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    NEWS — in the studio

    New Designs On Their Way!

    Brass Stampings

    A common problem for most artists (most creative people in general I'm sure!!) is that we have more ideas in our head than we ever have time to execute. 

    For years now, I've been playing around with the idea of creating a line of "message" jewelry. With the current political climate, now more than ever I think it's important to be loud and proud about not just the things we enjoy, but the ideals we care about deeply

    With that in mind, I finally began working on a line of message jewelry.

    I wanted the line to contain messages that motivate, that bring peace and that make you smile

    Hammered dics

    To make these pieces, first, I sketched out each design: experimenting with fonts and playing with layouts. Then I worked with a graphic designer to turn my chicken scratch into something legible. With the help of my ridiculously gifted friend Amber, we etched out the final designs onto sheets of brass. Once the design was etched, I used a disc cutter to cut out each piece. From there, the piece gets cleaned, blackened (to make the design pop) and lightly polished.

    Brass sheets

    I'll be making these new designs available for purchase on my website soon. To find out when they will be released, join our email list (link in the footer of this page) 

    And keep checking the website for more of these sassy, smart ass, fearless message jewelry -- because my brain isn't slowing down anytime soon! 

    Studio Sneak Peek: Hammers, Pliers & Dust

    Bench Triptych

     

    The Queens Metal studio is tucked away in a quiet New Orleans neighborhood, just two blocks from the Mississippi River. 

    As I work, I can hear giant ships blowing their horns as they pass by. If I open the door to my studio, I am hit by a wave of heat in the summer and the smell of sweet jasmine in the spring. 

    In short, my studio is a tiny bit of paradise. It's also the place where I design and make everything in the Queens Metal collection.

    Soldering Station

    My workbench serves double duty as a soldering station and the place where i do all of my sawing, filing and forming.  

    Sawed Pendant

    A bench pin extends from the top of my desk and allows for more freedom of movement while polishing and sawing. The slit in the center of the bench pin allows me to saw out intricately detailed shapes. 

    Soldering station 

    Another shot of my soldering station.... I've got a bunch of rings ready to be soldered and turned into Friendship Necklaces. That jar of green Ecto Cooler looking stuff in the background is actually flux -- the solution that enables solder to flow between joints. 

    Ball Peen Hammer

    The hammer I use the most... my trusty ball peen hammer! This hammer has two faces, a domed side and a flat side. I use mine for flaring out the side of my popular Perfect Hoops among lots of other things. 

    Messy Desk

    Oh and by the way, this is what my workbench typically looks like.... dusty. cluttered, and disorganized :) 

    xoxo Krista 

    The Beginning!

    The first piece of jewelry I ever made that I was truly proud of was my Rocker Chick ring

    Rocker Chick

    I'd been dabbling with jewelry making for a while, and making the things most new jewelers make: blobby circles, overly-hammered linked shapes, etc.

    Then I took a wax carving class and everything changed. 

    I realized I could create in metal any shape I dreamed of, beyond the limitations of wire and sheet. I traveled to Thailand for vacation and was inspired by a random shape I encountered while wandering one day: a sleek, curved horn with two pointed ends. I envisioned it as a ring, long enough to cover multiple fingers. I sketched it in my travel journal, and when i returned to the states, i carved it in wax and cast it in sterling silver.

    rocker chick ring

    When I finally had the finished product in my hands, I knew that this piece was the beginning of everything I had envisioned for my jewelry line. It was a balance of hard and soft; the curving form was enduringly feminine, while the pointed ends were tough and masculine.

    To this day (13 years later!) it's still the ring that i wear the most. And I have such a personal affinity for this ring, whenever a customer buys it, I have to control myself from hugging them. This ring is where my life as a jeweler and a small business owner began and when someone else falls in love with this ring, I feel like maybe I'm meeting a kindred spirit.