Wedding Bling!

My good friends were married recently, and I was given the honor of making jewelry for the bridesmaids as a surprise gift from the bride. Creating this collection of hammered brass, sterling silver, stones, crystals and brass beads was a milestone for me and my jewelry. I am now totally in love with metalwork! Smooshing metal is so fun! So is sanding, drilling and forming! And I love combining metal with my woven macrame work. I feel like with each new tool and technique I learn, I am more able to create the specific images of creations that are in my mind.
Check it out!


Interesting Exhibit @ San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art

Wrapping Traditions:
Korean Textiles Now

June 17 – October 22, 2011

This exhibition presents the work of 66 artists from Korea, the United States, England, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Iceland, and Japan. The work includes delicately pieced and hand stitched traditional Bojagi, wearable pieces, installations, and wall hangings, all of which echo the larger world of art. This uniquely Korean folk art of anonymous ancestors has evolved into a contemporary art form embraced worldwide.


Brass Jewelry

I have just about finished ten piece of new hammered brass, chain and stone jewelry for my friend's bridal party!

I will, of course, post some photographs, but only after the wedding - the jewelry is a surprise present for the bridesmaids! Shhhhhh.......

Brass is a new love of mine. It is soft, beautiful, similar to gold in look, but much more affordable!

And the history of brass is quite interesting, too!

Brass Jewelry is an ancient classical jewelry. People began wearing it thousands of years ago.

Throughout history, brass has been loved by many people and cultures due to its malleability. There are stunning examples of brass jewelry from Iran, Eastern Europe and Egypt. Brass was one of the first metals to be used by humans in its natural occurring state. Brass was used as a substitute for stone by Neolithic humans around 8000 B.C. brass castings first appeared around 4000 B.C. by the Egyptians, and 500 years later, around 3500 B.C., it was alloyed with tin to produce Bronze. One of brass first "commercial" uses was in the ancient production of mirrors due to its shimmering beauty and was associated in mythology and alchemy to the goddess Venues/Aphrodite. The name brass is derived from the Latin aes Cyprium, which means "metal of Cyprus," which was later shortened to cyprium, and later corrupted to cuprum.

The Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan has probably the world's largest concentration of native brass. Other localities include Bolivia, the Ural Mountains in Russia, England, Australia, Germany, and Arizona. The warm rich tones of brass jewelry not only make it a "must have" of any fashion conscious woman, it provides a similar look to Rose Gold at a fraction of the price.

Brass Jewelry is favored by many due to its beauty and versatility; it has similar color likes gold jewelry. Besides, good flexibility and scalability, and so many creative designs available because of its softness and malleability; jewelry designer can use it to create a unique style of jewelry design.


School House Craft

"School House Craft is a dynamic new three day conference for people wanting to gain the skills to run a successful creative small business.

Are you considering staring your own business or do you already own your own business that focuses on craft, art or design? Do you have a shop on etsy, sell to shops and galleries, sell at craft fairs or want to start a new venture turning your passion into a business? If the answer is yes this is the conference for you!"


Macrame Workshops @ Dava Beads

Macrame Bracelet and Earring Workshops at Dava Beads!
Limited room available in these one day workshops, so sign up now by contacting Dava Beads.

Bracelet Workshop
August 10th at 10:30am
Learn basic macrame knotting techniques, how to incorporate beads and attach a clasp.

Earring Workshop
August 31st at 10:30am
Learn basic macrame knotting techniques, how to incorporate beads and attach ear wires.

Students will use bonded nylon string. All materials available for purchase at Dava Beads. Please purchase prior to the day of the workshop.
For more information including cost and list of supplies needed, please visit Dava Beads website or call the store, 503.288.3991.


Color, Light & Fun!

Feels like Summer is just about here and I've got a fun line up -

The Portland Saturday Market all season long
Urban Craft Uprising Summer Show, Seattle, Washington July 9 & 10
Gresham Art Walk, Gresham, Oregon July 16
Art in the Park, Boise, Idaho September 9-11!

And I'd like to add many many bike rides, trips to Colorado, Cleveland, New York and who knows where else! Work hard, play harder, right? Lucky me my work is also part of my play!

