Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Joy Of Pebbles!

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(Turquoise Freshwater Pearl and Fine Silver Spider Conch Necklace)

I have been trying to find different ways of photographing my jewellery, especially the more ornate organic looking sculptural pieces for the shop. As mentioned in the last couple of posts, I have been experimenting a lot with stone backgrounds, and black, white and grey gradients. However, the hubby brought home my favourite new photographic props, and who would have thought it would come in the form of smooth black pebbles lol. I stacked them in a Feng Shui zen stones kind of fashion, and lay them on a bit of distressed wood, and Voila! Gorgeous pictures! (if I say so myself.....)

So I've spent most of the weekend re-photographing old work including the rather ornate Spider Conch Necklaces, well the Green and Blue pearl ones, and they have turned out really well. I think it's the organic more natural setting that works, and the surrounding muted tones are unobtrusive to the eye, allowing the focus to rest on the jewellery. They really seem to pop, even when shrunk down to smaller thumbnails, which will come in handy for the shop I'm sure.I have bombarded my Facebook jewellery page with multiple of these pics in all my excitement, and they have proven popular, so I think it was all worth the effort.

Speaking of Facebook, I clicked one of those new shiny "Boost the post" buttons to see what it would do. I chose the little Bridal Coral Drops post to promote, it's still running, and has generated a bit more interest, so it might be worth doing more ads etc in the future . Anyway, after all that photoediting and promoting, and dealing with all the new queries and notifications, I feel it's time to get back to creating another piece. I have a lovely Labradorite gemstone that is too large and irregularly shaped for metal clay but would suit Wire sculpting....so that will be occupying the next few days :)

Enjoy all the pebble photos.....

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(Green/Gold Freshwater Pearl , Fine Silver Spider Conch Necklace)

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(Blue Aquamarine Nugget, Sterling Silver Mermaid Amulet)

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(Serena - Green Aquamarine, Fine Silver Mermaid Amulet)

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(Ebb and Flow Necklace I - Copper freshwater Pearls , Fine Silver)

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(Turquoise Freshwater Pearl, Sterling Silver Barnacle Cuff)

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(Sea Urchin Necklace  - Blue Aquamarine, Fine Silver)

Thanks for looking ...

Samantha Braund

Friday, 26 April 2013

Photography Quandries and Testimonials

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I have been continuing to have a very productive time of late, even extending throughout and beyond my birthday. The latest collection , seen above and below is my Bridal Coral Drop necklaces collection. I have been trying forever it seems to come up with a design, for discrete pearl necklaces, based on the way I create my Siren Rings. It all came about as a result of a customer telling me that she loves to wear my rings as a necklace, which in turn made me think of how I fashion them, and how they could be converted into pendants. The final result is this collection, and I am pleased to say that they turned out wonderfully (I hope you agree). They also have a touch of Bridal wear about them, it's possibly the pearls doing that.

The complete set to date is pictured below. I even made a note of my process (something I never do usually lol), and so I am actually able to reproduce similar looking pieces as neccessary, making this collection commissionable! Freeform wirewrapping is far from an exact science, but the discipline of the Art course has helped me calm down and analyze as I go along. I don't think it's a coincidence that since I finished this academic term, I have been able to focus and create more effectively than ever before....long may it continue! Of course it helps cutting out negative influences from my life too...

