Monday, January 28, 2013

Update on silver filled…
I thought it might be time to do an update on the silver filled metal I began using in the 2012 season…
In May of 2012 I began offering pieces made from silver filled sheet, clad one side and silver filled wire.  I made pendants, earrings, ear wires & bracelets from this product and I’m happy to say it was very well received…once I explained how the metal is made, along with the price point many people were more than happy to give it a try.   Having said that there will always be those who prefer sterling silver items…
During the summer, I was able to purchase double clad silver filled sheet, silver on both sides…I’m not sure this is an important feature as it didn’t seem to make any difference to my customers if one side was brass…
As a refresher… silver filled metal is a layer of brass to which a layer of sterling silver has been permanently bonded…it will not wear off!  Like sterling silver it will tarnish so keep your pieces in a baggie with an anti tarnish tab, or clean gently with a cleaning cloth.  As with silver avoid exposing your pieces to hairspray or other harsh chemicals.  This product gives the look of sterling silver without the cost!
I found it very easy to work with…texturing is possible with a light touch as it is softer , I soldered sterling and fine silver for detail, it is also possible to sand this metal, although again with a light touch, tumbled all finished pieces for a nice shine and hardness.   In general I treated this metal the same way I would all my sterling silver pieces.
It appears silver filled products have found a place in the silver world, as I’ve noticed there are ear wires, crimps, chains, crimp covers, jump rings, beads, ball pins, tags, all ready made from silver filled metal…that tells me silver filled metal will become a readily used and available product for the future.    I like this as the cost of silver is still high…if fluctuates up and down a few dollars, but continues to stay higher than hoped for in 2012.   I honestly don’t see anything different happening in 2013.
My intention is to continue using the silver filled metal in the 2013 season…
As always feel free to leave a comment or suggestion on my blog or send me an email at

Have a great week…

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I’m Doing!
This is the time of the year when I experiment with new activities…things I generally don’t have the time to work on during the rest of the year.  

I’ve tried my hand at painting and drawing, I’m impatient…I want to be descent right away…obviously  that isn’t going to happen…it was too frustrating for me as I saw the finished product in my head but I couldn’t translate it to paper so to speak.   As for drawing I took a great online class on drawing a face and surprisingly enough I was able to draw the individual facial features  to my liking, but couldn’t for the life of me put them all together to make a respectable face…just isn’t my forte I guess?   Either that or I need more patience to practice, practice, practice!
I think I mentioned before, I take photos of my jewelry for my website and blog, have for 7 years, always disliked the job.  I always thought of it as a huge chore, which I tended to put off.   This often meant I didn’t get a photo of a piece of jewelry as it sold before I took the time!   Part of the reason I disliked taking jewelry photos is I couldn’t seem to get the photos the way I thought they should be…they were too blue, too yellow, too dull, too whatever, you get the picture.   Definitely a pun intended… there is that patience thing again!
Having said all that I found I enjoyed taking photos of other things, in particular water, sunsets, trees, nature shots…I don’t find practising frustrating or annoying…I enjoy it!  Since October, I’ve been taking photos when I go for my daily walks…well missed a couple of days last week as it was just too darn cold…

As a result most of my shots right now are around the area where I live…snowy & cold, if I can say that about a photo, but some great blue skies, if you like blue skies…check out my photography website…

If you would like to see larger photos, take a peek at my website...I put them on there a bit larger as I think it shows the detail more...

I’ve also added shots from Key West…to change it up from a continuous stream of snowy shots…
Thanks for reading…
As always if you have a question send me an email at or leave a comment on my website above.
Have a great week…

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Collage

I was asked by a visitor to to my photography website, to see some photos of my jewelry...I prefer to keep my photography website separate from this site so I'm posting the collage below...
Sadly I don't have any photos of my newer pieces, what didn't sell at my last show was shipped to the Art Gallery in Sudbury!   I've put together a collage of older pieces, those of you who visit here know I'm terrible about taking photos of new work, which I do regret...but it is such a frustrating process for me.   Most of you will have seen these before ...I always take a bit of a hiatus,in the winter so I've nothing new to show till mid March... not intentional... my creativity takes a break and I've learned over the years it doesn't produce great pieces to force the issue...


Monday, January 14, 2013


 Today I thought I’d like to talk about a stone that I think is rather interesting…it has a number of spellings for the word…druzy, drusy, druse, drusies…but they all are known to be in reference to the tiny quartz crystals that form either on the surface, or in crevices of the stone.  This makes for a very unique appearance.   Over the years when I’ve offered these kinds of stones people have showed a great deal of interest with the pieces selling quickly.

Emerald Green Drusy Dioptase Crystal Cluster,Druse crystals on matrix. from Altyn-tyube, Kazakhstan

Most of my information will be in point form but the way these stones are formed requires more detailed description…silica dissolved in running ground water seeps into porous rocks, if it cooks rapidly, which often happens, it causes tiny crystals either on the surface of the rock or in and small cavities, when this is on top of previously deposited minerals this is called a “drusy”. 

Blue Drusy Chrysocolla Gem Silica, Chrysocolla covered with druzy Quartz Crystals

Amethyst Crystal Cluster Purple Phantom Crystals, Violet Bi Color Amethyst, from the La Sirena Silver Mine, Guanajuato, Mexico

    It can be found in/on the following:
  • Chrysacolla, chalcedony, cobalto-calcite, malachite, psilomelane, carnelian, uvarovite, pyrite, hematite,
  •  Agate druzy is titanium coated in a vacuum chamber, a permanent metal coating, in shades of iridescent white, dark or bright blue
  • Most common is quartz druzy
  • Garnet, calcite and dolomite along with a few other minerals can be drusy coatings
  • Mined in the United States, Mexico, parts of South American, Africa and Europe
  • The popularity has increased in the last 10 years or so
  • The druzy often has the appearance of sugar crystals, is very bright and sparkly
  • Natural druzy is either transparent, beige or tan crystals
  • Colored druzy is synthetically enhanced
  • Druzy can also be dyed
  • have been on occasion coated with metals such as 24 carat gold
  • Most druzy are found in cabochon…these stones are flat one side and generally set in bezels
  • Druzy is not a delicate item but due to the shape and texture of these stones they are susceptible to damage it banged on a hard surface.
  • Size and shape of druzy is determined by the stone itself, generally a free formed shape
  • Comparatively the cost is less than some of the more expensive gemstones; of course this depends on the cut, size and color.
Uvarovite (Green Garnet) Druzy Crystals on Chromite Matrix

I will continue to offer this beautiful gemstone this coming season…
As always leave a comment on my blog or send me an email at
Have a great week!

***I would like to thank MaryanneFender of Fender Minerals for allowing me to use her gorgeous photos of Druzy

Information Sources: