Archive | January 2011

Persephone Rising – Concept to Creation

It’s pretty rare that I actually sketch out a design before I sit down at the bench. I tend to be a very “by feel” designer– my usual process is to spread out all of my beads in front of me, pick a focal stone or general theme, and then experiment until I figure out what the piece is supposed to be.

However, Tuesday night found me with a whole lot of pent up creative energy and almost no silver wire! There was an ice storm here in Baltimore, and the shop where I get my silver, Terra Firma, was closed. Frustrated, I picked up a pencil and began to sketch all the things I would make if only I had the silver onhand. And here is the draft of “Persephone Rising,” a large collarpiece bedecked with AA blood red garnets, plus a pair of matching earrings.

Wednesday, hallelujah, the shop was back open, and I raced in to restock my 16, 18, and 26 guage silver wire, as well as to pick up some key embellishments. I worked all day on this necklace yesterday.

First, I formed the spine of the necklace from heavy sterling wire, hammered it flat, and then wove it together with thinner sterling wire. Next, I embellished with tiny sterling silver balls, to emphasize the soft loops and swirls. After that, I formed the clasp, a lovely S-clasp that echoes the swirls of the neckpiece.

The garnets came next– I had initially planned on five garnets for the necklace, but in the end, three looked more balanced, especially when paired with the garnet rounds that adorn the chain.

And then I repeated the process to create the matching earrings, which thankfully didn’t take nearly as long as the necklace to create!

This morning, I antiqued the entire piece in a solution of liver of sulfur to get a beautiful dark finish. The metal was hand-polished to a high-contrast finish with my favorite satin-finish polishing cloths, and it’s ready to be presented to you!

Here is the final set– Persephone Rising. (Inspired by my friend Karyn, with whom I was twittering as I sketched.)