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The bigger picture

I’ll admit my pictures can be a little deceiving. YOU get to see a sparkly gemstone or shiny silver earrings, but what you don’t see is the crazy cat begging for second breakfast or morning dishes left on the kitchen table. This whole jewelry setup, pictures and all happen in our home. At times, I’ve taken over the coffee table, the bedroom, my husband’ s office, and the kitchen sink. Yes, there is no sacred place where jewelry can’t be fabricated, shined, polished, or photographed.

 

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Things aren’t always what they seem.  Its fun to know I have a little secret about what happens in the background.

Kind of like this…

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Pretty, pretty Amazonite.

I have a small, Magnolia tree in the side yard and those leaves seemed like a excellent place for a photo op. I moved the ring from leaf to leaf trying to get the right lighting, perfect leaf, best angle and so on. Of course, what makes this amusing is the perspective. Taking a few steps back changes things.

 

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And just a few more steps back?

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Haha! Life isn’t always a perfectly curated, sparkling, ring. Sometimes its dirty fences, a trucking highway and grain storage.

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And a cell phone tower and a broken, kiddie pool.

-LEW

No earth shattering lessons here, just some fun behind the scenes <3

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Happy Birthday! Lew’s Jewelry is 10!

Wow, you guys, I can’t believe this little business has hit double digits! Lew’s Jewelry is 10 years old and boy, has she grown. What was once beaded necklaces, scrabble tiles, dominoes and wire wrapped, little pendants is now this ever evolving metal work production ; change has been the theme of this business. I am so glad I’ve stuck with it!

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Can I tell you what the secret is though? I’m by no means well known, I don’t have juried accomplishments, I struggle with the whole Internet and branding side of things and Google analytics? I can literally think of a hundred other things I’d rather do! But what has made this a satsfiying and productive venture is YOU. Customers and friends who purchased from me in the very beginning, who have stuck with me over the years, who have come to shop at my festival booths, who have spread the word about  Lew’s Jewelry to other friends, family members and coworkers. YOU have been what has kept this process running!

A walk down memory lane..

Who can forget scrabble tile EVERYTHING :)
Who can forget scrabble tile EVERYTHING 🙂
Domino necklaces were a big deal!
Domino necklaces were a big deal!

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Upcycled Silverware
Upcycled Silverware
One of my first copper rings.
One of my first copper rings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trials in enameling.
Trials in enameling.

 

I have thought about giving up dozens of times and doubted myself hundreds, but having an opportunity to find what I love to do and get better at my craft, has made me incredibly grateful!

This piece is from last year, a beautiful greent topaz set in 14K Gold and Sterling band.
This piece is from last year, a beautiful greent topaz set in 14K Gold and Sterling band.

A birthday like this is worth celebrating. Longevity, no matter how many hundreds, or thousands or millions of dollars a small business brings in, is a big deal.  Large corporations have long dominated the scene and with each day that goes by, a small business that is still in business is a wonderful victory. Small businesses are passionate about their merchandise, they know it inside and out and when you invest in their products, you are investing in so much more than JUST their product. Small business revenue is far reaching into your local economy and more often than not, you are getting quality and workmanship that far surpasses big box stores.

Simple Arrow ring in Sterling.
Simple Arrow ring in Sterling.
Brand New! I think my style is best described as coastal, minamalist, boho. This turquosie is a stunner!
Brand New! I think my style is best described as coastal, minamalist, boho. This turquosie is a stunner!

So cheers to Lew’s Jewelry and cheers to every other small business, handcrafted artist, local shop, passionate entrepreneur or business community. Keep plugging away, keep spreading the word, keep doing what you do best!

-Lew

P.S. The BEST part about this is that I’m having a giveaway to celebrate! Every week for the month of May, make sure to check Lew’s Jewelry on Facebook and Instagram for your chance to win a sweet piece of jewelry. Plus you can find these birthstone necklace on sale this week at the Etsy shop! <3

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<<Enter HERE on Facebook>>  

<<Enter HERE on Instagram>>

<< View the birthstone sale HERE>>

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Start to Finish

I think one of the things I enjoy most about making jewelry is really seeing the progress of each piece from start to finish. There’s this whole science (and math) behind the art, even in the simplest pieces. Oh, the math!!! Blech…anyway.

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The beginning of the double band ring.

 

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The double bands soldered. It sure looks dirty, right?

I was commissioned to make an amethyst and pearl ring and had been playing around with gemstone sizes, but wasn’t quite settled on anything. Lucky for me, I was invited to an oyster roast and in the very first oyster I found TWO pearls. (By the way, ouch!)

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Unpolished pearl and faceted amethyst.

Hammer, hammer, hammer, I love the texture on these bands. I ended up leaving the pearl unpolished (though cleaned!). These tube settings are a great way to keep everything secure but still get some light into the stone. Next time, I’ll get some pictures of drilling out the seat with the different burs.

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Still dirty? Oh yes!
Now its nice and shiny!
Now it’s nice and shiny!

All finished, with a really deep purple amethyst and natural pearl all set and secure. These wide bands are super comfy because they don’t “feel” like a wide band. I’ve been using this design for several years, but I sure do love when it gets a custom flair.

-Lew