Tuesday, April 23, 2013

JET Artisan Profile - Judy and Bill
of JemsbyJBandCompany

Bill and Judy!
When Bill and I first met, I discovered his love for hiking and the Adirondack Mountains.

Heart Locket with Garnet Red Crystal Dangle

We actually found some garnet in the creek one day. I figured if I was going to have to continue to like hiking in order to keep this relationship going, I may as well find something to look forward to.

I started thinking about ways to use the garnet in jewelry.

I always loved to buy pretty things and hoped others would like what I created. The rest is history.

Hammered Heart Necklace with wire wrapped Chalcedony

I am self taught. I have purchased magazines, books, online courses, etc. to try to come up with new ways of doing things.

I would love to find more time to actually learn soldering and metalwork. 

I love to discover unique and colorful semi precious stones to create with. I also use sterling silver in most of the pieces although I have also created a "costume jewelry" section in the shop for less expensive pieces.

Mookite and Carnelian Necklace

I started to make jewelry in 2004 and sold the first pieces at home with a few people from work, etc.

I then ventured to craft fairs and in 2006 a lovely vendor let me in on ETSY. This is when I opened the shop.

I basically purchase the beads I see and like and then lay them all out on the work area. I design as I go along.

Labradorite and Silver Dangle Earrings

All of my tools are useful!

However, I am partial to the large magnifier light that I hang around my neck so I can see the finer things as I create. It's not actually a tool per se, but it is a huge help.

I learned stamping on metal and made some personalized pieces as gifts. I also learned how to rivet and made some brass and copper bangle bracelets. I hope to be able to do more of that and learn to solder as well.

The workshop at JemsbyJBandCompany   
You can find out more about JemsbyJBandCompany at the sites above!

Thanks for visiting the JET blog to read about our member artisans. Please come back soon  to find out more about the JETs and our talented members ... we'll be publishing a new Artisan Profile soon!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Urban Pearl Studio

I was supposed to be a boy according to my dad and was going to be his hunting and fishing buddy, but instead, he got another girl. He loved the idea that I was always tagging along when he went to the basement to 'make sawdust' or went out to fix the sprinkler heads. I'm really blessed that he taught me so much about using my hands and understanding how things worked. Between inheriting my grandfather's engineer brain and my dad's hobby skills, I've never been afraid to get my hands dirty and just do it.

Multi Strand Pearl Necklace - Statement Keshi , Kyanite Box Clasp

The arts were a very important part of my childhood and thankfully my parents allowed me to follow that path. I started creating at such an early age and would make things from scrap, fiber, metal and wood.

I tackled building a chair, learned to sew (definitely not from my mother), taught myself how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs, and was making jeweled objects and ornaments all before I became a teen.

Coin Pearl Necklace - Statement Gray Coin Pearl Choker Necklace w Box Clasp

High School elective courses were all art based, graphics, printing (the old typesetting method) and wood shop.  Very unhappy when the core classes got in my way of the arts so I convinced the school system to allow me to create a curriculum to help accelerate students to graduate early and head to college. One of my funny life stories was explaining to my college professors that I had to take my final exams early so I could go graduate from high school.

So on to college and after a few very dull math and science classes I was finally allowed to enter my chosen path.

First on my checklist was the amazing jewelry lab where I chose to work in precious metals and gemstones.

Pastel Pink Chunky Bracelet with Chestnut Brown Animal Print Smoky Topaz

Starting from the raw basics of ancient jewelry methods to the most modern technology, I was very fortunate to have come away with information I would use for a lifetime.

I just hope someday to be able to design and afford a studio equipped with similar equipment.

Statement Multi Strand Pearl Necklace w Marta Howell Designer Blue Topaz Pendant

 After school, art was not an open field for a career at the time so as life does, it took me down another path.

The good news is, I am in such a wonderful place now that I am able to once again pursue my passion in the jewelry industry.

I've been selling on Etsy for four years and now have 3 Etsy shops and 1 Non Etsy E-Commerce websites.

