Monthly Archives: September 2009

Tube Settings

Today a friend of mine came over and we worked on tube settings. Tube settings are similar to bezel settings only that you don’t have to create the bezels. You use tubes that are cut to size and then drill out the middle so that you can set your stone down inside of the tube. After fitting the stone, the top edge is then folded over the stone in the same way that you would with a bezel. I created two pieces today and I am rather proud of them both.

The first is a pretty little Iolite. The stone color is a dark blue/purple, even though you can’t really tell in the picture. The disc it has been set on has been textured and domed. The second is a leaf I forged and gave a light patina. The stone on the leaf is a 4 mm CZ.


The next two pictures show classes that I will be teaching at Embellish in Rocky River on Saturday, October 24th. They are my gypsy bracelet and earrings. The class should be fun and the jewelry is a lot of fun to wear too.

Gypsy Bracelet
Gypsy Earrings

Sapphire Leaf

Last night my husband worked all night and both of my girls spent the night at their friends houses, so I had the entire house to myself. It was wonderful. I decided I would spend some time in the studio. I was hoping to turn out 3 or 4 pieces, but alas, the creative juices didn’t flow so freely. However, I did end up with one piece that I actually quite like despite it not being anything like what I had in mind.

I am so ready for fall. It is my favorite season. I love the coolness in the air. I love the changing leaves, I love the smell of fall. I just love everything about it, except for cleaning out my flower beds. With that said, I have had fall on my mind. I will be teaching a class next week on forging leaves. They are so pretty. But I wanted to work with one of my stones and make another type of leaf. My favorite tree of all time is the Quaking Aspen. I love the way the leaves flutter and quake in the breeze. This leaf is a a bit abstract, but made with that shape in mind.

The stone is an amazing King Sapphire I purchased in Indonesia. I purchased two of them. The other stone was given to one of my best friend’s wife. I am told she likes it quite a bit. And when you see this stone you will see why. This Sapphire is 9.5 carats and the most beautiful shade of deep blue. It is transparent and when the light shines through it just lights up.

I was trying to make a leaf, but it still looks kind of like a heart. I can’t seem to get away from those.

Oh, how I can’t wait to go back to Indonesia. I want to do some more gem buying.

September 2009 Class Schedule

Well, I am only 3 days late this time around. But I have finally figured out my September Class schedule. I have most Friday nights open if you want to get a few friends together and put a class together. There are also some days that are still open for classes. If you would like to come over for an open studio, just let me know and we will see what we can work out.

September 2009 Schedule

Location Date Time Class Cost
NEO JMAG
9/8
6:00 – 9:00pm
Free
Columbus JMAG
9/9
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Free
Norton
9/9
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Forging and Soldering – Leaf Earrings
$65
Embellish
9/10
6:30 – 9:00 pm
Making Metal Beads
$65
Norton
9/11
10:00am – 1:00pm
Open Studio
$65**
Beads ‘N More
9/12
10:00 – 12:00 pm
Introduction to Wire
$34
Beads ‘N More
9/12
12:30 – 2:300 pm
Creative Ear Wires
$38
Beads ‘N More
9/12
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Creative Findings
$35
Embellish
9/15
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Soldered Embellishments
$60
Norton
9/18
10:00 – 1:00 pm
Open Studio
$65**
Embellish
9/19
9:00 – 12:00pm
Captured Sparkle
$50
Embellish
9/23
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Wire Angels
$50
Norton
9/24
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Introduction to Piercing
$65
Norton
9/25
10:00 – 12:00 pm
Wire Rings
$25
Norton
9/25
1:00 – 4:00 pm
Open Studio
$65**
Beads ‘N More
6/26
10:00 – 1:00 pm
Wire Wrapped Pendant
$60
Beads ‘N More
9/26
1:30 – 4:30 pm
Wire Wave Cuff
$45**
Norton
9/29
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Soldered Bead Pendant
$65

Pictures and descriptions of each of the classes can be found on my website at: www.melissamuir.com/classes.htm.

In other news, I am updating my web store. Almost all that is currently there will be removed and replaced with the newer items I have been posting here on the blog. I am hoping to have that completed by next week. I will also be adding MANY new images to my Melissamuir.com website in the gallery.

I am working on new projects for classes. If there is something you would be interested in learning please let me know. I would be happy to work on a technique or project with you.

Necklaces, Pendants and Earrings

As promised here are a few other pieces that I have recently finished. It sure has been nice to be back in the studio. I can’t wait until I figure out how to balance everything and make it in there even more.

This first set it made with some lampwork beads from one of my favorite glass artists. her name is Laura Critchfield. She does some of the most amazing things with glass rods and a torch.

