Tuesday, December 28, 2010

GS: My LAST Engagement Ring of 2010

I know I haven't been updating much since Thanksgiving, but I got slammed with work. Much of it was Etsy jobs and limited edition pieces that you have seen, so not much to photograph. But I did make a few different things, including this sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

I was contacted in the last few days of November to make an engagement ring that needed to be in Switzerland by Christmas, so we had limited time to work. When I find myself in situation like this, the client and I need to be on the same page... they need to trust me. While all clients need to trust me, jobs like this I need to make the majority of the decisions. I give very few design options, pick the stones and overall, I need the ability to go with my gut and make the final decisions. And typically, when clients let go and allow me to have control, amazing pieces are made... and this is no exception!

Basically, the client named one piece from my website that he was drawn to and I came up with one sketch for him to decide yes or no...

And, obviously, he said yes. I think the translation from sketch into final piece was spot on...

The final piece is a platinum engagement ring with a hand carved crown setting holding a 1.77ct purple/blue sapphire. The band is a tapered knife edge with leaf shaped bead setting on the band and small leaves that connect the head and shank. Overall, I think we came up with something beautiful!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

GS: Newest Member of the Green Spot Team

Come meet the newest member of the Green Spot Studio team!

I recently purchased a mannequin bust/head to photograph jewelry on for my Etsy shop.

Even though she's new, she has a vintage feel with her slick & flip hair and her multicolored eye shadow. And I must say, even though she is made of fiber glass she is action packed with personality!

While I think she's a riot & rather campy, Sal hates her. Really REALLY despises her. Even Jupiter growls whenever she rears her smiley head (though I think Sal put him up to it.) So while she's now a vital part of Green Spot Studio, she will also come in handy for scaring the bejesus out of Sal (you should have heard his reaction when she was hanging out in the bathroom sink!)

Now, my only issue is what to name her! She's a redhead, is she a Viking? Nah, I'm guessing that red isn't natural. Hmmm... what oh what should her name be?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

GS: Small Business Saturday!

Hey! This holiday season why don't you support a small business? Come and join us for Small Business Saturday!

The Green Spot Studio Etsy Shop is having a one day sale! 15% off everything (INCLUDING the pink/champagne diamond earrings!) But this is only for Small Business Saturday, so act quickly!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgving!

Seeing we all have a crazy holiday week ahead of us, I thought I would wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble gobble!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

GS: Babies Everywhere, part 2

Okay... so maybe making baby spoons isn't the most glamorous part of my job, and maybe not my favorite type of project, but damn do they look fabulous when they are done!

This one, in particular, is exceptionally cool in my opinion. The designed was to include a giraffe, which is a great design element, but I ran into the issues of working an entire giraffe on the spoon. After playing around a bit I decided the best way was to fit the lower half on the back of the spoon and most the neck and head on the front. I know, it's a little abstract of a design, but I think it's pretty damn cute!

Friday, November 19, 2010

GS: Back from the Brink of Death...

I had a client bring me his great grandmother's ring in hopes to use it as an engagement ring. Unfortunately, it was on the brink of death.

A ring normally should be at least 1.5mm thick to be stable. This ring was under .5mm. A platinum ring could possibly survive in the 1mm+/- ballpark, but this ring was a really low carat gold (either 8 or 10K.) To get you to understand how thin this ring is, I actually cut the ring shank off with a normal pair of scissors.

Needles to say, the ring was not wearable. If the client attempted to wear it as is, snagging it and one good tug would destroy the ring. Oh... and there was 4 solder joints in the shank alone. So, my best plan was to use the most important part (the shoulders, head and bezel) and treat it as if I was inlaying it into a whole new ring...

The best way to fabricate the new ring was out of wax. This way I could sink the metal into the wax to start creating the layout...

And then from there, carve the wax ring around the head and shoulders...

Once the wax was complete, I popped the metal out and was left with the ring to be cast in 14K red gold...

The reason I chose 14K red gold was because the color of the head was odd. It wasn't quite yellow and it wasn't quite copper, so the red complimented the old metal without making it look brassy or tarnished. And it looks lovely with the ruby too

The finished product came out really well. It retains the sentimental value by including the most decorative part of the original ring but is now stable and will last one (or more) generations.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

GS: Trying Something New

So I thought I would try something new to promote my work, a holiday vendor fair (basically a craft fair, but with some higher end crafts.) Well, it didn't go quite as planned. No offense to this type of sale, but Green Spot work doesn't quite seem to be a good fit.

I made about 40 pieces, all incredibly affordable for the amount of labor I put into them, and also brought along some of my gold / diamonds pieces and my portfolio to show my normal work. Well, not only did I hardly sell anything (barely enough to cover my table costs) but nobody actually wanted to even talk to me.

What did they want? Well let's see... I'll share a few of situations I found myself in during the evening...

1. One woman saw my German porcelain 'LEMON' ring...

Now, a normal conversation may include things like 'Where did you find the buttons' or 'These are so campy.' But what did I get? 'I just bought an old house that has a porcelain tub, how do I clean it?'

2. I caught more than one person flipping over my tea cup that holds my business cards...

And then exclaiming 'Royal Sealy... I knew it looked cheep.'

3. A woman walked up to my table and mumbled something to her friend in Portuguese when she saw my silver bugs (which I had for a show price of $30.00)...

Funny enough, people don't expect us suburbanites to speaking another language, but my Italian (albeit rusty) helped me understand her say something along the lines of 'Come on. Keep moving. Too expensive, TOO expensive!'

4. As explaining they types of stones (cuts, shapes, precious and semi precious) in my shaker pendants...

I mistakenly used the words 'They are quite fun' when I should have said 'They are quite whimsical.' One woman replied 'I'm sure they are to you' as she walked away.

5. To make my table look nice, I set up a few of my bags and packaging along the side of the table to add a bit of decoration to the table...

More than one woman peeked in the bags and looked disappointed, even annoyed, when they realized they were empty. One woman actually asked (in a rather frustrated tone) 'Why are these empty?!?' I had a feeling she was looking for some kind of a freebie. I said 'When you buy something, then the bag will be full!' The woman didn't find it funny and walked off.

6. I did have a couple women run up and ask 'What kind of jeans are those?'

I looked at the button and replied 'LTB.' Then they said 'What the hell kind of jeans are those? Are they a real brand?' Ugh. So I informed that they are a Turkish brand. It didn't end there... they wanted me to show them my butt, asked where I got them, how much they were... blah blah blah. I wanted to say 'Did you notice I have jewelry for sale' but it just didn't really seem worth it at that point.

7. And finally, as I was packing up, I was wrapping up my jewelry and this woman came by for the 3rd time of the night (running away every time I attempted to say hello to her) and asked it this was for sale...

Ugh. That's my soy sauce dish for when we're eating sushi. No... no my soy sauce dish isn't for sale. I had $2 silver stacking rings in it that are for sale... but apparently my soy sauce dish was way more interesting.

BUT the night wasn't all a wash, one of my favorite women, Susan, came out to support. Susan... you made my night! Also, I got to set up next to two fabulous craftswomen, Sheila and Pauline. Their company was more than delightful. So, overall, it was an entertaining evening!

At least now I have stock for the holidays for my Etsy store!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

GS: Ooo! Shakey & Shiny!

So, I'm gearing up for a holiday sale tomorrow (Friday) in Milton. This is something out of the norm for me, seeing I normally do bridal Expos, but I thought it was worth a try. It may be a new way to get my name out there. And worst comes to worst, everything I made will go on my Etsy store for the holidays!

I thought one thing that is somewhat straight forward to make would be a whole army of shaker pendants. They are bright, colorful, whimsical & just simply different. And better yet, affordable!

Each one is made from sterling silver with approximately 5.5 cts of precious and semi precious stones. They can include rubies, sapphires, tourmalines, garnets, chrysoprase, iolite, topaz, aquamarine, citrine, spinel, and much much more. Even a few diamonds tossed in there!

Colorful and shiny... who wouldn't like that?

Monday, November 01, 2010

GS: A Little Something Different

We have all seen the really low-end eco friendly jewelry (bottle cap on wire earring) and the really high end (my usual work)... but I wanted to try to find the middle ground. And have a little fun along the way.

In the spring I came across these fabulous 'cabochons.' They are German made porcelain buttons that were on an old fashioned soda fountain, each button is labeled with the flavor. I wasn't too sure about what to do with them, because they are rather large, but I knew I had to have them!

So I decided that I would use one to make a ring. Seeing that I happen to adore lemon, I thought I would start with a GIANT lemon ring. It is sterling silver bezel surrounded by randomly flush set yellow sapphires.

It's huge, it's quirky and it's eco friendly! Crazy lemon cocktail ring! Woo!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I just wanted to take a few minutes away from the bench to wish everybody a Happy Halloween! While Sal and I didn't get the chance to dress up this year, we decided that it was only fitting to dress up Jupiter. He is such an amazing creature... he just sat there and humored us!

So... without delay... here's Jupiter as Conan O'Brien! He's English, from Boston, has long legs, freckles and is ALMOST as pasty.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

GS: Babies Everywhere!

There's nothing like a baby born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth... literally. Silver is naturally antibacterial... did you know that? That's why silver cups and spoons are a great choice for kids!

I was recently commissioned to make to make a baby spoon. I used to enjoy making baby spoons... now, honestly, they are a pain in my toosh. Silver isn't expensive, but the fabricating them is labor intensive. And because I need to charge for labor, which is more than the silver, people complain and cannot understand what is so special to warrant such a price tag. Well, it's a custom fabricated and completely personalized work of art... that you can use. And the point of this spoon is to USE it, not just have it sit in a drawer.

Anyway, here's a new one. I happened to not only know the person that ordered it, but also the couple that was receiving it. So, I knew exactly what to do on it... SPACE!

There is a cut out of a small rocket and flying to Saturn, surrounded by stars and hand engraved with the baby's name (Ari) with a star over the letter 'i'. How damn cute!

Unfortunately this isn't the best photo, but it still give you the idea!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

GS: A French Inspired Engagement Ring

When you have a really REALLY high quality diamond, all you want to do is set it in a way to showcase it... not take away from it. So normally, you would set it high in the least amount of metal possible. But when it's going to a highly active client, you want to make sure it is set as safely as possible.

Normally, when I think of safe, I think of bezel. But we didn't want to bezel set this diamond, we wanted to let in the most light possible. The client also wanted something a bit more classic looking. So I came up with a heavy prong idea, which was inspired by antique furniture.

When dealing with larger stones it's common to use a 'claw' prong (which looks like 2 claws holding the stone in place for each prong.) I wanted to used a feature I adore from classic furniture, the ball and claw foot.

I'm not sure if the ball and claw is technically French by design, but I have seen many French antiques that use that element. So I built triple claw prongs, each out of 3 wires soldered together. Now, I did have the center wire much larger (round/bulbous) than the side 2 wires of each claw prong when I fabricated the setting, but my classically trained stone setter thought differently and shaped them as he saw fit. While it wasn't my original design, sometimes you can't argue with experience. So, I will consider the finishing on this piece a collaboration... and it looks amazing!

The final ring is a 1.5ct VVS1 E round brilliant diamond with a platinum setting...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GS: A Contemporary Spin on an Antique Style

Sometimes I get to make a surprise engagement ring for a couple that I know personally. And when I get to do this, I can really help bring their personality and style into the design. And this is most definitely one of those rings.

The groom-to-be wanted something slightly classic and antique, but with a hip and contemporary spin. So, my first thought was a rose cut diamond. I ADORE rose cut diamonds! They are an antique cut from the middle ages which has had a resurgence in popularity and are being cut again. Rose cuts have a flat bottom, unlike today's brilliant cut diamonds, and have the total of 48 facets. The flat bottom keeps all the weight on the top of the stone, which makes the stone look larger.

So, this ring has a .60 ct VS/F rose cut diamond in a 14K yellow setting, with a 14K white gold bezel and lining inside the head.

So, there you have it! A bit antique, a bit contemporary, totally fab!
Locations of visitors to this page