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 :)