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!




Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Full Mother's Day Collection

Once I find an idea, I have to run with it, see where it takes me and how it leads.
Often, it takes me where it wants to go, and I'm really just along for the ride.
I felt this way with this collection.
 
It started with the stacking rings, and I'm enjoying wearing my own set that I created and have been so honored and humbled by the response I've gotten for them.
 

 
But this is the crown of the collection if you will.
This Birds on a Branch Pendant.
 
I created this pendant to represent, not the babies, but the mamas, at each point in their lives carrying their babies. Each bird, a different form, a different shape and at a different point along the branch.

 
This particular one was created for a Mama with four babies, but I've already had orders for fewer babies and am willing to customize your pendant the way you need it even down to one little birdie.

 
These feel extra special to me, I don't know why and I can't explain it, my sister and I have remarked how sometimes birthstones can clash when you bundle them together, but this gives each stone life to me. The birdies aren't meant to be the same, just like the babies aren't the same (that was indeed the reasoning behind my decision to offer a mix of faceted and smooth stones).
 
However, together like this, they just feel like they belong.

 
If you would like more information about these necklaces or the rings, please visit my website.
Also, please remember the deadline of April 15th! I don't want anyone to miss out, but this is a one-woman show here and I also can't stretch myself too thin!
 
I hope you have a wonderful Spring and are enjoying the (slightly) warmer air!
Thank you also to those of you who have commented on these pieces, the encouragement goes straight to my heart and is indeed a great push to become better.
Thank you.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

For the Mothers

I had the opportunity this week to spend some time really touching and admiring super high end jewelry. I was in awe of the skill and craftsmanship, but driving home I looked at my freshly polished Mama bird stacker and new instantly that this was the kind of jewelry I want to make. The kind that is accessible to the average woman.
 
I want the Mamas who wear these rings to be reminded every time they look at them of that first glimpse they had of their little one, of the night feedings, and afternoons at the park, the baseball games and late night test crams. I want to make jewelry that touches the soul and today it's the Mama soul.
 
 
 
 
 
Each Mama bird is hand cut by me from sturdy sterling silver and each stone is set by hand. I form and fabricate every band and finish it off with a lightly hammered texture and dark patina.

The stones are shown in the final photo and when choosing stones for these sets of rings, my initial thought was to choose just the shiny faceted stones, but children aren't all the same, are they? So, the stones will reflect that, some faceted with a few extra cuts and some smooth with a softness of color to celebrate the differences that are these little ones we love so much.
 
 
 
These are in my shop now and are limited edition, I will only keep the listings open until April 15th and then they will be closed. They are in both my webstore and Etsy. Thank you to those who have already contacted me and I'm honored to be a part of the way you've chosen to honor the Mothers in your life. If you know you won't be able to make complete payment by then, please contact me, I would love to work with you!
 
I also created this double Feather Bearer ring with this amazing Spring Green Gaspeite and Plume Agate Doublet. This ring is hefty and gorgeous and I also think perfect for Mother's Day. If you missed my story of the feather bearer, please jump back a couple of posts. It has inspired this small series of rings.