Thursday, May 31, 2007

class reunion...

i have to laugh... i skipped my highschool class reunion, but yet i'm going to accompany sal to his this weekend. and when i say weekend... i mean ALL WEEKEND, it's a 2 or 3 day event! but i'm sure we'll have a delightful time.

knowing that this is (1) a private boarding school and (2) wealthy kids went there and (3) that means some of them are wealthy adults and (4) it's not just sal's class, but EVERY class that's on the 5 year mark... i have concluded that there will be wealthy (and hopefully somewhat inebriated) people everywhere I AM WEARING MY MOST EXPENSIVE JEWELRY AND BRINGING A PILE OF BUSINESS CARDS.

because, let's be honest here, what is the likelihood that there will be another custom jeweler there? i plan on being the novelty item :)

so, there won't be any posts till the beginning of next week. but i hope to include at least one photo of a girl named buffy or something of the like (it's my quest for the weekend!)

beyond that... i've been BUSTING my a$$ on a few different things...

1. the a-sym 3 square diamond engagement ring. it looks simple... but it's a BITCH! (pardon my language) i finally got the damn angles correct. but i decided not to tempt fate, so i decided to contact my stone setter i use for special jobs like this... he told me to make the walls thicker (because better safe than sorry.) so, i need to put another couple of hours into it. but soon it will be done!

2. baby spoon

3. the designs for a new ring

still just plugging away!!!

okay all... have a great weekend and peek back on monday!

Monday, May 28, 2007

taking photographs...

So, I've been working on upping the quality of of the final photographs I've been taking. It's not easy.

The first think I've realized is I NEED A NEW CAMERA! But... gotta pay off some of the tools before I can go buying what I want (which is a Nikon SLR digital that I can interchange the lenses with my Nikon manuel.)

The second thing that I realized is I need to use better lighting... and what lighting is better that natural? So, I moved my light box out to the pool area. Because I'm using my light box, it is still possible to direct the natural light.

And third, I realized I need to start shooting on a darker surface... so I picked up some cheap $0.59 black poster board. It has a smooth surface and can bend (for a seamless looking background.)

So, this monstrosity is my light box...

And here are the re-do's of the Cosine Ring...

And some re-do's of the Dogwood Earrings (which are still available if anybody is interested!!!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


So... just the other day I was having a conversation with my dear friend Whitney (another jeweler) discussing rejection... rejection letters, to be specific. Well, the theory she was sharing with me for every rejection letter you receive, you are one step closer to an acceptance letter.

Well, how apropos that I received a letter of rejection today! I had submitted one piece to the MFA Summer Party Silent Auction Fundraiser (each artist was allowed only one submission... only one jpg image) and they rejected me!!! The letter simply stated... thank you for your submission, better luck next year, and (by the way) you can buy some tickets to it... hope to see you there!!! HAHAHAHA!

It's okay, I'm not crushed by it. But just disappointing timing after the NBSS fundraiser last week and the lack of true interest in my pieces. But I will pick myself up... drag myself to my shop... and keep working like a mad woman. Because, as per Whitney's theory, I am one step closer to being accepted. Only time will tell! So I will start my rejected file and keep you all posted.

BUT this reminds me of something Sal had shared with me before... and I laugh my a$$ off EVERY time I see it!!! It is a short animation by Don Hertzfeldt called Rejected (you can buy it here.) Seeing it is copyrighted, the only place I could find it (to share with all of you) is on some random chicks myspace page (no sign in required.) So, view it before it disappears! I guarantee you a good laugh!

Monday, May 21, 2007

cosine wave ring...

okay... the photo is stinky. i am going to try to shoot it again tomorrow... maybe on black? it looks sooooo good in person. but of the high polish... and the crazy domed and concave surfaces... it's reflecting EVERYTHING! this is taken with natural light... but with a paper almost completely covering it to cut down on the reflective surfaces. but by doing that, it cuts down on the light.

i tried my light box... but it is too large for this little piece. i really really really want to get a better photo than this.

but it is 14K palladium white gold with an 8mm lab created sapphire and 12 1.5mm cubic zirconia. this ring is for my client that is a self proclaimed lab geek and liked the ideas of lab created stones.

on a side note... i got chinese food (i know, i know... healthy... leave me alone!) and this is my fortune...

'Our preception and attitude toward any situation will determine the outcome.'

see... this is like my mantra... 'if you build it, they will come'


Saturday, May 19, 2007

long day working...

I'm back at the bench... working my tooshie off.

Just finished this dogwood flower (yup, still on the flower kick) that is somewhat of a 'keep sake' gift for a 50th anniversary. The branch is bronze and the flower is sterling silver.

Now... this took me about 8 hours today. I know it doesn't look like much yet... but it's all in the angles.

This is the metal model for the 3 stone champagne diamonds A-symm ring. But to get all of the angles correct, well, it's a pain in the a$$. To make square bezels you first have to cut a pattern out of silver sheet, move it into a cone shape and solder the seam closed. Next, you put it in a round tapered bezel punch, which forces it into a 70 degree angle for the tapered bezel. Then you anneal it and put it in the square tapered bezel punch.

Now... I want the 1 carat stone bezel to be the center of the design, that means the other two bezels have to grow out of the same base. If they are both made at the same 70 degree angle, then the angles change when you solder them together.

Needless to say... it's just lots of work.

But the issue is by changing those angles, it thins some areas out a great deal. So, instead of just filling areas with flowing bunches of solder (which usually does more damage than good... I always tell my students that solder does not fill gaps!!!) I am going to have a rubber mold made of the head, then shoot a few waxes. I will then fix the angles and thickness of the walls in the wax.

Also, because I'm working with diamonds, I can actually take my wax pen and put it on top of each diamond and sink it into the wax. By doing that, I can make a seat for my diamonds, which will make sure everything will be in order for setting them.

Okay... I'm just rambling now. I think I'm done working for the day!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

... or maybe they won't come :(

So… last night was the NBSS fundraiser. It was held at Trinity Church… in their very modern function room, not in the chapel…that makes sense, but was rather disappointing. But I got there early to set up the jewelry display cases; about 10 jewelers were showing… but it was difficult to figure out the best way to display everything on poker table green felt, but you play the hand that you are dealt… hehehe.

Anyway, there was a wonderful turnout, over 300 people. Amazing work displayed (the books and woodworking and violins)… a string quartet played (alumni playing their handmade instruments)… lots of wine and little fancy-schmancy hors d’oeuvres. Your usually fundraiser type of night.

Now, I have to say, I’m so glad that I have friends (and a few fans) at that school… because they kept sending people my way… looking for my flowers. I even had a client (who bought a bracelet and earrings from me last year) pointing to her jewelry then pointing at me.

So, there pointing and oohing and ahhing… and a little pawing, but all of the word of mouth marketing didn’t make the people pull out the checkbooks. I got lots of compliments… some people took cards… but no takers on any of the jewelry.

I did get a nice compliment from another jeweler… a jeweler that doesn’t toss out compliments very easily, but she had a few drinks in her, so she snuck one in. Basically (as she swayed a bit) said the only way to survive in this market is two things… one, have designs like no other (and she pointed to my two pieces) and, two, well made pieces. Then, she staggered away. I think that was the nicest thing she ever said to me. Hahahaha.

So… I’ll let you be the judge of the jewelry. They aren’t great photos (just quickie pix) but you’ll get the idea.

The pendant will be moving to a friends shop in Sudbury and the earrings… well, the earrings are another story. The hang beautifully, but they are heavy (they aren’t made for clubbing… more of a socialite at dinner.) So, if there is no interest in them, well, I have a few options… make them into a couple of broaches… maybe pendants… or dismantle them and make them into a few pieces of jewelry. But I’ll let them live in their current form for the moment.

Oh... and here is a fun photo of the dogwood flower living in it's tree... hehehe.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

meeting deadlines...

Sorry for the lack of posts... just trying to meet my deadline for the fundraiser on Thursday night. I swear the photos will be worth the wait!!!

Just be patient and check back at the end of the week ;)

But I thought I would leave you with this...

Two peanuts were walking in a park... one was assaulted.

(Hehehehe... shows my mental stability for the moment, huh?)

Friday, May 11, 2007

...if you build it, they will come...

Okay, so we all know that line from FIELD OF DREAMS, but I decided to apply it to my life. I have recently sunk WAY TOO MUCH MONEY into building a few pieces of jewelry for a fundraiser for NBSS.

A great deal of my time in Paris was spent working on my own designs, not pieces for any specific clients. And the fundraiser is usually a great time to get feedback from potential clients. Now, to set myself apart from the other jewelers, I had to try something different.

It's time I step my game up a bit.

I decided to build 2 of my designs... a pair of dogwood branch hoop earrings with dogwood flowers in 18k palladium white gold with fancy colored diamonds and a calla lily pendant in 18k palladium white gold with bead set white diamonds and a 1.1 carat champagne colored diamond briolette on a hand made chain. Don't worry, when they are finished (at this rate, probably the day of the show) I'll take lots of photos.

Now, this is my dilemma, I dug myself into the black pit of credit card debt for this... did I do the right thing? I can't help but be leery about the whole situation. If nothing sells OR if I don't get any new custom work of it... I basically screwed myself.

WELL... I am attempting to remain calm about it. I decided that the only way I will get new clients is by putting myself on the line (financially mostly, but also mentally.) I just have to keep repeating 'if I build it, they will come' (I really need a new mantra... leave a comment if you have any suggestions.) If I believe it, and stay positive... it will work out.

And I'll just pray to my Goddess of Necessity while I'm at it too... she's a story for another time!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

love from minnesota!!!

Okay, so I'm home from Minnesota... but I saw this store in the Mall of America and I couldn't pass up the photo opp!

We caught the Sox-Twins game on Friday night. Even tho I am a Sox fan... I am confused by other fans. Here is a grown man wearing a plastic children's batting helmet. Hmmmm... is he such a dork that he was planning on being beat up by Twins fans, so he thought the 1mm thick piece of plastic would save him??? Very confusing!!!

And to finish off the weekend, a tour to the Walker Art Museum. This is from the outdoor sculpture park, The Spoonbridge and Cherry, by Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen.

OOOOOOOOOO... Minnesota!!! It was delightful!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

running away!

hey all... sorry, there won't be any postings for a few days... i'm jumping a plane to minneapolis (OOOOOOO... MINNESOTA!)

but i am working on SOOOO much stuff, i will have tons to share in the weeks to come!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

cosine wave wax

i finished the wax for the cosine wave engagement ring, and off to the casters it will go! the final piece will be in 14K palladium white gold with an 8mm lab created sapphire. but there was a slight change... actually, more of an addition... since the sketch. 12 1mm cubic zirconia will be flush set on the band.

so... here's the wax!

we're half way there!!!
Locations of visitors to this page