NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Creative Hands Newsletter for November 2008
In This Issue
- Happy Thanksgiving from Ruby Lane
- ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: Carol B. Elmore
- SHOP SPOTLIGHT: Lone Rock Creations
- WELCOME: Sally Norton Jewelry Design
- BEE'S KNEES DESIGNS JEWLERY by Diana Thompson
- Share Creative Hands With A Friend
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM RUBY LANE
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Eclectic Avenue Originals Fall's Peak Pressed Leaf Chandelier Choker Necklace
ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: CAROL B. ELMORE
What inspires me? I'm not sure. New designs come into my mind continuously, more than I could ever make. While much of my work reflects the Colorado mountains where I made my home, my creativity is rooted in my childhood.
I grew up north of Chicago in a family of six. My parents made creativity a part of our lives by eschewing TV and radio for more cultural interests. They both sang and played music at home, and family outings took us to ballets, opera's, and concerts. My mother also took us to every museum in Chicago, especially the art museum. At home, my siblings and I, would entertain ourselves by experimenting with many mediums. Often the results would span most of the kitchen. This home life would provide the backdrop for my future education.
Art was my favorite subject in school and one I pursued with zeal. Still experimenting with mediums, I was introduced to silversmithing when I was 16. In college, I initially majored in ceramics. After a couple years, I switched back to jewelry. That was over 40 years ago. After college, I enrolled in GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Home Study Courses earning certificates in diamonds, colored stones, and gem identification.
For a long time I worked mainly in silver with colored stones. My love of color was what first attracted me to dichroic glass. I was also intrigued by the flexibility of the medium. I liked that I could make my own "stones" to go with the settings I was already creating. My design process is organic. I start by gathering my materials and then I try to envision the results. I prefer to work directly with the materials, so everything is individually hand made. The glass cabochons are made by layering different colors of glass into shapes and patterns, which are then fired in a kiln. This method is called "kiln-fusing" or "slumping." The glass objects are made in groups. I then create the setting to suit the individual piece. It's a process that allows me more freedom to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.
I've tried to market my work a number of different ways. In the past that included driving all over to different retail stores with my then teen-aged daughter, and many craft fairs. I still participate in some of the craft fairs, but I found that these methods used much of my time and resources. Using the Internet I can introduce my work, and myself, to a wider range of customers without leaving my home studio. This allows more time in the studio with less strain.
So, what inspires me? My youth, my mountain home, the colors in the glass, and more; if one is receptive – inspiration is everywhere.
Carol B. Elmore of Silvertree
SHOP SPOTLIGHT: LONE ROCK CREATIONS
I have always loved things of beauty - beautiful scenery, soothing music, animals...but it wasn't until later in life that I discovered I could create my own pretties from the materials the Creator has already provided. I'm enthralled by the variety of materials, colors, shapes, textures - you name it - and the endless ways it can all be used to make something beautiful. I make things that are pleasing for me (and hopefully others!) to look at, and it is highly rewarding when people I don't even know decide they'd like to wear something I've made or give it as a gift to someone they care about. It means a great deal when customers tell me they have worn my creations for years, still enjoy them, and are still getting compliments about it.
Strangely enough, I hardly ever wear jewelry. I've never been a clothes horse, I don't have a clue what the latest fashions are or who's wearing what, I just love to make it. Making jewelry is a hobby at present, though I sometimes spend more time at this than I do at my day job (I have a great job, by the way - I'd better put that in here in case my boss reads this!) My primary goal is to keep developing my skills and my business to the point where the two will pay my bills when I retire.
