News, Custom Orders, Process
Exciting things are happening around here! First, I am pleased to announce that Steinen Jewelry has just been listed as one of ten perfect Valentine's Day gifts on Unlocking Litchfield, a new blog covering food, fashion, fitness, and fun in Litchfield County.
Bloggers Lora Warnick and Beverly Canepari stopped by my studio a few weeks back to learn more about my work and to photograph a few of their favorite pieces. It was a nice treat to link up with other creative professionals in the area and to hear about their latest celebrity encounters. They also gave me a quick tutorial on how to use my Instagram account, @steinenjewelry, so I have been trying my hand at tagging and hashtagging. Thank you, ladies!
Gentle reminder: Valentine's Day is only ten days away. Use code VALENTINE at checkout for 15% off all jewels before 2/14. Order by Tuesday to ensure on-time delivery.
A New Year brings new projects while wrapping up the loose ends of a few older ones. Last fall I attended a gem and jewelry show in Marlborough, MA in search of the latest and greatest stones for my holiday jewels. I also had a mission of finding just the right beads to complement an antique Chinese pendant for which a customer wanted a matching opera-length necklace. I found just what I was looking for - small, natural red coral tube-shaped beads and faceted gold-filled beads. After the rush of the holidays, I turned my attention to finishing the custom order. I freshened up the gold-plating with some liquid gilding, strung up the necklace, and mailed it off, but not before snapping a few photos along the way. If you've been thinking about placing a custom order, now is a good time - after the holidays and before the spring arts and crafts fairs.
So that was wrapping up last year, "but what's new in the new year?" you ask. Clasps! I have brushed off my metalsmithing tools and am boning up on knowledge to begin creating my own clasps. It's going to be a bit of a transition before they make it onto new pieces headed out the door, but I wanted to give you all a sneak peak at my progress. They are brushed metal toggles. I'll keep you posted...
Other Natural Materials, Process, New Inventory
Earlier this year I posted about how and why I have begun incorporating natural materials other than stones (e.g. horn, bone, wood, and seeds) into my pieces. I’ve been continuing this trend in recent months and wanted to share with you my love of the nickernut seed.
Also called bugbog seeds, eaglestones, or sea beans, because they float and wash up on beaches, gray nickernuts come from a tropical, leguminous shrub commonly called the warri tree. These dove gray seeds have subtle lines around them similar to wood grain. They are hollow, extremely lightweight, and carry a subtle beauty.
My excitement over these little nuggets of goodness goes back a few years to an early spring day when I was traveling along a local highway that winds along a river (Route 8 for you Connecticut folks). As I accelerated up the on-ramp, I noticed the most amazing juxtaposition of colors created by the exposed light gray rock ledge that lined one edge of the roadway and the fresh, verdant flora beginning to show itself in patches along the rocks. I immediately thought, “I want to make a necklace with that!”
When I returned to my studio, the gray stones I had just didn’t look good with the green stones in my inventory. Two other gray stones, cat’s eye and labradorite were both too cool and silvery in hue – leaning toward blue, in the case of labradorite, and green for cat’s eye. I didn’t give up hope but decided to table the idea until the proper color combination revealed itself.
Fast-forward to this spring and my search for lightweight, natural materials, and voila! I discovered that the nickernut seed provides exactly the color I've been searching for. When I saw pictures of them perfectly nestled as a pair in that spooky, spiky pod, I was in love. They are downright a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e in their pods!
What about that green and gray necklace?, you ask. It sold quickly, but there is a new incarnation, Clethra, up on the website that incorporates golden horn and keshi pearls to create a perfect triumvirate of color that will complement so many outfits and necklines. A very classic combination.
Vitus, a.k.a. the "highway" necklace, has sold.