Sunday, August 14, 2011

"unconventional" engagement ring

Custom Wedding Ring by sarawestermark
Custom Wedding Ring, a photo by sarawestermark on Flickr.

Another custom piece that I made for a bride-to-be. I liked it so much, that I made one for me too!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mother's Necklace

Mother's Necklace by sarawestermark
Mother's Necklace, a photo by sarawestermark on Flickr.

I was thrilled to do a commission for my dear friend for a "Mother's Necklace". I really wanted to work in a silver/blue palate. I used the birthstones for each month of all the children. The top gemstone is an Australian bi-color Sapphire for September--it looks like aqua with some flashes of green. Small bi-color stones when they are set typically flash back one color with lively flashes of the other color. The square middle stone is a raw diamond for the month of April. I was thrilled to use cut and raw stones in this piece. The bright blue cabochon on the bottom is a Boulder Opal for October.

The silver is hand cut with a jeweler's saw and is from my Roman Ruins collection. This was one of my first ideas that I continue to explore. I didn't have words when I first did it, but one day I was describing it to a customer and then I realized how personal this design was.

My life so far has not gone in the direction that I planned after graduation from my Master's Program in Voice Performance. I had planned on making a career by singing art song and opera. I got married just after graduation, and truth be told for many of the wrong reasons, but mostly because I was scared to be on my own. After 4 years my marriage dissolved--but I have a beautiful daughter from it who is the love of my life.

I was 30 and a divorced single mother. Not the way I had planned it at all! I had no singing career and was working 3 part time jobs to make ends meet. As fate would have it, I met my current husband and soul mate not long after my divorce.

We married and I began to work at the community college teaching voice lessons. I began to dabble in making jewelry as a hobby. In a year we had a new baby boy and adopted my 10 year old niece. So my family went from 3 to 5 nearly overnight. I took the next big leap and decided to stay at home with my son and make extra income by making jewelry. I just kept on making and making and working the business.

Six years later, I am incredibly blessed with 3 children, a loving and supportive husband and a career.

For me this piece is about celebrating beauty in our brokenness, wrong turns, and twisted paths. It is about acceptance and trusting in my higher power. I am on a path to live as beautifully as I can. At moments I get glimpses of incredible love, beauty and peace. This would have not been possible if I had not made my "wrong turns". So I celebrate the duality of my life--the good and the bad. It is through being a jeweler that I became a whole person again.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Men's Jewelry

I have been busy making custom pieces this week. This square band is typically part of my wedding set, but I wanted to add a champagne diamond to make it stand alone.

It makes me think about making more jewelry for Men. It is very heavy with a hammered and brushed texture.

Bottom Left: Men's Link Bracelet
Fabricated by hand out of sterling silver. Its got a nice heavy weight to it. Each link is 6x2mm in height and depth.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Project Runway 9-2 Ceylon Necklace

This weeks Project Runway challenge was the Pet store challenge. Initially I have to confess that I was not excited about it--sometimes I doubt my ability to manipulate unusual materials. When I saw this dog bone--then I was excited! I was thrilled with how it turned out! I took a rubber dog bone and cut it with my jewelers saw. I connected them with a rust resistant steel wire I got at Harbor Freight. (I bought a pound of it for $5--that's how it was packaged too!)

I may even keep this piece. I made earrings to match--but its a bit busy with the necklace. They touch.

If you want to play, come and check out the EtsyMetal Blog for details!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Project Runway 9 "Come as You Are" Episode 1

Project Runway 9-1 by sarawestermark
Project Runway 9-1, a photo by sarawestermark on Flickr.
5cm x 4cm x 3cm
sterling silver, repurposed

I took this Project Runway Challenge as an opportunity to examine my bench--which is quite messy at the best of times. As I searched for scrap silver on my bench, I cleaned as I went along. Once I found enough silver, I melted the scrap and then rolled it out in my rolling mill. I loved how my blob of cooled molten silver turned into an organic freeform shape. I knew what I wanted to do next. I heated the surface to produce a partial reticulation, which in turn created texture. The hole in the middle naturally formed when I rolled it out.