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Garden of Silver Six Year Anniversary

Posted on January 21, 2015 | 0 comments

I wish to thank all my family, friends and fans for an amazing six years of growth for Garden of Silver! It is extremely hard to run a successful small business and I have received a lot of help along the way. Thank you to my husband Thomas for being so supportive of my dreams. Thank you to my Mom for being there in the beginning standing under a tent on the streets of NYC in all types of weather (mostly rainy and windy!), helping with trade shows as we began to grow and being the best unpaid employee ever! Thanks to my cousin Nancy for working the Lincoln Center show with me in 100 degree sweltering weather. Thanks to my cousin Jackie for spending the day keeping me laughing at an incredibly slow trade show. Thanks to my Aunt Penny for flying to Atlanta and keeping me company at yet another trade show. Thanks to my friend Joe for hosting my first jewelry party, and all my coworkers for attending, which launched this business. Thanks to my cousins Kelly and Erin for hosting trunk shows and 'liking' my thousands of Facebook posts. Thanks to the rest of my family, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Kathy, Colleen, Kathleen, Meaghan, for buying tons of jewelry at those jewelry parties! Thanks to my friend Susan for being such a great mentor! Thanks to my jewelry teacher Kathleen for teaching me everything from saws and hammers to blow torches. Thanks to my business coaches Robin and Tracy for countless hours of advice and support and teaching me how to run a jewelry business like a pro. Thanks to my amazing production assistant Hayley for helping me fill hundreds of jewelry orders perfectly.  Thanks to the extremely helpful and supportive community of jewelry designers that are always there to help me roll with the punches and celebrate the good stuff. Thanks to my sister in laws Jen and Marlene for hosting jewelry parties and promoting my business to everyone they know. Thanks to my future sister in law Laura for working for hours at a time on the computer, all bundled up like a mummy in my chilly studio, as my marketing assistant. Thanks to my friends Carol and Patti for being there through thick and thin. Thanks to my favorite buyers, Sharon, Jackie, Susan, Nikki, Jill, Jenah, Ben, Nancy, Pierre, Melanie and Brooke. Thank you to all of my Facebook fans and followers of the endless social media outlets that I have to post on. It's exhausting but so gratifying to see your responses. Thank you to my customers for loving handmade, garden inspired jewelry! Thank you to my friends for helping me along this exciting journey! I appreciate you all for helping me to live my dream. XO

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Inspired At The Met

Posted on December 30, 2014 | 0 comments

Now that the crazy busy holiday season is over it was time yesterday to get some inspiration for the new year. My husband Thomas and I headed into NYC to spend the day at one of my favorite places, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

I am planning on adding a little color to my jewelry with the new collection by enameling the silver through a variety of enameling techniques that I am currently experimenting with.

   

The botanical artwork in these gorgeous kimonos was breathtaking and the composition of flowers is perfect. They made me want to ditch my wardrobe and fill the closet with kimonos!

      
Here is a close up of Japanese fabric swatches along with stunning calligraphy.

   
Texture, shape and patina inspiration.

  
And, I am always fascinated with Koi fish. Our pond is too small for them. The dream is to create a huge pond on the property and fill it with Koi, lotus flowers, lily pads and frogs.  


Some breathtaking Tiffany stained glass masterpieces. And I couldn't resist a selfie with Tiffany!

    
Calder's mobile sparked some ideas as did this Jasper Johns encaustic painting.

  
I am always drawn to Japanese design elements. This Noguchi fountain will make you forget about all your stresses. So peaceful and calm. We have about five Asian lamps in the house, maybe time for a hanging one.

    
This detail of a marble sculpture also was incredible. If I can figure out how to get that texture in silver, that may be another new direction. 

It was so great getting recharged artistically by the extraordinary artworks at this world class museum. You really need a week, or more, to go through the museum because of its size and the amount art and artifacts that are there. We had total sensory overload after four hours! Loved it all, such a great day. I'm ready to sit down with my sketchbook and begin another new jewelry direction.

 

 

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A Peek Behind The Scenes Today

Posted on October 30, 2014 | 0 comments

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!

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Garden Brew

Posted on October 28, 2014 | 0 comments

I just found out that yesterday was 'National American Beer Day'. Who knew? Well, in honor of this All- American day I thought I would post some photos of the organic hops that I grew in my garden for my cousin John to use in his delicious homemade brews!

    

I had forgotten what type of hops that I had planted, but my cousin said they are called, 'Cascade'.
The plants were gorgeous and they grew all over a trellis my husband built creating a beautiful hops tunnel.

I was stalking a local hops grower to see when he picked his hops because I didn't know exactly what the correct peak picking time was. The first year I grew them I waited too long and then Hurricane Sandy blew them all over the neighborhood.

Here are images of my hops drying process in my food dehydrator then all packed up to ship to John and his brewing partner Mandy.

  

Here is John (wearing my Grandfathers lucky cowboy hat!) and Mandy creating their brews.  They created a pumpkin spice beer and a coffee stout using my hops in both as a finishing hop at the end of the final boil.

   

Mandy and John with their delicious masterpieces! Their brewery is called Hyland Dawn Brewing. Fun!

 

 

 

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Trunk Show at Susan Rodgers Designs

Posted on September 03, 2014 | 0 comments

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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