Jewellery creations

Suzie Blackman
Sunday, 24 October 2010
1 comment

I have got a bit carried away with my latest pass-time! I’ve invested in lots more materials and made a number of new creations. Lots of people have asked me if I’m taking commissions – hell yes! I am really keen to find a way to fund my new hobby.

I made this necklace for my Mum’s 60th birthday. She likes bright coloured jewellery, she already has a lapis necklace so I thought she’d appreciate some turquoise. I used 4, 6 and 8 mm turquoise beads.

Three strand turquoise necklace with vintage clasp

I am still going crazy for Swarovski beads, especially these black ones. This necklace is made from 4 mm bicone and 8 mm round Swarovski beads in ‘jet’, and large coin-shaped Czech glass beads. It sparkles like nothing else. I’m making pouches to go with every piece, they take almost as long as the jewellery to make but I think it’s worth it.

Two-strand Swarovski and Czech cut class with vintage clasp

Swarovski is fab but I’m trying out cheaper alternatives. I made the necklace below from Preciosa crystal bicones and drops and 8 mm round Czech fire-polished glass, all available from Empire Beads. The fire-polished beads have a softer finish that cut crystal, but when combined with other beads they look great. The Preciosa beads seem top-notch, I can’t tell the difference.

Cut crystal and fire-polished Czech glass necklace with vintage faceted jet clasp

I made a couple of three-strand bicone crystal bracelets. These are perfect for adding a bit of glitz to daytime outfits.

Swarovski bicone crystal bracelets with vintage clasps

Stringing beads is a lot of fun, but I soon found myself looking to experiment with more unusual components. I bought a bag of broken pocket watch parts from Ebay, and what an exciting parcel it was – cogs, flywheels, and interesting-shaped pieces of brass, covered in grime and corrosion.

Broken watch parts

After some Brasso and a lot of elbow grease (with hindsight, I’d have left the bits sitting in cola over night), I had some beautiful components. I used needle files to remove the sharp edges and cog axles. I love the timeless quality of these found objects combined with carefully chosen crystal and semi-precious beads.

Asymmetric necklace made from brass watch parts, Swarovski beads and crystal drop, turquoise beads, freshwater pearl, bras charm, sterling findings and chain, and vintage faceted jet clasp

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.

One comment

  1. Lucie says:

    I recognise that second one! I love it – thank you so much! x

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