Sunday, August 10, 2014

H is for Howlite, Hematite & Headpin. ABC of Jewellery

Heyho, we've reached letter H in my ABC of Jewellery. This is a not-so-comprehensive guide to jewellery materials and techniques I use as well as inspirations and design styles.  is for Howlite, Hematite and Headpin .
Natural howlite                             Dyed, 'turquoise' howlite
Howlite is a porous, fairly matte, opaque stone. It is most often dyed artificially and re-named with a marketing term such as 'turquoise howlite,' 'pink turquoise,' 'howlite jasper' 'lapis jade' and all sorts of poetic names. In its natural state it is usually grey or white and indeed, is also often confused with 'white turquoise,' a much rarer mineral. The fact is, howlite is not turquoise. It's not jasper, jade or any other stone. It is what it is, a borate mineral that doesn't take a great polish, but can be dyed easily in beautiful colours and is perfect for fun and affordable jewellery.

Metaphysically it is the stone associated with awareness and wisdom. Natural healers believe howlite brings calm and relaxation to a troubled or anxious mind, relieves pain and helps with insomnia.
magnetised hematite beads
Hematite is ferric oxide, or in plane English, a form of iron ore. It is a shiny, charcoal grey or black. In its raw state it often appears red due to rust. The name 'hematite' comes from the Latin 'blood stone,' in reference to the redness. Sometimes the beads can be a bit heavy and not a good choice for earrings.
double stranded pearl choker with hematite focal (own necklace)
Hematite is often magnetised, which can be tricky to work with, or very useful in certain designs. When beading the double-stranded pearl necklace above, I placed a magnetic hematite bead at the centre of both strands to keep them neatly together and help the choker sit well. I am working on variations of the design at the moment.
Magnetic hematatite beads keep the strands from separating
As it is a raw form of iron, natural healers  use its energies for treating blood disorders. It it also the stone associated with grounding, calming and and clarity of thought.

Headpins are a type of finding frequently used in jewellery making. They are basically a long pin with a 'stopper' on the end used for wiring up earrings, pendants etc. They resemble straight pins used in sewing but come in a wide range of sizes and metals. The ends are most often flat, but you can find more decorative ones with a bead on the end, or indeed you can make your own out of wire, hammering the end. Alternatively you can form a spiral at the end to keep the bead or stone from slipping off. You will need to harden the spiral, for example, with a rubber hammer.
work in progress, beads threaded on headpins &1 finished piece
H is also for Handy Hints and How Tos, which you will frequently find on my blog. Some are tutorials, some are more general tips.

I could have sworn H was for something else important?  Woops, I forgot my Etsy shop, Handmade by Amo'r!!  Why choose handmade? Because of the quality, uniqueness and attention to detail.

Previous posts in this series
A  B  C  (plus C for Crimping D E F  (plus F for Findings) G1 and G2

All of this series: ABC

No comments:

Post a Comment