Thursday, June 11, 2009

Catching up with my muse -- Part 2

Previously on "Where the @#$& is Sandi's Muse?" we related the tale of the Tree of Life that ate the universe. As we left our intrepid heroine, she had spent weeks on the leafy version of the Tree of Life pendant, and wasn't quite sure what to do next. . .

So, as I looked at the finished leafy tree, I knew there were some good things about it, and if I wanted to get anything other than a vaguely unsatisfactory pendant from the time and effort spent, I needed to pursue those things. I determined to make another tree pendant, this time using gemstone nuggets instead of the coiled leaves. That would leave me to focus on the weaving elements as well as allow me to make a smaller, more wearable pendant.

So, what do you think? My immediate take is that it prettier in a conventional way, maybe not so interesting but equally not so odd. It still has the amuletic and symbolic elements -- 18 leaves (gems), 18 roots/branches, and has the additional virtue of being made from natural(ish) materials rather than glass beads. I see a lot more potential in this one. For example, I could make one in chrysophase or emerald for my grand-daughter whose birthday is May 18. Or I could do one in any month's birthstone. Or a family one with multiple birthstones. Or a blooming tree with small colored beads woven in among the larger stones. Or a representation of any number of mythical or literary trees. Could be done in other metals, too, tho the copper is nice for the weaving. I could hammer the frame, or use a different shape, a diamond or a circle or an ellipse. Hmmm, not bad for a project that was intended simply to justify a large perceived waste of time.

Technical details
Hardware store copper wire. The 18g frame is 1 1/2 inches on a side or just under 3 inches tall including bail. The branches/roots are 24g, 9 strands fastened at the top with a larkshead knot. The gemstones are jasper nugget/chips, medium sized, I guess, between 1/4 and 1/2 inch each (4mm to 10mm). I chose the greenest ones from the large strand I had, which also included pinkish, brownish, whitish, and mixed chunks. Muddy green and copper is a particular favorite color scheme of mine, so that was my choice for this one. The bail is again 5 coil herringbone in 28g over the 18g core, curved on a 7.5mm mandrel.

Instead of nearly three weeks, this piece took a couple hours over the course of a day. Since it went so quickly, it opened up the possibility of getting caught up with Year of Jewelry with just one more piece. I was feeling less like a poseur and more hopeful as I chose my next project. . .

Which will be featured in my next blog entry, coming VERY soon.

Meanwhile, what do you think? Do you like it better, or prefer the more off-the-wall look of the leafy tree? Would you wear either one? Give either one as a gift? Should I keep pursuing this or just let it wither on the vine (obligatory groan)

You know I love your comments and conversations. Also, don't forget to check out the Year of Jewelry blog for lots of inspiration.


Shay Stone said...

Hey Sandi,
So as far as the trees go, my first thought is that I like the 2nd one better. Your first one is quite unique though, while the second is a more traditionally done tree. I like listening to the variations you've suggested for future trees too. I should say though, that I really like how you've created the leaves in the first tree. Ramble ramble ramble:)

Sandi said...

Yeah, Shay -- I haven't abandoned the leaf idea, just not on a tree.I do have to figure out a better, more robust structure. I'm thinking of using 18 or 20g half-hard and then wrapping the beads onto the outer ring and at the same time using the wrapping to stabilize the coil, especially at the "stem". And I'm all rambleramble myself :-)

pepperdove said...

I love the gemstone tree. But I am a little conventional at times (whaaa?). In person it is clear that it is much more wearable, less likely to be easily destroyed, etc. Also, I heart gemstones.

firedancer731 said...

I got your link from Scalzi's blog. Do you sell those trees? Honestly, my breath was taken away. I love trees and that is SO beautiful!!!

Sandi said...

Yes, Firedancer731, I do sell my jewelry. Since this is a new item for me, this exact one is the only one I have right now, but I would also be happy to do a custom tree just for you, with your choice of metal and color of stones. If you are interested, please send me an email at sandihj at gmail dot com so we can talk about details.

I'm so excited that you came to look from Scalzi's site. Please come back -- I generally post at least once a week.