A Peek Behind The Scenes Today
October 30, 2014
Here is a quick video of the behind the scenes process of creating jewelry using the ancient Keum Boo technique. This is originally a Korean technique of fusing pure 24k gold foil to pure silver, fine silver, through the use of heat and burnishing.
Starting with a sheet of fine silver, which is very soft and takes embossing beautifully, sandwich it between two textured brass sheets. The metal sandwich is then put through my rolling mill and the textures of the brass are transferred onto the fine silver through the pressure of the rollers.
The leaf shape is traced onto the embossed silver and then each piece is individually cut out with a saw. The silver leaves are then drilled with holes and sanded on the edges. Now they are ready to be heated up on the little hot plate.
As the silver is heating up, I cut out a tiny hydrangea flower shape from a sheet of paper thin 24k gold. Very carefully the gold piece is placed with tweezers onto the silver piece that has been heated. This process is a little stressful because the gold can easily tear or get blown off the silver at this point. The gold flower is then gently burnished down onto the silver with various metal tools using a circular motion.
The metals are permanently fused together through this process. It will usually take about a minute or two, depending on the heat which is between 500-700 degrees. There isn’t any glue or adhesive of any kind used, the fusing is done through the heat and burnishing.
I am in the middle of creating a series of new Keum Boo jewelry pieces. Some of them I will leave as is with the silver and gold combination and others I will dip into a silver blackening solution to create a gold and black combination. Here are some examples of the finished jewelry. As you can see through this video, each piece is a one of a kind original creation. No two pieces are alike.
Grasslands Earrings, Dogwood Earrings, Raven Earrings.
Hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek as to the magic that happens daily in my studio! Be sure to ‘Like’ Garden of Silver on Facebook and sign up for our VIP list to stay updated about new jewelry, events and secret sales. Thanks!
A special thank you to my Advanced Computer Graphics student, David Garcia, for editing this video!
Trunk Show at Susan Rodgers Designs
September 03, 2014
Save the date! I will be bringing in many new one of a kind pieces in all price ranges. There will be something for every taste! Bring your friends, refreshments will be served. I will also have a collection of my fine art drawings and paintings available.
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JA New York Trade Show
August 06, 2014 1 Comment
I was honored to be part of the "New Designer Gallery" at the JA New York jewelry trade show that took place last week at the Javits Center in NYC. Every year 10 new designers are chosen to exhibit their jewelry and be exposed to fine jewelry buyers from around the world.
My favorite part of participating in a trade show is getting to know the artists/designers around you. I have learned so much from them and it is always fun to be around other entrepreneurs.
There was so much press at the show as well, I think I was interviewed at least 30 times! I was blown away though when I found out that the Editor At Large, Jeff Prine, of Accessories Magazine put an article online during the show choosing one of my pieces as the "Item of the Day"!
Overall it was an amazing experience and fabulous opportunities and connections were made. Loved it!
Weekend in Brooklyn
January 27, 2014
I just spent the weekend in Brooklyn taking a 'Torch Fired Enamels' workshop at Liloeve which was fabulous! Emilie Shapiro was the instructor of the class and she was amazing, extremely knowledgable and a great teacher. I have been looking to learn how to enamel for the last few years and was very excited to actually find a weekend workshop that I could squeeze into my crazy schedule.
Enameling is the art of coating metal with powdered glass which is fused together with heat. Normally this process takes place in a kiln, behind a closed door but, with the torch firing technique, the entire process is able to be seen.
We learned how to use the acetylene torch to enamel copper pieces by firing the pieces on a trivet from below. You are able to pull the torch away at the exact moment that you like the finish of the enamel. Very exciting. I played a lot and experimented with all kinds of sample pieces over the two days. Lots of mistakes and disasters were made, along with some keepers! I plan on adding some color to my jewelry and hopefully by the summer I will have a new line to show.
And, I would like to thank my fabulous cousin Colleen for letting me crash at her Brooklyn apartment as well as giving this suburban girl her garage parking space and a delicious sushi dinner! A great weekend in Brooklyn.
December 27, 2013
Early in 2013 I decided it would be beneficial to make an investment in growing my jewelry design company. I wanted to learn everything I could about the wholesale and retail jewelry worlds and make sure I was doing everything correctly. The jewelry world is a far cry from the art instruction studio I ran for fifteen years and, honestly, I didn't know what I didn't know!
I started taking online classes through Flourish & Thrive Academy in the fall of 2012. These classes are geared towards helping independent jewelry designers run their business like a business. The course is run by Tracy Matthews, a successful bespoke jewelry designer, and Robin Kramer, a rock star independent sales and marketing consultant. The courses included online seminars, conference calls, worksheets, guest speakers with famous designers and business professionals, lots of ‘homework’ along the way. One of my favorite parts of the course was connecting an active community of likeminded jewelry designers through a private Facebook group. Any time you had a question the members of the group were there to help you out and provide support. Just fabulous. Great connections with designers from all over the world were formed.
The information that I learned during the first few months prompted me to enroll in Flourish & Thrive’s ‘Mastermind 2013’. The Mastermind participants consisted of six other amazing jewelry designers so it was an intimate group. We each received private business coaching calls with both Tracy and Robin every month throughout the year, as well as a group call and a guest speaker call. I have to say that working with these women was the best investment I have ever made. Garden of Silver had a phenomenal year and now, with all of this intensive individual business training, the best is yet to come!
Here is a photo of Robin Kramer, Colleen Marie Mauer, myself, Tracy Matthews, Sarah Magid Swift when we got together in NYC. Missing from the photos are our west coast Masterminders, Nina Forrest, Kathy Loewenstern, and Christy Natsumi Comstock. Check out all the websites of these creative ladies!