Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New tools and new projects.

I took my first class in many years in November. It was tube setting for stones at MetalWerx in Waltham. The class was four weeks. Once a week for 4 hours. When I finished the class I had learned the fundamentals to setting stones.

All excited I bought a Bench Mate, ready to get started. Well...busy season, Christmas, birthdays, etc. happened. Finally this weekend my husband put the bench mate on my bench and today I set my first stone. It was a turquoise cabochon. It took a while to get a good feel of how much pressure to use on the burr but after a few tries I had a nice tube setting that I used for my Ring of a Day challenge.

I am so excited to practice more. I get requests foe engagement rings all the time and I can't wait until I have the confidence to say...yes! I wish I had more time to dedicate to this but if I take one day a week in the studio to practice then I am sure that it won't be long until I am making myself and others rings with bling.

Say posted!

Monday, January 11, 2010

2009 round up and 2010 so far...

Well it is a new year. 2009 was a really good year for us.

Our Work- We did some great new shows and experimented with new plants to cast. The silk tree buds and hydrangea flowers were a big success and it makes me excited for Spring to come and start working on new flowers. Kerry Alice started a new Land and Sea collection. It was a collaboration of cast twigs and birch bark with her beautifully bezeled sea glass. Sold a few pieces for Christmas and it will be interesting to see how they do in 2010.

Shows- We discovered Vermont in 2009. One of our favorite shows was in Peru Vermont. It was September and the foliage was breathtaking. The Country Fair that we participated in was busy, friendly, and we can't wait to go back this year. One of our favorite shows, The Wellfleet Oyster Festival was rained out on day two but day one was amazing! Cape Cod in October is lovely and the Festival brings out the crowds. We get some return customers every year. That make us so happy. Our two favorite Indie shows did not disappoint. The Renegade Craft Fair Brooklyn was awesome. We had great weather, sold some nice pieces and really liked the new field that it was around. They put on a super well organized show and we appreciate it. Back on our own stomping ground was the one and only Boston Bazaar Bizzare. What can I say. I love this show. This year was the best yet. I love it when people buy really special pieces for the ones they love. Some twigs found new homes and some killer Kerry Alice pieces too. Plus I traded like crazy, always a huge bonus.

Presently- This has been one of the best things that I have participated in a long time. Etsy Metal has put on a challenge called Ring a Day. Kerry and I are on our 8th ring today. This has really got me into doing new things. I have been thinking outside the box and making things that I wouldn't ordinarily think about making. Seeing the work of the other matalsmiths has been inspiring as well. I have really been pushing myself in the studio to make cool new things. One concept I came up with was the "identity crisis" ring. I used finding to make the rings. One thinks it a pin, another a toggle clasp. I can't wait to make more. They are very me in the sense that they all have a sense of humor. We will be taking on this challenge all month.

Looking to the future- Wholesale. Kind of a big deal. We are struggling with prices though. But working on it slowly but surely.

New work- Maple seeds, and twigs for engagement rings plus lots of bracelets. I want to put my new stone setting knowledge to good use. I will be making molds of nice twigs and practicing new techniques. Kerry Alice has some sweet new hearts with arrows for her pin cushion collection. She's so cool.

New Shows- Maybe the Renegade in Chicago or the West Coast. Trying to get into the Craftproducers shows again. They are in Vermont, our new favorite place.

Stay tuned. Good things to come in 2010 for Twigs and Heather