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Filtering by Tag: jewelry

Ocean Blue

Amber Reed

        Kyanite's ocean blue luster is eye catching. The unpolished raw look is my favorite.   I've sketched out many designs for the kyanite I have collected over the years. All the designs are classic and modern. Before I started making the pieces come to fruition, I had to learn a few new skills. The metal work designs that I sketch and fabricate in my head are inspired by nature and architecture.  Both are so inspiring to me.

        I am blow away by nature's design and peoples ability to follow & appreciate nature's example and seemingly bending reality to create magical spaces for us to enjoy. This ring is the beginning of a kyanite collection I've been working on for the few years. I told myself 2017 would be the year I would bring the pieces to life. I will share the sketches on a later blog. 

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      If you love this design share and comment. Enjoy the weekend! I will be enjoying my first Tough Mudder! 11 Mile run/obstacle course! Wish me luck!

      Next blog is going to be featuring a beautiful turquoise and lapis piece! You won't want to miss the story behind this piece. 

Much love,

Amber Marie

Thank You for your service

Amber Reed

      Cufflinks are a great statement piece in men's fashion.  They are made for french-cuff shirts which have button holes on both sides but no buttons. My clients use them as a good luck charm whenever they have an important meeting or are going on a date or special event.   I've made geode cufflinks, raw gemstones, faceted gems, & high polished gems. Photo gallery below. 

        The blue-stared rubies were picked up in a small Afghani gem shop on a military base in Herat, Afghanistan. My client served overseas and picked up several beautiful gemstones. He wanted to make a few pieces with them. We have been designing together to make sure all the pieces are turned into small works of art for him & his family to cherish for years to come. 

 

Gallery 

Cufflinks cost range $150-$400 depending on which stones are desired price changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Here I am carefully soldering the .999 silver bezel settings in place. This is one the the beginning steps. 

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       Hope you enjoyed admiring the blue star ruby cufflinks. These beauties head to their new home Monday! I am taking custom cufflink orders too. I will post the stone sets that are available on next week! Enjoy the rest of the week tomorrow is Friday! 

Much Love, 

Amber Marie 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bee kind

Amber Reed

         I've been cooped up in my studio for the past two days working on multiple projects, so I decided to take a break, go lay by the pool and write todays blog. It is very important for me to change up environments throughout the week so I don't get burnt out or uninspired! This gives me a peaceful break, a fresh perspective & more space for creative thought. I absolutely love designing jewelry & losing my desire to create would be a total bummer. 

 A few examples of how I stay inspired & motivated.

  • Exercise and outdoor activities really help. Taking time in nature and focusing on the exterior sounds instead of my own monkey mind does wonders.
  • Changing up my work space 2 or 3 times a week. coffee shop, pool side, a friends place, or being outside where I can focus is great for me! 
  • Simple yoga stretches to relax muscles and let the blood flow! Especially when I'm working at my bench for 4 plus hours a day. (This break is a must) 
  • Helping others with their goals or teaching them skills I've learned 
  • Taking time to create something besides jewelry, wether it be an art installation with friends or learning a new skill and/or trade.
  • Meditation is the best tool I use to stay on my path. I use my bella beat to track my meditation practice, but stillI fall off from time to time. 

         I know this blog is supposed to be about the creative process of day sixes design but I just wanted to share with you what I need to do to stay in my creative happy zone. If you are feeling stuck in your monkey mind you are so welcome to use any of the examples above! I strongly encourage it. 

From left to right: Pictured jasper | Blue goldstone | Carnelian | Aventurine

From left to right: Pictured jasper | Blue goldstone | Carnelian | Aventurine

The hexagon symbolizes our love for nature, positive change, our love for the bees & their gifts. 

The hexagon symbolizes our love for nature, positive change, our love for the bees & their gifts. 

         Oh my gosh! I'm so in love with these dainty gemstone bracelets! The little brass hexagon charms are such a nice touch. Each hexagon charm was hand fabricated, stamped, sanded & polished. Once again, I'm supporting local business, the 4mm gemstone beads are purchased locally in Phoenix, AZ! 

Click to see a informative Save the Bees infographic 

Click to see a informative Save the Bees infographic 


These bracelets will be available in six different natural gemstone colors Thursday April 5th, @ 2pm MT! 20% of your purchase will be donated to help sustain the honey bees life. Stay tuned! 


        I am very fortunate to be able to share my love for art, jewelry, the environment & so many other facets of this wonderful life. Enjoy the rest of the week.

Much love, 

Amber Marie 

Click below to purchase from the Bee Kind Collection 

Save The Bees

Amber Reed

         These two bracelets both have hexagon buttons that I cut, sanded, & polished. Both are also stamped with my signature on the back.  The loop that goes around the copper hexagon to secure the bracelet is hematite. Hematite isn't a hard solid when its mined. The variety of shapes and looks you see hematite in are actually machine pressed, cut, & polished, similar to lapidary work but they are heat treated to form a solid. You can find hematite in ancient spiritual drawings as it was a sought after powder used for painting.

       Did you know the red stones aren't stones at all?  They're coral! Red bamboo coral, found in the Philippines. They are very popular in tribal and modern jewelry. It naturally comes as a whitish creme color. Before red bamboo coral, Mediterranean coral was extremely popular however, due to unregulated over-harvesting, the coral was not given the proper time to rejuvenate. So as a great substitute,  red bamboo coral has been used as a replacement and takes on color fairly well. If the bamboo coral is dyed in an oil base the longevity of the red pigment lasts much longer.

 

I have a few dyed bamboo coral care tips & tricks for you.

  1. Don't leave pieces out in the sun for long periods of time. This will cause the red color to fade. 
  2. If you purchase a strand of bamboo coral there is a trick to see if it is properly dyed. Place the strand in a glass of room temperature water for an hour or so. If the water is red it was poorly dyed. If the water is light pink thats fine because most beads and shells don't go through a thorax cleaning processes. (I always clean and check the coral I purchase and it's dye job. If it is a poor, it isn't used in my jewelry pieces). 
  3. Coral is strong but can be scratched & also break when dropped. Be careful.
  4. If you want your red coral's color to fade into a pink color. You can lay it in the sun for an hour on both sides. Just keep an eye on it so you can get the color you desire.  Note: some coral is dyed so well it could take years for the color to fade. 

      I hope you enjoyed the tips above & learned something new! I really enjoy sharing everything I've learned over the years. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

 

 


 

The Buzz...

          As you know a few different types of bees are on the endangered list. Bees are a crucial part of to our delicate eco-system, we need them for food, clothing, & eco fuel to name a few. I created a jewelry line called Bee Kind March 12, 2016. I was blown away by peoples love for the line and I donated 20% of each sale to a non-profit bee sanctuary where their goal is to share their knowledge to make the public aware of whats going on and revitalize & help the bee population thrive.  

Donate to the bees longevity here

"It all boils down to the question of whether we dare to consider the bees' own needs or only our own. The difference is vast. A healing won't be accomplished without sacrifices on our part."

--Gunther Hauk, author of Toward Saving the Honeybee

Informative and simple break down of why we need to save the bees

Informative and simple break down of why we need to save the bees

 

I hope you are having a lovely weekend with your friends and family! Phoenix is full of awesome exciting events; Phoenix Pride parade, March Madness: Final Four, Free concerts, Farmers markets, & other great family events. If you are in the Phoenix area I hope you take full advantage of all the free activities! Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog, commenting & sharing it. I read all your comments and will respond shortly if I haven't yet! 

Much love,

Amber Marie 

Intro

Amber Reed

        Working at my bench this morning enjoying a cup of warm green tea & the nice light breeze coming from the open sliding door.

        After pulling out all the tools I needed to get started, I looked at the variety of shapes and sizes of stones I have to choose from. I chose this beautiful turquoise silica egg shaped cabochon. I got this turquoise stone from a local native supply man named Koomer.

       Koomer is a cherokee native, he was in the Navy many moons ago & his art work is absolutely amazing. If he had a site or was online I would post his info. He has pristine labridary (stone cutting and polishing) skills too. He mined & hand-cut the turquoise stone I picked out today. Are you a local in the greater Phoenix area? He sells at the Mesa flea market. I love going through his wares because he carries mainly local gemstones & about forty percent of them are cut and polished by him. I'm a big believer in supporting the local economy. Plus how cool is Koomer? I'm grateful for the friendship and business relationship we've had over the years.

 A short step by step of the jewelry making process for you to enjoy;

  1. Pick out the stone
  2. Draw out the design 
  3. Choose metal material for the stone and the ring shank. Hand saw/cut to appropriate size
  4. File all rough edges especially where the solder needs to flow 
  5. Clean metal before soldering *also make sure heat block is clean 
  6. Solder all pieces in solder temp. order (Hard. Medium. Easy.) Use flux to guide your solder flow lines
  7. Use pickle after piece cools and repeat solder if needed. This cleans off fire scale 
  8. After pickle and soldering, it's time to polish with four different sandpaper grits. Each grit removes scratches, solder marks, deeps marks, fire scale & whatever small damage done during the above steps (may have to start over if the damage is to bad) 
  9. Place the stone in the bezel setting & set it carefully. Sand and polish down the sides to remove any marks the bezel tool could of made
  10. After high-polishing is finished. (carefully polish around the stone) Patina is an option. There are many patina colors available. Each one has its own directions on the box. 
  11. After patina. A final polish 

     I may have missed a couple of steps in between but I wanted to give you an idea of what the process entails.

 

       I treat polishing like a meditation practice because, at the time, my mind isn't wandering and I'm focused on only two things; detail & keeping a steady hand. Meditation is all about finding stillness and peace throughout our daily lives. Metalsmithing makes me still which is good because my nickname is Hummingbee. I received this nickname because I'm a doer and a go-go-go type-A personality (bumble bee) with a calm/peaceful demeanor most of the time (humming bird).

Day One : Turquoise silica ring 

Day One : Turquoise silica ring 

This is my very first blog post & I'm so excited to share my creative process with you. I will be posting new designs 3 times a week! Blogging as often as I can. Let the ideas and solder flow! Thank you for reading. I hope you all have a lovely day! Comment and share if you like my blog.

Love, 

Amber Marie