Friday, May 29, 2009

EtsyMetal News 5.29.09

It's Friday again! Here is some good news from our members.

bloomstudios is having a big weekend sale on one-of-a-kind jewelry, offering these pieces at up to 30% off. Head on over and snap up your favorites now because when they're gone, they're gone!

is offering free shipping on everything through May 31st. If you haven't checked out Sharon's shop yet, you'll love her clean and modern pieces. I love her embroidered jewelry.

MetalRiot will be selling work at the Spring Art Sale at Tsunami Restaurant in the Cooper Young neighborhood of Memphis from 12-5 on Sunday May 31. If you're in the Memphis area, stop by to check out Tomi's gorgeous work.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Intro to using Boric Acid Flux

Make your own flux with Boric Acid and Denatured Alcohol

Boric Acid and Denatured Alcohol make a wonderful flux for preventing firescale on your work. These items can easily be found at your local grocer or hardware store.
Boric acid is also non-toxic for people, making it a great alternative to fluoride based fluxes. (Boric Acid is, however, toxic to insects - so can serve double-duty keeping your studio insect free!) Denatured Alcohol can be toxic if ingested, so do make sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Spoon a little bit of the boric acid powder into a small dish. (It is best to use a dish with a tight fitting lid, such as a baby food jar, as the alcohol will evaporate quickly without.)

Add the alcohol slowly, mixing until a thin paste is made. Add more boric acid powder as needed to thicken. Getting the right consistency can take a bit of trial and error - I tend to prefer my flux a little on the watery side.

Brush on a liberal amount of flux over the entire surface, or, dip the entire piece in flux.

Place on soldering surface, and light with torch to burn off alcohol. It will produce a lovely green flame. Continue soldering and pickling as usual. Due to the flammability of Denatured Alcohol, it is best to store it in a secure area away from your soldering station.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cosmo's Moon = Maureen BZ

various gear necklaces by Cosmo's Moon

Maureen Brusa Zappellini is the talented metalsmith behind Cosmo's Moon. She is another one of our newest Etsy Metal members and we are proud to have her on our team.

1. Where do you live, and where are you from?

I'm a New Englander who moved to the desert southwest (Tucson) 16 years ago. In 1995, I was just about to move back to Boston to pursue a masters degree, and, (wouldn't you know it,) I met and fell in love with my husband, Guido , an Italian astro-physicist..(what are the odds?, right?) We have spent the past 13 years in Tucson AZ and Florence Italy, and I have taken advantage of all the metals programs here and there that I could find!

2. How did you get started working with metal?
I was lucky enough to apprentice for a silversmith (Mel Reisz) for 2 summers, when I was home from art school. The 'smith that mentored me those two summers had a couple of stores in Portsmouth NH and Ogonquit Maine, and he routinely hired art students to make his line of simple forged sterling jewelry. I learned a huge amount those two summers, about soldering and forging, and also about tenacity while learning a new technique. I'm deeply grateful for the experience.
3. What are a few of your favorite pieces at the moment?
Pieces of mine? I am re-visiting some of my more traditional jewelry pieces lately, like my florette stud earrings, and my Baroque Rococo necklace... I like them because they are painstakingly crafted and solidly beautiful, while also being wearable from brunch to last call. With that said, I also really love my one of a kind pieces, especially my component bracelets
4. What inspires you (artists, objects, interests)?
I am inspired by the geometry of architecture, repetition of form in nature, fabric design, pattern, modern painting and sculpture, weatherbeaten surfaces, music, and my garden.

5. Do you have any other artistic interests?
I actually went to school as a painter/sculptor , but now I am completely obsessed with playing with metals. I paint occasionally now, mostly to decorate my son's room and for creating environments in my home. I also occasionally dream of going back to school here at the U of Arizona, for architecture.

You can find more of Maureen's work on her flickr photostream and in her two Etsy shops: CosmosMoon and mbzap.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Safe Packaging

Though it would be nice if each and every one of our packages was handled with delicate care, its not always the case. Packaging your items safely is very important. Even if the item is a tough metal ring - it should still be lovingly and safely contained. My preferred method is a small box inside of a bubble mailer or another box - like free priority ones! I wrap each item in tarnish resistant tissue, place in a box and tie w/ a ribbon. Now some might think this is a little over kill. But I would rather know that each and every one of my pieces A. make it to the destination safely, and B. make it there in general. I recently had an unfortunate even of a customer mailing a ring to me in a regular paper envelope.

The Houdini ring made its great escape somewhere between CA and GA. It could be laying on the floor at some mail sorting facility, or it could be on someone's finger right now.... When the mail gets run through the machines, they can cause any metal bit, or uneven object to create an indentation in the paper and possible create a tear large enough for the item to fall out of the envelope.

