Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Feature

I wanted to share with you the lovely work of LiciaBeads.
She creates wonderfully unique work using traditional techniques.
For instance I love this quirky Toilet Paper on your Neck piece which features traditional beading in a design I have never seen before out of beads!
Matching earrings are available, as are many other great works!

Additionally Licia also creates some wonderful pieces using the technique of wire wrapping to create intricate delicate pieces of work such as this Adorning Peridot necklace

Be sure to check out her shop for more of her elegant works and quirky styles.

While I am still on this beading kick, I would love to share with you the work of an artist I found a few years ago who has taken beading to another level entirely. Liza Lou beaded an entire kitchen. Yes you read that right, the whole thing, a full scale kitchen, right down the dirty dishes in the sink. Five years of work went into this magnificent piece. Check it out below!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Innovative Wedding Rings

I'm going to begin by sharing one of my all time favorite jewelers with you. Gerd Rothmann is most famous for his fingerprint jewelry which is personalized to the wearer, and from that comes this amazing set of wedding bands, since I saw them first 3 years ago I have had them on my long term wish list. Each wearer wears the ring bearing their partners fingerprint, as no two fingerprints are ever alike, no two rings will ever be alike.
[Picture credit to which is also one of my favorite galleries]

On that note I have recently found an Etsy artist, FlawlessArt, who also creates wonderfully unique wedding bands.
Up first is this exquisite Mokume Gane Wide Wedding Ring
Mokume Gane is a wonderful technique that developed in 17th century Japan. Meaning "wood eye metal" this ring shows wonderful texture and movement as well as great skill. This would be a beautiful ring for any couple's wedding day.
For more on Mokume Gane please check out this page

Last but not least Flawless's shop also contains this beautiful Fine silver cross examination ring
As a wedding band I feel that this has a great theme of being "woven together"

Great detail without being overly flashy, perfect for a ring one will be wearing everyday!

Check back soon for more artists!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Interview with HippyBeads

Hello all! I think it'll be great to have interviews with artists once in a while to show some deeper perspectives on the artists' work. So here goes my first interview with HippyBeads [her other store can be found here]

1. What is your chosen medium and what originally drew you to it?
I have done arts and crafts of all sorts and I really have 2 primary mediums: jewelry and dance. I love them both, but jewelry is the one I market. I make plenty of jewelry for the sake of making jewelry, but I actually enjoy the custom requests, the festival and craft show atmosphere, meeting new people, and a lot of the things that come along with having a business. Dance is the one I do solely for me. I do actually teach a class, and have taught other classes, have worked a paid show, have entered competitions on my own and have done private lessons in the past, but it's not something I try to do full time, and it's not an area I market myself in--I teach, do performances, do competitions, etc. when I am inspired to do so. In fact, the place I "work" for now teaching tap dance on the weekends could probably forget to pay me and I wouldn't notice because I'm having so much fun.

2. When did you first decide that art was a necessary part of your life?
Like you, I grew up taking classes, etc. Really, I don't remember a time where some form of art or craft didn't enter into my life. Even in preschool, I was the child who would rather play with shells or tiles or buttons than anything else.

3. Has anyone inspired you in a drastic way?
You know, there are lots of people. Anyone who's work I admire is usually a huge inspiration if in no other way than to keep me going. Seeing that other people can achieve beautiful or amazing things just by being persistent helps me feel like I can get closer to my goals if I just keep trying.

I think my biggest Inspiration of late is Amanda Palmer. She's a musician, but she really encourages art and creativity in all forms and she and her band, The Dresden Dolls, have come up with some amazing things in the way they interact with their audience and fans in regards to art and creativity. They often allow fan performers of any and all types at shows, they have set up which involves independent artisst creating art related to the band, Amanda and her/their music.

I first related to the dolls and Amanda through their music. I really felt from the way she expresses herself in songs, that we probably had some very similar feelings, traits, etc. Once I saw and heard them more and more, I noticed that she really seems to be in that "world" I talked about in my blog-- where her art and her expression are the only things that matters-- when she performs. She has found a way to make a big part of her life about the things she loves the most--music, art and performance... And has managed to do a great job branding herself and the band through some very, creative, unorthodox methods, which I would love to be able to do, too. She is an inspiration just because she does what she does. It makes me feel that if she can create her own little "world" of art and expression and have people appreciate what she does, then it's possible. When I get frustrated, remembering what she has done, and what others have done, through persistence and creativity, helps me feel like there's the potential for it to work for me too.

