Thursday, June 27, 2013

sri lanka: part one

Our flight to Sri Lanka arrived after midnight.  The first thing I noticed was the hot heaviness and smoky smell of the air.  We rested for a few days at Ging Oya Lodge before heading South.

 We arrived in the Portuguese/Dutch fort town of Galle by bus.  After a very long and hectic travel day, we treated ourselves to a night at The Fort Printers. The town itself is a mix of cultures and quite charming, with the highlight being the old ramparts that encircle it.

I was ecstatic to come across a jewelry workshop and see a bench in usual disarray.

We continued along the Southern coast to the beach town of Unawatuna.  Along the way were ghosts of buildings destroyed by the Tsunami and you cannot help but think how eerily close the road and train tracks run to the water's edge.   Once in Unawatuna we found loads of European tourists basking in the hot sun and sipping fruity drinks and Lion Lager.  It was a bit more crowded here than we like, so we decided to push onwards.

Before we left, we got to enjoy a rice and curry feast in a family home cooked over these bright red coals.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

rose gold feather ring

I love the softness of the feather ring in rose gold that I created for a proposal.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

natural dye workshop

A few weeks back I attended a natural dye class with my friend Christine at the absolutely amazing Grow Kitchen in Sebastopol, California.  The workshop was taught by the equally amazing Rebecca Burgess, founder of the The Fibershed Project, author, educator and artist.  We were greeted with a spread of homemade jams, jellies and chutneys served with breads and scones from the well loved Wild Flour Bread Bakery and an array of imported teas.  I was already sold.

 We learned about the importance of keeping our clothing and dye local, just like we strive to do with our food.  We were blown away by the range of colors and tones that could be produced on natural fibers using solely plants sourced from our immediate surroundings.

baby indigo plants

 Next was the very gratifying act of mixing dyes from flowers, leaves and roots and testing our hands at creating beautiful colors ourselves.

Oh, and I forget to mention the farm fresh lunch we were served midday.  I highly recommend taking a class at Grow Kitchen if you can.  Christine and I did some antique hunting around Sebastopol afterwards to round out our really great day.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

trunk show: esqueleto, oakland

Esqueleto in Oakland is holding a trunk show for me this Friday and Saturday.  If you've never visited, please do!  It is the most dreamy of spaces and is designer jewelry/home decor heaven.  Below is an interview featured on Esqueleto's blog.

This month the lovely Sarah Greenberg of Sarah Swell Jewelry shares the processes and rituals behind the creation of her raw, handcrafted treasures.

Sarah with her pup, her uber-popular Fishbone Earrings
“I’ve always been an artist and have been painting since I was little. I’ve also always known that I wanted to have my own business. While at art school, I took a jewelry making class on a whim and something clicked. I immediately felt like I had found ‘my thing.’”

Sarah at the bench, custom engagement ring, tools of the trade
“It usually takes a while for a design come full circle. Often I will sketch or collect something that will turn into an idea for a piece months or even years later. Sometimes I wish I could expedite the design process, but that just doesn’t work for me!”

Sarah and her adorable Husky, her clean and bright studio
So what is a typical day in the life of Sarah? “I try to wake up around 6:30 and have breakfast and tea while answering emails. Most mornings I go for a run or hike with my energetic Husky pup before heading to the studio. Generally days are production filled, followed by more emails. I’ve been trying really hard lately to make it home by 6:30 to have some down time and a nice dinner with my husband.”
“Nothing makes my day more than receiving a sweet email from a satisfied customer, it makes me feel like I’ve made a small impact in someones life. The worst part of my day is generally when I burn/cut/grind part of my hand. You’d think by now that I would have learned not to touch hot metal…but I haven’t!”

Sarah’s 1924 bunglaow, Sri Lanka, the California coast
“Currently I’m obsessed with the shrimp ceviche from the Sinaloa taco truck on International in Oakland, fixing up my 1924 bungalow a little bit at a time, collecting vintage tools for the studio, and trying to fit in as much travel as possible (I just returned from an amazing adventure in Sri Lanka).”
Sarah finds much of her inspiration in the natural world. “Nature never ceases to amaze me. The wild California landscape has stolen my heart.”

Sarah will be showing some stunning new work at her trunk show next week!
“I’m looking forward to expanding my bridal collection and creating more one of a kind pieces. Production work can be quite tedious, so working on special jewels will help me stay inspired and keep my designs fresh. I’ve also been really interested lately in textiles and somehow combining my background in painting and drawing into a new project. Stay tuned on this one…right now I have my hands full!”
Sarah will be in the shop for a trunk show with her entire collection next week. Please come meet her and check out her beautiful organic pieces in person!
Sarah Swell Trunk Show
Friday June 7th, 2013 1-9pm
Saturday June 8th, 11-6pm
482 A 49th Street Oakland, CA 94609

    Sarah Swell All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger