Monday, July 26, 2010


I am really loving stylized nature motifs. I have never been one for realism (probably because I'm not very good at it! And also because I think sometimes the feeling and spirit of a thing is lost in the effort to reproduce it in a realistic manner). Some artistic traditions excel at this sort of stripping down of the object to its most meaningful parts. I recently have become enamored with Persian, Turkish, Islamic designs/motifs. Thanks to the glory of the interwebs and used books and I am now well supplied with research material:

Now I just have to figure out how to incorporate new ideas into my jewelry.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My poor fingers

Wow. Not the best day in the studio.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Old Stuff

What do I love about this? Well, I'm not so hot on the floral applique pieces on the upper twisted part. It looks a little cartoony to me. But I loooove the egg noodle twist going on there. The main attraction here for me is the enameling right before the knot. That overlapping blue and green scale type pattern just hits a sweet spot for me. I love blue and green (those two shades particularly). This pattern haunts my thoughts. And then of course the reef knot. I'll try to show you another example of a fantastic reef knot later. I'm pretty sure that interlocking curved shape will show up in my work at some point.


Swoon. Everything about these rings is awesome. The construction (check out the crazy shanks!) to the gold (yellow!) to the interesting stone setting choices. I love the flat sort of tiled look to the big round one and the crazy intricate urn set with a flat (semi-rounded?) stone. So much presentation! Sometimes a ring just becomes a vehicle for a stone, but these all have stones, but that isn't their raison d'ĂȘtre. The ring part isn't just there for the stone. The are a cohesive unit. The stones might even be sort of an afterthought really. But I love it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Solitaires go marching one by one

Okay, I know that bright orange wax is probably not the best thing to give the idea of a white metal (or maybe 18kt yellow?), but I wanted to run this by someone (anyone?), it is just a simple solitaire, but the band is slightly thicker and carved with facets. Into the facets I see tiny stones. That is what the black dots are. Haven't quite decided to follow through, but that is what is hanging around on my wax table. I also have this giant blingy thing that I am wanting to get out soon. I bought these GIANT cubic zirconia, and they are so fun and sparkly that I am working on a big costume cocktail ring. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What I am loving at the moment

I love old jewelry. I love it with a passion. I love the way it isn't perfect, I love the way it is unabashedly about the materials and the beauty. It's not self-conscious, it doesn't need a reason for existing. It is its own reason. Art jewelry is fun and sometimes thought provoking, but to me, the point of jewelry is primarily about the beauty. I'm sorry. I love art. I'm an illustrator in my spare time, but seriously. Jewelry to me is precious metals and fantastic stones. It is about the aesthetic value of the object and about what effect it is trying to have on the wearer. Jewelry can be a form of body modification to me. Adornment. Beautifying. When something becomes more about the idea than the object, it ceases to be jewelry in my mind. It might have the physical form of jewelry, but it is now a piece of wearable sculpture or something like that. Some pieces can be both, and I have great admiration for the jewelers/artists who pull that off. Until I reach that level, I will continue to worship at the altar of yellow gold. ;-)

These pictures are all taken from this fabulous jewelry book called 7000 Years of Jewelry. Expect to see more of it in the next couple of weeks as I work my way through it (over breakfast every morning. Nothing like crazy gorgeous pictures to get a person off to the studio in a mood for creating!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fancy Shindig

So we got all dolled up ( and by we I mean the shop monkey and I. He looked so hot! I wish he would wear fitted pants more often! Maybe I should make that part of the Shop Monkey uniform?) and headed downtown. It was boiling hot and I was wearing a tight black dress, so not really dressed for the weather. But the place was nice and cool and they had fabulous eats and drinks and we met the Shop Monkey's brother there. My studio mate and former studio mate were also there, so that was fun, seeing everyone looking nice, instead of covered in shop dust!

Finally got a copy of the current issue of Oregon Bride (they were giving them away on the way out). It was very exciting to see my jewelry in print (is that what you say for photographs?). But they, of course, photographed the male ring with the solder seam facing towards the camera. The seam never shows in most lights, but whatever they were using to light the jewelry for the photographs made it glaringly obvious. To me anyway. I hope most people wouldn't notice...:-( But it was awesome anyway! Yay!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I have returned

Well, my last two weeks were sort of restful. Even though I was still working in the studio, the psychological relief of having my Etsy shop closed was nice. But I am ready to be back. I've reopened on Etsy, with a few changes. Also some new designs, with more to come. I have some blue diamonds on the way, and I really hope to have something new and different ready for the end of the week. So stay tuned. Until then, I have this new eternity ring finished just today to share. I'm not sure what to call these new eternity bands. It is easier for me to remember a design when talking to someone about them if they use the name. A description like "it was a white metal with small diamonds" all around doesn't really tell me exactly what they are talking about. But a name for each thing really helps me to identify just what piece they mean. What should I name this?

And what about the other two new ones? There is one with 5 diamonds all in a row, and then one (soon to be a set of three) with six diamonds spaced asymmetrically around the band. I think I will call that one the scattered band? No? Diamond scatters? Constellation bands? Coming up with names is the hardest thing to do, without sound pretentious and/or ridiculous. Help!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I don't know if any of you readers (if there are many?) have been by my shop, but it has been closed for the last two weeks. I was just a tad overwhelmed and I was starting to have work nightmares. Those of you who make jewelry can relate, maybe? The kind of dream where you are working on something and then you make a horrible mistake and the piece just crumbles to dust (or something equally horrible). Am I the only jeweler/metalsmith who has these dreams?

So, these last couple of weeks I've been steadily working away on previous orders. I think I took on too much and just couldn't handle it all. It is hard to gauge what exactly I can do in a day, and I'm always a little overly optimistic. Everything seems so easy, until I am actually doing it. This job requires so much concentrated attention. When you need to focus, only 100% focus will do. It can be draining, for sure. So, for mental health reasons I decided to take a personal day...or, um, week...two weeks. It hasn't been totally complete, since I have still been working and trying to answer emails. I even took a few orders each week, but I think I should have waited on those. Summer is just so hard, since so many people are getting married and they NEED jewelry by a certain date. I always feel so bad. When someone has their heart set on a certain piece for their engagement/wedding, I feel like I should do all I can to get it to them. So I end up saying yes, when I perhaps should say no, since it stresses me out. But I just can't!! People are so nice, and I always find it so flattering when someone wants to buy my stuff that I just can't tell them no.


Well, I am getting ready to reopen. There will be some changes, new designs etc. I will also be discontinuing some items. Mainly my silver wedding sets and other silver jewelry. I will still be offering silver items, but mostly pre-made bangles, simple rings and earrings etc. Those will be first come first serve and I won't be taking custom orders in silver at all. If I have made something is silver for a mold, I might offer it as a sample sale. New items in palladium will also be available as sample sales. I will also not be making the eternity rings anymore (I don't think). I will have eternity rings, just not the ones I have been making. I had come to dread it anytime someone ordered one of those, since the stone setting was quite laborious and time consuming. I have to do this because otherwise I will be too busy to do things that I really enjoy doing, like designing, drawing and carving new stuff in wax. I know that some people will be disappointed about this decision, but I have to do what I have to do to maintain my sanity. I can't keep working at the pace that I have been in the last year, it will burn me out. I would like to continue loving what I do.


The fall/winter issue of Oregon Bride magazine comes out this month. A wedding set of mine will be featured in it. It is very exciting for me, but I'm not sure what effect it will have on my business. But exposure can't be bad. :-) The Shop Monkey and I will be going to a fancy cocktail party thing next week that the magazine is sponsoring (?? I'm actually not exactly sure who is holding it, but we got the invites through the magazine). I'm not exactly well versed in fancy parties, but I think I will like dressing up. And seeing the Shop Monkey all spiffed up will be super awesome too. :-)


I'm still experimenting with taking photos of my rings on people. Mostly just myself at the moment, since my lady friends are scattered all over the place (Alaska, Thailand, Arizona). But I am sort of planning (she doesn't know yet) to use my one Portland girlfriend as my model. She has gorgeous hands (tiny!), and is gorgeous in general. I think using someone else will make it easier to have a model, since I feel too self-conscious about myself in pictures. I don't want people to think I'm self-absorbed (although, I probably am! Aren't we all to some extent?) And it is really hard to take pictures of yourself anyway. See below. I feel all myspacey.

Okay, well, I've got to get to work to prepare for my "grand" (re)opening. I've also got a stand alone website in the works, but I had underestimated how hard it is to build one of those things. Anyone know of a good webdesigner? Recommendations would be much appreciated!