Hey there, Jewel Schoolers! I'm writing this after I just got off of the air from launching Jewel School by Jewelry Television's new Eco Stone line of recyclable and renewable bead strands and focal pieces. Wow, did you guys love these!!! It was so exciting for Sheree and I to see the response and know that everyone out there loved these products as much as we do. Georgi, the designer, also did a great job explaining all the details that went into creating all these unique and designer beads.
And we aren’t stopping with Eco Stone. Next Sunday, June 27th, at 9:00 am Eastern, Jewel School is launching Swarovski Elements. Talk about bringing your design up a notch! Swarovski is the most popular brand of Austrian crystals in the world--really the most popular line of jewelry making items in the world.
Project of the Month
As a tease to show everyone the fabulous looks you can expect from this exciting new line, see our project of the month below--a gorgeous necklace and bracelet design incorporating Swarovski Elements. (You can download the pdf for complete instructions and material list.)
So be sure to tune in to JTV (or watch us live online at jtv.com/live) on June 27th to buy your pieces to make the project. Until then, keep creating and remember to send us pictures of your finished pieces to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may be featured in an upcoming Jewel School show or newsletter!
Jasper - The Panoramic Gem
by Judy Jenkins, Contributing Writer
JTV item number NMJ267, painted jasper sterling silver pendant
Names for jasper usually recognize color, pattern, composition or mine location. Ribbon, bird's eye, paint brush, leopard skin, rain forest, Dalmatian and zebra are just some of the highly descriptive names familiar to Jewel School customers. Two highly prized (and rare) jaspers--picture and scenic jasper--look hand painted with life-like images or scenes. Yet man can’t take credit for these pieces of art; Mother Nature did it all on her own!
JTV item number FJV001, fossil jasper cabochon
Jasper is a variety of the chalcedony or cryptocrystalline (small crystal) quartz family. Individual crystals are so small they’re visible only with a microscope. Jasper gems may appear striped, banded, spotted, or even streaked, and are rarely uniform. The patterns may be erratic, regular, or otherwise unusual. Other chalcedony varieties include agate, bloodstone, carnelian, chrysoprase, prase, and sard--all beautiful opaque gems.
Iron oxides and foreign materials give jasper their colorful and extremely unique bands and patterns. When buying jasper, it is a good idea to ask whether the color has been enhanced in any way, although reputable dealers should readily disclose treatments. In jasper, some color may be 100% natural, but it is sometimes enhanced with dye to achieve remarkably beautiful hues for beads and jewelry.
JTV item number JLW1153, jasper bead strandJasper has been viewed with significance for centuries. Scholars identify it as one of the “stones of fire” mentioned in the bible in Ezekiel 28:13-16. Moses had the jasper gems mounted into a breastplate for his brother Aaron (Exodus 28:15-30). In the New Testament (Revelation 21:19), jasper is listed as one of twelve gemstones in the foundation of the walls of Jerusalem. Referenced in Latin, Hebrew and Greek literature, jasper’s ancient history includes usage for fashioning amulets or object d’art to protect the wearer against evil, disease or unhappiness.
The name jasper comes from the Latin, Jaspis, meaning spotted or speckled. It has a hardness rating of 6.5-7 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it durable enough to wear in jewelry. Because it polishes to a good shine, jasper offers so many choices in jewelry design.
JTV item number JW1643, enhanced purple focal beadsThe United States is one of the most important sources for jasper today. California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Washington provide good quality gems. Globally, it is found in many places including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Russia, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
We have a great selection of jasper in our Jewel School inventory. Show your artistic bravery by creating a stunning masterpiece with one of nature’s special gifts--jasper.
Take it Easy on your Eyes
Do you ever have a headache after working on your jewelry projects? When you’re beading, do the findings sometimes begin to look blurry or do your eyes sting? These may be signs of eye strain.
Many things can cause eye strain including poor lighting, fatigue, or simply a need for new glasses. At Jewelry Television, we’ve found good lighting and some sort of magnifying apparatus can make a big difference in how we feel at the end of the day. In our Jewelry Shop especially, the jewelers understand the importance of helping their eyes focus on the intricate details of jewelry making.
Of course everyone should regularly have their eyes checked by a professional. But if you sometimes experience eye strain when working on jewelry projects, here are some suggestions that may help ease the stress on your peepers:
• Take frequent breaks. Put down the project and walk away. Get your body in motion.
• Check your lighting. A lamp that works in daylight hours may not be sufficient for nighttime work.
• Find a magnifying apparatus that works for you and use it.
There are several ways to view your projects under magnification. The hands free feature of a visor style magnifier is a good fit for beading. They are available with and without lights. Here are two of our favorites from our website at jtv.com.
VISOR4 Leaves hands free and fits over glasses. This is a light-weight visor with adjustable headband and three lenses. The primary lens magnifies objects 1.8X. Employing the three lenses in a variety of combinations achieves 2.3X, 3.7X, or 4.8X.
VISOR3 Provides magnification and a light. This light-weight visor combines two functions by focusing a beam of light on an object while magnifying the user's view of the object through a wide-view lens. It has four lenses: 1.2X, 1.8X, 2.5X, and 3.5X. The light adjusts horizontally and vertically and the head band is adjustable. AAA batteries and a lens cleaning cloth are included.
Sheree and I enjoy showing these visors to you on our Jewel School shows, because we know what a difference they can make in working with the smaller beads and findings, in particular. Jewelry making should be fun! Make sure your eyes enjoy it, too.
Until next month,