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Sylwia Calus Design - on Jewelry Making at BloglanderWe came across some very cool, slightly futuristic jewelry on Etsy made by Sylwia Calus who hails from Warsaw, Poland. She’s been making jewelry for around 4 years, but already her work is being sold European designer shops.

What makes the jewelry interesting is the choice of materials and the way they are used. She employs clear polyester resin to create classy, one of a kind bracelets that contain decorative elements inside. She hand-polishes the bracelets to give them a nice finish - below is an example of one of them called the Square Shadows bracelet.

Sylwia Calus Design - on Jewelry Making at Bloglander

Another very interesting use of materials are her knitted silver wire pieces. She takes thin silver wire and knits or crochets them into earrings, bracelets and other items. Shown below is an example - her Knitted Oxidized Silver Earrings.

Sylwia Calus Design - on Jewelry Making at Bloglander

Visit: Sylwia Calus Design on Etsy

8/16/07 | Experimetal

Experimetal - featured on Jewelry Making at Bloglander

Wow, I had decided to take a little break on posting but that quickly turned into several months! Welcome back to me. As I said before, until I get more time I’m going to focus on shorter posts, and leave the full “how-to” write-ups until a later time. Maybe I’ll try get some jewelry makers to contribute (I don’t know how I’d be able to pay you to write up techniques though…)

Finding jewelry makers on Etsy can be somewhat of a tossup. There are some truly amazing designers coming out of the woodwork now that there is an easy to use artisitc network and selling framework provided by Etsy. However, that same ease also lets in the copycats and knock-offs of jewelry that belongs at walmart more than on the web.

This is definitely not the case with Experimetal. Seattle resident Victoria Takahashi creates some truly uniquely organic and earthy pieces of jewelry and sells it through Etsy. She focuses on mostly one-of-a-kind pieces and has a good selection of necklaces, rings, brooches, earrings and bracelets. As her moniker suggests, much of the jewelry focuses on experimental, though very cleanly designed, metal working. She uses gold, silver, and copper in combination with shell, stone, and various small gemstones in her work. Like many jewelry makers, she’s mostly self-taught. Here’s a little bit from her bio:

Lets see, I started making jewelry in 1993. I took 2 quarters at a local community college, and traded work study for classes at a non-profit art school for about 3 years. Since that first class I just started to make metal stuff. I was very fortunate and got really positive and honest responses from friends and family, then it just rolled forward from there.

Captive Stone in Round BoxHere’s an example of one of her necklaces. This interesting piece features a pendant that is a round window box with a smooth beach stone encapsulated in it. The necklace is sterling silver and has a 1mm snake chain to complete it. I have to say that we have found one of the most important things with selling your jewelry online is to make sure the photographs of your work are clear, detailed, well-posed and… well, at least a little bit interesting. This shouldn’t SEEM to matter, but it certainly does - it’s because online a potential buyer has absolutely no way to judge a piece except by the photo. They can’t pick up the piece and look at it. Victoria presents her pieces in a really great way with nice backdrops.

Rununcula Blossom Bracelet CuffHere’s another one of the many jewelry pieces that really stand out from the rest of the crowd. This is a bracelet cuff that features a Rununcula flower blossom made out of two pieces of shaped copper. They are riveted onto a 7.25 inch leather cuff and the overall presentation is very simple yet beautiful. If you have a chance, check out some of the items in the Experimetal store.

Captive Stone in Round Box - $72
Rununcula Blossom Bracelet Cuff - $36
Experimetal (Victoria Takahashi)

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Anna Sofia Designs

Anna Sofia uses an interesting material for the bulk of her jewelry: Paper! Using a variety of brightly colored decorative papers, she fashions glazed paper pieces for use in necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The papers most often used are Japanese Chiyogami (vibrant silkscreened paper reminiscient of kimono patterns) and Katazome-shi (stencil-dyed paper with softer and organic design).

Her jewelry is strung on silver chain and findings, and she also makes use of crystals, semi-precious stones and pearls as accents. But the real stars in her jewelry are definitely the multicolored paper centerpieces. I didn’t know this, but each glazed bead consists of a core made of illustration board which is then covered with the paper, one surface at a time! The paper bead is then sealed with a special glaze to protect it and give it some shine.

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Anna Sofia, Besito NecklaceThere are so many wonderful designs in different shapes and colors that it was difficult to pick out just a few to show. This Besito Necklace is an example of the pretty colors and designs available. The pendant is made out of orange, ochre and green floral Chiyogami paper and then strung on a sterling silver chain. It’s a very pretty piece in the shape of a rounded rectangle. You can see how the side of the beads is actually covered separately.

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Anna Sofia, Monteverde EarringsThese Monteverde Earrings consist of three connected paper bead rounds that feature green lotus designs on stencil-dyed Katazome-shi paper. They dangle 2.5 inches long from sterling silver ear wires and are connected with jump rings. Fun, flirty and fresh. There seriously are a ton of different paper designs on the earrings so you should take a look at all of them on the site.

Besito Necklace, $43
Monteverde Earrings, $35
at: Anna Sofia Designs

3/21/07 | ES Designs

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - ES DesignsWe’d posted about selling jewelry on Etsy nearly two years ago when it first launched, and they are doing quite well over there with tons of crafters selling wares on the site. You can find a lot of great jewelry designs there just by surfing around - the latest one we came across was Elizabeth Scott’s jewelry.

From her studio in New York, she handmakes a variety of light and airy forms out of different types of metals. Sometimes the metal is combined with other items like pearls, but more often than not the focal point is the actual shaped metal object. The metal is often oxidized and polished, and a number of her pieces are also made using Precious Metal Clay forms. She makes a good variety of necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets.

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - ES Designs - Filigree Vine NecklaceHere’s an example of one of the beautiful designs she can make. This is a Filigree Vine Necklace made out of sterling silver. The pendant looks like a wire vine inside of a teardrop shaped enclosure. It’s attached to simple cable chain. Very elegant and simple, like the best jewelry designs.

Visit: ES Designs

2/6/07 | Stones on String

Jewelry Making at Bloglander - Stones on String LogoAnother jewelry site that I came across recently through indieshopping is Stones on String. Melissa specializes in making handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets and even men’s jewelry.

I like her focus on “natural” looking pieces. While she does make good use of crystals such as Swarovskis as accents, the focus of many of her pieces are earth-toned gemstones and silver single-word “message” beads. A lot of her jewelry is also complemented by leather cord which extends the rustic yet beautiful nature of the designs.

Here’s a little bit about Melissa’s design philosophy from her website:

My style has evolved and I create the type of jewelry that I myself am drawn to. Earthy, natural pieces designed with gemstones and crystals, sterling and gold. Jewelry that is stylish to wear, yet also feeds the soul with beauty as well.


Continue reading “Stones on String” …

10/24/06 | Original Hardware

Original Hardware logo

I came across some elegant jewelry through Style Bakery the other day. Carrie Schafer of Original Hardware creates beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets characterized by earthy colors and textures. Taking much of her inspiration from nature and travels abroad, the Colorado-based artist uses rustic handmade silver paired with warm-colored precious stones like carnelian, smokey quartz and jade in her pieces.

I especially like her use of hand-dyed chocolate colored silk and leather to compliment the natural colors of the stones and oxidized silver pieces. Another common design touch in her work includes the use of loops and ovals of silver with gemstones hanging within. Carrie is all about the “road less traveled” and that’s clearly reflected in her design… here’s a blurb from her website:

My design philosophy is simple: make pieces that reflect the strength, beauty and individuality of its wearer… I like to make pieces that are off-the-beaten path and incorporate the cultures and colors of the exotic places I’ve travelled.


Continue reading “Original Hardware” …

9/26/06 | Pieces Of A Girl

Pieces of a Girl LogoBilled as “Jewelry With Soul”, Pieces of a Girl is run by Lizzy Carter who lives in the New England area. Although she does make a seasonal line of jewelry that you can order straight from her website, a big focus of her site involves custom designs on commission. You basically contact her to set a price range and other parameters such as the desired look and style, and the design progresses from there.

