Things I’m Liking – Silver Stud Earrings

Today in ‘Things I’m Liking’ are three styles that are very representative of my own aesthetic leanings.

I love the Art Deco period. It’s very interesting to me because it spans such a long period of time: Started in the 1920s. Was strong through the 1930s and early 1940s and although it’s decline could be seen post WW2, you can still see it’s influence in design of the 50s… and again today with a lot of geometric design being so popular right now.

deco shell upper metal class

Art Deco Shell Earring Studs by Upper Metal Class

These Tulip earrings by Ginny Reynders are evocative of her Dutch heritage, but speak to a larger Folk art aesthetic.

tulip

Tulip Earrings by Ginny Reynders Jewellery

These are particularly interesting to me as a long time digital designer of icons and interfaces, but they also have a bit of a Kawaii aspect, like my own work at Paper Ivy.

weather forecast huili tan

Weather Forecast Stud Set by Huiyi Tan

Fun Stud Earrings I’m liking

paper plane rare indeed

Paper Planes by Rare Indeed.
I might have to buy these. You can still have them too. They make them to order!

red lego studs Gumboot

Red Lego Studs by Gumboot.
Possibly the thing I liked most about these was this in the description: “perfect for weddings or the pub”. Also, lego!

squirrel when adam met eve

Squirrel and Acorn stud earrings by When Adam Met Eve.
Cute!

What are you liking?

Jewellery Tool Collection

I’ve enjoyed my silver smithing class so much that I think I’m going to have to arrange a permanent setup for it at home. I’m thinking a little spot at the end of our tiny garage, but there will need to be some serious organisation/ebay-ing going on in there before that happens. I’ll let you know how it goes, maybe a before and after of the setup?

My tool collection is growing…

toolsMar2013

Current stash of tools

  1. Set of needle files (for filing in tricky places)
  2. Rawhide hammer (for shaping rings around a mandrel)
  3. Micro torch (for light soldering work)
  4. Insulated cross lock tweezers (for holding pieces while soldering)
  5. Jewellers saw (for… sawing things)
  6. Saw lubricant (better for the saw, better for the result)
  7. Chasing hammer (Can be used for flattening, riveting and texturing)
  8. Two half round files: a 0 and a 2 cut (we all know what files do right?)
  9. A beautiful, Italian made ring mandrel that I justified buying because the cheaper option had no ring size markings
  10. Round nose pliers for bending things, usually wire, into a rounded shape.
  11. Sanding sticks… actually they are paint stirrers from a hardware store, but they have that great little ergonomic dip on either side which makes them great to use. Each stick is covered in a different grade of wet and dry. When I wear it down, I just rip off that side and I have a fresh strip of it!
  12. Bench pin: This is what I use to stabilise my pieces when I’m working on them

Y’know, there are few more pieces of equipment that are not in this pic. Some pretty crucial ones actually! So I’ll mention them now, but maybe they’ll make an appearance in my before and after setup post? They are:

  1. A ceramic tile
  2. Magnesia soldering block
  3. Cutting compound
  4. Polishing compound for giving things a nice buffed finished
  5. Polishing cloth
  6. A Dremel drill! I can’t wait to polish up Ivy’s ring (with it’s tiny, hard to get at spots) using this , but I’ll need to go and buy a few new bits for it first. (Must do a WIP post for that!)

I’ll let you know how the setup goes!

Silver Smithing Progress

A while ago I mentioned that I was going to start a silver smithing class. Now I only have one class left and I’ve really loved it.

So far I have made three rings: One for Shawn, one for Ivy and one for myself.
3 rings

Mine is a plain, half-round ring in 100% recycled sterling silver. Shawn’s ring is made from the same wire as mine, but it has been hammered to give it texture (although his is hard to see at the back of this picture).

Ivy's ring WIP

Ivy’s Ring – A Work in Progress… and in the background a pendant I’m working on too.

Ivy’s ring is plain like mine, but it isn’t finished yet. Above you’ll see a little flower resting against her ring. I sawed this from some sheet sterling silver, but I need to perfect the edges and finish this weekend. On Monday night I’ll anneal it (heat it, which will strengthen it), dome it so that the petals curve up slightly, then inside I’m going to put a small silver ball that I’ll make by fusing some of my scrap silver together. (When you heat up your scraps they ball up. It’s very cool to watch.) Once that’s done I’ll solder the ball on, then solder the flower to the ring. It’s going to be so freaking adorable I might need one for myself when I’m finished.

I just hope it goes according to plan. Wish me luck!

Life inStyle Sydney – February 2013

Life inStyle is a design trade show showcasing lots of eye-candy from stationery, linen, shoes, jewellery, kids clothes and toys and lots more.  I’ve chosen to just focus on 4 exhibitors, because honestly, there was so much to look at and so much great stuff that I couldn’t possibly cover it all and I really wanted to spend some time just absorbing.

The first exhibitor I approached was Yumi from and O design, based in Melbourne, Australia. The thing that attracted me to her work was actually the porcelain brooches she had tucked away at the back and her gold and silver coated lustre pieces, but she also seemed to have her own take on the “round bead necklace” (you know what I mean, everyone has a version). I googled her and discovered her Etsy shop. Oh my!  I already liked her work, but this was a bit of a revelation. She was immediately favourited. My husband will be directed to my Etsy favourites on the next gift-giving occasion! The Japanese feel of her work really shone through. Yumi keeps her eye on current trends, but isn’t a slave to them and I love that she references her roots. (I should add a slight disclaimer and say that I have a thing for Japanese design and my own work even reflects this a little).

and_o_designs

Beautiful Ceramic Jewellery from and O Design

Next up was Amy from Kookery. Her aim is to help you “Quirk your kitchen”. She has lovely linen teatowels in neutral colours, printed with witty kitchen related fun. She can also sort you out with prints for your kitchen, market totes and cards for all the foodie gifts you give. My favourite is: “To brie or not to brie. That is not a question.” So true!

kookery

Kookery – Giving you a laugh in the kitchen.

I then wandered along to chat to Rachel and Ishak from Milk and Masuki. This gorgeous couple were generous with chatting to me about the details of their beautiful and eco-conscious baby products. The fabric they use is 100% organic cotton, the designs are created and screen printed by hand, by them. Did I mention that the design is very cool too? I don’t know why so many brands think we want to dress our kids in cheesy frou frou, not here though. I loved the colour, patterns and illustrations that they use. Let’s face it. That’s what attracted me in the first place. Have a look!

milk_and_masuki

Lovely baby products by Milk and Masuki

Lastly, I have to mention the great booth design from Down to the Woods. Their booth rained trails of colourful pom poms. I kind of just wanted to hang out there! I’m also big fan of their freckle rugs, hello, arrow and cloud signs, felt ribbon, mushroom lamps and other dreamy childhood themed objects.

down_to_the_woods

Pom pom rain at the Down in the Woods booth.

Ah, design heaven.

2013 The Year Ahead

At the beginning of the year I like to think about what I’d like to achieve for the next 12 months. I wouldn’t call them resolutions exactly, it’s more a planning phase. I thought I’d share some of these with you.

Rest
The first (as my newsletter subscribers will know) was to have a rest! Actually, I should say this one wasn’t planned so much as it happened organically (read: I pushed myself too hard and my body pretty much told me to ease up). This explains the month-long silence on the blog. I really needed to do a little nothing for a little while. Just to sit and watch an episode of something on TV without sitting there making something became unheard of and I think I needed to just sit still for a while and enjoy some family-time and some me-time.

Extend My Skills
So, after going on about resting, it really didn’t last all that long because I’m now doing a course in silver-smithing, on top of everything else. I’m so excited about it though and very curious to see how or if it changes the way I make jewellery… aside from it updating my personal collection. I did minor in jewellery and object design at uni, but I want exposure to other techniques. Wish me luck!

List All Current Stock
I have a lot of laser cut jewellery that I haven’t added to the shop yet, so I need to allocate lots of time to photographing and listing them all. This brings up yet another listing point…

More Occasion Items
I really want to offer a bigger range of options for people interested in special occasion cards. To start with, I have two Valentine’s Day items in the shop: a heart pendant in walnut (the first pendant offered in the online shop!) and a matching heart grid card.

ValentineGrid

Of course not everyone is a heart-pendant-wearing type, so don’t forget that other styles of brooches and earrings are available too.

More Single Cards
Traditionally I’ve offered occasion cards as single cards and art cards as packs. Now I’m starting to list all cards as single cards, but the art cards will still be available in packs of 6. A couple of single non-occasion cards have already made their way into the shop, like this one!
closeup_listing

Update the Website
I need to do some housekeeping with the website and add a few nice visual things to make it a better experience.

What Else?
I do have some other, slightly grander plans, but I don’t want to jinx them. I’ll let you know further down the track!