Ask Gem Gossip, Volume One!

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I’ve decided to add another segment to Gem Gossip after getting LOTS of questions in my inbox and finding it difficult to answer everyone!  Since I love to connect with my readers, I thought it was unfair that I couldn’t find time to answer everyone–so, Ask Gem Gossip was created!  This will allow me to take the necessary time to get back to everyone’s questions, and letting others in on our conversations!  Whenever I post an #AskGemGossip photo on Instagram, you can ask your question in the comment section.  Or you can always fill out the Contact page, with the subject #AskGemGossip…Hope you enjoy!

 

@taniadundou writes: If you ever see a portrait ring similar to your blindfold lady, I’d be super interested! But maybe you don’t see those in your travels in North America?  Do you have one era that you collect more than others?

Gem Gossip answers: yes!  I rarely come across rings with painted portraits here in the States, that is why when traveling abroad I made sure to buy things that I knew I would never or rarely see here.  That portrait ring was one of them!  I do tend to be infatuated with the Victorian Era more than others, but also love Art Deco.  Lately I’ve been on a 60s/70s kick, loving big bold all-gold designs.

 

@theoneilovenyc writes: I have way too many questions for this IG post haha, but alas, I’ll ask one.  What is your favorite book on antique jewelry symbolism? I’ve been searching in every direction to find an encyclopedia of such…

Gem Gossip answers: I’m working on a compiled list of all the jewelry books one would need to create a nice library…more on that soon!  But, yes…you’re right, there’s not really a book that focuses solely on jewelry symbolism–there totally should be!  But the book, Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World has a chapter called The Language of Jewellery which pertains to symbolism!

 

@brittchamp3 writes: What is the best place to shop for antique jewelry?

Gem Gossip answers: This is a tough question to narrow it down to one particular place, because I feel like there’s many stores out there I have yet to discover…but the one place I would say would be the World Wide Web!  Sites like eBay, Etsy and Ruby Lane make it easy for a collector to find what they’ve been searching for right from the comfort of their home.  I also recently became a huge fan of live auctions–some of my best finds came from an auction house.  For a list of the best auction houses, click here.

 

@lisajshuler writes: What is the one piece that got away that you still think about?  I know we insane jewelry lovers all have many, but what is the one that stands out?

Gem Gossip answers: Ughh…I can still remember the day and all that was happening.  It was eBay of course, and the biggest, mossy green emerald and diamond ring had just alerted me on my phone that it was about to end.  I was in the middle of an appraisal for a client and couldn’t really bid.  I remember slyly typing in some ridiculous bid and having to put my phone away immediately after.  I wasn’t able to check my phone until a few hours later, only to see I was outbid and that the ring was more perfect than ever!  

 

@shopfiligree writes: What are your top 3 favorite pieces from your personal collection?

Gem Gossip answers: My antique engagement ring–my garnet, diamond and enamel ring from Skinner auction house–and my Gram’s gold and glass ring she gave to me.  (pictured above)

 

Gem Gossip

Posted in Jewelery

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Making A Copper Link Bracelet : It’s A Bit Harder Than I Thought!

To make a change from making bangles I decided to make a copper link bracelet recently. Since I’ve learned to solder I haven’t attempted one yet and thought it would be a fairly easy, quick thing to make.
It probably is if you’re not me………………

I started with 2.6mm copper wire and cut several lengths in two different sizes. I annealed the wire and bent it to form rough D shapes which makes it easier to join the two ends. My first idea was to solder and shape the links into rounds, texture and finish them then cut half of them open again and resolder to link them all together. Looking at how they lay when they were linked together I then thought the wire was probably too thick for this idea and the links might not sit very well when the bracelet was worn so I now needed to think about how to join the large links together in an interesting way………
After some time thinking design thoughts {faffing about with copper wire in other words} I came up with a link design featuring a piece of wire balled at both ends which were then hammered and the wire bent over so the hammered ends touched and could be soldered together.

Soldering the small links.
I took this photo holding the torch in one hand and my camera in the other which is why the flame is miles away from the copper link {I can only concentrate on one thing at a time!}
Once all the links were done I hammered them with my mallet to flatten and elongate them and decided that putting two together facing different directions worked quite well and made the bracelet look a bit different.

I stamped a circle design on the ends of the links too and started connecting everything together. I liked the pebble shape of the large copper links so decided to leave them as they were. I then had to think about how the bracelet would fasten. I have a strange love/hate thing with fasteners and have never enjoyed making them despite making my own findings. I decided on a simple bar/toggle style fastener for the bracelet which could fasten with the copper link on the other end of the bracelet. It was simple to make – a length of copper wire with a loop soldered in the middle.

Once the bar was made I also made a small link to attach it to the last copper link on one end of the bracelet. I carried on with the hammered ball theme and made the small link by balling the end of a piece of wire, hammering and stamping then folding the wire into an oval shape and soldering the ends together.
So once everything was a ready I could start to solder the big copper links closed.

 After soldering and pickling and before cleaning up the excess{ive} solder!
 I started cleaning up the solder with a file and emery sticks then quickly changed to the much faster method of using abrasive bullets with my Dremel! The length of the bracelet at this point is about 8.5 inches so I need to shorten it by using my mallet to make the links wider. I also hammered them to flatten slightly and added some hammer texture to parts of the links
Incidently – has anyone noticed the mistake I’ve made yet? I realized my mistake just as I was about to put the finished oxidized bracelet into my tumbler.
The end link is too big for the bar………………….bugger! I had a few options – make another longer bar, change the shape of the end link to make it thinner but this would also make the bracelet too long, or remove the end link and replace it with a smaller one which is what I did. I also had to use my torch to remove the liver of sulphur oxidation and clean up and finish everything again.

So here’s the new version with smaller end link and a shiny copper finish again. Just why did I think making a link bracelet would be quick and easy?
Here’s the finished oxidized and tumbled bracelet taken on my bench with my phone camera and experimenting with different settings which is why the photos all look slightly different.

I was pleased how it turned out in the end and I’ve learned what to keep in mind for next time! It was a prototype of sorts so the next one I make will hopefully be a lot easier and faster to make and will probably look a bit different to this one. I will post a couple of “proper” photos of it soon.

Cinnamon Jewellery

Our Visit to a Breast Cancer CampaignResearch Project

As a business, Astley Clarke is over 80% female, so breast cancer is a cause close to the hearts of many of us. This is just one of the many reasons that in June 2013, we launched our Breast Cancer … Continue reading
The Astley Clarke Jewellery Blog

Wainsgate Chapel Photo Shoot – The Pictures Part One!

You may remember my last photo shoot in Wainsgate Chapel a few weeks ago? I finally have the shots ready, which I will be sharing in a couple of posts. There’s a couple of reasons for this; firstly because there are so many gorgeous photos from Shelly (from Toast of Leeds Photography), and secondly because we two different stories from the two gorgeous models, in two very different dresses.

To find out more about who I worked with on the day, please check the credits at the end of the post.

 

hat therapy photo shoot hebden bridge

toast of leeds photography

zeitgeist hair wedding photo shoot hebden bridge

beauty call fashion photo shoot yorkshire

rachel lucie wainsgate chapel

dress designed and made by jessica charleston

emmas home and garden wedding flowers

rachel lucie wainsgate chapel (9 of 17)

handmade pearl bridal earrings

bridal jewellerywedding photo shoot wainsgate chapel

rachel lucie wainsgate chapel (13 of 17)

rachel lucie wainsgate chapel (15 of 17)

hair piece by hat therapy chrissie king

necklace back detail

bridal bouquet

headpiece by hat therapy

 

Credits:

Photography : Shelly @ Toast of Leeds

Hair : Debbie @ Zeitgeist Hair

Jewellery : Rachel Lucie Jewellery Designs

Headgear and other accessories : Chrissie @ Hat Therapy

Make-up : Alison @ Beauty Call

Wedding Dress : Jessica Charleston

Flowers : Emma and Rebecca @ Emma’s Home and Garden

Models : Grace, Chloe

Location : Wainsgate Chapel, Old Town, West Yorkshire

Rachel x

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The post Wainsgate Chapel Photo Shoot – The Pictures Part One! appeared first on Rachel Lucie Designs Blog.

             

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An Astley Clarke Affair:Our AW14 Press Day

As we all know, nothing beats new jewellery…until now. This year for our AW14 Press Day we decided to do something decidedly different. We gathered a troupe of dashing gentlemen equipped with briefcases and bowler hats to pull off the … Continue reading
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The Craftsmanship of Fine Jewellery:Our Latest Video

There is of course a time for modesty, but now is not that time. We have just made a damn fine jewellery video and we don’t care who knows it. Our latest film captures the journey of a piece of … Continue reading
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Felt Balls, My Jewellery Shed And More Organizing

Any of you who read my blog regularly will know I moved my jewellery making stuff into a garden shed earlier this year. I’m well and truly settled in now but every so often I’m struck with how I can improve the way my shed is organized. One of the things I’m limited by is the fact it is a garden shed that’s been clad so I can’t just stick things up on the walls willy nilly. The cladding is attached to battens so if I want to put anything on the wall I have to screw it through the cladding and into a batten. Which obviously stops me putting things anywhere I want. This means I have to find other ways to attach things to the wall sometimes. I bought some magnetic strips on ebay a while ago with the idea of using them to hold some of my small metal tools. They also proved really useful to use with fridge magnets to hold bits of paper {all with very important things written on them of course} within easy reach when I’m working. This idea then made me think I needed some more fridge magnets and a look on ebay and Etsy and being surprised at the price of some of them made me think about making my own.

