Wednesday, June 6, 2012

ONS (old new stuff)

About a year or so ago I placed several jewelry items for sale in my local bead and gem shop, the wonderful Fall Hill Bead and Gem.  Highly recommended for...beads and gems if you ever happen to be in the area.  It may be especially interesting for people who love Herkimer Diamonds.  They've got a ton of big raw stones for $1 each--by far the best pickings I have seen, including at the diamond mines themselves.  Herkimer is 5 minutes from our town, Little Falls.  I believe the crystals were even originally called Little Falls diamonds, so they aren't specific to Herkimer proper as so often is stated.  (There's nothing proper about Herkimer, anyway...)

Several items sold, but we felt it was time to trade all my remaining jewelry in for fresh stock. It's so strange how just I see such a difference in my overall craftsmanship and style in just a year.  A year in (obsessive) jewelry making=5 regular years.  Or something.

A couple of the items do resonate with my sensibilities now, and they're listed in my shop.  These are tin cut hoops, from a great 40s candy tin.  That tin served as my 'tiny paints' holder for about a decade.  These were ready as-is.

Then there were several fabric based cuffs with some bead embroidery.  I really felt the need to give them a 'melded' look, which is a dynamic I've been musing on lately--it's a design key, I believe.  Something that melds fiber based things to me is when the whole piece gets dyed together.  So for this one, I did a gradiated kind of dark to light deal and then rubbed it all with Dorland's wax, which really took it over the top in 'melding.'  That was Fanci's tip in a post somewhere a long time ago.  I don't use a ton of fabric, so I'd just never tried it.  Sometimes certain things retain a kind of grubby feel with the wax, so I assumed that of course fiber would be ridiculous with it.  Not so.  At all.  In fact, it feels 500 times better than it ever could have without it.

And it makes the fiber just glow with oldness.  Like if you were walking down the street just beyond the edge of what you would call your neighborhood, and saw a sign that said "estate sale" in the yard of a house that was set back just a little too far from the street in the kind of way that actually calls attention to instead of away from it as was likely intended with this setting back, plus the bushes at the house's front have been so neglected that they are just masses of charred-looking veins--that is so uninviting that it actually makes you need to go touch them...well, it's obvious this is a house of paradox and no matter what is inside, it will be interesting.

So you go in to the estate sale, and it's obvious the sale is over but officially still on, and a snippy, cranky estate sale organizer tells you that it's now a box sale, everything you can squeeze into a box is $1.  I won't even bother with a description of the's too horrible and fantastic to retell here.  But you are kneeling on the floor looking through a box of Reader's Digest Condensed Books, and at the bottom are some scraps of folded crochet and old curtain fabric--you want to touch them but they are kind of matted and discolored and you're not sure if they will be crisp and brittle or super soft--whichever the case, you are sure the scraps will crumble like a moth's wing...
That's what the wax did to the fabric.

And then there's this bracelet that I
felt still resonated with my shop:

So that's listed as well.  Remember Squirmle?  It reminds me of a Squirmle.  You can actually still buy them. I've got an orange one.


  1. What a great description, you totally pulled me in. Now that's some good writing.... not to mention the cuff and how you achieved that effect.
    And another thing I didn't know.... that Herkimer is a place. How about that.
    Great post. It's melding in my mind.

  2. Loving those hoops! I've been working on some of those myself, but overdid it as I broke my metal punch trying to punch something a bit too large. Am waiting very impatiently for a replacement. In the meantime, I will look at very pretty pieces. Thanks for the inspiration, girl.

    xoxo Juliette

  3. Oh yes, Herkimer is indeed a place. I took some photos of part of my herk diamond stash, and I'll post tomorrow.

    I just bought a punch with a 50% off coupon I had for Michael's. It's just for small holes, and I really like it. Kind of hard to extract the metal from the puncher sometimes, wonder if there's a trick for that like oiling the punch or something. I thought about spraying it with Pam or something to see. I just cut the shapes with tin snips although I've been told to buy some other tool for it. I've got a jewelry saw I need to dig out too--wonder how it works on tin...