Latest Feminine Wedding Accessories - a guest post

1 comment:
Evolving from striking metallic bling to a muted boho feminine soft look, wedding accessories have come a long way in the past few years. Evoking a softly romantic vintage and boho look, muted tones and softer metallic elements are embellishing the wedding accessories of choice right now.  No longer sharp and clear, the jewels of now are muted and soft, the metals are rose gold and antique silver, and the embellishments are pearl, cream and neutral in hue.  The softly romantic look is perfect for adding a touch of romance and femininity to the bride and her bridesmaids.


Make a Simple Wedding Gown Gorgeous with Bridal Belts
Taking a simple wedding gown and making it completely unique with elegant touches of color and style is perfect for the boho bride.  Allowing brides to choose an unadorned wedding dress and add their own touches of style to make their wedding dress completely theirs without the cost of a couturier is right on trend.  The perfect wedding accessory for this look is an embellished bridal belt and boy, is the bridal belt having a big moment right now!

 

The embellished bridal sash sits around the bride’s waist like a belt would, covered with pearls, Swarovski crystals, metallic thread and colored stones.  The bridal belt can be as simple or as over the top as the bride chooses, and they have the choice of the most incredible array of jewels, beads, pearls, threads and sashes to add a complete mix of their own personality to a plain wedding dress. Divine!
 

Wedding Hair Accessories Go Boho Chic

Brides of now are choosing to bring boho chic to their romantic wedding hair looks too.  Romantic wedding hair accessories are most beautifully styled as stunning boho bridal halos embellished to match a bridal belt and add more of a feminine look to bridal hair. A truly wanderlust and bohemian choice, the bridal halo sits firmly as a favorite for brides everywhere right now.  Halos embellished with crystals and pearls studded with some fresh flowers to spill over a veil or in place of a traditional wedding veil are the look of choice. Romance is alive and well.
lace hairclip

Add Romance with Vintage Styled Wedding Combs
For the brides,  who prefer an antique or a vintage styled wedding, the bridal comb is a must have. Perfectly sitting in either an up-do like a classic French roll or bun, or pushed into the side of a romantic long loose haired look, a wedding comb is an easy way to bring vintage romance to your wedding look.  The in-trend bridal combs are hand embellished with pearls, crystals and rose gold to match perfectly with your antique or vintage wedding theme.

 

Feminine Wedding Accessories
With all the romance of muted undertones and a pop of color overtone, wedding accessories are following the overarching trend of feminine wedding themes. Boho, wanderlust, antique, and vintage have ruled the wedding scene for a couple of years and we’re seeing the muted tones of wedding accessories in blush, pearl, cream, rose gold and ivory to fit.
If you’re looking to bring femininity to your wedding style, choose neutral undertones and overtones in  encrusted accessories  to your heart's content to get the look that suits you perfectly, and runs right on trend as feminine and beautiful for your wedding day.

Author Bio:
Kathryn Porritt is the owner of Bridal Style Inc., your feminine online wedding shop filled with a curated collection of bridal accessories, wedding lingerie and wedding gowns to buy online. A celebrated author on all things weddings and parties, and an experienced wedding planner and stylist, Kathryn’s unique feminine wedding style is brought to her customers through her beautiful online wedding collections.
Read More

Types of precious metal wire

3 comments:
Like most jewelry makers, I started out by stringing and knotting beads and then slowly moved to wire before going on to explore the wonderful world of mixed media and metal smithing. Apart from making ear hooks, clasps, eyepins, bails or frames on a regular basis, I do the occasional viking knit or wire crochet.While I am no expert in wire work, it is important to learn to work with wire as its ridiculously easy to create your own hooks and clasps customising them every single time.
However this post is not about making any products with wire but more to do with the basics of understanding wire and is aimed at beginners. It is a culmination of my learning of many years (I still have a lot to learn) so it will include snippets from many books and websites apart from my own observations.

What is wire?
Wire is a usually thin, flexible strand of metal that can be made in many shapes, diameters and hardness. It can be finished using many processes including coating and plating and can be electrically insulated. Thin individual wires can be twisted together to create a cable. Wire, like cord, can be used for twisting, wrapping, bezel making, prong making, weaving, knitting, crochet and macrame while making jewelry


Jewelry Wire Materials
Jewelry wires can be majorly classified into three categories - Precious metal, base metal and finished wire or wire with effects. In this post, I'll discuss only Types of precious metal wire with reference to usage and yes, availability (in India). 

