Thursday, April 30, 2009

Weekly Review - The perfect studio tank top

I usually spend my work day in whatever I wore that morning to do yoga in. Its comfy, and I rarely see anyone other than my husband. Elizabeth of esdesigns recommended this great tank from Land's End. She said the fabric is great, cool and dry and not too clingy. Perfect for the summer heat, especially here in Georgia! And I can't wait to get one for the most important reason - why? Because it has an inside pocket for my ipod! Comfy tank I can do yoga in and then head off to the studio in comfort with a special pocket for my little ipod. I have become quite addicted to listening to audiobooks in the past few months and am constantly trying to figure out the best way to keep the headphone cord out of the way. More than once its caught on something like the edge of my anvil or work bench - and ripped the headphones right off my ears. Luckily never something dangerous like a lit torch!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Charm Swap Update - Get Ready, They're Almost Here!

Have you been wondering about our charm bracelets? I have! and now for the update.

All three bracelets will be on sale within the next couple of weeks. 50% of the proceeds of each complete bracelet will be going to EtsyMetals Youth Outreach Program, which will be donating to three different organizations - one for each bracelet.

Charm Swap #1 proceeds will go toward the metalsmithing program at “Art Start” in New York.

Charm Swap #2 proceeds will provide scholarships to youth who could not otherwise afford classes at the “Pratt Fine Arts Center” in Washington.

Charm Swap #3 proceeds will be used to purchase metalsmithing tools for “DREAMS of Wilmington,” in North Carolina.

There will only be one bracelet of each of the 3 charm swaps. So be prepared that once its gone, its gone for good! Get your wrists and wallets ready!

Individual charms are on sale currently in our EtsyMetal team shop. So if you have your eye on just a few, you can create your own charm bracelet or necklace!

We are already gearing up for charm swap #4! So if you miss out on one of the three bracelets, you can be on the look out for our next one.

Here are some teaser photos:



Etsy Metal Finds

With the slight warm up outside, I am becoming increasingly anxious for summer to arrive. Warm balmy nights, good friends, and outdoor parties immediately come to mind. This week, I am excited to share some of the great items I found on etsy to help you prepare for that evening garden party! Enjoy!

Tortoise Pattern Bowl in Amber and Royal Blue from Campana Ceramics

5pcs Promotion Pack - Magical Night White from mamafangku of Designer Playground

Celaya Table Runner from MargotBianca

Poppy Letterpress place cards/enclosures. Set of 10 from Dingbat Press

Friday, April 24, 2009

EtsyMetal News 4.24.09

Hey all! Read on for news from our members this week.

Nina from NinaGibsonDesigns will be a vendor at the Floral Park Home Tour this weekend, April 25-26.

A handful of EtsyMetal members were recently featured on the Modern Jewelry Designs blog. Check out the blog to read a great interview with Jesse from JesseDanger posted on Wednesday, April 22nd.

Ashley from ashleyjewelry
will be at the Funky Finds Spring Fling in Fort Worth, TX on Saturday, April 25th.

Kathryn from KathrynRiechert will be at
booth #905 at the Riverside Arts Market this weekend in Jacksonville, FL.

Congrats to Colleen of ColleenBaran for hitting 400 sales in her Etsy shop this week!

Be sure to visit the Mother's Day Gift Poll on Etsy to vote for bloomstudios' Limited Edition 14k and Laboradorite ring!

And don't forget to check out the
Nashville Walden Artisan Market this weekend--see the blog post below for more details.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Walden Market in East Nashville

If you live in or near Nashville, this is the monthly Artisan Market not to miss! Located at the Walden Building on Eastland Ave., it houses a myriad of vendors from vintage clothing and furniture to handmade goods and art. Several Etsy sellers make it a priority to vend there, such as Etsy Metal team's Amanda of Bijougirl Designs, Etsy's Mary of Maryink, East Nashville Upholstery, Pink Cupcake Vintagee, Jane Osgood, and Squirrel Pearl, among many others!

