Yes, working with a client to create the perfect piece is one of Najia’s favourite design projects. She can design pieces to coordinate with various necklines, body shapes, and personal preferences like fashion, colour, personality, and lifestyle.
Najia has worked with brides and wedding parties, daughters rejuvenating their mother’s jewellery, husbands spoiling their wives, and Miss America pageant contestants! Connect with Najia today and tell her your dream design.
It takes about three days to make any fused glass and silver jewellery. Strung and/or wire wrapped pieces take several hours to two days, depending on the complexity of the design. Chain maille also takes a couple of days, depending on the complexity of the weave. This is in addition to the time it takes to make the pendant or bracelet.
Not to mention the 15+ years of jewellery designing experience behind every custom, handmade piece!
Vibrant & Sage is proud to have been certified by SRAJD, an international organization of Self-Representing Artists in Jewellery Design. When you purchase from an SRAJD member, you are buying directly from and supporting an artist whose work has reached the creative and quality standards demanded by this certification.
Every purchase comes ready for gifting in a modern-designed gift box with a card describing the materials used and the artistic inspiration. No price is included in the box or the card and your invoice is emailed separately.
It depends upon the individual style and type of jewellery piece.
Earring changes are the easiest to accommodate and can usually be made at no charge. The earrings can usually be changed to non pierced, post, french hook, lever back, or threads. Most earrings can usually be made longer or shorter.
Necklaces & Bracelets
Small adjustments to the lengths of necklaces or bracelets can usually be made at no charge. Changing the clasps is usually possible too, but there may be a small charge if the clasp you select is more expensive than the original.
Major Design Changes
If you want to make major design changes that involve remaking or restringing the components, adding or subtracting components, there may be a charge, but you will be told this up front.
Of course, custom designs are always available, so let’s chat!
Once the art glass bead or focal is finished it is annealed overnight in a kiln at high temperatures specific to the type of glass the artist used then slowly cooled. The annealing process hardens the glass so that it becomes virtually unbreakable. It will last for years when it is used as intended. Vibrant & Sage always anneals the fused glass designs we create. When we incorporate lampwork glass beads from other artists in our designs, we first make sure those are properly annealed, too.
When making hot molten glass beads, a tremendous amount of stress is put on the glass. These stresses remain in the glass after the bead has been made. To eliminate the stress on the glass, the beads are annealed inside a hot kiln. Then the temperature is slowly dropped to 600 degrees where the kiln is then turned off. The glass is allowed to reach room temperature and then can be removed from the kiln.
This annealed glass is pretty tough. When fused glass or glass beads are not annealed they can break or crack easily, especially in use for jewellery. Vibrant & Sage always use annealed glass and ensures that all lampwork glass purchased from other artists is properly annealed. “Tough” here means the glass has no inherent fissures or hidden cracks, it does not mean your glass piece will always survive being dropped on a hard surface or smashed by another object, so treat your piece with loving care!
There are as many types of glass as there are different techniques glass artists use to manipulate it. Some of them are described in this glossary, but there is one thing most people do not understand about the art glass pieces used in Vibrant & Sage designs: they are not painted on! The miracle of these mini masterpieces is that all of the designs within the glass are created by many individual steps with molten glass or in fusing the glass.
Vibrant & Sage uses art glass that is either created in a process known as lampworking or by glass fusing (which is the glass Najia makes herself).
Some of the lampwork beads have raised dots of glass on the surface; some combine iridescent glass with clear or opaque Effetre or soda-lime glass. Murano glass often has a piece of gold or silver foil embedded in the glass. The variety is as broad as the imagination.
The fused glass pieces are made in-house by fusing layers of glass in different colours. Often, Najia will cut the slab of fused glass and fuse it again, but on its side, to create interesting patterns. The glass is then cut, shaped, and polished before building the metal bail or base for the shaped piece.
Good glass artists (the only kind Vibrant & Sage buys from) carefully clean the holes of the beads to remove the material used to release the bead from the mandrel on which it was made. This is important to the jewellery designer because, otherwise, the holes will contain sharp edges that might cut the stringing material.
Aurora Borealis (AB)
The AB coating on Swarovski crystals, which stands for aurora borealis, adds a highly iridescent effect over half of the crystal that increases the brilliance and shine with shimmering tints of yellow, pink, and blue rainbow sparkles.
Borosilicate Glass (Pyrex or Hard Glass)
Borosilicate is one of Najia’s favourites because it is so versatile. Many different colours can be achieved from one rod of glass by using flame chemistry and can rarely be duplicated exactly. Many of the colours are translucent, so combining and layering coloured rods has an effect on the colour of the piece. Although borosilicate glass is colorful, it is more muted than the bright crayon colours of soft glass and is at its most vibrant when viewed in bright light or sunlight.
Borosilicate glass is often the type used when you see bubbles locked into the layers of the glass as part of the design. The type of borosilicate glass used for art beads is much more expensive than other kinds of glass, and the beads can take nearly twice as long to make, so the bead prices reflect this difference.
This glass is made in the United States and is considered the gold standard of art glass and the only type Vibrant & Sage uses in fusing. It is not as hard as borosilicate but not as soft as Moretti or soda-lime glass. Bullseye offers a wide variety of colourful, patterned, metallic or dichroic art glass.
Dichroic glass displays two or more colours depending on the light. It is extremely expensive compared to other glass because the process of making dichroic glass is time consuming, complicated and requires specialized equipment. A film of metal oxides and crystal quartz is adhered to the glass then vaporized in a vacuum chamber in multiple layers, one at a time. Each piece of dichroic glass is unique and cannot be replicated.
Effetre (Moretti) & Vetrofond Soda-Lime Glass
Also known as “soft glass”, this glass is imported from Italy where it has been made for generations. The colours are vibrant and are available in opaque, translucent, and transparent colours. This glass has a low melting point and is easier to manipulate with less heat. The colours are strong and vibrant, making it one of the favourite types of glass used by glass artists around the world.
A type of earwire that looks like this:
Pieces of different coloured glass are fused together in a kiln at around 1600F then cut, beveled, drilled, and polished. Sometimes, these fused glass pieces are embedded in silver, and in other designs, the art glass is riveted to silver bails. It takes 3 to 4 days to make Vibrant & Sage fused glass and silver jewellery pieces.
A type of earring wire that is like a French hook but the kidney wire hooks back onto itself, as shown in the image below:
First a rod of glass is melted with a torch and dropped on a metal mandrel while spinning the mandrel to create a lampwork bead. Then color is applied by melting rods of glass in designs on the bead:
The first layer is a core bead. After it is cooled, another rod is melted and applied to the core in a design. The bead is again cooled and another colour or design is then applied. The soft glass is pulled into shapes. The process is repeated several times for each bead. That is why no two beads are exactly alike.
Lever Back is a kind of earring wire that closes behind the ear lobe, as shown in this image:
I frequently use this type of earring wire because it is the most secure. The kind I use requires you push up on the latch to release it from the clasp at the back of the earring.
A type of clasp using a spring mechanism to open and allow a link from the other end of a necklace or bracelet to be securely held within the clasp.
Murano Glass (Italy)
This is a style of glass art, rather than a type of glass. Murano beads often include metal foils (usually sterling or 24k gold) within the glass. When the glass is heated and cooled, the foil cracks and folds inside the glass creating a delightful textured effect. Another popular technique known as millefiori involves slicing clusters of different colored glass rods so that when the slice is viewed from the flat surface, a flower cluster is formed.
Murano glass artwork of all kinds has been created in Italy for at least 500 years. Italy is one of the countries Najia visited on her honeymoon and you know she brought back a supply of glass. If a jewellery piece features honeymoon glass, it’s mentioned in the description so the love can be shared.
Niobium is very resistant to corrosion and other reactions and is used in medical implants because it is safe for most people with allergies. If you prefer niobium ear wires for this reason, please contact Vibrant & Sage. Niobium comes in all sorts of colours, from neon to jewel tone, so special order a custom design and go wild.
Squaredelle or Roundelle
Look carefully at any Rock Candy or Sugar piece and you will see tiny squares of metal encrusted with even tinier Swarovski crystals. Those are squaredelles. I use roundelles in some other pieces (same as a squaredelle except round).
Swarovski Crystal Pearls
Swarovski pearls are not natural pearls, they are made with one of the best crystals in the world. They have a heart of crystal that is then coated using innovative Swarovski technology to create an unparalleled glow that seems to come from within the pearl. These pearls will not discolour and are each identical and perfectly round. It’s no wonder Swarovski quality cannot be rivalled! And, also no surprise that Swarovski is the only crystal and crystal pearl you will ever find in Vibrant & Sage creations.
In 1892 Daniel Swarovski invented a revolutionary technique for precision cutting of crystal. To this day, the Swarovski brand is still considered one of the finest crystals in the world. Swarovski is the serious designer’s choice because of the unshakeable consistency in quality, cut, clarity, colour, weight, and unique and ever-evolving designs. There is a huge array of colours and shapes to choose from for custom designs.
A type of ear wire that looks like a metal stick attached to a thin chain. The stick is passed through the hole in a pierced earlobe all the way until the “U” shape sits centred in the earlobe and the chain swings behind the earlobe the pearl or bead dangle is in front of the earlobe.
Toggles are clasps using an open link on one end and a stick on the other end of a necklace or bracelet. To close the clasp, thread the stick through the link then let it rest across the link. Voilà!
Vermeil is sterling silver thickly coated with 14K, 18K, or 24K gold. It is better quality than gold plate because gold plate is a very thin coating of gold on a base metal like steel or brass, not a noble metal like sterling silver.