Birthstone Jewelry Feature: August Peridot

Janice Stiles
Peridot is the modern August birthstone. It’s always green in color but varies depending on its source.  A peridot has never been created in a lab and a real peridot will never change color regardless of lighting.

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Pearl Guide, Pt. 1

Janice Stiles
There are so many beautiful shiny objects called “pearls” these day, but it's easy to tell the real ones from the fake ones. To do so, gently rub the pearl against the front of your tooth; if it feels gritty, then it’s a real pearl, whether cultured or natural. If it feels smooth, then it’s not a real pearl regardless of the description. Be careful to not use the edge of your tooth, as you could scratch the pearl!

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Birthstone Jewelry Feature: July Rubies

Janice Stiles
Rubies! One of the “big four” gemstones, which also include diamonds, sapphires and emeralds, rubies are July's birthstone, and a favorite gemstone of mine!

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Behind-the-Scenes: What is Patina?

Janice Stiles
Explore the patina technique behind the beautiful blue-green copper elements in our Patina Collection!

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Birthstone Jewelry Feature: May Emeralds

Janice Stiles
Learn more about the "Jewel of Kings," May's birthstone!

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Fine Art Behind-the-Scenes: Fold Forming

Janice Stiles

Fold forming is a metalworking technique in which metal is folded, alternately annealed and forged repeatedly, and unfolded. Following this process, each piece of metal assumes a completely different and unique three-dimensional form.

Forging is the process of shaping metal via hammering, rolling, or pressing.

Annealing is a heating process that softens metal to allow for reshaping through various techniques. No solder is used with the metal while it is being fold formed.

Fold forming begins with a sheet of metal—I typically use 24-gauge copper or silver. At this point, the metal needs to be dead soft, as it hardens quickly during the fold-forming process. Each hammer strike “work hardens” the metal, which makes it increasingly more difficult to work with.

Some tools used in this process include a steel bench block, on which to hammer, and a fine-edge rivet hammer, with which to form a nice edge once it's unfolded.

Fold forming lends itself well to combination with other techniques.

Patina is often used to enhance the texture of fold-formed pieces, as it gives it greater depth.

Reticulated sterling can be set atop fold-formed copper to add additional drama and flair.

Check out the Tres Elegante Designs Silver Fusion Pendant!

Reminiscent of Viking treasure with an air of modern sophistication, this pendant is designed for everyday wear. With visible evidence of flame torching, no two pendants are alike, but all are similarly reticulated in sterling silver over copper to create a rich fine art jewelry sculpture piece. This piece won't look out of place anywhere--in fact, it roots its wearer to both the distant past and the bright future, a perfect adornment for someone looking to make big plans.

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If you have any further questions about this technique, or if you'd like to work together to create a custom piece of fine art jewelry featuring fold-formed metal, reach out to me at treselegantedesigns@gmail.com!

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Birthstone Jewelry Feature: April White Topaz (A Great Diamond Substitute!)

Janice Stiles
Diamonds are April’s birthstone. I think most of us are familiar with diamonds (and what they cost!). I won’t be working in diamonds this year, but have some fabulous white topaz stones that are a lovely substitute at a fraction of the price.

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Birthstone Jewelry Feature: March Aquamarine

Janice Stiles
March's featured birthstone is Aquamarine. This is an amazing stone and its name is perfectly descriptive. It is such a beachy, watery pale blue, similar to seawater. Although it can have inclusions, most stones have excellent clarity and transparency. Color ranges from the pale to deep blue that is often seen in the ocean.

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Fine Art Behind-the-Scenes: Mined vs. Lab Created Stones

Janice Stiles
The jewelry industry is erupting with necklaces, rings, earrings, and other unique items created using a rainbow of gorgeous gemstones. Some are created with natural stones, while others use man-made alternatives—some of which are superior in brilliance and appearance. It’s important to keep in mind that high-quality, man-made stones are not intended to deceive, and just because they are lab-created, they are not necessarily low-quality.

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Birthstone Jewelry Feature: February Amethyst

Janice Stiles
Amethyst colors can range from pale lilac to a deep almost reddish purple. Amethyst is sometimes heat treated to enhance the color. It’s mined all over the world, but Brazil is best known for its amethyst mines.

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