Saturday, December 9, 2006

Design Beginnings...

I am trying out ideas for a bracelet line that will feature fine (.999) hammered and textured silver bangles and links. The toggle clasps are also handmade using the fusing technique. I truly love shaping and texturing metal with nothing but a hammer, and then embellishing it with whatever strikes my fancy that day. Making ball-ended head pins is great fun, as well, and they are perfect for swirling around hammered links. These two bracelet design ideas will be done again when I get some heavier silver wire delivered. The 16g I currently have is just a bit tooo thin to get the look I'm going for here.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Beautiful Labradorite

From the minute I first laid eyes on labradorite, I loved it. The form that I first saw was a soft gray and flashed with blue fire - this is still my favorite color of the stone that ranges from yellow to red to even black. I recently discovered that sunstone is actually a red form of labradorite. One day I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and won these gorgeous huge beads in an ebay auction by a gem cutter in China! So I guess now I'm an importer!! This bracelet features 18mm faceted labradorite beads accented with sterling silver and a single Swarovski crystal.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Casual Copper

I started doing copper pieces earlier this fall so I could perfect my texturing techniques on something less expensive than silver. Somewhere along the way I fell in love - copper is a joy to work with, and goes so well with all the lovely, warm colors and textures of the fall and winter seasons. Here is one of my favorite projects - a pair of hand textured copper earrings with onyx chip dangles. Very fun and casual....

Monday, December 4, 2006

December Rainbow

This piece is the beginning of a new series of crystal chakra jewelry. Each piece will have all seven colors of the chakra, as well as at least one clear crystal. Wearing pieces like this which contain a balance of all the colors are said to help in balancing your chakras and to keep your energy field in harmony. Whether or not you subscribe to this belief system, the jewelry does feel good to wear!!

Christmas is coming, coming.......

I love Christmas, and this weekend I really started getting in the mood. I've completed the first of several gifts, and am starting to think about decorating the house.....ho, ho, ho......
This set is a "wild" mix of sesame jasper, hypersthene, onyx, picture jasper, tigereye, freshwater pearls and animal print clay beads. The earrings are made from two of my fused metal circles which were hammered for a bit of texture, and dangle from hand forged ear wires.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Fresh Color

This necklace is another piece that was inspired by a WetCanvas! WAF theme-- one of artist Shannon Bowley's paintings. (

I find that I really enjoy designing to a theme - it gets the mind going in new directions and gives inspiration for new collections. This one just might be the beginning of next Spring's new collection....hmmmmm.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Fun with Rings!

Still playing around with metal, and have found that I love making rings! I've started a new line of fused and hammered pinky and stacked ring sets. The

little pinky rings are made from handmade ball-ended headpins which are then bent and hammered into shape. I'm thinking about added some that also have little gemstone dangles - we'll see. The stacked rings are little sets of 3 or 5 fused circles that have been hammered in different ways to provide some texture. Stay tuned for variations on this idea, too - I'm thinking little tiny bezel-set gems would be fun here....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Irai Citrine and more Fun with Metal...

I have had this 8mm round Citrine from the Irai mine in Brazil for more than a year, and couldn't decide what to do with it. The Irai mine is known for producing these lovely deep reddish-orange citrines, which are supposedly not heat-treated. I was playng around with a hammered copper focal and decided that the citrine looked really pretty with the copper. I set it in a simple little setting and dangled it inside one of my fused silver circles. I will be doing some additional pieces that are variations on the hammered, V-shaped focal - lots of embellishment possibilities here!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cinque Terre Finished Piece!

Here is the the finished piece that was done for the WetCanvas! WAF (Wearable Art Friday) theme that I talked about in the November 10th post. The bracelet became a necklace, but I never was able to get the citrine dangles to look right on the necklace either, so they became matching earrings. This set was great fun to create and will always remind me of the Cinque Terre region of Italy which is definitely tops on my list of places to travel to next!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fine Silver, A Hammer and a Torch

I am taking a long distance class in metal fusing from Iris Sandkuhler of Sandkuhler Studio in Pacifica, California. She is a very

talented artist, and her course has opened up a whole new world of creative possibility for me. I'm having sooo much fun creating new things. Fine silver, which is .999 pure silver, (unlike sterling which is .925 pure and tarnishes faster) has been a joy to work with. Fine silver must be used when fusing in order for the metal to melt and fuse together correctly. The technique involves making shapes where the the ends of the metal are touching as smoothly and completely as possible, then heating with a torch until the metal becomes liquid and fuses, but still retains the original shape. The piece is then textured, shaped some more if needed, polished and embellished with whatever comes to mind. Here are a couple of my first pieces...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cinque Terre WIP (Work in Progress)

I'm a member of a wonderful online community - the Wearable Art forum at - and we have a thing called Wearable Art Friday, or WAF for short. A theme is chosen and everyone designs a piece that is inspired by the theme. A two week period is given, at the end of which everyone votes for the piece that best represents the theme, and the winner chooses the next theme. This is great fun, and I thought I'd share the piece I'm currently working on as well as the theme. I love the mix of stones, shells and silver (especially the citrine dangles) chosen to represent the lovely warm colors in the photo. The dangles are just a bit too long for a bracelet, so I've decided to re-do the piece as a necklace, and will post the finished piece as soon as it's complete.

The theme is the Cinque Terre region of Italy, one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. This is somewhere I'm definitely going to have to visit! The photo below of the town of Manarola was taken by donbenito and is posted at -

Welcome to the Lavender Cottage Jewelry Blog!

 Hello Friends...

Making jewelry is a labor of love for me, and I hope to share the inspirations and creative processes that go into the jewelry I make here on this blog.  My website and online store are in dire need of a redo in order to represent my current work, so I thought I would start this blog as a way to share my creative journey while I am working on the web site which will probably not be finished until sometime in early 2007. I am always thinking about new things to create and am constantly inspired by what I see around me, sometimes in the most surprising places.  I will be posting both works in progress, finished pieces, and even some of the the failures.   Sometimes we learn the most from what does NOT work.  See you all soon, bye for now :)