Studio Buildout

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This spring I teamed up with fellow designers Luana Coonen and Sharon Zimmerman to open a shared jewelry studio in the heart of downtown San Francisco. The 750 square foot shop is a major upgrade from my former place in the Mission district, which was a single room less than 1/7 the size. This new two-room workshop and office felt like a dream. Getting it into working order, however, was no easy task.

The two office rooms had been used primarily for storage over the last decade. Upon our first look, the shop was filled floor to ceiling with clunky office furniture, file boxes and broken printers. A few windows were cracked and the ceiling had developed a slow leak. We were determined to not let these cosmetic things deter us, so the first few weeks were dedicated to getting the shop ready for move in. Walls and ceilings were patched and painted. Carpeting was removed and laminate floors installed. We hired a plumber to pull in the necessary pipes and install a sink so we could have running water.

Then came time to move in. The shop quickly filled with our tools and workbenches. We built additional desks, shelves, and surfaces to maximize storage and give us plenty of working space.  This part of the transformation was exhausting, but so exciting. The images below show that transformation over the first few weeks. Although they’re already a few months late — opening receptions have come and gone, more shelving and personal touches have been added — this collection of photos remains a solid benchmark in the evolution of our businesses and the creation of this special environment. I hope you enjoy your peek inside.

View all 20 images by clicking the link below.

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Goldlight Jewelers Grand Opening Reception

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This spring I teamed up with fellow designers Luana Coonen and Sharon Zimmerman to open a shared jewelry studio in the heart of downtown San Francisco. After a few busy months getting settled into this new shop, we are so happy to finally open our doors for a grand opening reception.

The term Goldlight in our name, Goldlight Studios, refers to the gorgeous morning light which pours in through our 5th floor windows. It was the first thing we fell in love with about the shop, and has been the warmest welcome as we show up to work each day.

We hope you’ll join us for drinks, bites, and a personalized tour of all the fancy tools during our opening reception. The fun takes place next Saturday, June 7th from 4-8pm.

Goldlight Jewelers Grand Opening Reception
Saturday, June 7th
4-8pm
833 Market Street #527
San Francisco, CA 94103

More photos of the finished jewelry shop are on the way. Until then, I hope you enjoy these few pics of my personal workspace bathing in the aforementioned morning light. 

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Introducing the New Studio!

Here we are, ten weeks into the new year and I find myself dreadfully behind on updates. Apologies! I promise the news is well worth the wait.

The last few months have been chock full of opportunity, growth, and travels. A highlight reel of these new developments is in the works, but in the meantime I’d like to announce one of the larger developments with you: a new studio!

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Here’s a peek at our new space in all of its rustic glory. The 750sq ft space in downtown San Francisco is transforming into a stellar workshop, office and showroom before our very eyes. I’m so grateful to have joined forces with my two new shop mates, Sharon Zimmerman and Luana Coonen, in order to make this dream space a reality. These incredible women are hard working and so creative, I’m beyond lucky to rub elbows with them daily.

To celebrate the new move, introduce ourselves, and give my old shop it’s “last hurrah”, we’re hosting a Trunk Show and Sample Sale this Sunday from 12-4pm. We’ll be pouring mimosas and showcasing a great variety of work…Come say ‘hello!’

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DIY Wedding Bands

Nearly one year ago I sat down with my future husband Ryan for an afternoon at the bench. Together we spent a few hours carving what would become our wedding bands. Each was a token from one to the other, created with love, care, and a promise to stand the test of time.

Ryan was admittedly apprehensive about creating a ring from scratch. While he’s seen my projects evolve over the years, this was his first hands-on experience creating a piece of jewelry. I walked him through each step: he sawed off the slices of wax, filed them down, and carefully carved it into its final shape. After a few trials, a few discarded bands, and far less time than we expected—Ryan turned out a darling half round band.

He described the process of creating the ring as “honest” and “simple” as compared to the digital media he’s fluent in. Each stroke with the blade was impacting something I would wear the rest of my life. That carried a special emotional weight. By gaining a feel for my craft, he felt a closer understanding of my interest and passion.

For Ryan I carved a 5mm wide faceted band with a comfort fit interior. While I’ve created many wedding bands over the years, nothing was quite like watching him slip it on for the first time.

The finished rings were cast in platinum, adorned with diamonds, and exchanged on May 25th, 2013.

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A Rarity: Studio Visit & Interview

Kate Ellen, owner and curator of Crown Nine in Oakland, CA, believes that an appreciation for handmade goods is forged when consumers can meet the people behind the products. This connection is deepened when they see how their favorite things are made. So naturally, catching the artist in their studio is the most insightful place to look. From sketches, to tools, to the very surfaces they work on, a peek behind the curtain shows us not only their expertise but the muse for each covetable item.

Kate is such a strong believer that she has set out to bring this story to you. Each of Crown Nine’s artists have created a limited edition of exclusive jewelry for the shop known as A Rarity. As these designs were underway, she ventured into the shops each jeweler to give you a glimpse into who we are and what we do. Each month a new exclusive design is released paired with an  interview with Kate and a visual studio visit by photographer Eva Kolenko (whose handiwork you’re seeing below)
The result is truly something special.

Catch my Rarity AVAILABLE NOW at Crown Nine’s website along with a stellar interview and photo tour of myself in action.

For more on the Aspen Bounty Earrings created for this project, check out this blog post!

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Like what you see? Hop on over to Eva Kolenko’s site for more photo magic.

A Rarity: Crown Nine Exclusive Aspen Bounty Earrings

Below you can see the Aspen Bounty Earrings for Crown Nine’s limited edition project, A Rarity, come to life.  The initial wax carving was captured in this quick video (previously posted) followed by images of the fabrication and finishing once the piece was molded and cast in sterling silver. I’ve created only ten pairs of these earrings, so grab them before they’re gone!

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Behind the Scenes of Capsule Prep

I want to extend a huge thank-you to everyone who came out to CAPSULE this past weekend. It was refreshing to see so many familiar faces, and invigorating to be introduced to so many more! We’ve got some really lovely photos to share from the event, but first we need to get you up to speed on what went into preparing for our very first show. One of the great things about preparing for an event like this is that it forces you to sit down (or rather, run all over the place) and really make sure your business has everything up to speed. A short list of things I was forced to evaluate includes but is not limited to:

  • Website and Facebook: Are they up to date?
  • Photography: Have you taken high-res photos of one-of-a-kind pieces that may be sold that day?
  • Marketing Materials: Business Cards? Post Cards, Line Sheets
  • Displays: How do we present our work in a unique and intriguing way?
  • Inventory: Creating, recording, and pricing new pieces
  • Customer Base: Have you let all your friends and followers know this is a great time to come see your latest work?
  • Tool Kit: Assemble all things needed for that day’s event: including the canopy, tables, table cloths, credit card reader… you get where I’m headed with this.
I’m happy to say that I was able to evaluate each of these things as I ramped up for the event this past weekend, although I did learn that some things needed a lot more attention than I had been giving them. I invite you to check back as I share more here on the website, including new collections and updated photography for a number of stunning pieces.
And now, I’m happy to share the creation of our jewelry displays! Jenny and I started with large, single pane reclaimed windows which we found at Urban Ore. These would become the top to our display cases that would later be hinged onto a bottom case. We fashioned the bottom cases out of some beams from Home Depot, and nailed a thin wood bottom.
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Next the interior or the cases needed a few coats of stain. This delicious coppery brown color looked so great against metal that we decided to leave it plain. CapsulePrep 3 CapsulePrep 4 CapsulePrep 5 CapsulePrep 6 Then the exterior or the cases and windows needed a fresh coat of paint. I had a strong suspicion that the layers of paint on the old window frames were lead based, so I opted out of sanding them, adding to the ‘rustic’ finished product. After a few days and multiple painting sessions, the tops and bottoms were ready to be joined together and cleaned up for their debut. CapsulePrep CapsulePrep 7 The final chore was to decide how we would display some jewelry outside of the cases. We had picked up half a dozen reclaimed wooden drawers and envisioned using them to generate some vertical interest. Be sure to check the next post to see the final product!

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New Arrivals

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I know you are all anxiously awaiting the results of today’s display assembly, but I couldn’t resist sharing what’s new! These beauties are rose cut sapphires in delicious pastel tones. They’re large, natural colors and set within brushed sterling silver mountings. Come see them in person next weekend at CAPSULE, if they last that long!