These Cat Eye and Claw earrings seem appropriate for the Autumn Equinox, with their balance of brown and blue, transparency and opacity, receding earth and rising water.  I carved the “claws” some time ago and only recently made the “cat eye” cabochons to go with them.  Settings are sterling silver with fine silver bezels and frosted aquamarine beads, 2.5 inches long, not including the earwires.

LEFT:  Rose gold bead (made in my shop from recycled metals), Oregon picture jasper cabochon, Guatemalan “Olmec Blue” jade carving (jadeite; carved the same on both sides).

RIGHT:  Bronze bead (cut from a broken Tibetan singing bowl), Namibian blue tigereye cabochon (the metallic line down the center is hematite), Siberian fossil mammoth ivory (the rare blue color is from vivianite, an iron phosphate mineral).

Cat Eye and Claw Earrings

Cat Eye and Claw Earrings

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We’re Back

September 15, 2011

OK, we’re back, and the computer has a new graphics card.  Meanwhile I’ve been working in the shop, drawing, staring at a “to-finish” list of too many projects, and setting priorities.  I re-did the Pink Necklace to include some forgework and more stone beads, which frees up the iron beads to use for something else.  It’s also more comfortable (and flashy!) to wear.  Hot-forged sterling silver and high-carbon steel, with the beads strung on black steel wire.  I carved two dark purple beads from fine-grained volcanic pebbles that I collected several years ago and have been using to decorate my yard.  The rock is extensively altered (mostly to hematite and clays) so it’s not as hard as the original minerals would have been, and takes a soft polish rather than a high shine.  The bright pink bead at the back of the necklace is Peruvian opal.  I carved this from some high-grade rough that a friend gave me several years ago.  This material is mostly an opaque pink chalcedony that forms in thin layers with swirling stringers of translucent pink, white, or colorless opal.  The color is a bit too bright for the front of the necklace (where I want the pink chalcedony to be the focus) but it is a nice accent for the back.

Pink Necklace II

Pink Necklace II

Now it needs some matching earrings.  I am working on a forged silver/iron set with small pink opal beads, but they will take some time.  Meanwhile, these simple wire ones will do:

Pink Earrings

Pink Earrings

I also made a forged pair of Moonlight Curly Cones, inspired by the Ironwing Tarot Ten of Bells card.  These are hot-forged sterling silver and high-carbon steel, like the necklace.  They are for sale on my website, since they ought to match anything black and white!  I have enough silver wire left for a couple more pairs of earwires (probably for me), but with silver at $44 an ounce, I won’t be buying any more for awhile.  I’m almost out of black steel wire, and once I’ve finished the necklace that is sitting nearly completed on my desk, I have chosen not to get any more, in order to focus on expanding my forgework.

Moonlight Curly Cones

Moonlight Curly Cones

The new computer has spawned a host of compatibility issues that mean that some things that used to be easy are now either impossible or too time-consuming to be worth the trouble.  So I am spending more time at the drawing table and less on the computer, and am not tackling any printing/publishing/drawing reproduction projects for awhile.

No Computer Until Next Week

September 1, 2011

Our computer crashed several days ago and we are waiting for replacement parts.  I am posting this from my husband’s laptop, which allows me to post text on my blog and to read e-mail.  I cannot reply to e-mail, access my photos or MS Word files, upload new photos, update my website, or log into my Flickr account until the computer is fixed, which will probably be late next week.  So if you’ve tried to contact me within the past week, it will be a few more days until I can reply.  Thanks for your patience.  I’ll post an update when everything is working again.