Friday, January 25, 2008

Treasure Hunt Update

Two people have finished the hunt already!! Get going and join in on the fun! See the details below in yesterday's post.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

JET Team Treasure Hunt

The hunt is on! Well, it will be. Starting tomorrow, Friday January 24, 2008 through Saturday January 25th the Jewelry on Etsy Team will be hosting a treasure hunt on Etsy. Prizes will be awarded to the winner from 5 JET team member shops including

Little Brown Bird
The Vintage Jewelry Box
Zen Creations
Handmade Jewelry by Michele

Here's a picture of the prizes -the links will be listed in the opening post of the treasure hunt thread.

Watch the promotions forum on Etsy to join in the hunt!
Here's the link to start the JET Treasure Hunt! There are 24 shops that have the treasure hiding in one of its listings.

Helpful hint: The first post of the thread shows 23 shops. There's info about the 24th participating shop on page 6 of the treasure hunt thread. You must find all 24 treasures to win!!

Here are some more details on the Treasure Hunt from the JET Team blog.

(Remember-Etsy has recently updated their site. The forums can now be found by clicking the Community link at the top of the Etsy page, then click on Forums.)


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shiny, shiny, pretty, pretty...

Ooh, I'm excited! Yesterday, I finally fired some fine silver pieces in my kiln. With much running around in the past year, I had these pieces ready to be fired and finished for about, um, 8 or 9 months and just got around to doing it now. Ok, so I have a little bit of a procrastination problem but I promise to work on that too when I get the time! Anyway, I love the pieces that are done so far.

These are made of fine silver (.999). Fine silver is a product that was developed from tiny, microscopic particals of silver recycled from old film. The particals are bound in a clay that can be manipulized into whatever you wish. Then, when dried and fired in a kiln, the binding agent in the clay burns away leaving behind pure silver. It's a beautiful medium to work with and I've been using it for about the past three years. Most, if not all, of the pieces that I've created are part of my personal collection so far. But now I am going to be listing some of the new things in my Etsy shop, Little Brown Bird. I'm really excited about some of the new things. I duplicated a couple of pairs of earrings that I wear quite often and they will be listed in the shop. I also completed the silver portion of a pair of earrings that I promised my sister a year ago that I would make for her. Whatever, she can wait, it's not like I'm making her buy them! (Kidding, Nancy, they"ll be done soon.)

My favorite part of the whole process is this...

...the moment the binding agent is burned away. The piece flames up for about a second or two and then shrinks just a bit as the binder burns. My kiln is a small one (yes, with a cracked kiln plate, but it works fine), just a table-top style about the size of a small coffee pot.

It gets extremely hot. In fact while I'm busy writing this, I have just destroyed a small piece I was firing because I let it get too hot! Thankfully, it was a very small piece because the price of silver is becoming outrageous!

The process is facinating ...

I think I let the kiln get a little too hot for this piece. It began to show a crystalization on the surface, which actually was kind of cool, had I been trying to do it. I'm not sure I could duplicate the effect though. And since this was one of a pair of earrings, that could be a problem.

The kiln can be touchy, not every part of the kiln plate has exactly the same temperature. These earrings were fired in the kiln at the same time but ended up with very different looks. All was fine in the end though. After a little burnishing, the two pieces began to look the same.

These pieces (below) were just out of the kiln, cooled and ready to be brushed with a brass brush. Just after firing, the silver is a bright white color until the silver particals are flattend down. The brass brush helps do this and you begin to see a soft silver color emerge.

Depending on the final finish that you want for the piece, it can be tumbled for a high shine, or left brushed for a soft glow. Some of my favorite pieces are very lightly sanded creating a beautiful comtemporary look. You can add a patina using a few different methods (liver of sulfur, or the "egg" method) and give the final piece an antiqued look. I have used liver of sulfur in the past to create some fantastic colors. I think I will try the egg method on some of the new pieces and see what happens. I'll post those when I get them done. But here are a couple of my favorite earrings that I recreated to list on Etsy.

Grand Opening!

Well, I finally bit the bullet and got it done. A new goal for 2008 has already been met. I wanted to open a supply shop on Etsy to do a little destashing of some of the supplies that I have accumulated over the years and here it is, In The Raw. It's hard, as a beadaholic, to let some of these things go. But, this is a great opportunity to make room for the new things I keep finding but can't justify buying until I thin things out a bit.

My intention with this new shop is not just to destash, but to keep this going and stock it eventually with new things, maybe overstock from bulk purchases that will keep prices down.

In The Raw will not only carry jewelry supply items though. I have fabrics, leather, and other bits and pieces that have been standing by waiting for me to get around to making countless things. The sad part is, I just haven't had the time to actually make them. But I know these things will find a good home with some incredibally talented and creative people.

I would love to feature artists here on my blog that send me photos of their finished pieces using the items that they buy from In The Raw. Like a mother that longs to see her children grow and prosper, I can't wait to see what wonderful things these beads, findings, and other inspiring elements will become!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So much talent!!

Jewelry on Etsy team (JET) is now on Talent Database!

Thanks to the hard work of ShinyAdornments the JET team now has a page on Talent Database. I added a picture of my Salena Hill Tribe Silver and Turquoise Earrings (shown below) to the portfolio page.

As described on the web site:
"The Global Talent Database is the world’s most comprehensive talent search engine and artist directory. Think of it similar to a global Yellow Pages designed to connect the creative class with enthusiasts around the world. The database takes the guesswork out of where to find top talent on the web, and provides a searchable listing that narrows in on what the user is looking for. By creating a free listing, artists and performers can directly link to their work, and immediately start networking with The World of Talent."

I think this is a great opportunity for all the JET team members to network and expand our marketing to reach countless people around the world. And it's one more place to showcase jewelry from Little Brown Bird.

Thanks Shiny for getting us going!

And don't forget to check out the JET Team shop to see more pretty, shiny things from other JET team members.