Embracing Art Can Help You Relax and Unwind
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Embracing Art Can Help You Relax and Unwind

I have always had a "type-A" personality. I work very hard and I often overload my schedule with obligations. While I love my career, it is very stressful. A few years ago, I developed insomnia that my doctor told me was likely due to my high-stress life. I knew I had to find a way to relax, but I was unsure how to do it. I didn't want to take pills or anything. I decided to re-visit an old passion of mine, which is painting. I loved to paint in art class in high school, but I hadn't painted since! I bought the supplies I needed and from the moment my paintbrush touched the canvas, I was in love with art again. Art has helped my life so much I want to inspire others to embrace art as therapy. I plan to post many art tips on my new blog!

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Embracing Art Can Help You Relax and Unwind

How Contemporary Jewelry Artists And Designers Can Use Antique Estate Jewelry

Jessica Webb

Many pieces of antique estate jewelry are valued for their innovative jewelry artistry and design. There is also a vast amount of antique estate jewelry that does not have the same design innovation and artistry but is composed of valuable precious and semi-precious metals and gemstones that can be repurposed and reused. If you are a jewelry artist and designer, have your antique estate jewelry appraised and evaluated to determine its intrinsic value. Select the pieces that you wish to keep for their historic value and then use the components of the other pieces in your contemporary jewelry designs as follows:  

Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones:  All of the different gemstones in antique estate jewelry (diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, semi-precious gemstones, and glass) can be recycled and reused. Many gemstones are delicate and can get damaged when worn extensively. These gemstones can be recut and polished in order to use them. Here are some ways to reuse antique estate gemstones in your contemporary jewelry designs:  

  • Extract the Gemstones:  Unset the gemstones and examine them closely to find any imperfections such as chips, cracks, and/or scratches.  
  • Recut the Gemstones:  For gemstones with small imperfections, you can recut and polish the gemstones yourself, or send them to a lapidary artist to be recut and polished.  
  • Use the Gemstones:  Here are a few ways to reuse antique estate gemstones:  ​
    • Bezel-Set Gemstones:  Antique estate gemstones can each be bezel-set onto new jewelry designs. Gemstones set in bezels are completely surrounded by metal that conforms to the exterior shape of the stones. 
    • Channel-Set Gemstones:  Antique estate gemstones can be mounted into two metal channels to create long lines of gemstones on bracelets and pendants. These gemstones slide into their channels together without touching to hold them safely in place.
    • Prong-Set Gemstones:  Antique estate gemstones can each be set into prongs and soldered onto new contemporary jewelry. Prong settings are one of the safest ways to secure gemstones.  
    • Restring Beads:  Gemstone beads from antique estate jewelry can be restrung on wires and twisted onto gold or silver rods to create pendants, earrings, and bracelets.

When you repurpose and reuse antique estate jewelry components, you will use rare metals and gemstones that are not available to other jewelry designers. Examine your antique estate jewelry creations carefully and let their metals and gemstones dictate how they could be used in your contemporary jewelry. With careful selection, recutting, and polishing you will have unique components to use in your contemporary jewelry designs. For more information, talk to a professional like Crissy Galleries.


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