My interest in art began as a young five to six year old child. I would start drawing with one hand until I got tired, switch to the other one until that hand got tired, then back to the first hand. I would go on like that for hours, and nobody could see the difference between which part of the drawing was done with which hand. I'm still sort of ambidextrous, it helps when I'm doing wire-wrapping, but nothing like I was back then. I loved art class in school, but never pursued it beyond that. I wanted to do other things, and as soon as I could I moved to the intermountain west where scenic wonders abound, and I could see it, be in it, and live there on a daily basis. Life takes it's turns, and I eventually landed in Hawaii where I started toying with the idea of working for myself. So I sold items I purchased from others. Thinking back, it's weird to me now, but at first I resisted the idea of making my own stuff to sell. I worked with a friend who was into woodworking. I learned how to help him make things out of wood, then we started making jewelry out of clay...then we started buying beads. I was floored when somebody actually wanted to give me money for a necklace I had made. Little by little I was being bitten by the indie bug - handmade by me - then life took another turn and I found myself moving back to where I started from to help take care of my parents. I didn't make anything for a couple years, then one day I happened to see a little bead store
in a little mall, and stopped in. I think I spent three hours in there just to pick out a couple pendants and some stones to go with it. That was eight years ago or so, and now I have storage containers upon storage containers full of pretties.
My mother can only wear so much, and since I seldom wear jewelry, I quickly realized I needed to start selling or buy more storage containers. I began doing art fairs, and I've been blessed to be in an area that is a good outlet for that type of selling. A couple of years ago it was time to develop a web presence, so here I am at Ruby Lane.
My earliest creations were simple beaded pieces, which I still enjoy making. Over the years I've branched out into chainmaille, wire-working, lampworking, and I've recently started playing with higher end stones. I want to learn to solder and do cold-connections so I can fabricate stuff from raw metal, but there are only so many hours in the day. Many, if not most, of my creations turn out to be one-of-a-kinds. I've often started out to duplicate something I liked, but inevitably end up changing this or that. I work with almost any kind of material, I like variety, and don't care to put myself in a box. I have a lot of things that never make it into my Ruby Lane store, so if you see something you like or are curious as to what else I may have, inquiries are always welcome.
Jane of Lone Rock Creations
WELCOME: SALLY NORTON JEWELRY DESIGN
I'm attracted to the aliveness of gemstones, to the gorgeous colors and the groups of colors of genuine gemstones. I feel the attraction of certain color groupings, and that's how my creative urge begins. The gemstones lie there on my workbench and I begin to imagine how they'll look together, grouped in luscious clusters as earrings or necklaces.
I'm always influenced by the seasons and the colors in nature. For instance, one day when I had returned from a trip to Bali...the most beautiful and enchanting island, I took my dog for a run. I lay on the sand of a deserted Malibu beach and thought about the qualities of the colors of a winter ocean. Pale blue to turquoise to cerulean to seaweed green, green/black, and blue/black all set off by a brisk wind whipping up white peaks. Warm golden sun, a chill wind, and high white clouds completed the picture. All those beautiful colors came together for me in the piece I call, 'Tidepool Bracelet' (item # E 108).
I made my first art piece when I was 2 years old, and I still have it. It was a picture of a witch and an ice cream cone. My family are all creative people. My personal path has always been towards jewelry and stained glass, with some quilt making in there, also. Somewhere along the way, I went to school to become a doctor of Chinese Medicine, a healer. My attraction to herbs and to using herbs to help people towards wellness is similar to the attraction I feel towards gemstones. They're both from "Nature's Medicine Chest", and they both have healing effects. I might not express it out loud very often, but I believe that wearing real gemstones produces specific healing effects, the way that color therapy and vibration healing do
For instance, my Midnight Moon' (item # E 105) earrings use Amethyst and Iolite gems. Iolite facilitates vision and intuitive insight, and helps you to express your true self – free from the expectations of others. Amethyst tunes your endocrine system and metabolism, and relieves emotional stress – all this from a pair of beautiful earrings!
I feel very satisfied to combine my love of healing and my love of beautiful jewelry.
My 'Queen of the May' (item #E 107) earrings remind me of the goddesses of springtime and of the Celtic Beltane celebration with it's baskets and garlands of flowers and the Maypole. The musical, faceted gemstones on gold hoops are Citrine and Peridot. Citrine is great for your creativity and a cleansing and regenerative stone as well. Peridot is such a light green color and it turns out to be very helpful for letting go of old things as well. It helps you onto your own true path.
