Finished Pendant with Stainless Steel Bail & Gunmetal Chain
Adding Ambiance (a.k.a. Bamboo Shoots!)
Dichroic Glass Pops on a Black Background
Cutting Out Elephant Silhouette from Sketch
A friend of mine had a BRILLIANT gift idea... She wanted to give each of the ladies in her family (mom, sister, mother-in-law, etc, as well as herself) a piece of jewelry that was unique but that was obviously made with the same materials as all the other pieces, as though they were all from the same collection.
She loved a piece of African Jade I showed her, so I chose Onyx, Green Chalcopyrite, and Hematite to compliment this main stone in each necklace. This was a tough assignment, though, because each of the ladies has a different style - some like small, simple pieces, while others prefer larger statement jewelry.
I enjoyed the challenge, though, and she gave me the highest compliment by telling me she couldn't decide which one to keep for herself :-) Hope you enjoy viewing the collection at right.
"How did you do that?"... I get that question a lot. So, here's a peek at one pendant's journey from my imagination to a finished piece!
This winter, my AWESOME, AMAZING glass instructor, Alysa showed me how to rake glass. The work began several weeks before the one-on-one with me gathering and cutting scraps, arranging them into the pattern I wanted, and preparing them for the big day.
Then, Alysa helped me arrange the glass in the kiln and cranked it up to 1600 degrees! I had to wear protective gear in order to get close enough to drag the steel rod across the glass while it was in the kiln. Throughout the process, we had to close the kiln and reheat the glass after every few rakes, as it cools off quite a bit with the door cracked open.
After I picked up my finished slab, I had to decide how to cut it (I didn't want to, because it was so pretty!). But, I'm glad I did, because now I have a bunch of colorful pendants that people keep asking me about!
Copyright 2017. Beaded By Grace & Glass By Grace. All Rights Reserved.
How'd you do that?
Beaded By Grace, Glass By Grace, Custom Jewelry, Wearable Art, Glass Pendants, Handmade Jewelry, Beaded Necklaces, Beaded Bracelets, Custom Beaded Jewelry, Handmade Glass Pendants, Glass Necklaces, Accessories, jewelry designs, handcrafted jewelry, fashion necklaces, unique jewelry, gifts
Special thanks to my mom (who accompanied me & took several of these pics), my dad (who watched my son while I was "playing glass"), and my husband (who taught me everything I know about tile saws!).
Where it all happens...
A Family Affair
Elephant & Bamboo Pendants
One of my friends (and loyal customers!) asked me to create a necklace for a local Tucson event. Since it was to benefit the Reid Park Zoo, I decided to create an animal theme...
Thus the beginning of my elephant pendants. I experimented with cutting glass scraps into a mini-mosaic of an elephant I sketched (slide show at left), and also with layering dichroic slides that I cut into the silhouette of an elephant (pics below), which is the piece that ended up at the event. I love how the dichroic glass changes colors in the kiln!
A friend of ours contacted me to see what I could design to surprise his wife with as a gift for a special occasion.
After discussing the budget for this piece, I set out to my bead/ semi-precious stone shop. As I browsed the aisles, I texted this super-sweet husband a TON of pictures of stones and ideas (what did we do before smart phones?!) until we decided on this combination of blue jade, azurite, and hematite stones.
This time, instead of a sketch, I laid out the stones on my bead board, playing with different design ideas. The largest pieces of jade were cut in a marquise/leaf shape which led to a branching tree idea and eventually became the necklace at right...
Turns out, he really does know her well, as it was a hit! Awww... I smell brownie points! :-)
Putting Together a Custom Piece
These are some of my favorite places, because this is where I get to design, create, and share! Everything begins with an idea (usually at 10 o'clock at night while I'm trying to sleep!). Then it's onto sketching, gathering supplies, and getting my hands into things...
- The glass studio where I purchase supplies, fire my creations in kilns, and get help from the amazing staff is called Sonoran Glass School
- My craft area usually looks like a Hobby-Lobby-Michaels-Bead-Store-bomb went off (no casualties yet, though!)
- My awesome hubby set up a make-shift glass studio for me in our garage, which is also home to the tile saw and drill when needed to work on my glass pendants
- Our kitchen table is often a staging area for photographing and sorting items after they are finished
- Occasionally, I get to set up my wares for events and show off my hard work to nice folks who admire it!
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