Shop Update

Black Horse Hair and Garnet Earrings

I’ve added some new items to my Etsy shop and not just any items, but my two favorite pieces I have in stock right now.

First up are these horse hair earrings above. I love the earrings. The hammered bead cone on top of the horse hair and garnet just makes these look so classy. Hopefully I can get some more of these bead cones and add them to most of my horse hair earrings.

Black HH with HornOften I use a variety of bead to finish off the earrings, which give the earrings a rustic feel, like those at right. But these shiny hammer sterling tops really kick it up a notch, as Emeril would say, and give it the flash and sophistication needed for a more classic style.

The other reason I love these: the photo actually captures the color of the garnet drops. I really need to invest in an SLR camera and macro lens. Not in the budget today, so I need to figure out the intricacies of my current camera, and I’m not exactly an ace. I snap lots of photos and hope for the best. The stars aligned, or maybe the lighting was just right, when I took that picture.

Next up is this pair of quilled earrings.

Quilled TearDrop Earrings

I love these because they are my second “break out” piece (I’ll be posting my first break out piece later this week). By break out piece I mean I finally made the craft my own and did my own thing.

Porcupine quillwork is a very old art and much of what is know about it was collected by a Smithsonian scientist in the early 1900s.By the time he talked with quillworkers who’d learned their craft from generations of other quillworkers this technique was falling out of favor among most Native American Indians. There isn’t much information on quillwork, and it makes you wonder how much of craft was lost along the way.

I’m not of Native American descent (at least not that I know of) and had no one to teach me the techniques, so for years I’ve been teaching myself porcupine quillwork by reading books, looking a museum pieces and using classic trial and error. The designs and techniques I’ve done up until recently have been literally by the book, or the way people interpreted the creation of quillwork, so I could learn the techniques. With these earrings I decided to do a different shape with the quills and the leather. An artist was born.

This was reinforced yesterday while listening to a CraftCast podcast interviewing Thomas Mann. Imitation is how we learn, he said, and once you move beyond the imitation you can become your own artist. Mann goes on to explain how imitation as learning manifests itself at craft show where in a certain time period all the work looks similar. (An interesting note for you locals: Thomas Mann embarked on his art-laden path at 8 years old when he began attending the Baum School of Art in Allentown.) The podcast is worth a listen, as are most of Alison Lee’s CraftCast podcasts.

I’ll keep you updated as I add more pieces to my shop in the next few days.

In the meantime, I took a little fieldtrip into my beadbox to make a few gifts for Mother’s Day and birthdays. Here are the results:

Hematite and Porcelain Necklace

Hematite and porcelain bead necklace with…

Porcelain Earrings

…matching earrings.

Bead and Pearl Earrings

A pair of bead and pearl earrings.

Red Porcelain and Suede Earrings Polka Dot Cylinders

My friend picked out the red porcelain beads and pink cylinders with black polka dots and I made them into earrings for her. Hope she likes them.

Ante Up For Charity!

Red-Tailed Hawk CloseThese are the final days of the charity auction at Out of Our Hands, a shop of fine handcrafts in Emmaus, PA. I have my items on sale there, and I’ve donated porcupine quill earrings to the auction. You buy raffle tickets at $1 each and they pick the winners out of the hat this Friday, January 18, 2008. Call the store if you’d like to get in on the action. Artists have donated more than $1,500 worth of merchandise to the auction.

Proceeds from the raffle go to each of our chosen charities. My charity is Lehigh WildCare Wildlife Education Center. This nonprofit organization is near and dear to my heart as I have volunteered there over the past few years. As a wildlife educator I take non-releasable wild animals out into the public sector to educate people about wildlife and wildlife issues. Hence the red-tailed hawk pictured at left.

I have been involved in wildlife rehabilitation and education since 1996. I’ve worked with all sorts of animals over the years, from herons and owls to squirrels and rabbits to turtles and snakes, but one of my favorites is the red-tailed hawk. This beautiful bird inspired the name for my business. I’ll save the full story of how that came about for some other day.

As you’ve probably noticed by now, I’ve finally made the jump to the blogging world. For those of you, who have been to my web site before, you’ll notice a new and improved web site with blog component, plus a link to my Etsy shop. I’ll have horse hair jewelry, porcupine quill jewelry and fabric items up for sale in Etsy soon!

Hello world!

ID Horse Hair Bracelet on Sea Glass

I’m finally here, in the blogging world. After lots of encouragement from several people I’ve decided to take the plunge.

Although I’m by not means a techno-phobe, I’m usually a little slow to embrace new technology. I tend toward the skills that have been around for a while…things like jewelry making, embroidery and tanning. But here I am, ready to take you a wild adventure that is what I create.

My main business products right now are jewelry, specifically horse hair jewelry and porcupine quill jewelry. I plan to have them up on my Etsy shop soon so you can buy something new and exciting.

Plus I also create custom pieces. Click on the horse hair and porcupine quill tabs at the top of the page. For the horse hair jewelry, like this ID bracelet above, I use hair that a person sends me from their horse and create a very unique piece. It’s lot of fun for me and the people who get to wear always have a reminder of their horse around.