Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lorea (Sterling silver)(Bracelet)

("Lorea" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

A simple yet elegant bracelet, this bracelet features chainmaille Mobius 'flower's joined with hand-smithed cable chains.  It is made entirely of sterling silver and uses both the traditional round wire and eye-catching 'Dragondust' wire.  All of the flat links in the cable chain have been soldered closed, hammered, and then shaped and joined together.  The bracelet is 8 1/4 inches long and uses a hook-and-eye style clasp.

Gemstone of the Week: Tugtupite

(Image found on

Tugtupite is a pretty rare and rather unusual gemstone.  It was discovered in 1962 in Tugtup Agtâkorfia, Narsaq municipality, Greenland.  Most Tugtupite found will be opaque or translucent, but on occasion small transparent crystals are also found, but they are very rare.  Tugtupite may be white, crimson (or other shades of red/reddish-pink), pink, green, or blue, although most often it will be various shades of pink or reddish-pink.  It's luster may be sub-vitreous, dull, greasy, or waxy. Tugtupite is only a hardness 4 so care must be taken with it.  An interesting thing about Tugtupite is that it is a fluorescent gemstone,  Under low-wave UV lighting, Tugtipite with fluoresce a bright orange.  This is not the only lighting it will react to, Tugtupite also reacts, in various ways, when exposed to regular UV lighting, sunlight, or X-rays; darkening or becoming brighter and then lightening back up afterwards.  Tugtupite is presently known only to be in the Kitaa Province in Greenland, the Canadian province of Quebec, and the Northern Region of Russia.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Leticia: Keeper of Time

("Leticia: Keeper of Time" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

I love working with vintage parts! The unique styles and patinas that each piece has just really brings a piece to life and makes you wonder where those pieces have been and the stories they could tell if they could only speak.  

This necklace is one of my newest in my line of Steampunk/upcycled jewelry.  Every piece, from the pocket-watch pendant to the clasp, is from salvaged vintage jewelry.  The necklace is perfect whether you just love that vintage look or enjoy dressing up for Steampunk events!  The necklace measures at 22inches long.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


("Chryssa" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

I'm especially happy with how this piece turned out.  It's made entirely of upcycled parts of vintage jewelry.  The centerpiece of the necklace was once an orphaned vintage earring.  The side chains were once old bracelets and necklaces.  Even the clasp is a vintage piece!  This is truly a one-of-a-kind necklace! It measures at about 19 3/4 inches long.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Petoskey Art in the Park 2013

(Booth photos taken by my brother, Nathan Hepworth.)

Well, last Saturday was the 2013 Petoskey Art in the Park Fine Art Show in Petoskey, Michigan! It was a very, very long day starting at 3:00am and not being over until after 10:00pm!  Check-in and set-up began at 6:00am with the show opening to the public at 10:00am.  The show is put on by the local Chamber of Commerce and they have done a really nice job on making it a great and welcoming show!  They and one of the local businesses even provided a complementary breakfast for the artists and their helpers!

Although the show didn't officially open until 10:00am, people started arriving around 9:00-9:30 or so (good thing I was already finished setting up!!), and just kept coming!  It was absolute madness at times! I was so thankful to have help from my family as there were times when the booth was so crowded with people that there was actually a line-up to get into my booth!

 After a week of unbearable heat, the Lord really blessed us with great weather for the show.  It was an absolutely beautiful sunny day and not even a hint of rain!  The temperature was just perfect!  I really couldn't have asked for a better, more beautiful day for a show then what we had on Saturday.

 And I am sooooo happy with how the show went!  It was busy pretty much all day with very little down-time between customers dropping by to look at my booth.  As always, there were a lot of people just looking, but there were also a lot of serious shoppers.  Overall, this it was the second best show that I've done so far and was by far the best I've ever done in a single day!

 I'm very excited about how everything turned out, especially for my first time at this show! Looking forward to applying to next year's show and can't wait to see how this show will grow!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Turkish Round (Bracelet)(Copper)

("Turkish Round bracelet" by Handmaden Designs  LLC)

Sleek and elegant, this is a copper Turkish Round chainmaille bracelet. The copper has a special coating on it so that it will not tarnish and will remain as shiny as the day it was made.  No cleaning needed.  It measures at about 7.5 inches long and is 1/4 inch wide.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dragonscale (Bracelet)(Copper/Brown/Magenta)

("Dragonscale bracelet" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

This eye-catching Dragonscale bracelet is made from copper with brown and magent enameled copper adding a subtle pop of colour to the piece.  It measures at just over 7.5 inches long and is 1 inch wide. Dragonscale is a beautiful, attention grabbing weave and has an amazingly smooth feel to it when worn.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: "Fordite"

("Fordite images found on

Beautiful and highly unique, Fordite is actually not a true 'gemstone.'  In fact, it's not a stone at all.  Fordite (also known as "Motor Agate" or "Detroit Agate") is the result of the old-fashioned method for hand-painting cars. It used to be that cars would be sprayed by hand on an assembly line and the cars (and the frames that held them) would be baked to cure the paint.  Well this paint would also build up on the assembly line frames the held the cars and would sometimes receive hundreds of paint layers and after every baking it would just make this layering harder.  The end result is a rock-like substance umpteen layers deep of paint.  It is durable enough to be cut just like any natural gemstone and the colours it can have make it absolutely stunning for jewelry.  However, because this method of painting cars is no longer in use that means that there is a very limited supply of Fordite which, in turn, means that Fordite can actually get surprisingly expensive at times and is likely to go up once the supply has been depleted.