Friday, August 29, 2008

guest star friday #22...ruth tomlinson

today's guest star is ruth tomlinson. ruth uses a variety of layered and clustered materials to create work that reminds me of both ancient and medieval jewelry. her work has a spontaneous feel and a preciousness that makes it incredibly appealing. i especially like her use of texture and minute details.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

from point a to point b

i started making some of my spring 2009 collection pieces on monday. (i selected a few designs in each collection as a preview. these will be available on september 22.) as you may know already, i spent some time a few weeks ago thinking about and sketching my new designs. i've been eager to get to my bench to make them, waiting to finish other projects first. to my frustration, i have found the process to be difficult, but on second thought, i'm not surprised. i started making the new pieces monday morning and by 4 i was tired and out of creative energy for the day. i got an early start yesterday and two hours later had to leave because i was doing more staring than anything else. i headed to my office to deal with paperwork instead. today was similar - i made it through about 3 hours, then more paperwork - but, i did complete several pieces. i knew the designs would change a lot in that time and they did. as i start making, i see things in new ways and i often question which can lead to loosing focus and motivation. indecision often gets in my way. i really hope to complete the work tomorrow. maybe another fresh start will help.
thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

item of the week

this week's item of the week is the diskis necklace. i designed a graduated disk necklace in 2001 for a school assignment in which i had to reticulate silver. (reticulation is a technique in which the surface of the metal is melted in a controlled manner. the surface bubbles and ripples creating amazing organic textures.) i am attracted to things that are graduated in size, thus the simple 6 disk pendant from large to small. later, when i created my first collection pieces, i pulled my drawing for that assignment from my sketchbook and designed the focal point of my "diskis collection." this time however, i used a very different technique called "roller printing." for this technique, a rolling mill is used to transfer the texture from a source to a piece of metal through pressure. first, i created a textured metal plate using different hammers and chasing tools that would provide circular marks. once i had covered the surface with tiny dots i ran it through the rolling mill with a piece of sterling silver underneath. the resulting texture was a wonderful relief of circles. i intended this texture to resemble the surface of the moon, but over the years i've had lots of clients comment on what they see when they look at the diskis series' dotty texture, my favorite is "something magnified under a microscope."
i used the same plate for years, by the way. i finally made a new plate this year.

please enjoy 20% the diskis necklace for the week, august 26 - september 1. regualrly $120, on sale for $96.

thanks for reading.

Friday, August 22, 2008

guest star friday no. 21, buyers market edition…sarah graham.

i have admired the work of sarah graham for a long time. i remember seeing her full page ad in metalsmith magazine years ago and have been interested ever since. sarah uses blackened steel, gold, and diamonds to complete her signature style. she looks to nature and everyday objects for inspiration. her work is organic and structured, raw and refined, and simply unique. i had the pleasure of meeting sarah at the buyers market of american craft. it was great to put a face to the name and the jewelry.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

buyers market of american craft, part 4

the wrap up...

here's a short list of things i did for the buyers market show that i will definitely do again:

change my shoes frequently. i had three pairs of shoes hidden away under my tables and i changed them every couple of hours. my feet never hurt.

bring snacks and drink lots of water. it helps to not be hungry and water keeps headaches away.

bring my sketchbook. draw and take notes. like i mentioned before, seeing my entire collection all at once made me think differently about my jewelry. i was able to see what each separate group needs and doesn't need. i designed nearly all of my 2009 additions. i also observed what was going on around me like crazy and took notes on booths, jewelry displays, and booth behavior.

finally, i will keep my booth pretty much the same. i want to see what the second time around brings before i make any big alterations. plus, i would like to spread the amount of time and energy that went into my first display over more than one experience. thinking about how easy it will be to prepare for the next one makes me very happy.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

item of the week

this week’s item of the week is the complex necklace from my layered collection. i designed this necklace to be versatile. the 18” chain has two clasps instead of one, allowing for easy disassembly. it can then be styled in a number of ways giving the wearer options and a more personal and active role in the life of the piece after it leaves my studio. you can find this necklace in my layered collection in my shop.
please enjoy 20% off the complex necklace for the week, aug 19-25. regularly $200, on sale for $160.

thanks for reading.

Monday, August 18, 2008

buyers market of american craft, part 3

what would i do differently?

the first day of the show i made a list of things i need to acquire for the next time i do a show like the buyers market of american craft. number one on my list is to change my lighting. i borrowed lights for this show and they worked just fine for my first time, however, they could definitely be brighter and easier to install and take down. my lights had long cords that had to be individually wrapped around the above pole. this took a long time. then because they hung straight down some of my jewelry did not get the direct light it needed. track lights are the answer. i noted that everyone had them. they can be zip-tied in place and when the show is over the ties can be quickly clipped. i will also be able to spotlight my entire collection due to the versatility of the lights themselves.what else?

different price tags. i printed mine on sticky labels, but the labels did not stick very well. the ends curled up and looked messy. they were also white and not exactly inconspicuous.

a few more display pieces. i had enough, really, but a few more earring stands and cork rounds would be nice. i would also like small signs to denote my different collections.

2 more posters of my jewelry. posters can be eye-catching. i only had two for this show. an additional two will add more detail to my rather bare walls and hopefully grab the attention of more passers by. i will choose more images with high contrast like the multi with gold necklace image on the right.
other things i will do differently… organize everything i bought better for more efficiency and ease. i would also like my own dolly and step ladder.

thanks for reading.

technical difficulties

last week i went away for a little post buyers market r and r. i had a week's worth of posts written in advance and my new palm centro smartphone. then i had issues with the phone and couldn't do anything on the internet. so much for being efficient. this week i'll post the pieces i wrote for last week starting today.

thanks for reading.

Friday, August 8, 2008

buyers market of american craft, part 2

here are the before and after pictures of my booth. i was happy with the final look - it was basically what i had imagined. it's very much a work-in-progress, but i think a good first effort.
as for my expectations, i went in knowing it could be slow. i heard this show is not as well-attended by buyers in the summer as it is in february. i also knew i might not get much attention because i'm new on the scene, building a presence at these shows is important. i did manage to get 4 new accounts and i'm very pleased. my goal was 3.

during my down time i worked on new designs for 2009. since i had my entire body of work in front of me, it was easy to see what each collection needs. i also made lists of what i would like to do next time, what went well, what needs to change, etc. i observed others as much as possible. it was a tremendous learning experience.

thanks for reading.

guest star friday no. 20, the buyers market edition...kathryn geoghegan

for this week's guest star i turn to one of the many jewelers i met at the buyers market of amercian craft, kathryn geoghegan. i like kathryn's use of basic concepts and techniques such as geometric shapes, hollow forms, and etched metal. by combining these simple elements with subtle details and thoughtful compositions she creates work that is clearly her own. i find her well-crafted jewelry very refreshing.
thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

buyers market of american craft, part 1

i am back from the buyers market of american craft wholesale show in philadelphia. the experience as a whole was excellent and fascinating. i am feeling incredibly pumped - excited about what i learned, about my work, and what's in store for the next few months and for 2009. here's a break-down of what happened:

i left on thursday, july 31 with my friend, studiomate, and fellow show exhibitor, joanna gollberg. we packed her van and hit the road around 1pm, stopping for the night after driving about 7 hours. the next day we got an early start and found our way to the philly convention center. the above picture is my first view of the scene. i spent about 5 hours setting up my booth. it was hard work, but i have to say i did it in a rather relaxed manner, pausing frequently to meet neighbors and to catch-up with friends. the next three days went just as i expected. more on that tomorrow...

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

in transit

i am about to leave philly after attending the buyers market of american craft show. i'll share all th news of that fascinating event this week. for now, item of the week is on hold and will return next week. guest star friday will be back this friday, too.

thanks for reading.

Friday, August 1, 2008

august jewelry of the month

the second installment in my jewelry of the month collection are pearl + paper earrings. they are constructed of die-cut matte board and pearls. i found the paper cutouts at an art supply store in vancouver that specializes in recycled supplies. as i rummaged through a bin of assorted paper shapes, i found these scalloped ovals and i dug until i found matching ones. for these earrings, i sewed pearls in between the scallops and made only three pairs.

they are approximately 1.5" x .5" with sterling silver earwires.

each pair is $82 and comes with a numbered and signed card.

these earrings will remain available until sold or august 31, whichever is first. you can purchase them here.

jewelry of the month is a way for me to realize designs that don’t fit into my regular collections or studio jewelry. these pieces are an opportunity to take ideas from sketchbook to workbench and share them with you. each edition will be limited to less than 10 and will come with a numbered and signed card. each item will sell for under $120. i plan to use unusual materials like vintage wallpaper, new techniques like sewing, and i will collaborate with friends who work in other media like glass and clay.

if you would like advance notice, please send me an email to sign up for my jewelry of the month mailing list.

thanks for reading.