The Year of Jewelry Project 2017

The Year of Jewelry Project 2017

Since I’m hosting the YOJP 2017 again this year, I decided that I should participate. For the most part, I’ve been able to keep up with it. There have been a few stumbles here and there, notably around my typical crunch time in April. I’ve been posting the weekly photos to my Facebook business page, and a selection of what’s been posted can be seen below. If you’d like to see the whole album, you can click on “The Year of Jewelry Project 2017” link below.

If you would like to purchase any of the pieces in the collection, please contact me for details.

Of course, comments and likes are always welcome!

A Commissioned Collar



This week I was commissioned to make a collar for an energy healer. She has a herkimer diamond that she wears 24/7, and her previous collar (not by me) broke after many years of taking it off and putting it on.

She wanted the new collar to incorporate gold-filled and silver, to represent sun/moon and male/female energy. I added 11 bindings (master number 11 represents intuition), and with the exception of the binding at the base of the “V”, each of the bindings is a multiple of 3.


YOJ09-05 The Caged Heart Grows Cold

YOJ09-05 The Caged Heart Grows Cold YOJ09-05 The Caged Heart Grows Cold Bare copper, polymer coated copper, wool; Constructed, needle-feltedThe Caged Heart Grows Cold or Portrait of the Artist circa 1998 (2009)
Bare copper, polymer coated copper, wool
Constructed, needle-felted
Pendant:  L 7.5 cm x W 4.2 cm; Neckwire:  L 45 cm

I’ve been debating with myself for three weeks about what and how much to write about this week’s entry.  I made the felted heart in week 2, but then discovered that studio gremlins had made off with my copper wire…  I finally found a small spool of it last week, so was able to start work on the project.  The gremlins are refusing to let go of the rest, though, so this is the last copper piece I’m going to be making for the time being.

I spent a lot of time during my hiatus meditating on the direction I should go with my jewellery.  Time and time again I’ve gotten the message that my jewellery needs to connect with the spirit, and express more of my inner voice.

So, my piece this week speaks from a very personal perspective.  The very long story behind it is one that only my very closest friends have known about before now.

Read more

Secret Santa 2008 – Sneak Peak :-)

I’m participating in the Secret Santa on CWJ again this year, and as usual, I’m choosing to work outside my comfort zone.  Back in the summer when I was teaching at Haliburton, one of the projects we did was a “freeform” bangle.  Now, anyone who knows me and has any familiarity with my past work, knows that I’m not a freeform kinda gal.  It was the notes I got for my Secret Santa recipient’s preferences that made me think freeform would be the best approach.

SS2008-2mini The starting point for this bangle was the Illingworth Necklace by Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934).  This is the second time I’ve used this necklace for inspiration.  The first time was during the YOJ 2005.  The results this time look to me like “Wonder Woman meets Jackson Pollack”  LOLOL

The frame was made out of 16 ga round copper.  Then, making use of the miles and miles of Artistic Wire I have, I wound in 20 ga purple and 28 ga tangerine wire.

Gilbert spent literally years working on his necklace, tying and retying the wire knots.  Originally, I was intending to make the interweaving more dense, but time is getting short, and the bracelet needs to be in the mail in the next day or so if I have any hope of getting it to its destination before Christmas.

Funny, I haven’t made much jewellery in the past two years, partly because I haven’t felt very inspired.  But working on this bangle made me feel very energetic – I have the “itch” to do more work.  Unfortunately there are other deadlines looming, so I have to put off making for a little while longer.  I’m starting to have ideas for new pieces though, and am faithfully sketching them in my notebook.  Feels good…

Here are some process photos I took showing the stages of construction.

A reply from my Secret Santa recipient :-)

I got an email from Angie Simonsen, the recipient of my Secret Santa gift this year:

Hi Dianne,

I again wanted to thank you for my necklace.

It’s is one I will certainly always treasure, especially coming from someone who’s work I first admired in the wonderful book, “Wire in Design”. I’ve always thought it so special and unique to be able to actually converse with some of the people that have really inspired me on thru my journey with wire, but to actually have a necklace from one, well – that’s really, really freaking cool.

I was going to leave a comment on your blog on the Secret Santa post, but it said it was closed for comments…

Stay wired!
Angie Simonsen
Wire Jewelry Artist

Angie articulated exactly why I love to do swaps: it gives me the opportunity to connect with other people who share my passion. And it is freakin’ cool to get a piece from someone whose work you admire. I know exactly how that feels: I have received jewellery from several people whose style I adore, and I treasure those pieces beyond words.

(NB – I turned comments off on my posts because I was getting a lot of spam posts.)

One for my collection :-)

Ruby Net PendantTis the season for making something for myself for a change. I won this ruby cab as part of the prize for winning a a tutorial writing contest on the IGWJA board. The cab is so large it almost qualifies as a hood ornament. LOL.

Again as part of easing myself back into doing work, I decided to try my hand at some netting. It’s really tricky to get the netting even, and as a first attempt, this pendant is all over the place. Then there are the added decorative beads in the last row. I have some delica-type beads in my stash that have enormous holes – perfect for the double threading the netting requires.

Ruby Net PendantAll in all, the result is a simple statement. It’s a very heavy pendant to wear. I strung it on a handmade chain I’d been working on over several of my beginner classes. I made the links from 24 ga square wire to show my students what can be done with a simple S-link chain.

The close up shot shows the netting (with slight kinking in the wire) and the bead detailing. I started work on a second netted pendant using some fabulous lava stone beads I bought in Bancroft last summer. I quickly discovered that there are a two of ways of putting these beads on and each gives a different look. More when I post that pendant…

Ruby Net PendantI tried something different with the photography this time: using a translucent juice jug. Milk in Ontario is sold in bags rather than in jugs, so it was only the fact that we bought some OJ that I was able to get a jug. I’m not convinced it does better than my regular setup, but I may continue to play around with it.

Ruby Netted Pendant, Sterling and fine silver, 7.4 cm long x 4.8 cm wide. Private collection.

Secret Santa 2007

Once again it’s time for the Secret Santa exchange on CWJ.

As usual, I decided to try my hand at something I’ve never done before. I bought a bunch of stones off eBay a while back – mixed quality for the most part, but still useful for experiments. Caveat Emptor is the rule with eBay, so I knew not to expect top quality. Many of the stones are very very small, and so pose a challenge for figuring out a wired setting. The stones for this project were some very small marquise cut sapphires about 5×3 mm, if that.

Secret Santa 2007 It’s been quite a while since I picked up my pliers, so I’m feeling a bit rusty. Also not feeling particularly innovative, so I thought I’d try my hand at some of the techniques that seem to be popular on some of the online forums.

My result reminds me of the marcasite jewellery that was popular in the late 19th century. Hopefully my Secret Santa recipient will like her gift :-). I liked it so much, I made another one for myself, with gold-filled beads.

Sapphire Pendant,
Sterling and fine silver, sapphire,
4.8 cm long x .7 cm wide
Private collection