I’m hitting the road!

For artists and artisans, summer means special events and festivals, and I’ll be hitting the road next week!  It’s a lot of work, but I love meeting existing and new clients and sharing my work. I’m always inspired when I get back.

Watch my Facebook page, blog and newsletter for more shows. My 2017 calendar is also listed on my events page. If you’re in the area, I hope you will stop by and say hello! Can’t make it to a show?  Feel free to email or call me for a private viewing at my studio and for more information.

Coming right up!

Three Rivers Arts Festival
Friday – Tuesday, June 2-6, 12-8 p.m.
Booth 13 in Gateway Plaza, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Yarmouth Clam Festival
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, July, July 21-23.
Downtown Yarmouth, Maine
New Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Mount Desert Island Maine Crafts Guild Show
July 28-30, Atlantic Oceanside Inn, Bar Harbor, Maine
Friday, July 28: 5-8 p.m.
Saturday, July 29: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Sunday, July 30: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

I’ll be showcasing not only my existing lines but also some new work that I’m hopeful you will find as exciting as I do. Here’s a sneak peek!

These pieces are part of a new series I am calling Julie’s Garden in honor of a close friend who recently passed away after a year long battle with cancer. They are inspired by an intricate garden-themed hairpiece I recently designed for a client. The collection is comprised of sterling, 14K and 18K gold with gemstones.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support! Hope to see you on the road!

Keeping Your Silver Beautiful

 

Did you know that you can avoid tarnish by wearing your jewelry often? The oils in your skin “clean” the silver and keep it looking shiny. Of course, I’m a big fan of this option, but if your silver needs a little touch up, start with a non-abrasive silver cloth to polish your items (paper towels or facial tissues can scratch the silver). If you need more, I like these two eco-friendly options over commercial silver polishes:

Soap and water: Warm water and a mild, ammonia- and phosphate-free dish washing soap should be your first line of defense if the polishing cloth doesn’t work.

Baking soda and water: Make a paste of baking soda and water and use a clean cloth to apply a pea-sized amount to the silver and polish. For etched, stamped or detailed items, thin the paste with more water and use a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush to get the cracks and crevices.

 

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After using any cleaner, be sure to thoroughly rinse your silver with running water or a clean, damp cloth. dry the pieces with a microfiber cloth to prevent white water spots.

My advice? Get that jewelry out of the box and show it off!

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What Are Eco-Friendly Diamonds?

As far back as 6,000 years ago when they were used for religious amulets in India, diamonds have been treasured as precious stones. As a result, approximately 4.5 billion carats of diamonds have been extracted from the ground since large scale mining efforts began in South Africa in the 1870s. This means many millions of diamonds are part of the world’s existing, already mined supply of diamonds.

I refuse to participate in environmentally damaging mining practices, so I only work with suppliers of previously mined diamonds and other gemstones that are cut and polished from existing “rough” stones or those that were previously set in jewelry then removed and re-introduced into the supply chain for resale.

It’s only part of my commitment to creating sustainably beautiful jewelry….Look for a future post about recycled metals!

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Make Your Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day gifts shouldn’t be “one size fits all” (should anything really?). Every mom is different, and our recognition of the mothers in our lives should be as special as she is.

If you’re still looking for just the right thing, I think I can help.

If your mom loves being on the water, a Sailboat or Anchor necklace or earrings from my Maine Nautical collection is sure to put a smile on her face. Several options are two-sided so she
gets both designs. Is your mom your anchor? Check out the Anchor My Anchor reversible earrings to make sure she knows.

     

Does your mom love flowers? Why not give her some that will last way beyond Mother’s Day? Check out my Cherry Blossom series. There are lots of options: round or square, pendant or earrings. Customize with a gemstone to make it perfectly unique to your mom.

A piece from the Lotus Flower collection is a really thoughtful gift if your mom has a strong spiritual side. There are several one-sided and reversible options in the Lotus, Om and Stacking Stones designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of these designs are available in shiny or matte finish and in 14K gold or sterling silver. Plus, there are several options for chain designs and lengths.

If you don’t see what you want at Chaya Studio Jewelry, give me a call! Together, we can find just the right gift for Mother’s Day.

Get Your Shine On: Palladium & Platinum Are Perfect!

 

Ever heard of palladium? It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal that is a member of a group of metals called “Noble Metals.” It earned that distinction, because it can withstand corrosion and oxidation. It is also hypoallergenic, will not tarnish, and is extremely durable. Most important, it is crazy shiny and makes a piece of jewelry really stand out!

Platinum is the rarest and heaviest of the precious metals. According to some sources, all of the platinum ever mined would fit in the average size living room. Like all the metals in my work, any platinum I use has been previously mined. Fun fact: The world’s famous diamonds, including the Hope, Jonker I and Koh-I-Noor, are secured by platinum.

Want your favorite stone set in one of these beautiful white metals? Come see me!

This is platinum in its raw form…

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…and these are palladium crystals

I made these wedding bands out of palladium for the shine factor…..simple but so shiny!

 

We Have Spring Fever!

Happy Spring!!
Anyone who follows my work knows that I am inspired by the natural world. Since spring is here, I want to share my recent homage to Mother Nature: the Birch Bark series. The texture is a direct translation of the bark of a birch tree, and this subtle design allows for a lot of variations. For example, changing the metal and/or the width creates very different looks, and I can add color with gemstones.
All of these are a variation of my Birch Bark series….see how
a little customization really changes the look?

My Cherry Blossom series is also a sweet reminder of the season. Symbolizing new beginnings, these designs are timeless and always appealing. In addition, you can customize any Cherry Blossom piece with specific gemstones (such as birthstones) for a touch of color and a sense of uniqueness.

