now.
Posted by Ruth at 10/02/2006 09:37:00 AM
Monday, September 25, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
Here is my latest venture in silver crochet. I love this piece - it drapes just beautifully, and is very feminine and unusual, without being at all overwhelming to wear. Fine silver is wonderfully malleable, and as an added bonus, doesn't tarnish (although it will after a long time discolor very slightly) so you don't have to worry about cleaning all that intricate crochet work. The chain and connecting links are sterling for sturdiness. Crochet is very hot at present, with crocheted bags, garments and jewelry showing up regularly on the runways. More about gemstones to follow soon - stay tuned!
Posted by Ruth at 5/26/2006 09:08:00 AM
Saturday, May 06, 2006
I thought that this post from my knitting blog might be equally pertinent here: With all the spring fervor percolating lately, Madrigaia (Viva Voce) has found its way back into the CD rotation. This is an incredibly talented seven woman vocal / percussion group from Winnipeg. What I love about them is the voluptuous, raw womanly energy that permeates their songs - the very antithesis of insipid, male-created girly pop. The album never fails to remind me of a pivotal experience in my sense of what it means to be a woman. It was a bridal shower, given by a patient of mine in honor of her eldest daughter. She was Syrian, a single mother and devout Muslim who had taken her children and fled for her life from a bad marriage. The majority of the guests were women who had immigrated from Pakistan, India, and other Aisian and Middle Eastern countries. These were not women with easy lives - many were my patients, and I had spent a great deal of time observing and working through the pain and isolation of cultural restrictions magnified by language barriers. Many had non-specific chronic pain conditions that I believe were their only viable means of expressing distress.In that hall though, filled only with women, they seemed lighter - embracing, laughing - Sikh, Muslim, Hindu - there were no barriers. We shared a wonderful feast... and then the dancing began. I suppose it would properly be termed belly dancing, but it was not about costumes - it was spontaneous, unselfconscious, joyful, and thoroughly, vocally, loud. I was drawn into a sense of strength and community that I had never before experienced. My constricted, "escape oppression through achievement" idea of feminism had never entertained the possibility that being "womanly" could be anything but a state of socially imposed deficiency. I felt at once ashamed for having underestimated them, and tremendously privileged to be included in such a sisterhood. I began to see myself and the women I cared for with new eyes, and to celebrate things womanly. I began to see the tremendous creative power in childbirth, and the curvaceous beauty of milk filled breasts nourishing a child. Lately, I have also dared to express these things artistically, though not without a slightly anxious glance over my shoulder at my conservative upbringing.
Posted by Ruth at 5/06/2006 10:16:00 AM
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Symbols are a fascinating topic. Representing a way to communicate ideas and beliefs about our place in the cosmos, they may be a personal talisman or public statement. Although they have been appropriated, labelled, relabelled and venerated, feared, or reviled according to political and religious expediency over history, their meaning remains personal to the wearer. The spiral is one of the most fundamental and universal of symbols, likely in large part because of its ubiquity in the natural world. It is an ancient goddess symbol, representing the womb, fertility, perpetual cyclical change, and the creative energy of the universe. There are conflicting reports of the meaning of clockwise vs. counterclockwise spirals, however, they generally represent dualities such as summer and winter. Personally, the meaning I attach to the spiral is loosely associated with the spiritual tradition of the labyrinth. It reminds me of the cyclical nature of my body, and of the universe - the seasons, the ceaseless turning of the planet. Traced outward, it represents the growth and learning that occurs with each cycle - coming back to the same place again and again, yet seeing it anew. Traced inward, it reminds me of the process of meditation - moving ever closer to that point of perfect stillness at the Centre from which all things originate.
