Release the Kraken

I had a fantastic commission for a kraken pendant recently and thought it would be a good example to show what goes into the process of making a layered pendant. So I took a lot of pictures! Let’s get started!


After the initial sketch the first step is to get all the layers cut out. This pendant has a whopping six layers where most of my layered pendants have four. But it was necessary to get the detail and depth that I wanted. 


To cut the metal holes have to be drilled to get at the inside parts of the design. 


Once holes are drilled the sawing begins. The blade is a tiny, flexible thing, no wider than a needle. 


When everything is cut I stack up the layers to see how it is going. This is the first idea I have of how the design is going to work outside the world of pen and paper – which isn’t always the same as real life. 


Next it is back to the drill again. This time it is to drill the holes for the rivets. It is a tricky part of the process. If a layer slips while drilling it can mean I have to re-cut the layer and try again. 


When the holes are drilled stack the layers and put in all the rivet wire to make sure it all fits together. 


Next comes the filing. All the layers have to be filed both to smooth out the edges of the design and to ensure that all the edges line up. 


When the filing is done it is time to sand it up to a fine grit. I love my rotary sander. 


All the details are engraved by hand. The octopus is given a little bit of menace and the ship is given a wood texture. 

For the ocean I have it a hammer texture to give it a look of waves glistening in the light. 


With everything filed, sanded, textured and engraved it finally starts to look a little less rough and a bit more like a snazzy pendant. 


To protect the metal during riveting I cover the pendant in a cocoon of painters tape. With a few tiny pieces of wire and several hammer strokes the layers are firmly fit together. 


But it still needs a bail to be able to hang from a chain. So a little more copper is cut out. 


Filed. 


Stamped with my initials as the signature. 


Formed. 


And sanded. 


Once the bail is attached the whole piece is run over with a brass brush as a final clean up. 


Almost done but not quite. After being washed in hot soapy water to remove as much grease as possible it is time to play with some chemicals. 


The patina (a chemical that changes the coloration of metal) I often like to use for my layered pieces darkens copper and brass while leaving silver bright and shiny. It makes a really nice contrast that works well with mixed metals. 


To help the patina last longer the piece is rubbed with a fine was to seal it. 

And done! 

It can be a lengthy process but I love seeing these pieces come together. I always look forward to creating new scenes out of intricate layers of metal. I hoped you enjoyed seeing this one come together as much as I did! 


If you are interested in the Kraken Pendant or any of my other pieces please check out my Etsy shop at Etsy.com/shop/Sarakear. 

Intentional jewelry for your best year yet!

Throughout history jewelry has been worn as a symbol and a reminder of events in a person’s life. We wear rings to show our love and commitment to each other, specific stones to symbolize our birthdays and it was popular in the Victorian age to wear a locket holding a lock of hair from a loved one who had passed. 

When I wear jewelry it often has personal significance (more than just the fond memories of making it). In yoga you are encouraged to set an intention for your practice that day. Sometimes I do this when I start to make something or when I buy a new piece of jewelry. Often it’s an idea I have while making something, a part of myself that I want to cultivate. 

Courageous Lotus Wrap Mala Bracelet. Brings courage and compassion as well as grounding.

I did this while making a my first mala bracelet. The intention became a part of the design. I wanted to be fearless, wild and free so I made a mala with a feather, leaf and arrow charm which, to me are symbols of those ideas. Mala bracelets, with symbolic charms and meaningful stones and their tactile nature are a great way to carry your intentions with you through the day. 

Winter Mandala Mala Wrap Bracelet. For being cool, calm and harmonious.
Pursue Your Passions Mala Bracelet. A reminder to find what you love and go for it!

Jewelry doesn’t have to be imbued with symbols or gemstones to have personal meaning. There are three rings I wear all the time. One is my engagement ring, of course. The other two are simple rings I wear on my pinky and ring fingers of my right hand. 

Simple Sterling Silver Ring. “My life is whole.”

 The pinky ring is a delicate smooth band. A small silver circle. When I made it I thought about how my life is whole, already filled with everything I could want, and a simple circle seemed the right shape for that idea. 

Simple Hammered Sterling Silver Ring. “I am creative.”
The second one is another simple ring. Thin, silver and hammer textured. Hammering metal is iconic of the creative process for me. (I clearly still have a desire to be a blacksmith some day!) This ring I made with an affirmation in mind. I am creative. So on those days when I start to doubt myself and this path I’m forging for myself I have a reminder that I have what I need to get through it. 

Lotus Band Ring. For compassion, wisdom and enlightenment.

But you know, symbols still aren’t bad. Some symbols have gone through a lot of history to gain their meaning. One of my favorite symbols is the lotus. (You might have already guessed this. It shows up in a lot of my work!) Lotuses stand for compassion and wisdom as well as enlightenment. And if that’s not enough, they can also be seen as overcoming adversity as these delicate flowers often rise up out of muddy swamps. Plus they are just beautiful! 
Delicate Lotus Ring. The newest lotus in my jewelry collection.

Cultivating my compassion towards myself and others sounds like the perfect intention for my year 2017! I will probably be making a lotus ring for myself soon. What intentions do you want to carry with you in the new year? 

All jewelry shown in this post is available through my Etsy shop. Click on the images for the link or go to Etsy.com/shop/Sarakear to browse. And if you want something truly personal to you I am always happy to make a custom piece just for you! 

Happy New Year everyone! May it be the best one yet!

Last Minute Holiday Gifts!

Happy Holidays!

Need some last minute gifts for Christmas?

I just finished my holiday commissions and at this point I cannot guarantee delivery by Christmas on any new commissions. But I do have some already made pieces waiting for wonderful new homes! Three places in downtown Perrysburg, Ohio currently carry my work, each has something a little different.

My Daily Grind Coffeehouse

120 Louisiana Ave, Perrysburg
Wednesday-Thursday 7:30am-2pm

My Daily Grind has the most diverse collection, and the only place that currently sells layered metal pieces. Prices range from $25-$180. All the jewelry photoed above is available now! If you can’t get in during their open hours feel free to contact me and I can meet you at any time, even when they’re closed, to show you the collection.

Dancer’s Pointe

122 Louisiana Ave, Perrysburg
Wednesday 10am-7pm
Thursday 12pm-7pm
Friday 10am-5pm

If you know someone who loves dance, then Dancer’s Pointe (which you may already know about!) is the place to go! They have my Good Vibes Only Collection. It includes various beaded bracelets and silver necklaces, all with hand cut, and stamped charms. Each piece has an affirmation on one of the charms, so you can tell your dancer just how special she is with one of these bracelets or necklaces. Bracelets are $35 and necklaces are $40.

Karuna House

119 West Second Street
Open by Appointment

Know someone who enjoys yoga or meditation or simply living with a sense of well-being? They will love my Mala Bracelet Collection at Karuna House. Short mala bracelets are 27 beads and wrap mala bracelets are 108 beads – traditional numbers for meditation beads. Each has hand cut charms and all natural gemstones. Stones are often associated with certain healing properties which are listed with each piece. All pieces photoed above are available now! Short bracelets are $30. Wrap malas range from $80-$150. If you are not currently a client of Karuna House please contact me to schedule a time to see the collection.

Now that’s a lot of jewelry! Hope you see something you like! Have a very happy holiday!!

Small Business Saturday Jewelry Party!

 

small-saturday-1116I will be at My Daily Grind Coffeehouse with jewelry for sale and ready to take commissions for holiday gifts this Saturay morning! Bring your friends to talk jewelry, look at some of my unique, handmade shinies, and enjoy some of the award-winning coffee from My Daily Grind! This way you can start Small Business Saturday by supporting two small, local businesses at the same time!

Small Business Saturday Jewelry Party

Saturday, November 26
10 am – Noon

My Daily Grind Coffeehouse

120 Louisiana Ave, Perrysburg, Ohio

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the United States! See you at the Grind on Saturday!

P.S. Most of the jewelry pictured in the ad are available for sale right now and will be at the party on Saturday. Just in case you want to call dibs on something!

Pop Up Boutique Friday!

lularoe-pop-up-shop-1611I am joining with Lularoe Clothing for a fun pop up event this Friday! Try on some awesome clothes, and see some of my newest creations.

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That mala bracelet looks great with this ensemble!

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These Stretching Cat Earrings will be available for sale during the event as well as several bracelets, rings and necklaces! And of course I’ll have my sketchbook and be ready to take commissions.

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Here is a sneak peak at some of the other items that will be available! One of them will be the penguin pebble pendant I’ve been excited to make. You’ll see it first (and it will be available for purchase if you want it to follow you home!) on Friday!

Pop Up Boutique with Lularoe!

Friday Nov. 11 from 7-9pm
Lakeside at Fallen Timbers
4623 Lakeside Drive Maumee, OH

The event will be located in the clubhouse. When you pull in the drive, park in the parking lot immediately to your right. You will find the clubhouse entrance in the apartment building next to the parking lot.

All are welcome – bring your friends!

Mala Bracelet Workshop at Way Public Library

november-library-mala

With my monthly mala classes done for the year, here is one last class before 2017! Sign up for my Mala Bracelet workshop at the wonderful Way Public Library! Enjoy a morning with friends making a unique beaded bracelet with a handmade copper elephant charm that I will make specifically for the class.

