Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Eudialyte

(Eudialyte image found on
(Eudialyte image found on

Eudialyte is the primary gemstone belonging to a group of gems called the "Eudialyte group" which is a group consisting of five other gems.  Eudialyte is a truly gorgeous gem, and yet one that I'm certain very few people (outside of gemologists, mineralogists, and, perhaps, some gemstone collectors) have heard of.  This gem has a hardness of 5-6, with dull or vitreous luster. It may be many different shades of red, red-orange, pink, orange, brownish-red, yellowish-brown, brown, yellow, violet, or green.  It is a fairly rare cyclosilicate and was discovered in 1819 in Greenland,  and may be transparent to translucent or opaque. According to same places that I've looked at, some opaque examples of Eudialyte appear to have some chatoyancy. As compared to other gemstones, you can get Eudialyte at some relatively low prices, but you should still expect to pay a upwards of a few hundred for some examples.  Eudialyte may be found in: Brazil, Australia, Portugal, Madagascar, South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Guinea, Libya, Morocco, Ukraine, Tajikistan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, all across  Canada, and the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, Texas, and New Mexico.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Half Persian 3in1 bracelet v5

("Half  Persian 3in1 bracelet v5" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

 Simple, sleek, and colourful, this enameled copper and square wire copper Half Persian 3in1 chainmaille bracelet is entirely handmade.  Every link has been coiled and cut by hand  before being woven into this beautiful weave.  The clasp is a hook-and-eye clasp and is also handmade.  This bracelet measures at 7 inches long.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet v4

("Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet v4" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

 Colourful and sleek, this Half Persian 3in1 bracelet is entirely handmade from square copper wire and enameled copper.  The mix of the coloured copper with the square creates a really beautiful affect with the square wire have great sparkle due to catching more light than regular round wire.  The bracelet measures at about 7 inches long.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Annora v.7

("Annora v.7" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Bright and colourful copper and enameled copper Celtic Flower chainmaille bracelet.  This bracelet measures at just over 7 inches long with a width of just over 1/2 inch.

Friday, December 21, 2012


("Morgan" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Inspired by the form of the Scottish dirks and Scottish dirk kilt pins, this stunning sterling silver chainmaille necklace is entirely woven by hand with each ring is also entirely handmade.  The necklace is a Half Persian 4-1 weave chainmaille necklace with Black Onyx and Garnets intersperced on the chain.  The centerpiece of the necklace is an Orthoceris fossil and a .75 carat oval faceted Garnet; settings for both stones are open-backed and entirely handmade.  The clasp is an S-hook clasp and has been hammered in the centered for added detail.  The length of the necklace is 19 1/4 inches with the centerpiece of the necklace just over 2 inches long.


("Thracian" by Handmaden Designs LLC)
Thracian is a European-Persian weave variant.  It combines aspects of Forars Kaede and the Medo-Pesian/Sweetpea/Fieldstone weaves and came about while tinkering with Rhino interactions.

Thracian is an original weave by Handmaden Designs LLC.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Psilomelane

(Image found on

Psilomelane is an unusual gemstone with a natural woodgrain like patterning.  It was discovered in 1747 and named in 1785.  The name "Psilomelane" comes from the Greek words "psilos" meaning "smooth" and  "melas" meaning "black."   In appearance, Psilomelane is very like Hematite except that it has that swirly woodgrain pattern. Psilomelane is a hardness 5-6, is opaque, has a dull sub-metalic luster and is iron-black in colour. You can buy beautiful examples of Psilomelane for pretty reasonable prices.  The number of places where it may be found are quite numerous and include: Slovakia, Ukraine, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Kosovo, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Afghanistan, Turkey, Jordan,  Cambodia, Japan, Australia, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Morocco, Kenya,   Madagascar, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Canada, the U.S., Panama, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, and Chili.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Triplite

