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Gone Native

Blanca in her classic earring pose
"Nest" earrings of Argentium silver and freshwater pearls
"Natural Blue" necklace chalcedony chunks and beads w/ brass clasp
"Twigs" earrings freeform circles of copper with one-of-a-kind art beads
"Summer Moon" necklace closeup/ tree art bead and African beads
"Circles" earrings 14 kt goldfill, citrines and aquamarines
"Dazzling Ruffles" bracelet  pearls and art beads
aqua and ivory waves
African Krobo beads and art beads on leather x 3

I have come to jewelry-making lately; but it is the most absorbing and fascinating endeavor! First, African Krobo beads from Ghana caught my eye - so many colors, patterns, and shapes; and big holes for my jewelry travel bag cords (trimming the ties with beads preserves them from wear). But - darn it! - because the Krobo beads are handmade of recycled glass, the holes are not uniformly large enough for that purpose. Well, I loved them - so I had to do something with them! So, lots of beautiful leather - glossy and natural - strung up with these brilliant beads satisfied that jones! I found a fair trade collective online that supports handcrafted production of these Krobo beads and other findings in Ghana: I get my African beads almost exclusively from this source. The quality is excellent, and these artisans are making a great variety of hand-formed and fired recycled glass gems. I said to myself: beads and leather with a stone pendant here and there suits the Gone Native vibe perfectly. Maybe a little silver charm dangling on a necklace or bracelet; or an artisan clasp of gold vermeil or copper - but keep metals to a minimum! Welll...I started making earrings...and now hammering and forming 14kt goldfill, Argentium silver, and copper is my favorite pastime! Add semi-precious gems, pearls, and more glorious kiln-fired art beads (mindblowingly diverse in shape and color); and who knows where it will end!... Each Gone Native piece is nestled in a woodsy green print box in a tarnish-proof bag. A polish cloth is included to keep the shine on your silver or copper piece - if needed. If you want your fresh copper bauble to stay "new penny" bright, keep it in the bag between wearings. To darken the copper, just expose to air; and soon you will see a lovely, soft patina. My pieces made with 14 kt goldfill keep their rich glow indefinitely.
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