Hello Again Friends!
Long time no post. My brain fog regarding a big possible move around the world has cleared. I have done what I can for now to prepare still not knowing for sure whether we are going to stay-or-go. For now, life goes on here in Virginia and I am back to full steam ahead!
I am making my blogging re-entry with a post about pearls and a design challenge that inspired me from Mishel Designs. Michelle Buettner loves pearls so much that she has a diploma in pearls from the Gemological Institute of America. She is the perfect designer to issue a jewelry making challenge using pearls, pearls, pearls!
Pearls also happen to be one of my favorite gems to use when I am making jewelry and I have quite a collection of cultured freshwater pearls in different colors, shapes and sizes. I like to use them in ways that makes them look modern and fresh. Not that pearls ever have or ever will go out of style! I like to combine them with leather and use them in slightly unexpected ways.
I was playing around with a double leather link and wire wrapped it with pearls and a few tiny bead caps as an accent. The double leather link makes an interesting bracelet focal.
I knotted smaller 6mm, large hole pearls on brown C-lon bead cord along with faceted, sterling silver nuggets and faceted clear quartz. It could be a necklace or a wrap bracelet. I have been wearing it as a bracelet that wraps around my wrist 4 times.
For my second design, I created a pair of asymmetrical earrings strung on 26g sterling silver wire. There are three different kinds of pearls in these earrings. The smallest are teeny tiny, 1mm rice pearls. It amazes me that a hole can be drilled in such a small pearl! I also used peacock biwa pearls as the base of the triangular shape that have an amazing luster and color and a single large hole 6mm pearl that is the same pearl used in my wrap bracelet above. I used a faceted iolite bead to play off the color of the peacock pearls.
Buying Advice For Pearls:
I tend to buy most of my pearls in person from a variety of vendors at bead shows I attend. Many of the vendors at these shows don’t have good retail websites you can visit to see their inventory.
I like to see and touch the pearls because the luster, color and texture of the nacre, the outside coating of the pearl, can make a pearl amazing or just completely flat and so, so. It is hard to completely judge those qualities online.
However, I have purchased pearls from many of the popular online bead stores and if you do, make sure they give the pearl a grade. I like to spend a little more for an “A” or at the least an “AB” grading if buying online becasue they should have better luster. When I go below that, often I find I am disappointed.
I have had some luck with JBC Beads in the past buying large hole pearls online. They show the pearl grading. Lately it seems I am only buying large hole pearls to use on all sorts of cording and leather. You can also search Etsy suppliers. There are tons of shops these days selling large hole pearls and often you can purchase just a few pearls to test the quality.
Head over to Mishel’s blog for more buying resources and to learn about the history and the vast variety of pearls that exist. Spend a few minutes to hop around and take a look at the other participants blogs to see many gorgeous pearls used in interesting ways! There is some swoon worthy jewelry. Thanks for hosting this wonderful, pearl filled blog hop Michelle!
Pearls! Pearls!! Pearls!!! Blog Hop Participant List:
** Make Bracelets! ** You are Here
Thanks for stopping by!