sterling silver bangles - Yoola Design
Silver
Most commonly used precious metal wires are pure silver and sterling silver. Sterling Silver or SS is an alloy consisting of 92.5%  silver and 7.5% copper, Fine Silver is 99% pure silver while Karen hill tribe silver is 97% pure silver. Pure silver is nonreactive, less likely to cause allergic reactions and tarnishes slower. Silver that is used to make ornaments like Anklets, jhumkas (earrings), nose studs in India are 80 - 85% pure. The Cost of the wires varies from place to place and from day to day depending on the Share market. In India, any silver jeweller with a manufacturing unit will smelt and roll out silver wire in any gauge that you want (however, it might not be uniform). Locally I have found sterling silver to be more expensive than fine silver.
Argentium® sterling silver is a tarnish-resistant variety of sterling silver that consists of 92.5% silver, 1.2% germanium, and 6.3% copper. It does not develop fire scale easily and makes cleanup relatively painless. As its tarnish resistant, the wire remains shiny for a longer period but it is not very easily available and is not as cost effective as fine silver, in India. Though not as wire, Argentium is available as jewelry and as vessels in premium silver jewelry stores like VBJ and NAC in India
Infinity Wire necklace - Yoola Design
Gold & Vermeil
Though Gold wire is unavailable in India (for retail buying purposes) it is the most used wire by Indian jewellers.  Internationally Gold wire is available in many karat values: 12K, 14K, 18K, and 22K. Karat (K or KT) refers to the purity of gold.  24K gold is the purest gold and is too soft and therefore alloys are preferable. Apart from yellow gold wire, rose gold (red gold) and white gold wires are also available online.

 Vermeil is 24K gold electroplated over 925 sterling silver and its purity is gauged using the microns of plating (usually 2-4 microns). To be considered VERMEIL; (pronounced Vehr May) the gold must be at least 10 karat (42%) and be at least 2.5 micrometers thick. Vermeil was initially produced by fire gilding process which was then abandoned as it was considered unsafe. One gram gold is not Vermeil as the one here refers to 1 micron plating.

Palladium
Discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, Palladium is an incredibly rare silverish metal. My only knowledge of palladium is that it is used to give white coloring to white gold and it is often suggested as an alternative to Platinum as it is less dense. Only as I was writing this article, I came to know that palladium wires are also available. Experts who have used Palladium wire, please share your knowledge in the comments section.

Silver filled and Gold Filled
Silver Filled and Gold Filled wire are made by bonding a layer of sterling silver or 14K gold onto a base metal core, which is usually a copper or a brass alloy and are finished with an anti-tarnish coating to preserve the shine. Here the layer of precious metal is much thicker than the film on plated metals. The thickness of the silver is denoted with a fraction, 1/20 or 1/10, referring to the ratio of silver to brass/copper by weight, For Example, 1/10 has a thicker layer of silver than the 1/20 variety. The core of silver-filled wire will be visible on the ends of the wire; if wire ends will be exposed, they may need electroplating to cover it, particularly if the wire is very thick. But this can be used to your advantage as you can create many usual textures by sanding or hammering. In gold filled - the ratio of gold to brass is denoted as 14/20 or 12/20 to denote the karat value of the gold 14 stand for 14-karat gold and 20 represents 1/20th or 5% of the total weight of the material.

Cleopatra necklace - Yoola Design
Silver Plated and Gold Plated
These are Copper or brass (depending on the country) wire plated with Silver or Gold and technically come under finished wires. The wires look as shiny as the real metal in the beginning but plating wears off over time often becoming yellowish, greenish or blackish in the process. On over manipulation (bending, twisting and repeated straightening) or on rough handling, the coating will chip away leaving the base metal wire visible. To create a more luxurious product, articles made of silver wire can be plated in Gold water (different from Electroplating) and is often referred to as "Gold dipping" by Indian Jewellers. A similar Rhodium dipping can also be done. 

Dancing fish silver necklace - Ksemi
Tips for Working with Precious Wire
1.The first thing to do is get yourself a set of good wire working as there is no point in marring gold wire with a cheap cutter or pliers. Coat pliers with Tool magic (or equivalent potions) and use nylon jaws, fingers to wrap wherever possible. 
2. Plan ahead and measure well. A precious metal wire is expensive so it is essential to use only the required length to keep your piece cost effective. It will help to prototype the piece in copper or brass before you work with expensive metals
3. Collect end bits - you can melt bits (of silver) into balls for granulation work and bigger bits can be flattened to use as dangles or ornamentation.
4. Know your metal - especially when you are about to solder or patina it! Silver or gold filled wire act differently when you try to ball them using a torch and develop firescale which is hard to remove. 
5. Avoid using abrasive sandpapers or sticks on the filled and plated variety 

I have also come across Platinum wire, particularly in electronic circles but I am not sure if there are independent artists who use them for jewelry. I have worked with silver, sterling, Vermeil, Filled and plated wires before, though in a limited capacity, and can safely say that you don't require extremely advanced wire working skills to handle them. I encourage you to go for it, if you feel that it will add value to your designs. Some popular sites to buy precious metal wire are Rings-things and Cooksongold apart from etsy stores. Contact your local jeweller for silver wire and gold and silver plating on the wire.  

