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Labradorite – a gem of hidden light

Ah, another of my favourite gemstones, I just love to play with Labradorite in different lights and when I wear it I find myself moving more than usual to get the light to dance on them.

This Picture shows the wonderful schiller that appears on the stone when the light hits it just right, and its amazing. The blue, green and gold shown here are wonderful, I have also seen purple sparkle out of Labradorite gems!  The play of colour contrasts with the grey or black of the stone, and transforms it from a potentially dull stone into a stunning gemstone.

 

About Labradorite:

Labradorite is found in the area around  Labrador, Canada. It has also been reported in Norway and various other locations worldwide.

 

Labradorite occurs in mafic igneous rocks and is the feldspar variety most common in basalt and gabbro

It occurs in large crystal masses in anorthosite and shows a play of colors called labradorescence. The labradorescence, or schiller effect, is the result of light refracting within lamellar intergrowths resulting from phase exsolution on cooling in the Boggild miscibility gap. (From Wikipedia)  In other words, the schiller is caused by light refracting from crystal inclusions under the surface of the the stone.

Mystic properties:

A stone of transformation, Labradorite is a useful companion through change, imparting strength and perseverance.  It balances and protects the aura, raises consciousness and grounds spiritual energies.  Excellent for strengthening intuition-promoting psychic abilities.  Powerful in revealing the truth behind illusions, Labradorite banishes fears and insecurities, and strengthens faith in the self and trust in the universe.  It stimulates the imagination and calms an overactive mind, developing enthusiasm and new ideas.

Healing properties:

Labradorite treats disorders of the eyes and brain, stimulates mental acuity, and relieves anxiety and stress.  It regulates metabolism, balances hormones and relieves menstrual tension.  Labradorite treats colds, gout, and rheumatism, lowers blood pressure, and aids in digestion. (From Charm of Light)

Black Labradorite and Howlite Necklace

    I made this necklace for wearing over winter jumpers, and it is a wonderful   combination of textures and components that capture light in different ways. 

The ‘chain’ is a lovely silver angular gimp that simply sparkles.  The Labradorite is faceted and twinkles blue as you move through out the day and the Howlite has a wonderful marbling of grey to blend it with the black of the labradorite. 

I wanted to do something with tassels, so I have made a simple chain tassel that flows against you fluidly as you move and obviously catches all light sources marvelously.

Howlite is a relatively inexpensive gemstone, but I think that the pure white of the stone with its marbling of grey makes it quite striking.  Until I began to make jewellery in earnest I had never heard of it but now it is my standard gem when making monochrome pieces or adding background for a dominant colour.

I hope you like my design and have learnt something about the wonders of Labradorite, please let me know your thought by posting comments, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Mary’s New Jewellery

I have been busy with Mary’s Treasure and finally have some pieces of jewellery to present.  The pictures are my usual poor quality but I am working on that with the help of BeadGem and Beading Daily.  These blogs have both recently  featured articles on how to photograph jewellery and this will probably be my personal challenge over the Christmas break.

You will find below five different ‘looks’ which have developed naturally as I cut and sorted the original nine necklaces.  The white necklace is proving stubborn to dismantle and I am considering ways to use it as it is but jazz it up, and the Haematite and Pearl twisted choker I like so much as it is that I still have not dismantled it (and probably won’t unless I get some really incredible inspiration).  I still have loads of beads left over and I will continue to make more necklaces, bracelets etc, but in the meantime I hope you like the few bits that I have made so far:

Cascade Choker

 

     The choker on the left is made from 5 and 6mm black faceted beads that were spacers in one of Mary’s necklaces.  I have added 4mm silver beads to add a bit of drama.  It is a simple design, but very effective on the neckline, with a bit of sparkle and understated elegance.

 
Mary’s Glass bead set

The glass beads in this set caught my imagination immediately, they were not obvious in the original necklace, but I felt that they are beautiful and deserved to be a focal point of a very simple necklace set.  The beads are clear glass decorated in blue, green, and gold.  I have set them in the necklace with black faceted and plain gold round beads and it is all hung on a double strand of gold coloured beading wire.

 

Three strand bracelet

The colours in this bracelet are vibrant and varied and made a lovely multi-strand bracelet.  I have used small Haematite tube beads as spacers to give a little sparkle against the quite matt finish of the acrylic beads.  Even the haematite came from Mary’s collection and I am pleased that I have been able to create something so very different to the necklace’s that originally held these beads.

 
Recycling and re-designing pre-owned jewellery is so rewarding, and as you can see from the results so far you can make jewellery that is suitable for evening, smart day and casual wear with a little thought and imagination.

Spiral Pendant

 
 

I made this pendant to show off the gorgeous colours of the beads and also to show that bead jewellery does not have to be bead heavy in order to make a statement.  This type of pendant would look fantastic over a black PoloNeck jumper, and I think I will try to make a smaller version for earrings which would just complete the look.

A Hint of Xmas

The large twisted green beads are wonderfully shaded in a variety of hues and just called out to have a seasonal theme.  I made the beady bead from my stash to try out the bicone embellishment, not really thinking about the colours and when I had finished I just knew that it had to go with Mary’s green twisted beads.  Not only are the colours so traditionally Christmas, but my favourite colours are Red and Green so if I still have this necklace at Christmas then it will definitely be around my neck as I quaff a little Christmas cheer with friends.

I will continue to reinvigorate old jewellery as it is becoming a passion, and it feels so good to breath new life into gems and beads that can give pleasure all over again.

First Commission Update

I just wanted to let you know that my colleague really liked her new purchases – the multi-strand was just the right length and colouring for her and she tells me that I was spot on with the design for her Daughter-in-law. Feeling good now, but I will be just as awestruck when the next person asks me to make something for them.