Take a look at the following three sets of earrings. Can you guess what they all have in common?
Answer : The silver and copper metal that I used to make them were scraps on my jewelry bench. The copper, seen in the Good Energy Earrings and Recycled Love Earrings was from my practice sheet. I always keep a piece of copper nearby, to practice each stamping or engraving before I put it onto a custom piece. I make a lot of wedding rings and crosses. They usually have a special message or date. I think they are so romantic and so full of good energy. Here are some examples of the pile of copper scraps that piles up on my bench. I reused all that positive energy and romance into the earrings.
The silver used in all three of the earrings is textured. I anneal the metal, to make it soft. Then I place it on the surface of this antique section of a rail and hammer it. The silver picks up the fantastic rugged patterns of the old steel. I like to think it also picks up some of the story in that rail.
I got the antique piece of rail (and also the spikes) from an old mine in northern New Jersey. The rail was part of the track for the mining cars. I bet they carried lots of hopes and dreams as they went into the mine. Maybe lots of treasures found when they came out.
That's the story of my most recent Gift of the Day listings. There's a story and good wishes ingrained in all my work. I hope this helps you to see it, in these pieces, at least.
_Every day, through December 14th, I'll be making something new and offering it on a special page of my website, called Gift of the Day. These are all perfect stocking stuffers - priced below $50. Like all my items, they are handmade here in my studio. These are not available anywhere else.
Please place your orders as early as possible. I'll be closing the studio on December 16th until January 1st. Last day for custom orders is December 14th. That is subject to change to an earlier date, depending on volume of orders.
Finally! I have gathered all my pirate themed and inspired rings, earrings and necklaces and put them together into my new collection - Pirate Tides.
Please take a look. I've separated the forms and have included an Art Rings section. You can click on each image for a detail page and a purchase option.
As you know, if you've been following me this year, I've been caught up in telling a story through the metal. The most obvious tales are in the art rings, where treasure maps are hidden. This spilled over into more "every day" jewelry, with an X marking the treasure (your loved one) and sometimes just a rustic hammered ring band that anyone, pirate or not, who likes a rugged style, would wear.
I watched every pirate movie ever made (some of them several times), while sitting at my bench and creating these treasures. I have a little dvd player on my bench. It's pure bliss to sit and file a ring, moving the metal grains on the surface, and watching a sword fight on the little screen. I love Erroll Flynn in Sea Hawk and Captain Blood. Of course, I love all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies too (especially the first one). All that swashbuckling splashed onto the metal. I think you can see it, if you look. If you like those movies, I think you'll like my jewelry too.
Thanks for your support this year - my personal Year of the Pirate. 2012 is on the horizon. I'm looking forward to discovering a new story to tell in the new year.
Till then, please take a look at my Pirate Tides Jewelry Collection. Let me know what you think.
Did that put you in the mood to watch some pirate movies?
I have some great news to share with you! On Tuesday, Dec. 6th, I will be speaking about my experience during the Ring a Day project. The talk will be at the Atlantic Highlands Library (temporary location is 48 Avenue C in the Fireman's Field clubhouse) at 7pm.
They have been kind enough to offer me space there for an exhibit of some of the rings I made, plus more recent work. You can stop by and see the exhibit during their open hours from December 1st (in the evening) through December 12th.
Thank you to Atlantic Highlands Herald for recently publishing news of this event. See the article here.
I spent the year of 2010 making a ring every day as part of a Flickr challenge group RAD2010. You can see all the rings I made through my page here. It was an exciting and inspiring year. I made online friends with jewelers all over the world, as we met online each day and posted images of our latest creations.
Marthe Le Van from Lark Books compiled a book of 700 photos of rings in the project. 30 of my rings are included. The book, entitled Ring a Day: 700 Photos from a 365 day Jewelry Challenge is available for sale on Amazon. It is also available in the Monmouth County Library catalog with copies at the Atlantic Highlands branch, Ocean Township branch and at Headquarters branch. Anyone in the county can request a copy through their local branch.
I'll have a few copies of the book for sale at the talk. I'll also have a few free swag bags for those who are nice enough to come! I'm looking forward to seeing you!
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
@PirateTides on Instagram