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Original Hardware--Hip, Handcrafted Silver Jewelry Designs's Fan Box

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm an etching fool....

Yaaawwwnnn. I didn't get much sleep last night because I was babysitting two batches of etched pendants that I am truly excited about!

It was worth staying up virtually all night, with safety goggles on and rubber gloves to babysit the etching process.

The pendants will soon be converted into earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces-- I hope ya'll can keep your pants on until then! When I'm in creative mode, it is hard for me to stop and concentrate on anything else, but I know that I must. Some family is coming into town this weekend, so I need to clear my orders out and get things organized for a getaway to the mountains and other lounging. It will be a welcome shift for just a little while....

The collection that just got out of the etching bath will be loosely titled "Indian Summer" because all of the patterns in the pieces are inspired by Indian culture. Lots of really neat patterns that you won't be able to find anywhere else.

Anyway, until then, I thought I'd post some pics of some of the other etched pieces I just posted to my Web site,

All of the designs featured in this post offer direct links to their product detail pages, so Happy Shopping!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer is Coming!

I recently got a package from India that contained the most wonderful stones.

Each one reminds me of some aspect of summer, whether it be the color of a sun-ripened raspberry still on the bush or the various hues of blue that fade into each other as the sun sets over the Colorado foothills.

In short, I LOVE SUMMER!!!!!

I was busy this past weekend finishing up some new ring sets that showcase these lovely stones, in various sizes and colors of Topaz along with pink garnet and white topaz, too.

There is not enough time in the day to put these beautiful stones to good use, but here's a taste of what I have done so far....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wierd Science

I tend to jump into things with both feet, not really thinking about all the logistics that are required to get from point A to point B.
Sometimes this doesn't serve me so well (like the bathroom painting project that my husband ultimately finished) and sometimes it turns out so wonderfully I am giddy for weeks!

This is one of those GOOD times......

I've been reading up on how to phototransfer designs (of your own making) onto sterling silver and etch them using an acid bath onto the metal. I was intimidated by the process at first (anything that strongly recommends wearing a mask and covering yourself is kind of scary!), but tried the technique recently with fabulous results.

These pendants are from my etched collection. I used a variety of patterns that in particular called out to me. It is kind of a laborious process to get them ready to etch, then etching them and finishing them up. But the result (at least I believe) is totally worth it! The photos aren't the greatest because I used my I-phone camera, but will be posting professional images soon....

With so many copycats, it's fun to come up with designs that I know for sure will not be copied (at least right away) and designs that truly come entirely from my own creation.

I'll be posting my etched designs on etsy and my Web site ( soon. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Tour of My Studio(s)

Location, Location, Location......

Many of my customers have asked me where I create my designs. The answer is, two locations!

I am a lucky girl in that I have enough room to have two places to do my work.

The basement location (at right) is where I do the nasty stuff--all of my soldering, hammering, chemicals, etc. are religated to this safe place where no one can bother me or my tools!

As you can see from my bench, I have tools everywhere! My husband made this set up for me and I love it. It has everything I need to get a design made and finished--from soldering to etching to setting stones in bezels, to filing and polishing!

As you can see from the bench, I am doing some etching at the moment. It requires a hot pancake griddle and an iron to transfer images onto the metal, like the ones on the left here that are ready for the etching bath!

Stay tuned for the finished etched designs.

I am really excited about how they turned out and can't wait to add them in the coming weeks.

I also photograph my work down here, so I can have a permanent set-up for shooting images.

My second studio is upstairs. This is my finishing studio, post office and general administration place.

My work bench is here, and so are all of my stones and things needed to finish a piece of work.

Over my finishing work bench, I have my favorite quote posted from Robert Frosts' Poem, "Road Less Traveled."
I love this room--it inspires me to be creative and it is my own space!

I am one of those people who likes to be surrounded by inspiring quotes, photos of friends and family, etc. in order to feel comfortable in my surroundings and create my pieces.

I remember when I started making jewelry, I had a rolling bin in the pantry with four drawers and some crappy tools.

Those days are long gone, and I am so grateful for the space that I have to spread out and make my designs in the way I do best...... Off to the studio to create new works so that I can soon be able to share them with all of you!

Keep this quote for today: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined!"--Thoreau

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Hangover

Mother's Day is over, and Dave and Evan gave me lots of great little goodies and showered me with love. It was nice.
I was basking in the glow of pre-Mother's Day sales and was thinking about all the great things I was going to do with my huge volume of sales for May! And then things came to a screeching halt....
I always forget this time of year is the worst. You get really busy and then you have to shift gears, going from writing out thank you cards and shipping packages to thinking about what's next.
The good news is that I have a batch of new goodies on the bench, and they will be making their debuts in dribs and drabs. I have a catalog submission to prepare for and a show in June at a local store that sells my work. So I guess I have a lot to do.
All I need is a good swift kick in the ass I guess!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My favorite quote.....

"open your eyes

to the beauty around you.

open your mind

to the wonders of life,

open your heart

to those who love you,

and always be true to yourself."

-----donna davis

I have a picture of this quote on my "vision board," the place where I put all of the things that I want to be in my life. It inspires me to be creative, vulnerable, strong and confident, to BE WHO I AM.
For each of us, it is a choice we make every single day, isn't it?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Inspired by Springtime in the Cotswolds!

A few years back, my mom and I took a trip to the Cotswolds in May.

The hills in this notably famous area of the United Kingdom were alive with fresh green grass, and the wooly sheep dotted the landscape like little white cottonballs.

It was a surreal view from the window where we were staying, and when I close my eyes I can see the rays of sunshine that cast light across the entire space.

I can still see the lush green fields that reflected off of the fresh blue sky. I remember the way the crisp air felt across my face as the seasons transformed from winter to spring in this beautiful place.

Many of my designs are inspired by the great memories and experiences of my life.

The little faceted citrine stones in the earrings remind me of that trip, and the vibrant green vasonite stone that is the focal point of the necklace reminds me of the neverending grassy fields where sheep play.

Like my trip, these pieces tell the story of a girl with wanderlust. A girl who loves to be in strange places and explore. A girl who had the fortune of spending just a few days of one spring season in the Cotswolds and will never forget it!

Original Hardware Featured in Etsy Finds!

It's a humbling experience when you see your work on the front page of another Web site, or when someone else chooses to feature your work in their blog.

It's quite another when you are featured in a big way and it results in an incredible amount of exposure for your business!

Today, Original Hardware was featured on's Weekend Deals article, which is highly competitive and comes out once a week.

My Smoked Hoop Earrings (pictured here) were featured at the top of the article--yahooeee!

It's especially an honor when so many talented artisans make their place to do business.