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Tag Archives: Archipelago Jewelry by Liz Juneau

I love using natural elements in my jewelry designs. This fall, I could not go anywhere without stepping on acorns from all the oak trees around Savannah. Upon closer inspection, I noticed they were different shapes and sizes.  I knew I needed to make them into jewelry. The colors varied from light brown to rust but I wanted to make them look more like metal so I coated them with metallic paint and then sprayed on a protective coating. This added an extra layer of hardness to the acorn tops. I used a bead reamer to make a whole in the top of the cap and then added beads to represent the acorn bottom. Pearls and round beads in fall colors worked well. My favorite designs are these lariats using two jasper stones with metal leaf drop and tourmaline as accents.

Acorn lariat short

Acorn lariat close up

Acorn lariat

Archipelago Jewelry by Liz Juneau yoga inspired jewelry collection.
The colors reflect the chakras or energy centers of the body, the circle is symbolic of movement, the hand stamped “OM” charms represents the sacred sound or chant that in Sanskrit means “all that is”. These designs are meant to remind the wearer to stay in harmony and unity with all that exists – mind, body and spirit!

chakras

The bracelets, earrings, and necklaces were designed using mixed metals, leather, crystals, glass, pearls, and stones.

Chakra Butterfly Lariat

Chakra Butterfly Lariat

Chakra earrings

Chakra Earrings

Chakra necklace

Chakra Necklace

Chakra necklace2

Heart Chakra Necklace

Chakra necklace3

Heart Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra bracelet

OM Chakra Bracelet

Om Chakra necklace3

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace4

OM Throat Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace5

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace7

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace8

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace10

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra pendants

OM Chakra Pendants

Om earrings

OM Throat Chakra Earrings

Om third eye necklace

OM Third Eye Necklace

Om earrings2

OM Third Eye Earrings

I have been amazed to see the season of Mardi Gras (translation: Fat Tuesday) extend to the rest of the country. I was looking at a major women’s fashion magazine recently and it featured suggestions on how to celebrate the Superbowl, Valentines Day, and Mardi Gras this year. It seems everyone wants a taste of that King Cake.

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras include purple, green, and gold. The purple does NOT represent royalty like amethyst but is symbolic of justice. The other colors of the Mardi Gras season, are green which represents faith and gold, which is symbolic of power.

The accepted story behind the colors is that in 1872, when the Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia visited New Orleans, he was he was given the honor of selecting the official Mardi Gras colors by the Krewe of Rex. These colors influenced the color choices of two major Louisiana colleges. LSU choosing purple and gold and Tulane choosing green and white.

So, in honor of this Mardi Gras season, I chose these jewelry designs in those colors.

Purple glass, craft wire earrings

Purple glass, craft wire earrings

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Purple glass, craft wire earrings

Green rice pearls, prayer box,

Green glass and craft wire earrings

Green glass and craft wire earrings

Rutilated quartz, pearls, gold-filled bracelet

Rutilated quartz, pearl, ribbon necklace

Rutilated quartz, gold pearls, and ribbon necklace

I think these are two of my most UNIQUE jewelry designs. For the first one, named “Put a Spell On You”, I used a fossil – pyrite on amazonite, found object –  a feather, vintage jewelry pieces – pocket watch case and crystals, and various other jewelry components. The second one also uses a vintage pocket watch case, this time in brass, with added vintage crystals, fleur-de-lis, and pearls. I named the second one, “Mardi Gras Mambo”. They both hang from simple leather cords with a vintage button closure.

Put a spell on You

011

005

LOVEly  Earrings

xo earrings2

X O Earrings

X O Earrings

X O Earrings

I love the way these repurposed chandelier crystals are illuminated when they catch the light.

005

Clear crystal teardrop prism, lavender pearls on ss necklace Clear teardrop prism, flower, pearl necklace Clear teardrop prism, metal clay, pearls on ss necklace Clear teardrop prism, raku pottery, pearls on ss necklace

Lately, I am into shapes in my jewelry designs. I have always loved the quatrefoil shape and have used some metal pendant/links in necklaces and bracelets. I wanted  to find a way to incorporate chevron, triangle, and rectangle shapes into my designs. Since I am not a metalsmith, I decided to use leather instead of metals.

