Thursday, July 30, 2009

the jewelry collection of my dreams.

Above is an image of my wedding day jewelry (I got married this past September). Being a lover of antique jewelry, this was one of the most exciting parts of planning and shopping for my wedding.

As soon as I got engaged, I started to search for pieces and put together this collection. It took me almost the entire year and a half of our engagement to complete it. The brooch, a gift from my husband, started off the collection shortly after we were engaged and the final piece, the watch band, I finally found two weeks before my wedding! Each piece was purchased separately at different locations, either from antique stores in Philadelphia or ebay. I was working on a budget so it took some serious searching to find pieces that worked together and had the look I was going for but didn't break the bank. (Searching was half the fun anyway!) The metal types vary, from rhodium plated silver, to sterling silver, to white gold and all of the stones are marcasite or imitation sapphires and diamonds. And although they do not match perfectly or were ever meant to be a set, I love how the collection came together in the end.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

an obsession with vintage watches...

Ever since I saw this shot in Anthropologie's July catalog, I have been obsessed with the idea of finding vintage watch faces and pieces to add to my jewelry designs. (Yes, I know... I work for Anthropologie... but I am proud to be inspired by the company that I work for!) I have been tirelessly searching my local antique shops and ebay for broken watches and watch pieces. Can't wait to show you what I come up with!

Monday, July 27, 2009

the magic of reuse

Last semester in my studio class, I challenged myself to use only the metal and scraps I had left over from previous semesters to create a semester's worth of jewelry. I wanted to create designs from on-hand materials rather than buying materials to create preconceived designs... this may, of course, originated from the fact that I was a poor student and couldn't afford to buy more materials at the time, but it was a challenge in creative problem-solving, none the less. In the end, I had pieces that I was even happier with than the pieces I created during previous semesters with a design in mind beforehand.
Above are some of the designs I managed to come up with using only left over metal and chain and, in some cases, vintage book pages (left over from when I created the place cards for my wedding).

This is another technique I worked on that consisted of reusing scraps, which I fell heartbreakingly in love with, called water casting. (For those who don't know, water casting is where you melt metal until it is molten or liquid and pour it into cool water to create these organic, unique shapes.) I had saved all of my scrap metal... literally tiny pieces of metal that would have been considered garbage... and was able to create these beautiful pieces of art, many of which became pendants. Not only was the act of melting metal gratifying to me, but to see the different shapes I created each time was so exciting. You have very little control over how the pieces turn out but that is the sole reason the result is so awe-inspiring!

Even after the semester ended, I still try to find ways to reuse materials in my pieces, from scraps to vintage findings. I always save scraps of chain that eventually I turn into the earring design above. The mixture of different link styles, lengths and number of chains creates a unique pair of earrings every time, that are both simple and beautiful.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

WELCOME! Glad you stopped by to visit...

I love jewelry. What more can I say? I guess a lot since I created this blog to talk about jewelry! So let me introduce myself...
my name is Kelly. I graduated from Temple University in 2003 with a degree in English- creative writing. I am currently attending Moore College of Art and Design for metalsmithing. I have never been happier than when I am in the studio, torch in hand. I love the unique qualities and the perfect imperfections that come with handmade jewelry. I officially started to develop my own business, Villette Jewelry, about two years ago but I have been making jewelry, in one way or another, most of my life. In my day job, I work for Anthropologie, Inc. and love the creative energy there.

Many things inspire me... antique and vintage jewelry, fashion in the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, fellow bloggers and crafters, the small little details that make something special, everything Jane Austen, semiprecious stones, the balance of 3, Alfred Cheney Johnston, pantone colors (especially 550U!), The Humument and other brilliant book art, old B&W or sepia tone photos... the list could go on and on. Currently I am loving hammered metal, london blue topaz and tourmalinated quartz, oxidized silver, monograms, water casting, and combining soft and hard materials in my designs.

I hope you enjoy my blog and Villette Jewelry!