February 2009

Jeweler Profile: Surly-Ramics

Surly Ceramics are breaking the mould of small businesses going bust, with popularity of their quirky, goth-inspired ceramic jewelry going from strength to strength.  Here we ask designer Amy Davis about the secrets of her success. 1. You were recently featured on Etsy as a success story of an artist who has managed to turn their passion into a full time job. Why do you think you have succeeded where so many others fail? One of the main reasons I think that Surly-Ramics has been so successful for me is that I had a business that failed in the past. I learned a whole lot from that experience and I have applied that knowledge to my current work. Like any small business there is so much involved and every aspect of the business is critical.

Jeweler Profile: Wei Open Secret

The secret to the beauty of Wei's jewelry is her simplicity.  The bold uncomplicated line patterns are allowed to shine through, giving a strong feeling of focus to each piece.  Here,  I posed ten questions to find out what makes this designer tick. 1. How did you first get into jewelry making? Two of my good friends are twin sisters. For years, I would drive from Michigan down to Ohio, where the sisters live, to spend a day with them celebrating Christmas.  Aside from the lovely meals that the sisters made, they would also give away their hand-crafted jewelry for every guest to take home. Every piece of the jewelry they made was not only precious to me, but receiving them also made me feel special. Then I thought maybe I, too, could make jewelry and share the joy with my friends and families. So I did. 2.

Site Review: Beaducation

There are some jewelry sites which I have a love/hate relationship.  Love them for their products, customer service and advice while wishing that they weren't responsible for the repeated appearance of my credit card alongside my laptop as I frantically click 'Add to Basket'. Beaducation is one such site that has me browsing and buying on a regular basis.  With the marketplace for online jewelry suppliers almost as fierce as it for jewelers themselves,  here is why Beaducation sticks out as a great example of getting it right:
  • Fast loading.   No splash pages or fancy flash.  This site gets straight to the heart of their business a

Button Jewelry

Making jewelry out of 'found', 'vintage', or 'recycled' objects is a growing trend as jewelers become more inventive and frugal with their supplies.  Whether the reasons behind this are financial or environmental,  incorporating random items into your jewelry designs can have some surprisingly beautiful results. When you expand your materials to include virtually any object,  your design possibilities are endless. One item that is constantly revisited in jewelry making is the humble button.  Once an essential part of clothing, the button has never been purely functional.  Antique buttons , dating back as far as three thousand years have been found with decorative properties that would have served to add embellishment to an outfit as well as act as a fastening.  The quality of buttons has also been a way to indicate status,  as expens

Hollywood Has the Grammys, We Have the Gemmys!

Colored Stone have announced the winners of the 2009 Gemmy Awards.  While A list celebrities struggle to decide which gems to drape around their necks to walk down the red carpet, the gems themselves (along with the artists who worked on them) are the celebrities in this competition. The winning gems represent the immense talent and attention to detail of some of the top lapidary jewelers in the world today.  Gems within gems featured largely in the entries this year,  along with some breathtaking faceting and creative gemstone cuts. Top place went to a Dalan Hargrave from Gem Starz for his carved Ametrine gemstone, which resembles a pink crystal rose. Second Place was won by Erik Martinez of

Useful Jewelry Links

Here are all of the links that we have featured on our blog in one easy reference: Jewelry Magazines: http://www.lapidaryjournal.com - Jewelry magazine focusing on gemstones http://www.artjewelrymag.com - Jewelery magazine with a focus on highly creative jewelry http://www.beadandbutton.com - Jewelry magazine for beaders Jewelry Artists: http://www.gemstarz.com/ http://www.tldesignergems.com/lionhome.html http://www.facetedpearl.com/ I know, this page is not updated as often as it should be. If you have a link that you would like added, please add a comment.

Magazines: One Expense You Can't Afford to Give Up

If your sales are taking a beating due to the current downturn in the economy, you're not alone.  Not by far.  Jewelry is largely a luxury good, and as such it is one of the first extravagances to go when people start to tighten their belts, and brands both big and small are seeing the sales figures plummet.  However, knowing that you are in good company is cold comfort. When we begin to feel the pinch,  the first thing we often do is start to 'trim the fat' and cut back on our 'extravagant' expenses.  When you get your next subscription bill for your favorite jewelry magazine, you may be tempted to put it to the bottom of the pile, or even consign it to the recycling pile,  but let me give you some important reasons why it is a good idea to fork over the cash for another year. .

The Royal Jewels - A Look at Asprey

As the jeweler to the English Royal family, Asprey may be considered a rather dusty and old-fashioned brand, but a peek inside their New York location offers one or two surprises. Although there is a huge selection of the types of jewelry you might expect - classic strands of pearls, and traditional solitaire diamonds - Asprey has been careful to add some colorful and modern designers to their mix, and it is this combination of heritage and haute couture styles that continues to make them one of the most popular jewelry boutiques in New York. Particularly adorable are their Daisy range,  featuring baguette cut stones as petals, in white (diamonds), blue (topaz) and pink (the pink tourmaline is delicious!). A rainbow of colored stones sparkle from the Maxi Chaos collection by New York