Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Reaching Higher

Have I ever actually told you that I'm most comfortable making rings, or did you just figure it out by looking through my shop which makes it look like I've pretty much only got fingers and no neck?
My inspiration always takes the form of rings for whatever reason. I get an idea, I see a picture and my head finds a way to wrap the idea into a circle and my hands obey without thinking.
I'm wanting to change that, to become an artist who doesn't just think in terms of the finger, but who sees a larger picture, who can use silver and stone to paint a portrait around your neck....or even your wrist. I feel lopsided always making rings, like the old V8 commercials where everyone is always leaning.
These pieces have so much meaning to me, not only because I feel like I'm growing in my craft, but because I feel like I'm taking my inspiration and working it out in a larger more meaningful way.
This one is called The Thing with Feathers. Inspired by the Emily Dickinson poem and my attempt to capture the wings of hope in silver.  It features Carico Lake Turquoise on braided leather. I must say, the stories to these pieces are long and meaningful, and I won't rewrite them here, I've poured it out, each of them in the listing on my website, but it's been so long since I've stopped by and I come by here to talk about growth.

 This piece is reversible. That was important to me, I want my work to have layers of meaning, but also depth of material. This one was inspired by home, the forest around me, the ground beneath me. The malachite juxtaposed against the Montana agate, the depth of color.
This little piece sports the most amazing piece of Ocean Jasper I've ever nabbed.
The color on this one is deep and those little green spots have just a bit of druzy sparkle.
It was inspired by my Bring Down the Moon series.

I am however, most proud of these. The first set of bangles I've ever created. Inspired by the Resurrection Fern that grows around these parts on the live oaks. It's such a beautiful story of a plant that refuses to give in, coming back again and again despite the odds.
These tested my patience and my skills, demanding a whole new set up at my soldering station and patience the likes of which I've never had to tap into before.

These have the most beautiful clink and clank and was well worth the literal hours of frustration and work and re-work.

These are all currently available in my shop,, and I invite you to stop and read the story that goes with each. My heart goes into my work and I hope it comes back out when you see it. Fall is coming, and I'm looking forward to feeling it and living it and enjoying every minute with my family and seeing what kind of inspiration it brings.
I hope you're reading this and enjoying the place you're in as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the years, I couldn't build this without you.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Rock and a Hard Place

These little rings were inspired by difficulty, by the frustrating push and pull of life.
We call it stuck between a rock and a hard place. It's a place we don't want to be and that often times feels impossible to get out of.
This was the heart behind this design.
The rock, a tiny bit of turquoise and the hard place a ball of silver.
Taking something ugly and making it precious.

My current batch has sold out, but I'm offering a whole new batch Made to Order in your size and choice of stone. They range from $35 - $45 depending on the stone you choose. I'm offering these on Instagram as well (follow me @labellajoya), but if you don't have IG, please visit my website and contact me through the contact page to reserve (scroll to the bottom of the website). I'll create the listings as the reserves come in.

Have a wonderful week, bellas, and remember, "...deep roots are not reached by the frost."

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We are Star Stuff

We are star stuff.
Somewhere along the way, we've forgotten that. We traded star dust for chalk dust and sought to capture the eyes of man with a well-filtered selfie while forgetting the majesty we were born with.
We stare, night after night, in awe of the Moon, her ability to push and pull the oceans, to reflect and shed light where there is none, and even her ability to wax and wane, changing her shape to reflect the seasons and mark the passing of time.
She is unique. Callisto, Enceladus, Phobos...Saturn alone has 62 satellites but there is only one we call the Moon. She is a macrocosm of the microcosm we live everyday. We feel lost in a sea of seven billion moons, all circling different planets, but to someone or maybe a few someones, we are as majestic as that Moon and all her star stuff.
For someone, we move the tides of their life, pushing the waters down when they threaten to drown, giving light where there is none and if you look closely you'll see eyes gazing upward with the same sense of awe demanded of the Moon.
It doesn't have to be a child. I catch a glimpse of that gaze every now and then in my husband, my niece, even my mom when I've lifted a burden off her shoulders.
Remember who you were created to be and for whom your light was made to shine.  
Bring down the Moon.
She's got nothing on you.

Bring down the Moon Rings in Turquoise, available in my shop:
Along with two new stacking ring designs.
Bring Down the Moon stackers.

Star Stuff Stackers.
Three granules of sterling silver, a cluster of stars.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

La Paz

I'm calling this series of pieces based on heraldry, the La Paz collection.
In Spanish, the word means Peace.
While that may seem like a juxtaposition when you see the medieval shape and armored form, each shape and cut out has its own meaning, which I've put together for my own Coat of Arms.
These were my original thoughts when I began assembling this collection:
I have, for the past two years allowed my occasionally overwhelming feelings of anxiety far too much power, occasionally warranted, but most often not at all.
The stag in this form traditionally represented peaceful strength, the strength of a warrior, capable of fight but unwilling to waste strength or energy until provoked.
The crescent moon, two of them above the stag and two on the sides, which represent serenity and power to conquer the everyday.

Along the side, a sword. Often seemed as a symbol of war, it actually stood for justice, which is one of the pillars of peace.

The entire cuff, cut from copper, each piece hand cut as well and carefully assembled with sterling silver rivets, the final piece has been given an earthy patina.

The making of this piece, meant as much as the wearing. The heart that went into it, and the slow work of my hands...those are the things I've tried to capture in every detail.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Wanderer

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king."
I think too often we catch snippets of Tolkien's words, but rarely them in their entirety. This poem, quoted again and again was about the King, who had committed his life to the protection of good and also to follow wherever that road took him.
I wanted to capture that here. The idea is stones floating seemingly disconnected, but in reality, joined by one solid, flowing band of silver. One path with many stops along the way.

I've listed, on my website, three custom rings with these choice of stones. I have it set up so that you purchase the deposit now, with the remaining balance due as the rings are completed.
These are the stone options and each ring will be made in whatever size you'd like:
 Two Labradorite flanking one rutilated quartz.
Two Black Onyx and one Rutilated Quartz

Two Pyrite (Fool's Gold) and one Rutilated Quartz
As I read the poem over and over, the images seemed dark and I wanted the stones to reflect that, but I also chose faceted stones to reflect the light.
These listings are on my website:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Special Offer!

For today only, with every Bird on a Wire or Winged Thing sterling stacking ring that you purchase, I'll add a complimentary Slim Sterling Stacker free of charge!
These make great gifts and my customers have told me that they really love them as an everyday ring.

The offer is only good until midnight and only if you purchase through my website!
Here's the link:
Thank you for supporting my work!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

There and Back Again

It has been so long since I've haunted this little space.
I haven't forgotten to write, it's just that lately, my words have been so tied to my work that I find the two inseparable and the stories are found with the listings to each piece, or on my Instagram.
But, as my blog feels more like a diary, it feels right somehow to leave the work of the past couple of weeks here on this page.
It is full of photos, but also of words. I hope they both inspire.
La Paz Series
I have, for the past two years allowed my occasionally overwhelming feelings of anxiety far too much power. Occasionally warranted, but most often not at all, I built this beauty as a shield of peace.
It is my first attempt at a saddle ring and heavily influenced by heraldic imagery that has inspired me so much this year.
The stag in this form traditionally represented peaceful strength, the strength of a warrior, capable of fight but unwilling to waste strength or energy until provoked.
The crescent moon, two of them, which represent serenity and power to conquer the everyday.
The aquamarine, chosen mostly for color, blue gray, a cool color associated with calmness and peace and also my daughters birthstone.

Soldered on the curve to a saddle cut intentionally to resemble a shield. Every aspect of this ring a personal message sturdy enough to pass to the next generation.
The pendant carries the same message, a slightly less dramatic but nonetheless powerful version of the ring.

Ascend and Descend Series
We call them the Ups and Downs, the Mountains and Valleys and we vow to stay side by side as we walk through them. These are the metaphors, the images we conjure up to describe the hard times and the good times, the ascent and descent on life's road.
We've all been in the valleys, the air is thick and heavy, the ground wet and the heat relentless. And then there is the mountain, cold, clean air and a view that goes on for miles, placing the valleys in perspective.
This pendant is reversible, worn either to ascend or descend.

The sun rises in this ring, or falls depending on how you slide it on your finger, or even whether your hand is upstretched to the sky, or weighted toward the ground.
The bulk of the ring has been given a dark patina and polished, but the sun is bright whether it ascends or descends.

Tears of the Earth Ring

I have seen landscapes in stones before, cut slabs of rock whose layers mimic the rise and fall of desert dunes, or whose color reminds you of a sunset, but this was new to me.
Look closely and it is as if the Earth cried tears full of mountains into this piece of Ocean Jasper. The perfection of an orbicular inclusion appears to ride high like the sun just above the jagged edge of a mountainside. It is truly a tear of the earth.
I've tried to capture its opposite on the back, a tiny cut out of a moon rising over the mountains, and a smoky quartz on the band.
I've placed the band slightly higher and ring sits low, flirting with your knuckle as you wear it.

Finally, these:
The Thing with Feathers  Pendants
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me."
-Emily Dickinson
The tiniest of pendants to remind you every time you touch it, that Hope is free, it is constant, and also, the most human of all the emotions.
These are all in my shop: