Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Love Rocks w/ patina

Love Rocks w/ patina
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
These rings were inspired by a series I started a few months ago. I've been calling them my 'reclaimed' texture as they all started out a different piece and after some work, had a new face lift with a lovely new texture. The texture is created with three different hammers and gives a really unique hammered look. I think it rather looks like granite!

I hadn't decided on keep the "reclaimed" name or changing it up for the wedding band set, as these rings were never anything else, they will be custom made just for the customer to look like this. So, I wasn't sure I should keep the reclaimed name.. I'm still pondering it. I like the little play on words in 'love rocks' they are like rocks, and also kind of like a teenage saying "that Rocks!" I can decide, but for right now, this is what they are going to be called. They are available with or without the patina.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
Now that it is getting colder, not only am I drinking about 6 cups of tea a day, but I like all my food to be warm too. So it means lots of oatmeal in the morning. I like to spruce it up a bit. my recent favorite is this:
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds
and some soy yogurt
yummo! as rachael ray would say!!

oatmeal is fun b/c you can spruce it up in so many ways. I like apricots and almonds too, apples are always good - or banana nut mmmm...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Walking stick... and friend

Yesterday on my way in to my studio, I saw this lovely walking stick on the door. Walking sticks are one of the most fascinating insects to me as they hardly look like an insect at all! Even upclose and personal there isn't much to make out as far as a 'face'.

I'm sure this grandaddy long legs thought differently though, as they seemed to be having a staring contest - the entire day! They both just hung out, staring at each other, hardly moving for over 12 hours. I have no idea what they were doing, but they must have finished by this morning b/c neither was there. It was such a treat to get to see the walking stick though - and the day after the praying mantis! Late summer/early fall definitely brings in some lovely critters.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Box full o stuller catalogs

So I finally got my account set up and ordered the findings I needed that NO ONE else had - and was expecting them at any moment, when this box arrived. I picked it up and though 'hmphft, these are some heavy findings!" then thinking, 'oh they must have sent me a catalog.' A catalog does not describe what they sent.
I had no idea they had a whole massive collection of catalogs. They are incredibly exciting and I haven't even had the chance to start going through them yet. You can be I'll be ordering from them a lot!

box full o stuller catalogs
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry

So far I have been incredibly pleased at their selection - and quality! The findings arrived later that afternoon separate from the catalogs. They are much better than the ones I had gotten from a different company - who no longer carries palladium white gold settings anyway. Their selection of findings of all kinds is far beyond anything I've seen and I'm please I finally set up the account. Even though it took me a week to quit panicking about all the paperwork I had to fax in! I put in another larger order yesterday and will be excited to see my new goodies in a few days!

Monday, September 22, 2008

etsymetal ad...

etsymetal ad...
This is a test... only a test....

I'm trying to learn how to make animated gifs... this is my first try and I'm wondering if it will show up animated on the blog! I hope so.

Its not the final 'draft' but hopefully will include some words and I'll slow down the pace. but I was just glad I finally got it to work! Course if it doesn't work here, you can check it out on flickr by looking at 'all sizes'

The artists are:

Kathy of studiometalsmith
Elizabeth of erosasjewelry
Catherine Chandler
Sara Westermark
Cynthia Del Giudice

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ring from Kerin!!

Ring from Kerin!!
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I love it. It is a West African Adinkra symbol of "initiative, dynamism and versatility".... I figured it was the perfect ring for fall. It is a time when everything seems to be shifting one way or another. Lots of things are happening in nature and this seems to translate in to everyone's lives as well! The ring is super comfy and I haven't taken it off since I got it this morning!

Kerin has gorgeous jewelry and is just a lovely person and I was super happy to trade with her for my ring!! I love it and hope she loves her dandelion ring as much as I love mine. You can browse Kerin's wonderful pieces in her etsy shop and even this particular ring customized to your size!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ring all finished

ring all finished
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
This ring had to be remade. The first stone that was in it must have had some weak matrices (obviously) as a piece fell right out of the middle of the stone. It was the weirdest thing I had ever seen. You can see the original here. I didn't have any others really close to that size or shape, but went to the Franklin gem show a couple weeks after I got the ring back. So I was on a mission to find something kind of similar. I brought back about 10 stones for my customer to choose from, and I really think she got one of the best. It is so unique and reminded me of a Japanese landscape painting - an wirey looking tree growing up and off the size of a cliff. I was both sad and happy that she picked this stone. Sad to see it go, but then again, I liked it so much I probably would have left it in a drawer for a few years before ever using it! It is safely on her finger now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Skinny bangle set, 14k and sterling

I really love wearing bangles, but I haven't been making many recently. For awhile I was making loads of sets and I think I got a little burned out. But I'm feeling it again and wanted to add a little something different. So this set has one 14k gold and two sterling. One of the sterling has a dark patina so all three have a different look. Each one also has a different hammer mark. Its kind of like my 'reclaimed' texture deconstructed. It is the same three hammers, but each bangle has only one hammer mark.

I've done a few sets of rings that match - the same three colors and three hammer marks. I particularly loved this photograph too!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Setting/Flossing Tip!

Tip photo.... flosssyyyy
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
This is a pretty common tip, but if you haven't heard it, it can be a life saver (and a tooth saver!)

When working on settings and you want to check to make sure the fit is just right - use some dental floss under the stone. That way if the stone gets a little stuck - very easy to pull it right out. Otherwise, you risk tearing the whole setting apart just to get the stone out. And THAT is no good. I usually keep a random piece floating around on my work bench just to keep it handy. Floss works great because it can flatten out to almost nothing, but is plenty strong enough that if the stone is quite tight, you don't risk having it break when pulling the stone out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jewelry Tennis

earring tennis
Originally uploaded by duckduckgoosestuff
So I had this idea a couple weeks ago - I think partially b/c I had been watching the US Open - a lot - and have started playing tennis again in real life - its called Jewelry Tennis. I don't know that there really any rules - no out of bounds, no net, well and instead of a racket - I suppose we have hammers? or torches - or both!

I specifically thought of my dear friend Sophie who lives across the big pond in the UK. Her style is similar to mine in a way that I love everything she makes, but different from mine in that everything she does is something I wouldn't think of! Sometimes I feel like we share a creative brain. So basically the idea is that one of us will make something and the other will hit back with something inspired by, but different than, that particular piece. I think we've been playing for a long time now already, but for real, its started! And this is her first piece! There is no time frame - so It might be a week or two before I come up with mine - but I'm excited for a new fun challenge!

Tree bark ring set w/ diamond

I have some of the most lovely customers. Julie from Vancouver, sent me her and her husbands wedding bands to melt down and cast in my tree bark texture. She also sent along her engagement ring with this sweet diamond. I absolutely love how they turned out!!

So I made some new rings in wax - added the diamond to hers and put them in the kiln! After waiting a several anxious hours, they were ready to cast - I melted down her rings and cast them. Then I had to wait another hour to let them cool - quenching too soon can shock a diamond and cause it to crack. Everything came out perfect!! I added a patina which gives gold such a lovely earthy tone. Who knew I'd be a gold and diamonds type of gal?!

I had actually done an experimental one with a smaller diamond a week ago, but when i tried photographing it... the lighting was all off. I'll have to rephotograph it and do a post on it too. A much smaller diamond, but super cute. I really like the contrast of using gold, giving it a rough and organic texture and pairing it with something sparkley, like a diamond.

I also got a couple of sapphires I am wanting to try - I think they will look gorgeous in silver or gold. So many things I want to try and so little time! I am off to get to work!

Friday, September 12, 2008

organic vine hoops

organic vine hoops
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I've been getting in to hoops recently. I don't know why I haven't been making these before! The first ones I did were a custom order in the pebbley style - which of course led me to making more hoops and how awesome some organic vine hoops would be! I love how they turned out and can't wait to make some more!! I did make a second pair, but they will remain with me. I had to try them out didn't I? You can see them in my etsy shop.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Leaf in the forest

leaf in the forest
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
This ring has been a long time coming. It started with the band - which was a 'happy accident'. I got a little risky with my sprues and ended up with a great ring... just not a complete ring! The edges were fantastic, perfectly curved and soft right at the ends. I knew it would be great with a stone in between. But of course it sat on my work bench for awhile. Like probably a few months. Then I went to one of the gem and lapidary shows in Franklin, NC and found some fantastic green turquoise. Its one of my favorites. I like traditional 'blue' turquoise, but the greener ones are my favorites. Plus, shades of green go great with my tree bark texture. I'd gotten the cabs... about... 2 months ago? or more... I can't even remember. But they have just been sitting around too and I finally got them together. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Land Sea and Sand Rings - set

This is a new custom set I've been working on for a couple getting married at Coney Island!! They sent me some lovely 'findings' from the beach and i created these rings with 3 distinct textured sections. I really liked how all the shells and drift wood looked layered together which was the inspiration for the design of the ring. One section is the wood, one is the sand, and one is the shell. I really like how they came together.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I like spiders

I do - I really do! These garden spiders are extremely fascinating - in a very small area - maybe like 6ft x 4ft - there are 7! There are 4 actually in a big rosemary bush - which you can see in the background of this shot and then 3 more with their webs attached to the back of the bush to the ground. Its quite amazing. I remember hearing a story on NPR a few years back about spiders working together - and apparently, these are! I think the theory (or maybe it was proven) is that by building their webs all close together, they will catch more. Its quite fascinating that they aren't just solitary hunters... or are these spiders more like gathers?? I mean if they just collect the food caught in their webs.... anyway. They each have their own webs, but I think some of them actually touch some of the others.

This spider had a eucalyptus leaf fall in its web. I was wondering what it was doing with the leaf as it almost looked like it was trying to eat it - then a min or so later I looked back and the leaf was gone! Not eating, just removing it from its web. I find spiders to be extremely interesting. If you do too, you can see more on my flickr.

Friday, September 5, 2008

reclaimed heart

reclaimed heart
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I've never really been in to hearts. But every once in a while they strike my fancy. I've been enjoying doing my 'reclaimed' pieces and when I found a pair of earrings tucked away in a drawer - I thought reclaimed hearts just seemed perfect. I like the idea of taking a piece of jewelry and altering it to give it new life. This one seemed nice as a pendant. And I'm kind of cheesy and really liked the metaphor when dealing with a broken heart. More times than not - its better afterwards too. I also did another pair of earrings that I'll be listing later today.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hair Sticks

I made a set a while back - but then I kept them and have been wearing them! So I finally go around to making some more to actually sell. I love them. They are so simple and much nicer than using an old pencil. I'm hoping to make it a regular item in my shop as I think every gal with longer hair needs a set!

I had a bit of difficulty trying to get a photograph of them in my hair - its not every day you try to get a picture of the back of your head, in focus and in the sun. This one didn't turn out too bad though!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

pebble hoops

pebble hoops
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I love it when I make a custom item for someone and then someone else sees it in my sold items and wants something similar. Its such a good feeling, especially from two of my best repeat customers. Its times like this when I think... I really should make more like this, as apparently they are trying to tell me something! I make so many different things randomly, some seem to catch on and others never sell. I don't understand it very well because, well, they both came from my head!

These lovelies are gone for now, but will hopefully be making some more similar ones soon - once my silver gets here! I've used the last of my 16 wire....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Victoria is the best

Victoria is the best
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I have long admired Victoria's jewelry and as a person she is just fantastic - I am so happy to have gotten these as a gift from her!! I remember seeing her shop shortly after I joined etsy and just being completely enamored with everything she made! She is awesome and so is her jewelry. You have to check out her stuff if you haven't seen it or if you've not checked in recently, she is always coming up with fabulous unique items.Thank you!!!!!!! I love them!!

EtsyMetal Friends Front Page 9.2.08

Front Page 9.2.08
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
This was too lovely of a front page with so many etsymetal friends I couldn't help but post about it!
Congrats to Sara, Gaby, Clare and Norsola!! What a gorgeous collection!