Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cooled Lava with Genea Crivello-Knable

Cooled Lava
  I used a mix of metal for this design, including antiqued copper, raw brass and sterling silver. I feel that the antiquing on all the metals allowed for a blended look in their accent to the matte black of the tourmaline and the etched lamp work. I also deliberately did not list brands or suppliers except for Genea’s gorgeous focal bead so that you have the freedom to sort through what you already have to pull this piece together. The strand of black tourmaline came in a more crystalline form but I found it uncomfortable to wear so I threw it into my kids plastic rock tumbler with some sand for about 3 hours to round off the beads and create that matte black color texture that brings to mind cooled lava.

Long faceted quartz briolette in yellow and smoke
12 inches antiqued 24 gauge wire
3 inch piece 20 gauge wire
Lamp work glass focal by Genea
2 Bead caps
Bead Cord Black ( griffin's no.6 is a sturdy cord for these heavy beads)
2 bead tips
1 std Raw Free Form Tumbled Black Tourmaline available through Kandu beads
16 or more pieces of 5mm mixed brass and sterling heshi
2 - 4mm connecting jump rings – these jumps need to fit into your bead tips and into the chain you have chosen
12 to 16 inches dark chain cut into 4 – 3” to 4” pieces – the chain shown is 4mm closed copper patinated in black and brown
Hook clasp with open jumps

Ruler/bead board
Jewelers cement
Chain nose pliers
Flush cutters
Round nose pliers
Fine steel wool

 Step 1.  Using the 12 inch piece of antiqued sterling silver, wrap the long faceted briolette quartz into a doubled wire loop, trimming away the extra and tucking the ends into the spiral wrapping.  

 Step 2. Create a hanging loop at one end of the 3 inch piece of sterling wire and slide on one of the bead caps, metal discs or heishi to make sure the large hole in the lamp work does not slide down over your loop. Slide on the lamp work focal and add another bead cap or disc before creating the top loop above the bead. Assemble the faceted brio to the bottom loop of the lamp work glass. Set aside to have ready for stringing.

 Step 3. Remove the beading cord from its card completely and tie an over hand knot at the opposite end of the needle approximately 2 inches from the end. Slide on 1 bead tip before stringing alternately; 1 heishi and 1 tumbled tourmaline bead until you have a set of 4 on the cord. After the 5th piece of heshi, slide on the previously assembled focal of Genea’s lamp work and faceted brio. Continue on with the heshi and black tourmaline until you have a front center piece that measures approximately 6.5”. If you need a longer center piece, continue stringing a few more tourmaline until you reach a measurement that you like. I held my piece up to my own neck in front of a mirror as I strung beads until I liked the mid neck point the beads stopped at, all the while keeping the focal drop off to the side asymmetrically.

 Step 4. End your strand of beads with the second bead tip and tie off the bead cord with another over hand knot. Use your awl tip inside the knot to bring the knot close to the bead tip so there are no gaps in your strand of beads. Add a drop of jewelers cement to both knots inside the bead tips and press the bead tips closed with your chain nose pliers.

Step 5. Add the small open jumps to the bead tips and the end links of the 3” cut piece of dark chain, close up the jump rings carefully so there are no gaps in the seam where the fine chain and bead tips can come out. Repeat this for the opposite side of the necklace.

 Step 6. Check your measurement before adding the clasp. The clasp shown measures approximately 1 inch and brought my Cooled Lava necklace to a total measurement of 14.5”. This measurement can be adjusted by adding an extender of more chain and jump rings. Assemble the clasp by opening and closing the clasps open jumps onto the end chain pieces with your chain nose pliers.

 Step 7. Brush a bit of steel wool over the antiqued metal findings to bring up their high lights. 



  1. wow! well done, shannon... the asymmetrical design is really beautiful... plus you demonstrate over and over your knowledge of materials and expertise... that extra step of tumbling the tourmaline brought it all together... there really just is no substitute for the knowledge gained over time... beautiful!

  2. Well, Hi there! I'm glad to have located you and your new blog.

    This piece is beautiful, Shannon. Mary Jane is right, your knowledge over time is obvious. The place where my eyes stopped was "plastic rock tumbler with some sand."
    There have been times when I wanted to throw something into my Lortone, but didn't want to ruin it.

    Thanks very much for the detailed info.

  3. Gorgeous and look at that beautiful model! I really love the feel of this piece. I love that you used super chunky rough stones with my focal and the "shiny" semi-precious stone.

    I had no idea that was tourmaline. To me the stones looked black so I thought maybe they were those lava rock beads. So cool you actually tumbled the stones to make them more rough.

    I think this piece is very fitting for all of the "rough stuff" going on in your life right now. As you see the roughness and tumbling of things leads to a beautiful shining stone ;) Horay for the resilient and beautiful new you! xo Genea

  4. The necklace is beautiful and you are gorgeous! Great job.

  5. Love this piece! Peace & Blessings

  6. I can only echo the comments above...your creativity astounds me.....beautiful!

  7. Stunning, as aways! Clever idea with the sand and the plastic tumbler! I wonder what other stones would work that way, hmmmm. Thanks for the helpful tutorial, too, because I really want a similar necklace, yes!