Posted by Ruth at 4/09/2006 10:09:00 AM
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Spring has come at last to the prairies, and with it that sense of buoyancy and joy that prompts one to cast off the itchy wool socks and let those feet breathe! My new collection of ankle bracelets is finally up, with more to come. One of my favorite things about anklets is that charms dangle so much more gracefully than they do from bracelets, where they flop back and forth and always seem to get in the way. Is anything more sexy than that discreet droplet of color at the ankle, or the subtle flash of silver swaying with every step? Because they are so far from the face, you can also indulge in any color that strikes your fancy, no matter what your skin tone. Other projects in the works include a line of jewelry named Simply Silver. This will be all sterling silver, with a theme of mindfulness and simplicity flowing out of my personal journey. I have some gorgeous pastel Umba sapphires begging for attention, and an unusual strand of multicolored prehnite in luscious icy greens and yellows. I feel some more of those ethereal knitted leaves coming on too, in honor of the buds about to burst open.
Posted by Ruth at 4/04/2006 07:28:00 AM
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Sapphire is the non-red variety of corundum (red being ruby), an aluminum oxide mineral. It occurs in a wide range of colors; however, convention dictates that only blue sapphires are simply titled "sapphire", while any other color is included in the name (eg. padparadscha sapphire, white sapphire). Pink is supposed to be classified as ruby, but in practice is often designated as sapphire. Sapphire is the most precious of the blue gemstones, due to its hardness, durability and luster, with translucent cornflower blue being the most desirable hue. Padparadscha, a vibrant orange pink, is considered to be the most precious of the non-blue shades, although there is some disagreement on exactly which shades ought to be given the designation. Treatments: Sapphires are routinely heated to improve their color, an industry accepted practice. Hardness: 9 Care: Sapphires are very hardy and safe for normal gemstone care methods. Some Common Terms: Umba sapphire - mined along the Umba river in Tanzania. Color range includes blues, purples, gold, orange and pink shades. Lovely pastel shades are typical. Songea sapphire - from Africa - color range includes deep red rubies, blues, blue greens, greens, yellows, pinks, and alexandrite-type (blue in sunlight and fluorescent light, lavender to purple in incandescent). Tunduru sapphire - from Africa - full color range Star sapphire - these have fine needle like inclusions which render the stone opaque, and when oriented properly, reflect light to form a moving star. Cut as cabochons to optimize the effect. The bracelet above utilizes shades of blue sapphire, and is densely crocheted and overwoven in fine silver to form a flexible fabric incorporating the sapphire mosaic.
Posted by Ruth at 3/30/2006 07:21:00 AM
Friday, March 17, 2006
Lapis Lazuli is an opaque deep royal blue stone used in jewelry for thousands of years - in fact, it is one of the first gemstones ever to be incorporated into jewelry. It is a complex stone composed of several blue minerals, including lazurite and sodalite, with a matrix of calcite and speckles of pyrite. It is distinctively fluorescent. Lower quality specimens are commonly color enhanced. Other forms of lapis: Lapis Nevada - a relatively recent discovery, it is pink and green, composed of 11 different minerals, and mined in Nevada. Denim Lapis - a less expensive form with lots of white calcite matrix, it is gaining popularity for use in more casual accessories. Hardness: 5-6 Care: Clean with a soft dry cloth, avoid water and chemicals. It is light fast, but easily scratched or chipped with rough handling. I have used beads of premium quality royal blue lapis in my Three Part Invention necklace - the color is so intense, I felt they were well suited to this minimalist design.
Posted by Ruth at 3/17/2006 12:56:00 PM
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Smoky Quartz features prominently in my newest designs in the form of some spectacular and unsual concave faceted briolettes. This lovely brownish-black variety of quartz occurs naturally, but is also commonly created by irradiating or heat treating clear quartz. Hue ranges from blackish "smoky" to golden brown (sometimes named as a variety of citrine). It is a popular gem for unusual faceted cuts and is the national gem of Scotland. It pairs beautifully with citrine and deep smoky red Orissa garnet, which pick up the golden hues. Quartz itself is an enormous family of minerals composed of silicon dioxide. There are two varieties: macrocrystalline (crystals visible with the naked eye) and micro (or crypto) crystalline (crystals which cannot be seen without magnification.) The macrocrystalline quartzes include citrine, amethyst, aventurine, tigereye, and rose, smoky, rutilated, snowy and crystal (also called rock crystal) quartz. The cryptocrystalline quartzes are termed chalcedony and/or agate. (Also commonly marketed as "quartz" is a series of manmade forms of glass - these include cherry, blueberry, pineapple, and blue "quartz", as well as opalite.) Hardness: 7 Care: Generally very hardy and trouble free - colored varieties may alter in hue and intensity with exposure to intense heat or light.
