Tag Archives: agate stone

Lots Going On… Not Sure I Can Even Cover It All…

It’s been a very busy winter so far which is great and always unexpected after Christmas. I have a lot news to share and it’s all over the place on the spectrum of news…. First off my job as a nurse is ending. The doctor I have worked for years is retiring. I am sad to see it end. I will miss him and his other nurse that I job share with. It’s been a great time, a great education and great work. I cannot thank them both enough for their friendship. We have one week left. I could still work as a nurse in the future but for now I will not be taking another position where I currently work. It is a tough thing for me to think about but I can always go back to it if I miss too much. Wish I could keep doing what I am doing now but that is not going to happen.

Ok, lets talk jewelry because I’ve been busy. Below is a necklace I made today. This was a challenge from another friend and metalsmith… to make a piece of jewelry from something you love… something non-jewelry, and incorporate it into the piece. Well, what could I love more than my daughter? This necklace is settings of her teeth and hair… Yeah, a bit creepy but it works and I love it. Her name is stamped on the back of the pendant.

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Got one of my crosses featured on a blog from a 5th Avenue Jeweler! Wow! Thanks! Check out this link. I had no idea who they were until they sent me a quick email letting me know and it’s pretty cool. So, thanks!!!!! This is the link ~ just scroll down past Lennie Kravitz a couple images and you will see my cross: http://karuschains.com/blogs/news/18707751-from-gold-chains-for-men-to-rosary-necklaces-and-everything-in-between-karus-chains-2015-ultimate-guide-to-men-s-neck-jewelry#crosses

Another huge thank you to Halstead Beads. They ordered one of my Sapphire bracelets and are going to have a pic of it in one of their new catalogs and I will be a featured artist. Thanks Halstead!!!! When the catalog comes out I will post some pics.

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This skull I have been working on for about 10 months. It’s solid sterling silver. It’s new addition and I can’t wait to show it off at my next art show…. which is in a couple of weeks. I have always loved skulls and now I can use this one as my leisure as it’s mine and solid sterling silver. I have made a ring and a necklace. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/222016369/sterling-silver-skull-ring-handmade-wild?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Replace white gold prong on a ring and never removed any of the stones… Go Puk welder Go! I have not had a day yet that I was working in my studio and did not use my welder. It’s been an amazing part of work and repair.

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Made this necklace this week. Gorgeous agate and citrine… completely hand made chain. The stone was so odd… I cannot believe what a pretty piece it made from being such an odd thing… It is really, really pretty and feminine. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/222897255/sterling-agate-stone-citrine-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_6

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This is a crazy lace agate necklace I recently made as well. The chain style I have never made before. It fits perfectly around the neck. I was not sure it would and I love it. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/222019043/sterling-silver-necklace-fairburn-hills?ref=shop_home_active_18

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More images… all from this month. Above Ocean Jasper Bracelet that is completely riveted together, no solder. The clasp is laying in the palm of my hand and simply hooks to the loop. Link:https://www.etsy.com/listing/222333313/ocean-jasper-sterling-silver-bracelet?ref=shop_home_active_14

Other pics are of ‘Purple Heart’necklace, a custom order… and a necklace I made that is booth pendant and brooch…

The bridge: I often take pics of that bridge as it is basically in my backyard. It’s a pretty spot during all times of the year. (Maybe not today because it’s 12 below zero.)

The people, well, that is myself and Joan North ~ Hi Joan!!!! We are discussing something in during class at Peninsula School of Art. The catalog is out so take a peek. For my metalsmithing classes it’s best if you can take them consecutively. They should have been listed consecutively and they were not. So if you are just coming on Friday it will be a little tougher to catch up to speed but we will manage. It’s a great place to learn so take any classes there you can.

Couple weeks to Artigras show in Green Bay… March 7 & 8th at Shopko Hall next to Lambeau Field. It will be nice to do a show. It’s a get out of hibernation show… and maybe I will get to see KT 🙂 Still miss ya Kate. I have even more to share but I don’t have confirmed news on it yet..so it has to wait. Roni I hope you have shoveled out your house… East coast is getting the winter we had last year. I feel for ya! It looks awful. I will keep posting new things being made for the show. Check out new pics daily on instagram. #wildprairiesilver

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One Week To Go….

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One week to go before it gets too late to be shipping anything for Christmas… (If I don’t make any sense, sorry. I am a little tired. I will rest in a week.) I have been shipping all over the world and it gets a little scary because someone’s gift usually arrives 8 weeks late…. really, that has happened (but only one time and it was far far away.) As soon as we decided to give up on it ~ it arrived. Christmas time is so busy my shop looks like a war zone. I have an extra table set up just for each project and it’s current stage… with lots and lots of notes. I usually make people write me some kinda note with all of their info on it and that somehow gives me a visual of them and what they want.

This ring was one of the Christmas projects. It was a 5mm diamond ring that was a customers great grandmothers. I used the 18k gold from the ring and diamond to create this ring…. I did not have a single piece of scrap left from the original ring…it’s all in here. I melted the gold down, milled it out and cut out the sun shape. The rest of the gold is the stars… Ring band and moon are sterling silver. Sterling band is oxidized. This is probably the prettiest ring I have ever made and it went to a great lady.

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This is just beginning… no done yet and probably won’t get done in time for Christmas but maybe?

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This stone is a favorite of mine. It is Vista Jasper. It has really pretty light blue, green and burnt orange colors all watercolored together. Accent stones are trillion cut london blue topaz and tourmaline. 18K Gold and Sterling Silver. With the exception of wedding rings this will probably be most expensive piece in materials I have ever made.

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What the heck is this? A black tourmaline trapped in a crystal… It’s great. I have another similar stone shown in the next picture but it is just not as refined as this stone. You cannot go surfing in this necklace though…it’s a needs a careful owner. Maggie ~ I know you are out there  and No, You Cannot Go Surfing In Your Jewelry.. I will find you at the beach and repair your jewelry for you.

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Another captured crystal necklace. I put an amethyst setting on top of it with the PUK welder… all stones in place. It’s amazing to be doing that from my stand point.

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Kyanite Necklaces… Made for Stocking Stuffers….a great little gift… Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/214949951/kyanite-stone-necklace-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Last but not least a Rhodocrosite Ring… I did not list this on Etsy yet but will in a bit. It has a hammered adjustable band able to fit size 7-10

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Thank you to everyone for your continued business. I really appreciate it and love it. I will post a Merry Christmas post, but for now, off to bed. Gotta rest up.

If you would like to visit my online shop please visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/joykruse?ref=listing-shop-header-item-count


ETSY Shop Class & Metalsmithing Class Great Success

IMG_2893Great week at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Door Co. Two day class, ‘Lauching Your Etsy Shop,’ was a great success. It had in my mind a potential to bomb… I had to rely on technology hooking up to screens and wifi working for every student and students bringing their own computers/ipads: all different with all different programs on them for photos.

Hooray! It was fine. Everyone opened a shop. Everyone edited pics. Everyone made a banner. Everyone worked their way through the site and created listings, shop policy, shipping criteria, etc… It was fun to see every student get a way to sell their work. We all had different artistic backgrounds as well: painter, vintage collector, and jewelry.

Murphy’s Law…. second day of class: ETSY changes the format to about half of the sellers shop pages. ETSY had announced they were going to make some changes months ago and gradually launch the changes…. Ha!!!!!!! Tricks on me 🙂 Half of us had pages that looked very different from the other half…. essentially it was fine. Same content just different look and different icons. I just chucked at the irony that it took place mid-class. This class will be offered again next year. It will be two days from 9-1pm. Not sure on the dates yet. The time (9-1) was perfect because you can only stare at a computer so long.

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Wednesday Thursday Friday: Metalsmithing Class at the same school 

Peninsula School of Art Fish Creek Wisconsin Door County

What a great great great great time 🙂 I now feel have three new good friends. Thank you Joan, Kate and Terri. This is why I teach…. wonderful human connect with these three women. All of us coming from different backgrounds and all of us completely in tune to what we are there to learn: new ways to create with metal. It was one of the best classes I have ever taught. Super energy!

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Kate’s piece without the stone in it…. Hey teacher don’t eat in the studio 🙂 Yes, those are my grapes….

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Ocean Jasper… The back plate of this sterling silver was put through a rolling mill with dried corn husks ~ thanks Joan for bringing them and telling us how great it looks.