 In the years of working with beads,findings,precious and semi precious stones, I have landed on pearls as my favorite material. Being the water baby that I am, my love of all things ocean, lake, river, pool and bath tub is what drew me to working with pearls. Pearls = weddings.
Asymetrical Baroque Peal Earrings

It never even dawned on me that I might be working with the likes of the TV created Bridezillas and luckily my experiences have been the exact opposite. I let them know right up front that my job is to take the stress of jewelry decisions and purchases away from them. Let me do the worrying and allow them to relax and enjoy the ride.

Multi Strand Sunny Yellow Pearl Necklace, Statement Quartz Box Clasp

It's been really fantastic getting to know some of these women and I thank them over and over for allowing me to be a part of their very special day. Hands down, I'm the lucky one!

Monday, April 8, 2013

JET Artisan Profile: Norah of YourDailyJewels

Norah in her Studio!
As a child I loved jewelry and was transfixed by drawers of sparkling jewel tones and rhinestones in my grandmother's costume jewelry boxes.

Luckily my parents indulged my "individuality" and did not blink when their eight year old piled on layers of granny jewelry, literally from head to toe, and marched off to school, drama class, dance class, piano lessons, painting and drawing, etc. That was a long time ago and I am still piling on layers of jewelry and have worn it through many years of school!

Amethyst Purple Quartz Gemstone Necklace

 I was inspired to become a jewelry maker when dating a man who perfected the art of the utilitarian gift: an “upstairs” dustbuster, new running shoes, a “surprise” oil change for my car, “happy birthday!”

I knew nothing shiny was headed my way. But when you get down to it, I love the way jewelry feels and makes me feel. Expensive or not, old or new, it never fails to make me feel special. I wanted to give that feeling to women. And finally, I have had a lifelong love/obsession with metal and stone and anything sparkling.

Spessartite Garnet and Carnelian Gemstone Pendant

I first made jewelry as a little girl. I started disassembling and reassembling things to my liking and size at about the age of six.

I learned how to make jewelry in a combination of self taught / school experiences. I started with the “willy-nilly” method years ago.

Then I attended You-tube University, and finally I took some actual classes - which I should have done in the first place! When I think that some people are wearing pieces from the ‘willy nilly” collection, I cringe.

Earrings with Lavender Swarovski Crystal and Purple Flowers

 My jewelry sales began online. I had fabulous beginner's luck, and it inspired me to keep things going! The first day I listed on Etsy I sold something.

I thought, “this is going to be a breeze!” Of course, it wasn't that easy. It was six months before my next sale. Then I joined the Jets and things started looking up and up and up.

I am so thankful I found the Etsy community three years ago, where I have met generous friends with amazing minds, hands, hearts, and humor. It is a true community, without which I would not be the jewelry designer and maker I am today. My team, the JETs, (Jewelry on Etsy Team) is like a family to me.

White Crystal Agate Druzy and Sterling Silver Ring

Ideas come to me in the middle of the night, all the time, almost every night. I grab my phone and whisper a voice note into it and in the morning it always sounds like the maniac from that scary movie “have you checked the children?”

I love tools. And I especially love sharpies. I know they may not seem like a tool but they are so handy for everything.

I love hammering. I get so excited when I know I am going hammer. It is therapeutic.

I went through a furniture-building phase a while back and Frank (my patient man) took all of my tools away from me. My hammers, nails and drill were just gone!

Apparently I made quite a few drill holes and hammer dents in our brand new wood floors and he suggested I stick with jewelry. Smaller tools, smaller mistakes. Furniture still calls me. I hope he doesn't read this because have a borderline hoarder-collection of antique casters hidden from Frank!

Rustic Pyrite Druzy Cocktail Ring in Sterling Silver

 I also have a shop on Etsy named RusticRockJewelry, featuring handmade rustic jewelry with druzy, geodes, and rough cut, hammered gemstones in their natural form.

In RusticRockJewelry, you'll find fantastic necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings made with brass, copper, oxidized (antiqued) metals, as well as reclaimed or recycled metals; vintage and re-purposed jewelry.

I love to deconstruct vintage or broken jewelry and reconstruct it into unique modern pieces using the older metals, findings, and stones.

Personalized Wax Seal Initial Necklace

 You'll find a great variety of personalized jewelry in YourDailyJewels - gifts for women and men featuring my handcrafted  Wax Seal Initials. Necklaces and keychains can be personalized with any initial in several different styles!

