The Guide to the Best Wedding ring styles

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A wedding band is, hopefully, a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. Couples can agonize far too long over choosing the right rings for the wedding, and with so much variety the process can paralyze the mind.  How to buy the best wedding ring? One way to cut through this problem is to narrow down your decision to a particular style of a wedding band. This makes your wedding jewelry selection a much simpler process
Wedding bands, and rings, in general, are divided into broad classes. The first obvious class is finger rings for men and rings for women. Men’s rings are usually heavier and thicker, while women’s rings are thinner and lighter. As wedding ring trends come and go, here is a compilation of the latest trends. 

Antique rings – These rings you won’t find in a catalog unless you’re browsing antique stores. In the jewelry world, antique rings must be 50-100+ years old depending on who you ask. Your great-grandmother’s wedding band is an example of an antique ring. It is a piece of jewelry from the past.   Most people choose an antique ring for family reasons. If you choose an antique ring, make sure that the band’s metal is compatible with your skin. That silver ring from long ago might not wear well on your hands today without adequate cleaning.
Vintage/Retro rings – These are rings made in an antique style, but are modern pieces. They often use modern technology to imitate what master jewelers used to do by hand. Most of the vintage wedding bands can be further divided into specific art periods, such as Art nouveau and Art Deco. Most vintage rings are imitating styles from the 1920s onward.
One of the hallmarks of a vintage ring is the different stone cuts. If you picture a generic wedding ring, the type of diamond you’ll likely see is a princess cut diamond. But this cut didn’t become popular until the 1960s. Rings before this time used cuts that don’t magnify the sparkle so much, such as emerald- or rose-cut diamonds. Colored diamonds or gemstones are also more common in vintage rings, though black diamonds are a modern trend.The most common metals for vintage rings are gold and platinum. Today white gold is increasingly used as a more substitute for silver, which tarnishes easily and can mark the skin.

Contemporary rings – Contemporary rings are much sleeker and less gaudy than vintage or antique rings thought they might cost just the same particular if they are made of Platinum. Many contemporary rings are mass produced and have minimal detailing making them suitable for people who are very active as wearing a big ring can interfere with physical activity. It can also catch on things. This is one reason why eternity bands and anniversary bands are popular. An eternity band uses a row of small stones all around the band to symbolize eternity. An anniversary band’s stones only go part of the way around so there are no stones between or under the fingers.
Of course, you can find custom jewelers who have their own contemporary fashions that aren’t mass-produced. It will be priced higher than your mass produced ring, but you will receive something made specifically for you.

Speaking of unusual rings, there are some jewelers that are pushing the boundaries of wedding bands. Some use new alloys. Others use laser etching, and some are even shaped to look like animals! If you do a search for unusual wedding bands, you’ll find several jewelers who are trying to make their own stamp on the contemporary scene. If you don’t like the vintage styles and you think most contemporary bands are too plain, you should take a look at some of your local designers. You may find a ring you’ll fall in love with!

By focusing on a broad class of ring, you can quickly narrow down your choices for wedding bands. Once you have that, you can winnow the field down by choosing between different metals and stone cuts until you find the perfect ring for your special day.

The guest post is written by Michael from Images from Timeless Wedding bands

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June ABS - Nouveau roses

The inspiration for the June Art bead scene monthly challenge is an art nouveau-esque poster by John Louis Rhead which shows a young woman reading a magazine. As a teacher of costume history and history of design, I delved deep to analyse the artwork which is quite simple with a lot of recognisable elements from that period.
Art Nouveau is a design movement that was at its peak between 1890's and the world war I. It is characterized by flat, decorative patterns; intertwined organic forms such as stems or flowers with writhing plant forms, called Foliate forms, a curvilinear depiction of leaves and flowers and vines, sinuous Whiplash lines (identified by their curves and counter curves) along with right-angled forms. The movement is more than a century old, its aesthetics, however, continue to be visible in everyday objects even today. Grill gates and balcony railings with foliate and curvilinear forms are perfect examples of this movement.
"Literary Poster for the Century Magazine", June 1896
by John Louis Rhead
Original Lithographic Poster Printed in Colour with Letterpress
 I call this poster Nouveau-esque as it contains elements from both Aesthetic and Art Nouveau movements. While the rendering is flat, the details seem to be a bit less ornamental than the later art nouveau period. From the context (pose, background and hairstyle) of the woman I think that she could be a well read, fashionable aesthete and a nature lover (strolling barefoot in the garden). She has pale skin, red (henna colored hair) and is seen wearing an "Aesthetic dress" in teal, and roses in her hair. She is also surrounded by rose plants in the garden which surprisingly have no leaves.

