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Monday, April 20, 2009

New Commissions

Recently, I received commissions to design peices to celebrate, sooth or just enliven the recipients. Here are some recent designs - thanks for looking:

Sapphire and Amethyst Lariat necklace in sterling silver with matched leverback earrings:

Murano Glass handblown glass bead with freshwater and glass pearls, handwired onto vintage brass chain necklace with matched post earrings:

Genuine Sapphire Rondelles on tiny sterling silver ball chain...necklace:

Sterling Silver dipped turquoise, garnets and sterling silver ball chain, lariat necklace with matched garnet earrings:

Restringing Project: Venetian Style glass beads, vintage findings:

This is my favorite kind of work to do...I m inspired by people and what is meaningful to them, and finding designs that invigorate their spirit is very good work!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Button Bangles

The Button bangles have been on my little jewelry scene since last year when I re-found up a box filled with old buttons and was stymied about how to show them off. They all belonged to my Great Auntie Doris (See previous post for a picture of her and her sisters...they were quite the threesome) and started me off collecting buttons in earnest. OK, obsessively. After playing around with charm-style bracelets, i came upon the idea of using memory wire to keep the buttons rigid, and allow for more "presentation" of the buttons. It has worked really beautifully and they are some of my most popular pieces. I usually stat by cutting out a foot long section, wiring one end closed with a loop (using round nosed pliers) and then I string on the button in my desired design. This actually takes longer than you might expect because the buttons have to sit comfortably with each other - I don't like to have a lot of the wire showing through - it looks kind of unfinished. Sometimes I add in a locket or some beads, but I try to keep the theme consistent - metal, brightness, glass...but with a few surprises to keep things vibrant. Once I have them all set (Usually on average about 35 buttons - which is a lot of vintage/antique buttons) I make another very tight loop and wire them together - trying to hide the loop in between larger buttons. I make my bangles about 8 inches in diameter, and they seem to fit 7.5 inch wrists just fine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Assemblages

The assemblage necklaces occupy a design area for me that is really satisfied by sounds and motion. They are long necklaces that I have been creating - by collection - for a long time. Now that I finally have all the pieces (OK, too many) I have started to build them. Here's what I use: To start, there has to be a brass skeleton key - these I find at a local antique architectural salvage store or sometimes at a local antique haunt. While there are a lot of similar keys to be found, often they are of a cheap quality and not at ornamental - so I am picky. I prefer the ones that are a little shorter (otherwise I think you risk looking more like a janitor than a maven of chic) and with good patina and heft; you know, that solid weight that only attributable to vintage stock. To these I like to add a piece of glass - either an interesting vintage glass or 'twinkle' button with some ornamentation, or a wired piece of Czech glass. Then from there I always add a locket, some other ornament and then step back and ask "What is his piece about?" From there I usually add another charm or design element to finish it, sometimes it is a piece of vintage flower, a carving, a vintage brass charm or sometimes just a gemstone and pearls...These are always hung on a long length of vintage brass or copper chain - at least 24 inches and often up to 30". Many of my chains are pieces that are thrifted, and chain is a huge part of the design. It has to add to the assemblage but not overpower it.

These assemblages are at their best when I make them for an individual who tells me what fills their skies and sings in their nights...then I get to work out what fits their style. That is the best part of designing jewelry - because it's so much more than frivolity, it's a representation of a moment, and a person, and a connection. Being a part of that - as an artist - is very humbling.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just a few more Myra Flynn Decorations

Some more pictures to round out the previous post. Enjoy.

A Decorated Chanteuse

Sometimes some things just work really nicely...

Myra Flynn is a chanteuse, a songwriter, a large and lovely-hearted soul and a maven of all that is chic (myraflynn.com).

A couple months back
I was up late one night designing a necklace and halfway through I realized it was for her. I thought: Great. I don't even know Myra Flynn. If I was a creepy stalker-type this might be a completely different post, but for me, making jewelry is about being honest and opening up and saying "OK" . So, I had to agree to just let it grow. I contacted her manager - a friend of mine - and told him that I had some jewelry to give Myra. He responded with a chuckle and said: "Of course you do, people always give stuff to Myra, that's just who she is". After some jockeying for gratitude between Myra and me...."Thank you!", No, thank you! NO THANK YOU!!!".... we have come to a mutual understanding that it's OK for me to make stuff for her, and it's OK for her to take it, wear it and love it up a bit. It has turned into something quite beautiful. I refill a "box" of jewelry (A big, gaudy, gold mirrored former "treasure box") for Myra every few weeks and in exchange I use her gorgeous pictures wearing my Myra Inspired work. She has also invited me to sell my Myra Inspired Designs at her shows - which are always Hot, Hot, Hot.

She is as nice as she is foxy and brilliant. God - or something like that - gave to her from both hands. I will - from time to time - be sharing some of these designs in a Myra Flynn Line on Etsy and here on this blog. I will sell them exclusively on Etsy and (occasionally) at her shows in very limited editions.

This is great honor for me. And it's also just really nice to work with someone who is beautiful inside and out. I realize more and more that even with how rocky the path of life can be, the pinnacles and scenic overlooks are always there just when you need them. This has been a particularly trying year for me and my family - and having an outlet for artwork, as well as being able to create for someone young and vibrant and artistic reminds me of how inspiring this lifetime can be. I think I forgot some of that along the brambles, vines and stumbling rocks of the past couple years. Losing my innocence in the last few years should not necessarily equate to losing track of gratitude and my penchant for good fortune.

So, the jewelry: The first picture is a resin crystal necklace with Czech brocade glass beads and vintage brass. It looks outrageous on her. The two circles pieces are made with vintage brass chain and mother of pearl rings, in salmon and cream with brass jumprings and brass hardware and findings. The necklace measures about 16 inches, with a two inch extender. The earrings fall a full 5 inches. I will post more as it is created. You can always check my website for recent Myra Designs: esightler.etsy.com.

Thank you for supporting handmade arts from a happy artist in the Green Mountain State...Life is Better Decorated

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dear Auntie Doris...vintage treasures bracelet

This Vintage finds bracelet is made from vintage enamel, glass and rhinestone earrings that I have re-fashioned into charms. To do this I cut off the posts, screw backs, or clip-ons and wound them into loops with my round nose pliers (if i was a better blogger, I would have thought to take pictures of the process...I will get better at this and show more process work for you...promise). Most old earring- especially those with posts, can be made into charms. For this one I waas drawn to the blues. The charms float nicely on the vintage goldtone chain. This and other like it can be found at my website: esightler.etsy.com.

By the way - the ladies in the back are my grandmother and her two sisters; Doris, Lois and Priscilla, left-to-right. Doris, for whom this eice is named, gave me her button collection and otherwise fueled my love for vintage and funky...She was one of those dame who said whatever she thought; and thought the zaniest, most off-color things. I loved her like crazy.