I have always donated items to fundraising type events. It's just who I am.
This year, there are a bunch of these events that I wanted to make things for...
and now that I am (mostly) caught up on my "to-do" list... I have the opportunity.
I made this set recently for the 30th Annual Books Unlimited Gala; which is a fundraiser for my local library. Items are donated, then offered in silent auctions. The money goes to a worthy cause, and people get to take some awesome items home.
When deciding what to make for this, I wanted something more "over the top"... and I know that there are several folks here who like the southwest style. Conveniently, (and having lived in New Mexico for 17yrs)... I had stuff. When we had first moved to Albuquerque, I purchased the earrings and the pendant piece from an old pawn place. These are wonderful places to get OLD Native American handmade pieces... and I got lucky. The earrings and pendant are solid sterling silver, with gemstone intarsia pieces that feature Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, coral, dyed Howlite, Turquoise and Onyx. The pendant is Concho style, and has some gorgeous metal stamping on it.
So... I wanted to use these pieces as a "stepping off" place to make the necklace.
Let me take a minute to talk about Turquoise. Turquoise is rapidly running out here in the USA; and it is being bought up at record prices.... rather like some sort of "gold rush" in the stone world. People are storing it as investment, not unlike precious metal and diamonds.
It's amazing really.
For the necklace, I used large turquoise nugget beads, separated by hand carved small coral seed beads and Branch Coral coin shaped beads. The 2 accent beads in the front, are Native American metal stamped beads that I purchased from the artist who made them (on the Plaza in Santa Fe). It is all on 49strength tiger tail wire, which makes it more durable, yet flexible and comfortable to wear. Even the crimps are sterling, and have sterling crimp covers. The toggle clasp is solid sterling, and handmade as well.
I also made and donated these earrings.
The earrings (below) feature carved bone beads that display the Chinese Long Life Symbol on both sides. They are drilled slightly askew; but that just makes them more unique. I have accented these bone beads with freshwater pearls in cream and Tahitian tones, and REAL faceted (small) Burmese rubies. All the findings are 14K Gold Plate.
My hope is that these sets will bring lots of interest to the library auctions.
See you all tomorrow!