I love what I do. I really do. I move metal, five days a week, into forms of love, memories, faith and hope. I felt so blessed this holiday season, in the midst of all my busyness. What a wonderful job I have, to create treasures for others! How cool is that?
Shhh...its a secret. Don't let my family know, haha... Even when I had a ton of orders to make, I was sooooo happy, sitting at my jeweler bench, late into the night. You know how Derek Jeter says in the post season, "I live for this"? Well, making jewelry that means something to the recipient - I live for that.
Many people like to give a cross as a gift. I can engrave initials, a special date, a Bible verse citation, etc. Most of my crosses don't allow for too many characters though. One customer asked me to engrave the names of her four children on the back of a cross, as a gift to her husband. It seems I'm always asked to engrave more than what will fit nicely. So, I was inspired to create this square cross design.
It's a one inch square solid sterling silver on the back, which allows for lots of custom engraving space. The cross is also sterling silver. The two pieces are textured with different hammers, to create a bold contrast. I add a dark antique patina to highlight the rustic style. It's great for a man or a woman who likes the rustic look.
You can order your own version at this link.
You can see more cross designs here.
Good morning! We are getting close to Christmas, aren't we? I know because my bench is full of gifts to finish and mail out.
I listen to WNYC most mornings while I work. Brian Lehrer is one of my favorite radio show hosts. Yesterday, he sent a call out to his listeners to submit their favorites for a Holiday Shopping Guide.
I'm happy to be in it. It's so much fun to see all the different artists, craftsmen and small business owners in the NY/NJ/CT area that have something in common. We all listen to WNYC.
If you come to my site because of the links there, please let me know. If you haven't seen the guide, I encourage you to check it out. Lots of cool places to shop in the area, especially NYC, but also online.
Here's the link to the guide.
Have a great weekend.
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.
Sometimes, when I'm making orders I work on something just for fun during the minutes while I'm waiting for a piece to cool, or soak or ..well..whatever.
So, this is the latest "fun" piece I just finished yesterday.
The two strips of blue enamel hold a secret inside. Look in this picture and you will see the top two strips are etched with the words DISCOVER and JOURNEY. I love those two words. Life is a journey and every journey is the opportunity to discover. Wear these earrings and you'll be ready for the journey, ready to discover your one of a kind life.
I covered the words with several layers of Prussian Blue enamel. It's so rich and deep, like a night sky or the Atlantic waters. The natural shells have a mystical swirl pattern. They dangle from sterling silver posts that I made by hammering for texture. I couldn't resist engraving a little star to top it off.
These are long statement earrings. They measure 3 inches long!
I think they would be a perfect birthday or graduation gift.
I put them on the Etsy store this morning. I'm not sure if I'll make anymore. What do you think? Should I add them to the Metal Sky Collection? Or maybe they fit into Pirate Tides? I'd love to know what you think.
I'm busy in my shop making crosses.
Silver Cross Earrings
I'm always trying to figure out why we wear jewelry. One of the reasons, I believe, is to declare our beliefs to the world. A simple symbol can become a powerful statement.
During Spring, a metal cross is the perfect gift for Easter, Mother's Day, Confirmation and Communion. It's also sweet as a graduation gift.
I offer silver and copper crosses, with free personalized engraving or stamping on the back.
They are fun to make, but keep me busy. Get your orders in soon!
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
@PirateTides on Instagram