Women of the Gold Rush | Part 1

A jewelry designers hunt for the Extraordinary Women of history who through their courage, empowered women of the future to have opportunity, justice, education, equal rights and a better life to hand to their children. I tell their important life stories with what I know, jewelry design. Where did this idea come from? This unexpected question about my new inspiration; designing a jewelry collection for extraordinary women of history, has been posed to me dozens of times. Answering it seemed a good way to begin this new blog. It came out of loss. The loss of my son Wilder devastated my creativity and passion for my work. Grief is a thing that takes the place of every waking and most sleeping

Women of the Gold Rush | Part 2

...continued from Part 1. I’m not sure there are words I can put on paper to translate the feelings I had as I pulled into Frisco, Colorado last January. Elation mixed with the melancholy of relief. Like taking your first deep inhale after holding your breath. Like the long embrace of an old friend who needs no words to comfort you. These mountains are like that for me and driving while feeling these powerful feelings was not possible-so I pulled over. Cried. Laughed. Talked with Wilder. And I took a picture. As I said–this sequence was about to become habit. My friends who had offered me a room in their home for three months,were not home yet so I parked and wandered around town by foot. Th

Into Africa

After many months of planning, researching, mailing documents and asking many questions I was finally ready to begin packing for my whirlwind tour of East Africa. My guide, Roger Dery of Spectral Gems, had recommended that we pack light enough to take a carry on only since he has had issues with losing luggage in the past. I had already spent two weeks laying out all the necessary things (protein bars, water filter, bug spray) and then spent another week reducing the pile by 50 % (no to the mosquito net, the third pair of shoes and six skeins of yarn) My traveling companion from Minneapolis was Steve Wallner, a gem faceter. We had met earlier to book our flights together and from that br

The Ethical Bench | Growing the Green Jewelry Movement

I recently sat in on a webinar with Christine Dhein from Revere Academy on green bench practices. She has long been recognized as the go-to person regarding ethical and responsible practices in the jewelry studio. The six-hour seminar was a wealth of amazing info that I will share over the next few months in my newsletter and blog. For starters, she encouraged us to consider every step of the process — from sourcing materials that are extracted in a responsible way to choosing suppliers that have a traceable, transparent supply chain that we can trust. She taught us about organizations that support fair trade policies and third-party certification standards that make the suppliers accountabl

Hang on! Here we go!

The build-out is about to begin with the key to the new space in our hands as of August 1st. As all the many months of planning is about to unfold, I’ve been getting last-minute jitters. With so many details and decisions, how do I know for certain that I’ve made the right decisions? The layout. The colors. The displays. All designed with such intent. But while all these elements are still on paper, it still feels ethereal and ungrounded. Now is not the time to lose my confidence by being overly critical or doubting myself but there is always the urge to say “what if?” when a new idea pops into my head. Ever since I can remember, I have had a curiosity to create. As a kid I spent an entire s

The Ethical Bench | Upcycle Update

My usual approach to nearly every project I’ve ever done in my life has been DIY. The build out of my new shop is no exception. I’ve been hands on during each aspect from the space design and working closely with the contractors to sourcing the materials they are working with. I have high ideals that the materials I choose be sustainable, have high recycled content and made in the USA. No big surprise since I hold the same standards to the gems and metals that I make my jewelry from when at all possible. But this week I discovered, in my humble sustainable opinion, what may be even one step better….UPCYCLING! The goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by ma

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