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'The Faerie and the Old Oak Tree' is gallery-calibre 3 strand-wrap bracelet made entirely of studio lampwork beads, gemstones and sterling silver. One of my more LUXE designs, this is a complex bracelet design in the 'spirit' genre; a complex design invoking the rich, beloved spirit of an old village oak tree at the center of the plaza and the protective faeries who look after the branches and acorns when a tough, crankly north-wind blows through town. 'The Faerie and the Old Oak Tree' celebrates the whimsical fancies we carry in our hearts and psyche throughout our every day life as a wee sanctuary from the sometimes-grind of an oft difficult world.
This piece is dripping with top-flight artisan beads and components. Starting with the focal bead of the piece is a large, 24K gold encased thick lentil shaped bead which seems to have the very wings of faeries frozen under thick, clear soft glass. These irridescent wings are the most magnetic point in the design as they shimmer in shades of pink and gold and teal blue as quickly as the light changes in the room. All the rest of the bracelet's composition is built around this focal bead as it sets the tone for the whole design. Lampwork beads made by six different studio artists both here and abroad lend their unique talent to the piece which is equally littered with the finest, chiseled, faceted green, pink & purple amethyst nuggets and rondelles, fine faceted purple amethyst cubic zirconia teardrops looking regal and plush alongside blue-fire flash moonstone in disc shape and chunky rondelles. It is a wonder to watch the light catch the blue fire in these stones as the beads tussle about. Two sculptural lampwork acorn beads done in a rich amber color add to the oak tree theme along with sterling silver oak leaves (and one wee ss acorn). Elegant amitrine rondelle beads in a light purple and gold shade litter the bracelet, adding a mystical, healing touch to the piece as amitrine is considered a rare and healing stone with only one mine available located in Brazil. Its healing properties suggest a money-magnet power as well, though I admire it for the delicate shades of color, the faceting and the way it subtly picks up and projects surrounding colors of other beads. Other lampwork glass beads include an amazing encased green round bead with dollups of sterling silver peppered under the thick, clear glass. The shade of green pops in its fresh, hopeful color and causes surrounding moonstone to flash with blue-fire. A lush Baroque pearl sits parallel to a gold-scroll tube lampwork bead and sits beside perhaps my favotire of all gemstones, iolite, known to be the navigational stone of the Vikings. Swarovski SS rondelles with sparkling clear crystals frame portions of each strand along with braided loops of bright and darker sterling. Furnace beads (purple encased) by the esteemed D. Christensen also pepper all three of the strands to this piece, bringing out the purple and violet shades which contrast so elegantly against the overall gold wash. The myriad details incorporated into this sculptural composition seem endless and you will always find something new hidden in the midst of the gorgeous chaos. Among them are small, organic vermeil droplet beads - that is 24K gold over sterling silver, daisy spacers, ss wave beadcaps, tiny ss rounds, Swarovski cosmic square sliders and a variety of other Swarovski shapes, sizes and colors help complete the backdrop of the design. SS charms include a Thai Karen Hilltribe butterfly bead, a small oak leaf and her acorn, a larger acorn, a petroglyph symbol for rain and a large sterling jungle berry bead add to the wonder and whimsy of 'The Faerie and the Old Oak Tree' which measures 8 inches in length. I added a bracelet extender and so the bracelet could size up to 8.75 inches by adjusting the split-ring (holding all three wrap ends) onto another ring on the extender. Resizing beyond 8.75 is possible, but would cost an additional $30 for time and materials spent adjusting to-size, all three strands. Should you wish a closely similar design to 'The Faerie and the Old Oak Tree,' please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
'The Faerie and the Old Oak Tree' celebrates the whimsical in our life not only through the wonder of ancient folklore and mythology, but also those wondrous, rare Oak trees that have stood in town squares like old gents of the town for decades if not whole centuries, looking over the well-being of all the townspeople. In some towns the old trees are revered and great measures are taken to protect the trees from viruses, pollution and even noise! Sometimes these heritage trees are unable to withstand the toxic load of modern times and they succumb to nature's life cycle. 'The Faerie and the Old Oak Tree' aims to honor the vibrant life and times of these old protector trees and their resident elfin folks who add that mystical allure to the already beautiful gnarled branches and foliage of the old Oak trees.
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The American Buffalo nickel is rarely found in loose change coming from a cash register till anymore. More often, to find one, you have to search in Grandpa's 'junk drawer' or buy from eBay just to feel like you own a little bit of the Wild, Wild West or the gritty, mystical times when the western plains and prairies owned the day. On one side of the 'Buffalo Nickel' is a buffalo and on the other side is the rugged profile of a Native American Chief who I always associated with the great man, Sitting Bull. I have designed 'Mud Ponies, Wild Horses & the White Buffalo' after a wonderful Buffalo head nickel which, while once in circulation, as a real nickel, was taken by someone and turned into a button. It is this nickel button which I have used as the focal point of this three-strand, LUXE wrap bracelet. This piece is dripping with sterling silver, gemstones & studio glass artisan beads known as 'lampwork,' each a one-of-a-kind design.
Add to the bracelet's focal point (of the nickel), you will also see a sterling silver button piece by a talented silver artisan I use a lot for her old wax technique and original designs. Here, she has created a pony looking etching on a small sterling button which mimics, if only in a vague way, the horse-like figure on the lampwork bead which shows more like a primitive early man cave painting. But it is really her generous, long wild horses sterling silver connector which commands the boldest attention of the bracelet. Exquisitely rendered, the sterling silver seems fluid & alive with movement of wild horses and is magnificent. Brought all together this piece is a celebration of the verdant, open & wild plains where wild horses run, herds of buffalo graze and where First Nation leaders once held their people and their home in nature as one cohesive & guarded sanctuary. Freedom. All of this came to a sudden halt with the introduction of Europeans, 'pale faces,' and it is now the White Buffalo First Nation people wait for as a sign of the coming of a new, happier era and a time of renewed independence. Such is the backstory of 'Mud Ponies, Wild Horses and the White Buffalo.'
Nine individual lampwork artists are used in the beadwork of 'Mud Ponies, Wild Horses...' - from the USA, Europe and the U.K. Done in colors of gold, sand, taupe and peppered with violet, cabernet, amber and cream, the piece includes especially fetching beads by a European artist whose signature design are beads with glass portals protruding from the bead's surface, like perfect half-orbs. Her beads are always great fun to work with and even better to wear, especially if one is a nervous type and needs something to fiddle with whilst waiting in a dull situation or at a traffic signal. The many stones and gemstones include the following:
1. Blue-flash fire moonstone, 2. Faceted garnet nuggets 3. Moss blue iolite faceted nuggets 4. Faceted citrine nuggets 5. Cubic zirconia teardrops 6. Keishi creamy pearls 7. Light blue aquamarine rondelles 8. Freshwater Baroque pearls 9. Faceted green amethyst nuggets 10. Baltic amber 11. Purple amethyst teardrops. Other beads include esteemed Austrian Swarovski square crystal sliders, micro-faceted rounds, bicones & cosmos shaped beads along with Swarovski fancy sterling-plated pave crystal rondelles which adds that unexpected glamorous accent in the midst of earthy splendor of semi-precious gemstone. Sterling silver braided rings, plain rings, avant gard sterling shields/spacers, beadcaps, hand-rendered sterling loops complete 'Mud Ponies, Wild Horses...' with a modern, sterling lobster clasp.
'Mud Ponies, Wild Horses & the White Buffalo' measures 8 to 8.5 inches in length & is meant to be worn somewhat loosely. That is, one strand measures a tad bit shorter than the other two (8 inches) and so the other two strands can move or tangle just a bit with the main strand. You will note that the anchoring, shorter strand is the one I have attached a bracelet extension in sterling so that if the bracelet needs to be resized, I can do so by adjusting the anchor/main strand accordingly. If more length must be added to more than one strand, we can discuss possibilities such as closely duplicating the piece with lampwork beads from the same or similar bead sets.