Tuesday, April 29, 2008

item of the week

this week's item of the week is my flat egg necklace. i started making this necklace a few years ago because i wanted to create something that was not a circle. at the time, i was producing circles over and over and each had to be near perfect. this was beginning to feel limiting and i wanted to loosen up a little. i thought creating an organic, slightly abstract form would do the trick. so i took some paper and began cutting. i had maybe 30 pieces when i was done, mostly soft ovals and beach pebble-like shapes. i had three favorites including the one pictured above. it reminded me of an egg and bean collection and an excellent compliment to my collections was hatched!

this will be my last item of the week until i return form my trip to greece...please enjoy 20% off the flat egg necklace for the week, april 29-may 5. (originally $75, on sale for $60)

item of the week will start again on june 3!

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 25, 2008

guest star friday no. 12...katerina ioannidis

i am so excited to say i found another greek jeweler - katerina ioannidis. as i wrote last week, i am going to greece in may and i've been trying to learn about contemporary greek jewelry. katerina makes really beautiful, well-crafted pieces. she combines the materials and techniques of traditional goldsmithing with faceted stones, pearls, and fibers, like thread and ribbons. the resulting jewelry is refined with an interesting mix of rich color and texture. katerina is from thessaloniki, greece's second largest city. she is also a printmaker.

by the way, the music that accompanies her website is excellent.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

jewelry of the month

i don't think i have mentioned my new jewelry of the month plan yet. i've been thinking about it a lot, though...sometimes when my thoughts are dominated by something, i end up tricking myself into believing that i have taken it further than just thoughts. jewelry of the month is this: i have ideas for pieces that are unrelated to both my collections and my studio jewelry and would love a chance to make them. i thought jewelry of the month would be a great opportunity to make these pieces and to share them with others. starting in july i will post a very limited edition piece on my website that will only be available for the month or until it sells out, whichever comes first. i will introduce something new and different every month, i will only make a few (maybe 3-7), and i will try to keep the price under $120. just to give you a little taste, i am planning to use some new materials like wallpaper and you'll probably see a little sewing. look for the feature in my shop and i will announce it here at my blog each month.

if you are interested in jewelry of the month and would like advance notice, please send me an email ( i will add you to my mailing list.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


i just created new collections and sets on flickr in addition to the jewelry images already there. now you can view images that i have taken of all sorts of things that inspire me including textures, weather, structures, and plants. i also added images from studios i have had over the years. i will update it frequently so please check back for more...

if you have an account with flickr, please add me to your contacts. i would love to see what your taking pictures of, too.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

item of the week

i really enjoyed revisiting an older design last week with the ratio times one necklace so i decided to feature another older design this week, my wire line earrings. while i was in school i made lots of necklaces and rings, but very few earrings. i was more interested in these other forms of adornment and didn't even wear earrings that much, actually never. then one day while i was designing my original collection (now my signature line). i was sitting in my studio and the wire line earring just sort of came to me out of the blue. i thought threading a length of wire through the ear instead of attaching it to the lobe with a post or hook could be very interesting and even strange. i made a pair that were very long - they brushed my shoulders. i started wearing them to my day job and got lots of compliments and comments. i was on to something... making these earrings and the positive response i got caused me to think more about earrings and the ear as a place to adorn. since i still wasn't wearing earrings that often, it all seemed odd to me, but my mind was changing. i made the wire line earrings shorter and forged them just a little to add strength and pretty hammer marks. then i made them even shorter so i could have two sizes to offer my clients. these earrings were the gateway to more earring designs and shortly after i added different styles to my line.

now i love making and wearing earrings. i rarely leave home without a pair on.

please enjoy 10% off my wire line earrings for a week, april 22-28. (originally $46 for the medium length, $41.40 on sale and $40 for the small length, $36 on sale.)

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 18, 2008

guest star friday no. 11...maria militsi

i am going to greece in a few weeks for a true vacation. as the trip gets closer, my thoughts turn more and more to greek culture and history. the other day i realized i don't know much about contemporary greek studio jewelry and decided to do a little research. although i haven't found much, i did find the work of maria militsi who's work is so interesting to me that finding few results is ok. most of the work is in two parts, a found case and the work that fits perfectly inside. maria's work is a wonderful mix of the antique and the modern.

i also love maria's photography because we get to see the work in several different ways - at rest and enclosed in a case, suspended on its own, and engaged or worn by a model.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


i am very pleased to announce that my work was accepted at klimt02, a website dedicated to contemporary studio jewelry. i will have an online portfolio there with images of my work, my resume, and artist statement. this is a fantastic resource for incredible new work and an international forum in the field. plus, my work will be alongside amazing jewelers, many of whom i personally admire. i am thrilled!

i'll let you know when my work is on view.

thanks for reading.

visiting artist report

a week ago i was a visiting artist in the metals class at the penland school of crafts, located in the mountains of western north carolina. the class, taught by robert dancik, is about experimental techniques and alternative materials and how these can be applied to jewelry and other art forms. i demonstrated stone setting but not in a traditional sense. i showed the students how to make bezel and prong settings for unusually shaped objects, instead of cabochons or faceted stones. i also discussed different styles of rings and how the students might consider designing bands that are not round. later in the day i discussed some business aspects, like how to get a craft business started, and also shared some of my own personal experiences and struggles. it was a wonderful day!

thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

item of the week

i was just trying to pick an item from my shop for this week's item of the week when i decided to go with the one piece that started it all, the ratio times one necklace. this necklace is the very first collection piece i ever designed back in 2002 when i began my business. how did i come up with it? when i sat down at my bench to design my original collection (called "ratio" then) i was thinking i had to choose a shape that i could easily reproduce with the tools i had and so i choose the circle. i had all kinds of mandrels and hammers for that! and, i was drawn to this shape for reasons i can't quite explain even to myself. i thought a circle about the size of a quarter could work and had lots of wire on hand. i measured a length of wire, filed the ends, soldered them together, and gently hammered the piece into shape around a mandrel. i liked the hammer marks and the handmade look of the finished circle, but it needed something else. i had taken a class with metalsmith lori talcott the summer before and had learned a bunch of filigree techniques, including how to make these tiny balls of silver. i enjoyed making hundreds of them at a time and loved the subtle detail they added. i thought this element would be perfect for the circle so i soldered 5 on randomly around the edge. i was pleased with the result and expanded that one piece into a small collection of earrings and necklaces. over time this design has evolved into a solid collection for me, now part of my "signature line." i only solder one little ball on now, preferring the very minimal effect using only one has.

last week's item of the week also included a sale on the featured item which i have decided to incorporate regularly, just because... please enjoy 10% off the ratio times one necklace in either silver or 14k gold for a week, april 15-21. (originally $60 for silver, $54 on sale and $210 for 14k gold, $189 on sale.)

have a great week!

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 11, 2008

guest star friday no. 10...gemma draper

gemma draper is a studio jeweler from spain. her work is composed of abstract forms that are grouped and layered together. she uses a variety of materials like silver, pearls, horn, painted wood, and thread, and mixes their contrasting qualities to create complimentary associations. some pieces are carved into organic shapes while others are faceted with geometric planes. her colors and textures are soft and subtle. although her pieces are contemporary in design, i do see a quiet reference to victorian or antique jewelry. i am drawn to gemma's work because of its subtleness and its contrasts. i love the light and airy feel the pieces have, created mostly by manipulating materials that are dense in nature. her use of simple, abstract shapes and the combinations she chooses are truly wonderful.
you can see more of gemma's work here and here.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

new blog feature - item of the week

in an effort to think and write about my work a little more, i decided to start a new weekly blog feature, "item of the week." each week i will highlight something from my shop and write about how i make it, what inspired it, and so on. this is just another little exercise for myself to better understand what i do and to then pass it on to all of you. this week's "item of the week" is my new layered necklace style D in sterling silver. this necklace is composed of 7 wire circles in different sizes that i have hammered flat and soldered together into 2 separate pieces, one with 3 circles, the other with 4. i then connect these pieces one on top of the other with jump rings to create a layered pattern of lines and shapes. the design of this necklace, like all the pieces in the layered collection, is not only about the many lines, but the spaces in between them, too. i started making the layered series a few years ago in response to my interest in lace and to challenge myself to push my use of the circle.

p.s. i also just decided to put this necklace on sale for a week to mark my new item of the week blog feature. please enjoy 10% off the layered necklace style D at my website from april 8-april 15.

thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

visiting artist

next week i will be a visiting artist at the penland school of crafts, one of my favorite places ever. i will be teaching in the metals class as a guest of the instructor, robert dancik. i just met robert a few weeks ago when the spring concentration began. he makes great jewelry and sculpture using an incredibly imaginative mix of materials. i am so excited for this opportunity! i enjoy teaching, interacting with other artists, spending time at penland...i am feeling pretty honored.

in other penland news....last weekend i went to an iron pour demo. i've done some casting in sterling silver so i am familiar with the casting process, but this was very different, basically due to the (much!) larger scale and intense heat (2800 degrees). what fascinated me most was how thin and "liquidy" (for lack of a better word) the iron was. i thought it would be thicker, move slower, be more like lava, i guess. it poured like water. the iron class, led by instructor leeann mitchell and aided by several volunteers, poured mold after mold. it was an awesome team event. they were all dressed up in suede pants and jackets, big gloves, and plastic face masks. it was exciting to watch!this photo was taken by robin dryer. see more pictures taken by robin at the penland school here.

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 4, 2008

guest star friday no. 9...jimena rios

i just found jimena rios, a jeweler from buenos aires, argentina. i like her work because she mixes a variety of materials, metal, fabrics, enamel, with different techniques, metalwork and embroidery. many of her designs are asymmetrical and have lots of personality. her chains are unconventional, yet very wearable looking and her brooches have a sweet sense of humor.

jimena's blog

thanks for reading.

21st century jewelry opens!

21st century jewelry, an exhibition of contemporary jewelry by former students of mary lee hu, opens today at bainbridge arts and crafts on bainbridge island, wa. i have 9 pieces in the show, including the ring pictured above. all of my work in this show is part of my new series of line drawings. other artists include flora book, jana brevick, phil carrizzi, jan mandel, frederick miller, gina pankowski, maria phillips, vina rust, and lori talcott. the work of the show's curator, mary lee hu, will also be on display. the opening is tonight, friday, april 4 from 6-8 pm, followed by a curator’s gallery talk with mary lee hu on saturday, april 12 at 2 pm. the show runs from april 4-29.

thanks for reading.