June 2007

Unless I am just imagining it all, my best known work are my “pompom” earrings. They sell consistently, and they often get chosen by fellow Etsy users to be featured in their Treasuries. One pair (with rhodochrosite, the red pair on the right) even had the luck to grace the front page of Etsy.

It all began with the chrysoprase pair shown at the top. This pair occupies a special place in my heart in many ways. It was the very first item I listed in my Etsy shop, and it was my very first Etsy sale (within hours of listing as a matter of fact). It was the most-viewed (2000+ views) and most-hearted (66 hearts) item in my shop until it finally sold out after a year-long run on May 18th, which it achieved all without ever being featured on Etsy front page! Needless to say, it was something of an emotional moment for me when the last one in the stock sold, taking down with it all its hearts and views. (Now I only have enough chrysoprase beads to make a couple more pairs.)

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I have decided to move my blog into a more proper, blog-like location: http://blog.raescreations.com/. Not much of a move, but rather given a room of its own, thereby freeing my web domain for other things if need be. Other exciting things such as… a web store some day? Ha ha. Better get this move done sooner while the blog is still young, I thought.

For now, a hit to my main domain “http://www.raescreations.com/” is automatically redirected to my blog address, but I expect to change it at some point. More importantly, your blog feed might have stopped working due to the address change. Please update your blog feed with my new blog address!

**UPDATE (07/04)** The blog address has been moved again. Please see this post!

I had a bead-shopping budget set that was meant to last into the fall season of this year. Well, it’s been exhausted. I really have to stop making little trips to Namdaemun market convincing myself that I am juuuuust going to pick up one strand of beads. :-) The good news is that I have been diligently making new things with new acquisitions. The bad news is that the speed with which my bead stash grows has to be at least 30 times faster than the speed of my beads getting used up. All the more reason for having a sale in July I suppose. :-)

Shown here are some of my latest earring designs. I was delighted to find that vibrant colors are dominant on them, which I think is a nice contrast to my new collection of necklaces and bracelets most of which had a rather subdued feel in their color schemes.
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Look what I’ve found! Thai silver post earrings with a leaf motive and a flower shape. Such lovely and sweet pairs of earrings. I love the compact form factor of stud-style earrings, but they are hard to find among Thai silver products. My guess is that the style is not in the roaster of traditional Hill Tribe silver craft, so they are only produced per supplier’s request.

At any rate, I have bought up a few of these earrings. I am planning to offer them as a special gift to my customers when my new designs go on sale in my Etsy shop. Please subscribe to my mailing list for this offer!

Lately I have been into more rugged look and feel of wire-wrapping using larger stones and thicker gauge wire. As a result, my thinner silver wire hasn’t been seeing much action. Well, finally the mood struck: it was time to make many tiny wire wraps around many tiny gemstone briolettes. These maneuvers are truly enjoyable only when I am in no particular hurry, which pretty much sums up my mode of operation these days. :-)

Among my stash of tiny teardrop-shape briolettes, two kinds of stones were ruled small enough for the task: garnet and tourmaline. I decide to link them linearly for an elegant, draping look. Its mobile-like construction creates intriguing shifts and movements: individual briolettes swing around horizontally while the vertical axis is preserved. Definitely delicate and feminine in its effect. A pair in garnet is shown on the left.
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How many different kinds of gemstones can you spot?
I am usually not big on mixing colors. Most of my designs are about constructing a balanced and pleasing form around a single dominating color of the main gemstone. The task of creating a pleasing color palette employs a whole other dimension of design focus, so it produces varying degrees of success when taken up simultaneously with pursuit of form. (To put it simply: colors can distract away from form.) That is probably the reason why I find it not only easier but also ultimately more satisfying to stick to my single-color and single-gemstone design scheme.

But it doesn’t mean I am never tempted! This time, I decided to go completely overboard with colors in the necklace above. The truck load of gemstone beads that I have amassed over the years surely rose to the occasion. No gemstone bead in the design was used twice! (A few Thai silver beads have been repeated.)
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I have been on a creative binge since I announced my Etsy shop’s closing. It feels great to be able to concentrate on the creative side of things without getting weighed down by the responsibilities of running a shop 24/7.

As a designer, I would go through phases in which I get fixated on particular design elements. Right now, I am hooked on chain. Especially, I am in love with the lush and cool texture of oxidized and polished Sterling silver chain. I just can’t stop buying new chains, cutting them up, oxidizing and polishing them! As a result, many necklaces and bracelets have been born. Time is just right too, as the summer season means lots of exposed necks and wrists that need good accessorizing!

Below are some of the new designs I have produced so far. They will go on sale in my Etsy shop early July. Yep — I plan to offer a quick sale of new designs. Not only do I miss the mad rush I get from making sales, but also these will make such perfect accessories to summer outings that it will be a shame to let this sunny season pass them by. :-)

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One of my first photos (2003)

All better now
Tales of struggles with photography is a daily occurrence at Etsy Forums. It’s no wonder: product photography is a whole another art form. Photographing jewelry is especially challenging: jewelry is not only small objects but it is also (usually) shiny, which calls for particular attention to lighting conditions. This often leads to the curious phenomenon of artifacts whose sole function is inspiring beauty looking bland and unattractive in photos.

I am by no means a photography expert, but over the years I have diligently worked on developing my own style of photographing my work. Come to think of it, my jewelry photography may even be as important as my jewelry itself. For each jewelry piece of mine, at most a handful of people get to see the physical item in person, but hundreds more will know them as my photos only!

I put in great amounts of time and effort into photographing my pieces. I don’t always enjoy the process: successful photos can make or break an item (or rather, online representation of an item), so there’s a lot of uncertainty involved. This usually results in much procrastination on my part. :-) At any rate, I have a few routine procedures now, but back when I started I was very much clueless. The picture on the top testifies to this.   ( continued… )