Visit my shop to see a LOT more!

 You can follow me on these social sites: Tumblr (lookbook): YourDailyJewels.Tumblr.com

Blogger: www.yourdailyjewels.blogspot.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourDailyJewels

Twitter: twitter.com/yourdailyjewels

Pinterest pinterest.com/yourdailyjewels/

Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/yourdailyjewels/

Coming Soon: Watch for my new website, www.TheModernHeirloom.com!

Yes ... I work here! This is my happy place ...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

JET Artisan Profile: Tracy of TraceDesigns

Tracy on the beach!
My story begins in a small town in Connecticut. As a child I loved exploring the outdoors. You could find me digging in the dirt, collecting rocks and "fossils" in my backyard. When we hit the beach, I'd stroll along trolling for beach glass, shells, and weathered rocks.

To my mother's dismay, I hoarded my discoveries in my room, on shelves, on the windowsills, in various vases swiped from cabinets... I was hooked!

As I got older I frequented rock shops, making some fabulous natural stone purchases, including an amazing rose quartz and raw amethyst that I still have today, and brought home stones found on hikes or on trips to other parts of the country.

Fast forward years later....

After college I moved to Boston, MA. On a whim a few friends and I took a simple earring making class at a local bead shop. That was all it took for me to rediscover my love for stones and to realize that creating beautiful things was what I was meant to do.

Silver and Copper Geometric Earrings,
Contemporary Mixed Metal, Modern

I’ve taken a few jewelry making classes here and there, beginning with the simple earring class as mentioned above and a few metalsmithing classes, but for the most part I’m a self-taught artist. I love the challenge of figuring out how to make my vision come to life.

I can’t recall for sure when I made my first piece of jewelry, but I was young. I can recall making simple beaded necklaces and macramé bracelets and key chains as a child.

I sold my first piece of jewelry to a friend who insisted I take her money. I was shocked that someone was willing to pay me for something I loved to do! Before that I was making jewelry mostly as gifts and for myself. It hadn’t occurred to me yet to take the plunge and open up a shop.

Turquoise Blue Hoop Earrings, Medium, Flirty Fun

Of course I do have favorite materials to create with ... I started out with natural stones and sterling silver wire and I always come back to those two elements. They are my “go-to” materials and can often bring me out of an artist’s block.

I’ve begun to branch out into copper, brass, aluminum, and stainless steel as well. They’ve helped to bring a modern edge to my traditionally classic looks.

Every artist has favorite things to create. I love making earrings. Hands down. I also make necklaces, bracelets and some rings, but earrings are my favorite!

Copper Cuff Bracelet, Hammered,
Boho Chic, Spring Fashion

My favorite tools ... I always say that my rotary tumbler was the best purchase I ever made.

The tumbler allows me to create the light, airy, delicate pieces I always imagined. Tumbling them makes these pieces hold their own. Even though they're light, they have great strength and durability!

I may also die without my Lindstrom’s pliers!

As you can see from the Copper Cuff Bracelet above, I've been using my hammer lately!

Turquoise and Copper Ring,
Boho Chic, Modern Cocktail Ring

I just taught myself how to make simple wire wrapped rings like the copper and turquoise nugget ring on the left! This is a project that's been on my bucket list for long while.

The rings I’ve been creating aren’t meant to be very serious pieces. They are meant to just be fun and flirty with a sense of humor.

Sometimes you just need that in a piece!

I really want to refine my metalsmithing skills and start to create more intricate, geometric pieces. I have a lot of designs floating around in my head and I’ll I need is to re-fire up the torch and brush up!

This table doubles as my bench!

In the kitchen/dining space I have a gateleg table with 6 deep drawers that stores the majority of my hand tools.

Most of the time this table acts as your typical dining table but when I need to work (or if we have dinner guests) it expands!

My work place is all around my house. Since I’m a city dweller I must make creative use of the limited space available in my condo.

I love my antique Card Catalog!

 I have an antique card catalog that houses (most) of my bead stash. Everything is organized by color and type.

You can find my jewelry here:

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Thanks for visiting and reading my JET Artisan Profile!

That's me on the right ... in my new hometown ...Boston!

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again for our next JET Artisan Profile ...

Coming Soon!