And if not fall out - it does at least alert an dishonest person that, "Hey, that looks like a ring!" I'd like to hope that the latter would never be the case... but why give anything away?

I also like to insure just about everything. I'm one of those better safe than sorry people. So if you are seller, keep your packaging safe, and if you have a customer mailing something to you, please remember to remind them to package it safely too! Most people just aren't used to shipping packages very often, a little helpful hint could save a piece of jewelry from getting lost!

Friday, May 22, 2009

EtsyMetal News 5.22.09

Happy Memorial Day!

Two of our members are currently having big sales! Be sure to check out their shops for some amazing deals on some beautiful pieces.

ashleyjewelry is running a celebration sale and will be adding new items through the end of the day today. Check in for free shipping storewide and 20% off orders of $50 or more.

catherinechandler is
having a birthday sale through Monday. She's offering 27-50% off half of her stock!

Copper Leaf Earrings by catherinechandler--on sale for $58!

Also...kerinrose will be participating in the statewide Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio event on Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th from 10-5. She will also be showing her work at the Tabbatha Henry Porcelain Studio at 92 Stowe St. in Waterbury...location #232 on the map. Details and links are on her blog at:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Etsy Metal Finds

Yummy handmade soaps that look good enough to eat!

1. Typography master soaps, 2. Island Lime Handmade Soap, 3. susie's country garden :: handmade soap, 4. Handmade Soap Trio, 5. powder-puff-1, 6. Luxurious Homemade Goat's Milk Primitive Soap, 7. Popcorn Soap!, 8. Crazy Fruity Handmade Soap, 9. bathmelts calendula

Tip: Branding 101 - plaster your logo everwhere!

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as "a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences..."
Your logo is only one aspect of your brand. Despite that, you should include your logo on every piece of communication. Put it on your packaging, website, etsy banner, blog banner, business cards, postcards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, print and blog ads, show signage, newsletters and so on…
My logo plastered! shipping label, business card, artist statement, letterhead, CD and press kit cover

One easy way to incorporate your logo onto mailing labels, promo stickers, CD labels, etc. is to use label making software. I use Avery DesignPro and I love it! It is Mac and PC compatible, allows you to import images (like your logo!), supports a large library of Avery products and is a free download! You can download DesignPro and other Avery software and templates here.
Thank you cards (Avery's small tent card template 5302)

Friday, May 15, 2009

EtsyMetal News 5.15.09

Etsy Feature news:

Several of our members are included in a beautiful gift guide called Jewelry by Metalsmiths, curated by SNAG, the Society of North American Metalsmiths, in honor of the SNAG conference next week in Philadelphia, PA.

Many of our members are included in the Luxury gift guide, which includes items over $100.

In the Storque, stamp and ninadinoff were recently highlighted in the Etsy Finds: Say I Do To Handmade feature.

Our members' upcoming events, shows, and honors:

NinaGibsonDesigns will be at Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival on Sunday, May 17th from 11 to 5! Look for her in Booth 52.

ashleyjewelry and lenastudio will be sharing a booth at the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash on Saturday, May 16th, from 11-6.

simplymega has some new rings from her OMega Series at Quoil Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand.

daniellejewelry has 3 brooches in an exhibition at the Allied Artists of Johnstown. It is the first exhibition for the past scholarship recipients of the Allied Artists of Johnstown, PA---a scholarship she was awarded 20 years ago! The show runs from May 11 from 4pm - 6pm.

Danielle also received a $500 Merit Award at Artisphere last weekend! Congrats, Danielle!

Starting next month, Tamra from AgJewelryDesign and tgendesignstudio will be a new metals instructor at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL.

Tamra and Danielle were also featured recently on Cindy Edlestein's Jewelry Business Guru blog as Jewelry Bloggers Who Do it Well. Way to go, ladies!

KathrynRiechert will be in Booth 711 at the Jacksonville, FL Riverside Artist Market, on Saturday, May 16th from 10-4.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tip and Review : Suspension Shadow Boxes for Jewelry Display

I was recently invited to participate in an art exhibition that was, ironically and unfortunately, not prepared to display jewelry. Normally I would shy (or run) away from organizations not able to properly display/secure jewelry. However, this exhibition pulled on my heart strings. It is the first exhibition for the past scholarship recipients of the Allied Artists of Johnstown---a scholarship I was awarded 20 years ago!

