Fall in Love with Earth

Happy Earth Day!Earth is a huge inspiration when creating jewelry.  The colors, textures, plants and animals that share our planet provide a continuous supply of imagery and beauty.  By taking time to study the details that surround me,  I find that the Earth activates my creative realm- a place where possibilities are endless, especially in jewelry.

Sabrinah's Art “Merneith” Malachite, Sterling and Fine Silver Wire Wrapped Earrings
Sabrinah's Art “Merneith” Malachite, Sterling and Fine Silver Wire Wrapped Earrings

This year I've decided to grow a vegetable garden to gain inspiration and life-balance through growing plants.  With the help of my husband, I built two raised garden beds.  I decided to paint them a vibrant purple, which is not only my favorite color, but also a color of healing and tranquility. I know my garden will help me discover new things about myself as well as rekindle my appreciation for the Earth.  It will feel great to get my hands in the dirt and be invigorated by the beauty of growth.

Sabrinah's Art, raised beds
Sabrinah's Art, raised beds

Life has a way of wrapping up our minds which makes it easy to forget about living in the moment.  Earth has a way of slowing things down, so we can take time to remember that we are actually alive. The Earth loves us, and it never stops giving.  Every gemstone in every piece of jewelry you own originated from the Earth and vibrates with it's energy.

Our planet is taken for granted, easily neglected and most of the time just plain disregarded, but there is no way we could survive without it.  How about we try making Earth a priority?  With all the craziness of everyday work and errands, it's not practical to constantly think about protecting the Earth.  However, we can at least make an effort to increase the time we spend loving the Earth, and in turn, loving life.

Sabrinah's Art “Tribute to the Turtle” Chrysocolla, Tourmaline, and Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Necklace
Sabrinah's Art “Tribute to the Turtle” Chrysocolla, Tourmaline, and Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Necklace

This Earth Day, make Earth your first priority.  Plant something GREENRecycle everything you can.  Give new life to something old so it can be reusedSLOW DOWN and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of a sunset, the smell of rain, the feeling of the sand between your toes, the detail in a simple leaf.  Watch a colony of ants as they work together to accomplish an impossible task while leaving no "soldier" behind.

Our Earth is truly amazing and Earth Day is a celebration of it's glory.

Thank you, Earth.  I am forever indebted to you and your endless beauty.  I simply can't live without you!

Happy Earth Day! Let's celebrate with a sale...  30% off all GREEN jewelry in my shop: Use GREEN30 at checkout!

Radical Jewelry Makeover... continued

Radical Jewelry Makeover was unbelievably fun.  It's a good thing that I always love a challenge or two.

The week-long event seemed like it would give me plenty of time-  Time, however, became the biggest challenge!  I planned to create at LEAST five pieces, which ended up being only two.  One of which was chosen for the exhibit and sale at the Wheelwright museum (YAY)!

Day one, Friday, began the assessment and sorting process.  All the donations were individually assessed based on the materials.  Of course there was tons of costume jewelry- some beautiful and some completely CRAZY but fun pieces.  Many people also donated precious metals, including sterling silver and gold.  This was exciting as much of it could be melted down to create completely new pieces.  Even with tons of help, the sorting process didn't end until 8:30 PM!  There were SO MANY donations!  THANK YOU, SANTA FE!

The jewelry was sorted based on categories such as, "looks like silver", "animals", "natural beads", etc.  Sorting was fun until I was sorting for MANY hours.  I swear I could see beads behind my eyelids as I was falling asleep that night!

Saturday was the kick-off symposium, which consisted of presentations by Christina and Susie (RJM, ethical metalsmiths), as well as several fantastic jewelers, jewelry teachers, and jewelry students from New Mexico.  I learned a great deal about the mining of precious materials, as well as ethical mining improvements and fair trade gemstones.  What a plethora of information!

Sunday was exciting- I got to choose the materials that I would use to make my pieces.  The categories of donations were separated into stations.  We split into groups of three and had 5  minutes to choose our items before switching to the next station.  Here is a picture of my loot...

Radical Jewelry Makeover
RJM selected items

The only possible way for me to see what I ACTUALLY had, was to disassemble it and organize it.

Radical Jewelry Makeover

So, then began the process of creating my pieces.  Challenge number two.

I wasn't used to dealing with base metals.

They are much harder and less forgiving, causing me to break two drill bits, one center punch, 3 saw blades (one went into my finger), and I ALMOST broke my dremel tool.

There were many ideas I had that just never worked out, which made me a little sad.

My first project was seemingly simple.  I decided to take a watch apart to use the frame as a sort of bezel.

Totally unexpected, drilling through the watch  to make a hole for the earring sent a tiny watch gear flying across the room like a ninja throwing star.

A bit scary.

This is what I ended up with...  Simple? Yes.  Easy? No.

Radical Jewelry Makeover

My second piece went a bit more smoothly.

I had a two-piece cuff bracelet that I sawed in half, and rolled in a rolling mill.

The mill turned the finish from a bright silver to a brushed tone, which looked beautiful.

Also included in this piece is a a piece of a chandelier earring, a pave crystal pendant, pieces to a brain-teaser game, a crystal post earring, a bezel from a ring, and a random crystal.

I attached the pieces with wire, as a main function of the piece is to be able to disassemble it easily if it would ever go through a process like this again.

I think it turned out pretty darn nice.

This is the piece that was chosen for the Wheelwright Museum exhibit and sale.  It was sold within 30 minutes of the opening event!

All-in-all the event was a huge success.  I had the great opportunity to do something good for the planet and meet lots of great people.

It was an amazing feeling to turn something unwanted into something beautiful, and see it SOLD at the exhibit.

I was asked by the filming crew to say three words that I felt described RJM.

1. "Important" - I feel that increasing awareness of mining processes and alternate methods of obtaining precious materials is crucial to the future of jewelry, as well as the future of the planet.

2. "Difficult" - LOTS of challenges to overcome when working with new materials and the pressure of completing projects in a weeks time.

3. "Fun" - Definitely FUN!  Who doesn't want to make jewelry around lots of other people who share such a similar passion?  Everyone created amazing pieces and I am honored to be a part of such an awesome group of jewelers!

LOVE YOU GUYS!  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!

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