The Market is open this Saturday from 9am-5pm and this Sunday from 11am-4pm.
If you're in the area, make plans to come out and shop the wares, get a cup of joe and a panini at Ugly Mugs next door or a smoothie at Fresh Blends or hold out until the Taco truck arrives and load up on Mas Tacos!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day - Ethical Jewelry?

100% recycled 18kt New Zealand alluvial beach gold ring by Ash Hilton

A frequent topic of discussion among Etsy Metal members is ethical metalsmithing. Since precious metals and gemstones must be mined, they have a huge impact on the environment. There’s an impact on human lives as well, when there are conflicts over mining rights and when mines poison workers and communities, and when diamonds are sold to fund conflicts in war torn areas. So what are the options, for jewelry makers, and for consumers?

One increasingly popular solution is not to use precious metals and gemstones at all. Jewelry may be made from non-precious materials or re-purposed objects. Another solution is the use of 100% recycled precious metals. According to a recent article in National Geographic, all of the gold ever mined would only fill two Olympic-size swimming pools. So while much of the gold in existence now has always been recycled, the value of gold (which has increased during the recession) still drives new mining. More information on recycled precious metals and mining can be found here:

And check out Moissanite, a great diamond alternative. There's also some good info in this post by Danielle Miller.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Etsy Metal Finds

Wonderful Etsy Finds with Mother Earth in mind!
Mini Bouquet Trio - Natural Handmade Soap - Ltd. Edition Mother's Day by Alchemic Muse

Organic Washcloth Scrolls by Green Haven Soaps

Drinking Glass beer Bottles, Rolling Rock Recycled Glassblowing by Nick Paul of Windy City Glassblower

Sustainable Wallet....Quilted Vintage Fabric Card Cozy by Rikrak

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time Saving Tuesday

I'm the kind of person who likes to learn how to do things the primitive way before utilizing newer (and faster) tools. In a way, it forces me to understand the "whys" behind the process. But in a business where time is money, having the right tool for the job sure saves tons of time - therefore, tons of moolah.

As a jeweler, your basic tools save time the more you become familiar with them. Your favorite hammer feels better in your hand, so it saves you time to use it because it starts to feel like one of your limbs.
But new (even if they are just new to you) and modified tools have their place too, in a metalworker's world. These tools help you create the same things faster or easier. Even obscure tools such as Clare Stamp's $3 pair of chain nose pliers and tiny tape measure from Crate and Barrel, MetalRiot's concrete cinder block that provides a coveted texture, Tamara's triangle scraper, Bijougirl's metal fingernail file or Experimetal's torch lighter and table shear, have a very important place in helping produce productivity.
The top jeweler's basics from people questioned on the Etsy Metal team are:
Various Hammers
Jeweler's Saw
Followed closely by:
The Flex Shaft
and Rolling Mill

Contributing Jewelers include:
Hedy Parks, Rachel Sudlow Jewelry, Jessi Taylor, Tre Anelli, The Muse's Jewels, Danielle Miller Jewelry, Duck Duck Goose, LP Jewelry, Wildflower Designs, Nina Gibson Designs, Sara Westermark,
Nina Dinoff, Beth Cyr Jewelry, Kathryn Riechert

Click here for a list of tips from the MJSA's Journal on how to use and/or modify tools to speed up your productivity.

TIP: Not all that glitters is gold...

Etsymetal member Chris Parry shared this story with his fellow team mates in our private forums. I felt it was a lesson that needed to be shared with our blog readers as well....

fake-ring-2, originally uploaded by Chris Parry.

A little story goes with this ring.

A customer brought this into me and asked me if it was real. At the time it was a very shiny gold colour. (It had been gold plated.)

Inside the ring, you can just make out two marks a 750 and a 18k. Both presuming to mean that it is 18k gold.

However, when he gave it to me, the colour of the gold was wrong and the weight as well. The spurious marks also made me feel this ring was a fake.

So I put it under my torch and as you can see the resulting black mess proves that it is just a brass/copper metal underneath.

It does infact look like a plumbers olive. Something used by plumber in the UK when installing water pipes in houses.

The client had bought this ring from a beggar in Lonodon for £5 and his own words, "it was worth a gamble".

You could probably buy a 100 of these olives for a £5.

So the beggar was no ordinary beggar, as he clearly had access to a gold plating unit, so he was in fact probably a scam artist.

Then about six months later, a lady bought an identical ring in to me and I gave her the same bad news, but she insisted it had been in her family for years (Probably just embarrassed that she had parted with good money for a fake)

Be warned you all, not all that glitters is gold

On a similar note, Etstmetal members, Danielle Miller and Victoria Takahashi are working on a jewelry buying guide of sorts...definitions of materials, terms, etc. to help the buying public understand what they are looking at. For example: 18k gold vs. gold filled. Keep posted for that info in the near future...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Weekly Review - Strawberry and Spinach Salad

News Updates:
We had several things more to add for the weekend!
Elizabeth of esdesigns and Shannon of rubygirl were both featured in Etsy's weekend deals! Congrats ladies!

Beth of bcyrjewelry is being featured on Down and Out Chic - including a giveaway! Who doesn't love a free pair of earrings?

And Nina Dinoff is being featured on Poppytalk Handmade

photo by Plat on Flickr

This recipe is from Kathryn Riechert and sounds so yummy! I haven't tried it yet but will be going to get some strawberries this weekend.

2 packages fresh spinach
1.5 qts fresh sliced strawberries

1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1/4-1/3 c. oil
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1.5 tsp. minced onion
(2 T. toasted sesame seeds opt.) (I never add these, but next time I might toss in some walnuts)

Mix the dressing several hours early to allow the sugar to dissolve. Mix with spinach and strawberries just before serving.


Friday, April 17, 2009

EtsyMetal News 4.17.09

There is so much great news this week! Read on for lots of accomplishments from our members.

Libby from eRosasjewelry is the Featured Seller right now! Read her poetic interview to learn a little more about her, and be sure to visit her shop to check out her elegant and unique jewelry.

Christine from BloomStudios was recently featured in the Quit Your Day Job section of the Storque. Check out her thoughtful and inspiring interview to find out how you too can take the plunge into being a full-time maker.

EM members Jesse from jessedanger and Ash from Ashhilton are featured, among other Etsy jewelers, in a Craftism article called "Earth Tones: Metal Jewelry with a Conscience." Read the article to discover some Etsy jewelers committed to using recycled metals in their work.

Congratulations to Shannon from rubygirl who hit 800 sales in her Etsy shop last Friday!

And speaking of sales, Colleen from colleenbaran is 7 sales away from her 400th sale on Etsy! Be one of those 7 people and you'll be automatically entered to win something fun and extra (most likely a ring or earrings)! Chances are 1 in 8 to win--those sound like good odds!

Kathryn from KathrynRiechert and Alicia from IstanbulDesigns
will be at the Alpharetta Arts Streetsfest this weekend, April 18th and 19th, in Alpharetta, GA. Get on out there and support them!

There is a new page on the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) website called "Find, Make, Wear" which features selections from the V & A flickr page of the same name. Artists were asked to post photos of jewelry made from recycled materials, and jewelry professor Dorothy Hogg chose several out of the hundreds of contributors to post on the new V & A page. Three EtsyMetal members are represented!--Laura, from tangerinetreehouse, Colleen from colleenbaran, and Sarah from SarahHoodJewelry (me!).

Beth from bcyrjewelry is doing a give away on the blog Down and Out Chic. Enter the contest to win a pair of earrings from her lovely Organic Vines Collection!

Last but not least, if you're in the NYC area, don't forget to head over to SOFA New York 2009, which runs from April 15th through 19th at the Park Avenue Armory. EtsyMetal members Tosca from nanopod and Lynette from Asymmetry will have work in the show. See the April 15th blog post below for more information.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Metal Riot = Thomasin Durgin

Thomasin Durgin, aka Tomi, is the metalsmith behind Metal Riot. She is 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 live in Memphis, TN. I was born in NH and have also lived in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Maine.

2. How did you get started working with metal?
I started making jewelry with beads and hardware parts over 20 years ago, using cold connections. I finally took my first metalsmithing class 18 months ago.

3. What are a few of your favorite pieces at the moment?
I have recently become addicted to bezel setting, and my latest pieces include some beautiful agates and jaspers.Crazy Lace Agate and Silver Necklace

4. What inspires you (artists, objects, interests)?
Modernist jewelry from the 50s and 60s, nature, and urban environments as well.

5. Do you have any other artistic interests?
I have my MFA in Fiber Art and still make quilts as gifts and do a little crochet. I also do mixed media work, and am currently working on a series of small sculptures using wire, wood, and paperclips.

You can visit Tomi's flickr and etsy for more examples of her work.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

EtsyMetal + SOFA, NY

Kicking off tonight:
SOFA, New York
The World's Foremost Fair of Contemporary Decorative Arts & Design
Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th St.

SOFA features superlative contemporary and modern decorative arts, design and jewelry by internationally recognized museum class artist, showcased by 55 international dealers from 12 countries. The show debuts Wednesday, April 15th and runs through the 19th at the Park Avenue Armory. An overwhelming number of the examples epitomize not only the extraordinary artistry of material-based artworks but also recession proof values in today’s art market.

EtsyMetal member Tosca Terán of nanopod: Hybrid Studio is a featured artist at this year's show, and is represented by Urban Glass of Brooklyn, NY. Tosca was invited to create a new body of work for the exhibit. Visit the Urban Glass booth 420 to check it out.

Another EtsyMetal member involved in the show is Asymmetry's Lynette Andreasen, who is represented by Mobilia gallery of Cambridge, MA.

More information about SOFA can be found here:

Check out Tosca's and Lynette's work here:

Nanopod Studio on flickr

Lynette Andreasen on flickr

Congratulations to eRosasjewelry - Etsy Featured Seller!

Yippeee!!! And a big congratulations to Libby for being Etsy's featured seller! I love seeing one of EtsyMetal's fabulous members up on the front page - but even more exciting when they are the featured seller! I hope it brings her many fabulous opportunities and of course, sales! :) Check it out here.

You can see our own recent interview with her from just a few weeks ago!

Etsy Metal Finds

Fabulous mid-century modern inspired finds for your space!
Buttercream Bird House by Greenware Design

50s Mid Century MODERN WHITE Vintage SLIPPER CHAIR by Fabulousmess

Spectrum Series by Atomic Lodge

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Weekly Review - Heavy Metal in Baghdad

I watched this movie a couple weeks ago - and knew that I wanted to make sure to tell people about it. Regardless of your music preference (and I have to be honest that heavy metal isn't one of my favorites), I would recommend this movie to everyone. I'm kind of at a loss of words to really say what is was about. It was incredibly moving and gave a much different view of Iraq than the one the general media has given. A couple years have passed since the movie was released and I was left feeling quite heartbroken at the end. But when I went to the website I was glad to see happy news of what has become of the band. Here's the website, though I would say, watch the movie first, then go check out the site.

Friday, April 10, 2009

EtsyMetal News 4.10.09

Hey everyone! As usual, our members have lots of great news this week. Read on for this week's news.

The votes are in for Etsy members' favorite Fall and Winter finds, and the winner is the Nicotiana Earrings from our very own cynthiadelgiudice. Congrats, Cynthia!

Meg of simplymega will be part of an exhibition beginning this Friday at the Eggsentric Cafe in Flaxmill Bay, New Zealand. The exhibit runs April 10-26, with an opening tonight at 4pm, April 10th.

KathrynRiechert will be selling her work at The Trustees Garden Market in Savannah, GA this Saturday (tomorrow) from 9-3pm.

ashleyjewelry will be at the Fiesta Arts Fair in San Antonio, TX next weekend, April 18 & 19. Stop by to see her jewelry anytime between 10am and 6pm on Saturday, or between 11am and 5pm on Sunday.

Colleen from colleenbaran has
been featured in a couple dozen blogs over the last couple weeks. Her ring 'I Miss You' was featured by many, including the Free People Blog and noquedanblogs. She also also had a very nice feature of the ring sizers she offers by Megan of PlanningToElope and NotMartha.

Christine of bloomstudios will be featured this next week in Etsy's "Quit Your Day Job" section and then on Tuesday at 3pm will be "conducting" a etsy virtual lab for this topic. Keep your eyes open for both of those, and congrats, Christine!

And last but not least, the Etsymetal blog just hit a milestone of 200 followers. A big huge thank you to all of our readers and followers!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Etsy Metal Finds

The Easter Bunny is here! Check out these fun Easter inspired finds from Etsy!

Bella The Bunny by The Willow Tree

Violet Floral Hanging Easter Egg by PickalaPoopa

Ridiculously Little Bunny Slippers by Pretty Little

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Saving Time

Vials of Watch Parts from VaartSupplies

It feels like I have a billion full time jobs. There is never enough time to do everything, so I'm always analyzing my habits and wondering if there is a faster, easier, more streamlined way to get it all done.
And that's where you come in. I want to hear your tips on saving time at your bench, in your business and in your home. What little things do you do to get everything accomplished? Email me your ideas and I'll post them on "Saving Time Tuesdays." If we all work together, I'm sure we can add some minutes to our days!

Nina Dinoff shares her quick cooking tip:
"I have been buying loads of veggies and roasting them (with a bit of e.v.o.o. and salt and pepper) in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Then I mix them with whatever is around.

For instance, the other night I used onions, zucchini, tomatoes and mushrooms and made quesedillas. Then the next night I used them in a pasta with shrimp. This week I made a medley of yams and turnips from Trader Joe's and some broccoli with garlic. mixed that with cous-cous and feta cheese.

It's great because I barely have to do anything to cook it and it's healthy and delicious. The best part is that I have cooked veggies in the fridge for days and don't need to cook!"

Also try:
Roasted Vegetable Soup
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese
Roasted Vegetable Pizza

Friday, April 3, 2009

EtsyMetal News 4.3.09

We have LOTS of great news this week! Read on.

sarawestermark was featured on the Zoomed Local blog, which featured her Sakura Spring Branch Necklace.

BloomStudios's beautiful Sweet Rain Stacking Set of 14k gold and aquamarine rings were recently featured on the Bright Side Project. Readers posted answers to a simple question, and it was up to Christine to pick the best answer in order to win the set of rings. When she couldn't choose just one winner, there ended up being two lucky winners! So nice, Christine!

Danielle from daniellejewelry was recently interviewed on The interview is on the website now--check it out to learn about the woman behind all of that gorgeous jewelry, and for a chance to win a pair of Danielle's Bubble Earrings!

There are only three days left to vote in the Etsy Fall Fashion voter feature. Cast your vote for one of two EtsyMetal members represented--cynthiadelgiudice and indiaylaluna. Good luck, ladies!

Paul of noformdesign was recently featured on the Home and Garden TV show "That's Clever." He was filmed making a stainless steel and wood ring. Way to go, Paul--you're a tv star!

KathrynRiechert will be at the very first Riverside Arts Market in Jacksonville, FL tomorrow--Saturday, April 4th. If you're in the area, head over there and see her jewelry in person.

Tomi from MetalRiot will be showing her work at A Celebration of Fine Craft, hosted by Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN next weekend. The hours are: Friday, April 17, 10am-5:30pm, (opening reception 5:30-7:30pm); Saturday, April 18, 9am-6pm; Sunday, April 19, 12pm-5pm.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gallery of the Month : The Golden Gallery

The Gallery of the Month for April is The Golden Gallery in Wilmington, North Carolina -- Owner and operated by a family of very talented artists....
Q: Why did you decide to open a gallery?

A: I had seen my watercolor teacher in Charleston SC, Virginia Fouchée open one in downtown Charleston. As my husband was interviewing at the Corps of Engineers in Wilmington, NC. I spotted the Cotton Exchange (a complex of buildings from the early 1900's that once housed warehouses, salons and the likes, but is now home to a unique collection of shops and restaurants) and knew what I wanted to do.

Q: How long have you been open?

A: 31 years

Q: Can you describe your gallery aesthetic?
A: Both classic traditional and distinctive contemporary.

Q: Are your products exclusively handmade?
A: yes

Q: Local or international artist/designers?
A: local

Q: What is your price range of the products you sell? Best selling price range?
A: $5.00 to $2000.00 Best from $50 to $150

Q: Do you have special events?
A: Fourth Friday gallery walks, anniversary celebrations. And Exhibition openings.

Q: Do you offer special services?
A: shipping, gift wrapping

Q: Do you sell online?
Q: Who is your customer base...Tourists? Locals? Repeat Customers? Collectors?
A: All of the above!

Q: How do you promote your artists / store?
A: Advertising, email, blogs

Q: Where do you find your artists/product?
A: We produce it all. I paint in watercolor and print my giclée prints. John produces photography and an incredible variety of digital illustration created to look like traditional media. Melissa Manley is a very fine metalsmith who has worked for me off and on for more than 20 years. Her jewelry and collage items are the only non family product in our gallery.

Q: What is HOT right now?
A: John's Rovinato series of Altered Photography and my watercolor river and sea paintings and giclée prints.

Q: What changes have been made from when you first opened the business?
A: We grew from 500 to 1600 square feet...brighter space and much more variety in artwork.


Q: Are you, yourself an artist?
A: I have been a watercolorist since 1975 and an artist all my life. My son John is an animator and graphic designer who has chosen to support himself making art. He is well known on Etsy (see ETC. on January 30, 2009) and his Fido series has been marketed internationally by Bruce McGaw. His work appears in national catalogs and his creativity amazes me!
Q: What is your favorite/least favorite part of your business?
A: I love the pure process of painting in watercolor..and the joy of working with customers who feel what I felt when I created the painting. I don't like the accounting end of the business.

Q: What is your favorite item you have kept for yourself from your store?
A: I have an original watercolor I painted after a trip to Wales named "When the Mists Rolled Back" which will never be sold. There are giclée prints available in the gallery.

Q: What do you feel makes you successful?
A: Hard work and attention to detail. My son says we are early adopters of technology and have been printing our own giclée prints for more than 6 years.

Q: what makes you most proud?
A: I am proud of my daughter and son who are good and generous people and very talented at what they do. My daughter teaches French at the North Carolina School of the Arts and after growing up with 2 artists and a musician father says she is eminently qualified to teach artists

Q: List your likes and interests, using only one word each or short phrases...
A: painting, reading, energy work, grandchildren

Q: Feel free to add anything else you'd like to share.
A: I must thank my husband of 45 years who has always supported me and my efforts. He married an english major and I married an engineer and as we evolved into artist and musician, his patience has been incredible. We are in our 5th location in downtown Wilmington, NC's Cotton Exchange and when we moved 2 years ago, he painted long hours (walls) and with our son did most of the carpentry involved in our newest gallery space.

If you find yourself in the Wilmington, North Carolina area stop by The Golden Gallery @ the Cotton Exchange!
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