Roman jewelry from 61 A.D., uncovered from a site being excavated beneath a department store 50 miles outside of London. Amazing how long it has lasted. The gold jewelry looks like it just needs to be brushed off and polished. The silver will need more work but seems intact. One thing is for sure, the shoes, bags and clothing that we spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on would never have held up this well, if at all.

Ancient Roman Jewelry

The work that goes into making a pair of open hoop earrings… This is what it looks like after I’ve measured and cut the wires (two of four pieces shown below) and bent them into shape with pliers. The reddish clay holds the wires in place while I solder the earring wire to the ear wire (the thinner wire). And that white gooey stuff is there to keep the silver from oxidizing too much under the flame. The big brass object on the right is my torch, probably the most important and most used tool that I have. All I need to do now is light that baby up. One thing I’ve learned about myself when it comes to making jewelry…I love playing with fire!

 

sterling silver earrings

 

Kind of messy looking, huh? There’s lots of cleaning and polishing to come after using the torch to get to the results in the photo below. And I’m not done yet. Always trying to make things better.

 

sterling silver earrings

Sterling silver earrings

 

 

 

Part of my collection of natural stones. Lapis lazuli: prized since ancient times for its deep blue color. Opal: fiery, delicate, precious. Turquoise: ever beautiful and immensely popular. Plus labradorite, petrified wood, azurite and more. Colorful and vibrant cabochons waiting to be set into pendants, rings, and earrings. If only there were more hours in a day!

natural stone cabochons

Slowly easing back into the thick of jewelry-making after a much too-short but very exciting vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. Among many other wonderful moments shopping, sunbathing and hanging out with friends, I met Hillary Clinton when she signed my copy of her new book, Hard Choices. Thought that was a huge deal, until my son strolls into our vacation house and announces that he and some friends met Malia Obama. Okaaay….

Hillary Clinton Book Signing

Hillary Clinton Book Signing

So, to come down from the heady days of summer, I took some sterling silver beads I’ve long been meaning to use and hand decorated them with stamps to give them a bit more organic, rustic look. Then I put them together with some other beads and wire, creating my own beaded chain. Finally, I added a sterling toggle clasp.

sterling handcrafted bracelet

 

And soon to be on sale in my online shop, perhaps with a bit of tweaking…

Sterling handcrafted bracelet