Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Shizuku necklace...

Shizuku is my 2nd necklace from this week. It was also made from recycled Antica Murrina beads, also from a bracelet, as my previous Wagashi. The original bracelet name was called Kiruna, and included light aqua blue Murano beads, very pretty.

I turned the bracelet into a necklace, as before, and it became Shizuku, name which means droplet, a "drop of water" in Japanese. The association with this element is more than obvious, due to the texture of the main beads, their colour and transparency, making them look like real water drops, or splashes, or even ice. Two different aqua tones are present here: a light aquamarine tint similar to the sea in a sunny morning, and a darker, grayish kyanite shade, similar to the sea in the afternoon, after a rain shower.

Or at least, that's how I feel about it, anyway! The name I firstly decided on was Asatsuyu - meaning "morning dew". Then, I changed it to Shizuku, which sounds prettier and easier, and is more generic as well. In my mind, an Asatsuyu necklace would rather be shorter and with more delicate components, in the end!

For Shizuku, I used:

- Six large Antica Murrina glass beads in different aqua shades and irregular shapes, slightly crackled and smooth. One of them however, is round and has a crispy, sugar-coated finish like the beads used in Wagashi;
- Ten small aqua-gray Murrina beads with a smooth surface;
- Seven small Kyanite beads;
- Two faceted Czech Fire beads in silver-gold approaching the clasp;
- Several stardust silver-plated round beads;
- Several flat silver-plated Heishi spacers for the Murrina large beads;
- Several Swarovski elements such as bicones, cubes, small briolettes, stars and an octagonal pendant, all in complimentary shades of light Azore blue, aquamarine and different Sapphire shades and effects;
- One large silver-plated lobster clasp and ring.

Details are shown next. As usual, please click on thumbnails to magnify...

These three pictures show the Antica Murrina irregular glass beads in dark and light shades of blue (aquamarine and grayish), as well as the small round Murrina ones with a smooth surface. Swarovski bicones and cubes can also be seen, in different shades, sizes and shapes, interspersed with the Murrina beads. The sugar-coated dark sapphire blue Murrina is also visible on the 1st shot...

The 1st thumbnail shows the silver-plated lobster clasp and ring. It is a big clasp, since this necklace is quite heavy. It was threaded on sterling silver wire, thus very resistant to breakage. However, it is always safer to use large clasps in the case of a heavy piece. One of the faceted Czech fire beads is also visible. The 2nd picture displays the only sugar-coated Murrina bead, surrounded by some Swarovski bicones and the flat Heishi spacers, used as bead caps. Finally, the remaining shot shows the upper section of the necklace, with the stardust round balls and some of the kyanite beads and, of course, the main Murrina glass beads once again.

I added these screenshots since we can appreciate how beautifully the light is refracted by the Swarovski elements. Cubes, bicones and an octagonal pendant can be seen throughout, especially on the 3rd shot. As for the Murrina beads, with their smooth irregular surfaces, we can also see how the light appears reflected, making them look like pieces of shiny crushed ice.

And to end this post tonight, some more views of Shizuku. I hope you have enjoyed this one!

Labels: ,

posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 12:34 AM 2 comments

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Wagashi necklace...

This week, I re-started making the jewellery, and it was about time! This first necklace, which I called Wagashi, was pretty much inspired by my friend Sapphire pictures and posts on her fantastic blog, for both Wagashi and mochi . And also, because I love eating them myself!

(Sapphire, I hope you will enjoy this one! The flavours available here today are: plum, green tea and Sakura!)

The main beads are brand new Antica Murrina ones. I bought two bracelets from them some months ago (including the "Sweet" one from the link), and I recycled them to make some necklaces, one of them being Wagashi. You might ask why did I bother buying them in the first place, just to end up by recycling everything? Well, they were elasticated bracelets. The problem with this kind of bracelet is that the beads get to close to my skin, and I dislike that (makes me itchy). I much prefer normal, non-elasticated bracelets where you can adjust the length with extra links, for example. Also, mind you, the beads were too big and I have the clumsy habit of bumping my hands (and myself) into everything, not to mention getting stuck on door knobs, for example. So, even if I decided to use them, it would sooner or later end up in disaster. Really.

