Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trying My Hand at Something New


You may have noticed that I don't like to use just one method of creating jewelry.  I am always eager to learn something new, so for the upcoming holiday season I decided to add some glam and sparkle to my collection by trying my hand at beading with crystals and seed beads.  I have always admired the intricate work I have seen from my fellow jewelry artists, but after taking a stab at this myself I have a newly found respect and admiration for them!  This stuff is not easy!  My first projects was weaving Swarovski crystals into three dimensional balls and hearts.  I purchased the puffy heart tutorial from Anne Made Jewelry on Etsy, and thanks to her amazing instructions and photos, this project was a lot of fun.  The tutorial for the ball came from Areva on Etsy and was originally a cell phone charm, but I turned them into earrings and used bronze colored beads instead of crystals.

 Swarovski Heart in Topaz Ombre
Bronze Drop Earrings

My next project was much more complicated as I didn't have a tutorial.  I was able to find a few tips and what not on the internet that helped with the general idea though.  This is an amethyst Swarovski Rivoli in a bezel of gold colored seed beads and delicas using peyote stitch.  Yes, only one earring has been made!  I love learning new techniques for jewelry making.  It keeps me from getting burned out with metal smithing and allows me to create for much broader clientele.  Now I must go and make the other earring........

Amethyst Sawrovski Earring

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rainy Day Adventures

   Today was a rather dreary fall day, full of clouds and rain.  It was the type of day that makes you want to crawl back into bed after the kids get on the bus and watch movies all day long.  Well, I do confess that I did go back to bed for a little while, but then I decided that I needed to do something more productive with my day.  What do do?  How about learning a new jewelry making technique?  I've always admired the clustery wire crocheted beaded jewelry that I have seen, so I grabbed some 26 gauge wire, an old crochet hook, and ventured online for some free how to's and even purchased a wire crochet basics tutorial on Etsy.  After many failed attempts, I finally was able to master the simple chain stitch that my mother taught me many years ago and finished a wire crocheted gemstone choker.  I have to say, this is a rather addicting technique, so I fear this is not the last of this style of jewelry you will see from me.  Bwahahahaha!  Now, I hear there is rain in the forecast tomorrow........

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Falling for Copper

Ahhh, the cool, crisp air, the earthy colors, and enticing aromas that come with Autumn.  Fall is my favorite season for sure and to celebrate it, I have been using beautiful, rustic, natural copper for some new pieces.  Copper has such depth and interest when textured and given an antique patina.  These first two pieces are made from copper sheet that has been textured with an industrial strength tube wringer and oxidized with liver of sulfur for richness and depth.

Corrugated Cuff

Linear Earrings

These next two pieces are bracelets in different wire wrapping techniques that feature handcrafted lampwork vocals by Melissa Vess.  Melissa is one of the most talented lampwork artists that I have come across, and I was fortunate enough to do a trade with her last year for these stunning focal beads.  I have held on to these beads for a while now as I was set on them being pendants.  I simply could not come up with a pendant design for them, so they were put on the back burner until I decided to make some copper bracelets that were need of some gorgeous focals.

Namaste Bracelet     
Close Up

Serenity Bracelet

Close Up

You can see more of Melissa's gorgeous beads in her Etsy shop:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Little About Me

   I come from a long line of accomplished artists and musicians, so art has always been a huge part of my life.  It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I began expressing my art through jewelry making.  I started with beading simple necklaces and bracelets then began working with wire, and fell in love with the way wire could be transformed into wearable art.  Most of my skills have been self taught through trial and error, although in June of 2010 I studied metal smithing at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids.  Working with metals and semi-precious gemstones opened up a whole new side to my work.  

   I often get my inspiration for a piece of jewelry by seeing a particular gemstone and designing the piece around it.  A lot of the stones I use are set very simply to let the stone itself be the center of attention.  My favorite gemstones to work with are moonstone, labradorite, and fire and boulder opals.  I’m always amazed that these stunning gemstones were created by nature.  I also love working with various agates and jaspers.”

My work currently features a lot of settings with sterling silver that is oxidized to bring out the richness and depth of the designs.  My jewelry reflects  natural, rustic metals that compliment the earthy stones I choose for my jewelry.  I have taken my love for wire art jewelry and turned it into step by step photo tutorials, so that I can share myself-taught skills to others.

  I live in beautiful West Michigan with my husband and five children.  I am a stay at home mom who took my love of art and jewelry making and turned it into a profitable hobby. I now sells my wearable art and step by step tutorials online and at local craft shows.   I wanted to have a place to share my thoughts, my inspiration, and my process as a jewelry artist so I decided to start this blog.  My hope is to inspire, educate, and let you into my world of being a jewelry artist and a mother to five.