Friday, 26 September 2014

Tree of life

I needed to make a gift for someone, and I wanted it to be a gift with some meaning. I had decided that a necklace made from semi-precious stones would fit the bill. I had an idea for a cluster-style pendant, with each stone symbolising an aspect that was personal to the recipient. (I've since made that style of necklace. Look out for it on a future post!)

So, I got myself organised, laid out all my equipment and put the television on for some background noise. I was lucky to catch the delightful Sarah Millsop from Beader's Companion on Create and Craft TV ( She was demonstrating the techniques for making the "Tree of Life" pendant.

I love those moments when the universe seems to point me clearly in a certain direction! This design would give my gift so much more meaning, with it's life and growth symbolism. It was very apt for what I wanted to achieve.

As a result, making the actual gift was slightly delayed. I made my first, experimental piece to practice the technique. The result was okay, but a little wobbly. The stones weren't secured enough, and have a tendency to move slightly. However, I learnt from the process, and made the subsequent "trees" a little smaller, thus meaning the stones were packed together more closely. No more wobbles!

I also started playing with different colours of wire, as well as experimenting with the effects I could achieve from different semi-precious stones. I am particularly liking the impact of stones of a single colour-tone - as with this one using red agate and red jasper. I find they become quite strong statement pieces, and do not require anything more complicated than plain ribbon for threading.

As well as necklaces, I have seen these made larger as ornaments, so I am mulling over an idea for a "winter tree" to hang in my window for Christmas. Ah, so many ideas, so little time.....!


Silver plated and coloured wire, with amber and tigers eye stones.

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