If you have spring cleaning on the brain, include your jewelry box.
I can re-purpose jewelry you don’t like or buy your metals and stones and credit that toward a purchase!

14K Gold Trout Rings
Samples of customized Cherry Blossom rings
14K Gold Trout Rings
These stacked Birch Bark rings were made in gold and silver
and customized with gemstones.
My Cherry Blossom series is one of my oldest and most popular…
So feminine and full of meaning.

New Beginnings

Need a fresh start? Find some cherry blossoms to see and smell. In much of Japan, flowering cherry trees come into full bloom around the beginning of April, so it is considered a time of new beginnings. For example, April is the month when the new school year starts, when companies start their new business years, and when many new graduates start to work. So, April’s beautiful cherry blossoms encourage people to celebrate new beginnings.

During blooming season, people make a point to visit parks and other spots with cherry trees, often taking the time for picnics under the branches with family and friends. Isn’t that lovely?

My Cherry Blossom collection is one of my oldest, and now you know why.

Spotlight On: Custom Sketches and Renderings

Almost all my custom projects start with drawings (yes, I still love to use pencil and paper). Using the information provided by each client, I create hand drawings of a minimum of 3 different concepts. Once the design is approved and finalized, I can outline project details and begin production! Below are some samples.

Check them out and remember…I would love to create some sketches for you!

These are first draft, preliminary sketches for a client who asked me to re-purpose some diamond jewelry. The design process for this project will have at least 3 drafts before we have the final design (all designs are the property of Chaya Studio Jewelry).

Ring Design Samples

 

This is a 3-part rendering. This drawing was the final draft used to create the finished piece (all designs are the property of Chaya Studio Jewelry).

Love, Weddings & Rings

This time of year, spring is in the air, and happy couples everywhere start talking about getting married. Where do you start? With a ring, of course!

People often get hung up on wedding ring traditions… matching bands, an engagement ring AND a wedding ring, only diamonds, etc. The truth is that there are no rules anymore, and couples shouldn’t feel pressured by other people’s “expectations.”

Now that we have same-sex marriage in several states (YAY!), looking for rings this year will likely be poignant for LGBT couples who are taking the plunge. Hopefully, this newsletter will help you, or any couple you know, take their relationship to the next level.

Chaya Studio Ring Philosophy 

  • Explore different metals. The metal (or metals) you choose has a lot to do with characteristics like durability, wear and luster, and those are important considerations.
  • Check out different stones. To many people, diamonds are boring. Colored gems can make for a more emotional design, and semi-precious stones are often a more budget-friendly option.
  • Ask your family… is there a family gemstone or setting lost in a lock box? I can work with what you have.
  • Rings don’t have to be traditionally “masculine” or “feminine.” Many current designs are meant to be unisex. Rings don’t have to be identical…let your personal tastes and design needs guide your selection.
  • Consider custom. Many couples want their rings to artfully represent their relationship. Custom designs allow you to highlight the uniqueness of your partnership.

My best advice? Find rings that you will each love wearing every day. They will carry the commitment and sentimentality that you as a couple assign to them, and that’s the most important thing.

14K Gold Trout Rings

These 14K gold rings were designed to honor the couple’s love of fresh water streams and flyfishing.  The diamonds were provided by the client and re-purposed by me.

 

14K Wedding Ring Set

This wedding set is made from 14K white gold.  The gent’s ring is one of my favorite designs – Tree Branch Ring II.  The woman’s ring is a Pave Infinity Twist, which beautifully complements her diamond solitaire.

 

CUSTOM JEWELRY DESIGN: HOW DOES IT WORK?

 

One of my favorite parts of my work at Chaya Studio Jewelry is custom designs. A growing number of clients are asking me to create something for themselves or someone else. We start with a clean slate and collaborate on their ideas and tastes. At the end, they get exactly what they want, and it is uniquely them.

The most important thing to know about embarking on a custom design is that you don’t have to come with complete ideas…that’s my job! Bring stones you already have, bring jewelry you don’t like anymore, show me pictures of jewelry you love, and I’ll take it from there.

So how does it work? 

First, some of the boring details

  • I can use your metals and stones in a custom design or as credit toward the project.
  • Most projects fall between $600 – $1200 plus the cost of materials.
  • I require a nonrefundable deposit that goes toward the project; it gets you a minimum of 3 design concepts and at least one round of edits.
  • Most projects are paid in 3 installments.
  • From start to finish, a custom process averages 8-12 weeks.
  • As you can understand, all custom order sales are final.

Now, for the fun stuff!

  1. We start with a consultation—in person or by phone, email or Skype—to talk about your personal style, metal and stone preferences, and thoughts you have—no matter how vague. I can also customize an existing design, so bring a photo of a piece you almost love, and let’s talk about how we can make it a perfect fit! These completely hand-fabricated earrings are a great example of customizing a current line (rather than starting from scratch).  These are from my Cascade series, but they were customized with brass, sterling silver, sea shell, dried flowers and epoxy.

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2. Next, I create preliminary drawings. At this point, clients usually find the design that speaks to them. I refine the drawings and outline a proposal with details, timeline and cost estimate.

3. When you sign off, I go to work building your piece—that might mean that I move right into fabrication or I may need to carve a model out of wax or build a prototype in metal. In some cases, I build the piece in a 3D CAD–Computer Aided Design—file like this. 

Clients are informed and involved as much as they want to be. I find that finished pieces are always a delightful surprise (in a good way), but I never want a client to be surprised by design details, materials or costs.

I have created some very special custom projects over the past few years. From wedding rings with a musical theme and an elaborate necklace with stones collected over a client’s lifetime, to a jewel encrusted hairpiece.

The collage below is a good representation of the process. If you’re intrigued, give me a call. I’d love to talk through your ideas! I hope you will also pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested.