If you didn’t see, I added other blogging people doing this challenge to my previous post. They’re in at the bottom here too, and here is the Craft Pimp week 2 thread with other non-blogging entrants.
Art Jewelry Elements are also doing an earring challenge, split into 13 week segments. I’m not joining in to begin with because it requires artisan beads or components in every pair, and I don’t want to restrict myself from using anything in my stash that I feel like, right now. I may join a later quarter and do all lampwork earrings for that time.
So, week 2! What I am finding is that doing this challenge shortcuts a lot of the agonising over finding the ‘perfect’ beads and design to go with the main element I’ve chosen, because that’s what makes jewellery take a long time for me. (I also don’t do it too often, so nearly every item involves designing from scratch rather than putting different colours into a design I’ve developed already – that’s not very time efficient!). Instead of looking through all the beads I own to find the best combination, I can say “I am using these discs, and I will pick something good enough to go with them”. I can make a different combination another time.
#2: Purple Saucers
These beads use leftover pink lampwork discs I made for a commission necklace, along with purple dyed semi-precious stones* and sterling silver saucer beads and findings.
* Oh, let me go on a rant here. They’re named as dyed purple jade. Now, these aren’t jade. Most semi-precious beads sold as jade aren’t jade – ‘new jade’, ‘honey jade’… They’re pretty and I like them, but I wish suppliers would name beads what they actually are! eBay really doesn’t help – I have some lovely deep purple beads that were sold as ‘Russican amethyst’. Now, ignoring that the real name is Russian amethyst and they patently aren’t that either – they’re some kind of dyed semi-precious cloudy-clear stone, possibly quartz. I knew they weren’t amethyst when I got them. I would still have got them if they’d been described correctly. It isn’t even that they were passing them off as amethyst to make more money from them, because they were cheap – just “These are purple, we’ll call them amethyst”. (If they’d called *those* dyed purple jade, it might even be more accurate!) It isn’t just eBay though, that’s at least expected. It’s UK sellers who are naming beads what they’re told they are, without mentioning provenance or that ‘new jade’ isn’t actually jade. Some places do, and that’s great. An awful lot don’t. There’s a great deal of ‘turquoise’ out there that is actually dyed howlite, and howlite that’s something else because it began to get rarer…
(F’rex, http://www.beadshopuk.com seems pretty good. Dyed beads are split out from non-dyed, regions are mentioned, the turquoise is split into stabilised and reconstituted, and it is explained what those mean. It tells you that the New Jade is bowenite, a form of serpentine).
In terms of jade, that *is* partly a cultural issue – in China, jade did refer to all those types of greenish stone, and the traditional jade carvings frequently were made from serpentine. When it comes to other semi-precious mis-namings, that’s not usually the case. And when you’re selling over here, you ought to be sure of the difference.
52 little things links
Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design: http://www.earth-shine.co.uk/
Sue of BlueBoxStudio: http://www.blue-box-studio.blogspot.co.uk
Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass: http://kitzbitzartglass.blogspot.co.uk