I’m embarrassed at how long it’s been since my last instalment here! The thing is, there never seem to be enough hours in the day or days in the week. I spend every spare moment creating jewelry – as the saying goes, “makers gonna make”. It really is addictive, and there are always many projects and designs in the making.
This past summer’s festival season was incredible, including two biggies in Toronto – the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in early July, then the Cabbagetown Art & Crafts show in early September. Such fun, great sales and wonderful feedback! I’m going to be in Montreal next weekend at the Westmount Artisans show at Victoria Hall, 4626, Sherbrooke O. Westmount. Hours are 10:30 – 5, both Nov. 12 and 13. If you’re in the neighbourhood, come and say hi!
In the meantime, here are some photos of new pieces:
Oh so busy at this time of year! Where do the days go? Anyway, I thought I’d share some of the things I recently finished. Three happen to feature labradorite stones, so I guess it’s fair to say I’m having a labradorite moment. It’s actually a perpetual favorite of mine. I love the shimmer and flash – subtle yet spectacular if the light is right. Three pieces I finished today:
I’m the very proud owner of a wonderful new logo for Le Chien Noir Jewelry. By sheer coincidence, I ended up reconnecting with a lovely woman designer I’d done some work with years ago. I immediately thought of hiring her to come up with a new look for my shop. It’s based on our beloved German Shepherd, Shadow, a big, gangly, goofy, lovable boy with floppy ears. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result! Thank you so much, Megan! Check out her wonderful company, Aster Design, at www.asterdesign.ca
Here’s my new design. I’d love to hear how you like it!
I’m now mid-way through the second arts festival of the summer – this one is Festival des arts Georgeville – Fitch Bay, here in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. My booth is in the Mairie (town hall) in Fitch Bay, a lovely former church, then dance hall, with gorgeous honey-toned aged wooden walls. The wooden backdrop for the paintings being shown there is incredible and really makes the art pop! My co-artists are wonderful and we’re having lots of laughs as we get to know each other.
If you find yourself in the neighbourhood, do drop by! There’s another site in Fitch Bay and three more in Georgeville, so it makes for a great drive.
Here are some of the pieces I have there:
I have a confession: I rarely think about brooches. Until very recently, that is, when a very sweet neighbor down the road from my farm ordered a few pieces of jewelry for the women in his life. One of these is his mother. He said she has all kinds of stuff and asked my advice on what might be meaningful to her.
My immediate response was that anything coming from her son is bound to mean a lot, whether it’s something she would choose for herself or not. We discussed some options, then the idea of a brooch struck me. It’s relatively safe, versatile, and can take many shapes and forms. He liked the idea, so I got going and made a few options for him to look at. First, a simple forged squiggle in sterling. Small, innocuous, sweet and fun. The second is a similar squiggle forged in sterling, but I added a tube-set faceted Oregon sunstone, for a subtle bit of sparkle.
We’ll let him decide if his mum is the sparkly type or more minimalist.
(By the way, I’m offering FREE shipping from now until the end of the month in my Etsy shop: lechiennoirjewelry.etsy.com. Just enter coupon code SHIPFREE when checking out.)
Here they the two brooches:
Sterling squiggle brooch
Sterling squiggle brooch with Oregon sunstone
Here I am again – two days in a row! This, despite the Xmas/holiday rush! It’s definitely a busy month in the jewelry biz, and I’m enjoying making lots of fun additions for my shop, as well as taking my usual custom orders. Takes a bit of juggling, which I quite like. Perfect for those of us with short attention spans! We get to flit from one activity or project to the next and back again. Here are a few things I completed today:
AAA rose-cut aqua chalcedony in sterling
Peruvian blue opal & sterling earrings
Yellow rose-cut diamond in 14K gold
I must apologize for the long silence! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind here in my studio – and life. Things are nice and busy, which is the way I like them! Have been creating as much as possible, while I have the chance, during what seemed like weeks of rainy weather. Here are a few recent additions:
One of the very coolest things about having an online shop and presence is that people from around the world can wander into your shop as if they were in the same place. It truly makes for a small world….In the past week, for instance, I’ve mailed pieces off to different spots in California, Oregon, Massachusets and Australia. I love finding out where my customers are from!
Here is the faceted garnet ring I finished today, plus a lovely deep pink nugget of spinel I made into a ring as well.
Today, I built this sterling ring around a gorgeous oval faceted peridot – one of my favorite stones. So brilliant and cheerful! I’m pleased to say I was able to use many of the great techniques and tips I picked up at my first class in gem setting last weekend. I was dying to try them and boy, did they ever work well! After fabricating a stepped bezel on top of a half-round sterling shank, I set this lovely peridot hammering directly onto the top of the bezel. I’ve done this before, but always hammered an implement applied against the filed edge of the bezel. This time, I just used a small, lightweight goldsmith’s hammer to lightly hammer the bezel directly. Works really well – so exciting! I have a garnet version on the go, so stay tuned. Here’s today’s final result:
I started a course in gem setting this weekend. It’s intense and my head was spinning by the end of the first 6 1/2 hour class. Lots of note-taking, listening, watching the instructor set an oval faceted stone in a bezel setting and learning. I’m SO excited about it and can’t wait until the next class, when we get started on setting various stones in various types of settings. The instructor’s a very funny, very experienced diamond setter, and he has a LOT to teach us in seven short weeks. Will keep you posted….
Meanwhile, as I’ve just finished up some other work, I can get back to the fun stuff in my studio! Here are a couple of rings I’ve just made. A green freeform ocean jasper in sterling:
and a lustrous pyrite cab, also set in sterling: