Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Amanda's Love Story Necklace

This is Amanda's finished Love Story Necklace, for her to wear on her wedding day. Amanda was one of the two winners from my Love Story Necklace Contest, where I asked brides to be to tell me their love story in order to win a custom wedding necklace.

wedding necklace
wedding necklaceAmanda's beautiful love story filled with pain and strength, twists and turns, and the photo below inspired the design for this Love Story Necklace.

The sweetest moment of a relationship captured.
honesty. playfulness. trust. fun. strength.

I designed Amanda's necklace while reflecting on this moment. I think that a partnership, a marriage is about making life a little easier for each other. I know, I know.....relationships and marriage are not easy, far from it. But I do believe that because of these moments they become worth the work. Having someone there to pick you up when you fall, to make you laugh when you hate the world, to hold your hand when you're getting blood taken is............ kind of nice.

Life is risky. We take risks every day. My generation is skeptical of marriage. We've seen a lot of failed marriages and many of us are unsure if it is worth the risk. I think it is though. I know that love is amazing, falling in love is pretty damn fun, and loving someone with all of your heart and feeling that love in return feels incredible. When we take risks every day of our lives, why wouldn't we take a risk on one of the most amazing feelings we get to experience in this world? Why not take a risk on love?

One of my favourite inspirational life coaches and blogger Stacy Curnow posted this quote by poet Mary Oliver on her blog the other day and I think it is perfect:

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.

-Mary Oliver

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Persistence and Designing Jewelry

I've been thinking about persistence lately.

When i design new pieces of jewelry - I sketch. I can sketch the same piece over and over and over again until I get it exactly right. Some design ideas never become just right and they never get built into a piece of jewelry. Sometimes I can go a few weeks of sketching without getting a design that I totally love. But I never stop designing........I try a different sketchbook (I have many), I try a new location - I persist and eventually I get something special, something that excites me, something that moves me a little, something that makes me want to start moving metal.
These are three new sketches that will turn into something more.

Artist Kerry Smith is the creator of the Artist's Survival Kit, which I adore. They are clever and hilarious. Kerry just moved to Vancouver with her family to teach at Emily Carr. I loved reading her newest post on Vancouver - there is something amazing about seeing your city through someone else's eyes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Designing Amanda's Love Story Necklace

I design jewelry inspired by love, because that is what it's all about.......isn't it?

My Grandpa, wrote a book about his life story. He gave each of us grand kids a copy of it before he died. I have been reading it lately. In his dedication he wrote "I dedicate this, my life story, to my dear wife Alison, who gave me four lovely children and the happiest years of my life." My grandparents were married for 60 years.

I spent a sunny afternoon recently designing Amanda's Love Story Necklace. Amanda was one of the two winners of my Love Story Necklace contest. I had a photo of Amanda's beautiful dress and lovely wedding venue to inspire my design, but the design kept coming out not quite right. I kept thinking about Amanda and Matt's love story and about this one picture of the two of them that they sent me.
Amanda had wrote underneath this picture. "Here we are, Matt helping me up after I fell down, like he always does." You can tell that they are both laughing. I loved being in on this moment. It is this moment that inspired the design for their necklace. Because isn't this moment what makes a relationship beautiful? You help each other when one of you falls, and you laugh together through all of it. The horrible, the scary, the really fucking painful moments in life, you stick together and make it a little easier for each other.

Amanda's necklace is in the works, almost is the design.

Amanda's Love Story Necklace, has an elegant strength to it just like Amanda. This necklace symbolizes the ups and downs and twists and turns that Amanda and Matt have already endured in their relationship. But like their relationship it is also happy, beautiful, and forever.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gracie's Love Story Necklace for her Wedding Day

I am so pleased to share that Gracie's Love Story Necklace is complete. Gracie was one of the two winners of my Love Story Necklace Contest.

When I emailed Gracie and told her that she was one of the two winners these were her words,
"I am so excited to be chosen! Thank you so so much!!! This really means a lot to me, I am glad my story touched you. I can not wait to see the finished product and wear it for my wedding day! I look forward to the process of creating something truly original. Thank you a million times over! You made my day!" - Gracie

There is just nothing better then the feeling of knowing that you made someones day.

After choosing Gracie and Steve's inspiring Love Story, I gathered more information about their unique wedding day and I designed a Love Story Necklace that was one of a kind and exquisite just like Gracie.

Then I spent about......4 days in my studio constructing the necklace.

Lots of hammering, twisting, turning, bending.......

I use my torch to solder each of the pieces together. Lots of careful positioning, adjusting, and patience.

I solder each wire onto the necklace base which will hold the pearls, the little red dots are felt pen marks to show me where to solder each wire......I like a lot of pearls......

I hand polish the piece, using my flex shaft, a felt wheel and 3 different polishing compounds.

I use a silk screen to sift the powdered enamel in a pattern onto the sterling silver circles. I used a thistle pattern and chocolate brown enamel for Gracie's necklace.

I fire the piece with my torch until the enamel flows and fuses to the silver.

Then there is about a gazillion other little steps that I do to finish the piece and once I have made some changes, tried it on a few lovely necks around my studio, and thoroughly examined every aspect of the piece I can officially say It is finished and AMAZING!