Underbelly

May 16, 2012 § 2 Comments

Funny how life works – you get inspired by something, a book, music, a piece of jewelry, a conversation, something delicious, a place…and you think AHA! That’s what I want to do with my life, it’s going to be wonderful. The more you work and learn and connect and strive, the more knowledgeable, professional and experienced you become. You also discover a flip side, the underbelly of the profession, or craft. It has never ceased to amaze me that even in mundane, milquetoast work, there is a jockeying for position, even sabotage. Petty nonsense that makes one wonder about human nature.

Last year I decided to resurrect my jewelry career. My Aunt Lydia’s death the year before  made me reevaluate many things, including that I needed to do something else. To quote Leonard Cohen (from an interview): “In your work, you locate your self respect”. I love to get lost in the pieces, in the craft, in the symbols of love, wealth, healing and spirituality. I love the gemstones, and I like to pay attention to the details. Like the derriere. The underbelly. I want my underbellies to be beautiful. Practical, because they make the foundation and support the piece, but still have their own beauty.

Back of Baby Geode Rose Quartz & Pink Tourmaline Earrings

Backside of Orthoceras Morganite Oregon Sunstone & Labradorite Necklace

Originally I would put a circle in the back, to let light through, and to keep earrings light, I also tried using wire as a bezel base:

Backside of Tourmaline & Pink Sapphire Earrings

Lemon Quartz Green Garnet & Green Tourmaline (right) & Green Amethyst Aquamarine Grapolite & Green Tourmaline Earrings

One of the best compliments I have ever received came in an email from Mary last week:

“I am LOVING your pieces. They’re lightweight, beautifully made, one-of-a-kind, elegant and tasteful, but just a tiny bit whimsical. The wirework is delicate and lovely and they’re solidly constructed pieces, Love how the stones are set – both the front view AND how they’re supported in back. In an odd way, you might even be tempted to wear them reversed so the back shows – because that’s a gorgeous, solid, statement-kind of construction they have.”

Mary isn’t just a “buyer” of my work, I would put her in the “collector” category, and I am very flattered that she’s “collecting” me! Merci Mary!

I have always thought that the “underside” of things was important, I want to show that there can be no hidden agendas, no dark seamy surprises. The way you thought life would be when you were young and naive. Unfortunately, I am guilty of neglecting to photograph the unseen side of things very often, and I cannot show you Mary’s pieces, but I am thrilled that they have found a good home.

There is nothing more disappointing than picking up a piece of jewelry or a beautiful dress or, anything really, and finding the innards were dismissed as not important.

Backside of Watermelon Tourmaline Australian Opal & Amethyst Briolette Earrings

Underside of Baby Geode Rings

I am delighted that handmade jewelry is becoming sought after again. I also found it amusing (and sad) to read an interview in a jewelry trade magazine: An owner of a supply company boasting that his company had machines & equipment “that can make jewelry look handmade”. I wonder what the underbellies look like?

Shameless plug: You can check out the FRONT of some of these pieces in my etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LedaJewelCo

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Rhymes With Purple

May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Purple. The color of royalty, mystery, wisdom, magic. It’s warm and cool, complex, like fine wine. Cleopatra loved purple. I love purple, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to it! I have one for turquoise too, but purple has always been a fascination for me.

http://pinterest.com/ledajeweler/i-love-purple/

I also have a website page “Her Purpleness” dedicated to my purple pieces!

http://www.ledajewelco.com/Site_6/Her_Purpleness.html

I once owned a house that I painted purple. The problem was, it wasn’t in New Orleans and my neighbors got upset. They got over it, I moved, and the new owner painted it green. Ho hum. Now that I am in New Orleans, purple houses are routine.

Purple House In New Orleans

Another Purple House In New Orleans

And Another Purple House In New Orleans

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now, my house is yellow. With periwinkle trim (which technically is sort of purple), and a couple of other colors because sometimes, as my husband tells me, I don’t know when to stop. Good taste is a thin line. Here’s another thin line – what was I thinking buying these?

 When these arrived last fall, I thought: “GOOD GRIEF! Who is going to wear these? And what could I possibly put them in?”. A couple of weeks ago, I took the “smallest” amethysts, and made these. Thin line, I know. I love them.

Huge Honkin Amethyst & Stalactite Earrings

I have made more “reasonable” sizes with smaller drops.

Pink/Purple Tourmaline, Australian Opal and Amethyst Briolette Earrings

And of course these which I like to feature on all my FB pages:

Long Amethyst Drops on Stalactites, Cocaxenite and Lemon Quartz Earrings

Sometimes I get lucky and find purple sapphires (if you squint, the drops at the bottom of these earrings are beautiful rose cut purple sapphires):

Pink/Purple/Yellow Tourmalines with Rose Cut Purple Sapphires & Yellow & Orange Sapphire Briolettes

For the more “demure” purple lover – reminiscent of lilacs & wisteria:

Rose Cut Lavender Chalcedony with Tanzanite & Rose Quartz Heart Briolettes

My latest favorite purple piece: Stalactite pendant with emerald, amethyst and labradorite.

Stalactite Necklace with Emerald, Labradorite & Amethyst Briolettes on a Labradorite and Sterling Silver Chain

Almost every Holy Roller I’ve ever met (and dear God, thank you, but spare me from any more of your followers!) has made the point that Lydia (that’s me!) was the seller of purple in the New Testament. I like that. At that time, purple was only available to the noble classes, the dye was produced from shellfish and it was very difficult to make even a small amount. Apparently, she was a strong, independent and powerful person in her own right. And wealthy too! I’d rather be HER than Groucho’s “Tattooed Lady”!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4zRe_wvJw8

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