4. On the other side of this, has anyone tried to dissuade you from pursuing your work, how has that affected you?
No one really dissuades me from being creative. There's been questions as to whether it's worth my time or the amount of money I make to create jewelry, do shows, etc, but the art itself, everyone around me understands that that's what keeps me going. The most discouraging part is really trying to balance art and life. Sometimes, you husband would like you to get home before 9:00 or like to see you without jewelry pliers in your hand, or sometimes your family would like you to see them on the weekends instead of traveling to where they are only to sit at a craft fair all day.

5. Are you currently in the process of trying to/ do you currently make a living off of your work?
I don't make a living off my work, and I'm not trying to. I have thought about that possibility, and aside from it being really difficult, I don't think I want to for a few reasons. First and foremost, I am a social worker, and I love what I do. I have thought many times about different paths I could take and the answer always comes back that I want to help people and want to be a social worker as my primary profession. Aside from that, the life of an artisan jeweler, crafter, dancer, dance teacher or chorgrapher isn't the kind of life I want. They're all a little different but they often involve odd schedules, no health benefits, uncertainty of hours and income, etc.
Another thing that I thought of in the process of this interview is that if I tried to do jewelry or dance full time, they would cease to be the uplifiting safehavens that they are. Sure there are frustrations when a piece of jewelry isn't working right or when I can't get a dance step to save my life, but overall they are both an escape for me. They're a way for me to feel creative and productive. If I were to do them full time, they would then be the thing that I have to do no mater how tired I am or have to push through no matter how much I need a break in order to get dealines finished. I think that would be really frustrating, and on top of that, where would I turn? If jewelry is my work and I'm tired of it, what do I then do to feel better about myself, take a break, get a sense of accomplishment, etc.?

My financial goal is that I would like to have a somewhat steady small income from my jewelry. For dancing, I have no specific goal. Like I said before, sometimes I dance to get paid, and sometimes I don't-- the money isn't important.

6. How did you/your company get started?
I actually have 2 businesses right now. The first one, Happy Hippy Jewelry, started about 8 years ago when I got inspired by beads. I found some beautiful beads, started creating things, and didn't want to stop... So, I figured I should start selling them. Over time, this has developed into a business that does afforable Hippy and Bohemian Jewelry. I have tried many different pricing schemes, tried upgrading materials, tried more sophisticated styles, etc. and I keep coming back to inexpensive beaded and wire wrapped jewelry with a very hippie or boho flavor.

During the expirmentation that happened with new styles, materials, pricing, etc. I learned a few things that lead to the founding of another jewelry business. I found that those who like high quality materials, expect to pay a high quality price and are often not trusting of prices that are too affordable. I also found that "medium" quality items (like things made with silver or gold plate) are in very low demand and not really liked by the sophisticated crowd or the more causal crowd. another thing I found is that there is only so much "style diversity" you can offer in one shop before people lose interest-- I'm not sure if it's from feeling overwhelmed or feeling that your art has no specific direction, but people as a general rule don't like overdiversification. I decided that I really wanted an opportunity to work with higher quality materials like sterling silver and gemstones and make some more sophisticated designs, so Artful Unity was born in late 2008.
7. How has the process of making work to sell changed your working process?
The working process itself is much the same. In the beginning, I did learn alot of new techniques for jewelry making to help make the jewelry have a cleaner look, be more durable, etc. But overall, I still sit at a table of in front of the TV with wire and pliers in hand and beads nearby.
8. Has it changed your creative process? Has this been negative at all? Or have you seen it as a positive experience?
Selling my work sometimes means I create less, but that's a personal choice: just because I have a lot of inventory and don't have a custom order to work on at the time doesn't mean I have to stop creating, but sometimes I do.

