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3xR 2014

January 5, 2015


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.

11878033544_40ebbaf71e_zWeek 1:
14k yellow gold ring set with green Montana sapphire
14k white gold ring set with teal blue Montana sapphire
18k yellow gold engagement ring with blue rose cut sapphire

Week 2: 14k white gold and almandine garnet stud earrings; 14k white gold and pink tourmaline stud earrings
Week 3: 14k white gold and asscher cut sapphire ring set
Week 4: Steno Brooch

Week 5: Steno Necklace
Week 6: 14k white gold and asscher cut spinel wedding set
Week 7: Sterling silver and rose cut diamond lilac pendants

Week 8: Hammered sterling silver ring with diamond
Week 9: 18k yellow gold and rose cut blue sapphire stud earrings
Week 10: Aquamarine drop earrings and necklace

Week 11: Sterling silver necklaces with prehnite, laboradorite
Week 12: Hammered sterling ring with pink diamond
Week 13: Sterling twig ring with Montana sapphire

Week 14: Sterling twig earrings with carnelian
Week 15: Sterling circle earrings with Peruvian opal; Sterling circle earrings with moss aquamarine
Week 16: Sterling circle earrings

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 20: Sterling anemone necklace
Week 21: Sterling lilac bracelet
Week 22: Sterling twig circle bracelet

Week 23: Hewn sterling silver and 14k rose gold ring with morganite
Week 24: Sterling Crocosmia bracelet with garnet
Week 25: 14k yellow gold and rose cut pink sapphire ring

Week 26: 14k yellow gold and diamond wedding set
Week 27: 18k yellow gold and ruby wedding set
Week 28: Turquoise and gold fill necklace

Week 29: Sterling and gold fill necklace with jade and turquoise
Week 30: Grey diamond and 14k yellow gold wedding set
Week 31: Sterling twig ring with rose cut diamond and sapphire

Week 32: Sapphire cube earrings
Week 33: Sapphire cube necklaces
Week 34: Aquamarine and anemone bud necklace and earrings

Week 35: Seaweed earrings
Week 36: Rose cut diamond and 14k white gold ring
Week 37: Rose cut garnet twig ring

Week 38: Seaweed brooch
Week 39: Seaweed necklace
Week 40: Tourmalinated quartz and sterling silver twig ring

Week 41: 14k white gold bypass twig ring
Week 42: Gold druzy heart necklace and rings
Week 43: Carnelian and sterling silver rings

Week 44: Wide sterling three-topaz ring
Week 45: Green Montana sapphire engagement ring with contour wedding band
Week 46: Sterling bangle with three sapphires

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.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Marilyn permalink
    January 5, 2015 1:26 pm

    Truly beautiful designs!

  2. January 6, 2015 8:04 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! Love seeing them all together here!

    • January 6, 2015 9:40 pm

      Erin, hi and thanks! I think you and I were the only ones who made all 52 pieces…is that right?? Hope you are well. Miss you in EM!

  3. January 15, 2015 5:57 am

    These designs are incredible. I really admire your work.

  4. April 7, 2015 1:09 pm

    your pieces are absolutely beautiful and inspiring thank you for sharing!

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