I have even found the time and energy to get a bit more experimental with my jewellery photography. The frustration is that photography for the online shop doesn't always tally with how I want to photograph my pieces. I have posted some examples here to demonstrate what I mean.... the latest Coral Drops, really spoke of the sea and prettiness, and I got my shells and took shots of how they made me feel, but they are probably too busy and not high contrast enough for those infernal little thumbnails that exist on the shop. I could have gone ahead and put them in, but I caved and used a high contrast image for the first outwardly visible photo, and used my favourite Sea Urchin ones for other views.... very annoying lol . I can see me continuing to tinker and play around with these images in the shop anyway

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Anyway, this is another of my new creations, another Mermaid Amulet, containing a cloudy Yellow Aquamarine Gemstone. Whenever I present these different colour Aquamarine gemstones there is always some confusion, as it is most commonly associated with the colour Blue, however,  Aquamarine gemstones are part of the Beryllium family of minerals, and come in a variety of colours, including whites, greens, yellows and the popular blue. I chose this cloudy yellow gemstone for this Amulet

Again I messed around with the photography and personally preferred the more natural looking photo of the the Amulet on the stone - but ended up plumbing for the bright white background for the shop....what do you think? I am still unsure lol. I think I keep making more work for myself lol
Mermaid Amulet on white background
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Mermaid Amulet on Stone background
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And finally this Fine silver and White freshwater pearl piece sold last week! I am thrilled (of course) especially as I know it went to a good home. The feedback I had when the customer recieved it was nothing short of amazing and incredibly touching...my hands were aching from making all six of those necklaces back to back, and those words made everything feel worthwhile

"Another absolutely gorgeous piece by the extremely talented Samantha Braund. The detail in this pendant is what really makes it so special; it's a wearable piece of art. Definitely one to pass on through the family when the time comes!" K P  (source HERE)

I am going to be reworking my website soon, and the header of the blog too, finally. I've decided to include a testimonials page on the website too, using the public feedback I have recieved since starting the shop. It's wonderful to go back and read those words when I lose sight of what I am doing and self doubt seeps in

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Thanks for looking ...

Samantha Braund

Friday, 12 April 2013

Seafoam Necklace and Dreamcatcher

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It has been a very productive period since I last posted. Firstly, I have actually posted new pieces of jewellery into the shop! I believe it has actually been about 16 months since I last put anything new in the shop at all. It's a wonder it has survived at ll to be honest lol. Fortunately the sales have not reflected my lack of involvment, and from now on, I will make more of an effort with regard to the shop

Secondly, I have made some new pieces, and I am very happy with them. The first is the Seafoam Necklace. This necklace is inspired by the original Hans Christian Anderson fable "The Little Mermaid". It is a hauntingly sad tale, (as opposed to the charming Disney version)

The Little Mermaid has been caught in a spell whereby if she doesn't claim the heart of her Prince she will dissolve into Seafoam.... her sisters make a deal with the Seawitch where if she kills the Prince she will be able to revert back into a Mermaid and live for a while....but even in her heartbroken state she saves the Prince and his new bride instead. As a reward for her selflessness she changes into an immortal air spirit and never dies....

I have always loved the Little Mermaid, and this melancholy story. Inspired by it I made a Seafoam necklace, depicting the crashing turbulent waves in sculpted Sterling Silver wire and beads, and the gentle notes of Seafoam is captured in the Aqua tones of the Chalcedony faceted gemstones

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This is the other new piece, my Lemon Quartz Dreamcatcher Necklace, that I complete yesterday.The legends behind Dreamcatchers are bourne from Native American Culture, they are traditionally circular hoops containing a woven web, and adorned in feathers, to hang above the bed of the person to be protected. The Dreamcatcher is meant to dispel nightmares and bad dreams, catching them in the web, only allowing beautiful thoughts and dreams to pass through

Inspired by these legends, I loved the idea of creating a protective Dreamcatcher style amulet to be worn that could bring peace and dispel the bad dreams, like a good luck charm. This necklace is a woven myriad of circles encircling a beautiful luminescent AAA Lemon Quartz faceted gemstone at the centre
Both of these pices are in the shop now, along with 5 other new pieces, including the Necronomicon (HR Giger) inspired necklace, I had blogged about before. Anyway, I hope you like the new work and the new work ethic lol - it will be fun trying to fit all this in with the uni course but life is more fun when there is a positive challenge in front of you isn't it?

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Thanks for looking ...

Samantha Braund

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