Friday, September 30, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Larimar


Larimar is a gorgeous blue to blue-ish green stone. It is often mottled with with and ranges from being semi-translucent to completely opaque.   Larimar was first discovered in the Dominican Republic by Miguel Méndez and was named after his daughter.  The "Lari" in the stones name come from Méndez's daughter's name "Larissa," and the "mar" are from the Spanish word for sea. Larimar is a form of Pectolite.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mairaed Set v.2

("Mairaed Set v.2) by Handmaden Designs LLC

Sterling silver and Celtic Star and Enhanced Celtc Star pendant earring set with freshwater pearls.  The pendant measures at 1 and 1/8 inch long by just under 1 inch wide.  The earrings measure at 1 and 3/4 inch long.

Enhanced Celtic Star is an original design by Handmaden Designs LLC

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Marcasite

("Beatrice" by Handmaden Designs)

Marcasite has been used in jewelry for a very, very long time. As far back as the ancient Greeks and the Incas.  Marcasite is a beautiful metallic stone, and is actually the market name for Iron Pyrite.  During the Victorian era is when Marcasite was likely at it's height of popularity, but it is still used a lot today and the value of new pieces with Marcasite vary greatly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mairead Set

("Mairead set" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Sterling silver and copper Celtic Star and Enhanced Celtc Star pendant earring set with freshwater pearls.  The pendant measures at 1 and 1/8 inch long by just under 1 inch wide.  The earrings measure at 1 and 3/4 inch long.  The copper is coated and will not tarnish.

Enhanced Celtic Star is an original design by Handmaden Designs LLC.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Tiger-eye

("Udiya" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Tiger-eye is a type of Quartz that can be translucent or opaque. It is one of the few stones hat exhibits what is called chatoyancy.  Chatoyancy is the shimmering optical reflectivity effect that Tiger-eye has. In this stone, it is created by quartz replacing crocidolite (a type of asbestos) in the stone.  This is what forms the shimmering gold stripes in the stone. Most Tiger's-eye are gold in colour, but there are also red and blue-grey varieties as well.  The blue-grey variety is known as hawks'eye.  There is also a variety of Tiger-eye that is a brecciated combination of tiger-eye and Hawks'eye which is called Pietersite. Regular Tiger-eye sells for between $3-$70 a stone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Orc Weave bracelet

("Orc Weave bracelet" by Handmaden Designs LLC)
Copper Orc Weave chainmaille bracelet. The copper is coated so it will not tranish. It measures at just over 7.75 inches long and just over 1/4 inch wide.

Orc Weave is an original weave by Handmaden Designs LLC.

Chelydra bracelet



("Chelydra bracelet v.3 by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Copper and enameled copper Chelydra weave chainmaille bracelet.  The bracelet is 7.5 inches long andjust under 1/2 inch wide.

Chelydra is an original weave by Handmaden Designs LLC.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bonanza Handpicked Collection Feature

("Victoria:Daughter of Time" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

My reversible Steampunk pendant "Victoria:Daughter of Time was just featured in the Bonanza Handpicked collection "Where Has All The Time Gone?"!  The pendant is listed on both Bonanza and the Handmade Artists' Shop. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Shiana


("Shiana" by Handmaden Designs)

Woven-wire copper ring.  The ring is abouta size 7 but has some flexibility to it.  The copper is coated and so will not tarnish. Ring is 1/4 inch wide.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fiona Set

("Fiona set" by Handmaden Designs)

Oxidized copper and red enameled copper wire-work set.  The necklace measures at 18.75 incehs long, the bracelet at almost 8 inches, and the earrings at 2.25 inches long.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Pearls

("Mared" by Handmaden Designs)

Pearls are a classic, well-loved gem.  They are made of the same nacre that makes mother of pearl, only it's formed over an irritant (often a small parasite) that gets into the mollusk.  Most pearls come from oysters, but they can also form inside of clams or mussels.  There are many different types of pearls. Some pearls are round-ish but flat on one or both sides, these are often termed "coin pearls" because of their shape; another type is the Baroque pearl.  Baroque pearls are any non-unifrom, irregularly shaped pearl.  The stranger the shape, the more valuable the Baroque pearl. 

Of the approximately 8,000 species bivalve mollusks, only 20 of the are capable of creating pearls.  Natural pearls are very,very rare and even more rare is finding a perfectly round pearl as the pearl will often take the shape of the irritant it is formed around. 

Because of how rare natural pearls are and the fact that only a fraction of these natural pearls are gem quality, most of the pearls used today are what are called "cultured pearls."  Cultured pearls are basically lab-grown pearls.  They are not fake pearls, just pearls that have been helped along by someone artificially introducing and imbedding the irritant into the mollusks tissue.  The mollusks are then placed back in the sea and the pearls are then allowed to form naturally.  Basically, it's pearl farming.  Someone plants the irritant into the mollusks and then harvests them later when they are ready.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brielle

("Brielle" by Handmaden Designs)

Copper and enameled copper woven-wire earrings.  The earrings measure at just under 2.25 inches long.