Thursday, November 15, 2012

give this a Glanz

When a customer purchases a piece of my jewelry, it comes to them in a beautiful handmade box, made by Portland paper artist, Debra Glanz. I get so much great feedback about the "beautiful packaging" that I sometimes think people are buying my jewelry just to get the box!

Well, I may be putting myself out of business, but you can get just the box in Debra's etsy shop which is full of all kinds of unique boxes, just ready for something special.

bit boxes

medium boxes

tall boxes

book boxes

ring boxes

boxes with spiders...

wild and wacky boxes

and as long as we're talking gift giving, check out Debra's supply shop, Reminiscence Papers and pick up some great gift wrap, also designed by Debra.

Have fun with your gift giving this Holiday season!

(And for those in the Portland area, Debra is having her yearly studio sale this weekend along with several other artists! Check her blog for details...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

dreaming in turquoise

I just had to share a recent turquoise purchase... All from Nevada, and mostly boulder turquoise, one of my favorite materials to work with. So keep an eye out for new work to be arriving in my etsy shop as well as my local galleries!

I can't wait to get my hands into this stuff! 

A few completed pieces from the past couple of years...

and a lot more here:

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I want to provide a peek into Astoria's newest gallery, Imogen Gallery. The owner, Teri Sund, has created a clean, open space with lots of natural light, even on the rainy Oregon day that found my friend Bonnie and I road tripping from Portland to pay her a visit.

Teri is focusing on contemporary art from local NW artists. Here, Barb Campbell's whimsical pottery is shown in the foreground. 

I love this painting by Laura Mantecon...

Rain or shine, Astoria is a great place to visit, and Imogen Gallery is a wonderful addition to this charming little town at the mouth of the Columbia River. Oh, and I should mention that Imogen Gallery is now carrying my jewelry...yay!

Imogen Gallery is located at 240 11th Street

Astoria Photos

This photo of Astoria is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What is Old is New Again

Back in January I posted some photos of the Willamette River and the old Oregon City/West Linn bridge under renovation.

Designed by bridge designer Conde McCullough, designer of many of the beautiful spans along the Oregon coast, our bridge opened in 1922, and in 2005 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

After an almost 2 year closure, our historic old bridge is reopened and last weekend's celebration was for foot traffic only. 3 days of festivities brought out scores of walkers from both cities. 

From West Linn, looking toward Oregon City.
A beautiful restoration.

The Oregon City end.

A view south toward Willamette Falls, the locks, and the mills.

It was also a weekend for the dogs.
We love our bridge!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

a number of hours later...

I recently took some photos of the steps involved in making a piece of jewelry. I suppose I wanted to show the unglamorous side of the craft, and provide a good reason as to why my nails always look like s**t...

 This is the lovely result, with the graphic images of how I got there, below...

So I've decided that I quite liked the look of this pair of Cherry Creek jasper together with these faceted carnelian drops. Yum! 

I use my jeweler's saw to cut strips of sterling and form bezels around the stones. My pliers come in handy for that, and I make sure the bezel fits perfectly, not too loose, not too tight. After I've soldered the joint I spend a bit more time with my pliers and sometimes a few gentle taps with a hammer to get the fit just right. 
Next, I need to solder the bezel onto a flat sheet of silver. For these earrings, I've decided to put a cool texture on the back, and to do that I choose a piece of handmade paper and run it and the silver sheet together through a rolling mill so that the metal becomes embossed with a nice pattern. This paper makes a pattern that reminds me of reptile skin...

The next important thing to do is to make sure the bottom edge of the bezel is filed perfectly flat and that it and the silver sheet are clean, so I just sand that sheet a little to remove any dirt or oil. Sometimes I just collect it under my fingernails...

The bezels solder perfectly, due to all that careful prep work... and while they are taking a nice soak in the pickle to remove that nasty flux, having done a heroic job of allowing the solder to flow where it needs to flow, now it needs to go. While that's happening, instead of twiddling my fingers, looking around, and whistling, I start in on the gold components. Using 14kt gold wire, I make jump rings for the carnelian drops, I draw little balls on the ends of the wire, for I've decided to make the little connectors rather jaunty.

And I get to use my pliers. Once formed, I fit the connectors to the bezels and solder away, again. 

So now that the soldering is all done, I'm thinking about the earwires, and I figure I might as well get going on those. I end up wrapping a little bit of 14kt gold wire around them just to tie them in nicely with the earrings, because I just really like mixing metals, don't you? 

I'm also using a coarse file to hand texture the sides of the bezels. That usually takes a bit of time, but I am in a serious hand textured phase, and don't mind doing it. I don't yet know what my next phase will be... 
I also spend time at this point on the finish. I don't want a real shiny surface and I don't want a dull surface either. So through a process of gently heating and quenching the pieces in the same pickle that got rid of our flux, I bring up the fine silver to the surface of the metal for, as Goldilocks would say,  a "just right" finish.

And finally, the setting of the stones. The little carnelian drops have holes drilled in their tops, so they get epoxy, but the jasper, well they get the full spa treatment. Wearing my 10x optivisors, it seems like only yesterday I was a 5x. sigh... I hammer that bezel edge so that it is tight up against the stone. I am being very careful not to sneeze during this process. 
I clean up the top edge of the bezel with a file and give the edge a polish, attach the carnelian and the earwires, and voila! 

the hand textured sides

lizard skin, right?

If you've made it to this point, I just have to say thanks for hanging in there!

Friday, August 31, 2012


I just want to give a little shout out to my pals in etsymetal, a juried team of metalsmiths on etsy, of which I'm very happy to be a member!

You can get a closer look at these individual artists here, or peruse an international group of over 100 jewelers and metalsmiths at, and follow our blog at!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Matchmaker, matchmaker...

I recently finished a sweet little pair of earrings featuring Sonoran dendritic ryolite and thought I might like to accessorize the accessory...

So I began with a lovely piece of clothing from a much admired designer...

A linen jacket from Lois, of 13 Threads (check out the details!)

Then I thought I might like to add this vintage 1960's dress from Vera Vague to wear under Lois' jacket...

as well as these antique Edwardian shoes from Vera's collection, that fascinate me.

And from Dawn, of La Touchables, a beautiful little theater bag, lovingly pieced together from vintage and handwoven fabric.

Finally, I'd add a few of these lovely little square sterling bangles from jewelry designer, Su at Quercus Silver

Now all I need is a place to go... 

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm having a sale!

It's feels like the right time to let go of my line of rings featuring glass and sterling silver. I've had a ton of fun with them over the years, but it's time to move on... What I have remaining in my inventory is all listed in my etsy shop at a $25. discount plus free shipping added into the mix. Sizes vary from ring to ring, and the sale is for in-store stock only, no special orders. Hope you'll take a peek!

Not every ring shown here is still available...

but still plenty to choose from though.

all the rings are hand fabricated and one of a kind!