DIY Pearl Ring

I LOVE PEARLS. I love how pure, simple, and beautiful they are.

I think my love of pearls began with Anne of Green Gables when she wanted  pearls for her wedding ring.

“But pearls are for tears, the old legend says,” Gilbert had objected. “I’m not afraid of that. And tears can be happy as well as sad. My very happiest moments have been when I had tears in my eyes—when Marilla told me I might stay at Green Gables—when Matthew gave me the first pretty dress I ever had—when I heard that you were going to recover from the fever. So give me pearls for our troth ring, Gilbert, and I’ll willingly accept the sorrow of life with its joy.” -Anne” Read more

How our Etsy shop is doing!

Our etsy shop has been opened for a little more than two years.  It has been so fun to see our Etsy shop grow and have more products added to it.  Every time we have an order, I still get SUPER EXCITED.  And I have a feeling that will never change:)  There are so many wonderful jewelers and products out there, that it is a blessing every time someone chooses us.  All I can say is Thank you! Read more

How to Make a Pearl Ring

collageWe have made about 12 youtube videos and this beautiful pearl ring has the most views by a lot!

This is by far my favorite ring that my dad makes.  How I love this Pearl Ring!  This youtube video is incredible. It makes me really appreciate the talent that my dad has in both designing and making the jewelry. Read more

All you Ever wanted to know about a Pearl!

All you Ever wanted to know about a Pearl!

Hoops By Hand LogoI love, love, love pearls. In my eyes there is nothing that is so simple and yet elegant. So here is my tribute to the beautiful pearls. I love real pearls.  Whenever I receive a pearl, I do the check to see if it is real. If you scrape the pearl against your teeth and it is really smooth, then chances are that it is made out of plastic or resin. That trick may not always work… So if you are still wondering if it is real, look at the shape of the pearl. If it perfectly round, you may be looking at a glass pearl. Pearls, because they are made in nature, are not perfectly round.

I asked my dad a lot of questions about pearls and it was a very interesting hour indeed.

1. How are pearls made?
A bit of sand gets into the clam shell and it irritates them because it is sharp and bugs them. They secrete a liquid to coat the grain of sand and it is called nacre. Nacre doesn’t leave their system. Instead it builds up around the grain of sand in layers. The bigger the pearl, the more valuable it is. Nacre has a luster to it.

2. Where do you find pearls?
A hundred years ago, pearls were found by deep sea divers that would retrieve clams and find valuable pearls. Today that is very rare. The modern way of making a pearl is that they take a sea shell of traditionally abalone, and they form them into different sized beads, 3 mm 10 mm, 2mm. Then they open up the clam shell and shove the bead inside. They put the clams in the water in an enclosed area. Then it is a waiting game for the clams to grow a few or several layers of nacre over the bead. There is a law that there has to be a certain layer of nacre, which is why it is important to get your pearls from a reputable person or company.

3. What do you think is interesting about pearls?
Sometimes the clam doesn’t make a circle. Sometimes the sand gets stuck on the wall of the shell and that is called a Mabe or blister pearl. They cut out the mabe or blister pearl shape with a little margin of the clam shell around it and make that into a piece of jewelry, usually enhancing it with gold and silver. It doesn’t happen often–really one of a kind. Here are some examples of a Mabe.

4. What color of Pearl is the most valuable?  The most desirable is a black pearl. They are in a different kind of clam usually found in Polynesia. The Japanese pearl, the Akoya, is also a black, valuable pearl.

5. How do you take care of pearls?
Do not soak pearls. Just get a wet cloth and wipe them down. If on a ring, get a soft toothbrush because the pearl is softer than your tooth enamel. Don’t get the pearl wet because there is a hole in the pearl and can be damaged from the  inside out. Don’t put it in an ultrasonic cleaner because it will break the pearl up.

6. Why do you use pearls in your jewelry designs? I like to design with pearls because they reflect gold and silver really well. They reflect light uniquely. They look good against a black surface and they have a natural beautiful glow to them. We sell a lot of pearls in the jewelry business.

Tales of the Shop
We all have a favorite item of jewelry to make. When we are able to make it, we have a fun day in the shop!
Collette – “Making a simple hoop earring…something so simple but so elegant!”
Angela – “Spiral Earrings found at www.hoopsbyhand.com/shop. I love them because they were one of the harder pieces of jewelry for me to learn and involved a lot of fun steps like soldering, smashing, annealing and twisting.”
Nicole – “Ear wraps, especially soldering on the charms”
Lisa – “I like doing french wires; you know, the part you thread through your ears. When people ask what I’m making they can easily figure out what they are. Plus they’re super easy and I take them everywhere. I have good memories of sneaking them during school, choir meetings, plays, friend’s houses while we watched movies.”

Next weeks question is “What is your least favorite jewelry to make and why…”

The Four Sisters!