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:
 
 
 
 

 



Thursday, May 14, 2015

To the new. To the lovely.

 
A Rise Above Ring.
 
 
A teardrop of turquoise, a band of feathers. A reminder to flap hard your wings and rise above what holds you down, even if it means you have to ruffle some feathers.

 
Two Prosperidad Moonstone Rings.
 
The roots of prosperity stem from the harvest. We have, traditionally, looked to an abundant harvest to signify the year's prosperity. We devised celebrations to mark the harvest, filling Horns of Plenty to the brim and overflowing with the fruits and vegetables of our labor. In Latin America the new year rings with twelve grapes, consumed before midnight to ensure prosperity for the year ahead.

 
I created this design with prosperity in mind, the little sterling silver granules on the left and right hearken to handfuls of grapes and the moonstone in the center a nod to our moon which controls tides and marks the seasons.

 
These rings are about abundance. Not every moment in our lives will be abundant, not every moment overflowing like a horn of plenty, but if that time is here, celebrate it, and if it's not, wait for it.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." - Ecclesiates 3

 
In the shop.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

La Bella Joya

It was an opportunity that didn't come along everyday. The chance to see and touch gems cut by the hand of an award-winning artist; amethysts and garnets, tsavorites and tourmalines, aquamarines...the list goes on. I knew I was out of my league before I even left.

I dressed to the nines. Hoping that my nicest shoes and make-up would somehow make my bank account bigger than it really was, and all the while wanting above all things to not look like I didn't belong. My husband saw it too, I'm guessing it was the shoes. He didn't join me that night, opting instead to watch the little one, and on my way out, he said something to me that I'll never forget.

"Please remember no matter what you see tonight, that you are the most valuable thing in that room."

It was hard to believe as a little parcel of gems came my way with a cool $23K listed on the price tag, but as the night wore on and brightly colored earth candies one after the other slipped in and out of my palms, I realized he was right.

Everyday I create under the title of La Bella Joya, the Beautiful Jewel, head full of rubies and emeralds, sapphires and pearls, and even turquoise and agate. But that night my husband reminded me who the real Beautiful Jewel was, it's me. It's him. It's our daughter. It's my niece and nephews, my sisters, the list goes on. The beautiful jewel, la bella joya, is the irreplaceable. It's you.

There will always be more amethyst, there will always be another ruby, but there will never ever be another me, and there will never ever be another you. This....this little offering is for you.

 
You are valuable.
You are beautiful.
You are...bella.
 
 
In the shop.
 
 


Friday, April 24, 2015

LAST DAY!

It's super busy around here so I'm gonna post and run but I just wanted to let you know that TODAY,
April 24, 2015 is the LAST DAY to order Mama Bird Stackers and have them arrive by Mother's Day! It's too late for the Bird on a Wire Necklaces as I simply can't get them made and shipped by Mother's Day.
 

Also, my new Rise Above Solid Band Rings are in the shop!
 

I really like the idea of these as graduation gifts.
They are made to order in any of the sizes I have available.
 

Please visit my website for more information and to read the story behind these newest rings:
 
Sorry for the post and run but I'm on dinner duty!!
Have a great one y'all!
 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Cleaning



Spring has sprung around here and we are truly enjoying the longer days, warmer weather and plenty of time spent with face to the sun.
 
And just as the freshness of Spring brings on the marathon house cleaning sessions, I'm finding my mind doing a little house cleaning as well.
 
It's far too often that my mind hurls me into this whirlwind of self-doubt and questioning of my abilities when the work of my hands isn't as productive as the work of someone else's.
 
"What's she got that I don't?"
"Why are her designs so much more popular than mine?"
It's a beyond vicious cycle that really puts you into a free-fall spin.
 
The result is this "design-to-sell" mentality that doesn't have place in the mind of someone whose goal is to be an artist. If my goal is to make money, it doesn't take a genius to do a little market research (i.e. scan the Etsy Jewelry page) and figure out what the trends are.
But is that really me?
 
Do I want to simply pour resources and time into creating a mini production house or do I want to reach for something way higher?
Am I content with my skill set or do I want to add to my cache of knowledge, challenging my hands and heart to stretch their capabilities to leave behind me a body of work that my children will one day consider hidden treasures and not antiquated trends?
 
It's sad to me that I would even begin to equate my level of talent with the money that it generates (or doesn't).
Ridiculous.
Also ridiculous that in my work I'm essentially exchanging a precious metal which has shown to hold its value over time for a fiat currency that hasn't.
 
This is the kind of Spring Cleaning I'm talking about, a sweeping out of the junk that clutters the creative mind and allowing that space to be filled with the beauty of what I'm seeing day to day.
A baby growing into a girl, a bush that was just branches suddenly alive with color, a nest full of eggs destined to be a flock of birdies, and even the growth of my fully grown sisters into kind and confident women.
 
I'm also learning about my craft, immersing my self in stone and silver, studying gems and their birthplaces, but also the traditions of silversmiths going back generations whose work allows our work to be possible. Trying to suck every ounce of productivity out of the precious moments when I'm not needed by anyone else but my bench.
 
These latest designs are mine. They feel like me, and they come from a place that is really very real to me. They are made to order in my shop, which may collide with my desire to not do production work, but is it production if each whack of the hammer and stroke of the saw produce the real work of my hands and heart?
No.
To me, that feels like sharing. Each bangle, each charm, each band is my way to share with others the work of my hands and heart, the design dictated not by the fleeting trend of a celebrity or the say-so of a fashion mag.
 
The closest I've come is my stacking rings, though I feel like Mama Bird is the center of my stacks and the other bands and stones were made to complement her.  
 
Here is the work of my hands this week:
Each of these items is in the shop as a Made to Order item.
 
The first are my Feather Bearer Bangles. I currently have copper in the shop, but am working on a silver version. Each feather is hand stamped, the bangle is cut from the surrounding sheet (by my own two hands and gigantic saw) and the final version given this lovely dark patina so the feathers just jump off the bangle.
 
 
These little Solito Rings were made to complement my Mama Bird, but I've had some requests for them on their own, so they are also in the shop, and I'm currently offering them in the same stones as my birthstone rings.
 

 
Finally, my Pluma Rings.
Sterling Silver Feathers jingle and jangle with a turquoise drop from a 5mm band.
 
 


 
The best part about prototyping is that I get to keep the finished product and this little guy hasn't left my thumb since I made him and my most loyal customer (my sis) has already ordered one.
 
Thank you for stopping by to read this and I hope you're having a lovely Spring!