Those were my tips on working with precious metal wire. Please share your tips for working with precious wire and your experience of working with them. 

Wire Crochet jewelry pictures courtesy: Yael Falk,  Yoola Designs

I hope you found it interesting 
Cheers
Read More

Flower jewelry collection

4 comments:
Hey guys, I am running around hither and thither trying to plan for and arrange my 2 week  Learn-a-cation. In the meanwhile here are some pictures of bridal flower jewelry that I made in July and August so far. Please excuse me for any delay in replying to your comments, messages or emails for the next 2 weeks. Any and all fresh orders, reorders will be taken up only in the second week of September. 
 
Green and gold ribbon rose bridal set
Bridal set for a prewedding event made with ribbon roses in 2 shades of green and acrylic gold beads. Set includes - a short necklace, a long raanihaar, earrings, bracelets (hath phool) and a half matha patti (forehead ornament)

Green and gold ribbon rose bridal set

Red rose and pearl set
This set is slightly different take on my most requested red rose set, with curly roses instead of bud roses with pearl beads. It was made for a Godh Bharai function (a North Indian traditional baby shower which means filling up the mother's lap with Abundance)
Set includes - a short bib necklace, a long necklace, earrings, bracelets (hath phool), armlets, anklets, a waistband and a maang tikka (forehead ornament). You can see the beautiful mother to be wearing it here.

Red rose and pearl set
 
Red rose anklets


Red rose waistband


Bridal Party favours
An old client wanted some fun yet traditional bridal favours made and I made 22 of these ribbon rose matha pattis for her. They have ribbon roses in two tints of yellow strung together with white pearl beads
yellow rose matha patti

bridal party favours


I hope you found it interesting
 Cheers
Read More

Book Review - Jewellery design by Elizabeth Galton

No comments:
If you have ever walked into a fashion, art or design school library, chances are that you would have come across the "Basics Series" by Ava Publishing. From Advertising to Typography, they have about 19 main titles and innumerable subtitles providing in-depth knowledge of all art, design, and fashion related industries. The Book "Jewellery design by Elizabeth Galton" is a part of the Fashion series (book no. 10) and is a must read for all jewellery designers, artists, managers, retailers and instructors.
The book is divided into seven main chapters which cover everything from the history of jewellery to jewellery styles and ethical practices, from research, Design development, realisation and marketing to introducing case studies of different jewellers, artists and designers from across the world. This 184-page book offers a 360 perspective of the jewellery industry making the reader want for more. Elizabeth gives an insight into the lives of jewelry designers like Stephen webster, Anne Kazuro Guinnet,Theo Fennell and Shaun Leane through expert interviews that offer real advice. Answers to questions like "What do you look for in a junior designer?" or "How do you identify a target market?" are particularly enlightening. Though this book was published in 2012, I think its valid even today. But I do hope for a newer edition soon discussing new media opportunities in design.




The first two chapters are set in a design school process based subject style with lots of input on fashion basics, terminology, fashion through ages and style identification. Discussion of the styles of various designers are thought provoking and opens up new vistas of thinking. You also get input on ethical design and fair trade policies.
The next chapter offers insight on basic design process methodology used by most designers. It talks about the need for trend research, how to create a mood board and discusses modes of research.


The fourth chapter  begins with a description of a design brief and talks about how designers use them to ideate, generate forms  and come up with concepts. The book talks about the importance of pencil or rough sketches, the requirement of technical drawings, how the final designs are selected and how they are converted into CADs for production. The chapter details range design, project management, recording and review of the collection in addition to CAD-CAM which I found fascinating.

Chapter five is a hodgepodge of sorts. It begins with jewelry management and details the roles of various people involved in the design, production, and marketing of jewelry. It also discusses hallmarking, sampling, pricing. Strangely, the author, here, talks about materials - gold, vermeil, sterling silver which feels very odd. Maybe a separate chapter focussing on materials would have been better.
Chapter six is all about presentation. It begins with inputs on photography, branding, look book and portfolio generation, packaging and branches on creating a web/virtual presence through PR and Social media marketing.the sequencing feels confused. 

Chapeter seven details the various career aspects that a jewelry design aspirant might have and details grants available, schemes, awards and corporate projects. The book ends with a solid glossary, a fantastic list of references and a few more interviews. At the very end, we see a teaser from another Basics - fashion design series "working with ethics" which is quite thought provoking.

I am a very tough critic (my students would know!) and I hardly approve of anything but I love this book. I think that this book is for everybody (beginner or expert) who wants to be a part of jewellery industry as it provides invaluable input to self-taught artists who do not have a design background and sharpens the dull schooled minds with a dose of reality.

Where to buy: 
Follow these links: Amazon.com (International) Amazon.in (India)

As this is a fantastic book resource, I didnt feel like sharing high res images of the pages of the book. Hence the dull cell phone pics. I hope that it wouldn't deter you from seeking out the book. This book is now on my wishlist of things to buy as this particular copy is from the library :)

I hope you found it interesting
 Cheers
Read More

I dream of Travel

8 comments:
 80's -90's kids in India might remember watching "I dream of Jeannie" (in color) a fantasy comedy starring Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden. With the Naivety only eight-year-olds could muster, I told my friends that I liked the show - how the Jeannie travels or conjures up things with a blink of an eye I was teased as "Jeanie (Genie)" for the rest of my school life. So much so that I got the confidence to wear a single ponytail once again only in my late 20's. Jokes aside, I have always been drawn towards the exotic, the Jeannie, treasures, magic carpets and the works; a calling that could be fulfilled only through travel.
 
I have friends and relatives who shop obsessively for silk sarees, designer jeans and dresses or gold jewelry. There are those who splurge on suits, cars, watches, and shoes. Though I do like having fine things in life much as the next person (A pair of solitaire earrings or a Chanel bag would be welcome gifts)  I wouldn't mind wearing basic tees or kurtas bought five years ago and jewelry made up of orphaned beads to save money for travel. A lot of them consider me crazy for living this way, but they fail to understand that while shopping brings momentary pleasure, traveling fills you with memories that last a lifetime. Only a few understand that I want to be a traveller and not just a tourist.
 

 

I am fortunate to be raised by parents (and grandparents) who believed that traveling is the truest form of education. All through my childhood, I saw my mother travel like a local and my father always traveled in comfort. My style is, therefore, a mixture of both - I splurge on one aspect of the trip, focus on comfort for another but act like a local for rest of the trip. 
My travels - whether they involve a ride around the Icy Himalayan mountains of Nepal, dancing in Rajasthan, playing with tigers in Chiang Mai or shopping in the colorful Gujarat markets they always include a learning of some sort particularly with regard to art, craft, and design. They also always have a bead, gemstone or jewelry purchase or skill training tied up with them. These travels and the purchases are a sort of coming age symbols in my life.



I remember buying a Shell brooch in Mysore (at the age of 9) for my mother and my first pearl earrings (at 11 after saving money for almost a year) in New Delhi. I  bought my first precious gemstone in Columbo and my first silver jewelry in Nepal.
Sayuri bloomed as a business in the early days mainly due to the fact that I would travel to markets across the country (and yes later abroad) to buy beads and supplies that were not available locally. I was never afraid to experiment with materials that were foreign to me and combining them with local skills and ideas is what enabled me to become a mixed media artist.

 
As a kid, I wasn't interested in visiting Europe or America but was very curious to explore the east - Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Having done 3 out of 6, now I am extremely interested in the west. I would love to
- Go for cycle rides in Amsterdam and look at the tulips and windmills
- Walk around the street of Rome and soak up both culture as well as Fashion. Well, Let's throw in Greece (gorgeous Santorini), Barcelona ( to see Antonio Gaudi's work) and Paris into the itinerary while I imagine myself in Europe
- visit Kutch during the full moon in January, The temples, forts and palaces in Madhya Pradesh and the North East a month after the rains when it's dry yet green
- Last but not the least Visit America - Las Vegas casinos, Grand Canyon, Manhattan and yes Disneyworld. I know, that is a strange combination yet it is completely acceptable to the child in my adult body. As the fifth avenue is way beyond my budget, even in my dreams, I'll exchange them for the shoppable (is that even a word?) Michaels and vintage storesAnd most importantly attend Beadfest or the bead and button show and CHA. I want to take up lots of classes, shop, and meet all my blogging and designer friends from the US.   

These are my dream travel plans and I hope that a very important one among them comes true very very soon. Do share with me your dream travel plans and destinations. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you?

I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra #DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!

I hope you found it interesting
 Cheers
Read More