These classes are so much fun and space is limited so sign up soon! Registration ends October 26th.

Jewelry Workshop: Mala Bracelet
$10

Saturday, November 5 at 10 am
at the Way Public Library

Register at the library 419-874-3135 ext. 351

Jewelry Party!

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I will be at My Daily Grind Coffeehouse Saturday, October 22 from ten to noon with some beautiful gemstones, a few pieces of jewelry for sale, and lots of photos of my commissions. Come over and spend a relaxing morning enjoying coffee, jewelry talk and buying or ordering a handmade piece of jewelry of your own.

If I can get it together, there might even be a demonstration on how I cut metal!

See you there!

How Do Commissions Work?

I get a lot of people asking about how, exactly, commissions work. So here are the ins and outs and a few tips about commission me and other artists to do work!

It all starts with a sketch

I cannot speak to the process used by other artists, but for me it almost always starts with a sketch. And sometimes it starts with a stone. In the case of most of my gemstone oriented commissions I encourage my client to start by choosing a stone they like.

In a couple recent commissions one client chose an oval pink opal to make a pendant from, and another chose a trillium shaped iolite for a ring. In both cases I made a few (or several) sketches of different possibilities. While I sketched I talked with the clients about what other images they might want to include. The woman with the pink opal wanted a ladybug and daisies because those images were meaningful to her. My iolite client wanted something that was fancy but not overly extravagant.

For layered pendants, I talk with the client about what images they want to include in the scene and we go from there. Layered pendants are kind of like paintings. There are no boundaries like the shape of a stone or its colors. Just metal that I cut into any design I want. The commission sketch below was for a client who wanted Gerber daisies, his wife’s favorite flower, as a gift for her.

After a little bit of talking and sketching all three clients settled on designs that they wanted.

Commissions cost the same as buying already made art

Once we have the sketch made and the design decided up I give my clients the prices. The price for a commission is not higher than the price of buying the same piece already made.

At least, not the way I do things. Generally I like commission work. I like making something personalized for someone, filled with meaning and something they can cherish for years to come. And it is the same amount of work to make the commission as it is to come up with and create my own designs. So the price is the same.

Pay in full or pay half down

For commissions I need half the amount as a down payment with the rest to be paid upon completion of the project. The down payment is a promise from me to the client that I will make the piece we talked about and from the client to me, that they will pay for it. Plus the money helps me buy materials to start the project.

But of course, if you want to just pay it all ahead and be done with that part, I am alright with that too.

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How long do you have to wait for your beautiful new piece of jewelry?

That depends on several things. It depends on how many commissions I have pending. The majority of my work is commission-based at the moment so at any point in time I have ten or more lined up and they are all done in a more or less first come first served order. Usually you will not be waiting more than four weeks. Once the sketch is done I can give you an estimate on how long before your piece is finished.

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Busy seasons, like the upcoming holidays (sorry to mention things like Christmas when Fall is barely started) may make things take longer. That being said, if you have time constraints I will always do my best to make it work out for you!

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Not sure what you want? Look at the artist’s work!

I always recommend looking at an artist’s work before asking about a commission. It helps both you and the artist start the conversation about what you like. It is also best to ask for work in some way similar to the work, subject and style the artist has already done. It is the artist’s thing. What the artist has already made is most likely what he or she is passionate about and what the artist is the best at!

For instance, I work primarily in nature oriented imagery. If you asked me to do a downtown street with lots of angles and hard lined perspective I would be willing to give it a try. But it is not my forte.

However, if you asked me to do, say, a layered pendant with an iguana on a beach, I would be all for it! I have never really drawn iguanas or done very much with beach scenes, but I like animals and have drawn enough other animals and natural scenes that I’m confident I could do it.

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What images are meaningful to you?

After looking at what I or another artist make, then think about what you like. What is meaningful to you? I love hearing what people choose to have put into their jewelry and why. One client’s wife loved elephants and they had just had their first child so he got her a pendant with a mom elephant and a baby elephant to symbolize the new love in their lives. Sometimes a certain animal or flower will represent a daughter or a grandson. Sometimes you just have an affinity for squirrels and trees (I may be talking about myself in that one). Or you could have a yoga and meditation practice and love how the lotus symbolizes compassion and wisdom and want that on a mala bracelet as a reminder to keep with you in your everyday life.

The options are endless. And if you still aren’t sure what you want or what you should get for a loved one, I am always happy to help you think it through. Working on new ideas is one of my favorite things. (Along with squirrels.)

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Any more questions about commissions or want to start one now?

E-mail me, call me, text me, stalk me at my dad’s coffeehouse, whatever works. We can meet in person or have the conversation over email or text with me sending lots of sketches and pictures.

That’s all for now! I hoped I answered a few questions. Now I might have to design a layered pendant with an iguana on a beach!

Gerber Daisy Pendant

13 New Listings in My Etsy Shop

Here are a few new things in my shop. I’m at a point where I’m updating and adding new pieces fairly regularly so check back soon.


1. Elephant Love Pendant Necklace

Elephant FamilySterling silver, copper, brass
$160

I absolute love love love elephants. This little piece was originally a commission but now you can have your very own sweet little elephants in my signature layered style!

 

 

 

 


2 and 3. Golden Clouds Necklace and Earrings

Sterling silver, 24k gold, copper
Necklace: $180
Earrings: $80

This elegant set started as a commission as well. I have always been enamored with hammer textured metal, it really catches the light in a brilliant, almost glassy way. The gold is applied through a fascinating technique called keum boo where thin, high karat gold is fused to silver.


4. Simple Hammer Textured Ring

simple-hammered-ring-05-darkSterling silver
$20

Sticking with the hammer texture theme, here is a little hammer textured ring. It is a great addition to stacking with any rings – like the peridot ring below!

 


5. Delicate and Stackable Peridot Ring

thin-peridot-stacking-ring-01Sterling silver, peridot
$40

This sweet ring has a tiny 3mm peridot at it’s focal point. It stacks beautifully with the Simple Hammered Ring above, and with the Simple Sterling Silver Ring also available through my Etsy shop. Feel free to contact me if you want this style of ring with a different stone!


6. Split Wire Rose Quartz Ring

split-wire-set-rose-quartz-02Sterling silver, rose quartz
$60

This ring is a new favorite. I adore the pinky-peach color of these rose quartz cabochons I was able to get. It is a great wear everyday ring while still being a statement.

 

 


7-12. Sterling Silver Charm Necklaces

Sterling silver
$35-$40

Each of these charms is hand cut, filed, engraved and polished, giving them the perfect, personal touch and ensuring that no charm is identical. That is one of the best parts of hand crafted jewelry, right?


13. Little Whale Earrings

Sterling silver
$30

Say hello to this pair of happy little whale studs! These personable little whales can swim cutely on your ears wherever you go, be it by land or sea! Every pair is hand cut and engraved, of course.

Whale Stud Earrings 1


That’s all the new listings for now! Back to designing and making!

 

October Mala Workshop

October is the last monthly mala class of the year!

It has been so much fun teaching these classes but as the holidays approach (is that really happening already?!) I need to focus on the rest of my jewelry making to get ready for coming season. And don’t worry, I’m not done teaching! Jewelry classes will resume in the new year! Hope to see you in October’s class!
Spend a fun Friday evening with friends making your own personal 108 bead mala!
These beautiful bracelets originated as part of buddhist and hindu meditation practices and today can be a gorgeous part of your yoga lifestyle.
When you purchase a ticket you will choose from the Harmony Mala, Prosperity Mala or Clarity Mala. These are the natural gemstone beads that will be provided for you along with metal spacer beads and a handmade metal yin yang charm made specifically for this class.

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

CUSTOM CHARMS + $10 PER EXTRA CHARM

Like last month, you can choose to have me make an additional charm to go with the leaf charm. This charm can be anything you can think of! When you buy your ticket just pick the ticket for the beads you want and also choose the correct add on for whether you want one or two charms. I will contact you to see what you want for your charms and then I will make them just for you!

KNOTTED SILK CORD + $10

This month you can choose to make your mala on 100% silk cord instead of the usual elastic. Knotted silk cord is a more traditional way to make a mala. These can be worn as necklaces or carried around for use in your meditation practice. You will learn how to tie the knots between every bead and how to attach the metal charm(s). This is a great meditative process in itself!

THE GEMSTONE BEADS FOR OCTOBER

HARMONY: BLACK OBSIDIAN AND BLUE LABRADORITE

 

harmony

PROSPERITY: PINK LEOPARD JASPER, BLUE AVENTURINE AND LEOPARD JASPER

prosperity

CLARITY: GRAY QUARTZ, PEACH, GRAY AND WHITE MOONSTONE AND LILAC STONE

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OCTOBER MALA BRACELET WORKSHOP

$45-75 ALL SUPPLIES INCLUDED

Saturday, OCTOBER 22, 7PM-9PM
AT DANCER’S POINTE, 122 LOUISIANA AVE, PERRYSBURG, OHIO

SIGN UP AT HTTP://OCTOBERMALACLASS.EVENTBRITE.COM

Ticket sales end Thursday, October 13.