I spent today making macrame rings. I've noticed that many guys really love my rings, but can never find one that fits - I need to make some larger! So, I've been knotting away with the goal of providing a ring for all sized fingers, and men and women.

I thought I'd share some images of my ring-making process. My favorite part of making rings is playing with endless color combinations. It really is a study in color theory.

And here is a photograph of my lovely studio with my new plants. Well, plants from my preschool classroom, which were well cared for by my students and now sit in my studio soaking up the sun, reminding me of all the fun and sweetness I experienced while teaching this past year. Oh, bittersweet! Miss those kids!


NW Folklife Festival

I have returned to Portland after four full days selling my jewelry at the NW Folklife Festival in Seattle, Washington. It was really fun being part of Urban Craft Uprising's new project of bringing quality indie-crafts and music to Folklife. Thank you Kristen, Lindsay and the Folklife staff!

A very beautiful and happy customer wearing my vegan feather fringe earrings!

I met some amazing people, artists and customers, and feel so lucky to be able to live the life I do, being creative and sharing it with the public! Check out these talented artists, who are not just creative, passionate and unique, but warm, friendly and thoughtful people, too!


Alexander Calder

Today was my last day teaching art to four and five year olds. Our last project was making mobiles based on the work of Alexander Calder, sculptor and painter, AND jewelry designer!!! While I was searching on the internet for images of his mobiles to show the kids, I came across some images of his jewelry. His pieces are timeless, elegant and sophisticated, somewhat comical, extravagant and odd - I love them!

One of my students is the daughter of a kinetic sculptor here in Portland and he wonderfully agreed to speak to the kids about his work and mobile sculptures. The kids sat quietly, listening, totally into it! They drew with pastels on small, irregular pieces of cardboard and matte board, used various yarns to tie these pieces to a re-figured wire hanger, and I, along with my awesome co-teacher and my student's dad, finished the tricky part of assembling their creations. Of course I wanted to learn more about Calder, and so I asked my student's dad about Calder's jewelry. I learned that he made many pieces and basically gave them away to friends! Boy, I wish I had been around!
Calder was a prolific artist of many mediums, an inspiration and intrique, and someone I am glad to know a bit more about now. Thanks kids!


Custom Necklace

I recently was contacted by a customer who envisioned a fusion of a few of my necklace designs. She purchased my circuit bracelet a while back at a craft fair, and loved my circuit necklace, but wanted the movement of my Canvas Necklaces, and the organic flowing quality of my Mermaid Necklace with a bit less dramatic flare.

Canvas Y-Necklace

Mermaid Necklace

Circuit Necklace

It was a lot of fun creating something new from already realized designs. I really enjoy creating custom orders because of how the process surprises me and brings forth something that I didn't see.

Finished Custom Necklace


Buckman Art Show & Sell

Fun and success at the Buckman Art Show & Sell!
Thank you Buckman students, faculty, volunteers and coordinators! I bought three pieces of student art, a pin for someone special (you'll know who you are soon enough), and hand drawn card for someone funny (you will always know soon) and a lavender eye pillow for myself - ahhhhhh!
There are many things that I love about participating in local craft shows; i love seeing and interacting with returning customers and meeting new ones, catching up with artists and designers I met at previous shows, trading artwork, and knowing that my work will help young artists grow (30% of sales are going to Buckman School, K through 5th grade).
Shout out to some of my favorite artists and people!
Lolly Jamerson
Jill Bliss
Brook Tuveson of Brooklyn Blue Jewelry
Talia Jewelry Design
Tasi Designs
Cathy Pitters of Bossanova Baby
Christopher Bibby
Jo Brody
Susan Freedman
Jennifer Mercede


First Thursday Trunk Show @ Little Things

On Thursday March 3rd, AMiRA jewelry will be showcased at Little Things in Portland, Oregon. The craftiness factor is getting pretty exciting here in my studio. I am experimenting with hammering, filing and drilling into found metal pieces and metal wires, adding canvas, chain, stones and string! There will be many new designs on display perfect for the Spring & Summer seasons! Come support! Come celebrate creativity and local craft!