Nov 11, 2014

Jane and Bill Inge - Kapiti Artisans

There are a lot of different artists and artisans who will be taking part in the Kapiti Arts Trail and two of them are husband and wife Jane and Bill Inge.

A Landscape and Exterior Space Designer by day Jane has used her design software to create some lovely artwork specific to different local regions, using the suburb names of that region.

Bill is a sculptor inspired by driftwood found locally on the beaches. Combining it with Oamaru Limestone he creates beautiful natural sculptures that will complement any garden or outdoor space. Bill is known in the Kapiti region for his delightful stone sculptures of birds. These are usually placed on a stick so that they can easily be arranged in your garden.

Jane and Bill are opening their home studio to the public during the arts trail and this can be found at 15 Sea Poppy Way. Be sure to go and check out their work.

Nov 9, 2014

Kapiti Arts Trail

I am delighted to be participating in this year's Kapiti Arts Trail. This is an annual event held on the Kapiti Coast that showcases the work of all the artists and artisans who live in the region. There is a huge range of artists and artisans who participate covering every imaginable type of art and craft including Fine Art, Jewellery, Sculptures, Ceramics, Photography, Lampwork Beads, Wood Carvings etc. Details of all the participating artists/artisans and the various venues can be found on the Kapiti District Council website.

 I will be exhibiting at the Southward Museum in Otaihanga. This is one of two government "hubs" that will each be featuring a variety of different artists and artisans.

The Arts Trail will be open from 10am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday the 15th and 16th November.

With Christmas just a few weeks away this will be the perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping for unique, quality gifts that you won't find in the shops.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sep 22, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - Z is for Zoisite

Zoisite is a calcium aluminium hydroxy sorosilicate belonging to the epidote group of minerals. It was named in 1805 after Austrian scientist and naturalist Baron Sigmund Zois von Edelstein who had a notable mineral collection and identified Zoisite as being a unique mineral species.

Zoisite may be blue to violet, green, brown, pink, yellow, gray, or colorless.  Sources of zoisite include Tanzania (tanzanite), Kenya (anyolite), Norway (thulite), Switzerland, Austria, India, Pakistan, and the U.S. state of Washington.

Zoisite is the mineral of some very diverse gem materials including Anyolite or Ruby in Zoisite and Tanzanite, both of which can only be found in Tanzania.

Ruby in Zoisite was discovered at the Longido mining district in northeast Tanzania by Tom Blevins, an English prospector. This is a brilliant green variety of Zoisite associated with medium grade rubies. The red rubies are often distorted and irregularly spread throughout the sea of massive green zoisite. Ruby in Zoisite is also heavily included with black hornblende minerals.

Tanzanite is the most well  known variety of the zoisite mineral group. It was discovered in 1967 by Masai tribesman in the hills of Northern Tanzania. It is a transparent blue zoisite that is colored by the presence of vanadium. Some blue zoisite is found naturally but most is produced by heat-treating brown zoisite. The heat changes the oxidation state of vanadium to produce the blue color. Tanzanite is the second most popular blue stone, after sapphire.!product/prd1/2228422911/ruby-in-zoisite-sterling-wired-bangle
Pictured above is my Ruby in Zoisite Sterling Wired Bangle. Below are some more examples of Ruby in Zoisite and Tanzanite jewellery from some members of the Jewelry on Etsy team.

Sep 15, 2014

Work in Progress - Bi-coloured Quartz Necklace & Earrings (3)

Well life and my insomnia (leaving me too tired to do anything) seems to keep getting in the way of finishing this piece but at least the front section of the necklace is now complete. I now need to make a chain to hang it from! Hopefully I can make some progress on that this week.

Sep 10, 2014

Art Jewellery Competition

I have entered my Oceania Necklace, pictured above, in the Art Jewelry Photo Contest. I would love it if you could vote for me. I'm a bit late posting about this as the voting closes at midnight on Friday 12th (presumably US time), bet better late than never. I have put a link on the side bar of my blog and will also try to post it below. All votes will be much appreciated.