Posted by Ruth at 3/12/2006 08:50:00 AM
Friday, February 24, 2006
Sterling silver is a beautiful and tremendously versatile metal. Dazzlingly white when polished to a mirror shine, it may also be oxidized to a variety of subtle hues. Strong, yet malleable, it is a joy to work with and although its price is rising of late, it remains far more accessible than karat gold. Its cool tones suit any complexion, and are the perfect backdrop for any gemstone. But it does tarnish, and although tarnish free alloys are on the market, the forms in which they are available is still limited, restricting the practicality of widespread use at this point. What to do about tarnish? Well, to paraphrase an old saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of polish. Sterling silver tarnishes primarily due to the copper content of the alloy (which greatly enhances its strength over that of pure or "fine" silver). It is caused by a chemical reaction with sulfides in the air (hence the use of sulfur containing compounds to achieve those intriguing oxidized finishes.) Conditions and substances that accelerate tarnish include: dampness, wool (felted or otherwise), some foods (eggs, onions), rubber products (rubber bands, latex gloves etc.), some paints, fossil fuel pollution, swimming pools and hot tubs. In addition, some people's body oils and perspiration accelerate tarnish more than others. Firstly, store sterling silver in a cool, dry, air-tight place. There are a variety of papers, bags and cloths on the market impregnated with a sulfide neutralizing substance - storing your silver in or with one of these will greatly delay the onset of tarnish. It is generally recommended that you change your anti-tarnish product every 6 months for optimal effect. Secondly, don't let tarnish get out of hand - polish the piece when it first takes on that slightly yellow hue, before it gets to the ugly black end state. Regular cleaning with a soft polishing cloth, particularly one designed for silver is the best form of maintenance. There are various commercial dips and home made concoctions that will successfully remove heavy tarnish, however, if you are cleaning a piece of jewelry, bear in mind that many stones and other jewelry components may be irrevocably damaged by such treatment. When in doubt, consult a pro.
Posted by Ruth at 2/24/2006 08:08:00 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Topaz (aluminum fluorite silicate) is the hardest of the silicate minerals. It occurs naturally in yellow (most common), brown, clear, blue and red (rare). Blue topaz occurs when the clear form is exposed to radiation - while this occurs naturally, it is also a very easy process to duplicate in the lab and consequently, most blue topaz on the market today is created. The type of radiation applied dictates the resulting color - three hues have become standard: Sky Blue (lightest), Swiss Blue, and London Blue (darkest) with London Blue generally being the most valuable. With a hardness of 8 and a high refractive index, it is a lovely gem for faceting and very wearable. Care: generally trouble free; avoid hard knocks and ultrasonic or steam cleaning. Note: inexpensive light blue beads labelled "topaz" may in fact be dyed quartz - color fastness can vary considerably, depending on the source. I make an effort to avoid these.
The "water droplet" in the above pendant is a lovely little briolette of London Blue topaz.
