Friday, December 30, 2011

Gene's ring

Pam found me at the Butterdome Craft Show in Edmonton and was very happy to discover that I could help her. Her husband Gene had an accident and his wedding band had to be cut off of his finger. She had the old mangled ring and some extra gold and wanted a new one made for Christmas. I had to get working since I was back in the studio on December 13th! She had six diamonds from another old ring that I placed randomly in the texture part of the band. The next ring will be one for Pam to match.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Home sweet home

Back home after the first big show of the season - there is more snow here in Kelowna than in Calgary! It is always great to see my regular customers and to meet some new ones too. Thanks so much to everyone that has supported me over the years. I will be back in Alberta December 1st to 4th for Festival of Crafts at the BMO Centre on the Stampede Grounds. Now back to my messy bench (after a good nights sleep).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My messy bench

Full production mode! This time of the year always sneaks up on me. September hits and I start to plan and organize, October sees me working later hours, and November brings full on panic. I'm off to Calgary on Wednesday for my first big show of the year, Art Market. I'm coming with some new designs and am always excited to see my faithful, regular customers!

Shannon's ring

Adam came in with some ideas on what he wanted for the surprise engagement ring. First, I brought in several diamonds to choose from. The winner was a beautiful 80 point Canadian diamond. We narrowed the ring design down to a theme that was inspired by Shannon's Welsh background, using the wide overlapping woven pattern and a woven setting. After I carved the ring, I cast it in white gold. Now it's up to Adam to plan the perfect occasion to propose!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meagan's ring

Jewelry is often used to celebrate and mark a special occasion. In this case it is a 'big' October birthday. What better way to celebrate than with a pink tourmaline and some diamonds? Meagan liked the criss cross ring that I had made in the past, but was looking for a design more symmetrical. I carved this ring with the same over/under theme to curve around the light pink tourmaline that Meagan liked. Tourmalines come in so many different shades of pink, that was the first decision that she had to make. Now it's how to celebrate her big day wearing her big ring!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Val's ring

Val is beginning a new life adventure- retirement! Most Septembers she is thinking of school, but not this year. She wanted a ring to mark the occasion and we thought that a sapphire would be perfect. The blue is beautiful and it is also September's stone. I was able to find a large cornflower blue stone that left some room in the budget for the addition of the six diamonds.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Aunaray's ring

Aunaray is not a traditional person, so a standard wedding band was just not going to work for her. She loves soft, warm tones and organic, irregular forms. My goal was to make a ring that was irregular enough to look like it was planned, not a mistake on my part! The stone is a pinkish morganite, circled by red gold. The rest of the ring is yellow gold. It has three diamonds on this side and four flush set on the other side to add to the organic feel. The ring suits Aunaray perfectly- she just has to get used to the high bling factor!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Leslie's second ring

Leslie had her father's white gold wedding band and wanted to use it to made a ring with the second garnet that she bought at the Tucson Gem Show. She likes my concave ring design, but it is a heavy ring that would have required double the gold. I was able to use that model and tapper the top and the back of the ring so that it became lighter but was still able to accommodate the larger garnet. Now she has two garnet rings to wear!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sondi's ring

Sondi has a big beautiful family of four kids. She had a white gold family ring that she wasn't happy with and sent it off to me to be reborn. The ring had a blue topaz for her husband and four diamonds for the kids. I suggested making it into a stacking ring- each ring reflects the different personalities in the family. I was able to reuse the white gold on three of the rings and then two are in silver. The patterns in the silver ones will darken over time to stand out more. Big family= big ring!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kelly's ring

Kelly and her fiance Craig came to see me at a show to discuss making an engagement/ wedding ring. Kelly had a ring from her Grandmother that had this beautiful, large aquamarine in it. I love it when clients can add a personal touch to their wedding ring. Like most rings from long ago, the stone seemed even larger than it's 12mm since it was set in a very small setting with a thin wave of gold around it. I carved the ring in wax so I could keep the wave feel of the original, but add some bulk to make it modern. Kelly loves it and now has a new/old ring to get married with!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New designs

We built a new house and I am surrounded by beautiful wood- cherry, fir, and cedar. I found myself looking at the knots in our fir floor and realized that it is a type of swirl, irregular and usually oval. This is the inspiration for my new series, even though its based on an old theme of mine! Keep checking the shopping link on Etsy to see more of the designs as I make them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tanya's ring

Tanya is such a great client- her brother finds her interesting gems and then she just hands them to me and let's me create. It doesn't get much better than that! This is a very large pink topaz. I just kept thinking princess ring because of the color. I added four 'dots' of silver to either side of the stone to simulate the look of other gems set around the stone, kind of like in Kate's earrings. I think the effect is for a more modern princess which I'm sure Tanya would approve!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kate's earrings

