Amazonite Copper Wire Wrapped Gemstone Earrings

Amazonite Copper Wire Wrapped Tear Drop Earrings by jewelry designer John S Brana


Stunning Amazonite Gemstone Earrings

Amazonite is a vivid gemstone often made use of in jewelry, varying from green, blue, to yellow-green. As an environment-friendly variety of microcline feldspar, amazonite could be found in a range of shapes, dimensions, and tones. Its name comes from the Amazon River located in Brazil, from which green rocks were initially obtained. The name might additionally refer to the green tones of the rainforest along the stream that were mirrored in the gemstones. Because of its preferable bright greed-bluish shade, amazonite is generally cut and used as gemstones in jewelry…. Read original article – Amazonite Gemstone Jewelry

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Copper Rutilated Quartz Cocktail Ring

Slip on this 17 carat Copper Rutilated Quartz Cocktail Ring, flash it around, and see what happens. At the center of this sweet, bold handmade copper ring is a 17 carat Rutilated Bronze Cabochon Gemstone is held by a hand-carved copper tree branch setting – a combination that prompts conversation. Measures approximately 1 inch in Length x 5/8 inches in Width x 7/16 inches in Height; shank 1/4 inches in Width Available only in ring size 8 Hallmarked Copper, Uncoated. Might tarnish. One-of-a-kind Gift Boxed $225.00

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Copper Rutilated Quartz Cocktail Ring

Styling with Beaded Gemstone Necklaces


Make a Statement with Beaded Gemstone Necklaces Popular, trendy and artistic; the beaded gemstone necklace is a handcrafted thing of beauty which can be made to fit with many styles and color pallets. In fact, the beaded gemstone necklaces you will find here on this website are made from hand-selected semi-precious stones. Textures and colors are combined to create vibrant and fully expressive accessories. Some of the exquisite stones include; African Opal, Amazonite, Apatite, Carnelian, Chalk Turquoise, Citrine, Garnet, Onyx, and Prehnite. The practice of wearing beads and gems as jewelry can be traced back 70,000 years ago when the gems were discovered and admired for their beauty. Back then people didn’t have pockets to keep their possessions in so these gems were attached to leather straps and worn around the neck or wrist. Beads, gems and shells have all been used directly as currency for trade in the past as well. You can find something to fit any style or taste. Use one of these signature pieces to complete your signature look. Prehnite Amethyst Carnelian Necklace Prehnite Amethyst Carnelian Necklace by jewelry designer John S Brana Brilliant natural colors and a multi-textured design make this necklace a favorite of many…


Styling with Beaded Gemstone Necklaces

Breathtaking Chicago Handmade Jewelry

Exceptional Jewelry Handmade in Chicago

Fold Formed Copper Leaf Earrings in Chicago
Fold Formed Copper Leaf Earrings

Have you been shopping for an awesome piece of hand-made jewelry in Chicago? Right before going to your local area gallery or fine arts festival, take a moment to think about a few things. You should first of all ponder the recipients taste in advance of making any purchases. One more point you might want to look into is whether or not the recipient dons more silver or gold? Get signs as to likes from an existing jewelry collection. This will guarantee that your present will be well received, since it will fit wonderfully within their current jewelry collection. Perhaps you may also want to examine what they have most of and combine it with a contrasting class of jewelry. If they’ve lots of band and cocktail rings, it’s possible you’ll want to buy them a set of earrings or maybe a bracelet or necklace, just to be different.

Quantity vs. Quality – Choosing Handmade Jewelry

Make sure you always choose quality vs.. quantity when buying jewelry that is handmade, especially if this purchase is a gift for someone special. If prices are equal between two pieces, always look at the quality first. A larger, poorer made piece is definitely not worth buying just because it looks larger, and thus might be a better value than a smaller well-made piece. Remember that a good piece of handmade jewelry by a jewelry designer in Chicago doesn’t necessarily mean it’s expensive. Remember that in the end, like many things in life, quality usually wins out, and this is especially true with handmade jewelry.

Blue Patinated Copper Tear Drop Handmade Earrings in Chicago
Blue Patinated Copper Tear Drop Handmade Earrings

Over the millennia, jewelry trends and materials have evolved in step with the improvements of civilization From the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, from the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution (and seemingly back again!), styles have transformed, modernized, and then often returned to their most basic forms and essential elements. Handmade jewelry has adorned mankind long before man had the ability to reason. Some of the earliest sorts of jewelry utilized to beautify the body were made from flowers, shells, stones and grasses. We may have been wearing jewelry as far back as 75,000 years ago — 30,000 years earlier than previously believed — according to an interesting report by National Geographic News.

Today, jewelry is usually machine made, enabling manufacturers to make uniform jewelry designs much more economically than traditional hand crafting and hand-casting techniques allow. Casting machines now quickly process into uniform molds such components as metals, plastics, and resins, enabling even intricate jewelry designs to be created with speed and consistency for the majority of Chicago jewelry manufacturers. Mechanical forges and punch presses are also used by Chicago jewelry manufacturers to produce simulated “handmade” effects and patterning like a hammered or chased appearance, ensuring that production is both consist ant and highly profitable.

During the past decade, a great interest in handmade jewelry has taken place. Many consumers are seeking jewelry with greater individuality and uniqueness that handmade jewelry designers in Chicago have to offer over mass-produce pieces. With this renewed demand, jewelry artisans the world over are enjoying improved sales and recognition for their talents and skills. Many specialty galleries — and even major department stores — now feature an increasing array of handmade jewelry. The internet has also made handmade jewelry very accessible to a world wide following. Many handmade jewelry artisans can enjoy the benefits of selling directly to a world-wide clientele.

Sterling Silver Onyx Dogwood Ring in Chicago
Sterling Silver Onyx Dogwood Ring

Handmade jewelry is defined as jewelry that is made by hand. In its purest form, hand-assembled does not mean handmade. Handmade and hand-assembled are totally unrelated, but commonly misunderstood by both consumer and designer. Attaching machine made components to one another by hand does not make the piece handmade. Utilizing a wide variety of techniques to create desired forms and shapes, handmade jewelry designers use metalsmithing skills like forging and fabrication along with a variety of simple tools. One of the key indicators that a piece of jewelry is truly handmade is through observation of dissimilarity. Does the piece have uniform or varied hammer marks? You can also usually sense the cultural individuality, meaning, and even history behind many such designs, even if such information is not provided along with the jewelry. Most manufactured jewelry does not demonstrate an extensive dedication, skill, and creativity often found in handmade artisan jewelry. This is clearly evident in a finished piece of handmade jewelry, making artisan designed jewelry a clear stand-out from most cookie cutter mass produced jewelry.

Machine vs Handmade Jewelry

Machine-made jewelry typically looks more rigid and uniform. Solder joints are usually done by arc or laser welders and frequently less durable than hand-soldered joints. Although there are some imperfections to handmade jewelry, this does not mean that handmade jewelry is inferior to manufactured. High quality handmade jewelry will last a lifetime. More often than not, manufactured jewelry has a higher probability of breaking than its handmade counterpart. Many department stores sell “handmade jewelry” labels, but this doesn’t necessarily mean high quality. Many of these “handmade” pieces are actually hand-assembled pieces that are composed of mass-produced components (findings) and are quickly assembled by hand. Most jewelry manufacturers that specialize in mass-

Amber Citrine Crystal Quartz Beaded Gemstone Necklace in Chicago
Amber Citrine Crystal Quartz Beaded Gemstone Necklace

produced jewelry usually run on a piecemeal or quota based system, incentivising higher output, usually resulting in lower quality. The more you make, the more you get paid or you get to keep your job. You are better off looking for jewelry that is not mass produced, or available in large quantities. Quality jewelry that is handmade in Chicago will not only have the artisan’s mark, but also have the reputation and guarantee attached to the finished piece. The careful observer will always be able to appreciate the uniqueness and quality of a handmade piece of jewelry. With handmade artisan jewelry, quality and uniqueness are typically are apparent to even the most casual observer.

Handmade jewelry gives the pleasure of unique, often rare designs, that are not-identical, typically made by a true artist, with great love and passion. Producing well made and designed jewelry is an art form. This love for one’s work and the art of design comes across in the finished piece. Mass-produced items simply have less soul. Handmade jewelry also better displays the wearer’s personalized touch and style, expressing individuality and interest. Wearing mass-produced jewelry lends oneself to appear mass-produced and off the rack. Even though in most cases manufactured jewelry is more cost efficient to make, this does not imply necessarily that it can be less expensive to buy. Simply put, mass-produced is just that…cookie cutter soulless jewelry with no special meaning, no story to tell, no life. Wearing handmade jewelry is definitely a conversation starter. It’s a pleasure to tell admirers a story of the gallery or artist you bought the piece from, how it was made, or why you bought it. Simply put, handmade jewelry is a joy to wear!

Chicago Jewelry Stores that Carry Handmade Jewelry


Handmade Jewelry Design Tips

Keishi Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Fine Silver Anticlastic Earrings
Keishi Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Fine Silver Anticlastic Earrings

Designing Handmade Jewelry

A designer is an artist who plans an object, and a craftsman makes what a designer has planned. A designer-craftsman is an artist who both envisions and creates a piece of art. In planning jewelry the designer-craftsman first considers the material. Will it be suitable for the object he has in mind? Will it express the designer-craftsman’s creativity? This article is dedicated to the unusual and unexpected, and the jewelry materials suggested here demand creativity. It may be that experimentation with different materials is necessary. The designer should try the obvious but never forget the unique and hidden possibilities of nontraditional materials.

The designer must now think of the use the wearer will make of these materials and of their visual design possibilities. Design is organization, and he should organize his collection of pieces physically or draw his plan while keeping the various jewelry design principles in mind. Jewelry, like all of the other crafts, is dependent upon good design. As he arranges the various parts, he must consider the total size. Then he must look at the spacing of the individual pieces and consider the method of connecting them. Every part, whether similar or dissimilar, changes the relationship of the previously used parts. Limiting the number of forms, colors, and textures allows the beginner to better control the design elements. However, repetition of a single form or texture is tiresome unless relieved by slight variations.

The green hues of these Patinated Copper Lily Pad Earrings makes a subtle quieting color palate
The green hues of these Patinated Copper Lily Pad Earrings makes a subtle quieting color palate

Color is the most obvious element of design, the one that first catches your attention. Warm red and orange hues attract more attention than cool greens and blues. Intense colors increase apparent size, as do warm colors. Colors seem more intense when placed next to their complement: red next to green, yellow next to violet, orange next to blue. Warm colors are visually stimulating; cool colors are quieting. Warms and cools used together give a balanced effect. There was a time when designers talked about colors “going together,” but this time has passed and these color prejudices have been discarded completely. Now color selection is a matter of personal preference. Unusual color combinations are fun because we have not seen them often enough to become bored with them.

This Aluminum Bangle has been texturized with specially made hammers, giving it visual interest in addition to its Anticlastic form.
This Aluminum Bangle has been texturized with specially made hammers, giving it visual interest in addition to its Anticlastic form.

Texture can be tactile or visual, or both. The softness of fur is discovered by touch. Spots on the fur feel no different from the rest of the pelt, but visually create another texture. The same is true of the coloration on shells or in batik designs. Rough textures tend to look warm and informal, while smooth surfaces seem cool and hard. Texture has practical aspects, too. Rough surfaces are generally harder to clean than smooth ones, but they do not show scratches and dirt as readily.

Form is the dimensional shape of an object. With- form are a number of smaller forms that make up the complete piece. If there is a similarity between these varied small forms and the form of the whole, a feeling of unity will be maintained. The experienced designer can vary from his form more than the beginning jeweler because he has more control over all the design elements. The form of a piece of handmade jewelry may not be as immediately noticeable as its color or texture, but it is equally important to the overall design.

Space between the various parts of a design is as important as the positive form. Spaces, or negative re visual rest stops, and without them design chaos. Even slight variations in size and shape of spaces will excite the eye and make the total form more interesting.

The line of this Serpentine Sterling Silver Beaded Gemstone Grape Necklace accentuates low v-necklines.
The line of this Serpentine Sterling Silver Beaded Gemstone Grape Necklace accentuates the bustline due to its v-neckline shape.

Line is the element hardest to define in jewelry. It is more than the cord on the pendant or the neck form of the necklace. A visual line runs through every work of art, and jewelry is no exception. Line creates a path for the eye. It can be exciting and dynamic or restful and almost static. It can be a physical line of wire or string or it can be an imaginary line created by progression in the various parts of the object.

Scale of the piece to the wearer must also be considered. Don’t overwhelm a small person with jewelry too large for him or insult a large person with a too delicate piece. Practicality of scale is equally important. Are the beads too heavy for wearing comfort? Is the pin so large it will not hang properly on its finding. A designer must consider both the aesthetic and practical elements of his design from the wearer’s point of view.

Balance is stability. There are various types of balance that give us this feeling of security. Formal balance mirrors one side of the object on the other. Man is bilaterally symmetrical, with an arm, leg, eye, and ear on each side. Formal balance is symmetry derived from the classic Greeks, who used it to show their worship of the human body.

Informal balance is often referred to as an Oriental inspiration. It arouses more curiosity than formal balance because it cannot be assimilated by the eye as quickly. Objects that are not identical in form are visually equated by balancing other design elements. Brighter color used on a small object will visually balance a larger and slightly less intensely colored object. Rough texture will seem to weigh more than smooth texture on two similarly sized objects. A number of small objects will visually seem to weigh as much as one large object.

Radial is a third type of balance, in which the design elements seem to fan out from the center like the spokes of a wheel. Because the elements are identical, this kind of balance could be called formal. There are a few informal radial designs, and they, like any informally balanced piece, seemed to express action.

Rhythm, the last design principle, is a design element combining line, form, and movement. Rhythm can be gained through repetition and progression. When too much repetition causes monotony, a different kind of unit can be inserted between similar parts. Even alternation of parts may become tiresome, and a third unit may then be introduced. Progression involves sequential change from small to large size, from dark or light tone, or even from one shape to another .

This Seasons Hottest Fashion Trend – Color Blocking

Color coordinating can be intimidating at times, but adding pops of colors to your outfits is quite simple if you follow a few basic rules.  For starters, color blocking simply means pairing contrasting colors against each other in one outfit.  If you are afraid of color, you can actually color block with accessories – purses, shoes, belts, or jewelry.  Just keep in mind that you want to keep one article of clothing in a color while keeping other articles in a neutral color or black, then accessorize with Complimentary, Triadic, or Analogous colors.  One of the easiest accessories to color block with is jewelry….

Color Blocking with Jewelry is Back!

Lime Anodized Aluminum Lily Pad Earirngs - Color Blocking with Accessories

The sixties color blocking fashion trend is back in full force, especially in jewelry. All it takes is just a few key pieces that approach the use of bold color in a fresh way. Color blocking is a modern twist on checkered or geometric patterns, using a variety of bright colors placed in striped blocks instead of symmetrical patterns. There is something streamlined, stylish, and highly flattering about color-blocked accessories that give any outfit a fun, unique look.

Replace your simple, modern accessories with color-block jewelry in bright splashes of yellows, reds, and oranges. Gemstone slab beads or flat rectangle designs in a wide variety of natural and dyed hues are a great way to form the color-block look. Women everywhere love mixing unexpected colors in fashionable combinations, which are available in an assortment of brilliant colors. Geometric pendants and dichroic glass beads are also ideal color blocking components.

Fashion Color Blocking Tips

Many fashion experts recommend starting with two colors when using the color blocking trend. For those daring individuals, try two contrasting colors that will make your jewelry stand out. For a more subdued look, select colors that complement one another, such as a pink and red or a blue and purple combination. Try a variety of colors until you find combinations that flatter your skin tone….More at Color Blocking in Fashion & Jewelry

Color Blocking isn’t just for your clothing.  You can also apply this method to interior design.  Read more about using this color trend in your home by checking out this Tweet:

RT @ChiefHomeDesign: Trend Alert: “Color Blocking” 2012-2013 for all of your global trend forecasting. @chiefhomedesign