Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm the new EtsyMetal Charm Swap Curator!

Well it's official! Myself, along with Victoria Takahashi, are the next curators of the upcoming EtsyMetal Charm Swap! For those of you who do not know what I am talking about here's a little more info....EtsyMetal is a group of over 100 jewelry artists from all over the world that work in metal. There is a sign up list for members who would like to participate. The number of participants is limited to 20 but each person has to make 22 charms. 20 of those charms are swapped among the other artists who have signed up for the charm swap (so each person on the list gets one from every other person on the list), with 2 left over. At the end of the swap not only does each participating artist have 20 new charms from people all over the world but a completed charm bracelet and extra individual charms will be available for sale in the EtsyMetal Team shop, hence the reason for extra 2 charms. Also, half of the proceeds collected upon the sale of the bracelet will go towards our EtsyMetal Youth Outreach Program. We will donate 50% to the curator’s choice of a Youth Art Organization (TBA). You can see photos and read more about past charm swaps here. This is the 8th charm swap for the group but my 1st since I have only become a member of this group in Jan 2011. I think this is the coolest idea and I am very excited to be curating this event as well as participating in it. And I can not wait to put my own charm bracelet together at the end of the swap!

Bracelet from Charm Swap 6 you can purchase it in the EtsyMetal Team Shop

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Killing 2 birds with 1 stone....

EtsyMetal Monthly Challenge & RAW #13 (ring a week)
I am finally caught up on my postings of my RAW rings so this post is right on time! This week's RAW ring actually had a theme "kinetics". It just so happened that the EtsyMetal monthly challenge that is due March 31 is also the same theme so this ring does double duty! The "Rattle Ring" is made from sterling silver and filled with little stones inside made of glass. I then topped the whole thing off with a piece of acrylic to hold the stones in. Since the stones are not set in a setting they are free to move around inside the ring...hence the kinetic part! It also makes a great little rattling sound when you shake it. The stones are very small (3mm) so it was hard to capture the movement in the video below but I think you get the idea! You can see all the RAW Theme Challenge rings in a new Flickr group set up just for these challenges. I can't wait to get working on my next theme ring!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

RAW # 12 (ring a week)

My week 12 ring for the RAW challenge had some is made from sterling silver and "brass" and is set with 3 garnets. The "brass" was a scrap piece that my dad gave me from his stock pile of metals he has had in his basement for years. I don't know what kind of "brass" it is but it did something I have never seen happen before when I soldered the 2 metals together. If you look closely at the ring you can see what I mean. All around the edge of the "brass" and under the bezels you can see a melted/wrinkled looking thing going on. I did not use an over abundance of solder on this piece so I know it is not the solder. I don't know if the "brass" was coated with something that I didn't know about or maybe the metal wasn't really brass like I had been told. So I'm not sure exactly what happened there but it only happened to the "brass" and it happened consistently and evenly all around the ring. And since it was so consistent I decided instead of trashing the ring and starting over that I would to keep it as an added detail. I do really like the curve of this ring. The way it hugs is SO comfortable on the finger that I will be making more rings with the same curved shape in the future....although I probably will stay away from the rest of that "brass" I have left over!

Monday, March 28, 2011

RAW #11 (ring a week)

I am a little behind in my RAW postings so I hope to get all caught up by the end of this week. My RAW 11 ring was inspired by some mixed metal cuffs that I made a few weeks ago. I am really enjoying working more and more with adding texture to mixed metals. This ring band was made with brass, copper and sterling silver. Each metal was given a different texture and the combination of all three seem to work quite well together. Below are images of the ring along with a photo of the bracelet that was the inspiration.

Friday, March 18, 2011

change is good....

I still want to have affordable jewelry for my customers but with the price of silver changing daily and going up and up I have had to rethink some of my pieces. Over the past year or so I have been slowly adding more color to my pieces by using different metals with the silver and semi precious stones that I have used for years. Mixing the metals along with adding texture and dimension to the copper, brass and silver is not only fun but I really like the results I am getting! Sometimes when you are forced to make a change it all ends up good in the end!

chyrsocolla, copper, sterling

montana agate, onyx, copper, sterling

sterling, brass

copper, sterling, amethyst

brass, copper, sterling

Thursday, March 17, 2011

RAW #10 (ring of the week)

I am a little behind in posting due to the fact that I was out of town last week so I am hoping to get caught up soon! My week 10 ring was inspired by something I saw at the Philadelphia Flower Show last weekend. I now wish I had taken a photo of it but of course I did not...It was a table set for dinner. The table and chairs were draped in a lush dark gray fabric and and all the color came from the flowers and dishes which were a bright pink color. The colors stuck in my head so I decided to pick the same colors for my RAW ring! This ring is set with hematite and tourmaline. This ring is available for sale here in my Etsy shop.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"What do you wear?" Questions from the EtsyMetal Blog Carnival

EtsyMetal is an international collective of artisans who create jewelry and works of art in metal, which I belong to. Each month a question is asked of the members and those who choose to participate write about it in a Blog Carnival. This month the focus is on "What do you wear?"

What is your favorite piece (or pieces) from your private collection? My favorite necklace is one that I made from a large piece of turquoise. I had the stone for years and was not sure what to do with it until one day it spoke to me. Although it is not an everyday necklace because of its size ( its a good 3" in diameter) it does look really great with a t shirt and jeans! It is one of my favorites because it is big, bold and chunky.

But since I feel naked if I leave the house without at least earrings and rings, the 3 pieces of jewelry I always seem to grab before walking out the door are my XL version of my rose ring, my bulls eye onyx ring and my large hoop earrings (all made by me of course!). I can put them on and I know they will go with whatever I might be wearing that day!

How many finished pieces do you keep for yourself and why? My work constists of production pieces and one of a kind pieces. I usually don't keep many pieces for myself. Years ago when I first started selling my jewelry it was hard to decide what to keep and what to sell. I ended up keeping way more than I should have. Now when I go into my studio to "work" (which is almost every day) everything is made to be sold. I do keep a few pieces from my production line that I do wear regularly and also have sold right off my body. It's a hard job but someone has to advertise/model them and since I work alone I really don't have many other options! On the rare occasion I go into the studio to "play" I might experiment a little with new techniques, tools, materials, etc and if I do come up with something totally amazing and one of a kind I might end up keeping it like I did with one of RAW rings. My "Sunburst Ring" was one of those items. I was experimenting with mixed metals and hollow forms, something I haven't done in a while, and I was really happy with my end result.

What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you didn't make? I'm going to say my favorite piece that I didn't make is probably a pair of earrings made by another jewelry artist Dawn Bergmaier. We do a lot of the same shows together and I have acquired 4 pairs of her earrings (all through trades for some of my rings, which by the way I LOVE to do! I wouldn't have some of the things I have today if it wasn't for trading with other artists!) The reason this pair of earrings is one of my favorite pieces that I didn't make is because I seem to wear these earrings ALL the time. They have a funky, industrial feel to them and I can dress them up or down because they seem to go with everything. And they look great with the jewelry I make. They are so me!

earrings by Dawn Bergmaier

To read about what other EtsyMetal members wear, check out the following blogs:

Rebecca Bogan
Inbar Bareket
Twigs and Heather
Quercus Silver
Beth Cyr
Thomasin Durgin

Sunday, March 6, 2011

RAW #9 (ring of the week)

I didn't really have much time this week to make anything totally fabulous for my week 9 RAW ring. Last week (week 8) I made the Ravioli Ring and I also made a set of mixed metal stackable rings. I listed them on etsy and got a lot of attention from Facebook friends and then decided I really liked them for myself. So this week I make another set to keep for myself and even though they are not what I had planned for my RAW ring, they do technically qualify as "rings made this week". So here they are:

These stackable rings have even inspired some new earrings and necklaces so all in all even though my week 9 RAW ring is not as challenging to me as some of the others I have made, it has not been that bad of a week! :)

necklace inspired by stackable rings

sterling earrings inspired by sterling stackable ring

copper and sterling earrings inspired by stackable rings

brass and sterling earrings inspired by stackable rings

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