Buyer’s Market

When I first met Jenni Brant, of BurroBranch, though the Etsy Mud Team, I immediately recognized some of her work and posted a little something about it on the Night Kitchen. Some months later she got in touch with me again: One of her pieces, she said, had been picked as a finalist in the Niche Magazine awards contest and she’d be coming from Nebraska to Philadelphia to hand deliver it. The contest was happening simultaneous with the big craft buyer’s market at the Philadelphia Convention Center, in mid-February. Could she stay on my couch?

Of course, I said yes, albeit my couch is uncomfortable and she’d be overrun with cats. We made some preliminary arrangements. But then, just a little over a week before she was supposed to come, she told me she was totally bogged down in work. She asked if I would be willing to hand deliver her piece, if she shipped ASAP, and she would include a little gift and a pass to check out the market. I couldn’t down that offer!

So she whisked her piece over and I jumped on a bus with it Friday morning and delivered it to the show. Then came the cool part! The Buyer’s Market is specifically for wholesale crafters, and you are not allowed in if you are not a buyer or affiliated with a gallery or shop. Or, if you have a special pass. Which I did. So I spent well over two hours meandering through, checking out some truly amazing jewelery and other goodies along the way.

Some stuff, I have to say, was mediocre. Some of the ceramics was particularly not notable, unfortunately, but there were a few that really stood out. There were some things there that were just plain weird (pizza clocks?). But for the most part I was awed and dazzled by the literally hundreds of incredible fine jewelers and metal smiths, not to mention teased and tempted by wholesale price markings on everything!

Here’s a few of the highlights, from the folks I was able to grab business cards from:

Jewelry by Nora Dougherty,
Jewelry by Nora Dougherty,

Sarah Graham Metalsmiths,
Sarah Graham Metalsmiths,

Jacob Albee Goldsmith,

Jacob Albee Goldsmith,

Danny Kamerath Woodworking,

Danny Kamerath Woodworking,


Petal Power

Here’s another pick straight from my Etsy favorites: an amazing pair of petal earrings by Esdesigns. She’s a popular seller on Etsy, and no wonder! Just look at the details of those veins and how she captures the organic feel of the plant. Plus her crisp, colorful photographs are to die for…How does she do it?? And how can I get me a pair??

Published in: on December 11, 2008 at 11:37 pm  Comments (1)  

Shopping Around

Doing some Etsy holiday shopping gives me a good excuse to look through my favorited shops and check out all the new exciting stuff they’ve added!

Like Deana, at OctopusMe, who has this amazing new cast sterling silver octopus necklace, with a little blue diamond. I have one of her gorgeously detailed creations and I wear it all the time (to the puzzlement of my coworkers, I believe). And yes, she casts them with real octopus.

And also yes, I have been criticized in the past by animal rights supporters for promoting her shop. In response, I asked Deana to explain a little bit about her process to me. This was her response:

“Yes, (the octopus is) sushi grade from the store. Some eat it, I just turn it in to art. The original octopus tentacle is burnt out in the kiln to make a negative space of the piece. Then molten metal is heated and thrown in to the flask to get the shape and texture. Then it is cleaned with files, brushes, etc. I mold it next so the same piece is used over and over :). There are actually only 4 tentacle pieces used in all of my designs. But after I cut off the tip for art, photograph it for my business cards, I eat it!!! It’s good and not cheap! ha ha ha! So there is no killing here, no poaching, no waste and no rotting octopus inside 🙂 It’s just a little food, fun and art! Just like life should be…”

Perhaps not a good gift for vegetarians, but as an omnivore (who sometimes wears leather and enjoys calamari now and again) I think it’s really a very clever way to create something so unusual and beautiful.

Either way, it sure is a conversation starter!

Published in: on December 8, 2008 at 12:27 am  Comments (5)  

Now I’m dreaming…

I think it’s a pretty good bet that I’m not getting married any time soon. But hey, if one of you handsome men out there get so enthralled with my art that you decide to propose, sight unseen, here’s the ring to get my attention.

A pearl set in a hand-forged silver band, from Higher Chakra Creations….!! Save the diamonds for some other girl!

Published in: on April 15, 2008 at 10:57 pm  Comments (3)  


More spring-style jewelry to brighten up your week.

This amazing lotus-flower ring from Lakshmi Sonbuchner, at Aloka, is just one piece out of an entire collection of stunning work. Simple, elegant shapes and serene, organic designs – I want every single one!

Published in: on April 9, 2008 at 8:16 pm  Comments (2)  



I totally fidget. I play with odds and ends, chew pens, snap rubber bands. I love things that I can twiddle between my fingers and, quite possibly, sneak into my mouth when no one’s looking (I’m sorry, it’s true! Make any Freudian judgments you like).

So you can imagine I was salivating when I saw this sterling silver ring, by RuralAbandon. I mean, it looks fun off the bat. But then you learn that all the little arms move independently and jangle! She quotes a customer who called it “a party on my finger!”

I must have this play-thing!!!

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 8:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

See me, feel me, touch me…

Ever have a piece of jewelry that you just can’t stop playing with? You feel it, wrap it around your fingers, jangle it, tug on it…

These beautiful earrings, by Mary of MLMjewelry, seem just perfect for that! I want to reach right in through my computer screen and touch them. Oh, and as a side note? They are also amazingly freakin’ gorgeous.

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm  Comments (1)  

Yes, please!


I admit it – I wear too much black. It’s not that I’m goth or that (as my friends think) I have an aversion to wearing clothes with bright colors. It’s just that I like to reach, tired and bleary-eyed, into my closet every morning knowing that everything I pull out is going to match.

Same goes for the jewelry. That’s why these onyx and silver earrings by Elaine Haydon instantly called to me. Elegant, easy, goes-with-everything… I’ll take two!!

Published in: on March 14, 2008 at 10:34 am  Comments (2)  

I want…

…These! I really had trouble picking just one piece to feature from Stephanie, of Blue Lily Designs! But I had to show off these beautiful earrings! My favorite part is that the silver hoops are hand forged and hammered. It’s that kind of detail that I think brings you closer to the artist – you feel like someone really put the care, attention and craftsman’s skill into making the piece. Besides, who can resist turquoise?

Published in: on February 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: ,


Love the simple, clean design of these earrings from Susan, of Capitola Girl Jewelry. For the not overly-sentimental (like me), these would be a perfect little Valentines Day accessory…Hopefully we’ll see other color options coming soon, as well!

Published in: on February 4, 2008 at 3:09 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,