(Triplite image found on

Triplite is considered to be quite rare and is primarily a collectors gem. Which is really too bad as it is a gorgeous gem with a hardness of 5-5.5 which is really a pretty decent t hardness.  Triplite gets its name from the Greek τριπλόος, "triplos" meaning "three-fold."  This is in reference to how Triplite has three prominent cleavages (the planes where a stone tends to split apart).  Triplite was first discovered in 1813, may be subtranslucent to opaque, and may have either a resinous or vitreous luster.  In colour, Triplite may be brown, dark brown, salmon pink, brownish black, black, red-brown, light brownish yellow, or dark reddish brown.  It generally forms as granular massives.  Although being considered rare, Triplite is found in many different locations which include.  It is found in: Namibia, Rwanda, Argentina,  Australia, Russia, China, Spain, Portugal, England, Austria, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, and many locations across both Canada and the U.S.  So the rarity of this gem is not based on the number of locations where it may be found, but on the colour and quality of most Triplites found.  The vast majority of all Triplites found are black and opaque, and so gem quality Triplites can get quite expensive.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Johachidolite

(Johachidolite image found on

Johachidolite is another very rare gemstone and is named after the Johachido District (an obsolete Japanese colonial-era name for what is now part of North Korea) in 1942.  Johachidolite has a hardness of 7.5 and may be transparent to translucent.  Its colour may be white, colourless, yellow, or pale yellow and has a vitreous luster.  An interesting thing about this gemstone is that some specimens have been known to fluoresce a strong whitish-blue under long-wave UV lighting and pale blue to purple under short-wave UV lighting and some week phosphorescence. It tends to form as orthorhombic dipyramidal crystals and occurs as granular or lamellar masses.  Currently, Johachidolite is only known to be found in North Korea and Burma/Myanmar. Due to the rarity of this gemstone expect to have to pay high prices for faceted gems. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Musgravite

(Musgravite image found on

Musgravite is a very rare and beautiful gemstone.  It was discovered in 1967 and belongs to the Taafeite (pronounced: tar-fight) family of gemstones and can be easily mistaken for Taafeite.  Musgravite is a hardness 8-8.5 and may be light olive green, dark greenish-blue, light to dark violet,  nearly colourless if the piece is thin. They may be transparent or translucent and have a vitreous luster.

 Musgravite was recently renamed Magnesiotaafeite-6N'3S by the IMA (International Mineralogical Association) because of its magnesium content and being so closely related to Taafeite.  In fact, the only way to be sure whether your stone is Taafeite or Musgravite is to have the magnesium content tested.  Musgravite's original name was given it based on the locality of where it was first found: the Musgrave Ranges of South Australia. The "6N'3S" portion of it's new 'official' name is due to it being composed of six Nolanite modules and three Spinel modules. Taafeite and Perhmanite (the third gem in the Taafeite family) have also been renamed by the IMA for, more or less, the same reasons as Musgravite.  They are now known as Magnesiotaafeite-2N'2S (Taafeite) and Ferrotaafeite-6N'3S (Perhmanite).  However, despite the name change and their original names supposed to be used only as trade names they will likely still be called by their original names even within the the gem trade.  

As mentioned earlier, Musgravite is a very rare gemstone and is not only found if small quantities, but in very few locations.  Currently, Musgravite is only known to be found in:  Australia, Antarctica, and France.  Also, because of its rarity, Musgravite tends to be highly expensive with some websites I have looked at suggesting that its per carat cost may even get as high as $35,000;  so if this is a stone you wish to add to your collection or hope to find a piece of jewelry using it, be prepared to spend a lot of money.

Monday, November 26, 2012


("Myka" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Cute and funky pair of copper, Unakite, and old watch parts Steampunk earrings. Perfect wheher you love Steampunk, recycling, or just have a love for unique, hand-crafted jewelry!  These earrings are 2.25 inches long.

Back From the Chesaning Show!

Well, I'm back from the Chesaning Show and excited to see how next year goes!  I'm happy with how the show went this year and looking forward to being back there for next year's show!  Each year has been better than the last so I'm excited to see things continuing to grow.  This was my last show of the year and I am already starting on planning out next year's show schedule.  So far, I have two confirmed shows,  The Tawas Waterfront Fine Arts Festival and the Chesaning Show, and am planning on adding at at least 2-3 more shows for next year. I'll be posting my 2013 show schedule once it has been finalized!  Hope to see you at next year's shows!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Pyroxmangite

(Pyroxmangite image found on

Pyroxmangite is sometimes confused with Rhodonite which is understandable as it is a high-pressure, low-tempurature polymorph of Rhodonite.  It was first described in 1913 and has a hardness of 5.5-6. Pyroxmangite is a pink, rose-pink, purplish-pink, yellowish-red brown, red, or brown gemstone with a triclinic crystal structure.  It may be transparent to translucent and has a vitreous to pearly luster.  Pyroxmangite tends to form as massives that are either granular or a large mass of uniformly indistinguishable crystals. An interesting thing to note about Pyroxmangite is that when heated it becomes magnetic.  Pyroxmangite may be found in: New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, Wales, and the states of Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, North Carolina, and California.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Friedelite

