Yes, indeed, making jewelry is quite a departure from working with polymers, silicones, and polyester resins, so why do it? It’s simple – it’s fun and I get to use my hands to create something! My initial work was earrings, given to my family and then- fiancée as gifts. All of my work so far has been done with exotic woods, mainly because of the unparalleled beauty of natural wood. In the examples below, I did not use any stains, paints, or other artificial colorings – only a few coats of a semi-gloss wood finish to preserve and protect the wood.
The four examples below were created for my fiancée, who loves and studies marine biology. All of the patterns are my original design, except for the octopus which I based on earrings I saw once (but could not find again). Why is this important? Because it means that I can design, cut, and finish designs that fit any interest – especially for you. You can even submit your own design and we can work together to create something that is one-of-a-kind, made just for you. Perhaps you like Star Wars and want a “Rebel Alliance” symbol; maybe you’re a die-hard Trekkie and want a unique pair of IDIC earrings or a necklace; maybe you’re in school studying a particular animal, or in a profession with a unique focus and you’d like a lapel pin, brooch, or necklace to show your pride in your work. If jewelry isn’t what you need, I have also done a couple of custom displays, all in natural woods. (Okay, so far my wall art consists of a few species of whales and dolphins, but I’m not specifically into marine life!)
Pricing information is located right after all the pictures.
Oooh! An update already!
FIRST: I am offering discounts to all SICB attendees, with proof of your attendance! Click here to see what I mean by “proof”.
So, thanks in large part to my fiancée, the word has spread pretty rapidly, AND, thanks to one of her friends (Hi Cynthia!) it was brought to my attention that some people may not like the use of exotic woods due to environmental reasons. My immediate reaction was to think about including reclaimed woods (wood saved from old buildings when they are demolished, old furniture, et cetera), the use of environmentally friendly woods, even plastics. Then it hit me – the wood I use is, in essence, reclaimed wood. In my entire collection of woods, both exotic, domestic, and the downright common, I’ve only bought two or three pieces of so-called “clean” wood that was cut especially for me; every other single piece of wood, especially my exotics, were saved from the fire bin! The man that I get my supplies from – a local supplier of the highest standards – keeps a box of cuttings that are left over from his other projects; they’re too small for him to use, and quite often full of holes from the parts he has used. Like myself, he hates to waste anything so these bits sit in boxes…and he keeps intending to burn them in his old woodburning stove in his workshop as he creates wooden masterpieces in the dead of winter (his own form of recycling), but so far he hasn’t used them. That’s where I came in – one day I decided to make jewelry and asked him to sell me “something pretty”, and when he found out what I wanted to do and the scale, he sat with me for an hour and helped me “reclaim” some of the most beautiful material I’ve ever seen. Don’t misunderstand me – he is NOT a wasteful man! As well, I’m not claiming to be the next-best-thing to Al Gore, either…although I do support the environment when I can, in this particular case I’m more of an “accidental environmentalist”. J So, if you’re worried about the environment, here are even MORE options!
1. Think of what I do as saving this wood, which has already been harvested, from sitting without purpose.
2. Send me YOUR wood! If you have old furniture, an old Civil War era barn that has just been torn down, or just a piece of lumber that you think is nice (and not too large), ship it to me, tell me what you want, and let’s use it! Do you know how many cherry coffee tables I’ve seen in my life tossed out, that had nice chunks that could still be used?
3. Suggest ‘environmentally friendly” materials to me! I’m no expert, and have no ego to bruise…so long as you’re nice about it, tell me what else I can use.
Okay, that’s it. The end. J
Here are a few of the finished earrings, complete with descriptions. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
I wanted to practice first before getting set on doing earrings, so I made a relatively easy set of “Star Trek “ earrings (these are the “Science Crew” version). These are made from Bloodwood, and have a beautiful deep red color in person. (All the earrings look better in person, my photo skills aren’t so great.)
Manatees. These are made from Purpleheart. It’s a fairly rare and expensive wood, but has a nice purple hue to it.
Octopus. These are cut from Lacewood, another expensive wood that comes from Australia. I thought it gave the impression of sunlight beaming down through the ocean. The lacy pattern of the grain has a bit of iridescence to it.
Cuttlefish: They’re sort of a striped/mottled pattern in nature and can change color. I found this bit of quarter-sawn Sycamore that had a great mottled appearance and the right cream color to it.
Sea turtles. The body is holly, which stays white, and for the shell I used a wood called Fishtail Oak. It has a neat grain pattern that just screamed “tortoise shell”. I know it’s not a tortoise, but it still looks cool. :) These are probably the ones I am most proud of. Even though they are a bit large (perhaps the size of a silver dollar coin), they are incredibly light-weight. My fiancée said she even forgot she was wearing them.
Now, in the next few days I will try to get some photos up of other exotic woods. I can obtain nearly any type of wood, but currently have Lacewood, Fishtail Oak, Bloodwood, Wenge, Purpleheart, Zebrawood, Holly, Birch, Peruvian Walnut, Kingwood, Ebony, Tulp Wood, Pink Ivory, “regular” Walnut, Poplar, Pine, and good old Red Oak.
If you have any requests or designs of your own, e-mail me! I can get almost any kind of wood you like, as well as any finish you like. I’ll make suggestions, but in the end – it’s all up to you!
Please note: I may be undervaluing the jewelry…so the prices below may rise if I find I’m selling below cost.
The pricing will vary, based on the kind of wood and the intricacy and difficulty of the project, but here are some ideas of what pricing is like. The more straight-forward patterns, such as the Trek and manatee earrings would be perhaps $15-20, depending on how large you want them and what kind of wood, ear wires/posts, et cetera. More intricate cuts, such as the cuttlefish and octopus, are $20-25. The sea turtles, because of the use of multiple woods, cuts, and shaping, would be $30 as shown; if you wanted me to use a more expensive wood or wire/post, I’d have to adjust the cost. If you do attach own findings, jump rings, or whatever hardware you like, I’m glad to provide the woodwork by itself. That saves $2-5 per set, depending. You can buy the findings (ear hooks, kidney wires, ear wires, brads, posts) at many hobby stores including Michael’s, A.C. Moore, Ben Franklin, and Hobby Lobby. If you’re into “beading”, you can add your own “eye wires” and beads as well. Like I said, the final product is up to you…
E-mail me at: