Archive for 2011

u.s. border stories

Monday, October 31st, 2011

virgin of guadalupe with potatoes

Virgin with potatoes

I know this is a departure from the usual fare, but I wanted to post a quick plug for my mom’s new blog. She’s been volunteering in a tiny medical clinic across the border in Nogales, Mexico for the past several months. She was sending us the most interesting stories of her days there and now you can read them too: arroya.org.

I live 5 miles from the Mexican border in Arizona on a ranch in a remote part of the Sonoran desert. Migrants passing through our desert seeking economic relief and work—any work— die within a few short miles of my home. I have been an RN for 45 years, and am retired—I was so through with health care. And then I read of the numbers of deaths so close to home. So I’m back—doing the most profound nursing care I’ve ever done.

holiday orders

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Cast silver hollow seedpod w/hammered chain

Hello everyone! Just a quick reminder that I’ll be working up until a couple of weeks before Christmas and I’ll be shipping orders until about mid-December. Please get your orders in by the first week of November if you would like them be be shipped and received by Christmas day.

Now, let’s return to fall and pumpkins and leaves turning colors. Sheesh.

blooming rose solitaire

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Carved blooming rose solitaire - diamond and 14K white gold

14K white gold, 1/3 carat diamond set into a blooming rose. Pretty pretty!!

Carved blooming rose solitaire - diamond and 14K white gold

Carved blooming rose solitaire - diamond and 14K white gold

Carved blooming rose solitaire - diamond and 14K white gold

Carved blooming rose solitaire - diamond and 14K white gold

katherine and caleb’s white oak bands

Monday, September 5th, 2011

18K Carved Oak Leaf Wedding Bands

18K gold wedding bands carved with oak leaves and acorn clusters.

Katherine’s husband is a botanist and the two of them have a particular fondness for white oak trees. I designed this set of wedding bands with three leaf/acorn clusters wrapped around the band. Each time I carve a new ring, it is my new favorite, and these rings are no exception. I think they turned out beautifully.

18K Carved Oak Leaf Wedding Bands

18K Carved Oak Leaf Wedding Bands

And some wax images..

carved oak leaf wedding band - hers

carved oak leaf wedding band - his

carved oak leaf wedding bands

hand-carved oak leaf bands, 18K gold

adnan & jeet’s lunar landscape rings

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Lunar/Moon landscape rings in Pd and rose gold

South Central Highlands Moon

Lunar landscape rings. I carved a scale version of the moon’s South Central Highlands (craters Ptolomaeus to Clavius, roughly) onto a pair of wedding bands. His is palladium 950 and hers is rose gold with a tiny pink champagne-colored diamond set into a cute little crater called “Hell.”

To behold the mildly embarrassing geekery that preceded these rings (and see a zillion more photos), please read the rest of the story… (more…)

custom forest of trees ring

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

18K Forest of Trees ring with Diamonds

Hand-carved Forest of Trees band with eight (I believe) recycled diamonds (picked out of old jewelry the client sent me). I am damned happy with how this ring turned out. It was a long time in the making, with no fewer than fifty thousand emails back and forth with the client beginning in October of last year I think it was, extensive research into how not to be charged customs for stones and metal that she was sending me to use in the ring, extraction of stones and recycling of old gold, and then I began carving! Whew!

The design started out as “trees” and finalized to be Ancient Oak Forest on a Bright Night with Rising Full Moon and Early Evening Stars peeking through the branches.

Tree ring wax

Here’s a shot of the early wax. I sort of ran with the initial ancient oak theme and got a little overzealous with the trippy branches. “Healthy happy oaks!!” called the client. I fledged out the trees with leaves and this toned down the creepy Halloween vibe that was threatening.

18K Forest of Trees ring with Diamonds

Moving around the ring. Main stone was about 4mm in diameter and the rest of the little guys were around 2mm. It is really hard to get good photos of bright shiny things that have a lot of texture and detail. I have to say though, no matter how nice something might look in the photos, it ALWAYS looks at least ten times better in person.

18K Carved Forest of trees ring w/diamonds

When I at last finished the ring and had it packaged and ready to ship, we were chagrined to find the Canadian post on strike; no mail was being delivered in the country unless by private courier. After a couple of weeks, things had been “settled” and the ring was shipped and delivered without incident (or customs charges! Hooray!).

18K Carved Forest of trees ring w/diamonds

The choice of 18K white gold was I think perfect. It is not as white as platinum, palladium, or even 14K white; I do not rhodium plate my white gold. It has a very slight yellowish cast, which makes it look like metallic ivory to me. Warms it up a little and gives it a more antique-y feel. It worked nicely to represent a silvery moonlit night.

18K Carved Forest of trees ring w/diamonds

18K Carved Forest of trees ring w/diamonds

pond lily ring with diamonds

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

14K Carved Pond Lily ring with diamonds

14K gold Pond Lily ring set with customer’s salvaged 3.8mm diamonds! I had to do some reworking of the petals and bloom sizes to accommodate the diamonds and the finished piece looked pretty sweet.

14K Carved Pond Lily ring with diamonds

Mmmmmm buttery.

14K Carved Pond Lily ring with diamonds

Why hello there!

more cool first lady jewels

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Michelle Obama's jewelry

I like the entire ensemble here: Ralph Lauren dress, Tom Binns necklace and bracelet, but most of all, I like the ring. It’s by Yewn and has a jade center stone with a distinctive squared silhouette and a pave lattice motif. Like this:

Yewn jade lattice ring

I do like this ring. The necklace is pretty cool too.

Tom Binns necklace

This isn’t the exact one but it has a similar look. It is made from silver, and crystal stones possibly? The asymmetrical tangle look is nice and makes the dress a little more rock and roll.

Tom Binns necklace

Here she is on another occasion wearing a necklace by the same designer.

Michelle Obama's kick-ass earrings

And I included a pic of Michelle Obama’s outfit at a state dinner at Buckingham palace. Tom Ford dress and supercool dangle drop earrings. I can’t find any information on the designer of these but I like the thorny-looking motif and the large briolette drop. Possibly diamond? I’d like that. Maybe not though; it could also be rock crystal or aquamarine..

victorian solitaire with brilliant diamond and matching band

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Victorian Solitaire with diamond

Another version of the Victorian Solitaire, this time with a round brilliant cut diamond and matching wedding band.

Victorian Solitaire with diamond

Victorian Solitaire with diamond

tree | wave | operculum

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Tree-wave-operculum ring in Palladium

I carved this ring for an Australian surfer/rock climber/outdoorsy kind of guy. We have the weather-worn beach tree, the breaking wave, and an operculum shell, which is a hard spiraly bit that gastropods use to seal their shells tightly closed. We used to find them on the beaches in Central America but I had not previously known what they were actually called.

The ring is carved and cast in palladium.

Tree-wave-operculum ring in Palladium

Tree-wave-operculum ring in Palladium

Tree-wave-operculum ring in Palladium

Tree-wave-operculum ring in Palladium

Tree-wave-operculum ring in Palladium

Tree-wave-operculum ring in Palladium