Category Archives: Jewellery

A new Etsy-ian is born…

So with motherhood going well, and I’ve learnt to better cope with my  little one after three months and a bit, I decided that it is time to get cracking on my own little home business. I spent the whole weekend setting up my Etsy Shop, FaceBook Page and Twitter account, and then linking it all together. Am by no means tech-savvy, but boy, after this little exercise, suffice to say I at least have the whole  social net-working situation down pat! 🙂

For those of you who are new to Etsy, it is an online marketplace for all sellers of handmade goods of arts and crafts, or vintage items. Be warned yourself, once you get in there, you’ll find it hard to get out, as there are just too too many goodies for sale by all the talented people out there!

Please click here to view my new online shop.

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Ode to a jeweller

It has been just over a month past the death of Mari Funaki, a very important member of the Australia jewellery community both for her work, and her contemporary jewellery gallery in Melbourne. While Funaki has left this world, hopefully someone will carry on her good work and Gallery Funaki will live on to present international and local artists’ works. To visit the gallery, please click here. Some examples of her work below, medium is mild steel and gold.

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To the land of the rising sun

We are off to the land of the rising sun for our honeymoon adventures! Tremendously excited.

Made myself a necklace to wear for the occasion. I am a little sheepish in saying that I borrowed the idea of mult-strand red coral from someone. However, am at the moment so in love with the colour red, and I too have many red coral beads sitting in my Bead-Box. The big silver oriental lattice pendant is handmade by madame gan – moi, and is suitably appropriate for the my travels to the east.

Stay tuned for travel adventures over the next month! Japan will doubtless be quite an eye-opening experience.

Au revoir et salut – madame gan

Serene smiles

Polite bows abound.

Lovely girls delight the eyes.

Land of serene smiles…

Mystery of East

Pretty girls. Almond.

Eyes hiding behind shy smiles.

Mystery of East…

Tokyo

Tall modern buildings

Block the view of Rising Sun

Is Japan’s soul lost?

Kyoto

Seat of faded dreams

Of Empire of Rising Sun

The sun also sets…


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Looking good in Japan

I’m having trouble assessing my accessories and wardrobe for the up and coming month-long honeymoon in Japan. I tell everyone we’re backpacking, but it’s not really backpacking if we’re not technically ‘roughing it out’ in bunks and dorms is it? Is it wrong to want to look good in Hip-Culture City itself? One wouldn’t want to look daggy opening the doors into the fab HdM designed Prada shop or stepping into Commes des Garcon.

So while He (who owns 10 black tshirts and another 5 white ones) tells me to stop pussy-footing around the luggage bag and just throw some stuff together, I have decided to quickly make myself a pair of pearl earrings from a precious string of baroque pearls. While the gorgeous organic shapes call for bigger & bolder studs, I have to admit to being lazy and just putting simple hooks on them. As He said, we are indeed running out of time (3 days to go!!!), and goddamn it, I just want them on my ears!

Here’s a couple more facts for you pearl-lovers:

Uneven pearls are called ‘baroques’, and are covered in bumps and globules. The word ‘baroque’ has an offspring – an exuberant new style of architecture became popular in 17th C Europe and some years later its critics mockingly nicknamed it ‘baroque’. They were suggesting that these structures were grotesque, like ugly pearls. But the word caught on and even became positive – Extract from Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay.

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tears of the gods

Tears of the Gods.

I came across this at some point and never forgot it. What a lovely romantic name for pearls.

I have 5 educational facts on pearls for you readers today:

1. Back in 55BC Caesar had drawn up a strict law in Rome that only aristocrats may wear pearls, and only Caesar could wear an all purple toga to match them. Pearls were associated with Venus, the goddess of love, and as such they were excellent chat-up material – as Caesar found to his advantage.

2. Throughout Asia and Europe, pearls were traditionally believed to ease a range of conditions, including eye diseases, fever, insomnia, dysentry, ‘female complaints’, measles and bed-wetting…

3. Mikimoto’s wife died young, but she told him she could leave without regrets because she saw him produce the first cultured pearl. He sometimes described pearls as teardrops, to reflect a loss from which he never fully recovered.

4. In 1916 the American industrialist and the French jeweller Pierre Cartier swapped an enormous beaux-arts mansion on 5th Ave Manhattan for a 128-pearl necklace, and the deal had sent pearl prices sky-rocketing.

5. The combination of a woolen sweater with a cardigan (twin-sets) had been created in America as a form of thermal underwear. By the 1950s, twin-sets were seen as smart day-wear and American women were buying them in vast quantities. When fashion editors on both sides of the Atlantic decided that the pearl necklace reinforced the demure image of the layered woolen look, the future of cultured pearls were assured. After the war, many women in Europe and America had gone out to work for the first time and many used their new buying power to purchase pearls.

Extracted from Jewels- A Secret History by Victoria Finlay.


Image above courtesy of coutureallure.com

Anyway, here is my own opera length strand of 6.5mm pearls sitting sedately on my Mokum-fabric sofa pillow. I so so love them, even if I don’t DO twin sets.

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Midnight fun

Don’t you love midnights? The velvet depth of the blanket darkness, the subtle twinkle clarity of the stars, the rustle of possums in the trees, the low hum of distant cars, the quiet settled feeling that many loved ones would most likely be safe in their beds, dreaming. This is the feeling I get when I look at my midnight blue stones. It’s related to the sunstone (but is an antithesis due to its colour), which is normally beigey-orangey-browny golden – hard colour to describe – see here. Decided to have some fun with it (at midnight!) and matched it up with some purple crystal stones and an odd-shaped piece of 3mm dia. sterling silver loop I ‘play-made’ but never used.

Together with this necklace (AUD125), I leave thee for the glorious weekend to come, with a little poem.

A Clear Midnight

THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou
lovest best.
Night, sleep, and the stars.

– Walt Whitman


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empowerment

We all need a little help from time to time. Four leaf clovers. Horse-shoes. Prayers. Fairies. Lucky charms. Favourite teddy. Whatever we use, it seems to lend us a little bit of extra oomph. Every individual has an inner strength that they may not have discovered they own, but somehow by suspending their cynical disbelief in all things ethereal, they seem to be able to channel an extra vigor -be it hope, optimism, or simply strength for them to deal with the situation at hand.

I have grown up surrounded by people wearing pieces of jade in my culture. For luck, for beauty, for sentimental reasons, and specifically to ward off evil. Close friends or family members often give new-borns a little piece of jade to wear. Jade is a beautiful stone whose colour (especially if green) becomes stronger and deeper over time with wear, as it absorbs the “qi” (energy flow) of the wearer. It is often said that if you one day discover an unknown crack in the piece of jade you are wearing, it means a disaster has been averted for you, and it is now time to buy a new one.

I have recently been thinking a lot about power – channeling power or giving power to oneself by what one chooses to wear.My mother’s friend commissioned me to make her something out of a jade piece she owned. It took me a long time to make this, not because it was hard to work with, but because I couldn’t decide how to do it. Recent considerations have led to a final design that is concurrently bold and fragile – bold in its simple and geometric layout, but fragile because the jade is exposed (ie not set in a frame to protect its vulnerable edges), thus in contact with the skin of the wearer. I hope through this emotive piece of jewellery to give the wearer strength, beauty, charm to avert evil, and the power to deal with whatever curved balls life throws.

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