Square 1 Ring Collection

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This week I officially released the new Square 1 collection. This is the refined version of the up-cycled ring I blogged about a couple weeks ago. I created an entire stacking ring set with this simple design.

Square sterling silver ring set with rounded sides and a textured and oxidized groove at the top. A 14kt square gold setting sits asymmetrical on the top groove of each ring and holds a rough diamond cube, a orange sapphire and a green sapphire. The grooves have a light texture and have been oxidized to give a higher contrast between the gold setting and the blackened silver. The entire set is 15mm wide.

The rings are also available as single rings. I always love how rough diamonds look in yellow gold. Its just a better color contrast then sterling silver.

The gold setting in this ring is 4mm square and the diamond ranges between 3.3 to 3.5 mm (0.4 to 0.5 points). The color of the diamond range from a warm yellow to a dark gray or whitish gray.

The new addition is a green sapphire ring. The band is 5 mm wide. The gold setting is 3.5 mm square and the natural sapphire is 2.6 mm square. The green sapphires range in color from a forest green, over olive to lime yellow.

The narrowest ring has a gorgeous orange Sapphire that looks like it is on fire. The band is 4 mm wide. The gold setting is 3 mm square and the natural sapphire is 2mm square. Vibrant Reddish Orange color, just awesome.

I am adding rings with blue sapphires and rubies in the next few weeks. If you are interested you can contact me about a price quote. All rings are available on Etsy and my web site. I will hopefully also get them onto the Artful Home site.

Birthday Present

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Today is my birthday and I forgot to give myself a nice birthday present. Duh...
I wanted make a nice ring for myself with this amazing blue Topaz stone that I chipped a couple month ago. With the small chip on the side I can't sell it to anyone anyways, but I can still make a ring for myself and hide this chip in the setting. Unfortunately I am not that well organized when it comes to preparing for my own birthday. So here is the day and I can still only stare at the loose gem stone. Bummer! I guess I can still make it into a nice Christmas present.

But I finished a nice new ring yesterday that I have an eye on to just keep for myself. That might be the substitute birthday present and not a bad one either. Love how it came out.

It has a beautiful light blue Drusy Chalcedony which somehow looks like it has tiny brown freckles under the drusy crystals. I added some 18 karat gold bubbles on the side that look like tree dimensional freckles. It's wired that lately I am starting to add some gold accent to some of my pieces. Must be the Holiday season being around.

The ring is somewhat a mix between my Tetra line and the Ergo rings. It has the freeform shank design  and the underside of the ring is molded against the stone. It's very comfortable and fits me perfectly. This might be the sign to keep it. I guess I will have to make up my mind in the next few days.
I don't have this exact stone again to make something in custom sizes for my shop. But I have some other drusies in similar shape, one is black and the other red. Those would look perfect with the little gold accents too.


Mandarines and Aquas

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I finally spend last night until the early wee hours to work on some photos and post new rings in my shop.
I created these smaller versions of Tetra rings  in late August but did not get the photo shoot done until yesterday. The Tourmaline ring on the right was posted in my shop since a couple weeks and just sold last week. It's now on it's way to the Netherlands to find a new home. The other two rings use quite rare stones: a fiery orange Spessartite Garnet and a rare intense blue Santa Maria Aquamarine.

The garnet family of gemstones is large and varied, but spessartite garnet is no ordinary garnet. Spessartite is a brilliant gem that has a refractive index even higher than sapphire. It shows an amazing sunny glow. I have one ring made in size 6.5 and still have 2 other similar stones available for custom sizes. One is a cushion cut like the gem in the ring and the other has a brilliant trillion cut.

As with most gems, the more intense shades of aquamarine are the most popular, and the intensity of the shade changes depending on the source of the stone. The most sought-after color is known as the Santa Maria aquamarine. Santa Maria aquamarines are a deep ocean blue and have an enchanting fire and brilliance. Found at a single mine in Brazil called the Santa Maria de Itabira mine, Santa Maria aquamarine stones are quite rare. Lose yourself in the rare, intense blue of this Santa Maria Aquamarine gemstone ring. The faceted aquamarine has a amazing blue color. It's size is 7 x 7 mm and it weights 3/4 ct.

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival: Business Success Secrets

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Each month, EtsyMetal artists write about a different topic related to the arts. This month it is:
Business Success Secrets:  

What does it mean to you to be "successful" in business as an artist?
This is just the second year I run my jewelry endeavor officially as a business. Or at least I believe I need to treat it like a business to get it from nowhere to somewhere. It is still a part time gig for now and the real success would be to be able to concentrate on this full time. So far I am measuring my success on the small steps I accomplish every day, every month, one ring at a time. The biggest reward are the compliments I get from my customers. If I made someone happy with a little art piece to wear, it's the best accomplishment I can hope for. 

There is something good about starting a business during a down economy. A slow economy means slow business. But that is true of a startup in a strong economy too. I can grow slow during these quiet times, and be positioned to grow explosively as the economy recovers. I can make all the errors now, learn from them and get stronger once things start up again. So far the second year has been so much better for me than the year before. Yes, I made a few mistakes, but I had at least to try them to see they are not working. Learning from errors is still the fastest way to learn. 

How do you walk the line between creativity and profitability? 
Having still a full time job as an architect, I don't have to worry too much about paying the bills with my art. It gives me the freedom to try out a lot of new things without worrying too much about if they sell or not. If I get good feedback and rings sell; great. But I don't sweat it, I can always melt those pieces down and make something new out of it. I often turn down request for custom pieces if I feel they don't fit in with what I am on right now. Sometimes they simply don't fit in my schedule and would get me overwhelmed. Being stressed out is not worth the money it might bring in. 
I definitely love to do new designs more than I like production work. I have so many designs in my head, there is never enough time to get them all out of my system and made into a tangible object. The few pieces I do multiples, I actually somewhat enjoy making since I still like the designs. However, I don't see myself making 100 rings of the same design. I probably start changing it up just to keep it fresh. Usually that's how new lines start. They grow out of designs I did before and usually they are better than the previous version. It's a design evolution. 

I strongly believe that you have to love what you make to be truly successful at it. If you don't stand 200% behind your creations they won't sell either. 

What is the best thing you've done for your business?
Connecting with like-minded artists like the Etsymetal team has been the best thing for me to get a step closer to my business goals. I learn so much from their point of views, hearing tips and tricks on how they got to where they are right now. Knowing there is always someone you can ask and get an answer. It's such a great resource. I also discovered the power of social media and how fast one can get ideas out there and get some feedback. I am still kind of a dork when it comes to blogging, Facebook and especially Twitter. But those have been a great tools to built customer relationships. I see people coming back to my store that saw a posting on my blog or Facebook. To use it to it's full potential I should really post more often, but it is a challenge sometimes to find that time.

Check out what my fellow etsymetal members think about this topic.

stacey http://wildflowerdesigns.blogspot.com 
victoria takahashi / experimetal http://vtakahashi.blogspot.com
2Roses: http://jewelrytutorial.blogspot.com
Jenny: http://ridgeschool.blogspot.com/ 
Beth Cyr: http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com
Twigs and Heather: http://twigsandheather.blogspot.com
Purified: http://purifiedart.blogspot.com
Nina Gibson: http://ninagibsondesigns.blogspot.com

Sparkly Black Drusy Ring

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If you like some sparkle in your live and love to wear the color black, this sleek ring is just right for you.

This amazing ring from the "Tetra" collection features a trillion Black Drusy Agate gem stone. The black colored stone is quite unique as tiny quartz crystals, called Drusy or Druzy, form within an agate, adding beauty and uniqueness. The ring fits a US size 7 but it can still be re-sized one size up (8 ). The stone is 14.4 mm by 14.3 mm. The sterling silver ring has a satin brushed finish and the bezel setting has a polished rim around the stone.

For any custom sizes I have a few other black drusy stones available that have a similar shape, some smaller, some wider or narrower etc. Everyone will yield a different unique ring.

And if you rather would like to add some color to your life you can choose from these 2 peach or the brown drusy.

A druzy (or, more commonly, drusy) is the term that refers to a blanket of tiny, sparkling crystals often found inside a geode or an agate. The sparkling appearance of druzy  is like that of spilled salt or sugar. By far the most commonly found drusy is quartz (agate or chalcedony), but many other species can exist in this form : chrysocolla, uvarovite garnet, rainbow pyrite, rainbow hematite, psilomelane, cobalto-calcite, calcite, dolomite, sphalerite, melanite garnet, demantoid garnet, azurite, dioptase, siderite, vanadinite and turquoise.

The formation of the tiny crystals occurs after molten rock begins to quickly cool, trapping gasses within it as it solidifies. The trapped gasses cause crevices and cavities in the cooling rock. Nutrient-rich groundwater later flows through these gaps and crevices, depositing layer after layer of minerals which crystallize on top of each other. The resulting encrustation is called druzy (drusy, druse, druses). This process doesn't take days or weeks, but a few hundred or even a few thousand years. Naturally colored quartz drusy is found almost exclusively in muted colors such as white, grey, tan and cream. Many quartz pieces, though, are dyed black or other vivid colors such as purple, red, green and blue, and some are coated with titanium or other metallic vapor which creates various iridescent finishes.


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