The problem is that I fell in love with the beads, so... Murrina says these beads, that have a "crispy" appearance, are like "sugar-coated", and it's true. They look edible. I think I already bought it with Wagashi in mind, adding to the fact that they called it "Sweet", so, just could not avoid it. Sweet, yes, but with a Japanese twist (in my mind at least!). As I said before, the colours are very appropriate: pale pink for Sakura, acid green for matcha (green tea), and purple for plum, all on a delectable yokan base!

Here is Wagashi:

For this piece, I used:

- Nine Antica Murina sugar-coated beads in shades of plum, pale pink and acid green;
- Two rose quartz pebble beads;
- Two Murano-style stripy beads, one cylindrical and one squared;
- Two Czech glass flat swirly flat beads that look like mini-lollipops;
- Small Chinese glass pearls in green;
- Several Swarovski bicones in different sizes and colours;
- Several stardust silver-plated small, round beads;
- Four ornate Tibetan Silver large spacers;
- Tibetan silver S-hook clasp.

Note this is my first asymmetrical necklace. I used different shades, sizes and shapes, and tried to spread them over in a quirky pattern. Well, almost! There is a bit of symmetry there, now that I look at it closely, but not as severe as in my previous pieces. It is also longer and bulkier, pretty much on the current trend of chunky, statement necklaces - although not as much maybe. I've been seeing much bigger pieces around lately.

Some details follow... Please click on the thumbnails for magnified views.

The 1st picture shows some of the Murrina beads in detail, along with Swarovski bicones and Tibetan silver spacers. The 2nd one on the right displays one of the rose quartz pebbles, one Czech glass lentil bead, a small Chinese glass pearl and more of the bicones and stardust round beads.

Here we can see the Murano-style stripy beads, with a lovely layer of silver foil, as well as some Sakura-coloured Murrina and Chinese green glass pearls. A Tibetan silver spacer can also be seen, as well as the stardust beads.

And, finally, some extra pictures showing different views. Enjoy!

Labels: ,

posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 9:14 AM 2 comments

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Russian lacquer boxes...

I love Russian lacquer work, and since I arrived to Dublin, I got some here and there, but mostly Matrioshka. I have only four boxes, though, and I think they are quite pretty. My Mom and Mark gave me one each and, when we visited Prague, I bought two more in Celetná. It is not really like I collect them, since I have only those few, and I just get them when it happens to be, anyway. Or when people give me them as gifts. I also have two books on the subject, from an American collector. Unfortunately, I don't have their names right now, since they have been packed already (we are moving in 2 weeks!).

Here they are...

This 1st box was given to me by my Mother. It is an old one, from 1964-1965. It still has the certificate above, which says:

Artistic Foundation of RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic)
Palekh division of the Artistic Foundation of RSFSR
Material - papier-mache
Number of the work - 1964
Theme of the painting - Scarlet Flower
Author - Televinova
Name of the article - ??? (this abbreviation is not clear)
Size - 10 x 10 cm
Quality - Highest
Article of the AF - 193
Price - 9.10
Date - March 23 1965
The above box, depicting a scene of the Fire Bird, was given to me by Mark. I am not sure if he brought it from New York, or bought it here in Dublin. It' s a lovely two-tiered one, with a little mirror inside.

When I saw this one in a lovely shop in Celetná, I could not resist. I was mesmerised with the amazing transparency of the veils and details of the brocaded dresses. I am not sure if it depicts any scenes of a fairy tale, or if it's just a portrait of two young ladies.

Lastly, some pictures of my remaining box, with a scene from the Russian fairy tale "The Gold Fish", which is not quite the gold fish of our imagination, but a large, regal sturgeon. This is another lovely box bought in the same shop in Celetná, with very bright, vivid colours.

Labels: ,

posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 10:45 PM 4 comments

Friday, June 12, 2009

My very own Shikon no Tama...

This month I have decided to celebrate Inuyasha's last anime series and last manga books. Yes, it will be over. I will miss it a lot, for I am a big fan of Rumiko Takahashi's work, and especially Inuyasha that I have followed for some years already. This week I will order the last DVD box (series VII). As for the books, I am not sure where it stands so far, and how many more volumes are expected.

Since it's celebration time, and the last shards are to be found soon, I have decided to make my own Shikon jewel. Thus, the name of the piece is simply Shikon no Tama (Jewel of the Four Souls), a globe of light composed by these 4 principles (=souls):

- Courage,
- Wisdom,
- Friendship,
- Love.