Posted by Ruth at 2/23/2006 07:35:00 AM
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Who doesn't love pearls? From the demure luster of a strand of perfectly round white lovelies, to wildly shaped baroque pieces; from naturally occuring peach and lavender to wildly dyed colors, there are many many forms to delight the eye. Entire books have been written on the subject of pearls, but here are a few basic terms to get started with, taken from my own Materials Index. Pearl: An organic gem grown within oysters and a few other mollusks. Formed when a foreign object, like a tiny stone, enters the mollusk's shell and the resulting irritation causes the oyster to form a secretion, called nacre, to cover it. As thousands of layers of nacre coat the irritant, a pearl is formed. Depending on the pearl's size, the process may take from four months to seven years. Hardness: 2.5 Terms: Cultured pearl - the irritant is implanted by humans and the mollusks are cultivated in a protected environment. Nearly all pearls available today are cultured. Natural pearl - the irritant enters naturally, by chance. Extremely rare and valuable. Freshwater pearl - mostly cultured in China - these are the pearls in my creations, unless otherwise specified. Occur in a range of natural colors, but are also commonly enhanced with radiation and/or dye. The brightest colors are likely dyed, and could fade over time. White varieties may be bleach enhanced. Saltwater pearl - most famous are Oriental, Tahitian (aka South Sea) pearls. Perfect specimens are highly sought after. Shell pearl - a shell bead with a ground pearl coating. Popular because they can be inexpensively created with perfect shape and color and are virtually identical in weight and appearance to cultured South Sea pearls. (They are not, however, gritty to the tooth and can also be distinguished by close inspection of the hole.) More durable than regular pearls - less affected by sweat and cosmetics. Care: Pearls are among the world's softest gemstones and should be carefully cared for. Being composed largely of calcium carbonate, they readily dissolve in acids. They are sensitive to dryness and extreme humidity. Apply cosmetics, perfume or hairspray BEFORE putting on your pearls. Wipe them with a dry cloth after wearing, as human sweat and oils can dissolve and diminish their luster (however, regular wear is beneficial, due to the mild humidity from the skin.) Lengthy exposure to bright sunlight may yellow the color. Avoid jumbling them with harder stones that could scratch them. Clean with warm soapy water, (taking care not to get water in the drill hole) and dry on a soft towel. Not safe for ultrasonic cleaners.
Posted by Ruth at 2/19/2006 08:32:00 AM
Saturday, February 18, 2006
There is so much more to garnets than the commonly known dark red form. I have begun to collect some gorgeous examples - premium shaded green Tsavorite is illustrated here, paired with rainbow moonstone. Here's the entry from my own Materials Index: Garnet: Refers to a group of silicate minerals with similar crystal structures. Types: Almandine and pyrope types blend to form the common dark red garnet. May be dye enhanced. Spessartite - somewhat rare - the most valuable types are a bright orange red. Grossular - light to medium tone, found in every color except blue Hessonite - an orange to pinkish orange variety of grossular Tsavorite - deep chromium green variety of grossular Hydrogrossular - translucent to opaque, commonly blue-green, used as a jade substitute. Uvarovite - rarest of the garnet family - a dark rich green. Andradite - one of the rarest garnets - dematoid is the highly sought after green variety Hardness: 6.5-7.5 Care: Generally sturdy and trouble free - normal gemstone care.
Posted by Ruth at 2/18/2006 07:50:00 AM
Friday, February 17, 2006
Turquoise is one of my very favorite stones - it comes in such a lovely array of blues and greens, and ranges from wonderfully organic natural nugget shapes with fascinating matrix patterns to the icy blue sophistication of Sleeping Beauty. Sadly, being so beloved and popular, it is also the subject of a plethora of fakes, forgeries and misinformation. I thought I would take a moment to share the fruits of my research to date, and help shed some light on common terminology and misconceptions. Most of this is taken from my own Materials Index. Turquoise: A hydrated aluminum copper phosphate, often containing iron. There are many forms of genuine turquoise, as well as numerous imitations. The color encompasses the entire spectrum from blue to green, with various amounts and patterning of black or brown matrix. Turquoise is a soft stone and specimens which are hard enough to be usable in their natural state are rare. The form which I refer to simply as turquoise is stabilized. Hardness: 5-6 Terms in common usage include: Natural turquoise - technically should refer only to the highest grade which is hard enough to be used in un-enhanced form - it will absorb body oils and turn green over time. Vendors often call any non-imitation form of turquoise "natural". Sleeping Beauty turquoise - a popular high grade form with a brilliant blue color and little or no matrix, from the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona. Because of it's desirability, pretenders abound and the term is much abused. Stabilized turquoise - The most commonly available form - impregnated with resin which serves to harden the stone and deepen the color (much as rocks appear darker when wet). Chinese forms may also include wax and/or dye enhancement. Even stabilized turquoise will absorb body oils and darken over time. Mexican turquoise - mined in Mexico, unique in that it occurs naturally as free-form nuggets. Stabilized. Tibetan turquoise - originating in that region, traditionally stabilized, generally harder than most varieties, and takes a nice polish. Mojave turquoise - chunks of turquoise compressed into a block with plastic resin filler and dyed green. A similar product in purple is being marketed as "purple Sleeping Beauty turquoise". African "turquoise" - actually a blue green jasper mined in Africa Chalk "turquoise" - a pale stone (often not turquoise) which has been dyed - commonly brilliant blue or lime green. Howlite "turquoise" - a pale, black-veined stone commonly dyed to simulate turquoise. Reconstituted "turquoise" - implied to be ground up turquoise assembled with plastic resin - reliable sources suggest that it is generally, in fact, entirely plastic. I don't use this form. Care: Avoid scratches and sharp blows, as well as hot water and household chemicals.
