Monday, April 24, 2017

Porcelain Jasper Butterflies

      At the Tucson gem show a few years ago I found a great shop called Colorwright.  Amount the treasures that I found there were a pair of Porcelain Jasper cabochons shaped like butterfly wings.    


    I bought the cabs, along with some other great stones, and put them away until inspiration struck. I also knew I needed to do more bead embroidery so my skills would improve. Working the irregular shaped cabs was going to be more challenging than going around an oval or round shaped cab.
    The next year I went back to the Tucson Gem Show and found Colorwright again. I also found another pair of Porcelain Jasper butterfly wings  This time the cabs were on sale! I immediately bought another set, even though I still had the first cabs waiting in my stash.  But as any beader will tell you, you need to buy a great stone when you see it.
    While the Porcelain Jasper sat in my drawer I worked on other jewelry, gradually increasing the complexity of the projects. But the whole time I kept thinking about those jasper butterflies.    

   Finally I thought I was ready. I made the first pair of wings into a brooch.

     Then I made a necklace with different style of edging. The cabs here are actually the first ones I bought; the ones you can see in the top picture.
     I used a variety of seed beads and Charlottes to give the lacy look on the wings edges.  The body of the butterflies are a combination of onyx, crystals, and black Spinel.  
     Porcelain Jasper is found in Sonora, Mexico, in a variety of pinks, greys, and corals.  These butterflies are different colors and not meant to be worn at the same time.  They were challenging to make, especially their antennae, but I'm happy with the results.