Chrysalis Tribal Jewelry

Rustic Tribal Primitive

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Metal Therapy

When designing jewelry, my ongoing challenge is finding balance between disciplined technique and crazy unbridled creativity. I really can't have one without the other. Too disciplined is uninteresting, and too crazy is just chaotic. The earrings above lean more toward the disciplined end of the spectrum. I hammered the copper shapes and applied a darkening patina first, then the red patina later, and finished them with wire wrapped connectors. While the earrings below are a little crazier, with two colors of patina (blue and green), that have been wire brushed to reveal some of the brass metal beneath. Then a layer of slate gilder's paste over the patina to give a little added dimension. I have connected the brass charms to donut beads (from Outwest) with antique bronze wire and darkened copper wire.

Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire
Chrysalis Too on Etsy

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Handmade on Etsy?

Carved Bone Statement Necklace

Supposedly in the spirit of protecting the consumer, several publications have featured articles on Etsy, the question being whether or not items are or are not handmade by the artist? While Etsy has stated that sellers MAY use additional people to help them in certain parts of their operation, shipping for example, the change in their policy did not affect the great majority of Etsy artists who make their products from beginning to end, without any outside help. All of the publicity about the change on Etsy has caused buyers to wonder about the legitimacy of the artists on Etsy, and thus has had an adverse affect on traffic and sales. The timing was impeccable, coming just before the holiday gifting season.

Let me assure you that there are STILL many talented artists on Etsy, who design and make their own pieces. We not only design and assemble, we also do sourcing of materials, photography, marketing, shipping and more. If you look for the phrase "One of a Kind" or OOAK, you will find creative and original work on Etsy that your family and friends would love to receive as a gift.

Teal Bracelet with Hammered Copper Toggle

Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Sale - One Day Only!

Aqua Terra Agate Necklace

Hmmm . . . Black Friday, do I get up at well before dawn, shower and wrestle my clothes on to go shove through 500 overly caffeinated bargain hunters for the 20 available pieces of the latest and hottest electronic gadget that everybody has to own? I don't think so! When the alternative is to sit here in my pajamas, with a cup of my favorite coffee, and browse the internet for more "off the beaten path" gift ideas, guess which one I choose?

To commemorate Black Friday, I am doing something I rarely do. I am having a sale!!! Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY13 in my Etsy shop today only for 15% off with a minimum $30 purchase. My jewelry is all handmade, meaning it is designed and assembled by me. It is definitely one of a kind and distinctive in its style.

Visit my shop, Chrysalis Too on Etsy!

Love My Art Jewelry Black Friday Sale

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Kristi Kollaboration

Mayan Style Copper Clay Earrings

The "kollaboration" to which I am referring is between me and Kristi Bowman-Gruel. We found one another on Facebook, and I have been using her metal clay components since she first began to sell them. It was a pleasant surprise when I found Kristi because we share an appreciation of rustic style jewelry. So, of course, the components that Kristi designs are rustic and sometimes tribal, both of which fit well into my approach to jewelry design.

As you can see, we both have a wild side. I love to come up with new ways to use these amazing components, so you will see them often in my work. The earrings in the above left photo are called "Rag and Bone", and are listed in my Etsy shop.

Kristi is branching out into polymer clay (in the picture on the left) and is applying her uniquely original style (she calls it "wonky") to this new medium. I look forward to working more with her polymer clay creations and whatever brilliant idea she may dream up in the future. The bracelet on the left is also available in my Etsy shop.

Gloria Ewing
Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rag and Bone

A recent acquisition of a dozen or so strands of bone beads from one of my favorite vendors at a gem show has prompted the theme for this AJE Earring Challenge Reveal 21, "Rag and Bone". In the above pair, the "rag" is actually recycled sari silk. The brilliant red color is great with the black and white batik bone beads and Kristi Bowman's Lotus Seed Pods. In the design below, I stacked the rectangular brown fish motif bone beads with green turquoise and natural colored carved bone discs, and added copper accents and ear wires.

Rag and Bone Earrings on Etsy

Fish Bone Earrings on Artfire

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Ancient" Artifacts

For this weeks AJE Earring Challenge Reveal 20, I designed earrings to look as though they were just uncovered at some remote archeological dig. Darkened copper with a layer of copper relief to which I have added a verdigris patina. Brass rivets add to the primitive look of the design.

Another primitive earring design using copper metal clay discs from Kristi Bowman and terracotta colored ceramic daggers from Petra Carpreau, that have ancient looking characters painted on them in black, very similar to what you might expect to find on the wall of a prehistoric cave.

Copper Relief Earrings
Ceramic Dagger Earrings

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One Way to Make a Difference

My son and I were having dinner together at a restaurant a couple of years ago, discussing the candidates for an upcoming election and their different ideologies. He said at the time that he was not too concerned about the rising number of people in our country who were totally dependent on the government for their survival. So I paraphrased the old Chinese proverb into a question and asked: "Would you give a man a fish, or would you teach him how to fish?" His answer was "I would do both." He is right, of course, but giving the fish should be a short term solution and teaching him to fish is obviously the better long term solution.

The jewelry I make is a reflection of this belief. I feel one pathway to peace in the world is to encourage those people who are willing to work hard to better themselves and provide for their families. I use handmade and recycled jewelry materials made by independent, productive people in all parts of the world.

Krobo Beads Handmade in Ghana from Recycled Glass

Handmade Brass from Africa

Kazuri Bead, Handmade in Kenya

Made from Brass Blanks, Hand Cut in Mexico

History tells us that a common thread that causes friction and eventually war is poverty, which can be manipulated by people who are greedy for power. The one small thing I can do is try to close the poverty gap a little bit, by using beautiful handmade materials from hard working people who want to succeed.

Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Splendour in the Leaves

Art Jewelry Elements Earring Reveal 19

Forgive me, Wordsworth, I couldn't help myself! A blanket of red and gold leaves now covers the yard. Rustling in the wind and falling from the maple trees, the leaves are an ongoing source of entertainment for my cat, Alejandro, looking out the window.

In these copper leaf earrings, I have used asymmetrical leaf charms cut from copper sheet. My idea was to capture the randomness of the shaping as a leaf begins to dry and curl. After hammering a subtle pattern on them, I dapped the leaf shapes in opposite directions to achieve a wave effect. The two colors of patina make them a little quirky and unusual. I have added Czech glass and a bit of Chinese crystal in umber and warm red, and copper accents.

Copper Leaf Earrings
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire
Chrysalis Too on Etsy

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jasper Autumn

Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire
Chrysalis Too on Etsy

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fabulous Fall

Though it never seems long enough, fall is my favorite time of year. Fleeting moments of vibrantly colored foliage in hues that grow stronger until the leaves are saturated and begin to fall like feathers from their hosts. Brilliant yellows and fiery red maples stimulate the senses, perhaps even more so because we know it is only for a short time.

This collage is a sampling of my jewelry pieces designed in the vivid colors of the season using stones, seed beads, mixed metals, leather and silk.

Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire

Monday, September 30, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge Reveal 18

Remember the acronym KISS, keep it simple stupid? Every once in awhile, I need to remind myself to stop. Just stop, don't add anything more! Let the color contrast, or the texture, or the artisan component stand out without unnecessary embellishment. So this week, the designs are fairly simple. Above, I have layered patinated copper drops hanging from an oval of red jasper. Below, I hammered out a rough diamond shape of copper and applied a muddy yellow patina to blend with these gorgeous fish drops from Petra Carpreau. I added some of my handmade oxydized copper ear wires to maintain the primitive look.

Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wonky Bead Blog Hop Reveal

Wonderful quirky polymer clay beads in vibrant colors called for an eclectic design. So I abandoned my comfort zone, and tried my hand at using nylon cord to link these Kristi Bowman clay beads with bone, bits of silk, brass bells etc. I hope I did them justice :) and I can't wait to do another piece with them.

Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire

Earring Challenge Reveal 17

Southwestern with an attitude! I have blended these gorgeous rustic lampwork beads from Outwest with inverted triangles of copper that I have hammered and perforated.

Crispness in the air signals the coming of autumn, so I had to try my hand at making leaf charms. I wanted them to be rustic and understated. They have been dapped to achieve a slight wave effect as you would see in a fallen leaf. I paired them with green prase and golden orange lampwork beads from Yvonne Johnson of Firestone Lampwork Beads.

Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tribe L Earrings

Tribe "L" for lively,  liberated, lighthearted, luminous, and luscious earrings! Tribal jewelry is my style!! Every few years, tribal jewelry makes a comeback on the high profile fashion runways, but it is my style all the time. 

In the top photo, the artisan copper components are from Kristi Bowman Design. In the bottom photo, I have used ceramic spikes from Petra Carpreau of Scorched Earth on Etsy.

For more earrings in the Art Jewelry Elements blog hop click here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer Whimsy

August signals summer's waning days before the season changes again. Still hot and steamy, but each day mercifully a little shorter than the one before. There is a frenzy of warm weather activity taking place, because we know our time for such things is limited.  

That frenzy is what I wanted to capture in these new whimsical summer earrings.  Orange polymer clay discs by Kristi Bowman, to which I have added a waterfall of brightly colored Greek ceramic and Czech glass beads, with a couple of copper accents.

Gloria Ewing jewelry on Etsy and Artfire.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ethnic Magnetism

I have been drawn to ethnic art my entire life. Even as a child, I had an interest in clothing, art and jewelry from other cultures (especially native American art).  If the hippie era had not come along and made ethnic apparel more popular, I think I would have found a way to wear it anyway. Native American and Mexican weaving and jewelry were my first love. Later, I moved on to tribal African beads and weaving, that are so full of character and individuality. 

Creating a piece of jewelry from beads that have been circulated for over 100 years, or handmade using 1000 year old methods, fills me with awe. Unless you feel that northern European roots are tribal, I have a strange and spiritual connection to this style of art. Tribal art is so free and expressive! 

Uninhibited tribal jewelry by Gloria Ewing on Etsy and Artfire.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Peek of Summer

It is supposed to be a play on words Peek and Peak, maybe someone will catch it? Anyway, we are half way through the summer season and it has been a little shorter than usual this year, so I thought it deserved a little celebration. Boldly colored copper and pewter jewelry pieces with a casual summer 2013 attitude.

Red Flower Earrings
Copper Charm Bracelet
Turquoise Yellow Copper Earrings
Sunburst Pewter Earrings
Copper Heart Polymer Clay Earrings

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hammering Out Depression

When all else fails to lift your spirits, pick up a hammer! No, I am not suggesting random acts of violence, just some therapeutic whacks to the metal of your choice (in a controlled environment and with supervision if necessary). My own unorthodox, but effective treatment for marginal depression.

After you have created something beautiful with all of that pent up energy and frustration, you can contort yourself into a pretzel to photograph your piece of art.

Feel that wave of relief and rejuvenation wash over you after all of that physical exertion! Who needs Lexapro anyway? Maybe under Obamacare, I should be able to get my hammers at a discount?

Hand hammered earrings on Etsy and Artfire.