Posted by Ruth at 2/17/2006 10:56:00 AM
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The birthstone for March is aquamarine (although an older tradition also includes bloodstone.) As the name implies, it has been commonly associated with traditions and beliefs around water and the sea - protecting sailors, curing seasickness, etc. It is a variety of beryl, and therefore a relative of the emerald. The lovely blue-green color varies greatly in intensity depending on the piece. Transparent, inclusion free specimens are highly prized for faceting, but I have also seen opaque stones with an intensity of color that is just lovely. It is a nice durable stone, although prolonged exposure to intense sunlight could fade the color. In this woven silver bracelet, I paired it with apatite, another of my favorite blue-green semiprecious stones.
Posted by Ruth at 2/14/2006 07:13:00 AM
Friday, February 10, 2006
I was a knitter long long before I began to work with metal, and one of my great delights at present is to dream up new ways to apply this skill in precious metals. My goal is to bring my knitted wire creations to a level of precision and sophistication rivalling that of fiber work. It's a formidable challenge, because metal is inelastic and therefore unforgiving of uneven technique - and mistakes can't be unravelled. I like to stretch plain knitted "fabric" across sturdy frames to create sparkling, ethereal little sculptures, like these leaf earrings. I am also exploring knitted lace patterns - traditional Shetland lace is a marvel of design and craftsmanship, and the idea of interpreting it in silver or gold fascinates me no end. The bracelet above utilizes an openwork lace pattern - I think the pearls complete the "modern Victorian" look perfectly.
Posted by Ruth at 2/10/2006 09:03:00 AM
Thursday, February 09, 2006
I love gemstones and their history and origins are often equally fascinating. I try to educate myself as much as possible on the materials I use - for some very practical reasons - some stones are too fragile for certain applications, some are not what their names imply. Very few semi-precious stones today are truly "natural" - generally if something can be enhanced, it will be. Enhancement is as old as the use of gemstones - carnelian has been treated for thousands of years to make it's juicy orange-red brighter and more uniform. Many enhancements do not radically alter the stone's aesthetic properties, but make it more durable for use as an adornment - stabilization of turquoise is a good example of this. Some color enhancements are permanent - like heat, irradiation, or high quality dye processes while others are cheap, hastily applied surface dyes that readily wash off. (Needless to say, I make every effort to avoid the latter!) In my continually growing materials index, I have endeavored to compile the results of my research in order to educate interested customers on what goes into their jewelry and how best to care for it. I will also blog about new entries as they come up. Today's topic is green amethyst, also known as prasiolite. Rarely occuring in nature, it is the product of heat treating a certain form of purple amethyst from a particular mine in Brazil (some sources indicate that a suitable form has recently been found in the US, as well.) It is therefore a form of quartz, and consequently quite durable and amenable to faceting. As with all mineral families that change color with heat treatment, prolonged exposure of the finished piece to high temperatures or intense sunlight is not recommended, as undesirable color change could occur. The earrings above feature exceptionally nicely faceted marquis cut briolettes.
Posted by Ruth at 2/09/2006 07:15:00 AM
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
With any luck, today will be the big day! Maureen at A Wild Thyme Web Design has been working her little fingers to the bone to get things ready - I really can't say enough good about her professionalism and dedication. While we're waiting, though - here's another of last week's projects - the Ruby Moon necklace. This is one of those pieces where the singing quality of the name suggested the design. It features one of a lovely strand of ruby drops I just couldn't pass up, along with some grade A faceted tourmaline. Quality really does count in tourmaline - although these are tiny, they have incredible sparkle and light play. This piece manages to be delicately feminine and just a wee bit funky at the same time - the brushed sterling silver moon was hand-fabricated. I love the possibilities inherent in creating my own metalwork.
Posted by Ruth at 2/07/2006 07:43:00 AM
Monday, February 06, 2006
Well, as anyone who has been to the Impulse of Delight site can see, the big change is well underway. I, of course can see the behind the scenes progress, and it is looking amazing! Having handed off the technical stuff to a pro, I now have more time to do what I really love - create. Here's one of the lovelies I finished last week - the amethyst briolettes are top notch, and I think the setting is very romantic. Amethyst is, after all, February's birthstone - for those of you last minute shoppers! Feel free to inquire by email about anything posted here - arrangements can be made to invoice things via paypal if you see something you just can't wait for. My webmail: email@example.com is working just fine.
Posted by Ruth at 2/06/2006 06:25:00 AM
Friday, January 27, 2006
Posted by Ruth at 1/27/2006 04:10:00 PM
Saturday, January 07, 2006
About time I posted again - I need to get into a better rhythm as the craziness of Christmas recedes. First - the new work: I'm very pleased with the pearls and lace bracelet - I used very fine needles and fine gauge pure silver and hand knitted a lovely traditional openwork lace pattern. It took me a while to decide how best to showcase the lace - finally I pulled out one of my nicest strands of pearls - and it was perfect - Victorian and feminine, but not at all fussy. The double clasp keeps the cuff from twisting, but allows it to be sized as needed. The pearl weave bracelet didn't hang around for long, but I have a piece in a similar style ready to go that is entirely encrusted with tiny faceted gems of apatite and aquamarine. It is just gorgeous, and I went all out and crafted an equally opulent pair of earrings to coordinate. They should be up on the site by Sunday evening. Newly arrived: a AA strand of wonderful faceted black spinel - earmarked for a fabulous "black and silver" openwork chain necklace - I'll start work on that this weekend.
Posted by Ruth at 1/07/2006 08:06:00 AM
Friday, December 16, 2005
My goodness, the Christmas season gets crazy! I put the finishing touches on a whole bunch of "works in progress" and they are up on my site now. First - at long last - the Winter necklace. I think I will need a few weeks of therapy on my hands and wrists to recover from closing all those titanium rings, but it is awfully pretty. Secondly - a treat just for me - the Gold on Ice cuff bracelet and earrings - these went with a gorgeous chocolate brown stretch velvet dress for the big Christmas party last week. I'm VERY pleased with how they turned out - definitely won't be the last bracelet I make along those lines. And last but not least, the Soul Path pendant - the first piece to use part of that special (and pricey) strand of kyanite briolettes I've been hoarding. I adore kyanite - its deep luminous blue rivals that of sapphire for sheer beauty. (The drawback, of course is that it is a fair bit softer than sapphire, so not suitable for rings and hard knocks, but used judiciously and treated kindly, it makes sensational jewelry.)
Posted by Ruth at 12/16/2005 09:56:00 PM
Monday, November 28, 2005
Well, the Serenity Bracelet came out of the tumbler looking just gorgeous - and it's up on the site now. I love doing the hammered sterling silver work - it's like drawing with wire, and the finished effect is so satisfying. I hope to get some more hammered silver earrings done soon to round out the collection a bit. My rose and yellow gold vermeil beads arrived today, so I can finally start work on the cuff bracelet for the big Christmas gala. I'm going to weave it in fine silver, incorporating the gold beads. This piece is for me, so it won't be for sale, but I'll post it to the site once it's done, as potential inspiration for custom designs.