I will not go into the plot details though, since it would take a long time. At any rate, if you found this post today, it's probably because you already know Inuyasha anyway! My version of the jewel is a bit elaborate perhaps, in comparison with the original artwork by Takahashi-san. It pretty much complies with my own style of jewellery-making: a bit "baroque" perhaps, mixing several materials and trying to convey a meaning, rather than the object "per se". Thus, if you find that it's not at all like the original Shikon (and most certainly it isn't), please bear in mind that it is simply the result of my own personal interpretation.

Here is my Shikon then:

The following materials have been used:

- One round hand blown Murano glass sphere with gold foil;
- Two faceted Czech crystals surrounding it, with Aurora Borealis coating;
- Several Swarovski bicones and two small pendants in different shades of topaz;
- Several tourmaline chips in shades of forest green, aqua, yellow and pink;
- Several vintage Swarovski molted champagne pearls;
- Small glass pearls in deep green that I brought from Prague last month;
- Small round Czech fire golden beads;
- Toggle gold-plated Bali clasp, all threaded on a metallic champagne wire.

To have a better look at the pictures next, please don't forget to click on the thumbnails to magnify:

Two close-ups of the Bali toggle clasp. The small Czech fire beads and dark green pearls can also be seen.

Two pictures showing close-ups of the Murano focal bead and the faceted Czech crystals, along with other various elements...

The above photos show detailed views of the Swarovski regular and top-drilled bicones, and also the small pearls, Czech fire golden beads and vintage Swarovski pearls. These are quite old, but still have an amazing shine and smooth texture.

These pictures display a nice view of the faceted Czech crystals, as well as some of the bicones and pearls. I have decided to include them because I really like the golden reflections and iridescence generated by the AB coating and facets. A nice play of light.

These three shots focus on the Swarovski vintage pearls. They measure 10mm each. I have included tourmaline chips between them, which made the threading process a bit harder and longer since the holes are too small, as are the chips of course (the smaller they are, the harder it gets to even hold them). Tourmalines are quite expensive when compared to other minerals, but do have a wonderful translucence. The colours (in this case yellow/amber, pink, dark and aqua green) go really well together - to my surprise, I must say!

More detailed shots of the tourmaline chips... and, below, two more views of the piece:

Labels: , , , ,

posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 4:52 AM 7 comments

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tsukimi necklace

I made this necklace this week, by Sunday or Monday. I called it "Tsukimi", which, in Japanese, means "viewing the Moon". It uses bluish-gray colours and seems a bit different from my previous work, since I use no focal beads or pendants. Still symmetrical though, but a continuous line of several Swarovski elements, gemstones and glass beads (that I brought from Prague).

It is a "lunar" piece, due to the choice of cool hues that reminded me of the surface of the Moon, thus, its name "Tsukimi".

For this piece I have used:

- Tibetan silver hook clasp;
- Several kyanite round gemstones;
- Several chalcedony round beads;
- Swarovski elements in different shades of blue: cubes and bicones of different sizes;
- Several Czech glass glazed beads in bluish-gray;
- Two small fluorite beads near the clasp.

Some details of the above components to follow...

The 1st picture shows a detail of the silver clasp, the two small fluorites I used close to it, the lovely light blue milky chalcedony stones, along with some Swarovski bicones and a Czech glass bead. Second shot shows the Czech beads in detail, as well as two sizes of Swarovski cubes interspersed with some small bicones. Finally, the 3rd picture shows the string of beads: kyanites, chalcedonies, Czech glass beads and Swarovski elements, quite a simple structure. The necklace itself, since it is composed of mostly minerals, is quite heavy and I had to use a sturdier and thicker Beadalon wire, which, due to its gauge, is not quite easy to work with (the beads seem to "slip" though them a bit too easily, and crimping is very hard since the surface is so smooth and slippery). I much prefer the lighter, thinner wires due to their flexibility and slightly rougher texture.

Another detail of the gemstones, Czech beads and lovely Swarovski elements with an AB coating. Chalcedony is the stone with the light blue tint and milky texture. Kyanite is the dark blue one, a sapphire-like shade of blue almost, very vitreous and speckled with silver/metallic streaks.

Kyanites and chalcedonies in detail once again, and a nice close-up of one kyanite bead, a small fluorite with its pale green and purple streaks, and one of the small Swarovski cubes.

I love the AB effect on the aquamarine coloured cubes (larger ones). The kyanites are also splendid, but unfortunately I have ran out of them!

Some more views of Tsukimi:

Labels: , ,

posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 9:05 PM 1 comments