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!

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.

kashgarpics

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

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.

My Great Ocean Road necklace

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I have come to Aireys inlet a few times now, and each time it is like all the stress drains out of my body as soon as I have climbed the hill up to the lighthouse. The view is breathtaking; the blue sky and the blue ocean; all different shades of blue. The fresh smell of seasalt, dry wood and spices. As I inhale the healing air, The Lighthouse Song (one of my absolute favourite Aussie songs, btw!) by Josh Pyke starts to play in my head.

I just had to make a necklace inspired by the colours. I had some ancient African trade beads resembling light bulbs; they are truly unique. The material resembles sea glass that has been polished by the ocean for a very long time, and the subtle irregular swirls look like the ocean bed. The beads have so much history and have been touched by so many hands; they were made in the early 1900s in Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic) for trade with Mali, where brides would wear them on their wedding day. I bought them from a Malinese lady; she said that she thought they were really old-fashioned, but I absolutely love them. For me, they really capture the essence of the Great Ocean Road.

Up near the lighthouse, we visited the Old Stables cafe; this is my favourite cafe in the whole world, seriously. The atmosphere is casually bohemian, and the chai tea is to die for. They also sell wonderful hand made home decorations, clothes and bags and I always buy something, to have a little piece of the Great Ocean Road in my suitcase when I go back home.

The view from the lighthouse; my husband and kids on the beach, and My Favourite Cafe In The Whole Wide World.
The view from the lighthouse; my husband and kids on the beach, and My Favourite Cafe In The Whole Wide World.

Matte gold jewellery

Real skeleton leaf that has been plated with 22 karat gold
Real skeleton leaf that has been plated with 22 karat gold

I love our new range of jewellery that has been plated with matte 22 karat gold; it is sleek and sophisticated but still with our usual edge. The different necklaces in the series look amazing layered and also look great with silver; the mixed metal look is still huge this season as you might have noticed if you have been checking out the scene at NY fashion week.

Top: Golden Angel Wing Padlock Necklace. Bottom: Half Moon Seed Pod Earrings, and Feather Bracelet with tiny bird charm.
Top: Golden Angel Wing Padlock Necklace. Bottom: Half Moon Seed Pod Earrings, and Feather and Bird Bracelet.

 

Style icon: the amazingly talented Pamela Love

Pamela Love. Image from Free People’s Building 25 Blog
Pamela Love. Image from Free People’s Building 25 Blog
New York jewellery artist Pamela Love has not only created some of the most beutiful jewellery I have ever seen, she also has amazing style. I will let the photos speak for themselves; words are not really necessary here. I found out from her website (www.pamelalovenyc.com) that she began making jewellery in her apartment in Brooklyn seven years ago, and since then built up a full production facility and design studio in Manhattan. Pamela’s jewellery line is also ethical; most metal is recycled and all the stones are ethically sourced. And everything is made in that studio in Manhattan, that it would be a dream for me to one day visit.
From top left: 1. Pamelas beautiful hands. Source: Elle. 2. Pamela's Tribal Spike Necklace, found on Pamela Love NYC.com , which I will one day buy when my credit card has recovered a little (this is NOT overly expensive, just me who has overspent!), 3. Pamela in Time magazine Bottom from left:1. Pamela with her shoes, I believe she has designed these for Nine West (?). 2. Pamela's Paramount Double Finger Ring (from Pamela Love NYC )
From top left: 1. Pamelas beautiful hands. Source: Elle. 2. Pamela’s Tribal Spike Necklace, found on Pamela Love NYC.com , which I will one day buy when my credit card has recovered a little (this is NOT overly expensive, just me who has overspent!), 3. Pamela in Time magazine Bottom from left:1. Pamela with her shoes, I believe she has designed these for Nine West (?). 2. Pamela’s Paramount Double Finger Ring (from Pamela Love NYC )

Paramount double finger ring
Tribal spike necklace

New arrivals!

These and many more are now available online atOak Mountain Jewellery
I am really excited about all the new jewellery in our shop!!

Deluxe woven chain bracelets, cute one-of-a-kind Swedish cottages (I make one every time I’m homesick), geometric matte gold necklaces, fingerprint jewellery and – my favourite – very special mokume gane pieces.

Head over to our shop Oak Mountain Jewellery!