Tuesday, May 28, 2013

JET Artisan Profile:
Jennifer Smith-Righter of WearableByDesign

Hello! I'm Jennifer and my Etsy shop is named WearableByDesign. Most of my jewelry is made with fine silver, gold or sterling silver, and many of the pieces feature top quality gemstones. I also enjoy working in metal clay.

I took a jewelry class as an elective while going through a program in Art and Architecture.

When I got out of school I decided I preferred to work on a much smaller scale and I loved working in metals. I also needed to be able to have a skill that is portable as I move around a lot.

I took my first jewelry making class in college. Later, I took the Jewelry Technical Intensive at the Revere Academy. I've since taken a few Master's Symposium classes at the Academy. 

Working for myself making jewelry seemed like just the right thing for me. And I've loved it!

I opened my shop - WearableByDesign on Etsy in May of 2008. I sold my first piece of jewelry in my Etsy shop (pictured at right), and Etsy has become a very important part of my business.

Since that first sale, I've sold many pieces in WearableByDesign. My jewelry is traditional in many ways, though I do have some pieces that could be considered "unusual". They are ALL unique designs that will not be found in chain jewelry stores or in department stores.

If you wear one of my pieces, chances are you'll never see anyone else wearing the same thing!

 I was a creative sort of person at a very young age. Like most kids, I made a pair of earrings out of copper wire and beads in elementary school.

They were pretty crude!

But I loved them and never forgot how making my own jewelry gave me a satisfied feeling.

Of course I became much better with practice and education

I make pendants, necklaces, and earrings - but my favorite things to make are rings.

Rings are more personal than other types of jewelry. People bond with rings. My rings are very classic in appearance, but the designs are mine. Some are bands, like the Handmade Silver Squares Ring pictured on the right. I make this style to order in a limited range of sizes.

One of the bands I make in a full range of sizes is my pretty Silver Olive Leaf and Berries Ring.

I also enjoy making rings with gemstones. Some of my rings feature faceted gems in prong settings; others are bezel set, and can be made with faceted gems or cabochon cut gems like the ring below ...

My Silver Tourmaline Ring with Dark Red Plum Cabochon is made with a hand formed open back bezel setting.

The band is an embossed sterling silver shank that measures just over 2 mm wide and architecturally supports a gallery wire compartment, above which is the platform holding this spectacular 12mmX10mm tourmaline. This is a unique, one of a kind ring!

  Only one is available. Some things just can't be made in multiples.

Like most artisans, I'm inspired to create by my surroundings. With me, its mostly from seeing a new
scene. I can get in a rut so I often go to museums and travel as often as possible.

Also, other people's work can inspire me so a trip to a museum I've never been to is exciting!

 An example of this type of inspiration is my Silver Alhambra Pendant, pictured at right.

From the item description:

"Irrigation may not be particularly interesting or beautiful, but the Alhambra Palace sure is, and so is this pendant, inspired by the palaces architectural forms. Made from sterling silver, the design is a geometrical arabesque – a rhythmic linear pattern of interlacing tendrils of foliage common in Islamic art."

Just like other jewelry artisans I have my favorite tools ... and for me that would be my rotary hand piece and my engravers ball. These tools are used very often at my bench!

I am always expanding my skills and looking for new ways to make my jewelry unique.

The latest techniques I am learning and bringing into my new designs are micro chasing, piercing and repousse. I took a class from Tom Herman of Seven Fingers. His work is just AMAZING!

Next I want to learn more about mechanisms. Anything that is mechanical intrigues me. I've made several pieces that touch on this, and I want to explore this genre.

There are many things you would never expect to see in or as jewelry that are fabulous miniaturized, polished and made into wearable jewelry art. Pictured on the right is my award winning
Chain Reaction Industrial Gears Necklace, and in my shop there are other examples.

My Silver Industrial Chain Necklace is based on a classic suspension bridge design and my cool Silver and Brass Transformer Riveted Kinetic Necklace is a unique movable necklace that can be transformed for a different look!


I recently opened a second shop with my Daughter Shannon named SimplyWearable. This shop features smaller, lighter, feminine styles in sterling silver and Argentium silver (tarnish resistant) at a very affordable, lower price point - with the same quality level of design!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

JET Artisan Profile:
Vintage Inspired Jewelry by Michele of Malves1009

Hi! I'm Michele Alves, and my shop on Etsy is malves1009. I opened the shop in April 2007, and since that time my jewelry has grown into a line that is a combination of traditional vintage styles and my own designs.

You'll see a lot of antiqued brass, crystal, and copper jewelry in my shop. Recently I've been using crocheted techniques in my jewelry designs, as you can see in my new crocheted chokers collection.

My jewelry line includes earrings, a nice selection of bracelets, and of course necklaces - but also many other items like rings, hair accessories and more!

My mom was my inspiration. We were always doing something crafty. If it wasn't sewing, or floral arrangements we always found something to do that was creative.

She always wanted a shop of her own, so she asked to me research it, and that's how I found Etsy.

I started out as someone who surfed the forums and figured I would give it a try. I sold my first bracelet within a few weeks! It was an exciting and nervous moment for me, being new to this.

I'm self taught. My first challenge was taking apart a crystal necklace my grandmother gave to my mom.

It was a double strand necklace which she said was too heavy to wear. Mom said to make two necklaces out of it if I can, one for her and one for me.

I ended up making two necklaces and a bracelet out it, and she was so thrilled.

Something about the that sparkle of those crystals had me hooked from that moment on. When my mom became ill I used to sit by her bed and put up a tray table and we would create jewelry together.

Aqua Blue Crystal Earrings
Now, creating jewelry is one of my favorite things to do. I like to use a lot of crystal and brass in my designs; it keeps things affordable for my customers.

I believe you don't have to spend a fortune to own beautiful jewelry!
Vintage Inspired - Lady Cameo

As time passed I realized that jewelry making wasn't just beads and string, it was much more. 

I'm a person who gets bored easily so I like learning and trying different techniques in jewelry making.

I love vintage inspired style, so cameos, filigree, floral components and antique finished ear wires, links and chains are some of my favorite things to create with.
Emerald Green Earrings

Turquoise Kumihimo Braid Beaded Bracelet
Beaded and fiber Kumihimo braids are my obsession right now!

They can be done in many different colors, fibers and cords to make all different designs.

Beaded Kumihimo braids are so precise and perfect looking. The bracelet on the right is a great example of what can be made with this fantastic beading method. 

Multi Colored Jade Leather Wrap  Bracelet
I also love the wrap bracelets that are so popular now. These are not as easy to make as they look but the result is amazing!

The one pictured on the left is made with multi colored jade. But they can be made with any beads and vintage button clasps.

They can be made in any size and in so many colors!

Crocheted Earrings with Pearl Dangle
 I almost forgot to mention my passion for crocheting!

This has opened up a whole new line for me. I recently discovered that I can use crochet to make so many new jewelry designs, and they fit in perfectly with the vintage theme of my shop. The earrings above are light and so pretty. I can make them in so many colors to match any outfit!

I have been crocheting since I was very young. My great aunt taught me the basic techniques.

From there I read books and magazines to learn more.

I have made several blankets, sweaters, baby gifts, accessories and even pet items.

I find it a very relaxing and enjoyable activity to do.

When you look at a finished blanket, crochet looks like it is a very complicated and time consuming thing to do.

Actually, its the kind of activity you can do when watching TV. You get into a rhythm and don't even think about it after a while.

Once you know a stitch, it can move along very fast. There are lots of patterns online and always new things to make. I love it!

This is one of my new crocheted choker necklaces. I've made many of these by request. This type of necklace is very popular for weddings, and can be made in any size to fit children and adults.

My favorite tools? There are so many! But I would have to say my pliers are always at hand.

One technique I would like to learn is casting. Casting always has my interest; it would make creating my own designs a lot easier. I would like to learn it one day.

 I love it when my  my daughters give their input on some of my designs. It lets me know that their grandmother's inspiration - and mine - is part of them and I hope this will continue.

You can find me here

My jewelry is sold at Hold Fast, a very cool clothing and music shop in Asbury Park:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mollie Ann and Joe Meserve
of Rough Magic Creations

Hello! I'm Mollie Ann Meserve. My husband Joe and I make the handcrafted copper creations you'll see in our RoughMagicCreations and RoughMagicHolidays shops on Etsy.

For a long time my husband Joe, who works beside me in the workshop, had been suggesting that we try our hands at jewelry making - probably because, while I had a box full of commercial pieces, none of them really looked like "me."

 Then, several years ago, while Joe was recovering from hip replacement surgery, I lived for three weeks in a hotel room in Portland, Maine. When our daughter came to visit from Kansas, she found me bored to distraction and wallowing in self pity. Good girl that she is, she treated me to instant therapy - shopping!

In our adventures we found ourselves in a gorgeous bead shop in Freeport. We were there for hours and went back the next day too. I bought a few gemstones, a bit of beading wire, a handful of crimp tubes, a clasp or two … and never looked back.

Mahogany Obsidian, Poppy Jasper and Copper Necklace
I made my first piece of jewelry about an hour after that first trip to the bead shop. At least that's when I started a necklace. It took me the better part of a weekend to finish it because I kept making mistakes, messing it up, taking it apart and beginning again.

I learned jewelry making by trial and error, and error, and error. Yes, that means I'm pretty much self taught. I've also learned a lot from books, internet tutorials and other designers I've met online, first in a jewelry making forum and now through the knowledge, generosity and support of my fellow Jets. But mainly, as in other areas of life, I've learned from my mistakes.

Men's Rustic Bracelet
And I have the scars, and many jars of scrap copper, to prove it.

When I first started working with wire, I bought a roll of hardware store copper for practice before tackling the more costly sterling silver. Ruined the entire roll. Bought more rolls. Ruined them too. Bought more, and more, and more, until I learned to master that wily stuff.

In the process the strangest thing happened ... I fell in love - with copper. Yes, I enjoy working with sterling too, and gemstones, and other beads, but nothing feels quite so at home in my hands as that simple, humble, warm and forgiving hardware store metal.

Copper Scallop Shell Dish
Nowadays, we also buy copper by the sheet, for our decorative dishes, cuffs, pendants, bookmarks and Christmas ornaments.

Whether working on a cuff, pendant, dish or tree ornament, I'm always happy when there's a piece of sheet copper on the topsy turvy antique flat iron I call an anvil and my trusty ball peen hammer is in my hand.

My very first sale was on Etsy - to a friend I had met through the jewelry making forum.

She was "priming the pump" so to speak, and I'll be forever grateful for that act of kindness. And I like to think she really did want those earrings!

Copper Starfish Necklace
Living for 24 years on the coast of Maine has had an enormous influence on my imagination and expanded my horizons beyond my wildest dreams. I love the rustic beauty of the woods, the many colors and moods of the ocean, the sparkle of sunlight on snow, the frost feathers on our window panes.

I believe this place has worked its way deep into my subconscious mind, and I'll often jump up first thing in the morning, grab a pencil and paper and doodle out a couple of newly hatched design ideas. And sometimes they make sense.

Although my favorite tool is the above mentioned hammer, I could probably get by without it. What tool could I not part with?

Well, I was going to choose one of those multi tasking gadgets that can do anything and
Copper Cuff Bangle Bracelet
everything. But then I thought, no, the one I really must have serves a single purpose, doing what nothing else can do: my nylon nose pliers for straightening wire. I have four and would be lost without them.

I recently learned how to make my own 12 gauge head pins, which look more like matches than jewelry findings. New things I want to do are enameling copper and riveting.

These are both high on my list, but the skill I really need to learn is soldering. Not very glamorous but becoming increasingly necessary as Joe and I look forward to expanding our line.

A bit more about us ... Joe and I both enjoy cooking (he bakes all our bread) and gardening, especially growing our own vegetables. And we seem constantly to be renovating our house - room by room, ever a work in progress.

And ... We share our home with a sweet little black kitty named "Dinah the Velvet Petunia" and a 75-gallon tank of tropical fish, all named "Watson."

We have three Etsy shops ...


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And our Pinterest Boards:


Monday, May 20, 2013

JET Artisan Profile:
Lisa Alcala of EmeraldPixie

Hello! I'm Lisa Alcala, and my Etsy shop is EmeraldPixie. I make handcrafted sterling silver, 14K gold and gemstone jewelry.

I became inspired to make jewelry in high school. I could never find jewelry that suited my style, so I would get pieces from thrift stores, take them apart and create new jewelry designs with the components.

The very first piece I created all on my own was out of beads when I was in college. There was a local bead store that allowed people to create
Rhodolite Garnet and Silver Stud Earrings
their own pieces. Tried it once and I was hooked on jewelry making.

I learned how to bead on my own. When I moved on to metalsmithing I read books first, then while watching a jewelry making TV show on DIY, I watched master metalsmith Carl Stanley create a stunning cuff bracelet.

I looked him up on the internet and discovered that he teaches workshops at Farrin O'Connor Design Studios in Pasadena, Ca. I have learned metalsmithing from wonderful teachers like Carl Stanley, Margo Farrin, and Sue Matz.

My favorite materials to work with are sterling silver, gold and gemstones. Gemstones influence my creative process. Many of my designs are minimalist styles, because I want to show off the stone - not the piece that holds it.

I work my creations around whatever gemstone I am working with, like the Geometric Cut Blue Topaz in Sterling Silver Ring pictured on the left. I love setting unusual, freeform gem shapes.

I make earrings and pendants, but my favorite jewelry items to make are rings. I would make rings all day long if allowed.

My favorite tool is the flex shaft. It allows me more freedom because it's such a versatile tool. Although, I would have to say that the tool I could not function at all without is my torch.

I recently learned flush setting or gypsy setting gemstones. This method of setting allows me to offer
an entire new range of items like the beautiful Shooting Star Sapphire and Silver Ring at right.

I would eventually like to learn the lost wax casting technique.

Please visit my shop on Etsy:

I'm here on Facebook ...

And you can follow me on Twitter here:


Friday, May 17, 2013

JET Artisan Profile:
Rene Rydell - McIntyre of endlessbounty

I was inspired to become a jewelry designer when I was a teenager. I was constantly creating my own designs my altering things I would find at the mall and the stores. I liked to keep up with trends but I wanted to be uniquely defined by my own style.

I wanted to put my "spin" on accessories so they were recognizable as a "Rene' Piece" Ha ha ha!

I think Depeche Mode, The Sugar Cubes and The Smiths had a lot to do with that. :)

At one point in time I even had earrings that were a fork and a spoon...go figure!

Smoky Quartz Crystal Onyx Steel Yin Yang Bracelet
I made my first "real piece" of jewelry when I was living in upstate New York in 2004. I went to Woodstock and while I was there I met a woman who taught me a lot about gemstones. That fueled my fire to start designing.

Shortly after that my friend told me about Etsy. She said my possibilities were Endless and hence - EndlessBounty Jewelry was born!

Because of my stylist background Bracelets will always be my Number 1 thing to make. People used to hear me jingle and say, "Rene's here!" I was known by the clanging of my jewelry! No matter what I design daily, a bracelet will always come out of the mix.

Faceted Pink Topaz  Crystal and Copper Necklace
 My favorite materials to work with are most definitely copper and crystals. I feel like they are harmonious. Copper can be changed colorwise and can compliment ANY crystal.

Jewelry made with plated metals may tarnish and fade. Gold and Silver can be pricey. Using copper and brass in my designs allows me to make beautiful original pieces without charging my customers an arm and a leg. Everyone should be able to afford beautiful jewelry.

This is Morrissey. Not a cat!
 Music influences my creative flow. I couldn't breathe without it. It's beautiful. It brings me inspiration. (Morrissey on the right).

Well, that and my kitties. They hang around when I work and watch in fascination. (Insert crazy cat lady joke here. lol!)

Music and my kitties are important, but I could never be without my pliers! They are my best friend. sometimes I wish I could have them surgically attached.

My father was a contractor and he used to tell me how valuable his tools were to him. I still have one of his hammers. :) But anyway, my pliers are a godsend. From Coiling to Crimping to Setting stones - they save the day!

Plum Leather Crystal Cross Cuff Bracelet
Currently I am doing some Leatherwork. It's not as easy as it looks. Leather can break a needle as if it were a toothpick! But I love the Glam Punk Edgy-ness of it. 

 I want to learn how to intricately wrap whole gemstones. It will take patience and a lot more time per piece but maybe if the summer isn't too crazy you'll find me practicing by wrapping seashells in the beach.

I see some Stone artists and just think WOW - That is AMAZING! I want to get back to my roots with Gemstones and their metaphysical properties...it makes you feel good.

My etsy shop is: www.endlessbounty.etsy.com
Follow me on Twitter @EndlessBounty
Like my page on Facebook: Endless Bounty Jewelry Designs


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

JET Artisan Profile:
Debra Jeffries of DebrasDivineDesigns

Hello! I'm Deb, and my shop is DebrasDivineDesigns. I have always made jewelry since I was a little girl with flowers, grass, things I found and would bring them to my mom. As I got older, it just developed into something more substantial and wearable!

I am really a self taught artisan, but I have admired and learned from photos, magazine ads, TV shows, films and videos. I grew my craft from ideas I had seen, inspired by these popular media.

I have taken a few mini courses in silversmithing, copper enameling, glass fusing and stained glass but have developed my craft beyond the basics on my own, with my ideas and techniques, resulting in my line of exclusive designs.

Copper Wire Wrapped Dumortierite Necklace

I sold my first piece of jewelry to a friend from church who liked my gemstone necklace. It was turquoise....she asked me to make one just like it.

I do have my favorite materials to work with, and you can see that by browsing my shop. I love working with metals that are from the scrapyard. It makes me feel good to see old discarded metal cables and scrap being utilized to create something beautiful and artsy!

Real Blue Morpho Butterfly Necklace

I admire and love gemstones, but my deep love is God's creations...butterflies!

Using the wings from expired butterflies is such a thrill as they dry and self preserve but to place them in glass is a beautiful way to display both their inner and out wings. It is a great way to showcase their incredible beauty.

I make mostly butterfly wing pendants because they are incredibly popular. I do make quite a few rings and earrings also, to offer a full line.

I call my business "Debra's Divine Designs" for a reason. I truly feel divinely inspired to be

Madagascan Sunset Moth Heart Shaped Pendant

able to come up with some of the things I do. I pray over each piece I make pouring love and blessings from above through my silly human hands. Many ideas come to me in dreams.

My favorite tool is my glass grinder. Also my controlled temperature soldering iron. I truly love that thing!

I am always looking to learn and expand my jewelry making skills. I am currently teaching myself "form folding", a metal folding technique that has inspired me for a long time.

My Studio - I love working here!
One of my Etsy friends is taking a course and It inspired me to look up "how - to" videos on YouTube. I'm practicing it and really looking forward to mastering this technique. I also want to learn silversmithing skills so I can add and imbed gemstones into my current line of products... including gemstone accents for my butterfly pieces.

You can find DebrasDivineDesigns here:

My Etsy Shop

Twitter: twitter.com/DesigningDebra

Facebook: debrasdivinedesigns3D

Pinterest: pinterest.com/3ddd/

Monday, May 13, 2013

JET Artisan Profile:
Gaetana Parris of SatinDollCo

Hi! I'm Gaetana, and my shop on Etsy is SatinDollCo.

I attended and graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School with an Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising.

Although my main focus is designing women’s apparel, I decided to initiate company business with creating handbags and accessories.

 I'm a fashion designer by trade, and designing jewelry just fell into my lap one day.

I mentioned making earrings to my older sister and the next thing I knew she ordered a book for me. I skimmed the book to see what components I needed and that was it. I never really read the book. Ssh... Don't tell my sister!

I'm self taught. After purchasing everything I needed I free styled it. I used to play with beads for hours mixing and matching the colors to create unique combinations.

 On the left are one of my early earring designs.

I made my very first piece of jewelry shortly after I graduated college with my degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising in the summer of 2004.

I can't remember the exact color combination but it was a pair of glass beaded earrings. They were simple but cute.

I love making earrings, and I have a huge collection to choose from in my shop. I love big, bold style, like the pair you see below ...

 The Tribal Flowers Wooden Beaded Earrings on the right are fabulous for summer and beach wear! Light but a really nice size, these are so fashionable - and they'll definitely be noticed!

I do have a special love for earrings ...

My father has been a vendor in New York City - Brooklyn to be specific - for more than 30 years.

Shortly after I graduated college, while trying to find my first fashion design job I was working full time with my dad. He convinced me to make a bunch of earrings and sell them at his vendor location. Since they were so simple to make and the beads were so easy for me to get I sold them 1 pair for $3 and 2 pairs for $5.

They were a hit in no time. 

So earrings play a big part in the SatinDollCo shop.

And you'll find so many different types.

 I love working with natural materials like wood, shell, mother of pearl, and coco pukalet to name just a few.

Our Trek in the Desert Mother of Pearl Glass and Wood Beaded Dangle Earrings are just one beautiful example of what I can design by using natural materials. 

I'm an earring type of girl. I can't leave the house without a pair on, and I think every woman should wear them everyday too. So my favorite type of jewelry to make hands down is earrings.

But of course I do make other kinds of jewelry ... Bracelets and Anklets, Hair Accessories and more!

Me being a fashion designer has a huge influence on where and how I get my inspiration.

Everything is done by collections. I get inspired by everything; newspaper articles, movies, TV shows, plants, food, lands far away etc.

Normally when inspiration hits I have a sketch book somewhere close and I either write or sketch it down. I'll come back later and do detailed research about the era, culture and etc.

I'll then create a trend board or collage featuring pictures,inspiration, and color. From there I'll sketch my ideas. After that I'll most likely map out the materials I need, then purchase them.

Then each piece comes alive.

 My favorite tool would have to be my jewelry pliers. I can't make any piece without them. They are essential to everything I do.

The next jewelry making skill I want to learn is polymer clay. It's cool how something that used to be a lump of clay can be turned into something beautiful.

Square knot jewelry

The latest jewelry making technique I taught myself is the square knot or commonly known as the friendship bracelet technique.

It takes a steady hand and plenty of patience but overall I enjoy the look of the technique.

Find SatinDollCo here:

Etsy: SatinDollCo.etsy.com

Website: www.satindoll.biz

Blog: blog.satindoll.biz

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SatinDollCo

Twitter: twitter.com/SatinDollCo

Pinterest: pinterest.com/SatinDollCo

Instagram: instagram.com/SatinDollCo