I painted the leather with metallic paints in bronze, gold, and silver colors and then cut them into the various shapes. Using jump rings, I am able to link the shapes together to form patterns. For the cuff and hand bracelets, I embellished them with stones and feathers.  I love how these are turning out.

Single Chevron Silver/Bronze

Single Chevron Silver/Bronze

Chevon Necklace

Chevon Necklace

Triangles with dangles

Triangles with dangles

Chevron Necklace with chain links

Chevron Necklace with chain links

Embellished Cuff Bracelet

Embellished Cuff Bracelet

Hand Bracelet

Hand Bracelet

Chevron Necklace

Chevron Necklace

Earrings Silver Side

Earrings
Silver Side

EarringsBronze Side

Earrings
Bronze Side

Shape of My Heart

Sting

He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect
He doesn’t play for the money he wins
He doesn’t play for the respect
He deals the cards to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden law of probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart

He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart
That’s not the shape, the shape of my heart

And if I told you that I loved you
You’d maybe think there’s something wrong
I’m not a man of too many faces
The mask I wear is one
Those who speak know nothing
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who smile are lost

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart
That’s not the shape of my heart

My jewelry designs took a lot of twists and turns in 2012, both literally and figuratively. I experimented with a multitude of new media from lace to leather.

Due to the increase in cost of sterling silver and gold-filled wire, I decided to try artistic and craft wire for making earrings and other findings. Since these come in such a wide array of colors, it was fun to mix metallic tones such as hematite, brass, and copper. I was able to twist and hammer the wire, without having to worry so much about the cost if something did not go as planned. Also, I tried my hand at stamping on metal and leather to make custom pieces with monograms, symbols, etc.

Other materials used were vintage lace and leather that I faux metallized by using metallic paints. I really love the way these designs developed. Many non jewelry components such as porcupine quills, spent bullet casings, ribbon and other textiles and of course my favorite, feathers, were used as well.

I am excited for 2013 to see where my designs will go from here and am always ready to be inspired by other jewelry artists, fashion trends, or whatever collected/discarded natural element, stone, or ephemera comes my way.

As a jewelry designer, the necklaces I create alternate between bold and colorful to more dainty and simple. Here are some of my more DELICATE creations.

Sapphire Necklace

Sapphire Necklace

Sea Grass Necklace

Sea Grass Necklace

Cloud Necklace

Cloud Necklace

Sage Brush Necklace

Sage Brush Necklace

At First Blush Necklace

At First Blush Necklace

I recently began taking yoga classes. Yoga was always something I thought I could not do. The most obvious reason…I am so inflexible. When it comes to being able to bend over and touch my toes, it takes effort  just to get to my knee area. So therefore, I thought, yoga was not for me. Well, I am still not as nimble and strong as many of my peers in class but I am becoming more flexible and stronger with each class I attend. Yoga is teaching me many other things as well. For example, how to focus on breathing and to silence my mind (at least for an hour or so). It is helping with my posture and balance and reminds me to keep balance in other parts of my life as well.

One of the aspects of yoga that I am learning is the Chakras, or energy sources in the body. There are seven main Chakras but I have read there are actually 114. They are root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye or brow, and crown and are associated with areas of the body. Many forms of healing work with these energy centers and disturbances in a chakra’s flow of the energy can result in disturbances in a person’s health, emotions, mind, spirit, or life.

There are colors associated with the main chakras, red for root, orange for sacral, yellow for solar plexus, green for heart, light blue for throat, indigo for third eye, and white or violet for crown.

To keep me mindful in my yoga practice…both on and off my mat, I designed a few Chakra necklaces and bracelet. I chose various stones/beads to represent the Chakra colors. Garnet for red/root, carnelian for orange/sacral, citrine for yellow/solar plexus, chrysoprase for green/heart, turquoise for blue/throat, sodalite for indigo/third eye and violet/amethyst for crown. The last one pictured is a handstamped necklace I made for one of my yoga instructors, B, because he is such a patient teacher.