Molten lava necklace

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I had some beautiful orange lampwork glass discs from ADAoutlet Lampwork Glass Beads; ADAs discs, in a range of vivid colours, have a hematite-like metallic edge that I have never before come across in lampwork. I knotted them on silk with lava stone beads, large dark purple freshwater pearls, tiny turquoises, yellow Greek ceramic beads and wonderful large, smooth deep purple glass rings from Stone Designs by Sheila; her studio is localised in the Pacific Northwest and she makes beads that immediately makes you dream of an enchanted forest.

I made this necklace for my strong, kind, intelligent Auntie T because I know she likes lava beads.

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China Blue

2016 01 04 chinablue Post3 simple knotted porcelain necklaces

Lately, I have gone back to basics and knotted long chains of beads, like these Chinese and Delft porcelain beads. I knotted with simple silk or linen thread. The trick when you knot is to use a needle to push the thread close to the bead as shown in this excellent tutorial by Potomac Bead Company. I knot these long chains in the car or in front of the TV.

The blue and white porcelain is soothing and simple, perfect for a new year, a fresh start.

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Hooked on Thai silk

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By Jenny Ekberg
My grandmother Sonja Hahn-Ekberg (post coming soon!) was a world-renown textile artist. Her medium was Thai silk thread, and she taught me and my best friend Isabell to make bracelets using her technique. I remember us giggling, posing for the camera with our creations; one of the best afternoons of my fleeting teenage hood.

I have had Thai silk scraps sitting around for ages, and suddenly I had an urge to try it. I bundled the scraps into my backpack and headed to the beach. At night, by candlelight, I pulled them out.

After 5 minutes, dangerously close to the flame, I was hooked. I know now that I will never stop. My first test strip is a far cry from the shimmering silk sheets my grandmother created, but it is a start.

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Our new gallery page

We have had a few people telling us that they found it hard to find photos of our jewellery in our blog. Therefore, we have now made a gallery page where you can see examples of our jewellery made by Jenny Ekberg. We will update the page when we make new collections. You can access the page through the “our collections” tab in the black menu above, or via this blog post.
Hopefully it will now be easier to find our work in the maze of the World Wide Web.
Thank you,
Jenny and team.

Please click on the images to get to the galleries.

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Kabul in my heart

Kabul in my heart
By Jenny Ekberg
When I say “Kabul”, my four-year-old daughter squeals with excitement. She remembers the exhibition we went to (Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul); the the Grecian-styled statues, the tiles in thousand shades of blue, the buttery high carat gold. I think of a city of war, injustice, poverty and suffering, where patches of brilliant architecture, art and colours shine through dust. I think about people of strength, courage, survival instinct and complexity.

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No, I haven’t been there, I have only watched TV, movies, documentaries, art exhibitions and, above all, met lots of Afghans; all of whom have been amazing in their own right, some tough as nails, some very intellectual and witty, some bound by traditions, some trendy or glamorous, some just incredibly warm and hospitable. They have all made a huge impression on me.

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I made this fine silver heart inspired by the people of Kabul. The architectural outside is crumbling but iridescent, and the inside is coated with that high-carat gold I have only really seen in old Afghan jewellery. It has a hidden compartment containing a piece of Afghan fabric holding incense.

Kabul picture 4

Material: Fine silver with 22 K gold filling, cloth, incense.
Technique: Metal clay (PMC3), stenciling with slip, liver of sulphur/ammonia patina, cold joined.
Who is it for: Myself, and my daughter Zoë when she is older and maybe wants to borrow it.
Kabul picture 5
If you are a jewellery artisan and wants to know more about how I made this necklace, please contact me. I am happy to share all my “secrets”!

Image credits: Afghanistaninphotostumblr.com, National Museum of Afghanistan, Queensland Museum, Wikipedia, James St John, Brisbane.

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Fresh off the bench: amethyst cluster dream catcher necklace

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By Jenny Ekberg

Just finished this necklace after tweaking, re-shaping and re-patinating for the millionth time; my version of the obligatory dream catcher necklace. I made it in fine silver using the same techniques as for my Kashgar ring, and with LOTS of effort and help from my husband managed to set this irregular cluster of amethyst crystal tips, as dark as the darkest violets in a springtime forest.

So, here are the facts:
Material? fine silver, amethysts, liver of sulphur patina
Inspiration? architecture in Kashgar, China
How long did it take? About 3 months (note that I can only work at the bench a stolen night here and there)
For who? Myself this time!

It is 00.30 so I better go to sleep. Outside the darkness is like black velvet and the poodles are howling at possums jumping on the roof like drunken ghosts.
Good night!

Posted in central asia, china, gemstone, kashgar, metal clay, Our jewellery, silver, stenciling, uyghur, world, xinjiang | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Kashgar ring

Kashgar ring, made by me
I dream of one day going to Kashgar, hopefully with my family. I made this ring inspired by photos I have seen of the old town in Kashgar; beautiful, unique, colourful, threatened by demolition, but very much alive.

How did I make it? I made the ring from fine silver metal clay (PMC3), using a stenciling technique according to Kelly Russell’s instructions in the book PMC Technic (edited by Tim McCreight). I gave it a vibrant Liver of Sulphur-patina and set a large iridescent freshwater pearl in the centre.

Who did I make it for? My mum, for Christmas.

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Kashgar image sources: MichelCaster.com, ibtimes.com, tripadvisor.com.

Posted in central asia, china, kashgar, metal clay, Our jewellery, silver, stenciling, uyghur, xinjiang | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Lucky horse shoes

fine silver bronze hs
By Jenny Ekberg
There is something about horse shoes. How can something so rustic feel so magical?
As a child in Sweden, I would watch in awe my practical, earthy grandparents turn silent and supersticial when stumbling over a rusty horse shoe digging in their garden. Inspired by old Central Asian Turkoman silver necklaces, and by jewellery artist Pamela Love (see my post about Pamela here), I suddenly got an urge to make my own spiked horse shoes. These are my first attempts; one in fine silver, one in bronze. Already, they are amongst my most worn pieces of jewellery; they are extremely versatile and do feel a little magical, actually.

Left: bronze horse shoe necklace with varigated silk cord. Right: Fine silver spiky horse shoe necklace, and real old horse shoe from India in my bedroom.

Left: bronze horse shoe necklace with varigated silk cord. Right: Fine silver spiky horse shoe necklace, and real old horse shoe from India in my bedroom.

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My Sweet Home Necklace

My fine silver Swedish house necklace, and Swedish autumn flower skeletons.

My fine silver Swedish house necklace, and Swedish autumn flower skeletons.

When I get homesick for Sweden, where I grew up, I always do one of two things. I either make some mulled wine, even if it is almost 40 degrees Celsius outside, or I make a Swedish house necklace.
This one in fine silver is my favourite, it has a chimney and little golden heart on the door and looks a lot like my family’s falu red summer cottage outside the small town of Kalmar in the south of Sweden. No straight angles, wild garden, pear trees full of white fragrant flowers in springtime, surrounded by fog thick like dancing elves in Autumn mornings.

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Healthy chocolate fix

chocballsI just made these healthy cousins to traditional Swedish chocolate balls and I am really happy with the result. They instantly satisfy that enormous chocolate craving that I experience every night, but unlike their lard-laden relatives, they contain no butter and no added sugar.

1.5 cups of oats
3 tablespoons of protein powder, any will work, chocolate or vanilla flavor
3/4 cups of chopped pitted dates, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of cacao
4 squares Lindt chocolate, the really dark 85 % one (OK, this contains a little bit of butter, but all in all, not much!!)
1 tablespoon strong coffee
2-4 tablespoons water or milk (this depends on the type of protein powder you use, start with one tbsp and add water til you get a nice consistency)

Mix all ingredients except water/milk, preferably in a food processor but can also be done by hand; in that case, cut up the dates into really small pieces first. Add water or milk last. Roll into balls. If you like, you can roll the balls in coconut as well, but I didn’t this time.

Decadent and healthy at the same time!!

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