TGP Updates

It has been far too long since I managed to get a post up! In the last few weeks, I’ve had a family emergency, found myself terribly sick and even had a birthday.

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Bright Yellow Sapphire

In more jewelry related news, I managed to get some new gems up on etsy, got a few custom projects underway, and am anxiously waiting for a few items in production.

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Pastel Green Aquamarine

I’m really sad that I haven’t been able to get more jewelry into production so far this year, but things have been distracting me, and I am hoping that as soon as I get moved into the new studio, things will take a turn for the better. I have a bunch of custom projects in the works, including a step cut halo, some cluster type rings, another halo, and some others including a fancy colored diamond ring.

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Medium Gray Spinel Pair

Speaking of the studio, I have a new drafting table, and I’m so excited to be able to draw without getting instant neck strain! I also have a big south facing window with incredible natural light (except during those pesky storms that make it over the Cascades from Seattle) that has been working quite well for photographing stones and jewelry. I didn’t realize when I started planning this new space just how many functions I need it for – drawing, photography, computer, writing, storage, shipping, etc. And all of those tasks need different lighting (say, for instance, color shifting stones!) and suddenly office planning is incredibly complicated.

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Lavender Spinel

Now, as for decorating the studio, I already have one print up from Angie Crabtree – the Elle modern asscher, and my wonderful husband surprised me with a new print for my birthday – the Dominique antique pear! This complicates things though – I had just figured out my wall configuration with the decor, so I will have to redo it once it is framed.

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Barry Bridgestock Tourmaline

I hope that you have taken the opportunity to take a minute to check out my Repertoire page – I have many of the items I have designed up there, both stock items as well as custom items. I am going to be writing another Inside The Industry blog coming up soon – I just need to be able to spend some time writing, instead of spending it on random non-jewelry related items. And I will be sharing a couple new items to go with the Vivant necklace as well – they should be coming out of production very shortly!

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Peter Torraca Tourmaline

In other updates, I have stones at AGL for certification/testing, and I will have a new small padparadscha sapphire as well as a gorgeous blue sapphire here soon as well!

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Jewelry Line Updates

I have been working madly on a variety of jewelry related and non-jewelry related issues, so I feel like many days have gone by where I haven’t been able to devote as much time as I wanted to to the things I really would like to spend my time on. One thing I have been working on is sketches and rendering, and naming said sketches, along with the pieces that go with them.

I have decided that my line of jewelry will first consist of several ring settings, and prototypes have been created or are currently being created for 5 settings. I would like to get three more settings into the queue for production, and then at least a three or four different bands.

So far only one band (non-stand alone) has been made into a prototype, and because the bands are after the ring settings in production, the band sketches have not been flowing as quickly as I’d like. I have another band that is more of a standalone band that has already been produced as a prototype.

I am most looking forward to the next phase of the jewelry line, the earring and necklace phase, in which I will debut earrings and necklace sketches that I have been working on for a very long time.

From there I would like to expand each of the lines, perhaps come up with some seasonal collections, one of a kind items and work on custom projects. I have a few ideas for some smaller rings that are less detailed and more in fashion with what I’m seeing out there right now.

The more movement I get in the etsy shop and on LoupeTroop, the more movement there will be towards developing my line of jewelry. I’m so excited and I can’t wait for more items to roll off of the production line! So far reviews have been very positive!

I wish I could share more images of my sketches, as I am quite proud of them, but I have copyright issues to contend with. As soon as I get to a more complete production line, I will start to debut them, one at a time. I’m hoping for late fall, or perhaps winter.

Here is one of my most “Marsala” gems, a precision cut spinel. I was hoping to set it for 2015, but it doesn’t look like that will work out. Marsala will still be en vogue next year, right?

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Jewelry Design

While I have taken many art classes, some centered around edible mediums, I would never consider myself to be a trained artist. I have a dear friend who is an artist, and she makes amazing pieces, typically paintings, that I only wish I could do. I am not a natural 2D artist, and I am constantly working on improving on that aspect of my work. Now, having said that, I have other strengths that play in my favor.

Once upon a time I took an IQ test, and when given the results, I was informed that I had a very high proficiency in spatial reasoning. Typically this manifests in how to best arrange the freezer to manage to fit all of the frozen food from the grocery store into it, but sometimes I use my powers for more fun stuff.

Which is where jewelry design comes in. I tend to thrive on fitting pieces together, arranging different sizes/shapes of stones together to creating something visually interesting, something that flows and catches the eye. When I design for someone else, I try to keep that same aesthetic theory, while incorporating what the person wants and needs in a design. I often exercise a fair amount of restraint; I don’t want to produce an item that is covered in detail to the extent that the design obscures the beauty of the materials used.

Some “in progress” sketch ideas for a dear friend of mine, who obviously has a fondness for halos, playing with proportions and seeing if anything moves me. Mostly playing with proportions and stone layouts. Interesting ideas, but nothing has come to fruition yet.

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A more in depth sketch I was considering, this one is actually to scale. This is for a red cushion cut spinel with baguettes, rounds and a knife edge shank.

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Messing around with a sketch for a larger blue spinel, based on an antique setting from a zircon ring I saw – very difficult to try to get on paper, as the shapes are not easily replicated from one side of the stone to another. These are pretty typical for a sketch I’ll throw together on a whim just to get a visual on how it looks and proportions. The antique version was beautiful, while this sketch looks vaguely like a Sesame Street character.

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This sketch was an idea I was working on with a mint garnet for the center. The stone is small, and the owner wanted plenty of impact from the piece as a whole, even though it is a smaller center. The layout of the larger halo stones is inspired by antique cluster rings.

mint sketch

The sketch below was a jumping point for the red spinel above. The side stones would be baguette cut diamonds, inspired by the Art Deco period, an era I’m particularly influenced by.

 

Red

 

All of the above sketches are pretty old, and are far from being my best work, but I like some of these projects and ideas that stemmed from them quite a bit. It always helps when I like a stone that I’m designing for!

I am currently in the process of honing my drawing skills, and getting to a point where an item has the appearance of 3D on the paper. Unfortunately that takes a lot of time when you are learning, especially wen you are teaching yourself, and I don’t ever seem to have enough time at the moment. I am hoping that soon things will calm down enough so that I can actually sit down with a sketch book instead of a laptop!