Category Archives: Uncategorized

Travel and Fresh Metal…

Recently arrived home from a trip to sunny Cancun Mexico. A week in the sun and the water was wonderful. After about 6 days I am ready to return home from anywhere but it was good times had by all of us. We really wanted to take our two kids out of the country as well just so they could experience life lived in was other than what they know. It was good for them. The water in the Yucatan Peninsula is known for being crystal clear and aqua blue. We snorkeled and scuba dove, swam and ski jet skied, ate, walked, toured the Mayan ruins. The Mayan ruins are one of the wonders of the world and I now have more information on that then I’ll ever need. (Our tour guide has a Phd Mayan culture.)

Mayan temple is not really a temple… it’s a calendar. The Mayans kept such accurate track of time that their calendar has a leap year every 5,000+ years. Nasa uses the Mayan calendar and developed the Atomic calendar with it. Pretty smart for 4,000 years ago. Twice per year on the Spring Equinox and the Fall… the corners of the temple create a shadow down the stairs of a slithering snake- ending at a huge stone carved snakes head which. We were there the day after the Equinox…the day of the Equinox 50,000 people there to see it.

Traditional Spanish town about half way to the Mayan ruins. This church was built in 1545, destroyed of course in battles, rebuilt in 1705, some town Mayors murdered in it and the church was painted with their blood..eeekkkk!!!!!!!! This is one of the only churches in the world banished by the Catholic church because of it’s gruesome history. I did not get an accurate story about this church either…the language barrier kept a lot of details from me.

Guy in this town making Mayan charm pendants for tourists while they wait. He is working in a space the size of a closet with people lined up out the door.

Under ground Cenote…

Just loved this Flatbed bug ūüôā

Savannah snorkeling…right after this photo we saw a fish as big as we are and he was standing his ground so we turned around like a couple of chickens.

The end of our travels to Mexico… it was very hot there and actually when we got home to 35 degrees it felt refreshing but I have always loved it here in Wisconsin.

Nail Through My Heart Necklace With Handmade Chain… This photo is not the best… the stone is awesome! I love making this necklace and this is the best one yet! Link:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/521810847/sterling-silver-heart-necklace-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_2

Labradorite ring with Aquamarine Gemstone. This was a custom order and my apprentice made it, Kali… she really held down the fort here while I was gone. Without her it would be very difficult to take a vacation for a week. I just cannot keep track of orders, emails, shipments, and production without help. She is a great help and is also becoming a very talented metalsmith.

Palm Root Fossil and Citrine… handwoven viking knit chain. Link:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/506828562/sterling-silver-necklace-handmade-one-of?ref=shop_home_active_52

Crazylace Agate and Vanadinite…handmade solid cable neck wire. I just made this Thursday but it is sold. These are really my favorite pieces to make…the unexpected stones turned jewelry, the rough with the polished, the ugly and the pretty…. I am glad that you all like my crazier pieces because if you didn’t I couldn’t keep doing what I love to do, so thank you. I am at a point in my life where this is what I am and there is no turning back, just going forward and learning/evolving.

To anyone I went to High School with I will be in the Oconomowoc Art Show this year August 18th and 19th… it’s as close to Fort Atkinson as I can get so please stop in and say hello. That is a new show for me and had several of my Door Co. customers ask me to apply there because they live in the more southern part of the state. I just got news that I was accepted in. I will not be in Madison this year. I just decided I do not like the Urban environment and the great expensive of the show. I would rather be in the grass at a park then on hot pavement in between high rise buildings. Other shows are listed on my events page. Summer will be here soon. Happy Spring to all and God bless you and yours.

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ArtiGras Art Show This Weekend

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ArtiGras is this weekend in Green Bay at Shopko Hall across from Lambeau Field: Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-5      link: http://mosaicartsinc.org/artigras/about.php   I will be at Booth 37, so stop in and say hello. I will try and post some pics to Instagram of the weekends events. It usually is really nice to get out and see people this time of year. Above Labradorite necklace: https://www.etsy.com/listing/497592472/sterling-silver-labradorite-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_31

Sterling Silver and Moissanite Handmade Engagement Ring

I’m scrolling through pics to add them into this post and I feel like I could add pics forever just for the pure pleasure of seeing all of the work I have created for so many of you. It is such a ‘joy’… so thank you! The studio is busy, but please don’t ever think we are ‘too busy’ for your special project. I would not be here without you and without you asking me to do something for you. I’m here working away and would love to make something just for you. Ring Above link:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/514379079/sterling-silver-ring-handmade-sterling?ref=listing-shop-header-3

Handmade Garnet Ring

Wild Prairie Silver this fall has had an apprentice come on board. It’s great to watch a new metalsmith work and learn. She doesn’t need to learn that much… she’s a natural. Her name is Kali and she made this ring along with several others. Welcome Kali to the wonderful love hate relationship you can now have with metal. It’s a very bipolar love affair… the Smith and the Metal… ¬† ¬†Above Ring link:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/501405074/sterling-silver-ring-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-0

Handmade Sterling Silver Necklace

This is a crazy specimen piece of jewelry…love it! It’s big and crazy and wonderful. Link:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/494870798/sterling-silver-spessartite-garnet?ref=shop_home_active_21

Labradorite Necklace

Labradorite Necklace & Huge Chain  Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/514346111/sterling-silver-necklace-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_2

What else is new? We got a new puppy dog, named Taz. He is some kind of Boxer mix from a local shelter. He is really Savannah’s baby doll to be honest with you. He would like for you to wrap him in a blanket all day and hold him even though he’s more than 60 pounds now. We miss Dusty Dawg and his maverick ways but Taz is growing on us…literally cuz he never stops touching you.

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Sterling Silver Wisconsin Charm Necklace now comes with a sterling silver heart or a solid 18k gold heart. I like this style the best out of all of them. They have been featured in Our Wisconsin Magazine so that has been a great boost!!!! Thank you Our Wisconsin!!!!!! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/497121284/sterling-silver-wisconsin-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_2

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My new show schedule is out on my website… and I will up date it on this blog as well but you can check it out at Http://www.WildPrairieSilver.com. If I don’t see you this weekend hopefully see you soon at a Summer Show!!! xo ~ joy

Ring Above link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/500470570/sterling-silver-ring-handmade-by-wild?ref=shop_home_active_6

DAILY PICS OF US WORKING AND MAKING~FRESH METAL ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY ~ INSTAGRAM #WILDPRAIRIESILVER


It’s Been Too Long…

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It’s been too long! ūüôā I have not been writing in my blog much and got an email from a reader asking me if I am still around and still working? They inspired me to give everyone a lengthy update. I am still around and I am working more than I have ever worked. I no longer work one day a week as nurse and it’s paying off. I was very nervous about that umbilical cord being cut but it was for the best. I have not worked as a nurse since July and it’s a relief. I miss the OR but too bad for me, because I’m swamped in the studio. I needed the extra day I was missing just so I could lead a normal life at home and not work all weekend in my studio. I still work Saturday mornings so it’s a 6 day a week gig. If I have a show then it’s 7 days a week. Speaking of shows… Yes, next week I have a show ūüôā It is the Red Bird Holly Craft Faire at East Depere High School. It’s a beautiful Christmas show that benefits the school. Hours 9-3 Sat Nov 28th 500 Swan Rd Depere WI. It is $3 to get in and yes, there is a long line outside at 9am. It is every year, the Saturday after Black Friday. I do not normally fit in at a craft show but this one is a little different… all holiday themed and super pretty. They do an amazing job.

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This is my lunch break… Walking Dusty Dawg. He starts pulling at my pants leg if I am late for our lunch date. He is a good break to get outside and let my eyes see the sun. He’s been a wonderful addition to our family.

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Over the next year I will start to work into more gold pieces. They will be 18K Gold or higher incorporated into my work. It’s a natural progression and as I become more and more skilled it’s necessary to add in more valuable natural resources. Gold is like a dream substance. I can see why ancient people used it and created amazing things with it. It’s properties are so wonderful and beautiful. These are 18K Gold and Sapphire Earrings. Each sapphire is one carat. They sparkle and glimmer like no other faceted bead would, except a diamond. Link:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/256759020/sapphire-18k-gold-earrings-handmade-wild?ref=shop_home_active_2

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Sierra Madre Agate, Crystal Quartz and Pearl… available on my Etsy site:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/256678815/sterling-silver-necklace-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Faceted Labradorite Cuff: Link https://www.etsy.com/listing/254359565/labradorite-cuff-bracelet-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_2

Ok, so where have I been posting my new work? I have been using Instagram. For those of you that do not know what Instagram is, it is a mini blog of daily photos and some text. It’s fast and efficient, short and sweet, and you can add people to your favorites to see what they are up to. A mini, daily, report… Facebook owns Instagram. My teenagers tell me that Facebook is for old people. Instagram is the new, cool, Facebook. That is coming from a 14 and 13 year old, so take it for all you think it’s worth. I don’t care what is cool. I only care that I can communicate with my customers, my peers/colleges, any audience that cares so I can keep making jewelry. If you want to try it out, down load the Instagram app on your device and type #WildPrairieSilver in the search box.

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This is an awesome cuff. I have been making it for awhile. You would die laughing if you saw me making it. I make it with a big hammer on my concrete floor ~ Nothing but high tech equipment in my studio!!!! I do have some tools coming to make bracelets~ Durstons Bracelet Forming Kit, but I still don’t think it will help me form this 5mm thick sterling. It has to be man handled and trust me I do not have man hands. It also has to be annealed over and over again. Every time you bend it slightly it stiffens up to the point of not moving another millimeter. It’s worth the work. It is a lifetime piece of jewelry. Actually, it will last several lifetimes. It is nice to make something that will be here in 300 years. That makes me smile. ūüôā Link:¬†http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p4/Heavy_Sterling_Cuff_Bracelet_Brushed_Finish_Handmade_Jewelry_Wild_Prairie_Silver.html

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This was a great custom order. One I will not ever forget. Stoneless ring in the back ground was an anniversary band with 7, 3.25mm diamonds in it. It was valued at $4000 and looked every penny of that…. The customer was not a traditional diamond wearing person, which most of my customers are not traditional diamond wearing people…. So, she had a Twig Vine ring made from her diamonds…. It is huge… 14mm wide at the top. It had to be to put all the diamonds in it. I loved it! and so did she! If I had that many diamonds I would make one for myself.

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This is a Vanadinite and Crazy Lace Agate. https://www.etsy.com/listing/252405002/sterling-silver-necklace-vanadinite?ref=listing-shop-header-0IMG_7377

Crazy Lace and Garnet Ring ~ Honestly I love this ring..It is both of the stones… purely wonderful stones.¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/252597917/red-agate-garnet-sterling-silver-ring?ref=shop_home_active_4

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Ocean Jasper and Pearl ~ This is sold. I have a lot of gorgeous Ocean Jasper and I do not hesitate to purchase it. It is no longer being mined so whatever rough is out there (which I am sure there is tons and tons) that is all there is. Pieces as special as this piece will be gone first and then just the scraps will be left.

Next week is Thanksgiving. We all have things to be thankful for. I hope you have a wonderful meal and are in good company. If you are going shopping on Black Friday please save some of your money for small business Saturday… because I can see you in Depere on that day! And it’s all hand crafted Christmas items. (9-3 East Depere High School… 500 Swan Rd. Depere WI)

I will keep making things here in the middle of no where and I will keep doing blog posts. I do enjoy it. If you want a daily dose of what is at my bench, visit Instagram and search #WildPrairieSilver. If you search #Instasmithy lots of beautiful jewelers images will pop up for you to view. It’s eye candy for the jewelry lover and the jewelry creator. I will check back in before Christmas is upon us.

Happy Thanksgiving To All!


Art Show Dates and Classes 2015

Happy Spring!
It’s been a whirl wind here in the last month, many changes and its hard to absorb them all. Maybe next winter I can look back and remember what I was doing during April and now May. My jewelry business is growing nicely and that is all good. It has been a progression that was meant to be. I sent jewelry to a new gallery in New Orleans and that is exciting. The Thomas Mann Gallery: ¬†I/O Gallery will now be showcasing my jewelry. That is a happy feeling. I’m ramping up for show season and can’t seem to keep a stock of inventory and that is also good. It’s good to be busy. I can’t believe my first show is in three weeks… I have a lot of work to do. It’s also my favorite show… Sturgeon Bay’s Fine Art Show Memorial Weekend in Sunset Park (Sat and Sun only.)
I redid my website completely after being coerced into it by my friend Tammy Rae. Her daughter helped me endlessly… I was very frustrated because maintaining a website is a full-time job. I wanted to be able to change my pics, change my slideshow, have a shopping cart, not lose my several domains I maintain, and do it easily with it looking nice. My other web designer was great but she can’t change things on a daily basis. I now have control over minute to minute changes. Well, all of that seemed overwhelming to conquer when I already had a website. I was sick of my old website. It needed a facelift, but I did not want to spend any time changing it or waste time making something I liked even less than what I had. So THANK YOU Kristina and Tammy! It looks amazing and was not as painful as I expected and I love it. It has a full shopping cart attached to paypal and square and I can update it whenever I want to very easily. Please visit it and check it out! I would love to hear your feedback. http://www.wildprairiesilver.com

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Beautiful Bloodstone Necklace ~Sold

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Pearl and Dryhead Agate Necklace available Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p324/Dryhead_Agate_Sterling_Silver_Pearl_Necklace.html

Other personal changes… my father in law passed away very unexpectedly a few weeks ago. He was a wonderful man. He was a father that was an example of how to live your life and love people. We will miss him greatly. His grandson spoke at his funeral and describe him as ‘warm’ and that is so right. He let you love him and he loved you back. He was a warm, loving person with a sense of humor. He was non-judgmental and rolled with the punches. I lost a Dad and a friend. His own children lost not only a father but their guide post, the foundation of their lives. We all are grateful to have loved him and we all are grateful for how he passed away… in his sleep, never sick, living and going and being right up to that moment. That is a beautiful to gift to him and a reward for the self-sacrificing life he lived. Love you Gramps.

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Mother’s Twig & Vine Ring ~ This is a custom order with your choice in stones. This was made as a Mother’s Ring with her children’s birthstones. You can have your own ring made in a similar style but they will all be very different. I have made about five of these rings this month and each one is just as unique and beautiful as the next one. Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p181/Twig_and_Leaf_Mother%27s_Ring_Custom_Order.html¬†

 

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Florida Fossilized Coral and Citrine… Handmade Chain ~ This necklace is one of the boldest necklaces I have ever made, yet there is a softness about it. If you are interested in this necklace you can send me a message or call The Flying Pig Gallery and purchase it directly from them. It is on display and for sale at The Flying Pig Gallery in Algoma WI. 920~487~9902 http://www.theflyingpig.biz

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Labradorite Bullet Ring Link:http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p173/Labradorite_Bullet_Ring_Sterling_Silver_Hand_Made_One_Of_A_Kind_Wild_Prairie_Silver.html

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Azurite Specimen Necklace Handmade Chain Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p325/Azurite_Stone_Hand_Made_Chain_Sterling_Silver_Necklace_.html

Here is the show and class schedule for 2015. I am excited that I did get into the Madison Show and Wausau Art Show. Madison is terrifying me but you have to do new things, right? Why is Madison terrifying? I have a list… It’s huge, it’s a ton of over head in $$$, it’s huge, it has 200,000 people in attendance, it’s one of the top art shows in the nation, it’s huge, it’s windy, it’s huge, I will need help, I have children that are helpful ~ thank God for that, oh did I mention that it’s huge. It is on the streets surrounding Wisconsin’s Capital building so I think I will love it but I won’t know unless I try. IT’S HUGE!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkk!

My jewelry classes at Peninsula School Of Art are a little goofed up in the catalog. As I type, I am reminding myself to give them a call. The three days of jewelry making where suppose to be consecutive days. You could pick and choose but not just come on Friday only and think you can make the necklace in the photo in one day. I am a little worried that I will have a class 20 people on Friday that all want to make something awesome to wear for their weekend in Door Co. in one day and that is unrealistic. We will just do what we can with what we have but Friday was only supposed to be available if you picked one of the other days or all three. So if you come Friday only and have never used a torch or a pair of pliers in your entire life we will still have you make¬†something amazing but it won’t be what is in the photo. We will do our best though and as always in class I hold nothing back. We can take class wherever your skill level and imagination allow. All the links to show information and classes are on my website: http://www.wildprairieisilver.com¬†http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/show-dates–classes.html

