Friday, June 27, 2014

3xR 20 and 21: Hand me Down

A couple of weeks ago I came across this box I received from my aunt (from her high school jewelry class).

Just look at that fantastic reuse.Tucked inside this old treasure was not only some super old chapstick in a METAL tube (score!), 

but also two of the best files that I own. I pulled them out when she gave me the box a few years ago and have been happily using them ever since. 

Sadly, when I went to purchase more of them I found that they are no longer made in the USA and that the quality has gone way down. But I digress, when I opened the box more recently to see what was left inside I was very pleasantly surprised. 

Look at the tarnish on this silver! I love it! I knew there was a 3xR or two in there the second I saw it. 

The sheet metal wasn't quite large enough for the bezel, so I had to get creative. 

Meanwhile I grabbed some copper from my stash for the other stone. I have no idea what was originally planned for this copper, but that tape had been on it long enough that the plastic peeled off and left the adhesive behind. 

Here the bezels are soldered down. 

Back to the scrap bin for some more copper. I textured this piece on some concrete to match the somewhat beat up state of the silver. 

At this point I got so into the making that I neglected to take more photos... 

3xR 20:

Copper, Silver, Agate

I think it's interesting to see the vast difference in two pieces made from the same materials at the same time. 

3xR 21:
Copper, Silver, Agate

I have to say, I love creating without a plan! I never know where it's going to take me. 

For a look at what the other 3xR artists are working on head over to the 3xR 2014 flickr group

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

National Day of Making

Today is the National Day of Making in the US and since I can't make it to the first ever White House Maker Faire I'm going to spend the day sharing the work of some incredible makers (so check back throughout the day for updates to this post)!

First up, Victioria Takahashi of Experimetal.

Victoria's work is always complex and thoughtful and her craftsmanship and attention to detail is incredible!

If you would like to get to know Victoria and her work a little better check out this great guest post she wrote at the Love My Art Jewelry Blog!

You can find her on:
Her Blog


Next up, Kest Schwartzman of Vagabond Jewelry.
If you are in the market for a stunning, talk of the party, wearable piece of art her work might be just what you are looking for.

Photo credit Shannon Beatty

You can find her on:


And now, a maker that makes the tools for other makers. The makers at NC Black are metalsmiths themselves so they know their stuff. I've got a few of these hammers myself and I love them!

Check them out and add to your tool collection:


Nikki of NR Jewellery Design has been creating these narrative pieces as of late. Gorgeous stone choices and excellent craftsmanship really make these pieces stand out. 

See more of her work:


I know I've only looked at metalsmiths today and there is a reason besides the obvious... There are so many great ones out there! Too many to include in one post! Here are a few more that I always have my eye on:

Sara Westermark 
Tosca Teran at Nanopod
Amy Tavern
Sarah Bonser at LilyCobra
Maggie J's

Pretty much everyone else over at Etsy Metal

all the metalsmiths on instagram #instajewelrygroup

There are so many more!!! So many people making incredible pieces, by hand, one at a time. Totally unique and inspired work. I would encourage anyone who is interested in a more authentic collection of adornment to seek these makers out, support their work when you can, and encourage them when you can't. They make the world a more interesting place!

If jewelry isn't your thing here are a few people/organizations to follow that make a career out of promoting makers, designers and artists of all sorts as well as the art of making:

What are your favorite Maker sites and organizations to follow? Post them in the comments! 

Thanks for reading! 

P.S. I'm also having a flash sale in my Etsy shop to celebrate! Take 20% off with the coupon code DayOfMaking! 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

3xR catch up weeks 17, 18, and 19: Marine Debris

While I'm working on catching up with the 3xR challenge I'll be incorporating the marine debris I collected in Hawaii and well as using up more metal from my scrap bin. In fact, while I was unpacking from my last craft fair I stumbled upon a long forgotten box labeled "copper", so now I have a whole new and exciting scrap source!

Week 17

Scrap Brass, Coral, Marine Debris (Plastic Net and Cap)

Week 18

Scrap Copper, Brass, Coral, Ocean Debris (rope)

Week 19

Scrap Copper, Coral, Marine Debris (Plastic Cap)

The more I read about ocean and beach clean up efforts, the threat to marine life, and the lasting marks that we are making on the environment through marine debris the more emotional these pieces become to me. According to the Ocean Conservancy volunteers picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash during the 2013 international coastal clean up. 12.3 million pounds! And that's just the trash they could get to along the coastline. Imagining the amount of debris in the ocean leaves my head spinning.

So what can we do? The top ten items collected were heavy in disposable products that beach goers are most likely bringing to the beach and leaving behind (plastic bags, utensils, straws, bottles, etc). Whenever possible use reusable items. Throw a couple forks in the glove box, stash a reusable shopping bag in a door pocket, drink water out of the tap in a reusable bottle. When that's just not possible make sure disposable items get to the proper recycling bins. Go the extra mile and pick up trash someone else left behind. For more ideas on how to help check out this handy infographic from the Ocean Conservancy!

For a look at what the other 3xR artists are up to head over to the 3xR 2014 Flickr Group.

Thanks for reading!