Feeling nostalgic, my mission began...find a way to display my jewelry that is secure and easy to ship. That is when I remembered an article I read in the Jeweler Resource Bureau about mounting jewelry in floating shadow boxes. These shadow boxes are two part frames which open at the center, allowing you to place almost any jewelry item inside. A clear, flexible plastic sheeting accommodates the jewelry and holds it firmly in place---virtually suspending it. A strong magnetic strip holds the two sides of the frame/box securely closed.
"Effervescence Wave Brooch" suspended in shadow box display

My next mission...find a way to secure this shadow box onto a pedestal and prevent it from being opened. That is when I turned to my husband, Ben Gilliam---metal artist, teacher and brilliant gig maker.
He designed and made me this wooden stand to hold the shadow box. It gets screwed to the top of the pedestal then the frame slides into the groove. He inserted a female thread into the bottom of the shadow box frame, and a screw then secures the frame in the wood base. Simple and brilliant, no?! Thanks, Ben!
I highly recommend these suspension shadow boxes...with or without wooden mounts! They are available in bulk from Prestige Pak Inc. or in smaller quantities from Rio Grande.

Friday, May 8, 2009

EtsyMetal News 5.8.09

Mokume and Silver Disc Ring by Jesse Danger
Several Etsy Metal members will exhibiting...

Jesse Danger will be at the Queen City Craft Bazaar in Burlington, VT on Saturday, May 9.

Sarah Hood has brand new work in an earring exhibition called "The Long & Short of It" at Facere Jewelry Art Gallery in Seattle, WA. The show runs from May 6 - May 27.

Danielle Miller
will be at Artisphere in Greenville, SC. The festival runs from Friday, May 8 through Sunday May 10

Kathryn Riechert will be at the 31st Annual Bluffton Village Festival in Bluffton, SC on Saturday, May 9.

Red Circles Squared Dichroic Glass Pendant by lpjewelry
A big CONGRATS to our members that hit Etsy sale milestones...

Beth Cyr (bcyrjewelry) and Stacey (wildflowerdesigns) made it to 1000 sales!

Lisa (lpjewelry) made it to 500 sales!

Black Diamond and 14kt Gold Ring by Clare Stoker-Ring
And more CONGRATS are in order...

Nina Dinoff and Clare Stoker-Ring are in the recent Storque article "Etsy Finds: Say I Do to Handmade."

Several of our members made it into "Jewelry by Metalsmiths" the new Etsy Gift Guide curated by SNAG.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Etsy Metal Finds

For the love of coffee!

1. Ashwood Mugs byWellhouse Farm Pottery

2. Coffee Sleeves byCipola

3. I Heart Coffee Print byMichele Maule

4. Shaggy Coffee Tote by Shaggy Baggy


Join SNAG in Philadelphia for the REVOLUTION conference
May 20 - 23, 2009
Help make 2009 the highest attended conference ever!
Today is the last day to register online! Register here now! But don't worry if you can't make today's deadline - On-site conference registration commences May 20th in Philadelphia.

Friday, May 1, 2009

EtsyMetal News 5.1.09

Wow! It's May already--can you believe it? Here is some news from our members to kick your month off right.

Several of our members have recently been featured on the Trend de la Creme blog, including NinaGibsonDesigns, KathrynRiechert, noformdesign, ColleenBaran and metalnat.

NinaGibsonDesigns will be at an artists' and jewelry artists' showcase at Soul at Home--a studio, spa, and gallery--on Sunday, May 3rd in Tustin, CA.

Brooke of gemmafactrix will be
at Camp Kippewa as a jewelry and arts instructor for the 2009 summer camp sessions. The camp is an all girls camp in Maine.

Beth from bcyrjewelry is holding a contest on her blog to rename her Love Rocks wedding bands. Vote in her poll for a chance to win a $10 gift certificate to her Etsy shop!

andescruz was recently mentioned as a favorite artist in an interview with Grayson Malone of the Ceremonial Home on the Such Cool Stuff blog.

Rachael of sudlow will be at Art in the Park
in Lawrence, KS on May 3rd from 10am-5pm.

One of Shannon's (of rubygirl) pieces was recently used in a project in a magazine--Interweave's 2009 Bead Annual.

Effervescence Brooch #1 was included in the May issue of Fine Jewelry News in an article about jewelry that evokes childhood fun and games entitled "Trends: Play." Also, visit the National Jeweler website to vote for Danielle in the Best of Silver--People's Choice Award!

ring won 3rd place for the Etsy mother's day gift poll. Congrats, Christine.

will be part of an eight gallery Spring Art Walk on May 2nd in South Bend, IN. Meg will be featuring her Seaweed Series at CircaArts Gallery.

Ann of tuizui
is the Artist of the Month at The Store @ Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA. The opening is May 3rd.

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