The custom pieces also get the full star treatment as far as packaging goes. Items over $100 come in an elaborate box along with a full set of story cards - these include custom greetings and sentiments that are behind the actual jewelry which are sure to tickle the fancy of the lucky recipient of the item.

Her seasonal line for Fall 2006 includes a beautiful assortment of necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets. I feel like her pieces have a lighter, airy touch to them.

Here’s a little bit about Lizzy, from the Pieces Of A Girl website:

lizzy carter is an artist, entrepreneur and texture junky. she launched pieces of a girl in 2002 after eight months of strategic planning and a lifetime of daydreaming about a career made from her own creativity. she has more than 1,000 pieces of signature custom jewelry to her credit, and her collections are available in exclusive boutiques nationwide…


Continue reading “Pieces Of A Girl” …

9/11/06 | Ornamental Things

Ornamental Things LogoI came across some rather nice jewelry the other day at Ornamental Things (I’ve since forgotten how I found the site, but I think it was from Indieshopping).

Designer Natalie Tischler has only been selling her jewelry since 2004, but has already made a big splash with her extremely playful bracelets, necklaces and earrings. She also offers a number of interesting cameo rings.

A little bit about Natalie, from the Ornamental Things website:

… The thing I like most about jewelry is its sentimental nature. If you think about it, every woman has some piece of jewelry which has special meaning to her - a necklace from a sweetheart, a bracelet that was a gift from a best friend, an heirloom from her grandmother. I strive to create pieces that are stylish but also classic enough to be worn forever - jewelry with soul and meaning. I love to think that something I create will hold a special meaning for someone in the future.

Ornamental Things - Red and Yellow ExplosionOne of her signature products are her rather eclectic bracelets, many of which are one-of-a-kind creations. They are characterized by the use of dangles and trinkets of many different shapes and colors. I picked this unique Red and Yellow Explosion bracelet to show here, which includes vibrantly colored vintage beads and metal stars and hearts. Very nice complementary color choices here, and the overall design actually works surprisingly well without seeming overly “muddied” by too many trinkets.

Continue reading “Ornamental Things” …

Jessica Hicks LogoI hadn’t visited Stylebakery in awhile so when I went there yesterday there were a lot of new jewelry designers in their Designers on the Rise series. Here’s one that I picked to show today: Jessica Hicks Jewelry.

From her studio in Nantucket, Jessica creates bold yet highly delicate precious metal-centric pieces infused with a playful sense of wonder. Having attended Worcester Center for Crafts and later at University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth under jewelry and metals, she later decided to put her metalworking skills to the test and started up her own fashion jewelry line. Her focus is earrings and pendant necklaces though she does have a few bracelets.

Here’s a little bit about her design philosophy from her website:

“My jewelry is contemporary and bold. I design pieces that demand attention with their geometric shapes, hidden elements, movement and texture. My creations encourage further investigation; where the observer expects to see stones set, I place free-flowing crystals that give the illusion of color contained within pierced metal.”


Continue reading “Jessica Hicks Jewelry” …

3/29/06 | Blend Creations

Blend Creations LogoI found out about Blend Creations through the Mighty Flirt site. The Canadian husband and wife team of Eric Jean-Louis and Vivian Cheng have created an array of interesting and unusual pendants. Using modern stainless steel as an exterior housing for more traditional Asian-inspired designs and materials, they create a unique, organic contrast in their jewelry.

Some of the different types of items used for these pendants inner designs include bone, bamboo, coral, mother of pearl and Japanese Washi paper.

A little blurb about their work from the Blend Creations website:

“Eric and Vivian find inspiration for their work in the design of everything from furniture to housewares to graphic art. By fusing hand-drawn design with automated manufacturing — imagery from the East with technology from the West — the creators of Blend Creations have become a rare blend, indeed.”


Continue reading “Blend Creations” …