These ones are inspired by the royal wedding jewels. I was in Calgary at a show the day of the big wedding and was asked by Andrew if I could make a similar pair for his wife's birthday in June. I used the shape and bling as the inspiration jump off point and added June's birthstone of pearl to personalize them more. I think they are perfect for a grand birthday!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Donna's ring

Donna is one of my faithful customers and I always see her at my Christmas shows. This year she came out to see me at a spring show and handed me a bag of old jewelry, most notable, and old diamond ring. She liked the pink gold ring I did with the rubalite, so I modified that design a bit and made it in yellow gold with a white gold setting. The diamond is larger than the rubalite, so I was able to make it chunkier with larger shoulders. Now this diamond will not longer sit in a jewelry box!

Amy's ring

Amy is a wonderful creative person that works in many mediums. Right now she is working in clay and ceramics and I think that reflects the design she chose for her engagement ring. This ring is all about texture and irregularity. I love the contrast that the three sharp and clear diamonds have to the rough 'clay' like metal. Even though the ring is not refined it seems to have an elegance to it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spring shows 2011

It was a busy spring. I almost felt as busy as I do at Christmas time... well, not quite! First I was off to Vancouver for my first ever show there. Then, back to Kelowna, pack up the Subaru and off to Calgary. Signatures shows put on the first ever spring show there which holds some promise. Next it was off to Edmonton for the fifth Butterdome spring show. There was a lot of great work there. Its so good to see a high quality show! I have come back with several projects from my Alberta customers, so stay tuned for some new blogs. Now I better get into the studio!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Margaret's ring

Margaret told me she had been waiting too long to make this ring, so I had better make it big and bold! She had a plastic bag full of scrap gold and three diamonds - one from her Mother, husband, and daughter. The diamonds looked very different from each other and I was please to find that once I got them out of the old jewelry, they were all the exact same size. I set them in a strip setting of white gold which gives them the illusion of being larger and just seemed to bump up the sparkle factor. She is pleased that this ring does not go unnoticed on her finger!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wanda's ring

Wanda Lock is a painter that lives in the Okanagan Valley. I have been an admirer of her work for a while now and was pleased to find out that we are neighbors! I work and live around such creative people here in Kelowna. She just recently finished a series of work that used UFO's as subject matter so that was in the inspiration for her family ring. I can honestly say that no one else will have a ring like this one!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New website

This has been a busy several weeks trying to get the website up and running, but it is done! I also have an official Facebook page, so I am trying to cover all the bases on line. I don't think you will catch me twittering though, but never say never... Please let me know here or on Facebook what you think of the new site. I'd love some feedback.

I have four custom projects on my bench as well as trying to get stock ready for the three spring shows coming up. I hope to have those projects done and new pictures up soon so check back.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Christie and Daniel's rings

Christie and Daniel wanted gold bands, but did not want anything too flashy or shiny. They have a wonderful tradition that uses a penny and were hoping that the symbolism of that could be put into the rings- the combination of white and rose gold looks great together. I think rose gold and a cognac diamond is my new favorite combo!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Leslie's Ring

A friend in Phoenix headed down on the last day of the Tucson gem show and found this beautiful 10X14mm large garnet. It's her birthstone and she has always wanted a ring made with one, so this is the year she gets one! It is kind of fun to hand pick the stone, choose the ring design, and then have it made.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Heather and Tim's rings

I love the look of mokume gane, so I am always happy when I find a client that wants to use the mixed metal in a project. Mokume is a japanese metal technique that is used originally by master sword makers. It combines thin veneers of two different metals that can be punched and then filed to create the wood like grain of the finished metal. In the case of these rings, I have placed two pieces of mokume on the rings- one is a yellow gold and silver mix, and the other is a white gold and silver mix. I think it makes a symbolic statement on wedding bands- the combination of two different metals, and then having the masculine nature of silver mixed with the feminine nature of gold.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time for a change

Spring is in the air and I'm in the mood for something new and fresh- a new website is calling! I like the way that selling on Etsy is set up, so I am thinking of re-designing my site to link up to on-line sales with Etsy. I'll keep you posted as to when it will be ready- and please feel free to let me know what you think of the idea! I'm hoping to be featuring more designs than I currently have in my on-line shopping area. More to choose from is a good thing!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ed's brooch

Ed has been a long time client and one of the best. He usually drops by and has an idea of what he wants made and what color stone to use, and other than that, he just lets me go and create. For this project he was more specific- he had six rubies that he purchased and wanted to use and he e-mailed me a sketch for a brooch. Then he sent me five images of his inspiration- I had no idea that he was an artist! There was one image he had collaged/drawn of a vortex like image and I was immediately drawn to and I used that one for my inspiration. To get the 'nest' like feel I carved it in wax. That was the best way to create the rugged lines and 3D form. I then cast it in sterling silver. The six beautiful rubies are flush set in the cogs and really sparkle. I love it when I get to work with nice stones!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Vera's Ring

Every once and awhile I get a project that I am excited to do, but need some time to figure out how I am going to attack it. This white gold and sapphire ring was just such a project! Vera came to me with a finished ring that she had made in the Middle East that she just didn't wear. It was a bit too wide and not as interesting as she was hoping it would be. We discussed the idea of making it look like three bands and having the stones suspended on either side of a central one. I considered making it out of three bands and the five settings, but soldering it together seemed like a logistical nightmare. I tried carving the whole ring in wax, but carving a clean setting is just beyond my skill level. So like Jennifer's ring, I carved the shank in wax and then just had the challenge of soldering the five settings in place. I am happy to say it worked and I am really pleased with the final product. I'll see Vera this week, so I'll find out if she likes it too!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jennifer's ring

AKA "the Pope's ring". This has to be one of the largest stones I've ever set for a ring! Jennifer and I bumped into each other at a pub and she had this loose stone with her. Over loud music and a pint of beer, we talked about a ring and she entrusted me with the amethyst. I'm sure she's been wondering if she would ever see it again!
I decided to make it in two stages since it was so large. I hand built the setting (meaning I cut and shaped sheet and wire silver) to get a clean product, and cast (carved in wax) the shank of the ring to get a chunky, sculptural product. The first photo is of the two pieces before a first file and polish, then after the first polish, then all soldered together and finished off with the gorgeous amethyst Jennifer had.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Siobhan's ring

I was asked by a friend to make her a family ring with the birthstones of her three beautiful girls. I must say, that I still have visions of looking through the Sears catalogue as a kid and seeing all of the versions of 'family rings' there on the glossy pages. Ugh!! Siobhan's celtic heritage was the inspiration for this ring. That has much more significance than just making a ring with the right colors of birthstones.

The next family ring I'll be working on is a flying saucer! You won't find that in a Sears catalogue...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Woven ring

This is another design that I've had for awhile, but not as long as the concave ring! I taught a casting class when I first came to Kelowna and I carved this ring in wax as the demo. I had just come back from a weekend in Seattle and was taken with some ceramic bowls that I saw there. The artist had woven it out of strips of clay and I appropriated the idea in metal. This ring has a garnet set in it that I just purchased at the Gem Show.

To see more images of this ring, go to

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Concave garnet ring

Not just stones get ignored, but I keep designs sitting around for years too. I made this ring when I studied jewelry making in Italy in 2002. WOW- That is nine years ago! I finally made a mold of it and cast it just before I left for Phoenix. I finished the first one just yesterday and am really happy with how it turned out with a stone in it. I have some princess cut stones (square) in 5mm that are going to look great in this ring. Better late than never!

To see more pictures of this ring, go to

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pink Tourmaline ring

I got lucky!! Remember that moonstone I took a picture of mid January and then chipped? Well I found a replacement for it in Tucson. Actually, Heather helped out and with some patience was sifting though a whole bunch of tourmalines and found this perfect fit. It is a stone with inclusions, but is cut well and has a nice soft color that looks better with the silver than the original moonstone did. It has tube set diamonds on either side of the setting that stick out like rivets. I'm glad a stone was found because I sure like this design!

To see more pictures of this design, go to

Peridot ring

Back in the studio today and finished this great ring. I had it all ready and set when I left, but it needed a final sanding and polish before I could take any photos. I'll post it on Etsy with more photos so it can been seen from different angles and also on a finger. It has a twisted curve that makes it look perfect on a left hand.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tucson day!