As this image already has elements from two, although related, art movements, I decided to keep my design simple with direct inspiration from the image. Initially, I wanted to use wire to create curvilinear forms and suspend roses on them but somehow the piece looked very undesirable. So I decided to create a pendant for this challenge and a simple cord necklace to go with it. 

The base layer the pendant is made of resin and the cured piece has been ice enamelled and colored with enamel paints in multiple layers and sealed (picture on the left) and then painted with acrylic paint. Then the roses were drawn by removing the base paint to create a wood etching/engraving sort of look and finally colored in red. I was experimenting with my camera settings while taking pictures and didnt realise until now that the pendant looks differently in different pictures.

I have used colors like yellow, orange, red, green, teal and a streak of purple to compliment and balance all that yellow. This piece is truly mixed media, as it has a resin art pendant, silk thread cord, lampwork flower beads made by Artisan Jyothi (yes, I have been hoarding them all these years) and copper wire.

Art nouveau is a style that comes to me instinctively when I paint but I found it very hard to translate the same aesthetics into jewelry. I think this is the fourth version that I tried and at one point I was like "I'll just make a wire spiral and be done with it". For now, I am happy with what I have achieved. The whiplash curves on the wire work and the illustration on the pendant and the foliate tendrils on which the flowers bloom are quintessentially art nouveau. Maybe, I'll work more on increasing the stability of the piece as the lampwork flowers are quite fragile. 

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Resin Workshop Alert

 With Facebook's constantly changing policies and feed display many have remarked how my workshops updates are not reaching them, so I am posting the latest update here. If interested in the workshop, please email me your confirmation.  I will require a token advance to reserve your seat which will go towards your workshop materials.

 Resin Workshop Alert
 A 3- 4 hour comprehensive Resin workshop that will introduce to you the wonderful world of resin where you'll create a variety of components  using two part epoxy resin and leave with a whole lot more ideas than we can possibly fit in the workshop.
The Class will be conducted in small batches of 4-5 people to provide individual attention

You'll be taught using a slow curing resin 
- The basics of resin - types of resin, brands available, curing time, process of mixing
- Designing for mixed media - planning components

- Preparation of papers/fabric for embedding
- Doming process
- Coloring resin
- Cold enamelling Process 

- Resin Casting using moulds
 Demo of the finishing process will be shown which you can use to finish your pieces at home. 

The  pieces made in the workshop will be mailed to you after 72 hours, once they are cured or they can be collected from my place.

Batch 1: 1-2 seats available
Saturday, June 25 between 2 PM - 6 PM

Batch 2: Three seats available
Saturday, July 2nd between 2 PM - 6 PM

Fees - Rs.4000 (incl workshop materials -take away resin kit)
Location - Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai

No jewelry making experience is required and beginners are invited. The techniques learnt can be applied to product design, scrapbooking, collage making, or any mixed media art apart from Jewelry.
All material will be provided. It's a make-and-take workshop and left over resin (enough for 4 future pours) can be taken home by the participants.

Email me - jewelsofsayuri(@)gmail(.)com by 24th June to book your seat.
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Caring for Gemstone Jewelry

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The love for gemstones and gemstones jewelry is not something very recent or new. There is strong evidence of jewelry and gemstones even in the earliest known civilizations, like those of the Mohenjo-daro and Harappan civilisation or Egypt. Royalty, from around the world have fought great battles and plundered nations for dazzling gems. Cleopatra, was crazy for Emeralds and Mughal emperors including Shah Jahaan had verses of the Holy Quran and even the line of succession of kings engraved on humongous rubies
With the shimmer and shine of gemstone jewelry taking over the fashion world in a big way everybody wants to own as much as possible.  Natural stones are quite expensive and buying them is not an everyday affair but they can become treasured heirloom pieces if they are well cared for. To help you take care of your precious pieces here are a few tips you that could follow. 

Caring for Gemstone Jewelry
Most of the gems are soft and vulnerable to cracking on pressure or impact, hence avoid wearing such gems in rings. Even if you have such rings, try to wear them carefully so that they do not bump in hard surfaces or else they might chip or crack
- Avoid prolonged and continuous exposure of the gemstones to sunshine as the UV rays and heat in sunshine acts as a bleaching agent or sometimes a darkening agent, fading away the color of gems, especially Topaz.  

- Try your best to make sure that the jewelry you wear, does not comes in contact with perfumes and lotions, as the minerals and chemicals in them create a coating over the jewelry and end up diminishing their shine. 
- Proper storage is as imperative as the proper cleaning of precious jewels. So, store them in an airtight box at a moisture-free place in your cupboard and use padded storage boxes for carrying your gemstone jewelry while travelling.
Cleaning Gemstone Jewelry 

The gemstones jewelry that you wear daily like wedding and engagement rings or pendants must be cleaned on regular basis as they gather a lot of dead skin, dirt, grease and particles, ruining the shine and degrading the life of the stones. Here is how to clean them
 - Once you take off your gemstones jewelry, clean them by wiping gently with a soft cotton cloth in circular motion, rather than a coarse rubbing 
- Avoid using hard detergents, chlorine based cleaners or ‘Colin’ like cleaners, and even toothpaste for cleaning your gemstones for they ruin the surface of the ornamental jewelry, particularly the ones with coated gemstones.
-Wash gemstone pieces in lukewarm water using a soft brush  (Like a clean makeup brush) and mild liquid soap and pat dry with a towel
-  Always read and follow the instructions carefully before using ultrasonic cleaners for your gemstone jewelry and avoid using them for fracture filled gems and stones like moonstone,  pearl and coral. 
- Approach a professional jeweler to clean very ornamental pieces for you, rather than attempting to doing it by yourself.

As with any other product, it is important to rest your jewelry in between wears. Frequent cleaning and proper care will help you retain the gleam of your precious jewelry for ages. Do check out previous posts on how to clean your jewelry for tips and tricks. Do you have any more gemstone cleaning tips? If so add them in the cmments.

All Images courtesy Gempundit

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Jewelry Stringing, Summer 2016 feature

After multiple attempts (trials and fails) at getting into Jewelry Stringing magazine, I am happy to finally say that I have a foot in the door now. Two projects published in two categories - Pretty Papaya and Carnival. So Proud to be a part of this illustrious trade magazine, one among the 15 that is annual published by Interweave, F+W media. Check Out Megan Lenhausen's fabulous introduction to the Jewelry stringing Summer 2016 issue  that talks about the highlights of this particular issue which are Patina and Mixed media.
Pretty Papaya is a color based theme which is all about bringing the delicious of the color orange (think pumpkins, think orange roses, burnt orange leaves, upholstery) to a summer line. Carnival on the other hand, has a lot of Rio - carnival influence. It is about being bright, bold, making a statement and/or simply having fun. The Other two categories in this summer issue are Mixed media and Vintage summer. Overall, I really loved "Irene Z" by Anne Perry for the whimsical Zipper flowers and the "Jewel of the Amazon" by Krista Peel Starer is chunky bold and lumious portraying the over the top quality of the carnival.
lavish lace necklace with carnelians and red jades

My Lavish lace necklace (above, the Papaya section page no. 37) is a great party necklace for an elegant woman. Going perfectly with a little black dress or a saree, the necklace is about understated opulence with carnelian nuggets, dyed jade and metal filigree connector which looks glorious in natural light. I am though, a little disappointed with the magazine's photo editing as the connector looks more green than gold. Find below photographs that I sent them for selection where you can see the true color.

lavish lace necklace with carnelians and red jades

Haute carnival (carnival section on page no. 59) is a bohemian piece, inspired by College fashion. Its free spirited, young, and fun. I used a contrast of Fuchsia nylon cords with Turquoise rounds and neon yellow embroidery thread to match the color palette brief.


Unlike 101 BNE or Create jewelry, and Beadwork my previous publications in Interweave, the instructions here, are published separately towards the end. To check out their tutorials, you'll have to buy the magazine ofcourse. The digital edition of Jewelry Stringing, Summer 2016 is available here
 Apart from the necklaces, there are two pages each of bracelets and earrings. As a trend spotter and researcher, I noticed three major evolving trends from the issue. The first is the the Sliced wood bead (used in Lavish Lace) that was found on three designers work (necklace, bracelet and earrings) including mine and the use of animal motif clasps and charms in the bracelets. The third is not a trend per say, but that I found antique brass and antique copper (with patina) being given more prominence than the usual sterling silver or gold plated findings, which is an indication of the flux the international trends are in now.

 Interweave annual sale
 PS: Interweave has a huge sale going on now, with upto 80% being off. Whether you are a professional designer or a craft enthusiast or even just a hobbyist, this is the perfect opportunity to stock up some Interweave goodies
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