The tag line for Sally Norton Jewelry Design is – Enchanted jewels for your inner Goddess," which is how I feel about my life and the lives of all the women I know. We're all thinking of ourselves this way, as goddesses who want to express the beauty we feel inside of us. When women put on my jewelry they've said to me, " I feel like I just put on heels and lipstick", I feel so beautiful. One necklace I made called 'Leaves and Berries' (item # N104), with it's clear light blue Aquamarine and iridescent white Moonstones, makes me feel like I'm wearing a little bit of the Goddess Aphrodite around my neck.
I enjoy my life of playing with gorgeous gemstones and making beautiful jewelry, and I hope women love my jewelry too...we all need to feel like a Goddess.
Take a moment and explore your 'outer' Goddess and find the perfect adornment at Sally Norton Jewelry Design
BEE'S KNEES DESIGNS JEWLERY BY DIANA THOMPSON
Artistic creativity has always been an integral part of my life. I have always had some type of project going as an outlet for this inner drive to create. The central focus of my interest is a love of working with color. Whether it is painting, drawing, sewing, knitting,interior design or now jewelry design, creating a pleasing color palette around a design is something that gives me a great deal satisfaction. I get much of my inspiration from the world around me, nature in its endless varieties. As a scuba diver, the colors of the undersea world has served as one source of color inspiration for me. I don't need to don my scuba gear though, all I have to do is walk through a field, forest, or a flower garden, gaze at the mountains or a river bed to spark a new idea that will take me to my design board. At times I let my customer be my guide in creating a custom piece for a special occasion or certain color palette they have in mind. I have designed jewelry for 3 weddings so far. I enjoy working with the brides to fulfill their desires for the right jewelry to compliment their visions of their wedding party.
Jewelry making started as another potentially enjoyable outlet for my creativity and time to spend with my daughter who also enjoys making jewelry. It continued in that vein for about 5 years until I retired from my sales career. My husband and I moved to a new home in a new city,and once we settled in, I started picking up my beads and tools again. I soon discovered artisan lamp work glass beads and went absolutely head long into incorporating these wonderful little works of art into my jewelry. Before I knew it, I had amassed quite an inventory of pieces, far too many for gifts for friends and family, or for myself. I began branching out into other mediums, using natural stone, freshwater pearls, semi precious stone and other varieties of beads in my work. I was finding that in beaded jewelry, the options are only limited to your imagination. It seems that with every bead show I attend, I am finding new and exciting components to create my jewelry pieces. It is my hope that when people look at my jewelry, they project their own interpretation into the piece, just as one does when they look at a painting, sculpture or other work of art. I also hope that they enjoy wearing my jewelry as much as I enjoy creating it.
As a former salesperson, I decided to take the next step and bring my creations to the marketplace. I had received many compliments on my designs, and encouragement from friends and family. With that confidence, I began to explore starting my cottage business. I started by bringing my jewelry into the homes of friends and family who also invited others to see my creations. I entered some juried Art Festivals, and certainly found them to be profitable, if time consuming. I have established one brick and mortar retail outlet in a beauty salon/spa. This has proven to be very successful also. I have branched out into doing Jewelry making parties. This is a take off on the home party concept. Someone invites a few friends in and I supply the beads, tools and instructions and every person comes away from the party with at least one of their own creations. I charge a flat fee depending on what item the person wants to make.
I started my Ruby Lane shop about nine months ago and it is still a work in progress. I became exclusive with Ruby Lane about three months ago and am pouring all my efforts into maximizing my store to its greatest potential. I continue to refine the quality of my photos, and I also strive to add new items as frequently as I can. It is a real learning process, but my goal is to make Bee's Knees Designs Jewelry a Ruby Lane platinum store that jewelry buyers will come back to time and time again when they are looking for beautiful, and unique designs to add to their jewelry wardrobe or for that special gift.
Have fun! Get excited! Take a stroll through Bee's Knees Designs Jewelry
SHARE CREATIVE HANDS WITH A FRIEND
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