So I bought some disc magnets and combined the magnets with another thing I had a strange urge to possess for no apparent reason……. felt balls. I bought them in different colours and glued the magnets to them to make my own felt ball magnets!

The felt ball magnets that aren’t being used live on my cabinet until they are needed. They are very well behaved and don’t need much looking after. They do enjoy listening to a bit of the Stone Roses occasionally {quite loudly and from the 2nd album preferably}. They are quite sociable and form their own family groups although their colour coordination skills leave a lot to be desired. The two at the bottom are getting on very well.

Felt balls at work holding my print outs for orders. The magnetic strips have an adhesive strip on one side so I can stick them to the wall. You can just see a bit of the magnetic strip at the top of the paper.
These three {nice colour grouping!} normally hold up a sheet of paper that I scrawl ideas and things to do on.
Thankfully none of my cats have noticed the felt balls yet because I dread to think what would happen when a cat tries to play with felt balls with magnets attached to them………
My slightly nomadic pliers have now found themselves a permanent home too. The problem wasn’t what to put them in or on it was the lack of space available to put whatever the pliers were in or on {hope you’re following this….}. They now reside on the plastic pliers holder under my work bench.
They sit in the cardboard drawer that serves to keep my emery papers under control and it works as I know exactly where to reach for when I need them! I got rid of the ledge shelf thing that came with my bench and sat on the runner you can see to the left of the pliers in the photo as it was a bit useless and got in the way of my hammers and things.

My needle files have a permanent home too – good old magnetic strips strike again! The files have made it very clear they are not prepared to share their magnetic strips with any of those weird felt balls though………
Here’s a photo I’ve taken of me “working” at the bench just to prove I don’t spend all my time glueing little magnets to felt balls. I’m going to get round to doing my “About” page for my Etsy shop soon so took a few photos for that today.
There is a little blue felt ball in this photo though. Can you see it? 

Cinnamon Jewellery

Your feedback please & a blog giveaway!

rachel lucie art print products

 

As a customer of mine, or reader of my blog, I’d be really ever so grateful if you could give me some feedback on a new direction I am currently working behind the scenes to launch. You can see some examples above.

During the years of developing my jewellery business for selling online, I have enjoyed equally both designing jewellery, and photographing it too. I’ve been crawling around snapping pictures of the things that inspire me, and have particularly loved capturing the things in nature that I really love. Flowers, bugs, forgotten corners of our industrial past. I love it when nature claims back a bit of our past, or the increasing beauty you see when you get closer to plants and flowers.

Now, I want to share my photography and sell it via a new website (which will run alongside my current one – no need for technical details at this stage). This is where you come in as I know you have liked or even bought my jewellery, and I really value your opinion.

My nature prints could be available as:

high quality prints (framed or unframed)

cushions

cards

phone cases

ipad/tablet cases

notebooks

 

So with no obligation to purchase - at all – it would be great if you could fill in the following questionnaire. There are only 5 questions!

(survey now closed)

This will let me know which of products I’m developing below are something you would consider buying often, occasionally, or whether they are not something you are interested in at all. If they sound like something you might buy, are they something you would buy as a gift, for yourself or possibly both?

For anyone who leaves a comment below I will automatically enter you into a prize draw to win a £20 gift voucher for www.rachellucie.co.uk. You will need to include your email address so I can contact you (this will not be shared), so that I can get in touch if you are the lucky winner!

I will announce the winner – drawn at random – on Friday 27th June.

Thanks in advance, and good luck :)

Rachel x

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Comments

  • Thanks so much, Diane! Will keep you posted on progress :) by Rachel Lucie Johns
  • Love the vibrant colours of your photography and if your new … by Diane
  • Thanks for the lovely comments, and feedback on the products. … by Rachel Lucie Johns

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Party in the Park

 WHEN: Tuesday 17th June, 7pm – 10pm WHERE: The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, The Magazine Restaurant, Hyde Park WHO: Sienna Miller, Matthew Williamson, Alice Eve, Guest DJ Laura Whitmore, Celia Imrie, George Lamb, Sarah Brown, Sarah Macklin, Zoe Jordan, Paul Weiland, Matthew Pinsent … Continue reading
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Posted in Necklaces

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What June looks like

What a wonderful month June is turning out to be, so far!

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My garden is looking lush and green, nestled into the hillside. Although I must give the credit to Gary this year, as I haven’t done much at all in the garden! You can see in the bottom right that there are raised beds, and vegetables are growing. This is my favourite viewing spot, from the loft. (I’m secretly fascinated by that pink rhodedendron bush on the hill behind)

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Our stipa gigantia has really benefited from the easier winter we had, and has finally taken hold in the back garden, by the steps.

Here’s the little path across the gravel the shed, another favourite spot for me.

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Dog walking on a sunny morning is just the best! I can’t claim to be up and out before the school run, but Dexter and I are really enjoying our little adventures after school drop off. Mostly we don’t see another soul.

These next 4 photos are from a walk last week from Slack Top, Heptonstall, down to Jack Bridge.

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Dexter is not good at sitting still for mug shots, but I’m trying to teach him!

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There is always so much sky when I go up out of the valley!

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It will be amazing if the weather is this good for the Tour De France, I’m starting to get very excited about the whole thing.

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Another favourite walk of ours is just from the house over towards Mytholmroyd, through fields and meadows, then back along the cycle path where the dog can have a paddle in the river.

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The only downside is that because I can’t take my eyes off Dexter (he’s an ardent poo-eater, and a trip to the vet this week with a stomach upset was costly!), I don’t tend to take my proper camera. Instagram is my friend for a quick snap of something that catches my eye.

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Yesterday, we took a new (for the dog) route straight up towards the Pennine way, right to a wonderful viewing point where you feel like you are on top of the world. Wish I’d brought some sandwiches!

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It leads up to the most amazing beech woodland.

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Don’t forget to look up!

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I have to snap the foxgloves, every year. One of my favourite flowers.

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I really must go back with my camera, next time. There are so many interesting things to capture.

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I hope you can see why I love Yorkshire!

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Just a quick reminder that there is my £20 voucher giveaway you can enter by filling in my survey from this post here, and I also have a clearance jewellery sale on in my shop – if you haven’t had a chance to look, please do.

Enjoy the weather! :)

Rachel x

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Posted in Earrings

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Explore the World of Holistic Aura of Chakra Jewelry

The Chakra jewellery and even buying Chakra crystals is becoming immensely popular with the growing awareness among people about the significance of such ornaments on the health and mind. Chakra yoga art is widely practiced by people worldwide to generate an aura of positive energy. Over the past few years, there has been an inclination of the masses towards the chakra yoga practices to raise the power of the chakras in the body to generate a flow of positive energy in the mind and the body. The most exquisite factor why people are getting more inclined to the Chakra jewellery pieces is the brilliance of the designs on this contemporary ornament piece. Designers are constantly experimenting with various forms of jewellery designing that can raise the power of these pieces in the wardrobe to bring energy and fortune to your life so that you get the fruits of all the hard work leveraged in your field of activity.

The jewellery designers for quite a long time have been designing Chakra ornaments like pendants, bangles, earrings and much more. The astrologers and spiritual preachers of the opinion that wearing these jewellery items increase the power of the mind and the body manifold that helps you to get the optimum benefits out of your Chakra yoga and lifestyle practices. Wearing a Chakra band on your hand is not only beautiful to look at but carries the vibes of healing power that soothes the mind and the body. In this age of hasty lifestyle and immense stressful condition of the mind, these holistic pieces of jewellery and the path of Chakra yoga has emerged as a major savior for the mankind.

Many astrologers even suggest the use of gemstones on Chakra jewellery. Hence, you can have rubies, diamonds, pearls, emeralds and what not designed on your favorite jewellery pieces. Gemstones for long have been believed to bring fortunes back to the life not only by the astrologers in countries like India, but it is now becoming a practice in many countries. When everything around is going wrong, the gemstones are said to attract the positivistic elements and goodness around with the lives setting things right. This is more a matter of belief that boosts confidence to the person energizing him to face the challenges of life. However, before using these powerful gemstones, it is very important to consult an astrologer to get the right set of stones as these stones are very powerful and subject to suitability factors.

Now you can get Chakra jewellery online with loads of cool collections at unbelievable prices. This is even easier for the customers seeking to buy fabulous Chakra bangles, wristlets, pendants, earrings and other pieces. Many companies offer free shipping so you save the money on traveling expenses for visiting a far off shop and getting your products. Simply take out time to search for the designs you desire to buy and place the order. Your Chakra jewellery will be dropped on the doorstep. So relax, take a fresh breath and of course, keep shopping for your Chakra jewellery

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