Thursday, April 30, 2009

How and Why is Gold Alloyed ?

How and Why is Gold Alloyed ?

A number of elements are added to gold to change its properties. Here is a list of the most commonly used ones:

Silver: Acts to harden gold in conjunction with added copper. Also whitens its colour
Copper: Reddens gold and hardens it, especially when present with silver.
Zinc: Significantly lowers the melting point of alloys and consequently most solders contain zinc. Acts as a secondary whitener.
Palladium: Primary whitener of gold, especially in 18ct alloys. Raises the melting point.
Nickel: Another primary whitener which also makes for an inherently harder material. Usage more restricted due to the Nickel Directive.
Silicon: Has a de-oxidant effect during casting but can cause other problems

Thank you to Cookson

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

diamonds - origins

Diamonds have been revered throughout history. Used to embellish such items as crowns, swords and emblems as well as jewelry, they've even been part of national holidays. Queen Victoria declared the celebration of her 50th year of reign a "Diamond Jubilee." Diamonds have also been credited for having certain medicinal properties. During the middle ages, these gemstones were thought to heal illness, but only if the ailing person took the Diamond into bed to warm it up first!

Formed deep within the earth where there is intense heat and pressure, Diamonds are simply crystallized carbon. Volcanic activity of centuries ago brought these gemstones to the earth's surface, where they are found either within volcanic rock formations or washed out into rivers. India is thought to be the first river-bed source of Diamond mining, but today these gemstones are found primarily in Australia, the Soviet Union, and Africa.

No more notable it its uncut state than a plain pebble upon the beach, the true beauty of the Diamond was not revealed until the 16th century, when gemstone cutting and polishing techniques were perfected. Prior to this time, it was considered taboo to modify the original state of a Diamond. Today, the value and appeal of this stone depends largely upon how skillfully it is cut and faceted.

A gift of a Diamond is symbolic of everlasting love. There is no more convincing a promise of an enduring relationship than the brilliant gemstone that has endured in people's hearts throughout the ages.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April Birthstone Diamond

Monthly birthstones symbolize the month of birth according to the Gregorian Calendar.

The ancient Hindus called the Diamond "Vajra," meaning lightening, both because of the sparks of light thrown off by this gem as well as its invincible strength. The Diamond is harder than any other substance on earth.

The April birthstone of the Diamond is considered to be the birthstone for Aries (The sign of the Ram) and relate to those born between March 21 - April 19. The Zodiac sign of Aries also responds to Bloodstone, Topaz, Sapphire, Jasper, and Aquamarine

13 threads and counting

Let' s meet Lois Sturgeon of

- How did you get started ?
13threads was started just over a a year ago when I finally had some time to devote to designing and sewing full-time, some spare money to buy some supplies and equipment and with the discovery of Etsy as the perfect outlet for my work.

- Where are you from?
I am originally from Scotland but I did most of my growing up in Los Angeles, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco and Zurich.

- Are your creations limited editions or unique?
They are a bit of both. Many pieces are "one-offs" , however, I will recreate a particular design but I will change it slightly each time I make it. I will use different fabrics or finishings in order to keep each piece unique. For example, my black twill zip front coats are all finished differently inside.

- How long have you been doing it?
From the making of my dolls clothes to the redesigning of my school blazer, I guess I have always been sewing and creating. It has just always been part of my life.

- Are you a professional artist or is this a hobby?
Again, a little bit of both. I see myself as very professional in my pursuit to create and produce the highest quality pieces that I can. I put the same amount of care and dedication into my research and designing as I do into my sewing techniques and customer service. I love what I do.
- What inspires you
An illustration, someone walking down the street, costumes in film, museums, textiles and patterns...The list is endless. At the moment, I am really interested in images from the 1920's and 1930's and the wonderful embellishment and layering of clothes.

- What is your favorite piece (that you still have for sale) and why?
My favourite piece that I still have for sale is my green Harris Tweed coat. Although it is an amazingly flattering and elegant style, it is the colours and weave of the beautiful Harris Tweed cloth that makes it special.

- How do you promote your work?
Word of mouth and recommendations from existing customers. I wear my own designs as does my daughter. It helps when wonderful people like yourself promote my work by featuring my items in their online blogs or magazines. And I am very grateful!

- What is your favorite material
I love natural fibres and textiles like silk, cotton, linen and wool. I also like to use recycled pieces of lace and embroidery when I can find them.

- What advice you wish someone had told you when you started?
Stay positive and enjoy what you are doing

- Do you have any advice for fellow artists?
Stay positive, enjoy what you are doing and take a break now and again

- any special promos?
If someone emails me with a link from this blog entry I will give them free postage and packing.

- what would you liek to be when you grow up ?
Still trying to figure that one out but what I am doing right now would be pretty good.

- favorite jeweller ?
I would love to have any and all of the pieces by Kathi Roussel and Erica Walker

- favorite websites ?
any spare time I have, which is not a lot, is spent on Etsy browsing, updating and shopping!

Looks like a sane addiction :)
Good luck with your nice shop

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Aquamarine - A ring

Originally uploaded by kalicat_designs
playing subleties between textured silver and a semi transparent aquamarin cabochon,this ring sits very nicely on the finger and makes a stylish statement

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Call for Applicants! Jewelry student

Call for Applicants!
WJA 2009-2010 Student Scholarship.

Deadline May 1, 2009

The Women’s Jewelry Association would like to invite you and your students to apply for the 2009-2010 Student Scholarship.
WJA is committed to empowering women in the international jewelry, watch and related businesses. We are offering Scholarships to female students enrolled in accredited fine jewelry and watch design courses in the United States of America.
Last year we gave out $25,000 in scholarships to 14 deserving students. This year will be just as exciting. This year we are awarding scholarships in two different categories:
The Designer Category (based on images of finished pieces that are designed and created by the student), and a Non-Designer Category (essay based for those studying to be a gemologist, appraiser, watch- maker, bench jeweler, or retailer).

All applications are on-line applications and can be accessed through

If you have any questions, please e-mail Lisa Slovis Mandel at , or call WJA headquarters at 708-361-6000.

For more information on WJA please check out our website at

Deadline is May 1, 2009

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