Sep 7, 2014

One of the things that I like about the Etsy Online Marketplace is the ability to create "treasurys". These are effectively a group of 16 items, all available for sale on the Etsy site that have been curated together into one collection or treasury. Usually there will be a common theme between all the items, often colour but can just as easily be something else. It can be great fun to curate a treasury, exploring the different items that are available, and I often find new favourites that way. Equally of course it is thrilling when someone had chosen one of your items for their treasury.

The treasury pictured above is one that I have curated and titled "Colours of Summer". All items are coloured coral and turquoise.

The treasury pictured below was curated by another Etsy member and includes one of my items, my Blue Lace Agate Pendant. The treasury is titled "Blue Skies" and all the items in the treasury are coloured sky blue.

Aug 25, 2014

Jewellery for Men!product/prd1/2560146991/men%27s-stainless-steel-box-chainmaille-bracelet
I have been asked a few times over the years whether I have any jewellery for men. Previously my answer has always been "no". However, thinking about it I decided that maybe I should introduce a line of jewellery that was specifically for men.

I now therefore have my first two pieces of jewellery that were designed with men in mind. They are two chainmaille bracelets, a Box Chain Chainmaille Bracelet (pictured above) and a Full Persian Chainmaille Bracelet (pictured below).

In both instances these bracelets are chunkier than my usual chainmaille bracelets. They are also made in Stainless Steel, as opposed to sterling silver, giving them a more industrial look. Finally, rather than the usual more feminine toggle clasp that I often use, I have used a heavy duty parrot style clasp.

Of course, there is nothing to stop women wearing these bracelets for themselves but as I have stated, they were deigned with men in mind and are available in lengths from 7 inches up.!product/prd1/2699259551/men%27s-stainless-steel-persian-chainmaille-bracelet

Aug 21, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - W is for Willemite

Willemite is a zinc silicate mineral and a minor ore of zinc.It was named after King Willem (William) the first (1772-1843) of The Netherlands, by the French mineralogist Armand Lévy whom discovered it in 1830 on former Dutch soil (present day Belgium). 

Willemite is usually colorless or white but can be tinted yellow, blue, red, brown and often green. A canary-yellow variety of willemite from Tsumeb, Namibia has also been documented.

The willemite from Franklin and Ogdensburg, Sussex County, New Jersey commonly fluoresces a brilliant green under Short Wave ultraviolet. This fluorescence combined with the red fluorescence of the calcite at Franklin, makes specimens from there even more special. Some willemite specimens will even show phosphorescence. Phosphorescence is the ability of a mineral to glow after the initial light is removed.

Willemite occurs as a mineral in metamorphosed zinc ore deposits. It is uncommon, except at the zinc mines of Franklin and Ogdensburg in Sussex County, New Jersey. It has however also been found in Arizona, USA; Morsnet, Belgium; St. Hilaire, Quebec; Tsumeb, Namibia and Greenland. 

As a gemstone, faceted willemite is rare although it has been cut as an uncommon, exotic gem. Fine-quality gemstones have been cut from orange-yellow willemite crystals. Facet-grade willemite has also been recovered from the Tsumeb (Tsumcorp) Mine in Tsumeb, Namibia.

I have had trouble finding any examples of Willemite jewelry at all but eventually found a couple:

Aug 20, 2014

Work in Progress - Bi-coloured Quartz Necklace & Earrings (2)

Well a lot of other things seem to have been conspiring to prevent me on getting much further on with this necklace with matching earrings, but four of the motifs have now been fully completed with the final three close to being finished. As previously mentioned five of the motifs will be used for a necklace with the remaining two to be used for the matching earrings. The only thing I'm trying to decide about the motifs now is whether or not to add a small Swarovski crystal at the top of each one.

Once the motifs are all complete I can make the decision about how to join them, and then I will need to decide on the links for completing the chain part of the necklace.

Keep watching this space as I will continue to share the process.

