I just bought myself some inspiration in the form of a small stash of watch repair supply manuals. Check out one of the gorgeous full-color exploded views below. Perhaps later, if I’m feeling generous, I may post some of the hand-drawn black and white illustrations, too.
“How do you make these beautiful things?” I hear variations on this question all the time. I usually answer with something coy like “That is my ancient Chinese secret” or “By luck and imagination”. But really my secret is…repetitive motion. I spend hour after hour cutting tiny pieces of paper onto tiny pieces of wood, then painting each piece with resin and then hand drilling each one until there is a pile of sawdust on the cat in my lap and a hundred little jewels on my workbench ready to become earrings or necklaces or whatnots and doohickies.
I do spend a lot of time trolling old books for inspiration and illustrations. And I spend a lot of time at the computer drawing new and exciting illustrations. But most of my time is spent gluing things to things.
Like these things here, destined to become earrings available at Indigenous in Cincinnati and on Etsy.
I’ve been waiting for these to arrive and Holy Smurf are they even nicer than I expected. Each one is completely unique, with well worn handwritten labels and vintage contents. I cannot WAIT to start making things with these!
For those who have been asking…YES! I do have my jewelry available online. You will always get a better selection in my store inside the Rust Belt Market in Detroit, or in one of the retail locations that carries my work, but I do keep a few representative samples in my Etsy store and I am working to add more pieces. (its just…product photographs…ugh…). There will be lots and lots more listed before the holidays, but for now…
This is one of the nicest pieces currently in my inventory, and it IS available exclusively on Etsy.
This movement was manufactured in Springfield Illinois in approximately 1874. That’s the year New York annexed the Bronx. We first established trade relations with the sovereign state of Hawaii. The very first child labor laws were put in place. In short, a very long time ago.
The piece is weighty and hung from a sturdy triple chain made of brass plated steel to support the weight and distribute it more evenly across your neck. The manufacturer and serial number (which is how I know the date of manufacture) is engraved onto the movement in a gorgeous script and the back is the original enamelled watch dial, now lovingly preserved under a coat of clear resin for protection (and comfort. Watch hands against bare skin can be really itchy).
Like all of my watch movement pieces this necklace is ONE OF A KIND. I’ve used salvaged chain, found beads and even if I had enough of those to recreate the piece it’s highly unlikely that I’ll find another movement like this one. This is the one. This is it. If you love it, you should make it yours.
Saturday August 24th 1pm-2pm
Indigenous Handcrafted gallery in Cincinnati.
$15 materials fee
Ages 12 and up
Come play in my stash of watch faces, antiqued filigree and vintage beads in this one hour workshop. You’ll learn some jewelry basics and leave with your very own, one of a kind Steampunk Trinket necklace.
This is one of my most popular designs, and makes a wonderful gift (for yourself or others). Space is limited so register now!
While preparing to move all my supplies into the new studio I discovered that I had been hiding the vastness of my bead and bauble stash from myself. I discovered great troves of delights tucked away into boxes and small plastic bags, some carefully labeled but far more simply stashed without ceremony. I don’t remember acquiring all this stuff, but if I saw it at an estate sale tomorrow, I would buy it all over again!
Now that I’m (sort of) settled in, I’m reveling in all this small shiny glory, making lots and lots of one of a kind pieces when I should be working on Holiday wholesale inventory and illustration work. I’m months behind on production anyhow, so what’s a few more days of blissful free-form creation before I knuckle down into the pre-holiday grind? I can do it all, right? I just need more coffee.