Tag Archives: custom jewelry

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.

DSC_0002 DSC_0012 DSC_0008 18k gold diamond sun moon stars ring

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

18k gold pendant

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


Abundance….

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This past weekend I did an art show and there was not very many visitors in attendance…. I was pretty bummed on my way home to have been gone from 5am to 9pm, work hard with little to no reward. I could have been hiking a trail with my kids in the same location instead of manning my art show booth. Well, and then I got to thinking, ‘What a brat!’ I have had a lot of amazingly, surprisingly, unbelievable, successful shows. So, what is this one! that is not!???? They cannot all be stellar. And it was a beautiful day, in a beautiful place… I was with my children and several other really great artists that I actually got to get to know because we all had time on our hands and were free to chat. I got to eat at one of my son and I’s favorite restaurants on the way home, ‘Hot Tamales.’ When I got home I had a stack of orders waiting for me from good customers… So, I put away the loser attitude and chalked up show attendance to a festival in the neighboring town and called it a day. I don’t take a negative attitude too often and I’m not about to start. Then I got to thinking about how blessed I really am ~ great family, lots of great family that would come and get you out of jail no questions asked, great kids, healthy, great hubby, healthy, myself: healthy… I live in a cute, safe, sleepy town and out of my windows and driveway are picture perfect paintings of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. How much more could have have? (Yet, I was whinning.) I have an abundance of love, joy, work, family, friends, dreams and goals. I am so very fortunate….

Here are some people’s emails that made my week to add to my feelings of abundance and that I am truly blessed to work with amazing people and make their vision become something precious that they hold ~ wear ~ and give as a loving gift.

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Tsunami Love Pendant ~Just opened it and I welled up with emotion and almost cried.
It is stunning and beautiful beyond what I can express at the moment!!!
I can not thank you enough for your talent and patience, Joy.
I will forever…Choose Joy!!
Much Love and peace,
Thom

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Custom matching wedding band ~Thank you for creating my perfect (to match my husband’s) engagement ring!  Not sure he shared the story about not having asked me to marry him.  He just, in a matter of fact sort of way in December ’74 said, “I suppose we should get married.”  We got married April 5, 1975 and exchanged simple gold rings.  A couple of years later he gave me a ruby ring (my birthstone) to go with the wedding ring.  Eventually we swapped out the wedding band for a ruby/diamond studded band and finally added a diamond wrap that goes around the ruby.
But, on 9/8/14 he took me for a walk on our favorite country path at dusk, got down on one knee, presented a cute little white box with a black bow and asked me, “If you had it to do all over again, would you marry me?  I’m asking you to marry me.”  I opened the box to find a smaller version of the fantastic ring we bought him this summer.  With tears in my eyes I said, “yes, yes I would.” I’ve been wearing my “engagement” ring ever since.  And it fits perfect!
Thank you.  I love the ring and I love my husband and all he has been for the last 42 years.  Sue~
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Thank you customers. I could not do what I do without you.
Ring shown at the top of the page is another fantastic customer named Jess from Canada. This will be her husbands wedding ring. I have made a custom spinner ring almost weekly for about two years. (Funny because when I made the first one I said, ‘Boy, I am never making one of those again… What a pain.’) I have made them several different ways: probably 8 different ways and I am sure there are more. This is just one way. I am going to try paste solder next time as I have never used that before and I think this might be a good application to try it on. It is an 18K gold spinner with the rest being sterling silver.

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Here’s the materials I used. Everything is 1mm thick/18G. Curved piece is the gold (also 1mm thick) and it’s stamped with a custom saying on it of customers choice. Do any hammering first. You can’t hammer a spinner later. The hammer blows will distort everything. Large wide strip will be the base band- wider the better. You trim the extra off later. Notice that one skinny strip is much longer and one skinny strip is the same as the wide one.

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Measure the band to the appropriate length for the size you prefer. Make one of the skinny bands the same length and solder the skinny band to the wider band (make sure it’s straight and it doesn’t have to be right on the edge) while they are both flat. Use hard solder for every possible step except the very last solder join.

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Make the band that spins (in this case the gold band) 2.75 sizes larger than what the actual ring size is suppose to be. Make the longer skinny band 2 sizes larger than what the actual ring size is suppose to be. Solder all rings together with hard solder.

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Clean all the rings up. File and grind off one end of the ring where the band is soldered on. Check that you don’t have any excess solder anywhere. That is very important so you don’t get the spinner soldered down to the base band of the main ring on accident.

Make sure spinning ring spins freely, for this the bands need to be perfectly round or they will get hung up somewhere. Check the thinner band for a tight, perfect fit. You are just checking things at this point so don’t force it on. You want to be able to remove the gold band.

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Paint any spinning rings with whiteout (sometimes you have multiple spinners). Cover every surface. This will act as a barrier just in case the spinning band wants to solder itself to the main band (like at solder seems).

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Put the last band on the ring and make sure it’s a tight fit. This is where the extra width comes in…Leave a lip of silver hanging out from the wide band. This way you are not trying to get it perfect on a band that is cut to perfect size. You have some space to fit the last band on to the ring and space for solder to flow.

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Soldering this last step is messy because the whiteout is burning off the spinner. Focus your flame on the extra lip of the ring that is hanging over so your solder flows outward not in towards the spinner band. Use a hot flame: get in and get out.

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Make sure the spinner spins…. yippee!!!!!! Spinning freely!!! Saw off the extra lip/edge.

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Saw, Grind, File & Polish

And sent to customer in Canada today 🙂 Happy Wedding Jess….     Link to ring: https://www.etsy.com/listing/205657496/18k-gold-sterling-silver-spinning-band?ref=shop_home_active_1

Moving on…

I have be ramping up for a show in Door Co. Oct 11 &12th. It is the Townline Fine Art Show at the Fineline Gallery in Ephraim WI. It’s busy. I can’t wait! I get to see Lissa Flemming from Silverwaves Jewelry in Bayfield Wisconsin and Tammy Rae, Tammy Rae Glass ~ we are all staying together so I am sure it will be all laughs all the time!!!!!!!! Again hope for good weather. We could freeze in Wisconsin in mid-October.

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Labradorite, sterling and 18K gold necklace

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/205487582/labradorite-stone-sterling-silver-18k?ref=shop_home_active_10

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Barite and Pearl…

https://www.etsy.com/listing/205488630/barite-pearl-sterling-silver-one-of-a?ref=shop_home_active_9

I hope you enjoyed the making of a spinner, and see you in Door County October 11 &12… It’s the busiest weekend of the year up there so if you are driving just for the day, leave early, start at the top of the peninsula and then make your way back. If you start at the bottom of the peninsula with your tourist travels you never get to the top… too much to see, too many festivals, too much traffic. No one is headed the opposite way… clear sailing… Go to the end and then turn around and enjoy meandering your way home.


For Roni not the Jolly Green Giant

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Custom saying ring for customer…. I hope it’s inspiring for her on a daily basis.

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This is for Roni. Roni this is a beauty and it’s a normal size. I made it with you in mind.

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This is a Crazy Lace Agate, Garnet and 18K Gold accents….. 20 inch adjustable chain.

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Big Big Necklace….. Not for Roni….


Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!

Below are pics of custom orders I made though out this season…. Above is a blue spinel, diamond, ruby 18K Gold Ring/Sterling Custom Order

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Roman Glass Ring 14K Gold from clients own melted down jewelry…..

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This piece is Roman Glass as well… 15 diamonds, opal, and garnet from clients own jewelry… I could not have made this piece without my diamond setting class. I would never have tackled it. Set all the stones with out any problems or headaches… thanks again Gerry Lewy.

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Sentimental Choker (necklace top) sent to me via a CustomMade website customer. CustomMade.com is a really neat arts website for custom orders on almost anything. Check it out if you have never heard of it. This customer wanted this necklace re-created in sterling silver. It meant a lot to her and she became allergic to it. The clasp was her own… which I did not have from her.

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This is the necklace completed… handmade chain. Center piece was 10G sterling if you can imagine that! Very heavy.

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Birthstone necklace pretty simple…The A and E charms though were the customers own white gold engagement ring… the first one he bought his wife. It was sitting in her jewelry box as he upgraded her setting 7 years ago. Well I cut it in half, melted it down and made these two white gold charms from his wifes original engagement ring setting: initials of their children’s names. Hope she loves it. The birthstone pendant is husbands own design. What a thoughtful guy!

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‘Get Sagged Trying,’ Surgical Hardware Necklace… this is not done yet… I have to get it to it’s owner for a race on Jan 4th… She obviously had troubles in her last race but is ready to run again wearing this as a reminder. Surgical hardware is fun to work with as it is ‘unwreckable’ I swear! It doesn’t do anything in a torch flame at all. Nothing hurts it. I am assuming it is titanium but I am not sure.

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Well, here’s to next year! Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.


Dog House Bracelet

Dog House Bracelet

Dog House Bracelet

Had a busy week with a show in Door County. What a great show. Saturday had amazing foot traffic and it was pouring rain with blowing wind…nice Wisconsin weather. Doing a show in October in Wisconsin can really bring anything and it can bring anything all in the same day. It was a really nice show in-spite of the weather. This show ‘Townline Art Fair’ has been going on for 40 years. There is no band, no food and no beer: just art. So, the people that come to the show are coming there for the artists. It was a warm welcome from all since it was my first year being there. Thanks!

THE DOG HOUSE bracelet above…. I made for two wonderful women in my life. They don’t have them yet but they will get them tomorrow. They are gifts of gratitude from me. I hope you both love them and I thank you both for being great women with great big hearts! Both are dog lovers and I cannot imagine them any other way. One of the bracelets has two tags on the end, ‘CC & Snickers’, well, those are the cats…. Can’t forget about them.

I made a tough choice this week. I will not be teaching at Bead and Button this year. My classes were accepted but only on one day. I love the show. I love teaching at Bead and  Button but I just can’t do it for one day. It’s too much. So, I am sad about that but relieved. Maybe next year and I certainly hope I did not burn any bridges there as it is an awesome venue. I will go as spectator this year and enjoy.

Why do I not want to teach one day? Why am I turning this down? Logistics……. Class was on a Tuesday from 9am – 10pm. I have a pick up truck load of equipment and have to set up on Monday night: Hotel $150 per nite. Tuesdays class, I would be in the classroom from 7am – 10pm… pack up pick up truck load of stuff because someone else needs the room I’m in. This would take until 1am or 2am in a huge convention center.: Hotel $150. Wednesday meet the teacher reception, unpack and set up as an artshow: Hotel $150. Thursday opening night of the show: Hotel $150. Go home on Friday, Hotel and parking +++$$500, gas $100min, teaching supplies for one day $1000 (students do purchase a lot of that.) And entire week lost at home in my shop actually working making pieces of jewelry —– LOGISTICS, bummer.

What’s next? Hmmm, Christmas shows….yes, Christmas shows and Christmas ordering. Wow, really it’s time to get ready to make things for Christmas. I better get my shopping done now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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