The end of January is approaching, and so is the end of my big January sale!
Here are some of my favorites on sale right now…
This Tree Pendant with Aquamarine is part of my Arbor series. The tree is cast in sterling silver, and handmade 24k gold leaves are soldered on to the ends of nine of the branches. This special edition version of my Tree Pendant features 18″ of stunning natural aquamarine beads in the most gorgeous hues of blue and green, some with brown, black and clear accents. I absolutely love the color variation in natural aquamarine, and the way this strand of beads compliments the gold and silver of the pendant. This piece sells for $450, but is on sale now for $225.
This bracelet is from my Iconology series, and features several sizes of sterling silver discs, most of which are engraved with an image of a single crashing wave. The image is taken from Tibetan iconography, but is reminiscent of Japanese woodblock designs. I know it’s hard to get a sense of the tactile quality of a piece of jewelry when purchasing online, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that this bracelet has a satisfying weight that is not too light or too heavy, and the discs make a gorgeous sound when worn. Also, the bracelet is entirely hand made. I didn’t purchase the linked chain – I made it! Here’s a picture of the whole bracelet, with a close up of the engraving below. This is the last bracelet I have left in this limited edition series! It’s normally $350 but is on sale for $175 right now.
Here’s a piece I love. The band is made from a cast sterling silver dogwood twig that wraps one and a half times around the finger. Atop the band is a gorgeous gray rose cut diamond set in a 14k yellow gold bezel with a textured, hammered edge. The natural diamond is .675 carat, 5.34mm, and medium gray with silvery flashes of crystal and dark flecks. I love these gray diamonds, and this one is such a nice size – not too big and not too small. This ring is normally $500 but is on sale for $250. It’s a size 6.5.
And if something in the $50 and under range is more your style, I have plenty of sale items in that range, too. Check out these fun pieces, below.
Kitchen Spice Earrings – Sesame Seed and Black Pepper – normally $90, now on sale for $45
D (or B) Twig Pendant – normally $60, now on sale for $30
Fancypants Necklace with Laboradorite – normally $76, now on sale for $38
Oxidized Medium Branch Earrings – normally $90, now on sale for $45
Anemone Bud Ring, size 6.5 – normally $100, now on sale for $50
Hey friends, it’s a new year and it’s time for a new sale!
It’s time to clear out all In Stock items to make way for some new pieces I’ve got planned. Starting now, all Ready to Ship jewelry in my Etsy shop is a whopping 50% – 75% off. Whoa! (I’ve never offered this kind of a discount before). All pieces are one-offs and OOAKs, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. Several pieces feature unique stones, including rose cut diamonds. In fact, there are FIVE diamond rings on sale right now!
Happy new year, and thanks for helping me clear out stock to start the new year off right!
© 2012 Sarah Hood, Wrapped Sterling Twig Ring with Rose Cut Diamond – Was $500, now $250
© 2012 Sarah Hood, Sterling Silver Dogwood Stacking Set with Three Rose Cut Diamonds and 14k Yellow Gold – Was $820, now $410
© 2012 Sarah Hood, Sterling Silver Double Branch Necklace with Aquamarine – Was $120, now $60
© 2012 Sarah Hood, Sterling Silver and 24k Gold Tree Necklace with Jade, Was $120, now $60
The Etsy Wedding category has been completely redesigned and just launched a couple of days ago. If you’ve ever tried to search Etsy for a specific style, artist or trend, you’ll know how difficult it can be to find exactly what you’re looking for among the thousands of listings in each category. Hopefully the new wedding category will make it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for. Certainly it is more eye-catching and interactive.
Etsy has this to say about the new category:
Etsy Weddings is a new browsing experience that includes wedding items, trends, how-to’s, expert advice and the stories of real couples — all in one place. A wide variety of items are featured and will change frequently to represent trends in the Etsy marketplace and beyond. Items can appear alongside real weddings stories, collections from guest curators, and advice for those planning their big day. Etsy Weddings will replace our previous weddings category pages.
Since the bulk of my Etsy work is commissioned engagement and wedding rings, I am hoping that I will not get lost in the crowd. I’m off to a good start by being featured in the Woodland Trends category, within the Rings section. “Woodland” is a category tag that always cracks me up because it sounds so silly. But among the dozens of slightly absurd, preloaded, available tags in the Etsy listing process (Abstract, Asian, Bohemian, Burlesque, Hippie, Nautical, Rocker, Spooky, Zen, etc. etc.), it is one that usually seems fitting for my work, which is so often based on natural forms. (Still, sometimes when I am choosing Woodland as a tag, I am imagining fauns and gnomes skipping across the forest floor…ha!).
Thanks, Etsy! That is one of my favorite rings in my shop. I’ve made a few so far, and have stones on hand to make two more. Since the morganite in this ring is a big stone, and since I’m picky about cut and color, stones I like are hard to find. When I do, I snap up as many as I can at a time, but last time I was shopping for morganite, I only found four that fit the bill. I used two for custom rings, and have two left. One is a very pale pink and one is a brighter pink. (Interesting fact about this stone: morganite actually looks more and more pink the larger the stone gets. Small morganites look almost colorless,but the bigger they get, the pinker they look). The morganite looks amazing in this rose gold setting, which is pretty pink itself and really brings out the color of the stone.
More fun facts about this stone: Morganite is a beautiful stone in the beryl family, which also includes emerald and aquamarine. Morganite is sometimes known as “pink emerald.” Pure beryl is actually colorless, but the natural intercalation (SAT word!) of beryl with other foreign elements and metals such as iron, manganese and chrome cause beryl to turn colors. Morganite was found off the coast of Madagascar in 1910 and was named after financier J.P. Morgan.
To see the stones I have in stock or to design a ring from scratch with one of the hundreds (yes, I’m a stone hoarder) of stones I have on hand, you can contact me here!
Have I mentioned how much I love appreciation letters and customer feedback? Love, love, love. It keeps me going, and keeps me knowing that what I am making actually means something to the people I am making it for.
I do a lot of custom work, both through my Etsy shop and my website. Often custom designs are weeks in the making, from the initial contact to the many emails back and forth clarifying design. I price out lots of stone and metal options, and then my client and I go back and forth until we find the combination that gets them excited and is still within their budget. It’s a fine balance, and sometimes this process can get personal and take a while. So it’s always odd to me to work on a piece (like an engagement ring) that feels very intimate and particular to a specific client and send it off and then… crickets….
But I love it when people do!
I recently received the most beautiful photos from Polina, a woman I made a wedding ring and a necklace for. She was a pleasure to work with from the start, and her follow up emails and photos were wonderful to receive.
Here’s the ring I made for her, plus the necklace pictured above, which she purchased from my Etsy shop. She wore both on her wedding day. She and her husband, who she described to me as her best friend, were married in August 2011, and here’s what she had to say about her special day:
We had a simple, fun, informal summer party at the cottage to celebrate our wedding day. Most things about traditional wedding make me cringe – it’s just not who we are. So we just had it OUR way! We rolled in on a canoe to be greeted by family & friends and got married barefoot on the beach of the lake, I even wore a colourful summer dress (gasp!). We had a picnic for dinner, with a bonfire, swimming, dancing, singing and fireworks! It was all about being ourselves in nature. That’s why I picked out this beautiful twig band by Sarah Hood Jewelry to be my wedding ring, it is so organic but also elegant. It’s unique, too, everyone asks me about it when they see it. I wore the branch necklace on the wedding day, and now it reminds me of this perfect day at the cottage spent with my loved ones.
Here are two photos of Polina on her wedding day (photos by Christina Woerns) that I love. So beautiful! I love the thought of getting married barefoot at the edge of a lake, surrounded by nature and wearing pieces inspired by nature.
Thanks, Polina! And everyone else–I would love to see photos of your wedding day or special occasion featuring jewelry I made. Send them to me for a possible future post!
Like a lot of people, I make donations throughout the year to organizations and causes that I love and believe in. I don’t have a lot to spare, but I always try to give some amount each year that feels significant. I have a few favorite organizations that support children in a developing country, adults in need in my own backyard, and abused and abandoned animals across the country. But the giving I like best is the kind that touches people individually in a very direct and concrete way, especially artists. I always feel that if I am lucky enough to make even a little bit of money doing something that I love, I should show my gratitude by giving some of it away so that someone else has a chance to do something they love. Two organizations I love to support are Artist Trust and CERF+.
Artist Trust is a Seattle-based arts organization that supports Washington state artists of all disciplines, and certainly if you are an artist living and working in this area, you are familiar with AT, as it has touched so many of us directly. Over the years, AT has provided financial grants, professional resources and career training to thousands of artists across the state, providing invaluable services, outreach and community to those of us who largely work alone, and helping to launch and sustain successful careers.
Both emerging and established musicians, visual artists, writers, dancers, craft artists, filmmakers and cross-disciplinary artists benefit from the help that Artist Trust provides. Artist Trust‘s motto is “Supporting art at its source,” and that really says it all. The very unique thing about AT is that it is not an umbrella organization that provides financial help to other arts organizations; it’s an arts organization that provides help directly to the artists themselves. As in, a check in their mailbox. As in, hands-on workshops. As in, resources for health care and health insurance. As in, legal, financial and employment opportunities. They really do it all. And do it so well. Their gorgeous website is worth a browse, whether you’re an artist or an arts-lover.
I’m not kidding when I say that almost every artist I know in Seattle has directly benefited from Artist Trust at some time in their careers, including me! A few years ago I received a GAP (Grants for Artist Projects) grant, a project-based grant which allowed me to buy a digital SLR camera, a photo tent and lights to more successfully photograph my own work. Every year AT provides GAP grants to around 60 artists in all disciplines for all kinds of projects which can lead to the development and presentation of new or existing work. The application process is competitive, and I felt lucky at the time to have won a grant, as it truly provided me with critical and timely support for equipment I probably would not have been able to buy otherwise.
Donations to Artist Trust come from individual donors and institutional giving, and also in the form of artwork donations to its annual art auction, its largest fund-raiser of the year. I’ve donated artwork many times over the years, and have volunteered at the auction itself. It’s a great way to support an organization I believe in and see my donations roll forward to support other artists, many of whom happen to be my friends. If you’re interested in giving to Artist Trust and supporting artists like me, you can learn more here.
The second organization I love is CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund), an amazing organization that provides relief and resources for artist emergencies such as illness, injury and natural disasters. I was touched directly by CERF+ in 2001, when I was involved in a terrible auto accident that put me in and out of the intensive care unit at Harborview Hospital here in Seattle for almost two weeks. Among my many broken bones was a pelvis broken front and back, and recovery was long and painful, involving physical therapy that taught me how to walk again. I had also broken my sacrum, and it took about four years before I could sit comfortably for longer than an hour. So jewelry making, which involves a lot of time sitting at the bench, was out for a while. I was not able to work for a long time afterward, and applied for a no-interest emergency loan from CERF+ to help cover expenses while I got back on my feet again. The loan wasn’t huge, but it was significant to me, and it allowed me some room to heal and recover while still paying my bills and buying groceries. Because it was a loan, I paid it back in time under a generous and long repayment plan, and was happy to know that as I repaid my loan, another artist in need could be benefiting from those payments.
In addition to providing emergency relief, CERF+ also works to educate craft artists about emergency preparedness so that we are as ready as we can be if disaster strikes. Providing information on health, safety and insurance, CERF+‘s goal is to build safety nets for craft artists, making sure we are ready for the unthinkable. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike and many other natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires, CERF+ provided relief to artists who had lost their studios and their livelihoods. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live through a devastating hurricane or fire, let alone what it must be like to have lost everything you owned. What a gift to have an organization like CERF+ to step in when I’m sure it seems like things will never get better.
Like Artist Trust, CERF+ accepts direct donations, but another great way to support CERF+ is to buy an ornament during this holiday season from The Artful Home. Every year The Artful Home generously donates a portion of the sales from its extensive and beautiful handmade ornament collection to CERF+. To see this year’s amazing selection, click here. If you’re not familiar with The Artful Home (formerly Guild.com), they represent talented artists in several disciplines across the country and puts their work in the hands and homes of art lovers through its website, catalogs and direct marketing. I’ve shown work with them for several years. You can see my Artful Home page here.
It seems at this time of year we are always thinking of ways we can give. While it’s definitely important to make sure everyone has what they need at this time of celebration and observance, for me it’s equally important to give in the quieter moments of life, knowing that my donations can stave off hunger, emergencies and crises for folks all throughout the year. If you have a moment in this holiday season, take some time to reflect on a way you can donate to an arts organization you believe in throughout the next year. Help support artists in your area or nationally with a gift that will provide sustaining help in the year to come.
I’m so excited that the Racine Art Museum recently purchased two of my pieces for their permanent collection!
The two pieces are Underneath It All and Tree Collar #2, and both were included in the Field of Vision exhibition that RAM held between May and October of this year. Thanks go to Bruce Pepich, Executive Director and Curator of Collections at RAM for initiating the purchase and being so gracious throughout.
The Racine Art Museum, in Racine, Wisconsin, houses one of the largest and most significant collections of contemporary crafts in America. Their mission is “the exhibition, education, collection and preservation of contemporary visual arts.” The museum currently has a permanent collection of over 5000 objects, half of which are pieces from internationally recognized artists in several major crafts fields–metal, jewelry, wood, ceramics, fibers, glass. RAM’s focus is beautifully stated on its website:
Presenting work from artists who create meaningful statements in craft media, RAM dispels any differentiation between fine arts and crafts and between the artist and the craftsperson. Exhibitions at RAM emphasize ideas behind the artwork, rather than following strict media categories.
Through gifts of benefactors and under the direction of Bruce Pepich, RAM has been steadily acquiring works of craft for their permanent collection for a couple of decades. Today, RAM has one of the largest collections of art jewelry of any museum in North America. It’s an honor for me to be included in that collection. Thank you, RAM!!
My jewelry was featured earlier this month in a lovely Winter Wedding photo shoot by JayLee Photography, (i.e., the talented Ali and Josh). The styled shoot was made up of items from about a dozen different vendors–all were handmade, and all were made locally. All elements from the shoot were borrowed from local makers–the invitations, decorations, tableware, dresses, flowers, and of course, the jewelry! So cool.
The idea was to create a wedding that could actually be reproduced by real people with real budgets–such a refreshing idea when we seem to be constantly surrounded by news of million dollar celebrity weddings and absurdly expensive and tasteless reality tv style parties. This shoot shows that you can throw your dream wedding and incorporate real, affordable, artistic touches throughout. In JayLee Photography‘s words: “Our goal was to make the wedding practical. This is a wedding that could exist in some form or another- for real. Many DIY elements were involved, an array of budget-friendly ideas, and items you could actually have if you wanted them. And all LOCAL!”
From JayLee’s blog:
The Inspiration: Our concept started with the idea of a modern “winter wedding” that featured touches of the holidays in a unique way. This can be seen in gold trim napkins folded and wrapped like presents in twine, clear filled-ornaments, touches of gold leaves and glitter, the illusion of “snow” through doilies and confetti, a beautiful white dessert table, and a special warm treat for the favors (among other details). The colors were primarily white with gold trim, and dashes of red berries. We also used blue/green hues for contrast here and there, to keep things fresh and “cold”. We loved the idea of hanging things from tree branches at outdoor receptions and wanted to recreate that idea indoors. We did so by dangling hand-sewn materials from pieces of wood, including scraps, doilies, ribbon, twine and gold sprayed flowers.
The Vendors: We used more vendors than you may see in a lot of styled shoots and we would personally recommend each one. We are so grateful to all of the vendors…. Every vendor involved was local and available in, and around, the Seattle area. Many of them also travel or ship their items. More importantly, these are talented people who are kind and fun to work with. Though it was a styled shoot, the day felt very festive and was filled with genuine laughter. Also, a special thanks to our beautiful models (seriously… aren’t they stunning?) for making our “wedding” a success.
There are way too many gorgeous photos to post here, but please check out the post on JayLee Photography’s blog to see more. There are some serious stunners.
Here are the photos of my jewelry from the shoot:
All of the above photos are of a wedding set I made recently from 14k yellow gold that was lightly hammered for texture and polished to a shine. The engagement ring featured a stunning and unusual 1/2 carat brilliant cut diamond in the most beautiful shade of grey, set in a tapered 14k tube setting. Here’s my photo of it, from my Etsy shop:
The two photos below feature two more rings from the shoot.
The ring on the left (top photo, above), is a sterling silver Man’s Branch Ring. It’s a thick, sturdy, half round band cast from a real twig and shaped and sanded for comfort. The ring on the right (top photo, above), and on the model (bottom photo, above), is a Double White Sapphire Twig Ring, a new addition to my twig line for women, featuring two white sapphires set slightly askew in 14k yellow gold tapered tube settings atop a sterling silver band cast from a real twig, and accented with 24k gold balls. Here’s my own (slightly blurry!) photo of the ring, which gives you a more close up view:
I’m thrilled to have had my jewelry be a small part of this photo shoot, especially since it meant being included in a roster of such talented local makers and shakers. Please check out JayLee’s blog post and scroll down to the end to read more about all the folks that made this shoot special. Thanks, Ali!