Clover, clover, clover!
How many of you made chains of clover blooms when you were young? I know I did and so did many of my friends. I can't remember how old we were but maybe 7 or 8 years old. What simple times those were - I love to make jewelry that reminds me of those times. This jewelry, pictured at left, reminds me of those times every time I wear them. The earrings are short and cheerful and the silver bracelet looks very much like the clover chains we made. The necklace is also a great reminder of those childhood times.
I had such a great time designing these silver jewelry pieces; actually, this is only part of the collection called "Elegant" and it includes several silver jewelry pieces that remind me of my childhood.
I love just love these silver earrings and I wanted to give you a little peak into the process of how these earrings are made. Choosing the correct wire is pretty important as it gives an earrings with a different look depending on the thickness of the wire. It's also extremely important to measure the length of the wire exactly; if the wire lengths don't match, the earrings won't match and that is not good. So the lengths of wire are soldered together then pulled in opposite directions to form a sort of oval shape. Next the ovals are "pinched" in the middle and soldered at the pinch. Again, the measurement as to be precise. Mismatched earrings are not what we are going for here. Next step, fold the pinched shape around a mandrel so that the ends of the oval overlap. Even up those overlapping oval ends and solder that area - this can be tricky; I don't want the whole silver earring to collapse at this point, which I have had happen before! It's just a balancing act to get everything supported and soldered. The picture above right show the silver earrings completed but not cleaned up. Below are the earrings cleaned up, ready to price and pack!
We will soon be on the road for fall festivals and holiday art shows. I have put together these holiday gift ideas from my most popular jewelry collections. Click on any of the jewelry inspiration photos below to see gifts of jewelry that will please everyone on your list. I hope to see you are one of my upcoming shows!
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Class Act: Pearls and Sterling Silver
I love the combination of sterling silver and freshwater pearls! Not only is it a lovely combination but the combination is perfect for all seasons of the year. Pearls lend a light and airy look to summer fashion and are a wonderful compliment to the "winter whites" in your closet.
This is a true jewelry classic, in my opinion. In fact, speaking of "classic", I put together this Pinterest board called "Classic Fashion" that I thought you would enjoy! Go here to have a look: Laura Teague Jewelry: Classic Fashion
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That's all for now - see you next time!
In the Jewelry Studio!
I have been so busy getting my new sterling silver jewelry collection ready for fall! I am very excited about it but don't want to give away too many hints before I introduce the entire new collection later this month.
The photo to the right is a new shape for me - I am thinking of it as "pod" earrings. It is a little tricky to solder all those little connections but I think it's worth the trouble, how about you? These still look a bit rough because they haven't been cleaned and polished yet; they will look a lot different when they are properly finished!
Here are some of the simple "hand" tools I use to polish a piece of sterling silver jewelry before it leaves my hands for its permanent home. These are really made for polishing and finishing fingernails but they work quite well to smooth and polish sterling silver jewelry. I use lots of tools but these are some of my favorites. I'll show you more next time!
Yesterday was a day for.....
Yesterday I spent about half the day completing applications for Spring art shows. Each fall, I (and many other artists!) spend time applying to spring show. I was very productive yesterday - I finished the applications for three different shows!!
The first application I completed was for Festival International, which takes place the end of April in Lafayette, Louisiana. It is a wonderful, fun show with loads of music, art and an "international" shopping opportunity as well as other fabulous entertainment! For artists, it is a bit grueling: the festival is three days and both Friday and Saturday nights last until 11 pm...past my normal bedtime! But there is no better place to buy handmade art!
Next up: Eastern Shore Arts Center Outdoor show in Fairhope, Alabama. I have only participate in this show once and hope to be able to do so again, March 2017. Beautiful location; my husband and I always have a great time in Fairhope.
Finally, I applied to The Big Easel which is a one day show for handmade art in April in Lafayette, Louisiana.
That application was a bit of a challenge to complete because they asked for 10 images of my work as well as a good bit of additional info. It's what they need to make good decisions so the show is the best it can be so I was happy to oblige!
So, three shows - fingers crossed that letters of acceptance will soon be rolling in!
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Back to School Time!
It is finally back to school time here in south Louisiana - the schools were in session for only one day before the floods came and now the schools are slowly getting back up to speed.
Back to school time also heralds the eminent arrival of fall, which is never far away once the kids get back to school. We are looking forward to cooler weather and cozy inside time with with friends and family.
At this time of year there are also lots of articles and blogs that talk about jewelry and fashion "trends" for fall/winter, 2016-2017. I, for one, enjoy looking at trending fashion but rarely follow it; I am much more comfortable depending on my tried and true classics to get me through my days.
As it happens, one of my favorite "trending" pieces this fall is pearl jewelry. Both classic and trending, best of both worlds! Pearls go with everything in your closet and are easily dressed up or down; but you knew that, didn't you?
Another trend this season is stacking rings, which many of us have worn and enjoyed for years; so we can wear our favorite classic jewelry pieces and still be in style! It's a win-win!
There are other trends, to be sure and we can all enjoy and be entertained by them. As for me, I will stick to the classics!
How about you? Do you have a favorite trending jewelry piece or do you set your own trend? I would love to hear from you!
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I am Laura Teague, a metal smith, knitter and sewist living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and traveling the western US whenever I can!