Selling for me has meant a lot more custom work, which, overall, I really enjoy. Custom work is always a challenge, but it's always really rewarding when you get something right. The only negative thing about custom work is when something doesn't work the way the customer epxects it to or your artistic vision is different from the customer's. Overall, though, i much prefer creating personalised works to just constantly doing whatever pops into my head (which can be really fun sometimes too).

Artful Unity has ended up changing a lot of things for me and, so far, I'm really enjoying it. The biggest change here is that I don't have much to work with in the way of materials because they are expensive, so I have tried to find other ways of expressing my ideas such as sketches, prototypes, etc. Artful Unity has been really challenging, but overall, I'm enjoying the new challenges it brings.

As you can probably tell, I am all about diversity and variety, so anything that adds that element to something I am doing is generally positive for me, even if it brings some frustrations with it.

That's all for now! If you would like to be interviewed and share your thoughts with the art world drop me a line!
Working on an interview exchange with HippyBeads!
Check back later today or early tomorrow for a new entry!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well, I have been looking at a ton of great work lately and am gearing up for another great review!
In the meanwhile, only one person has responded to my questions so far! Please contribute, I'm really excited to hear from everyone!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Something a little different

Since I know I have a decent amount of artists following this blog, I'd love to reach out to all of you with a few questions.
I really hope some of you take the time to answer!

1. What is your chosen medium and what originally drew you to it?
2. When did you first decide that art was a necessary part of your life?
3. Has anyone inspired you in a drastic way? On the other side of this, has anyone tried to dissuade you from pursuing your work, how has that affected you?
and lastly
4. Are you currently in the process of trying to/ do you currently make a living off of your work?

If you wish post a link to your favorite piece =)
I will answer these for myself in an upcoming entry and I will repost some of my favorite responses with links to your sites.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Night Feature-Assorted Styles

So this feature has no real theme, sorry guys, just wanted to take a few moments to display some beautiful work!

As usual the work is in no specific order!

First off I have the unique work of Ashtash who uses crochet, knitting and felting to create some great pieces! [And yes, I will admit it, I have been on a fabric kick lately!] Not only does she have a great sense of color coordination as shown here in this Olive-teal-brown necklace with flower but she also has some great depth and dimensionality!
Next up I love this Smart Beige necklace with 10 sea glasses which combines hard and soft media to create great contrast. This reminds me of coral and has a really great unique quality to it!
Definitely be sure to check out her shop for more info and great items!

The next artist I have for your this evening is Noadi, who I can honestly say has created some work like nothing I have seen before in jewelry. Looking for something truly out there? Check out this Bird Embryo Specimen Jar Necklace. Definitely something new and different!I love things that make people look twice and this definitely does!
She has a few other great embryo's on sale as well as a variety of other great polymer clay critters so be sure to check it out!
I hope you all enjoyed this post!

Check back later for more!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tattoo Culture and Jewelry

As a lifelong fan of body art and modification, the work of Orangyredink brought an instant smile to my face.
Orangyredink who has been
"an artist since I could hold a crayon, and was really hooked ever since my mom held my first gallery show by taping my colored pages along the hallway. I am just addicted to the visual."
These works, delicately painted works on hard plastic, contain so much beautiful color and have a classic, old school ink feel that is truly classic! These beautiful pieces possess a wonderful sense of whimsy and tradition.
First off, this piece definitely caught my eye including Swallows Protecting Locked Sacred Heart Tattoo Necklace which combines classic elements with a huge burst of color.

These pieces lay wonderfully on the body just the way a tattoo would.
This piece, Stewed Screwed and Tattooed also definitely catches the eye and is sure to make a statement!
Packed with wonderful details, imagery and color!
Last but definitely not least, I have always had a love of vintage style red cherries, and this piece, Big Bangin Knotty Cherry Necklace, has become a new favorite of mine.
The highlights and shadows are a really great touch, making the colors even richer.
Definitely check out her shop for more wonderful work!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


once again I am opening up the suggestion box! Please let me know if you have any thoughts on what types of work, or artists you might like to see here!

Thanks all!

Laser Cutting

So, any of you who are familiar with my work [visible to your right in my] know that I am a huge fan of laser cutting and working in acrylic.
I have chosen today to share with you the beautiful work of Isette, a fellow artist who has made use of this new technology to create wonderful pieces.
Isette states:
"I am inspired by the world around me. And I am fortunate that the world around me includes a 100+ year old museum collection that I'm given free reign over and a typography obsessed graphic designer husband. Design and Victoriana meet here, with a splash of whimsy."
Her inspirations definitely show in her beautiful work!
Now to share a few of my favorite pieces from her shop:
First I adore this elegant Mane Necklace
Beautiful curves and flowing lines, definitely some of my favorite things! I love the movement of this piece and the black is a perfect compliment to the feel of the design.
Next up is this quirky, imaginative Spectacles Ring.
The nerd in me is giddy just looking at this ring! Simple yet different, once again possessing a wonderful quality of line movement.
Last but definitely not least these Eclipse Earrings that show off some wonderful engraving which definitely pops against the black background! These would be a wonderful compliment to any elegant outfit.

Lots more great work available at her store, so be sure to check it out!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Statement Pieces and More Beautiful Non-Traditional Jewelry

So I am very excited about doing this feature tonight! [here's to getting home from work two hours early and actually having some time to write on a weeknight!]
So for tonight I have hand selected three wonderfully talented artists to share with everyone!

As always artist's are shown in no particular order.

I will begin with Hannah Rosner who "recieved her BA at Swarthmore College and her MFA at Ohio State University, where she researched political theatre design in Eastern Europe. With over fifteen years teaching experience combined with twenty years as a working artist, she still looks forward to teaching both fine arts and craftmanship skills every day. She has taught college level multimedia and design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Illinois Institute of Art. She has taught beadwork and fine arts at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Caravan Beads Chicago, and TLD Design Center & Gallery in the Chicago Suburbs. She was the lead lampwork instructor at Glass Axis in Columbus and taught at 1 Stop Bead Shop until she moved to New Mexico in early June."

Hannah can be found on etsy under the name HannahRachel and has a great assortment of beautiful objects in her shop. The first thing I noticed when I "entered" her shop, amidst an array of beautifully made lampworked flowers was this absolutely stunning neck piece.
Ammonite Swirl Seed Bead Woven Pendant Fossil Semiprecious Glass
The details in this piece are incredible and I love the curved shapes that allow one's eye to move smoothly through the piece taking in every ounce of workmanship.
Definitely a statement piece I would love to wear.

In addition she also has this large, wonderful Queen of Sheba Necklace which incorporates some great stones in addition to lampworked pieces.
This piece must have taken more hours than I can imagine and has so many intricate aspects I am truly sorry I cannot take all of it in in person. Her sense for neutral colors is very attractive and the pearls in this piece definitely pop against their backdrop. Overall a wonderfully eclectic work.
Hannah's work, in addition to her etsy shop, can also be found here on her personal website.

Up next I have the work of Mainichi who does many wonderful pieces using fibers and other recycled materials. Another great example of up-cycling!
According to Mainichi :
"My name is Dearne and I would describe myself as a "creative soul". After an inspiring holiday to Japan in late 2004, where I picked up some fabulous raw materials to work with, I came back to Australia with seeds planted, ready to create some interesting pieces of jewellery.
So after making a few prototypes and getting a great response from friends and relatives, I established “Mainichi” and began to put into practice my passion for fine arts, crafts, textile arts and materials.
Mainichi pieces have been wholly designed and created by ME. I make for pure enjoyment, and am not dictated by fashion or current trends. The materials used often inform the design and also reflect the philosophy behind the name (Mainichi translates from Japanese as “everyday”).
Many of the materials are recycled, found or vintage, which means that each piece is truly a unique object.
Mainichi design inverts the concept of precious jewellery. There are no precious metals or jewels in these pieces, instead, unexpected, ordinary and everyday materials become pieces of wearable art."
That closing paragraph is another reason I love this artist, we share a similar philosophy which I think is a wonderful thing!

So now to share a few favorites of mine from her shop starting with this lovely Shinzo Felt and Leather Necklace
This is a great fun, funky, innovative piece that uses felt in a great way! I love the balance of the big and little circles and spheres and the quilting style stitching on the blue circles is a really great accent!