Late little¬†note… I started posting daily pics in my workshop as they are created on Instagram. If you want to see those pics download the Instragram app (you can go to Instagram on your computer too) and type in the search wild prairie silver. The pics are fun, spontaneous eye-candy, no extra hoopla, very little text.¬†Hopefully see you all soon on a beautiful summer day, in a park at an art show. Take Care & God Bless ~ joy

 

Art Show Schedule and Class Schedule
Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Show May 23rd, 24th Memorial Weekend, Sat & Sun only. Sunset Park Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin Door Co.
Art On The Square ~ Art Off The Square July 11th, 12th Madison Wisconsin, surrounds the Capital building
Bergstrom Mahler Fine Art Show ~ July 19th Sunday Only, 165 N Park St Neenah WI 10-4pm.
Art In The Park ~ Appleton Wisconsin Sunday July 26th
Artstreet ~ Green Bay Wisconsin August 28th, 29th, 30th Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday
Wausau Fine Art Show ~ Wausau Wisconsin Sept 12th, 13th
Towline Art Fair ~ Ephraim Wisconsin at The Fine Line Gallery Door Co. October 10th, 11th
Redbird Christmas Show East DePere High School Nov 28th Doors Open at 9am
 Class
September 14-18th Peninsula School of Art Fish Creek Door County
Sept 14, 15th Business Class Opening Your Etsy Shop: In this class we set up your Etsy store from start to finish. If you already have an Etsy store we make it shine. Class covers social media, SEO and other business aspects of selling your work. Two half day classes, morning
Sept 14, 15th Demo Microscopic TIG welding: Over view of new microscopic TIG welder for jewelry and mixed metal artist.
Sept 16th, 17th, 18th:¬†Three days of making whatever jewelry piece you want from sterling silver…. come one day or come all the days… open to all skill levels.

Making Jump Rings….

Making jump rings…. Why???? Number of reason ~ you just need one. It’s pretty lame to wait for the mail for just one jump ring. Next reason… You make an awesome focal pendant and you add an $10 cord or machine made chain? Ugh! I can’t even stand the thought of it. It happens, but sometimes you just need that handmade look to finish it off just right.

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Cut about 3 feet of whatever gauge you want to use. If you want flat jump rings run a piece of wire through a rolling mill or use rectangular or square wire that you can purchase.

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If you have flat/square wire: coil it like this or it will turn on its side and get all wonky… especially square wire, it turns on its side easily.

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Round wire: does not matter just hold with your fingers.

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Cut the coils off the mandrel. You can use almost anything round for a mandrel ~ like a pencil. I use Pepe brand jump ringer and there are several brands out there to choose from. These coils are 14g and 16g sterling silver.

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This is a saw blade. It fits in a safety housing. I hate the thing because it’s dangerous, it’s expensive to replace, it has to be loaded correctly or it breaks. I’ve had students smoke several of them up in one day at $12 a piece. If you use it properly it’s fine. I’ve had the same three blades for a few years. That being said I don’t use this. Don’t use it… There’s an easier, cheaper way.

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You need need this thing. It holds the coil perfectly. It keeps the cut perfect. What’s it called? I don’t know… I’ll call it a Gizmo…

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Anneal you coils before you cut them… That makes for nice pliable rings without tension in them. It’s much easier now, than when you have a hundred separate rings. Pickle them as well.

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Use this… Cut off wheels available at Home Depot. Put a coil in the Gizmo. Oil oil oil ūüôā or the blade will break and so would the dangerous metal blade. You’ll know if you forget this step… Smoke and breaking blades. I use mineral oil available at your grocery store in the laxative section..(nice, huh?)

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Tighten Gizmo lid… Firm not too loose and not squashing the coil. Cut coil with fast flexshaft motor speed and slow steady hand speed.

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Open up Gizmo: All nice and perfect… Wash with dawn dish soap and hot water rubbing in your hands.

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Now, go make some awesome chain…..

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See you you all soon at Artigras in Green Bay Wisconsin. It’s the first weekend in March and gets us all out of hibernation. Winter has been good to us this year though…. I hope my friend Roni in New Jersey is ok and not snowed in. Being snowed in isn’t all bad though….. Once in awhile. Hope you’re ok Roni!!!!

New Instagram pics, fun app…. #wildprairiesilver


Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!! I am grateful for so many things that my list could go on and on…… I will start here: thank you ArtBeet for helping me get this machine!!!!!! It’s amazing!

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I have attached some pics of my new PUK welder. I traveled to Chicago to get some training on it and here it is set up in my humble little workshop. It makes some very difficult tasks very easy. In the first few moments of use we have realized what a great tool this will be!!! We welded a pile of jump rings in ¬†a few minutes with no solder, no flux, no pickle, no solder seam. We hammered the jump rings… no visible sign of the join at all, amazing. Tomorrow (yes, on Thanksgiving) I am going to try some antique repairs. That is what started my interest in this unit in the first place.

I will have to have my Artist Guild, ‘ArtBeet’, over for a trial and error on the unit ~ show and tell. Because of them it was possible for me to get the machine. I could not have done it without them. I hope to show this machine to other artists and have them see first hand what it can do and open their eyes to the possibilities of how they can create with it.

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This is a picture of the view through the microscope. I took this with my phone…. go iPhone… great pic.

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This is my dragonfly I have been making for years. Why I never made it like this I can’t say? I love it this way best and it never crossed my mind to do this? An old friend in a new form… love it. Link:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/212894427/sterling-silver-dragonfly-necklace-wild?ref=shop_home_active_2

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Rhodocrosite Necklace also new today….Link:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/212892239/rhodocrosite-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Feather Cuff Bracelet… new today… It wraps perfectly around half of your wrist and looks beautiful. Link:https://www.etsy.com/listing/212887728/sterling-silver-feather-bracelet-wild?ref=shop_home_active_4

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These are all photos from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. We were tourists a few days after I picked up my welder. These amazing creatures, jellyfish, wild looking little fellows… again photos taken with my iPhone ~ I can’t believe the quality in the photos from a phone. If you have never visited the museums in Chicago they are worth the trip. I could spend an entire weekend at the Field Museum.

Last Show This Saturday 9-3 at East Depere High School ~ 500 Swan Rd

See you there? Happy Thanksgiving everyone and I hope you stay home tomorrow instead of going shopping. Tell those stores they can wait a day.

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Last Show, Custom Work and Artist Meeting

It has been a flurry around here and can’t believe I haven’t posted in such a long time… seems like yesterday I was warming myself in the sun and now it’s snowing out. I still am little gun-shy from last winter. I can still feel it’s scorn. I have PTSD from last winter and I don’t think I am alone in saying that. It was bad. Actually, the worst winter ever recorded in several different ways. My friend Maggie calls it ‘The White Death’ and I am beginning to think the same.

My last show will be Nov 29th in Depere Wisconsin at the East Depere High School ~Holly RedBird Craft Faire. It is the Saturday after Black Friday from 9-3pm. Come early, there is a line to get in and it’s swamped with people the entire time. It is a craft show and there is a lot of Christmas items and homemade goodies… yes, homemade candy, yum… I made this little rack card just for the event. It is a picture of the front and back side and covers all my custom initials, crosses and angels wings that I have made and sold for many years. The initials~ I tried to stop making one year and got a lot complaints so I made more based on the complaining ~ sorry about that!

I have never had a marketing thing like this before and I hope it helps bring it all together? We will see? I made it on Vista Print in about 10 minutes if you are an artist and wondering? Picture is of two cards lying side by side, front and back.

Custom Keepsake Jewelry by Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry Co.

Custom Keepsake Jewelry by Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry Co.

I have been very busy with custom work and that is a good thing. I know a lot of artists that do not do custom work. I feel bad for them as they are really missing an opportunity to connect with a lifelong customer. They are also missing a huge part of a niche income and it is often a great challenge to make things you did not think up, but someone else did. I really enjoy it. It is a large part of my business. This year has not slowed down for me from Christmas time last year. I usually have a lull from Jan-March. I had to make¬†adjustments in work load, scheduling and priorities. I have a helper consistently one day a week and sometimes two days. (I could use her everyday but I can’t afford it, shucks.) Also on the subject of custom ordered work… I am an artist but I also consider myself a jeweler. A jeweler makes things for other people and provides a service. I provide a service and I want a relationship that is lifelong with my customer. An artist can do whatever they want. They don’t have to provide a service. They can make what they want to please themselves. They can sell it, or not and for whatever price they want, or not…. It is two very different things. Blending them together¬†makes a career a little more obtainable. Not all artist want this because it forces them work outside of their art. If you can make it as just an artist and earn a full-time living (a living where you can afford health insurance, a car, braces, new roof on your house) God Bless you and I love you and I wish I could do that. I don’t know many that can.s I really enjoy serving people and making them happy by providing a service doing what I love. That is not for everyone, however. It must be the nurse in me…pleasing people is part of my nature. (I wonder if my husband thinks that??? – Ha!)

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These are 18k white and yellow gold rings I made for a couple’s wedding… Wedding is this coming weekend. I am wishing them the best. They have been together 22 years…. The rings are a surprise as they were not going to get rings but one of them had these made in secret. The interior of the ring is stamped with a custom saying. These rings are made from 2mm thick white gold. I think they could tow a car. I could not have made them without a ring bending vise as the white gold is so tough to bend. You can hit it with a hammer (a big hammer) and nothing happens, super strong.

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Labradorite Cuff… Custom order from Australia.. This is something I would have never made without the customer asking me to make it, so, thanks customer, it was a great project with a beautiful turn out.

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This is a tool that a friend gave me to try this year. It is a foredom hammer hand piece. It connects to your flex shaft. The tip of the tool hammers up and down like a mini jack hammer. It has saved my hands and wrists from fatigue as it sets stones without me using any force. I did not think I would like it and I love it. There are two brands of these hammer hand pieces, foredom and bedacco (spelling?)… the bedacco hammer is a lot more expensive but you can adjust the strength of the hammer, so it might be a better option? Like I said, mine was a gift and I really love it and it is a foredom brand available at any jewelry tool seller.

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Made this today… Jasper Stone and Rose Cut Garnet. link:https://www.etsy.com/listing/210985526/sterling-silver-jasper-garnet-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_1

Also working on a Captured Glass Bead Necklace…. another custom piece.

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Beads will be captured within the links of the chain so they can spin freely… Don’t try this with just any glass bead. These are borosilicate glass which is pyrex glass. They will take the heat ~ and a lot of it, but don’t point your flame directly on the glass, and allow them to cool slowly. Soft glass will break immediately near the flame. All my boro glass comes from http://www.glassbytammyrae.etsy.com

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Sideways Cross another custom order from a very good customer. I have made these tiny and huge. This is tastefully a medium size and I like it best. Link to sideways cross: https://www.etsy.com/listing/210551211/sterling-silver-sideways-cross-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_5

See you in Depere… the last Saturday of November for last show…. And wish me luck as I head to Chicago next week for my welder. I am going for one day and leaving at 4am and probably returning at midnight (4 hour drive.) My husband will be holding down the fort with the kids. I will share as much of that experience as I can with you. I can’t wait to see it join sterling, gold, stainless steel next to plastic and or paper and weld a prong on, right next to a stone… I don’t think I believe it. I have to see it.

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This cross is my most popular item. It’s strong, simple and understated. It looks great on men, women and children. The chain is new and improved, super heavy. I am glad I found it because it looks so nice with it. I cut the chain to your specified length and add a large, easy to use, swivel lobster claw clasp. I never purchase chains already made. I always make them to the customers desired length. https://www.etsy.com/listing/174470340/sterling-hammered-cross-pendant-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_24

Extra Event: November 25th 530-730PM ~¬†I will be doing a presentation in Green Bay at NWTC Artisan Center about artists selling their wares…. A gallery owner will also be there for group discussion. I will be focusing on online sales and art shows.

~Mosaic Arts, has partnered with the NWTC Artisan and Business Center along with the ARTgarge in a series of monthly meetings for artist of all levels and disciplines. Artisan Exchanges features an educational presentation each month and provides an opportunity to network with other creative people. Our November 25th meeting topic is ‚ÄėSell Your Work‚Äô ~ Nov 25th 530-730 informal panel discussion.¬†NWTC Art Center: http://www.nwtc.edu/academics/ProgTeamSites/ArtsAtNWTC/Pages/AbouttheArtisanCenter.aspx~

~ Be Well & Stay warm ~ Hope To See You Soon


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