Caribbean Blue Turquoise Necklace

by Cherie Elksong.
(Southeast Arizona)

Caribbean Blue Turquoise Necklace by Cherie Elksong  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

I don’t know how other folks handle their “duds”….that is to say, those pieces of jewelry you create, then can never move. Over the years, I’ve tried to fine tune my sense of the “viability” of a piece. Some pieces have, oh, a distant whisper attached to them; I know their person is out there & eventually, they will come & claim their jewel, even if it takes years! With other pieces, I’m quickly aware of a sense of “dead air”…there’s no soul, no vibe, no ethereal connection & I know at that point, the piece is just wrong.

Caribbean Blue Turquoise Necklace by Cherie Elksong  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

So, that said, I never really mind re-creating, re-designing a piece. I think of it as adjusting the frequency, lol! Sometimes it’s a pretty easy fix; other times, I know there’ll be much more work involved, so I put it off as long as I can.

That was definitely the case with this necklace! The original design had a focal of etched copper. I put alot of work into, it was a combination of saw work/cut out & etching, a mountain scene background with cactus in the foreground. Or at least, that’s what I intended. What I got, was something that kind of made me wince a little, every time I looked at it.

Caribbean Blue Turquoise Necklace by Cherie Elksong  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

The new design involved completely restringing the necklace (had to get the focal off), adding a bit more turquoise & a day’s work creating a turquoise/wire wrap focal. The piece of turquoise has been around a long time, so long that I’m not quite sure where it came from anymore. But I suspect it’s from Bisbee’s Copper Queen mine. It’s been laying in my “idea” area (my euphemistic term for the big pile of crap in the middle of my table!) for a couple years, staring at me, forlorn & pathetic, like a dog that can’t quite give up hope for the treat. So, when the spark struck for this re-do, it jumped right out at me!

Caribbean Blue Turquoise Necklace by Cherie Elksong  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Hours of fever-dream-wire-wrapping later, a piece with some soul emerged! And, was absolutely content & at home on the original (plus turquoise) strung bead necklace!

So, I’m curious; what do other artists do with their “duds”? Do you enjoy the process of destruction/recreation? Do you give them away as gifts? I’d love to know! 🙂

Cherie Elksong
Elksong Jewelry
Elksong Jewelry on Facebook

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  • I know what you mean by a jewelry piece waiting for its connection to a certain person. My jewelry will also tell me what it wants in the design and starts to come to life as I am designing it. They take on a life of their own. Your necklace is stunning!! Keep up the good work!!

  • Judy Bjorkman says:

    Cherie, you did a great job of re-creation! I don’t do wire-wrapping,but your necklace gave me an idea of how to do something with, perhaps, sheet metal. I occasionally re-do something that isn’t moving. I would never give my jewelry as a gift unless someone had specifically admired it. Keep up the good work!

  • Cherie, I like the phrase “adjusting the frequency”. It’s interesting when the piece tells you what it wants to do – and who it wants to live with. It IS a beautiful stone and I love this necklace!

  • Colleen says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • Margaret says:

    Interesting. I used to make pieces to give as gifts, but I began to feel that they weren’t appreciated, so I stopped. Now, I, too, only give jewelry as gifts if someone has admired the specific piece. I feel better this way, as I like the idea that my work is going to go someone who appreciates. it.

  • Thanks for all the feedback, I really appreciate it! I always look forward to the interaction with other jewelry artisans! 🙂

  • Becky says:

    Harvest the Beads! I had a bunch of stuff that I had taken out of the craft show inventory. Brought it all out, some stuff, easy to take apart, no emotions. Other items, I had my friend who also is a Jewelry Artist help me look over. A little wine helped, just saying. Letting her pick it up and critique was great, some pieces can be re worked, some just need findings changed. It’s actually a relief to get it done. When you literally have over a pound of items…..time to Harvest Beads. Now it’s her turn to let me at her pile of goodies.

  • Chris Rehkop says:

    Cherie – I also feel some of my designs are waiting for the right customer, while others will sell quickly. Your redesigned necklace is wonderful, I love the copper wire wrapping with the turquoise!

  • Alysen says:

    I’d love to see your original focal. I re-work pieces that I’m not 100% happy with or if they don’t move after 1 renewal cycle on Etsy. Sometimes I wear them around first to see how they hang, reactions, etc.

  • Hi Alysen…the original focal was a round copper piece with an acid-etched desert landscape (including a prickly pear cactus) & sawn mountain ridge as a background. We do quite bit of etched copper work, but sometimes, in my effort to hand-draw finer details, it just ends up icky! Like I said in the original post, every time I looked at it, it made me wince a little. 🙂 I don’t know what I’ll do with it, too much work to just scrap….although, now that I say that, maybe I do have an idea; hammer it flat (it’s slightly domed) & redesign the other side…hmmm….

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