Pearl reno: Leslie's earrings

I'm thrilled when a reader sends me jewellery reno photos, especially those involving pearls, but really, any reno. It's my reward for writing a non-monetized blog, and others' experiences educate me. Thanks to Leslie, an especially edifying reno is in the window today.

Leslie's original earrings, handmade by a Seattle-area artisan, had a small dyed purple pearl dangling from braided silver wirework  (centre, below.) A versatile earring, but the scale of the pearl is bitsy for a grown woman and they have little presence.

To be fair, the small pearls probably cost the maker a couple of dollars, but when you upgrade the pearl, the whole piece changes.

Leslie found 14mm Chinese freshwater baroques that flash mauve and copper on sale at Kojima Company, and bought the pair for about $80. Notice the difference in lustre!


This was a DIY reno. Leslie, a beader, has wire-work skills, but even with a literal grasp of what she wanted to do, still made several attempts. The headpins have to be secured neatly and evenly. The finished pair, left, and on her, right:


This isn't a huge reno, but it's not a job you'd want to blow. Just like buying Ikea stuff, if you don't enjoy assembly, hire a pro. I'd think of Kojima Company, or your local jeweller. (Some are more open to working on another artist's work than others.)

Personally, if I never see another Allen key again, I'll be happy. But when it comes to jewellery, I just love that Leslie  restyled her earrings herself!

If you're deep into Passage reno posts, you know my bias for unusual pearls, so I have to show you these. The pearls are around 9mm, so not really that big, but the colour and lustre are just... mesmerizing. They are from Carolyn Ehret, whose eBay store, Ehret Design Gallery, sell fine pearls and gemstone beads. (Unlike many, many eBay vendors, you can absolutely trust her.)

Anyway, look at these Burmese South Sea cream-green pearls made into earrings (BIN price, $US 119.) The Myanmar pearl industry hit the skids in the '60s, but is coming back; the best of the limited production now available are magical. 

Photo courtesy Ehret Design Gallery


3 comments

Janice Riggs said...

That renovation is amazing - I am always so impressed by people who can do their own beading and jewelry work. And yes, the scale of the new pearls is much better with the weight of the chain.

And those light green pearl earrings... sigh...

hugs,
Janice

s. said...

Truly lovely and yes, so much better with the larger, more lustrous pearls.

Denise said...

I love pearls and the links you shared are so tempting.....