Saul Bell Design Award

The Saul Bell Design competition is for jewelry designers around the world.  Presented by Rio Grande, the award is a challenge for designers to think outside the box and break through traditional methods of jewelry design.

I've entered my newest creation, the "Vanishing Point" necklace, made from fine and sterling silver wire and Tourmalinated Quartz.  Each and every component is hand made, including the individual chain links.  This piece is entered in the Silver/Argentium® Silver category.

Tourmalinated Quartz Necklace

The name "Vanishing Point" was inspired by the vanishing point technique in linear perspective drawing, where all lines converge toward the center.  I thought this Tourmalinated Quartz stone was perfect for this idea due to it's clear color with the tourmaline stranding, as the tourmaline crystals seem to "disappear" within the stone.

Wire Wrapped Necklace

Tourmalinated Quartz is a powerful stone for balance.  It is a great problem solver and can help turn negative thoughts and energies into positive ones.  It will aid in detoxification of the body and alleviate digestive issues.

Healing Quartz Jewelry

Grand prize is a $10,000 gift certificate to Rio Grande Jewelry Supply.  Finalists will be announced in November.  Keep your fingers crossed!

A Love Message Etched in Silver

I recently expanded my skill set by learning a technique called etching.

Etching on sterling silver is not a difficult process.  It does, however, require some practice as well as the collection of the proper materials.

I found that using "press-n-peel" paper worked best for the design transfer onto the metal.  I am lucky enough to live close to a specialty photography store where I was able to purchase ferric nitrate (the etching chemical) in a small amount. Combined with this extremely informative video, the etching project was a success!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHMmP7wpskI&w=560&h=315]

In this case, the etched design was a message borrowed from a love poem, later read during a vow renewal ceremony in Hawaii (Yes, I attended).

The etched ring was created as part of wedding/vow renewal ring set for two very dear friends, now married for 10 years!  Because this particular love poem was so important to the couple, you can imagine how THRILLED I was to be able to make this work.

Here are some photos of the etching process and the finished ring for the groom-

silver etching

etched silver ring

etched silver ring

The ring for the bride was created by weaving sterling and fine silver wire to set a large london blue topaz and two cubic zirconias.  The resulting piece is one of the nicest pieces of jewelry I've ever made.

This design has inspired many new ideas.

blue cocktail ring

The vow renewal ceremony was beyond gorgeous, on the beach of Hanalei, HI on the island of Kauai.  The weather was perfect, the ocean a beautiful turquoise, and even a rainbow appeared over the water.  True magic.

I am so thankful to be a part of this couple's continuing love by creating the rings they will be wearing for years to come.

Man O'War

I am always inspired by the ocean as well as it's creatures.  There is something truly magical and elusive about them.  My latest piece was inspired by this photo of the Man O'War Jellyfish.  Beautifully deadly.

I chose the Larimar gemstone for this design due to it's properties as well as it's gorgeous blue color.  I believe I was able to capture the liquid movement of the Man O'War by using chain and thick guage wire to create the "tentacles."

Larimar is a stone that is said to bring one closer to the ocean by opening channels of communication with ocean creatures.  It also brings peace and tranquility to the wearer.

Like a Man O'War lures it's prey, Larimar continues to lure me in with it's gorgeous blue hues and lightning-like patterns.  A perfect gemstone for this creation.

larimarsquid1-1900
larimarsquid1-1900
larimarsquid3-1900
larimarsquid3-1900
larimarsquid2-1900
larimarsquid2-1900

A Tiger Lilly = Inspiration

The fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.

One thing I've always remembered about this summertime celebration is that Tiger Lillies are in full bloom.

These flowers are a fabulous vibrant orange that can create fields of color.

I realize we are in the middle of winter, but doesn't this necklace just remind you of a hot summer day, maybe fireworks to follow?  Who ISN'T thinking about warm weather right now?  I know I am...

Tiger Lilly
Tiger Lilly
Tiger Lilly
Tiger Lilly
Tiger Lilly Necklace
Tiger Lilly Necklace

Holiday Creations...

I was so blessed this Christmas season with lots of business! 

Thank you, fans, for your loyalty and support!

Take a look at my Holiday Creations.

Wire wrapped bracelet

Gold wire bracelet

Larimar Necklace

Laboradorite Necklace

Laboradorite Necklace

Green Gemstone Jewelry

Chrysoprase wire wrapped necklace

Sabrinah's Artisan Adornments

Blue Gemstone pendant

Sabrinah's Artisan Adornments

Ohm Necklace

Sabrinah's Art

So, the season kept me busy!  

I have LOTS more to come. 

I've re-vamped a few of my "vintage" pieces and I'm working on a pair of druzy earrings that I'm sure you'll love. 

Stay tuned for more photos!

Sign up here for my mailing list... Valentine's coupons being distributed soon!

Accepted to Red-Dot Gallery!

My first exhibition!  Opening night is this Friday, December 9th from 4:30 to 7:30 PM.

Red-Dot Gallery

Four of my pieces are in the exhibit and will be displayed and available for purchase from December 9th through January 16th. 

I'm so excited!

Because of the "Winter Holiday" nature of the exhibit, I named the pieces after the season.  It's usually difficult for me to name pieces for some reason, but this time wasn't too bad.  A little help from friends, of course!

Aquamarine earrings

druzy ring

pearl jewelry

aquamarine necklace

Thanks for reading!  Oh, and one more thing... join my mailing list!

About Red-Dot Gallery:

Check out this awesome article by Mechele Hesbrook of SantaFe.com.

The article explains the motivation behind the gallery and it's founders,  as well as some information about the Santa Fe Community College.  GOOD READ!

Radical Jewelry Makeover ~ What's in YOUR Jewelry Box?

Radical Jewelry Makeover... Have you heard of this?

Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM) involves taking donations of people's unwanted jewelry, disassembling and sorting it, melting it down, and creating new, beautiful pieces for people to wear and cherish.

 I recently learned about this non-profit, action-oriented group of "ethical metalsmiths" at my silversmithing class.  In fact, Santa Fe will be the fifth location for RJM to take place, and we are very excited about it!

Beginning Friday this week I will be participating in this innovative event, which begins in the studio at the Santa Fe Community College.  Several professional jewelers will join the students to create beautiful new pieces from old, unwanted costume and fine jewelry that has been donated by the public.

After one week of studio-intense creating, the finished pieces will be displayed at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, available for sale to the public.

Check out this video for a detailed explanation of Radical Jewelry Makeover...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39d_phfUnjI]

Visit the Radical Jewelry Makeover Blog for the latest RJM news...

The amount of metals and gemstones being consistently mined is staggering.  I can't think of a better way to create awareness for the public, students, and professional  jewelers as to where our metals and stones come from, and how to better protect these precious materials.

I have been totally inspired by this group of jewelers.  It is a great feeling to know that there are people out there that still have respect for the Earth, and will take the appropriate action to make a difference.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to participate in this event, and proud to be a part of something so special.

Although creating jewelry from raw materials is my job, I will definitely be paying much closer attention as to where my materials come from, how they are extracted... and of course, I will be doing A LOT more recycling!

One great thing about Santa Fe  is that precious metals and other materials have been recycled as a way of jewelry making for hundreds of years.  Taking my silversmithing class has taught me how to recycle my silver scrap to create sterling sheet and wire, which I then use to create new designs.  Read my post, "A Day with Jerry Faires" for details as to how this is done.

Although I will never stop creating new jewelry, I am anxious to be a part of an event that will help save the planet, as well as set a good example to others in my profession.  Stay tuned for photos and updates from RJM Santa Fe!

This is my donation.... What's in YOUR jewelry box?

Radical Jewelry Makeover

A Day with Jerry Faires

I was fortunate enough to witness a day-long demonstration by Jerry Faires, a well known silversmith and musician from Santa Fe.

He came to my silversmithing class with a bag of sterling silver spoons, some tools, and his guitar.  We had been told by our teacher, Greg Harris, that we wouldn't want to miss this day of class, and boy was he right.

I was intrigued from the moment he walked into the studio. He wore a plain gray tshirt and  jeans with a hand-sewn back pocket. He was decorated with numerous turquoise necklaces, a concho belt buckle, and two GORGEOUS  thick turquoise bracelets.

Jerry is what a silversmith would call a first phase smith, meaning he creates his jewelry pieces using the same techniques as silversmiths used in the early 1900s.  Conchos were routinely used to adorn equine tack as well as belts and other jewelry.  Here is an example of some conchos made by Jerry Faires:

Jerry Faires

As Jerry slipped on his blacksmith apron with brown leather with fringes, he told us he would be creating a bracelet.  As he gathered his tools, he began to recite a poem- the first of many that day- describing old west trade, silversmithing, and love.  Totally captivating.

Jerry began the process of creating the bracelet by melting his sterling silver spoons in a crucible, then pouring the molten silver into a mold.  He ended up with a long rectangular band, which he hand-filed smooth and straight.

Using a large hammer and a chasing tool, he pushed the edges of the silver outward, creating high ridges on the outer edges of the band, as well as in the middle.  Believe me when I say he made this laboring work look EASY.

chasing

metal chasing tools
chasing tools

He then used a type of metal stamp to create a rope-like appearance to the raised ridges... he eyeballed the distance between stamping- I estimate each side (and the middle) required between 30-50 stamps...

He stamped to a "beat" with the rhythm of tap, WHAM...  tap, WHAM.  The stamp to silver like a knife in butter.  Truly amazing to watch, and also perfectly spaced.

He used a chisel and large hammer to cut through the silver between the middle ridge and outer two ridges.

He then used a special tool to separate the bands, creating two open splits in the bracelet.  The "silver separator" is a retired tool that orthopods formerly used to break apart plaster casts, how interesting!

cast splitter

When watching Jerry, one can tell that he obviously has a relationship with each of his tools.  Most of the tools had been handmade either by Jerry or one of his close friends.  Several of his tools were decorated pieces themselves, with coins and stones, and he had a story to tell about each one of them.

During our lunch break, well...  We had a live music session...  Jerry's music is just as well thought-out as his jewelry.  I could tell that Jerry's musical inspiration had come from his own life events.  What a great way to learn more about a person...

After lunch it was time to set the stone.  Jerry created a silver backing for a large piece of Colorado turquoise (that he cut himself) from the end of a silver spoon.  He annealed the spoon (heated it) and then rolled it flat with a rolling mill, creating a flat circle.

He then made his own bezel, the piece of silver that surrounds the stone, by rolling another piece of silver out long and flat, then cut it to size with leather shears.

His soldering capabilities were incredible- to say the least.  From start to finish, this gorgeous piece of jewelry was created in 5 hours.  AMAZING.  And it looks like it stepped out of the beginning of the 20th century.

Turquoise Cuff, Native American Jewelry

Jerry Faires

It gets better... Jerry gives lessons in his shop...  bet you can guess what I'll be doing this fall!

Read more about Jerry Faires at  http://www.JerryFaires.com

jerry faires

Jerry Faires singer-guitarist-storyteller of Santa Fe, New Mexico...

this poet and performer has created a portrait of the world and it's people with heart and humor, wit and wisdom. An artist in precious metal and beautiful stones as well as melody and words, Faires' long journey from South Texas, through Oklahoma coffeehouse days, inner-city St. Louis to Santa Fe's hippie honky-tonks has provided him with a rich and colorful pallette for a poet-singer