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This is Terri… She was in my class last year and was really ready to advance beyond where she felt she was stuck. She wanted to make a birch tree like piece… Well, she did and it was fantastic!

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Her necklace without the stone… it swings on the branch 😀 Love it Love it Love it. I would buy this from her if she would let me.

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This is a terrible photo but it shows Joans piece…. I wish the pic was better because it was stunning. The rough agate matched these pearls… The pearl components in the chain are double sided so the same cupped square is on the reverse side with a pearl in it. We made these component from scratch and yes, even the pearls have a little tiny post in them. There are five different tiny little soldering jobs to do in one component of that single pearl chain link. (You are awesome Joan and you did it!) When her chain moves around the pearls in the chain are never flipped the wrong way. It’s beautiful all the time. Oh, and Joan hand made every single jump ring in that chain, soldered them all, and hammered them all. By  Friday she was ready to not make any more chains but she knows now that she can…   🙂

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Pic off the the far left was just a piece that was just started in the last bit of class time…. we did not want to leave it out.

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A lot of students want to visit my studio. Well, I hate to tell you it’s just not that impressive. This is it. It’s like galley kitchen… narrow with countertop/benches on each side. I have another room with my larger equipment in it in the concrete walled part of our basement (rolling mill, hydraulic press, buffing motor, large anvil ~ this space is even less impressive, downright ugly.) This basement room has windows and it’s where I spend most of my time. But it’s not anything fancy and it’s not what I would call a ‘studio.’ It’s just the space that I have… I try to make it as inspiring as I can with goofy signs… etc…. I would love an inspiring studio separate from my house. I have often joked about this with my husband and tossed the idea around about building some kind of ‘workshop.’ After last winter I cannot image doing that. I cannot imagine heating and shoveling another building. It’s just not realistic in my head…  I would love to have the space to have another person work or students work or clients stop in… but I just don’t think it’s worth the winter time work with maintaining another building. If I had elves it would be doable….

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I have two torching station setups ~ with three torches connected to two propane/oxygen setups. One of them on the bench on the far left will be replaced with my new welder when I finally get it. I have plans to travel to Chicago to a jeweler who is going to spend a day teaching me how to use one. I plan to do that as soon as I can… I haven’t got a date yet. I wish it was today… I’m ready. If you are ready to purchase a torch, my setup is my favorite and I think I have used a lot of different torches and gas sources. I use the Little Smith Torch and the Smith Versa Torch. I have them setup on propane/oxygen tanks with a flashback arrestors and Y-Adaptors. The Little Smith Torch is tiny and very precise especially for gold work. The Versa Torch is my 90% of the time torch but mostly because my jewelry is so big…. That torch melts things fast… heavy ring shank… takes seconds to solder. When I use the schools’ Acetylene without oxygen torches I feel like it takes all day to solder something large, even with the largest tip on the torch. However, it’s just what I am use to. I know a lot of jewelers and they use either or, and seem to love whatever they are use to. It comes down to ‘heat’ … have you got it?? Is your flame hot enough? At home Terri is using a ‘CopperHead Torch’ with propane only. She stated in class there are several things she just cannot do because there is not enough fire power. Same with several hand held torches (butane or propane)… They are cheap and handy but often not versatile enough to do any job.

Terri is taking the picture so she’s not in the photo… Kate, Joan and myself 🙂 at Peninsula School of Art in the Metals Studio working/playing the day away….

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Next show is this Saturday Sept 27th at The Settlements Shops in Fish Creek Door County Wisconsin. It is 10-5 Saturday only… It’s small (only 20 artists) but nice and the Door Peninsula is starting to turn gorgeous with Fall colors.

Huge show after that is October 11th & 12th also in Door County. I will be at the Fine Line Gallery in Ephraim. The show is called ‘Townline Art Fair’ and has been running for almost 50 years. It’s a beautiful show. The Peninsula has several festivals that weekend. It is the busiest weekend of the year for tourism there…. Pumpkin Patch Festival draws 70,000 visitors if it’s good weather. Last year I sold out several items I always have in stock and it’s was raining. I won’t be able to believe the crowd it if it’s good weather…. New post soon with upcoming work. Have a great weekend!


My One and Only


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My One and Only….

I really could not have enjoyed making a piece more. This necklace has everything I love ~ a huge crazy lace agate stone, a huge piece of sterling silver to capture the stone, and a handmade and hammered heavy link chain. The pictures are a joke. I can’t capture it’s weight in the pictures. I bet it weighs a pound… ha ha ha ha!!!!! Am I insane? It looks amazing worn short like a choker.

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My One and Only Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/184653993/crazy-lace-agate-stone-sterling-silver?

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These beautiful blue Caribbean Ocean colored Chrysocolla stones are to brighten your day! Simple and sweet colorful necklaces. Links: https://www.etsy.com/listing/184647262/chrysocolla-stone-sterling-silver?  and https://www.etsy.com/listing/184655109/chrysocolla-stone-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-4

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Blue Flame Azurite and Sapphire: https://www.etsy.com/listing/184656529/azurite-stone-sapphire-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-2

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Crazy Lace Agate Earrings.. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/184657155/sterling-silver-agate-stone-earring?ref=listing-shop-header-1

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 This is a Roni sized necklace…. Hi Roni!!! It’s rough and rustic with little moving details and citrine gemstone accents. https://www.etsy.com/listing/184646280/stone-sterling-silver-necklace-one-of-a?

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Sara’s Ring: Made this ring as a custom order last week. It is a 8×6 oval diamond, white gold engagement ring with two other wedding bands. The thicker wedding band is cut out to fit the oval diamond locking it in place. The other white band is for Sara to go to work as she is a veterinarian. She wanted the engagement ring to be a brushed matte finish and look like she just dug it out of the ground. The other two rings are polished. It is hard to make a 1 carat diamond look rugged. She is wearing it now! Thanks Sara & Ben for such a great custom piece. Wedding is this summer ~ Best Wishes to them both!!!!

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Need a heavy headpin? I made three hundred of these this week, jeez… someone out there is busy wire wrapping something???? Thanks for the great order from my supply shop. These work great on focal pendant beads and large hole beads, like handmade glass beads of Tammy Raes: http://www.glassbytammyrae.etsy.com .  I have these available in any gauge you need but 20 and 18 gauge work the best.

Super Sized Sterling Headpins Handmade: https://www.etsy.com/listing/184652519/sterling-silver-large-headpin-20-gauge?


New Piece

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Just made this piece on Thursday. It was really fun. I was like a kid in a candy store to make a new piece…so much more to come! Also made an 18K Gold White Topaz Engagement Ring. Making Gold Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands is really going to be a new direction for me. It means a lot to me as well to have those pieces of jewelry out there in the world made for such a special reason.

Link to necklace: https://www.etsy.com/listing/176076374/sterling-silver-agate-pearl-necklace-one?

Freshwater Pearls are lavender in color 4.5mm and 3mm. Laguna agate stone. 20 inch adjustable sterling silver chain. Titled: ‘My Shining Light’

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Booking new shows for summer already! It is hard to believe March 9th will be the first show. It will be here fast! In the mean time I started training for my 8th marathon. This is a big undertaking but it’s worth it. Wish the weather would cut me some slack. It’s hard to run in slush and it’s hard to run in -0 temps….any temp above 10 degrees is fine… so come on Mother Nature and give me a week of goodness & sunshine.

Much more new things to come and some new shop tools as well.


Spoon Ring and Other Things

I am going to post the making of this Spoon Ring next week. I have enjoyed it so much and the ring is double sweet because of repurposing something old, not being used to something new that will be used and bonus (the double sweet part) it’s really beautiful!

Here is the spoon.

Again will show how to make this next week. I have several to make for a few people and it’s a fun process.

~ Turquoise Stone Necklace ~

~ Crazy Lace Agate Stone with handmade chain ~ This necklace is really beautiful. The picture does not do it justice. It’s huge for starters and the stone is very detailed. It was very hard to capture the entire piece and it’s presence in a photo. I will send this necklace to the gallery I sell in so it gets the right attention it deserves. The pictures just do not work with this piece. Yes, always struggling with pictures. Story of my life.

Riveted Sterling Leaf Earrings… Simple but Sweet. The curves on the ear wire are really nice. Having a rolling mill makes all the difference. The curves become perfect.

Everyone have an awesome day! It’s really shaping up to be a beautiful summer here! Enjoy!


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