My current thought is to have an open studio by appointment only, which so far has been on Sundays, although occasionally during the week, with the caveat that I could end up typing while people are absorbed in choosing beads. The idea is that I give someone an overview of where all my beads and findings are and, as in a "real" bead store, they pick and choose the beads they want to make their own necklace. Once they're happy, they string the necklace and choose a clasp, and I do the final crimping and finishing off. What's interesting is how amazed newbies are at how long the whole process takes and how difficult it is to choose the beads that, A, they like (and/or can afford) and, B, that are truly "right" in order to express what they have in their mind's eye.
My buddy Lynn of Fashion Your Space (who is forever helping get me organised) was here a few weeks ago to finally put together her turquoise necklace using the string of Kingman chips I'd given her for her birthday back in January. I'd made those hammered copper hearts a couple of years ago.
This is what Lynn had to say about the experience:
I am thrilled with my necklace and earrings! I just love them!
What an enjoyable experience at your home choosing from an extensive collection of genuine stones, ornate beads and wire work creations. To my delight, I found your unique handmade ‘copper wire hearts’ to add to my jewellery pieces. I never thought I'd be wearing real turquoise. I love the color and I am so proud to wear them. Thank you so much for helping create my jewellery.
This past Sunday, Lynn and Claudia came for a potluck lunch on the deck (when it was still lovely weather; it's going to be really chilly this weekend!) and Claudia was finally able to start working with the teardrop lapis lazuli that she bought last year from the Grand River Bead Society Bead Show in Guelph (which is coming up again in a few short weeks: Claudia told me she will be going again to buy more beads and findings).
These are the designs that Claudia is now mulling over.
Thanks for inviting me on Sunday! I enjoyed playing with my beads at your studio and having lunch. Those cheesecakes were delicious! I found out in a jewelry store a pearls necklace with the same design that I did for my lapis lazuli and the sparkling rounds. So, I'm going to keep it for me and look for a another one, more modern for my niece. I got an email with the invitation for the show on October, so I'm going to wait to see what can I get there.
Thanks again and see you soon,
That raw lapis lazuli you see in the last example is new and gorgeous with lots of pyrite. Every single piece is full of character and possibilities. I will have lots at both the Grand River Bead Society Bead Show in Guelph the weekend of October 5th and 6th, as well as The Gem Expo Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 22nd-24th in Toronto at the Hyatt on King Street -- or email me and I'll be happy to send you more pictures with prices.
And... I was busy this afternoon. It only took about 3 hours, but I managed to put together a necklace and bracelet with some beautiful blue acqua terra (aka imperial and/or impression) jasper that I got a while back from Nelson Gemstones. I really should have gotten more strings of this particular colour. It is so very, very pretty and goes with so many things. The fill in the necklace is a lovely warm putty pearlescent colour of 6/0 Japanese seed beads that I got from Beads of Colour in Dundas.
The necklace has aqua terra jasper rounds, pewter and silver-plated beads with a silver-plated rose & wing pendant and finished with Japanese seed beads, about 22" in length; $49 plus shipping.
The bracelet is made with aqua terra jasper rounds and silver-plated and pewter beads; 7.5" long; $15 plus shipping.
As always, please email me for availability or to discuss a commission, and I do take PayPal.
Thanks for looking!