Sunday, January 20, 2008

I just hit a big sale at a local jewelry store. All of their briolette (teardrop) gemstones were half-price! So I had to stock up. Among the stones I picked up were some gorgeous deep purple amethysts and some really unusual octagonal peridot. It's so much fun imagining what kind of jewelry you might make with them and playing with new purchases. (I'm like a kid who just hit the jackpot in the toy store!I thought I would try something different. Usually I create a bead cap on teardrop stones by wrapping wire around the tops. (See the pink earrings above. )

But I've already done these before and there are lots of jewelry sellers on Etsy doing similar earrings. (Although I don't think you could ever find this style in retail stores across America. I know I never have.)

So I started playing around with some of my new amethysts to see if I could come up with a variation on this design. After a couple of disasterous results, I came up with these.

Although I liked the design, I was afraid that these earrings would not be good enough to sell - the relatively thin and soft wire I had to use (those holes in this gemstone cut are so small!) was easily bent out of shape. I decided to give them a spin in the tumbler to harden the wire. After a couple of hours, they came out and the wire was nice and hard. Great!

Although I like the bright silver, I decided to oxidize it to make the amethysts pop. The amethysts are suspended and hang freely on the earwires. (It's not that easy to get them to hang perfectly balanced BTW.) I think they almost look like they're swinging on a trapeze. So I decided to name them "Swinging Amethyst Earrings".

I made a few pair and with each pair, making them got a little easier. Maybe I could add another gemstone to the top? This was a little more challenging and I threw away a few early attempts, but I finally came up with a peridot and citrine combo. I was pretty pleased with them.

I listed both sets on my online shop and waited to see if they would sell. And waited. And waited. (I don't want to create a ton of earrings in a particular style if nobody wants to buy them. Been there, done that.) Finally I sold a pair of the Swinging Amethysts....then a pair of the Swinging Peridot and Citrines.

After no more interest for a while, I suddenly sold 4 pairs within a couple days! OK, this was a sign that I should make more.

And that's where I am right now. I made a couple of new swinging gemstone earrings but not yet listed, and more in the works. It'll probably take me a while before I have a chance to take photos that are good enough for my shop, but I thought I would share the earrings here first.

I have a pair with Orange-red and blue cubic zirconia - the faceting of the CZ is just unbelievable! (I also need a name for them. What the heck do I call this shade of red??) And I have partially finished earrings with rose quartz faceted stones and amethyst CZ.

Let me know what you think. Are these keepers?

Look for them on my Etsy site. I should be listing them later this week.

JANUARY 22 UPDATE: I just listed the orange-red/blue earrings in my online shop. You can find them here.


  1. Unknown said...
    what a beautiful blog. and wonderful photographs. i love your jewelry.
    Grizzly Mountain Arts said...
    I love your jewelry! Your style is gorgeous!
    Contrariwise said...
    Thanks so much!

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