Wednesday, June 5, 2013

JET Artisan Profile -
Denise and Craig of LoveStoneArts

Hello! I'm Denise (photo on left). Craig (photo right) and I make everything we sell in our shop, LoveStoneArts. We're new to selling jewelry, though we have made things for many years.

My first pieces of jewelry were not sold but bartered. A girl who was selling trade beads in a little general store told me what she wanted made and that I could keep the rest of her beads as payment. No real sales until our Etsy shop opened in 2011.

Craig and I are both so generous that we would give you anything you wanted!!
Necklace of Sun-Kissed Stones, Crystals and Copper

I grew up an avid rock hound and received a rock hammer and cold chisel for my 8th birthday. It was my absolute favorite gift! I gravitated to the artists in my circle of family, friends and neighbors.

I'm incredibly sentimental about pieces of jewelry that hold happy memories of loved ones. Example, a gorgeous hand drilled turquoise nugget that my grandma bought me when I was about 4 years old. We got off of the train in Yuma Arizona where an old Navajo artist had his silver jewelry displayed on a blanket spread out on the platform. The memory is so vivid.

Happy Hearts Necklace Celebration of Dia de los Muertos
Almost every family visit becomes a jewelry workshop. The photo of Craig has him teaching our nephew Sam how to make a brass spider. All the kids in our extended family from age 9 up have some soldering experience.

I began making unglazed stoneware beads to use in macrame and free form crochet necklaces in my late teens. My good friend was a potter and her mother was a fiber artist so the "Crazy Bead" necklace was born!

Puka shell necklaces were next- my Hawaiian sister in-law and I collected the shells on remote stretches of the Kona coast

Then - African trade beads, I love them to this day!! I learned my earliest techniques from helpful
Anasazi Earrings Emerald Valley Turquoise and Sterling Silver
ladies in craft stores. I would show them what I had, explain what I wanted to do, and they would sell me the supplies and demonstrate the techniques. I tried this with silver soldering in 1990 but never quite got my momentum. Note- I still have a little silver that I bought at $15 an ounce!

Craig and I have taken two silver classes from Nicole Valentine of Victoria Canada.

I'm especially fond of silver and opaque stones like turquoise, malachite, coral and lapis.

Love, love color changing stones- opals especially. It is probably obvious that my favorite material is the one that has most recently caught my eye!

Fire Opal in Wide Sterling Band

Craig likes to make rings! I like to make necklaces most of all. I wear something around my neck every single day even if I'll be in the woods. That's my thing!
Botswana Agate Sterling Ring Generous Oval

Both Craig and I draw from our travels and a shared interest in diverse cultures for design inspiration. We often start with a classic design and give it a rustic or contemporary twist.

We especially like to custom design a piece with the recipient's preferences in mind, translating a little information into a One Of A Kind piece of jewelry!

Our favorite tools have to be our Smith torches. I can't do without the round nose pliers of course.
Yes ... Coffee IS an important part of our business!

We love all of our tools lots and lots!!

We're always learning new techniques.

The latest thing I've learned is to add household ammonia to liver of sulfur solution for a very black patina on silver.

I plan to begin making lampwork beads and working with precious metal clays.

I also want to work with gold.
I need a sponsor!

We love tools!
We are avid mushroomers, avid cooks, avid
photographers, home remodelers- we have lots of interests and we're avid about them all!!

Love our bulldogs Sitting Bull and Mucho Gusto and the parrots Poppers, Archie and Zsa-zsa.

We have a supplies shop but I have not really launched it. I have been working on tutorials to feature in this shop. The photos and editing required are what is slowing me down in getting more supplies listed. Here it is:

You can visit us on Facebook. Please LIKE our page while you're there!

Follow us on Twitter here:


Beadsme said...

Just love seeing our Jets. Denise you look fabulous. Both you and Craig have a wonderful natural feel. Does that really make sense?

Your designs are out of this world. Wish my hubby would get his back side off the lounge and join me in creating.

Jennifer said...

What a fun read. So glad to get to know you a bit more in depth! I share your love of tools. . .

nancy's crystal fantasies jewelry said...

Wow! So much talent! Enjoyed reading about all your pursuits and the history of your jewelry-making.

Urban Pearl Studio said...

Wow!!! Great profile!

DG Jewelry Designs said...

Denise, what a wonderful story about you and Craig. Love your jewelry. Looking forward to seeing more. Love the story about your grandma. Beautiful and inspiring!

JillreOzmay said...

Denise, you are just great! What a nice post.. thank you for sharing your talented self and your talented hubby with us :)

Michele said...

Lovely post Denise!!! Was very nice to get to know you and Craig more. Nice to see everyone involved!!!

SendingLoveGallery said...

Enjoyed your post - lovely jewelry from you both! Great that you're teaching the kids your skills :)

TheSilverBear said...

What a great read. I've always loved your work, your statement necklaces just blow me away with their complexity & glorious colours!

WanderingJewel said...

I love the story behind your pieces! Lovely post.

LoveStoneArts said...

Thank you so much for the kind words and especially for your friendship. I appreciate each and every one of you!

Siany said...

wow I'd love to be part of your family member so I can learn the jewelry technique :) Me too I am so sentimental of some jewelry and when it is sold I become so sad... So pleasant to read story about you Denise! Liked your fb and I just want to tell you, what a lovely couple :)

Rough Magic Mollie said...

Denise, you are such a delight! I can almost hear your voice as I read your words! Coffee, yes! Avid, yes! Wonderful feature, yes, yes, yes!!! :)

jemsbyjb said...

You guys are uber talented and make great stuff!

nikhajewelry said...

Love all your designs and love hearing about your life!

capitalcitycrafts said...

Great profile. It's so much fun learning about the JET artists!

Your Daily Jewels - Norah Downey said...

It is great to learn more about you Denise! And the wind beneath your wings :) Craig.
You are incredibly multi-talented. I am sure you will flourish in all of your new endeavors. Thank you for sharing. I love the story of your 8th bday gifts!