Swirl_lamp_set
Swirl_lamp_necklace
Swirl_lamp_earrings

The next two pieces are earrings I have had fun with. The first pair is simply some sterling sheet, textured and oxidized. I love these things. The ear wire isn’t really bent, just the way the light hit it. The second pair is a beautiful faceted set of Botswana Agates. They have the most wonderful colors of pink, purple and gray.

pointed_earrings
agate_vines

These next two pieces are some that I have done in classes while teaching various techniques. The first one I made while teaching a soldering and bezel setting course. The star pendant was one that I did Saturday while teaching piercing, soldering and riveting. The beautiful little bead was made by Cheryl Gangle. It has been riveted on to the piece after balling up the one end of the wire.

onyx_tri_swirl
Mixed_Stars

This next piece is a great one. I am afraid the stunning color of the dark purple amethyst doesn’t show very well in this picture, but believe me, the color is wonderful. I textured a piece of sterling silver, punched out the disc and soldered the bezel on. I had a d different type of bail in mind when making the piece, but changed my mind after the stone had been set. I really like the gracefulness of this bail much better than the one that had been planned.

amethyst_disc_side
amethyst_disc

The last piece is one of my favorites, aren’t they all?

This is made with one of the fabulous stones I got while in Indonesia. The color is a deep red/pink. It is crystal clear!  You can’t see it in the picture, but you can see right through the to designs on the back of the pendant and the light really bounces around inside this one. I haven’t identified the stone with certainty yet, but I am thinking it is either Spinel or perhaps even a type of Beryl. Either way it is a stunning stone. Just like the amethyst in the previous post, it just glows in the light. The design in the “petals” have been pierced and drilled. It turned out much better than I thought it would. But I do like it all the same.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

New pendants and other stuff

I have been having such a hard time getting caught up with things after returning from two very long trips. It is amazing how being gone for nearly 2 months can put you in a back log of things. Now that school is in and the kids are out for a few hours a day, I have actually been able to get close to being caught up, though I still feel that my list is at least a mile long.

I am working on my September schedule and should have that out here in the next day or so. I have also been very busy with taking some courses. I have decided to continue my own education and have enrolled in classes with the Gemological Institutes of America and am working towards a Graduate Gemologist diploma. It has been a lot of fun so far. I am about 1/2 way through the Diamonds and Diamond Grading course now. There is so much that goes into diamonds that I never before knew. I cannot wait to start some of the colored stones and gem identification courses. Those will be a lot of fun.

My plans to visit Ghana this semester have not panned out and my fingers are crossed for next semester. I have been asked to be on the faculty for a new university in Accra, Ghana, Africa. They have asked me to teach courses in web development (my pre-jewelry life) and of course, Jewelry design and skills. I am very excited for when I will be making that trip. I will be right next to some of the diamond and gem fields and will get to do a little bit of digging as well. That should be interesting.

While in Indonesia I purchased some of the most AMAZING gem stones. I have begun to use some of them in my work. I am still working on identifying a few of them as the sweet man who dug them out of the ground told me that the majority of them were Amethyst. But as you will see in the next few months as I begin to work with more and more of them, that just isn’t the case.

I have more pieces that need to have pictures taken, but in the meantime, here are a few that I have finished.

This is a purple amethyst that I purchased in Indonesia. The color has not been done justice in this picture. The stone absolutely glows in the light. It has the most unique polish on it that I have ever seen. Well, all the cabs I bought from this place have the same thing, but it really is something to behold.

Melissa Muir Jewelry
Melissa Muir Jewelry

Another stone with fantastic color. This one is a blue onyx. It is slightly transparent and when held up to the light you can see the designs I have cut out behind the stone. I love this one and it will be very difficult to part with when I sell it. The color in the picture is almost as good as the real piece, but not quite. In person it is just fabulous.

Blue_fire2
Blue_fire4

Apparently I am now quite photo challenged. I cannot get a good picture of this piece to save my life. I am not sure what the stone is. I suspect either a very included crystal quartz or a low quality moonstone. But either way, the cut is wonderful and the stone is 1/2 transparent. I have cut out some really nice designs behind the stone and you can see it better in the second picture with the light shining from behind.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

<Melissa Muir Jewelry

This last piece is one that I made while teaching a “wire wrapped paisley” class. It is one of my favorites of this style. I have used one of the most beautiful Pink Amethysts. It sparkles so much when the light hits it. The cut is absolutely wonderful. The color is just a kiss of pink.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Melissa Muir Jewelry

I will post more when I post my schedule in the next couple of days. I am sure hoping to spend a lot more time in the studio soon (preschool starts next week for the youngest one.)