Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Store Banner!

So I happened to have a couple of orders of stacking rings all completed and ready to ship, and I thought that if I added them to my own collection of rings and then maybe two or three things I had on hand it would make a nice luscious stack of jewelry goodness.

Then I add my singleB logo to it:

I'm not sure about the damask. I love the logo itself, with the girl and the capital B in her hair:

But somehow I doubt if the damask goes with the style of my jewelry.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Festival of Earrings!

I have two new earrings in my lineup. One you have already seen the sketch of: I finished my first trial pair yesterday:

I like them. I have them on now.

Sorry, I haven't perfected the art of taking a photo of myself. Can't seem to get the camera to focus on the earring.

My second pair I am calling the Silver Tangle Earrings:

I made some adjustments to the design. Right now I'm liking the silver, not sure if I want to oxidize the bottom tangles just yet. I'm also using a smaller stone, 3mm white sapphires instead of 5mm white topaz. I will probably make another pair with the big stones. I think they will be fun that way, and less expensive.

I don't have a finished picture yet. They are almost done, just waiting for a polish and then the stones to be set. I'll probably post them tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I love Flush Setting

It's my favorite type of setting.  Today I tried something new with this type of setting.  I thought it would be fun to use stones that were too small to see!  1.2mm is pretty darn small.  To complicate things I was trying to set them in band that was not a whole lot bigger than the stone themselves.  The custom wedding order I'm working on might include an eternity band to go with the solitare and wedding band.  I'm totally comfortable flush setting stones that are around 2mm or larger, but the customer wants the eternity ring to match the size of the other two bands, and that means around 2mm.  So I tried this:

It's a little rough, and I think I can do better, but this was my first try.  If they do want me to do it, I will probably practice some more and make the band out of slightly larger wire (2.25mm vs. 2.0mm).  

I know that 1.2mm doesn't seem that much smaller than 2mm, but let me show you a picture that I send customers to help them visualize stone sizes:

That little one on the end is a 2mm stone, so just picture a 1.2mm as a grain of sand.  No, not really, but super tiny!  6mm is a little bit smaller than one carat, fyi.

Well, now I have to get back to work.  I'm sick today (horrible sore throat), so I want to get finished in time to go get pho.  I'm usually a vegetarian, but sometimes I eat meat, especially if I'm feeling sickly.  (I'm more of hamburgertarian, really.  I love hamburgers, especially with blue cheese on them.  Can't get enough of the Captain Neon burger at McMennemin's)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Creator's Block?

Hello folks,

I'm having a terrible time getting motivated to do anything more than what has been ordered. Like right now, I've just finished a couple of orders of stacking rings and I should be doing something like making new earrings, or working on my business card design, but I'm not.  I'm listening to the radio and eating a granola bar whilst looking through the newspaper in a desultory manner (I love that phrase, I always imagine saying it a snooty british accent).  I did manage to make an order for metals (I'm going to start working in argentium soon).  I have this awesome order for a custom wedding set that I'm excited to start and I'm going to use 14kt palladium white gold for it.  I received the 6mm white sapphire that I'm going to use today and it is gorgeous!  Can't wait.

But then today I find a ring that is basically a rip off of my pebble ring (it even has the same size stone).  I realize that there is nothing I can do, and there is always the possibility that this other seller on etsy came up with it on their own (amazingly just a few weeks after I start making them!).  It's not as if it's a crazy unique design.  But it still bothers me.  I can now see how people are so worked up about intellectual property rights.  It really takes the fun out of making things or coming up with new ideas when you have to worry about some shmoe taking them.  

But!  I'm not afraid!  And that is why I'm going to post a detailed picture of what I plan to do next:

Copy them if you dare! Arrrh! Arrh!!  (Pirate accent, eye patch included.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How Sweet is This?

These adorable bandaids arrived today along with a lovely note from a customer that has purchased rings from me recently (and who apparently reads my blog). I was blown away, it was very kind and genuine and it made my day. So, thank you! (you know who you are!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

regroup: (verb) To pause and get organized before trying again.

I have a tendency to make snap decisions.  This personality trait (a deeply imbedded one that is impossible to root out...I often seem to have made up my mind before I know what the question is) led me into the Navy when I was 18 (not a bad decision, I spent my years there surfing in Hawaii and speaking Chinese for my pay), to China for a totally unsuitable 2 year stint as a graduate student at the age of 26, and finally into a metal smithing program at the age of 28.  All of these decisions were decisions of the moment (it seems to me, anyway, perhaps my brain is subconciously cogitating on the matter for untold months before hand, unbeknownst to my concious self).  

What does this have to do with jewelry?  Well, right now I've been doing pretty ok with selling my things on etsy.  That's great, and I'm happy with that.  It just doesn't seem like I put a whole lot of planning into the whole thing.  I like my designs, but they are not a coherent whole.  They don't really reflect what I have been thinking about and where I want to go with my design aesthetic.  Some are closer to it than others, but on the whole I'm not pleased.  That's why I've decided to chill out with the etsy stuff for now (not renew my listings etc) and take a couple of weeks to a month to really design twenty or so pieces as a collection of sorts.  And for once in my life I'm actually going to do the legwork required to make this happen successfully.  No more flying by the seat of my pants, impatiently making stuff just to be doing something.  No, this time I'm going to sit down, do my research, make detailed drawings, test runs in silver, and then, and only then, make the final piece.  I'm the worst kind of artist, skipping ahead and cutting corners (especially in my paintings and drawings) just to get to the final product, it's a trait that I really dislike in myself.  So this time, I'm going  to have a little discipline.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Saw Strikes Again! (caution: gruesome photo!)

Man, I'm cursed.  I think my saw is haunted by the soul of a mass murderer.  And this makes my previous accidents look like a walk in the park.  I swear I hit the bone with this one.  I'm suprised there wasn't gore left on the blade.  It's bleeding through the bandaid right at this minute.  What would I do if I couldn't blog about this?  Cry probably, and have a beer.


And I had some woman want to return her perfectly beautiful custom order rings this morning.
Anyone want to buy these?:

  It's been a bad day all around.  At least Gunter hasn't bit me.

The Grand (or not so) Finale

Behold! The fruits of my drafting labor.

I'm thinking interlocking stacks.  I'm thinking rings that fit inside other rings.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shameful, shameful drafting skills

I can draw.  Perhaps I'm not the best in the world, neither am I the worst (see examples here)  So imagine my dismay this morning when I tried to draw a simple ring design for a customer.

These are my pathetic attempts (not including the multiple mistakes that I erased) before I finally got it right:

And finally, a mixed success.  I need to practice drawing jewelry from life, I think.  It's pretty hard to visualize without a real life reference.  Lots of geomtry going on and not at all free form like my everyday sketching.  Normally I just sketch to keep ideas in mind just for myself, trying to express an idea to someone else, someone who doesn't really understand jewelry, is much, much harder.