(Friedelite image found on

Friedelite was discovered in 1876 by Emile Bertrand and named for Charles Friedel, a French chemist and mineralogist.  (Charles Friedel worked with James Crafts to find a way to create synthetic diamonds.)   Friedelite is a hardness 4-5 and may be tan, brown, yellow, light pink, dark red, red-brown, or dark brown in colour.  It tends to have a vitreous luster and has a monoclinc crystal structure often with prsimatic development.  Friedelite is generally transparent to translucent and forms as either massives or in tabular form. Friedelite may be found in: South Africa, Australia, France, Sweden, and the states of New Jersey and Colorado.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Haüyne

( Haüyne image found on

Haüyne is a gorgeaous gemstone often of  an intense blue. It was discovered in 1807 and was named for the French chrystallographer Rene Just Haüy who was the first to describe this stone.  Haüyne may be blue, white, grey, yellow, green, or pink and is a translucent to transparent gemstone with a hardness of 5.5-6. The luster of this gemstone tends to vitreous or greasy with an uneven/irregular or conchoidal fracture pattern.  Haüyne is found in: Greenland, Namibia, Tanzania, Guinea, Spain, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, the Canadian province of Quebec, and the states of California, New York, and New Jersey.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Annora v.6

("Annora v.6" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

A bright and colourful copper and enameled copper Celtic Flower bracelet.  The bracelet measures at 7.25 inches long and just over 1/2 inch wide.

Update:  this bracelet has been sold; if interested in seeing more of my work please visit my store.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Paintings Found a Home!

I don't generally post my non-jewelry/metalwork on here, but today I'm really excited, so I thought I'd share why!  While jewelry and metalwork is my primary love within the arts and what I do professionally,  I also enjoy a number of the other art mediums such as experimental digital photography, sculpture, and painting (as well as many others; I'll try pretty much any art medium and always eager to learn something new!).

 A few weeks ago, I contacted the college about donating some of the paintings I'd done while as a student there.  I've had them stalked up in the hallway of my house since graduating, and, as much as I love them, I simply do not have the space for them, and, as painting is not my primary medium, I'm really not able to properly show them at art shows/exhibitions.  It took a lot of phone-calls and e-mails to figure out how to go about doing this (I've never done something like this before!) and whether they were even interested in having them, but eventually I got it all sorted out.

So today, I had some deja-vu moments as I, once again, found myself driving into the parking lot of Delta College in university Center, Michigan. Seeing these paintings go somewhere where they can be seen and enjoyed means a lot to me and I can think of no place I'd rather see them at then at college where they were made.  I was so excited when they said they'd be happy to have my paintings! However, until today I didn't know who many of the three they were interested in that they'd take ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................  but they took all three of them!!!

So without further ado, here are the three paintings that shall now be in residence at Delta College:

("Patterns of the Earth" by Laura Hepworth)
Title:  Patterns of the Earth
Size: 20" x 20"
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2009

("Silent Witness" by Laura Hepworth)
Title: Silent Witness
Size: 30" x 40"
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2009

("The Rising" by Laura Hepworth)
Title: The Rising
Size: 5' x 5' diptych
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2009

Monday, November 5, 2012

Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet v3

("Half Persian 3in1 bracelet" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Sterling silver, copper, and enameled copper 'camo' coloured Half Persian 3in1 chainmaille bracelet. This bracelet measures at 7 inches long.  Made with both round and square wire so it catches the light better and has more sparkle.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet v.2

("Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Sleek and elegant, this Half Persian 3in1 bracelet is made of sterling silver, copper, and enameled copper and measures at just about 7 1/4 inches long.  It uses a combination of both round wire and square wire rings allowing for more light to be caught and sparkle off of the square wire rings.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Grandidierite