Aug 18, 2014

Lifestyle Expo Stall

Well unfortunately the picture isn't too good but this is a picture of the stall I had set up at the recent Women's Lifestyle Expo in Wellington. I only had limited space so I bought myself a shelf unit (actually sold as a portable wardrobe) that could easily be dismantled. This allowed me to display an additional six necklace busts to what I had on the table. For the table itself, I decided to do something a bit different and to actually keep the majority of my bracelets, bangles and pendants in their display trays. It actually made it possible for them to be displayed close together without looking too cluttered. I still had my iron "tree" on one side of the table and this is always good for displaying a selection of my necklaces, as well as the earring display on the other side of the table. Overall for quite a limited space I was quite please with how I managed to get my display looking.

Aug 14, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - V is for Variscite

Variscite is a relatively rare hydrated aluminum phosphate mineral, and gem-quality deposits and occurrences are fairly rare. Only the highest quality material is used for gemstones and ornate carvings. Variscite is named after 'Variscia', the historical name of the Vogtland district in Saxony, Germany. It was first discovered and described in 1837, when it was found in massive fine-grained aggregate form.

The appearance of Variscite often causes it to be confused with turquoise, but variscite's color tends to be greener rather than blue. Variscite is famed for its attractive green color. Its greens can range from light pale-green to emerald-green and from apple-green to bluish green. Solid mint-green colored materials with slight translucency are usually most desirable. Variscite may also be found in colors other than green, such as purple, orange, pink, red, brown or yellow. If materials contain less iron than aluminum in their composition, reddish to violet colors will dominate. Higher iron impurities will bring out more brownish tones.

Today, the most significant variscite deposits come from Utah, USA, which is why variscite is sometimes referred to as 'utahlite'. Other notable variscite sources include Arkansas and Nevada (USA), Australia (Queensland), Germany, France, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Brazil.

Although all variscite is valued by collectors, emerald-green variscite from Utah and the black spider-webbed variscite from Nevada are among the most desirable gemstone materials.

Above are some examples of Variscite jewellery from a couple of members of the Jewelry on Etsy team. Below are some more examples of Variscite jewellery also found on Etsy.

Aug 6, 2014

Chrysanthemum Chainmaille Tutorial

For those who like to "do it themselves" here is a tutorial for my Chrysanthemum Chainmaille Bracelet.


Per Chrysanthemum Flower       18g 6mm Jump Rings – 2

                                                       18g 5mm Jump Rings – 16

                                                       18g 3mm Jump Rings – 16

To Join Flowers                            18g 3mm Jump Rings – 10
Other                                              One Clasp

  1. Open 16 3mm rings and 16 5mm rings. Close 2 6mm jump rings. 
  2. Link the 2 6mm jump rings through one of the open 3mm rings and then close it. 
  3. Now continue to link the 3mm jump rings to the 2 6mm rings. 
  4. There are 16 3mm rings per flower and all need to be joined to the 2 6mm rings to form the inner core of the flower. Be aware that the last one or two will be a tight fit.
  5. Now take an open 5mm ring and place it through 2 of the 3mm rings in the inner core. 
  6. The next 5mm ring added should go through the 2nd of the two 3mm rings used for the 1st 5mm ring, being placed behind the 1st ring added and then also through the next ring in the circle. Each new 5mm ring added should go through the previously linked 3mm ring plus 1 new one. It should always sit behind the 5mm ring already in place.
  7. The last 5mm ring to add is the trickiest as it needs to go through the 2nd of the two 3mm rings just used, sitting behind the 5mm already added, but it also now needs to go through the 1st 3mm ring used at the beginning (Step No.7), and sit IN FRONT of the original 5mm ring added.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 to make another 5 Chrysanthemum flowers.
  9. The Chrysanthemum units are joined together with 2 3mm rings. Take an open 3mm ring, put through one outer ring from one flower and one outer ring from another flower and close. Do the same with another 3mm ring making sure that you use the next outer rings around so that the two joined rings are next to each other.
  10. You now need to continue joining the flowers in the same way, ensuring that the petals (outer rings) that you use for the 2nd join are the exact opposite side of the flower to the rings you have already used. (There should be 6 rings between the joined rings). 
  11. Now add a clasp to each end and your bracelet is complete.


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