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Happy new year! During the dark and rainy winter days in Seattle, I find myself squirreled away at my bench in the corner of my quiet, cozy studio. It’s easy to lose track of time here, focused and buried in some project or another, but as I raise my head to look around, I realize another year has come and gone.
And another jewelry challenge has come and gone as I wrap up my last contribution to the 2014 “3xR” challenge. 3xR was started by my lovely friend and EtsyMetal teammate Ann Hartley a year ago, in January 2014. In her words, it was a chance to:
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle all the crap we have laying around on our benches and in our studios! Finish all those projects, use those stones we’ve been hoarding, take a look at that old sketchbook. Nothing is off limits here. Make as much work or as little as you choose but you need to Use What You Have.
Fun! The old notion that jewelers are hoarders is true for most of us – we love to collect stones, we save bits of old, broken projects, cut offs from scrapped jewelry, and lots and lots of “what ifs” and “ooh, shiny things!” Many of us end up with drawers and boxes full of things we’ve been collecting for years. Wouldn’t it be great to use that stuff up? So that’s what I and a small group of jewelers set out to do this year. You can see the results of our efforts here in our 3xR Flickr group.
My goal was to finish one project per week, and though I occasionally lagged behind, I did, really, truly finish 52 projects – totaling more than 80 individual pieces of jewelry – by the end of the year. I cleared out my “To Do” pile, sifted through my “Maybe?” pile, and ruthlessly culled my “WTF” pile.
It was decluttering at its finest, cleansing, renewing and continually motivating. On days when I felt tired and uninspired and had to drag myself into the studio, I could just poke through the small piles of projects awaiting my attention on my layout table and see what spoke to me. Most of my projects were simple, and a few were more involved, but the goal was not necessarily to challenge myself with technique, it was to literally clear my bench.
I posted all 52 of my projects in the 3xR Flickr group as I went along. I started with a bang by completing five gold and sapphire rings that I had had sitting half-finished on my bench for about a year (photo below). And moved on from there. You can see listings for many of the pieces here in my Etsy shop. Check out photos of all of my 52 weeks below.
Week 17: Sterling circle and pearl earrings, necklace
Week 18: Botanical charm necklaces – lilac and citrine; lily, lilac and turquoise; anemone and garnet; hyacinth, lilac and aquamarine
Week 19: Aquamarine, sterling and gold fill necklace
Week 38: Seaweed brooch
Week 39: Seaweed necklace
Week 40: Tourmalinated quartz and sterling silver twig ring
Week 47: 14k white gold studs with moissanite
Week 48: 14k white gold studs with reverse-set Orissa garnets
Week 49: Beaded sterling earrings with pearl and turquoise
Week 50: Brass hex earrings with tourmalinated quartz and chalcedony
Week 51: 14k yellow gold and 14k rose gold twig hoop earrings
Week 52!!!: Sterling bangle set with amber, carnelian, peach moonstone
WHEW!!!! That was a lot of photos! And a lot of work. Looking back on all the pieces, I can remember the satisfaction I felt at getting each and every one of them finished, photographed and listed online. The best part? My layout tables and benches looked clean for a bit – at least, until I covered them again with To Do projects yet to come.
I think I’ll keep up the challenge in 2015. Stay tuned for updates along the way.
I wish all of you the best in this year’s challenges of your own, both planned and unexpected. May we all be able to clean our own spaces, both physical and mental, from time to time to make way for new work, new inspiration and the clarity that can only come from a thorough and clean sweep.
I’m thankful for so many things this holiday season, not least of all the support of my friends and fans including you. To celebrate the season, I’m having a sale! Now through the end of Monday, 12/1, take 15% off of all Ready to Ship items in my Etsy shop. The best part? Because it’s all ready to ship, the jewelry will be in your hands by the end of the week. Gift shopping doesn’t get any easier.
Use code EtsyMetalSale when checking out to automatically receive 15% off.
My Etsy shop is here:
Sarah Hood Jewelry on Etsy
Thanks again, friends, and hope to see you in my shop soon.
I’ve gotten some love from Etsy lately!
It’s my birthday today and I’m having a flash sale in my Etsy shop to celebrate.
Sale ends midnight on Tuesday 6/3 (that’s tomorrow!).
Craft Forms 2013 opens tonight at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, PA. This is the 19th year of this well-known exhibition, and I am thrilled to be included. Craft Forms is an international juried exhibition of fine contemporary craft, showing both established and emerging artists working in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media crafts.
Nancy Campbell, the Executive Director of the Wayne Art Center, says:
Craft Forms has evolved into a favored showcase for the work of the nation’s most talented emerging and established artists. The Wayne Art Center is proud to be a part of this stunning exhibition which draws more than 5,000 visitors each year. We are very pleased to continue to bring such a high caliber “museum quality” exhibition of contemporary craft to the Philadelphia region.
In addition to the great exhibition itself, Wayne Art Center throws a pretty lavish Preview Party, which happens tonight from 6pm – 10pm. There will be wine, cocktails, a raffle, live music, a silent auction, and oh yes, a martini luge. Wish I could be there!
Here’s the piece of mine that is included in the show:
© 2013 Sarah Hood, Palm Tree Ring. Sterling silver, coconut shell, model tree.
There is a very cool interactive web catalog here, which includes photos of all the work and artist statement from the artists.
And if you make it to the show tonight, please send me photos!