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Saturday, January 28, 2012

One of a Kind Silver Hollowform Leaf Bracelet

I am an admirer of art jewelry from all time ages, cultures and designs. Before Internet has become so popular, I spent a lot of money on any book I found about jewelry from all over the world. I would come home from work at the end of the day, prepare myself a large cup of tea and sit on my favorite arm chair with a book on my lap. In a way, I've learnt a lot about jewelry by examining the photos, trying to figure out how the items were made technically. I was also inspired by these books. I remember looking at a unique necklace and thinking to myself - "I'd do it like this or try it like that" or "I could use this technique on a design I have in my own mind". In other words, the books have inspired me to go ahead and create something which is completely my own.
One of my  jewelry pieces is this bracelet

Riorita Sterling Hollow form leaf bracelet - side 1
Riorita Silver Hollowform Leaf bracelet - side 2

I made this bracelet from a 1mm thick strip of sterling silver, hammered it to a round bangle, then soldered on it hollow form leaves which I have predesigned and cast in differend sizes.. Then I soldered various forms on the leaves - a solid gold flower with an Amethyst cabochon , small pieces of Gold and a teardrop Carnelian (Cornelian). As I wanted it to be a bracelet and not a bangle, I sawed it in two places, and added hinges and a clasp.
As you may probably gather , quite a lot of work on it. Perhaps you may think it is over loaded with details, but - it was great fun to create it.
In my images you can see the bracelet from 3 different angles.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Golden Dome Necklace

I have first handcrafted these gold dome earrings some time ago. I began by making them in sterling silver. Then I thought  they would look good in gold too, so I have offered an alternative to the silver earrings in gold
Silver Dome earrings

Gold dome earrings

Later I handcrafted a sterling silver necklace with one dome as a pendant hanging on a delicate silver chain:
Sterling dome necklace
Yesterday  I added a new listing to my Etsy shp with a necklace which is another addition to this collection of granulated domes:

Gold dome necklace
I handcrafted this necklace by putting together nine granulated domes and then adding a double chain on each side of   the domes. Then I goldplated them in 24k gold. The necklace is worn close to the neck, as it is  18" long. I believe it is a great enhancer to any outfit!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Papier Mache Artists at Work

About three workshops away from my jewelry design workshop, there is another workshop, owned by my friend Ruth  where you will meet a small group of lively (and  may I  add - lovely!) ladies who have decided to collaborate on a few activities. First of all - they go every Sunday to the Italian Consulate in Haifa, to study Italian together. But the reason I decided to write this post about them is their unique art!
When entering Ruth's workshop, you will be stunned to find there a variety of sculpted  animals, flowers, people - all made of paper , glue and paint. Most of them are her own creations but there are many pieces made by her students.
When I entered her workshop a few days ago, they were working energetically on their sculptures preparing for an exhibition of their works  which will take place on February this year.

The artists displayed in the following images are Ruth Shnitzer and Etu Meikler
Etu and Ruth working at their Paper sculptures. Ruth is on the right

Ruth at work on one of her characters

Lots of affection between Etu and her paper man 
The atmosphere in that workshop is of  lively creativity with a lot of positive energy . 
These are unfinished projects. I will post the finished works, before they go to the exhibition. But before I do, here is a finished paper statue by Ruth, inspired by Botero's painting of a dancing couple.
Couple dancing the Tango - after Botero's painting
Finished project by Ruth Shnitzer 
Thinking of ECO - unlike  meatlsmith  jewelers like myself, where the materials are becoming more and more expensive,  creating such beauties from paper which is lying around in tons everywhere, makes me wish I had a magic wand where I could touch a newspaper  and turn it into silver or even Gold.

On the other hand - perhaps I should begin to  create jewelry made of paper too!...That's something to think about!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BESTeam Feature Week of 1/15

It has been rather cold here in the Middle East. Cold is a relative term, of course,  considering the fact that there are many countries in this world where the temperatures are extremely low most of the winter, such as in USA, Canada, and  Europe. But here in the Middle East we are kind of spoiled (only  weather wise). A little chilly air and we pray for warmer weather. By chilly I mean 7c which is more known to you as 44,6F. If at least we had a little snow to play with...
So before I dress up warmly to greet the day, I am sitting here in front of my computer and writing a feature about some of my BESTeam friends:

CC is an American lady who had lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 9 years. She loves Chinese Blue and White beads and has created necklaces and bracelets with them, while mixing them with other materials. Since July 2010 she has moved with her husband  from Asia to South America and has been living now in Santiago in  Chile. This is a new adventure for her, and she is loving it.
From CC's shop I've chosen this beautiful and elegant Chains and Rings necklace which is created from silver toned metal rings which are strung onto multiple chains.  Measurements are 18" plus a 3 inch extension chain. (45 cm plus7 cm).

Agnes is the owner of this cute shop and is a mother of 5 and  a grandma of seven  boys. She loves crafts,especially making jewelry... She hopes that after her retirement she will be able to dedicate more time to creating jewelry.
I wish her lots of success in this, because I know - it is great  fun!
In her jewelry she uses any medium .It could be crystals, paper beads, polymer clay, stamping. Most of her jewelry never gets to her Etsy shop because it is snatched by family and friends! Now we can follow her shop and check in to see whether she has added any new items. My favorite is this colorful Skull Bracelet . It is created with magic elastic so it can easily be worn on any wrist.

Ellen loves  mainly to crochet. She Has a beautiful Etsy shop full of very pretty crochet and bead jewelry, side by side with other functional items. I chose to add here this gorgeous cell phone charm .It is one of my many favorites from this shop. It is a Beaded Crochet Butterfly Cell Phone Charm made of coral and purple/black seed beads.  As my cell phone is mostly deep in my handbag, I would love to show it off on my sweater or coat.

Have a nice warm day everyone, and thank you for watching!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

After the Storm

Today, after the storm  had subsided, I drove to my jewelry workshop to see if everything was alright and check whether the water hadn't entered through the door or walls. I was happy to find out that all was OK  No damages. Then I went out for a stroll to see how things were in my neigburhood. I found an enourmous puddle in the backyard of a few of the workshops. In my mind I imagined ducks and swans swimming in there, but no! What was there was piles of junk. Great inspiration for avant garde artists! 

Then I returned to my workshop and prepared myself a nice mug of green tea. I started to work on some ordered earrings when I heard a tap on my door. It was Mika and Nimer.

They have only come over to see how I was doing and find out what I may have to offer them for lunch  today.
When they ate up,  I sent them kindly on their way, and went back to my work.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My cat Mazzi and the Eye of the Storm

For the last two days it has been stormy here, with heavy rains and howling winds. It was impossible to get to my jewelry workshop out of town . The roads were covered with water. At home, The rain was banging on my closed shutters, and the winds begging to barge in, making a terrible screamy noise.
This morning there have been a few bright  hours of peace.  So I have opened the windows to let in some fresh air into my apartment.
I have a small balcony which I ordered  especially for my cat Mazi ("Mazl"  means Luck) so she can enjoy the sun and her grass out there.It is attached to the wall under my living room window. I grow herbs there too during Spring and Summer, and there is a lot of space on it for her to bask in the sun and enjoy herself without falling off. Now, during the winter, the leaves have dried and flown away in the winds. I suppose the herbs will grow back again in the spring and it will all be green again.
This morning  during what I call " the eye of the storm" , I let my kitty out so she can enjoy the clear air and as you may see she looks rather content.
Mazzi taking a break from the storm
Oh No! Now - the winds have begun to howl again and the skies are filled with heavy dark  clouds!! That was a break too short! ..."Come back inside Mazi! You'll get wet, and your favorite heater is nice and warm!"
Hope I'll be able to drive to my workshop to design some new jewelry  tomorrow. The storm has wasted too much of my time!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

our home to yours: the best flowers ever!

our home to yours: the best flowers ever!

My Moroccan Style Inspiration

I've been living in Israel ever since I was born. The citizens in my country have gathered here from all over the world. This has opened me to many beautiful and different colors, traditions, shapes, exotic food, and forms. Some of the most talented people have arrived here from  Morocco, about 40-60 years ago, bringing with them rich traditions of design .
I have always been fascinated with the buildings I've seen in photographs from Marrakesh or other parts of Morocco. I have realized, that unintentionally I've handcrafted jewelry which is inspired by these beautiful shapes.

Moroccan lamp
The design of this Moroccon lamp,  seems like it was sawed out of the metal in a perpetual form. In my Wide Lattice Silver Bangle which is a rather different design,  I sawed the silver with a design which is somehow  reminiscent of the shape of a lattice. Later, I soldered on it pieces of sterling silver and gold and a 9k gold dove and added tiny Lapis Lazuli cabochons to it.
Wide Lattice Silver Bangle
At the end of 2011, about a month ago, I handmade these long oval Silver and Peridot earrings, which are inspired - not copied - by a Moroccon shape too:

Silver and Peridot Earrings

Somehow they remind me of some kind of dried fruit too. Don't they?

Hope you like my stuff. Here you will find more
handcrafted artisan jewelry:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mystery House across my Window

There is a mystery house just across my northern window. It is a stone house surrounded with a stone brick wall. The house is beautiful! It is one of a few stone houses built  around the 1920's on this slope of Mount Carmel in Haifa. I remember that when I arrived here many years ago,  there was a married couple living in it. We used to exchange polite greetings whenever we passed by. Meanwhile I have been away from this part of the city for about 20 years, and have returned here only  about six years ago.

Ever since I've returned, I've been passing by this house, but there is no one there...!

Every time I park near the house, the windows and shutters are tightly  closed. There is a heavy lock on the iron gate. A concrete path leads to the main door. At night it is dark and the only light shining on it is the street lamp. Whenever I watch out my  window,  I look at it with curious admiration, but never see a living soul there. Yet - the garden is well taken care of, and it looks in good condition. The staircase is not very clean, but then you see this in houses with people in them too... I've been wondering - I've never seen a gardner there. Who is taking care of the garden? how is it that someone is cleaning the paths and keeps the house in good shape and I never see him/her?!

Today, as I was walking to my car, which I park not very far  from it, I decided to take photographs. I stopped by the gate and drew out my camera. For a second I was afraid that someone might come out to and grab my camera or...whatever .Well - luckily this did not happen!

The mystery house
If I ever see someone in the house, I will write another article. Promise! Ha!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New earring studs from my handmade granulated jewelry collection

Last week I looked at my Etsy shop and as I viewd my granulated earrings, thought to myself:  "time to create something new!". Sometimes the "New" is a very simple idea such as just combining two existing pieces together. I like to set one form next to the other and see how they look together. It is always fun to search for new combinations. 
This time I decided on a new pair of ear studs with two granulated circles, in different sizes. I soldered one on top of the other, and somehow they look like a granulated wheel. I then gold plated them with Rose gold. The granules have a shiny polish while the background is satin in order to create a contrast.
Diameter of each stud is 0.9" (about 22mm)
Here is the result of my experiment:

Rose gold ear studs - Granulated wheels.

There is, of course, an option of handcrafting them in  sterling silver without the gold plate or with yellow gold.  

Thank you for watching.
Have a great weekend!

to view more of my handmade jewelry designs:

My blog featuring Etsy's Besteam shops:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My new Ancient Coin Ring

I picked up this Ancient Judaean Coin ring from my coin collection and handcrafted a ring with it. The coin was struck in ancient Jerusalem during  the First Jewish Revolt against the romans in the years 66-70 and it rolled and rolled (for this is what happens to coins - they are round and they roll...) until it reached my box of ancient coins.Ting! But it did not stay there as you may see: 
Ancient coin ring - sterling silver and a  Judaean "Pruta"
The coin was struck in Bronze and is called  "prutah". It has on its surface a vine leaf on a small branch.  The Vine leaf, and a bunch of grapes, on other similar coins, are popular in Jewish art.  The vine is one of the seven agricultural species of  Judaea. Vine leaves and grape branches are a symbol of peace, contentment and long lasting life.

Ancient coin ring with "Prutah"

The inner part of the ring
Size of the ring US 6.90
Size of the bezelled coin is 0.7" in diam. (about 22mm)

more handcrafted artisan jewelry:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Sonora Sunrise Ring

Today I have relisted my Sonora Sunrise sterling silver ring. I handcrafted it by setting a beautiful  large stone 30mm x 26mm x 5mm  in a sterling silver jewelry ring which I designed and handcrafted for it. 
The ring is US size 7.80 .
Sonora Sunrise sterling silver and gold ring+

The stone Sonora Sunrise has been lately discovered in Mexico.It is an amazing  combination of an interesting shade of blue Chrysocolla and Cuprite with stunning shades of red.

Sonora Surise and sterling ring - the back

More handcrafted jewelry designs: