September 2007

Recently I’ve gotten myself completely hooked on carved gemstone leaves. What to make with them other than… big woven branches! :-) I’ve got two earring pairs made in different leaf sizes and color schemes:

The pair on the left is jewel-toned; it is made of peridot, apatite, citrine, garnet and pink tourmaline. The one on the right has a nice, autumn foliage color palette: sunstone, carnelian, garnet, smoky quartz and citrine. The leaves are larger and fatter on this pair. I am waiting out until it is deeper into the fall season and the falling leaves are on everyone’s mind before listing these in my Etsy shop. :-)

A note on the photographs: I haven’t been using this “floating over white background” style of photography in a long while. Somehow, my jewelry pieces photographed in this fashion seem to not fit in with my other pieces photographed against wooden or darker backgrounds. Now I am reminded of how nice these photos can be, especially when the object has transparent gems in them. I might try to get back into this style.

With the exception of my pompom earrings, I haven’t been using leverback earwires much in my designs. I love their functionality and looks, and I know that many customers prefer them on account of the extra security they provide. It’s just that attaching a drop to a leverback earwire always seemed to create a disjointed look between the two components due to the way leverbacks are shaped, which tends to leave the overall design looking unfinished. Recently I have been discovering many creative uses for Hill Tribe silver printed rings (such as in this bracelet), and they came in handy again this time. Simply placing a couple of them atop a gemstone dangle gives a leverback earring a cover-up and a touch of re-enforcement at the attachment spot while adding a decorative element. I went ahead and made quite a few variations of this design.   ( continued… )
My focus has been on making bigger, complex pieces lately, and the staples of my jewelry line have been neglected as a result: affordable, everyday silver earrings with rustic appeal. Strangely enough, I realized that this cool period came from… fatigue from making my own earwires. :-) Apparently, I spend too much mental energy on getting every detail and especially the contours of my earwires right. Luckily, once I got back into the mood I was rolling out new earwires and designs in no time.

For some reason I have long had this aversion to carrying variations of the same design in my shop. It somehow felt indecisive as a designer to make available essentially the same design only with different gemstones, when I should be offering one and only version of a design, painstakingly refined to perfection! Haha… Well, I decided to get off the rather maniacal high horse and try offering design series. After all, it would be good to give customers some choices as to their preferred gemstones and color schemes. I have conjured up a couple of “lines” here.   ( continued… )

I love making wire-wrapped rings. I am not as widely known for rings as other Etsy sellers such as starrydesigns and farafield, but I have had a fair share of successful ring designs of my own:
Most of them are set for retirement, so I wanted to come up with some fresh new ring designs. There are standard-sized stones that can easily be wrapped and turned into a ring, but I always felt that the center stone of a ring needs to pack a little more “punch”. The fine faceting and organic inclusions in the Aquamarine Ring make for that punch, and so does the disco-ball look on the multi faceting of the prehnite stone. This time, I wanted to use some interesting-looking free-form nugget stones. The advantage is that the resulting rings have the unique, one-of-a-kind quality; the downside is of course that these rings become limited edition, and might require individual photo shoots, which adds to the price. ( continued… )
As a designer, I go through a phase every once in a while where I am hooked on a certain design element. Flowers are, for me, not one of them: it seems that I am perennially in the state of being hooked on them. :-) Thai silver flower charms and beads have always been my favorite thing to work with; I am also always on the lookout for flower-shaped gemstone beads with high-quality and detailed carving.

Continuing from my last designs of rose branch earrings, I created three additional earring pieces designed around rose blossoms. There are also a couple bracelets and a necklace featuring Thai silver flower components. Continue reading below for larger pictures!

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Where did the summer go? It’s officially fall, and here in Seoul the raging summer heat suddenly vanished. I had a wonderful, lazy summer, but I suppose it is time to get back into action.

Back in May, I was pondering the possibility of switching venues in the fall, as announced in this post. Well, the cool new season is here and it seems that my shop will be continuing on Etsy.

Etsy is not without faults, but it is still the best vehicle around for me and my jewelry. Of all the flaws and foibles Etsy boasts, I find its saturation problem most troubling. Back on August 10th, the jewelry category passed the 200,000 listing mark. (I made a rather excited post in the forums with a wrong title.) Today, the count is at 214,701. In just 3 weeks, the number of listings increased by 7.35%. According to my quick and dirty calculation, the jewelry category will reach another monumental number of 300,000 in about 15 weeks from now, just in time for Christmas. 400,000 will come even more swiftly: just another 11 weeks down the road.

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