Posted by Ruth at 11/28/2005 07:03:00 PM
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I'm so excited about the new necklace I just finished. I found the most divine turquoise discs and paired them with a strand of brilliant faceted carnelian I've been hanging onto for a while. The whole thing links with little mobius like triplets of sterling silver rings - it is just a perfect balance of color and proportion. Also finished a lovely bracelet of hand forged sterling silver links - it's in the tumbler now getting shiny. Very Christmasy today - I'm slowly putting the lights on the tree, with the "help" of the kids and our favorite Christmas CD's. I've found that decorating with kids is much less stressful when it's spread out over the month!
Posted by Ruth at 11/27/2005 11:46:00 AM
Sunday, November 20, 2005
It was a lovely creative weekend. I had the mathematical inspiration of the mobius burning up my brain, so I fashioned two freeform hollow sculptures of tightly woven fine silver. The first pendant is a sort of cocoon with three apparent openings, but because of the twists in construction, the openings are formed by a single continuous edge, making them one - and by extension, the form is therefore technically one sided. Many spiritual analogies could be drawn from a form like this - the unity of all things, three in one..... In any case, it is very pleasing from both a tactile and visual perspective and its mathematical properties give it added fascination. The second silver pendant is more open, and I will post it as soon as I have a photo done.
Posted by Ruth at 11/20/2005 07:48:00 PM
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Stayed home today because my little guy is still sick - and since he's presently sleeping on my lap, this seems like an opportune time to blog. The winter necklace is about 30% done - I can only do small sections at a time because the titanium is so stiff - very hard on the hands and wrists. The focal beads should arrive about the time I finish the chain - I think it's going to be gorgeous. Finally made up my mind what to make to coordinate with my luscious Christmas party dress - it's going to be a fine / sterling silver knitted cuff with a scattering of yellow and rose gold vermeil beads - I ordered them today - they are very unusual handcrafted irregular droplet shapes. Yum! I'll post it when it's finished if someone would like a similar custom design - it's not a design that's adjustable after the fact, so it would have to be custom made to fit.
Posted by Ruth at 11/17/2005 04:10:00 PM
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The blizzard that's been raging for the last day and a half is finally over, and today is one of those brilliant prairie winter days. The dazzling blue and white contrast suggested a chain maille color scheme.... I've completed a short length, and it's now off to the tumbler (my recent birthday present - yippee!) to see how it does.
Posted by Ruth at 11/15/2005 02:54:00 PM
Monday, November 14, 2005
This is one of those days that I don't feel anything like a romantic artist. Nasty head cold, there's a winter storm in full force out there, and in a few minutes it will be time to start the craziness - kids up, dressed, fed, everyone out the door and off to school and daycare on time, myself off to a hectic day of work. Chalk this up to character building - that's good for the artistic soul, isn't it?
Posted by Ruth at 11/14/2005 06:30:00 AM
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Went shopping yesterday for dresses for the party season - time to create something spectacular to co-ordinate! Hmmm - maybe a lacy knitted cuff in gold.... Put a new piece up on my site called "Circles" - I'm really pleased with how it turned out, particularly after it came out of the tumbler - the gleam is blinding! It combines silver and gold, and a bit of crochet and chain maille - sophisticated yet artsy at the same time. Coming soon - anodized titanium hand woven chain - the colors are SO gorgeous - reminiscent of pearls with the soft luster and play of light, and of course titanium doesn't tarnish. The drawback is that it takes an enormous amount of strength to manipulate and put together to my exacting perfectionist standards - but it's coming along.
Posted by Ruth at 11/13/2005 07:27:00 AM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I've been driven to artistic expression since I was a wee child, but only recently decided to have a go at being a "professional". It seemed presumptious at first - after all, who decides what constitutes art and who's good enough to be designated an artist? I quickly discovered that having set the goal, I was then compelled to live up to it and the caliber of my work rapidly began to rise. At present I've confined my selling aspirations to jewellery, but I may eventually get tired of the size restraint and branch out! Having spent most of my life pursuing fiber and textile art of one sort or another (knitting, crochet, art quilts, etc.) I naturally gravitated towards textile techniques in metal, and am now working towards incorporating textile and fiber into the work as well. This blog will be an experiment for me in publically journalling my artistic journey - the highs, the lows, the exploration of new things.
Posted by Ruth at 11/10/2005 07:48:00 PM