Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Tigers Eye Treasure

Wire on its own can be used to create beautiful jewellery, but with the addition of beads the array of possibilities is endless. Beads have been created for a long time, maybe 100,000 years or more. From shells, to wood, glass, bone, plastic, clay & gemstones both precious & semiprecious. For this latter group there have been  long held beliefs as to their magical properties, which for many remain strongly held beliefs even today. Gemstones will always be held in high regard for use in jewellery, not just for their beauty, but for those other unseen properties. What better jewellery to wear, than something that can enhance & empower you.
So I thought I'd have a closer look at many of these stones.The first one is the Tigers Eye.


Tigers eye is a type of quartz embedded with tightly packed bands of the mineral amphibole. It is rich in browns, golds & sometimes reds. Not surprisingly its name derives from its stripes, so like that of a tiger's.


Many believe that the tigers eye can focus the mind & give clarity of thought. Legend has it that it is a psychic protector & Roman soldiers wore it for protection on their travels. It is believed to boost self esteem and endow someone with courage. You can understand the appeal of this to a Roman soldier!
It can be found in South Africa, Namibia, USA, Canada, India, Burma & Western Australia


This last bracelet has been mixed with copper wire & jasper beads..such warmth all together. I can picture & Roman lady wearing this, having being sent it by her husband to ensure her safe travel until they can finally be together again.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Easy to get online shop - Easysite Solutions

Well, Folksy was my starting point in the on line world but I'm just one teeny shop in a whole mass of others there & of course there's all the fees, restrictions on what you can list etc. So it's no surprise that most of us dream of our own website...where you choose what to list, it can hang out there for as long as it needs to, you can move things around, change the front page etc. Oh, yes, that's what's needed! Only drawback is if you're like me.....of an age where computers didn't arrive in school until after I'd left, terrified of all nerdy type computer language & HOW MUCH to pay someone to do the website for me!! Well, getting a website may seem an insurmountable task.
So that's when a social media site like facebook comes in handy because you start to learn about companies that give you the option of setting up the website at a much cheaper price, but 'holding your hand' to do it. So that's where Easysitesolutions came in for me.



At first it all looked a bit complicated, but working my way gradually through all the know how on the forum or simple emailing when I got stuck, finally lead to success. It took about 1 month to develop www.spiralfountainjewellery.co.uk






Not only has it helped a complete computer un- nerd like me set up a website, there's a growing number of others who have done the same & they're all well worth a visit;









Click on each of the shop names & you will be linked to their shops & can see just what is possible for building your own website with a bit of help & not too much expense!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Lowes Court Gallery...Artist's Dream Maker


Just had the a pleasurable few days creating stock for a place that is very close to my heart 

This was the first place that allowed me to sell my very first necklace.
Lowes Court Gallery only exists because of the vision & enthusiasm for art of one woman...Lyn Purnell.     



About 40 years ago, no.12 Main St, Egremont was shuddering in response to the demolition of nearby buildings. It was awaiting its own death sentence in order to make way for the town centre regeneration. Meanwhile, local artist and teacher, Lyn Purnell, had realised that this old coal merchant’s cottage had far more to offer to the town than simply being reduced to a pile of rubble. With the bulldozers only metres away from no.12, Lyn desperately pleaded with Ennerdale Rural District Council to withhold the destruction of this neglected old building. 



Lynn managed to gather a band of volunteers who not only raised the funds, but also helped with the hard graft of restoring this beautiful old building & converting it into the wonderful gallery that it is now. It is a charity & therefore provides a great  & far more economical landing stage for local artists to show their work. The main display room is named after Lyn & she wrote her own story about Lowes Court in a booklet 'How it all began', which is available at the gallery. 


The building dates from 1740 and its first resident was Mr Lowes, a maker of spinning wheels.
So now this delightful old building has gone from spinning wheels to spinning success!



Saturday, 26 November 2011

Christmas Dogs..A Home for Life



Well it is the time of year when millions of people are thinking about that special gift for their loved one. The gift that is 'oh so cute', lovable & has big brown 'buy me' eyes. That is why so many succumb to purchasing those soft adorable puppies that last ...well a few weeks/months until they're much bigger, noisier, crying all night, pooing, peeing, chewing, stealing food, scratching, smelly, needing a walk again, chasing things they shouldn't & maybe even biting what they shouldn't! Not to mention how much money to feed, insure, vaccinate on top of that initial purchase price.So then the special gift is over & the dogs homes are overwhelmed another year running.

The photo above is of our oldest dog Joe Bo. He is 14 yrs old & still needs feeding, walking, gets smelly, pinches food etc. 14 yrs down the line!


So my appeal to you is to not take on that puppy unless you can definitely cope with everything it comes with. Instead consider the lovable puppies & dogs that are carefully handcrafted so that they will  remain forever just as they have been created- no mess & considerably cheaper! So here's my pre Christmas gallery of dogs in need of a forever home;


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas Wire Poinsettia Flower pendant

Well, keeping the Christmas theme going..I finally finished the poinsettia pendant. Wire weaving is basically a good way of 'colouring in' when creating wire pieces. It is fairly simple to do too.


You simply tie some slim (eg; 0.4mm) wire around some thicker wire (eg; 0.8 mm wire) & then wrap around the wire once, then feed down to the other side. Bring it over, wrap around once (or twice or more..it's up to you) & then feed down to the other side going back & forth.
The only down side is it is very time consuming & a little monotonous. Perhaps it could be done as a therapetic approach for insomnia! zzzzzzzzzzzzz........

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Folksy Item of the Week...Cushions!


Slipped onto my derriere recently & wished for a nice soft cushion to sit on...no better place than Folksy to look for cushions of all sorts! Thanks to MissWinnieMakes for this one, which is definitely bringing the Christmas theme in now.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Slump & Splurge..the cycle of a wire jewellery artist!

Slump & splurge...both the curse & the joy of being a creative type. I definitely hit my 'slump' earlier this week. Probably a combination of factors- not too well, demands of family, job, sales at rock bottom. It's just too easy to then switch off...& even stop creating. Couldn't even look at my wire or pliers, lest they heave more guilt upon me. I simply stopped........

Maybe that's what my body & mind needed, though. Because within days, I suddenly awoke with my 'zing' again! The 'splurge' then arrived like a tidal wave. A zillion ideas of what you WANT TO DO, not what you must do, swirls in your head & so no matter what time of day or night it is, you're back creating avidly again! Yippee for the splurge - it's like riding a great wave & hoping the beach doesn,'t arrive too soon!

So I'm on the wave at the moment;


Finished 'wire wolf'


Brought fire breathing dragon to life!


Created 'wee Robin' - remember a robin is for life, not just for Christmas



Eons behind everyone else, I've finally started work on a Christmas item. No, it's not a star! It's going to be a poinsettia.
Well, off to 'splurge' some more!!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Fireworks

Well it would've been churlish not to feature some fireworks on Bonfire Night. So thanks go to Coasters for this bright & dazzling  coaster set , perfect for your Bonfire Night & beyond.


Sometimes wonder what kind of country the UK would've become had Guy Fawks succeeded in blowing up the parliament? How many innocent people would've died?
Let's hope some more people find their inner peace, so outer peace can spread & that the only explosions this weekend will be from dazzlingly spectacular fireworks!!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Folksy Item of the week......Blasting into Outer Space

Ever felt like you needed to STOP & get away from it all. I sometimes do & then imagine what it would really be like to get away from it all....as in out of this world completely! Maybe just take a rocket to the stars...oh well, such are dreams made of. I don't think I'll ever have the 200,000 dollars required for a Virgin Galactic flight, so my imagination will have to do! Well that's infinitely less risky! So Folksy Item of the Week had to be outer space related & thanks go to Fizzy Popov for this really unusual clock!

Thanks to fizzypopov

Friday, 28 October 2011

Dichroic Glass ...A Brief Encounter

There's something so alluring about the dazzling spectrum of colours that shimmer across dichroic glass. So it's a jewellers dream to work with.

We can thank NASA for the current ease of access to this beautiful glass as they developed it for use as dichroic filters. However, it has been around a lot longer. Have you ever heard of the Lycergus cup? This is a Roman glass cage cup from the 4th Century. The glass has minute particles of silver & gold in its layers, much the same way that modern dichroic glass is created deliberately by using multiple thin layers of different metals & oxides. This causes different wavelengths of light to either reflect or go through, creating the myriad of colours that also change depending which way you look at it. That's why it can be difficult to capture a photo that in any way reveals the real depth of beauty it has in real life. Any photo is only giving you a brief encounter with dichroic glass.

The above pendants were created by fusing dichroic glass with bullseye glass in a kiln. It's always exciting seeing what happens, as the melting process can be somewhat unpredictable. The end result isn't always what you expect! Once fused, you then have basically cabochons. You can use fibre rope in the firing process, if you need a hole for pendant attachments or you can drill glass (that's another blog topic!) However, as a wire worker, I will simply wrap them in wire & create a loop to attach to any necklace.


The word dichroic is derived from the Greek 'di', which is two & 'chroma', which is colour.