Apr 29, 2008

Reorganizing my Studio

Well I have 'bit the bullitt' and begrudgingly decided to reorganize my studio. Recalicitrant isn't a word I use to describe myself, but geez I am being totally recalcitrant about making this change. You know in a former life I was dubbed the 'ambassador of change' at a major Canadian corporation... so what is going on with me these days? It must be old age. I'm so stuck in my ways about the layout of my creative workspace - not my usual flexible resilient self at all. Or maybe my resistance to this change has something to do with being born in the Year of the Dog and you know what they say about teaching old dogs new tricks...

So David went out and bought me two wonderful caddies in which I can likely store most of my gemstone inventory. I pulled them apart and stacked one on top of the other to save space, so now I have a tower of 16 drawers. But that's about as far as I got...

As soon as I placed the first colour of gemstones into a drawer I felt lost. How can I create when all my materials are stuffed away out of view? This getting organized could very well have a negative impact on my creative process. Heaven forbid! I'll post updates as this project takes shape.

On to the actual update. Due to the rising prices of precious metals, I'll be introducing more copper, brass and other base metal alternatives here at SassyDLite. I recently found these brass stampings and brass findings that will work nicely into boho luxe pieces. Baser metals doesn't mean we have to cut back on style! Drop me a line with comments. I'd like to hear what materials, colours and styles you're looking for this season.

At Gahooletree, our move towaAriana Braceletrds greater reliance on luxe gemstones is underway. The Ariana bracelet features 160 carats of genuine gemstones in an eye catching palatte appropriate for year round use. This is a very comfortable piece of wearable artwork. Stay tuned for more news and updates.

Apr 15, 2008

Custom earwires - cool finishing touches

I've been searching and searching for cool earwire components to use in my jewellery designs, but nothing I'm seeing at the supplies outlets really grabs me. From time to time, I've seen exquisite earrings (usually from European designers) with fab earwire components, but where are those exotic findings being sourced? It's literally driving me insane. Then I had an epiphany... why not start making my own handcrafted, unique wires.

With a few trials, I came up with this idea. It's a sterling silver hand knotted Teal Breeze Knotted Dangleearwire supporting yummy aqua apatite faceted onions and a tiny sky blue topaz. The sterling silver wire (22 gauge) was wrapped tightly to form this knot. The final product was oxidized (I use liver of sulphur) and then I like to polish the relief for effect.

Shown below is another style of the knotted earwire. That's summery lemon chalcedony with apatite. Now these are 2 very fun and flirty examples of the hand knotted earwire in application, but the same styles will work well on my luxe earrings.

Last week for example, I gave birth to the Earth and Sky Chandeliers - an ornately wire wrapped luxe earring with over 45 carats of gorgeous gemstones. For that design, I waEarth and Sky Chandeliers truly in need of an appropriate sterling earwire. I settled for a stock bali sterling silver french hook that isn't totally in keeping with the feel of this piece.

Anyhow I am pleased with how the Earth and Sky Chandeliers turned out. They're currently listed on my flagship shoppe called http://www.gahooletree.etsy.com/ and this creation has caught the attention of enough readers that I was featured on Talent Database the other day as an emerging designer! Whoopee!!!

I'm enjoying the opportunity to showcase my work online. These blogs, online shoppes and websites are a wonderful record of my work, my online portfolio as it were. And it's becoming an important part of my creative process to document my accomplishments and progress in this regard.

Summery Lemon DropsThe coolest part of this earwire development process is that I can now expand upon this base and create more styles. And perhaps this 'need' to develop high end findings will force me to get out the torch.

But before I get to that I suppose I need to reorganize my workspace and create a true soldering and metalworking bench area. And before I do that, I absolutely must clean up my studio. Things here have gotten way too crowded and disorganized :)

Apr 8, 2008

Great Supplies Store

I've been meaning to do a write up on a great new jewellery supplier I ran across a few weeks ago, BobbiThisnThat on etsy. Bobbi carries wonderful jewellery items at fabulous prices and she is extremely adept at dealing with special requests like those from cranky, overworked designers :(

I bought high end fancy Bali sterling silver toggles like the Dragonfly Toggle shown below. Bobbi sources her finds directly from Bali to ensure you're getting a fair price. I also grabbed up some of Bobbi's fancy czech beads, fancy 26g vermeil headpins - you know, hard to find stuff that I'd been searching all over for.

And one great thing I absolutely must comment on, is that this is a Canadian outlet... just down Hwy. 401 from me. Come to think of it, I've already placed five orders with Bobbi and many of the components I received will be worked into luxe pieces to be Visit www.BobbiThisnThat.etsy.comfeatured in my flagship store Gahooletree.

Bobbi's online store is extremely popular with Etsians the world over and she's making record sales due in no small part to her broad offerings of quality components at very fair prices. She provides lightning fast shipping too! Check out ALL of Bobbi's goodies at http://www.bobbithisnthat.etsy.com/ today!