Here's the space where I create. Let me take you for a tour.
Shown above is my jeweler's bench. It's where 90% of the work happens. Next to it is the soldering station with a fume extractor above the charcoal block. The table is an old sewing machine cabinet with ceramic tiles placed on top. My torch is next to it. Notice on the right my dvd and cd collection. I watch dvds on the portable player on the bench, while I'm doing the more mundane parts of the work.
The studio is divided in half - one side for design and paperwork - the other for tools and bench. The antique desk has been with me for most of my life. I wrote poetry on it when I was a teen. Now it is where I sketch design ideas. I gave up using it for decades when it was too small for a computer. Now I can slip my iPad into the shelf, so it's back in daily use.
There's my muse up on the wall. He's a great reminder that if you follow your passion, the world will catch up to you sooner or later. I also have my pantograph engraver here and pegboards in antique frames to hang tools and wires.
I bought barely any new furniture for my studio. This antique dresser fits well beneath an extra kitchen island formica top. I use this area for cleaning, etching and other messy procedures.
When I'm sitting at my bench, I can spin around and use my rolling mill, dapping blocks or other hammering tools. They are on a little vintage school desk, which are perfect bases for workshop tools. The clear acrylic box can go into my bench so that dirty, dusty grinding is contained. There's an additonal desk for wax work or laptop work.
As you can see, I have everything I need, in a small space. My next need is some bright paint on the walls along with some inspirational artwork.
Do you have a picture of your workspace online? Please share! I'd love to see it.
Betrayed by a Beautiful Day...Never again to Love a September Sun..
This morning, while walking the beach I tried hard to think what to share on the blog today. Only bits of an unwritten poem came to me.
But on returning home, I saw a message from my sweet (and beautiful and funny) sister-in-law, Ann Wason Moore. She is a writer at Thrifty Fashionista, an Australian publication full of great fashion tips and reviews.
Today, she wrote a blog post, entitled Stars and Stripes, featuring my jewelry and her thoughts on this anniversary of September 11th.
One of the positive things that I remember from 11 years ago, was the concern and support that came from all across the world. Thank you, Ann, for reminding me of that.
On the beach this morning, I could see the rising tower of Freedom, finally replacing the hole in the skyline, slowly repairing the hole in our hearts.
As some of you know, I'm a member of the TADA365 Art Jewelry Group.
Our website, www. TrueAddictsOfDailyArt.com was created to feature our group online exhibitions.
Entries for our third show are open through Tuesday, May 1st 2012.
Hurry and your work can be in it!
Romance: The Artist Defines the Word
Entries due May 1st - Show opening May 15th 2012 (changed from April)
Entry form (max 3 entries):
We accept all media that is in the form of adornment - from jewelry to masks, both wearable and conceptual.
To enter, all you have to do is
1 - join the Flickr group - tada365
2 - upload up to two pictures of your work, plus artist statements, bios and links at
3.We invite you to come back to Flickr and share more photos and comments through the year.
We look forward to seeing your work.
TADA stands for True Addicts of Daily Art.
You can read about the history of the group here.
Here are links to our past two shows..
Everything I send out of my studio is made by me. I start with metal in either a sheet, wire or nugget form. The designs start in my dreams, the metal forms between my hands. So, I am invested in the outcome.
When I send an order out, I'm never sure how it is received. I just take it on faith that the good wishes I had making it will be welcome on the other end. Sometimes, though, a customer takes the time to email me. These messages always make my day. I'd like to share a few recent feedbacks with you. I've used only the first name, to protect the privacy of my customers.
I got the ring today & it is absolutely perfect- it made me cry! Thank you so much! I'm looking forward to seeing my fiance's face when he gets it! :) - Hannah
The necklace was beautiful....my Dad loved it! Thanks again! - Meghan
I got the necklace yesterday-- thank you so much for your beautiful work and the surprise gift! - Maggie
I received my ring and its simply PERFECT. I like it very much. -April
I love it! Thank you! Can't wait to give it to him this weekend.
I received my cross a few days ago...Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but I wanted you to know that it is perfect. It definitely feels right - more natural than any other necklace I've owned.
Thank you very much for everything that you put into it!
God bless you!
Hi Mary Lu,
I just got the cross today. It looks great! I'm really happy with how it turned out and I am sure he will enjoy it.
Thanks so much! -Hannah
And here is a copy of some of the positive feedback left for me on my Etsy shop. You can see more of my feedback on this link.
Such an awesome ring, Mary Lu! Thank you! My husband absolutely loves it and I love the unique design. Fast shipping and a sweet little thank you card and gift. :) Wonderful!
Exactly what I wanted! Great Seller!
They are absolutely beautiful, and I love them! Thanks for a great transaction and speedy shipping. Highly recommended!
Very pleased!! Fine Craftsmanship; recommend this seller!
Coolest ring ever
Beautifully quirky ring!
Seller was easy to work with and accomodating of our tight timing. The pendant has the perfect worn, hand-made (yet professional) look we were hoping for. Larger than we expected, but still perfect. Thank you.
Absolutely positive! I custom ordered a silver cross and it was everything I had hoped. For something that will last a lifetime, it arrived in a very timely manner. I am definitely happy with this purchase!
Love These! Wearing them now!
Thank you everyone for your positive feedback. I'm coming back to read this post whenever I need a personal boost!
My dear fellow jewelers and creatives - I have the perfect solution for your desire to find inspiration and focus with your work this year. Come join me in the TADA365 Art Jewelry Group on Flickr.
_TADA stands for True Addicts of Daily Art. You can read about the history of the group here.
_You can see our daily progress in pictures and comments on Flickr TADA365 Art Jewelry group.
_For 2012 we are doing the following:
* Hosting 4 online shows on our website
* Sharing pictures of our art jewelry and adornments
* Encouraging each other to try new techniques
* Sponsoring challenges for motivation
* Informing each other of shows, challenges and book submissions
* Encouraging each other to use social media to gain exposure for our work
And that's just a start!
_Our website, www.TrueAddictsOfDailyArt.com was created to feature our group online exhibitions. The first of our exhibitions, Letters of Adornment, opened on September 19th, 2011.
Hurry and you can be in our second show,
One Year, One Piece : An Exhibit of work made in 2011
All you have to do is
1 - join the Flickr group - tada365
2 - send a picture of your favorite work that you made in 2011 using this form.
3. Then come and share more photos and comments through the year. We no longer expect pictures every single day..we've realized that all creating doesn't always translate into something that can be shown in a photo. But, we do stop in several times a week and get inspired and in turn, inspire each other.
We look forward to seeing your work.
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.
Just wanted to thank those who came last night to my talk at the Atlantic Highlands Library. Thank you also to the staff there, especially Marilyn, for all their help and support with the exhibit and talk.
My rings are still on display there until Monday morning, so stop by if you haven't had the chance. Click here for more information.
Everyone thought I should tape the talk and put it on uTube. I think I might just do that, possibly this weekend.
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!
Here's a link to the feature!
Best of the Web: Style Blogs of the Week no. 45!
I've been told by an editor at Pocket Change Shopping Blog that I will be featured in their Best of the Web. Hopefully the post will show up today or next Wednesday on their site.
Pocket Change is a resource of niche blogs that offer shopping tips, hot products, reviews and buying guides.
Please give them a look! Thanks!
I am proud to tell you that seven of my rings are currently on exhibit at Punch Gallery in Seattle, Washington. The show is called Ring a Day 65 artists. 1 year. 365 rings. It runs from May 5 until May 29th, 2011.
This exhibit is tied in to the annual SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference. The exhibition features 65 international artists with work ranging from ephemeral and conceptual art rings to functional jewelry in both alternative and classic materials.
You can learn more about Punch Gallery and the exhibit at the gallery's website by clicking here.
A slide show of my seven rings is shown above.
More about the Ring a Day Project and all of the 365 rings that I made in 2010 can be found by clicking here.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.