(Grandidierite image found on

Grandidierite is a beautiful, but little known gemstone.  It was discovered in 1902 by Alfred Grandidier after whom it is named.  Grandidierite considered to be a very rare gem and has a lovely blue-green colour.  Its luster tends to be vitreous or pearly and may be transparent (although is is quite rare) or translucent and has a hardness of 7.5.  Grandidierite has an orthorhombic crystal structure.  Grandidierite may be found in: Australia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Greenland, and the states of New York and Wyoming.  Some of the sites I have read said that Grandidierite may be as high as $50,000 per carat for high-quality, transparent stones of good colour, whether this is accurate, I'm not sure, but the few translucent  stones I've seen were quite pricy also, so an eye-clean transparent one would certainly be expensive.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet

("Half Persian 3-1 bracelet" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

This is a beautiful and sleek Half Persian 3-1 chainmaille bracelet made from sterling silver, copper (square wire), and enameled copper.  All the rings, and even the clasp, have been made by hand.  The mixture of the round and copper wire gives the piece added beauty with the subtle change in surface area allow it to sparkle even more as teh square wire catches the light.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Busy getting ready for another show!

Well, I have one more show and then I'm done for the year and can start getting ready for next years' shows! I will once again be doing the show in Chesanning, Michigan the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.  This will be my forth year at that show, and I may or may not do it again next year.  It really depends on how being able to accept credit cards affects the sales for that show, so we'll see.  It's a mid-range arts & crafts show, and I'm working on applying to more Fine Art shows, so I may try to replace it with a better show next year. 

For anyone interested, here is the info for the Chesanning show, would love to have you drop by if you're in the area!

Chesanning, Michigan: Chesanning Music Booster Arts & Crafts show:

Friday-Saturday show after Thanksgiving November 23rd-24th.  Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday 10am-4pm.

The show is held in both the Chesanning Middle School and Chesanning High School.  My booth is located in the main room of the Middle School.

So I will be uploading many images during the weeks leading up to the show!  I currently have 7 bracelets I need to take/post pictures of and another bracelet in the works with many more projects to follow.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Painite

(Painite image found on

Painite, probably one of the most valuable gems you've never heard of!  Painite was discovered in 1950s by British gemologist and mineralogist Arthur Charles Davy Pain and was named after him after being recognized as a new mineral.

 Most often, when you think of what the rarest gem may be you mind immediately thinks of the diamond, but in actuality the diamond is not really that rare.  Economically, there are far more diamonds in supply than in demand the reason the diamond still commands such a high price per carat is that the value is through manufactured scarcity.  Diamond miner owners will stock pile them, and only release a certain number of them at a time so as to keep the price up.  In reality, the gem gemologists and mineralogists have generally considered to be the most rare mineral in the world is actually Painite.  

 Painite may be red, brownish, brownish-red, or orange-red.  It is a transparent gemstone with a hardness of 8 and a vitreous luster.  Painite crystal structure tend to be hexagonal-dipyramidal. So far, Painite has only been found in Burma/Myanmar and even there only in a couple locations.  One of those two mines was only just found in 2001 and prior to that only 3 specimens were known.  This new mine is in the Mogok area of Burma/Myanmar and is a fairly significant deposit having produced a 55 carat Painite.  

As would be expected, this rarity of having a Painite comes at quite a high cost.  One website I looked at said to expect to spend $1,800 per carat, while another said that the per carat may even be as high as $50,000-$60,000 per carat.  Regardless, it is certainly safe to say that if you wish to add a good quality Painite to your collection expect to spend a lot of money.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Emmonsite

(Emmonsite image found on

Emmonsite is a very unusual looking gemstone, with all of its spindly, lichen-like crystals.  It was discovered in 1885 and is named for geologist Samuel Franklin Emmons.  Emmonsite is a hardness 5 and has a vitreous luster.  The crystals tend to be transparent to translucent and is yellowish-green colour. It is a secondary minerals that forms by the oxidation of Tellurium bearing minerals. Emmonsite is found in: Japan, Honduras, Mexico, and the states of Nevada, South Dakota and Arizona.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Silver Byantine bracelet v.5

("Silver Byzantine bracelet v.5" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Sterling silver, copper, and enameled copper 7 inch Byzantine bracelet.  The bracelet has a mixture of both round wire and square wire rings.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Silver Byzantine bracelet v.4

("Silver Byzantine bracelet v.4" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Simple and sleek, this delicate looking bracelet is perfect for any lover of purple! Square wire, sterling silver and enameled copper Byzantine bracelet. The bracelet is about 7.5 inches long.