Next she also has an assortment of colors and patterns of this wonderful Kawa Recycled Leather and Bead Necklace
I've never seen anything like this before and it seems like it would be a definite conversation starter sure to bring some excitement to anything you pair it with!

The fringe and mix of hard and soft media in this piece is also really nicely combined.

Last but definitely not least I have the incredible work of ElinThomas to share with you all.
Elin loves
" to make stylish and unique pieces of jewellery. My approach to jewellery is to innovate in the field, ensuring my pieces are both eye-catching and a talking point for the wearer. I specialise in extremely neat, small crochet using #20 threads and 1.00 hook. So my crochet stitches are half the size of most work out there. "
Now I've been crocheting for years, but have never created anything as detailed or intriguing as the work I am about to share with you.
Firstly this Crochet Bracelet is so brilliantly colorful and eyecatching.
I love the mix of black and white and the combination of polymer clay with delicate crochet, the colors are vibrant and exciting and the pattern is mesmerizing.
Up next is this equally stunning Coral Reef Inspired Necklace. Anyone who has read my other blog knows that I take a lot of inspiration from patterns in nature in my own work so this is definitely something I really appreciate in other's work as well!
So much detail! And all done with such a tiny hook making it even more impressive!
More of her lovely work can be found on her flickr account.

I hope you have all enjoyed this nights features.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


So here's the deal, I have a very busy next few days, but I'd love to get another feature rolling for next weekend! I'd LOVE for everyone here to leave me a comment or two letting me know what types of jewelry, or what artists they would like to see here!
[I eventually will expand past jewelry, but for right now this is what I feel most comfortable talking about as it is also my art of choice!]

Thanks everyone!

Jewelry Made with Non-Traditional Materials

Any of you who have seen my work you may know that I enjoy exploring things a little out of the norm as far as materials go! In this feature I will be exploring and showcasing the work of a few people who make jewelry or jewelry elements out of less traditional materials such as fabrics, clays and plastics. I feel it is very important that as a new generation of jewelers we continue to explore what jewelry is and what jewelry can be and change the stereotype of what one thinks of when one hears the word "jewelry".

Here we go!
And remember, artist's are in no particular order, if they are here I love them, simple as that. [the amount of personal information represented has to do with the amount available to me from the artist, this is also not a show of favoritism. :-) ]

I just stumbled across an artist who possesses a quirky, innovative sense of design that reminds me very much of my own aesthetic. Frankideas states of her work that
"frank ideas still sums up what my design ethos is all about – simple straight forward and a little off beat.I like to explore design and colour, resulting in a bold range of jewellery that is wearble art. I design what I want to wear; hopefully it will appeal to you as well!

I love the idea of taking something and turning it into something else –whether it’s vintage buttons into necklaces and cuffs or rubber and wool into necklaces and bracelets. I like to recycle but I also like to adapt. I guess I’m interested in thinking outside the square."

Forget about "green being the new black" up-cycling is definitely a great thing when it comes to jewelry as it pushes people to look past the norm and create something new just like this glorious piece Red and Black Felt Poppies/ Flowers on Black Rubber Necklace
The colors pop and the three-dimensional feel to this piece is truly vibrant!

Additionally I am really attracted to this versatile Red Felt Beads and Black Rubber Necklace
I love that the beads are at all different positions creating a great asymmetrical feel!

Although polymer clay has been around quite a while it is always great seeing what new items people are coming up with! I recently had the pleasure of viewing the work of Linsart

The first item in her shop that I spotted was Polymer Ready to Wear Sun and Moon Pendant TSMP2, that I could see looking beautiful either on its own or amidst other beads and jewelry elements in a striking neck piece!
Her attention to color and blending is truly beautiful and comes together really nicely in this new take on a classic motif.
Additionally she has a great many faces such as this one that would make wonderful brooches!

I love the detailing in the makeup and eyes as well as in the blending of colors in the head wrap! Definitely a fun quirky accessory! It'd be really neat to see pictures of items people have made using these wonderful components as well, so if anyone invests and makes something fabulous definitely post a link here!

Next I have chosen the work of Waywardradish who incorporates traditional embroidery into earrings in an incredibly detailed meticulous manner!
I love how much detail she packs into a small area! Of her work I think my favorite pair of earrings are Golden Cluster the needlework is impressive and the colors are understated and beautiful.
She has wonderful works in brighter colors as well! These Pink Popsicles are so beautiful! [The actually remind me of cupcakes! Which is definitely a great thing] I think these earrings are a wonderful springtime or summertime accessory! A great splash of color with a lot of intricate beautiful detail! I had to share this beautiful close up with you all:

More to come soon! Please check back often as I share more beautiful work and talented artists with you!

First Feature

Every summer as I have more time on my hands [or at least I tell myself that] I return to my love of beading and bead work.

This first feature will focus on a few artists whose work I find beautiful and intricate.

Artist's are in no particular order, if they are here I love them, simple as that.

So the first artist I am honored to share with you all is Thewaughdrobe who's beautiful work can be found here.
Before I show her wonderful work here is a brief introduction selected from her profile:
"My background is in fashion design and manufacture and for 20 years I have worked for designers, been self employed and travelled the world.
I have always designed and made Clothing, Hats and Jewelry for women and children. For now Jewelry is my main focus on Etsy with a long term goal of adding clothes and hats.
It's always been my dream to have a store called "The Waughdrobe". My design label as "Kimberley Waugh" (pronounced War) leads perfectly to the play on words Waughdrobe (Wardrobe) meaning closet. I am delighted beyond belief to have realised my dream."

Aside from the fact the we both clearly share a true love of pearls and classic elegance, she also creates wonderful cluster rings that I think are fabulous!
Perfect for the summer time is her "Flower Fairy Pale Green Ring"
These rings are available in a variety of colors, be sure to check them out!

Additionally there is a wonderful price range in this shop allowing for great availability!
Another of my favorite pieces from Kimberley's shop is her Key to My Heart, Necklace and Earring Set

A Stunning piece, again including beautiful beadwork. I personally feel this would be a great piece of bridal jewelry, and the colors lend to a lovely vintage feel.

The next artist I have chosen for this first feature is PookieandPierre who does wonderfully intricate work that can be found here.
As a brief introduction to PookieandPierre I have selected this from her profile:

"My mother always told me to 'do what makes you happy'. Expressing my creativity makes me happy and gives me an opportunity to continue to honor her and share her beauty and spirit with others.
I truly dream about beads and colors and all of the wonderful combinations I can create. A little sparkle in my life brings a whole lot of joy!
By day, I am a busy executive who looks forward to arriving home at night to design and create new items. Making jewelry is both therapeutic and adds the balance I need in my life to stay somewhat sane in these challenging times!
Each piece is intricately handwoven and detailed. Each design is set against a peyote weave background which is developed prior to adding the accent beads. Pookie and Pierre earrings are truly a form of wearable art. These earrings are one of a kind and will make a statement. They are always a little fun, elegant, flirty and definitely full of color and life."

Also, as this is a cause very very close to my heart and my life, I find it so admirable that the majority of her proceeds go to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation to support the fight against breast cancer.

Of her many wonderful works I have selected two of my favorites:
Her lovely, delicate Pale Shimmery Pink and Pine Green Fairies in the Forest Earrings
are just what I love! Tiny works that pack in a huge amount of detail with new things to notice!

Additionally I also love them in the gorgeous Fall colors shown here: Cinnamon Apple Spice Earrings
These would definitely perk up any fall outfit!

So that is all for this feature! Please add me to your follows and check back often for new updates!

A Little Introduction

So I decided to start another blog to feature some great work that is out there on Etsy, and the rest of the online crafting community!

A little bit about myself!

I am a current 2009 BFA Metals candidate at SUNY College at New Paltz. At this current time I am experimenting with many materials and new technologies. It is important to me that my work be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, and it remains my goal to offer quality work at an affordable price. For this reason I have no decided to profile other wonderful artists who are doing just the same! Jewelry and other "luxury" items should be available to the masses not just the top tax bracket.

Suggestions are always welcome and as this blog is new if you would like to be featured, or have an idea for a feature please contact me!