Here is a shot of just some of the things I purchase while we were down there. It was a quick one- we left Phoenix at 7:30am and hit the front door of the AGTA (American Gem and Trade Association) show just after 9am. With the help of my BFF Heather, we were able to go to three venues that featured about 1500 exhibitors. I had a very comprehensive list of things to purchase so with her eagle eye and my quick decision making, it was an easy day! I have to look back and remember my first year at the gem show- my mouth was open most of the time and I took most of the day to even make my first purchase. Not anymore! There are still things that make my mouth drop open though. I saw a pariaba tourmaline that was the size of a walnut and was such a bright blue/green that it seemed impossible to be true. One day I will have one of my own- much smaller though I'm sure!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Phoenix then gemshow bound

The past week was a blur in the studio. Friday saw my bench covered in five separate projects all at various stages of being finished. Three of the projects where ones I was getting paid for so the two 'January Design' projects did not get finished! I almost finished the peridot ring. It just needs one last polish and clean up then it is ready for the photo. I'll be back in the studio February 14!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Garnet ring

The week is flying by and I have a couple of projects I am still hoping to finish by Friday afternoon. I'm off to Phoenix and then Tucson on Saturday, so the clock is ticking. I just finished a ring for my niece's 16th birthday and carved a wax model for the peridot I took a picture of last week- it is going to be a gorgeous ring. I made sure it fits one of my fingers in case no one else likes it...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blue Topaz

I use blue topaz quite a bit in my work, but usually a round stone, not an oval. This 5X7mm oval has been hidden in a plastic bag at the bottom of my stone drawer for quite awhile. I made a friend a very classic ring with a marquis cut aquamarine set in gold. I think this oval topaz would look great in that design with a claw setting.

To see the completed piece, go to

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Orange sapphire

I liked the green tourmaline ring so much that I decided to make another one in the same design, but used an orange sapphire and accented it with 14k yellow gold. The orange really pops!

Green Tourmaline

Green tourmaline is another one of my favorite stones. Tourmaline comes in a range of greens from lime to blue/green to an amazing turquoise and then in the pink range from pale to bright to a watermelon pink. This 5mm round stone is a rich blue/green. I bought two of them hoping to make a pair of earrings, but they were just different enough of color that I needed to use them separately. That is the difficult thing about tourmalines- trying to match up color! This one is going into a ring.

To see the completed piece, go to

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The photo does not do this stone justice. It has a delicate blue iridescence across the top of the stone which is a milky white in color. I seem to be drawn to this shape of faceted stone. I hadn't realized it until I started going through all of them! This one will be in a ring for sure.

Well, made a beautiful ring and went to set the stone... and I chipped it. I love the ring (it has two diamonds on the side of the setting that look like rivets) and now I am on a search to find substitute. It is a strange size so I might just be out of luck. I hope not!


I have had this stone for so long that is it almost embarrassing to say! It is half amethyst and half citrine that has a color blend in the middle of the stone as it changes. Really cool! Maybe a ring, maybe a pendant. I'll decide sometime in the next couple of days.

To see the completed piece, go to


I purchased this stone last year after drooling over a ring that was made by Atelier Munsteiner in Germany. I could not afford the ring or any of their cut stones, but figured I could use this interesting peridot and make a ring that was influenced by what I saw. I think I will make this ring to fit on one of my fingers in case it doesn't sell.....!

Friday, January 14, 2011


This is a stone I had never hear or seen before I went to the Tucson Gem show. I love green, so I totally feel in love with the color of prehnite. It has an inner glow to it and reminds me a bit of moonstone. This stone is 14 X 10 mm and is called a checkerboard cushion cut. I have a ring design that I haven't made in years that I think it will look good in.

To view the completed piece, go to

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Aquamarine crystals

When I saw these aquamarines I knew I just had to have them. The color is just amazing! I always thought aquamarines came in a light blue, but like most gemstones, they come in different colors and then shades of those. These are the actual aquamarine crystals that are drilled through like a bead and then polished lightly. I think that they should be kept together for the most impact instead of used individually or in pairs for earrings. I guess I'm making a necklace!

To view the completed piece, go to

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Garnet and Rubellite

I have one more of the beautiful pink rubellite stones. I thought that a garnet compliments the richness of the rubellite and would look great together in a ring. They are just different enough- the garnet is darker and is a faceted round stone compared to the brighter oval tourmaline. Should be nice!

To view the completed piece, go to

Pair of Lemon quartz

I bought a small pair of lemon quartz the same time that I got the two big ones that are now in rings. These one scream out earring just because of the size and the fact that I have two. I'm going to try and keep it a simple, clean design.

To view the completed piece, go to

Monday, January 10, 2011

Aquamarine Cabachon

This aquamarine cabachon is a larger cab- it measures about 14 X 10mm. It has a lot of visible inclusions but that is what attracted me to it in the first place. It reminds me of winter and seems like a beautiful piece of ice. Aquamarines can be rather pale and lifeless, but not this one.

To view the completed piece, go to

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lemon Quartz

This is a really interesting lemon quartz that I bought about six years ago! I had two and made a ring out of the first one and that is what this will be too. The stone is really deep, so it is going to make a big, bold piece compared to the rubellite ring I just made.

To view the completed piece, go to