Tag Archives: rustic jewelry

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 ‘Sell Your Work’ ~ 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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Keith and Corrine’s Wedding

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 Had the pleasure of attending a beautiful rustic wedding this weekend. I have known Corrine about 10 years… She had a wedding that was all Wild Prairie Silver style… What a great day! I made her jewelry for her, her husband Keith and her bridesmaids. She has a beautiful diamond engagement ring and I made a white gold comfort fit band to match it. Also Corrine and Keith had sterling bands made with sayings on them. His stating ‘Better Everyday’ on the outside on the inside: ‘Breathe Relax Love.’ Her ring stating Breathe Relax Love on the outside of the band with three little turquoise finishing the wording… Bridesmaids had turquoise earrings and red dresses.

While meeting with Corinne to drop off her jewelry she said that on the morning of her wedding she was going to go and help ‘set up’ at their house. I said, ‘Are you crazy? I’m not doing anything I’ll go and help. You get pretty and worry about your hair and don’t worry about setting up. Well, there was plenty of help, fantastic family and friends of both Keith and Corinne~ and it was a perfect day.

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These are pics of the setting up when we first got there. I had KT come since she is a marketing graduate and now getting her Events Coordinator certificate as well. I thought she might like to see the set up and help with flowers. Corrine grew her own flower supply… It was great to have fresh cut flowers right at your beck and call….

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Getting there… almost ready…. Corrine has a wonderful circle of family and friends all pitching in to get it done.

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It’s hard to see in this photo but the arbor has a ‘Z’ on the top for their new last name. The couple said their vows here in front of these doors.

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What the heck???? These are friends of the groom… They are just practicing with a branding iron that has the couples’ name and wedding date on it. When the couple was done saying their vows they branded a piece of finished wood to hang in their home. This board was just one practice run….

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I thought this was super cute because the cows came to the wedding too. They were curious ~ What’s all the fuss about?’

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Congrats to you both. A perfect day and met several wonderful people. A day to remember for many for years to come.


Labradorite…..

 

 

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Labradorite, Sterling Silver, & 18K Gold… Labradorite or Spectoralite…. color shifting stone…

Very pretty and timeless piece… Had a lot of peaceful time this week just to sit make things. You don’t always get that every week. Sometime busy work just interferes with being creative and being creative is what it’s all about…

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/185629512/labradorite-stone-sterling-silver-18k?

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This is a Garnet stone necklace that is huge that I have had for about a year. I have never gotten a good picture of it and when I sent it out to be photographed the pro’s pic wasn’t any better than mine….hmmm.. the pics I have now are the best I have ever had. It is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry I have ever made. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/153032490/garnet-in-the-rough-stone-sterling?

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This is an Azurite… The necklace is huge…. It is also at The Flying Pig Gallery as of yesterday which opened for weekends until sometime in May when they will be open daily. I love the multi-leather cord I made for it. It really works with the piece. If you are interested in this piece just contact me or The Flying Pig we will get it to you. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/185765257/azurite-specimen-stone-necklace-sterling?

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This Chyrsocolla is at The Flying Pig as well but it was fun design…

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/185754194/chrysocolla-stone-sterling-silver?

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Another Labradorite… The stone was so big I just could not get myself to add any details to distract from it. So, here it is on a thick hammered plate of sterling silver — simple but bold. I just finished this today so it’s here… link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/185993642/labradorite-stone-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-0

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Heidi! Are you out there???? These are my crazy lace agates. The top two crazy laces are gone already…. I used them in pendants…but you wanted to know what I had on hand and here it is…. take a look.

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I have been considering purchasing a TIG welder for jewelry purposes… Researched it to death over the last couple of days. Thank you to the other artists who have chimed in to help with my decision on what to purchase. I have not made up my mind yet. There are two brands: PUK and Orion. Right now they seem to be neck and neck in what they can do for a jeweler. Still don’t know yet. It’s a huge investment. I could have used it several times this week on delicate repairs. Much to think about. I might even look into some artist grants??? Not sure where that will go but it’s worth a try. I’m off to the movies to enjoy the rest of this rainy Saturday.


You Will Find Refuge Necklace….

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To date: this necklace is probably one of the most beautiful I have ever made. Crazy Lace Agate stone, sterling and citrine gemstones…..Oone of a kind. Titled: ‘You Will Find Refuge’

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/185013097/crazy-lace-agate-stone-sterling-silver?

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Extremely sharp contrast in style and taste… this is a custom order skull pendant for a man. Skull is carved labradorite stone. It’s a very wicked looking piece of jewelry.

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/185014813/labradorite-skull-sterling-silver?

The class schedule is now available at Peninsula School of Art. I will be teaching two classes in September there. One class is business related: ‘How To Launch Your Etsy Shop‘ It will focus on the ins and outs of Etsy, setting up your shop and navigating the e-commerce so you have the best chance of being noticed among the masses. Class is Sept 15 & 16, Monday and Tuesday. Link: http://www.peninsulaschoolofart.org/le1402.html

Sept 17,18,19th will be a stone setting class. During this class we can really do almost anything. The school is completely equipped with all the tools we need to make rings, pendants, fold forming, etc… From the very basics to the most advanced please come and learn and experiment with new techniques. I will have an assistant so if you need concentrated help with just one area there will be time for that or if you have never made a thing in your life and are terrified of a torch ~ no worries ~ just come to class. Link to class: http://www.peninsulaschoolofart.org/je1415.html

I can’t sign you up…here is the catalog and links to the school; http://www.peninsulaschoolofart.org

Will have an accurate schedule of summer events now posted on this blog on the events page so hope to see some of you this summer. One of the galleries I sell in, The Flying Pig, opened officially last weekend and is open on weekends now until middle of May when they will be open daily. I will be dropping of jewelry there this coming Friday. They usually re-do the layout of their gallery over winter while they are closed. I am excited to see it. I know there is an 18 foot fish moving sculpture hanging from their ceiling… yes, it swims, really…. I saw that the day they had scaffolding up to install it. What an amazing piece! Got to go and get to work! It’s Monday morning, much to do.


Elements Unleashed Tomorrow

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Made this today…. I love it! The heart is a Jasper Stone…The nail comes from a walk with my daughter out to this old concrete structure on our land. The concrete structure was a wash tank for gravel in the 1920’s. There are still shoots coming of the side of it to load train cars with gravel and the train tracks are still in place beyond the concrete tank (it’s almost 2 stories tall and has 3 or 4 compartments in it so it’s like a building). We found this nail with a lot of other iron relics inside the building and around it. There is a lot shrubs and trees growing around everything so you have to hunt for your treasure!

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177450381/sterling-silver-nail-heart-necklace-one?

Tomorrow I am heading to Elements Unleashed…. a boutique in downtown Neenah Wisconsin. I hope we hit it off and have a start to a great new relationship. I hope they will be a new retailer for Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry. I have been wanting to go there for about 10 months! That is what winter is for…making new things and developing new business. Thanks for having me Elements Unleashed. From the looks of the boutique I might leave there with a new wardrobe. They have awesome boots. I love boots.

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Crazy Lace Agate Garnets… The stick is free to move, nice unexpected movement and it can’t go anywhere…it’s trapped. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177446446/sterling-silver-crazy-lace-agate-stone?

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This is a piece of quartz trapped in a piece of Tourmaline. The stone was great but this is a very unusual piece for me to make. For starters it’s a regular size… a size anyone would love to wear. The chain is 3 cables of sterling silver. I love it and could actually see it on a guy. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177445737/sterling-silver-tourmaline-specimen?

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Last but not least… huge oversized cross…. 3.5 inches long x 3 inches wide on an oxidized chain. It looks great long or as a choker. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177455087/sterling-silver-huge-hammered-cross?

Wish me luck tomorrow. I hope it works out great. Would be wonderful to have a friend and store in the Appleton, Fox Valley Area. That is new territory for me and my art shows do well there so I’m crossing my fingers. I will post some pics of the store on my next post. Take care and caution in this freezing cold weather. It’s really getting to be a long cold winter. One like I have never remembered. Some good friends are heading to Tucson right now. I wish I was with them. Maybe next year. Good luck Tammy, Rick and Maggie. Enjoy the sun and stones for me. I miss you all. I can tell you are not is Wisconsin anymore. There’s a little piece of magic missing…


Facebook

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I have been playing around with Facebook all morning and I am going to give it up for the day. I realize Facebook is necessary for my small business as it is really inexpensive advertising and it can be fun used in the right way. (It can be evil as well and we all know that.) It is amazing how large and overwhelming computer programs/apps/interactive websites can be. Where do programmers come up with all of it. It is so layered! Computer programmers you are amazing. I also want to poke your eyes out & mine too but I keep trying to learn.

I had a relaxing weekend collaborating with Tammy Rae from Tammy Rae Glass. It was just 5 girls… we had fun. My daughter went as well. Fat Little Gretchen’s Restaurant in Waupaca Wisconsin is old school good food. Wow, I will go back just for some pie. The Wheel House is a famous place on the Chain of Lakes in Wisconsin. We went there as well for pizza and it was just like I remembered. They are a Bar, Grill, Pizza place right non the lakes. You can pull your boat up and spend the afternoon on their docks. Kudos to them they do not have a deep frier. I do not know many Bar/Grills that you cannot get an order of french fries. I’m proud of them for not caving into a deep fried appetizer menu.

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Bracelet by me Glass by Tammy Rae

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Kyanite Gemstone Earrings: Nice Kyanite! You cannot find Kyanite like this just anywhere. I have been playing with these pics??? Someday in a dream world I will actually be able to take a picture and know what I am doing but until then I will keep trying.

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Crystal Quartz Points: Ice Cycle Earrings in a simple hinge… Made with winter in mind.

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Ocean Jasper Necklace beautiful blue and already spoken for. Makes me want to put my toes in the sand on a beach somewhere….

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Roman Glass Earrings… I got some more Roman Glass in. It is getting harder and harder to find good pieces of Roman Glass. I have several large cabochon pieces for my friend Ambers Ring. The pieces cost a fortune but I think they will be worth it. The glass is 2000 years old and mined in Roman when old buildings are excavated. You can get whole pieces such as plates and pitchers but they are thousands of dollars.

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Cross Earrings…

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This is a better picture of this ring. It’s gorgeous on and the picture still doesn’t do the stone justice.

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Summertime Earrings…

It is almost noon and I have in my opinion wasted a bunch of time sitting at a computer trying to get a program to work for me, yuck.

It’s time to finish the piece I have sitting on my bench right. I can’t wait to show it to you. It’s time to design some custom pieces for customers (Roni, I am thinking of you!) It’s time to order supplies. It’s time for lunch and a cup of coffee. See you on Facebook if I can get it to work.


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