December 30, 2009

Sharing with you the person that always supports me!!

Being busy with work, it's not often that we can have a nice dinner anymore. To give thanks and to start the new year great, I treated my mom and sister to a nice dinner at Danny Brown tonight. It was so yummy! Below are some photos from my sister's iPhone.

Me and Shirley

Last note, me and mom again! She is so great to me, especially because she allows me to follow what I wish.

December 27, 2009

The Collaborative Habit

This afternoon, I bought The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp from Twyla Tharp is also the author of "The Creative Habit." A really good book for any artist who needs to harvest their creativity!

I wonder if her newest book will be comparable to "The Creative Habit." Anyway, I can't wait to receive her book in the mail soon!

5 Year Plan

I found out that Yoko Ono is one of the participating artist for a collaborative project called the 5 Year Plan. What I love so much about this project is that their mission is to help artisans who practice traditional crafts but may have been overlooked by the global economy. So 32 artists are putting a book together in honor of "sustainable mode of production." Check out the site and the video below to find about more about it.

5 Year Plan from swirly byraloo on Vimeo.


reading from Paua Dreams Blog

Some questions/issues I found interesting in Paua Dreams' article Identity Issue-

"the general reluctance on the part of these jewellers to accept the label ‘Swedish jeweller"

"the only way they seemed to understand this label was as a descriptor of theme or material – Swedish jewellery as jewellery that in some way declares its Swedishness through references to national/ethnic traditions, or local or natural materials"

"What are good and bad methods of thinking about, or relating to, national identity in jewellery? E.g. what is Swedishness in contemporary jewellery, and what value does it offer for Swedish jewellery to engage with local traditions?"

"It is interesting that Americans seem to have no trouble applying the term American jewellery to their work, or Australians the idea of Australian jewellery."

something to think about

December 26, 2009

More pics from the holiday sale

Finally got myself to put the photos I took onto my computer. Here are the pictures from the 3rd Ward Craft Fair.

The crowd...It was also really cold that day! Vendors including myself had to wear their jackets all day.

My display...

Sam's Christmas tree!!! Cutest thing ever

Our setup together

She's SMILING!! Sam is so happy! It was a good day.

We also made cookies the night before the sale! We actually didn't make as many cookies as planned because of time; and we also didn't get to package them nicely. But it still turned out great! Chocolate Chai Spice Shortbread and Pumpkin Cookies were the cookies we had time to make. Not only pretty and yummy but they are vegan!! That makes them extra special! Thanks to Amanda who also helped us bake. Sam and I were so exhausted that night. Definitely if we were to make any baked goods the next time around, we would have to prepare two nights before or start earlier in day- not 9pm, what were we thinking?! But the results!!!

It was a sell out!

Thanks to Sam for being there with me. It was nice that we did the sale together. Have to pat ourselves in the back because we both did good!

Through it all, most importantly, I learned to always enjoy and have fun with everything!!

December 24, 2009

highlights from the last two weeks

Studio 11's first holiday sale!!!

Yummy treats!

Jackie's jewelry

Abbi's jewelry

Kareen's jewelry

My stuff

Steph's jewelry

The turnout wasn't so great. But still, it was good to have our first sale together! I enjoyed it so much!! (Thanks to Steph for taking all these pictures)

For the 3rd Ward Holiday Sale, please check out Steph's blog for pictures. We both made some good sales. I was happy to have done it and be a part of the fair. Supposedly, I did great for my first time. That is something to be proud of.

Now, I will show you some photos of work that I sold. Hai took some very interesting photos. There are special functions on the camera I am not so familiar with, but here you can see how my jewelry looks under the HDR effect.

I feel like I make such sea creature works.

And now, some real photos...

I am so amazed at how much the camera can capture. I really want a good camera!!

December 20, 2009

(via reference library).

coming to an end of 2009...

The calender helps me mark time. About two weeks before 2010 so I better slow down and think about what I've done this entire year. I am in serious need of writing.

I started 2009 back home in New York after several months in Hong Kong. Realized that hand rendering jewelry designs was not meaningful or exciting to me; it was the last thing I wanted to focus on. The environment and community in Hong Kong was very different from what I was used to too. With the collapsing economy, I knew that finding a job would not be an easy task once I arrived back home. Wanting to search for something that would make me feel productive and get paid for it might be a lot to ask for when people were just trying to find any job to make basic means. But I was determined to look for it and really needed it. In the back of my mind though, I knew I was limited in time because of my school loans that I had to start paying off soon. So I did not just limit myself to jewelry jobs. I searched for a lot of art organizations, gallery and museum work along with fine and costume jewelry companies. The researching was very overwhelming in the beginning. Not knowing where to begin and what I was looking for was very disorienting. But I learned to organize and reminded myself that beginnings are normally difficult.

From my experience in Hong Kong, definitely, I realized I wanted something more multitasking and interactive. After some interviews and talking to different people, I slowly realized what was out there and what seemed interesting to me. Sort of narrowing my likes and dislikes.

In March, an opportunity came to work part time for a fine/fashion jewelry company. I was basically a production assistant, making their jewelry. I knew that I love using my hands. It was good in seeing how a small company was growing.

In June, I finally got the job I have now, producing all the handmade jewelry. Here, I am handling a lot more tasks. Receiving multiple sales order and completing the order through my own making along with jewelers on 47th street. It can be a lot of work sometimes since I am juggling all of the orders myself. But I think I am learning how to deal with more stress and problems that can randomly occur. Things that are sometimes out your control have to be dealt with through finding some sort of solution. I tell myself that even though the jewelry piece did not turn out to be the way I envisioned it, it's the outcome because we just had to make the best out of the situation and circumstance. Time management and communication are two essential skill I have learned. Maintaining good relationships and connections with friends and coworkers will also work in one's favor. I am so thankful for the people I work with.

In September, I finally started this blog. I've been doing so much research on jewelry this entire year. Looking at jewelry galleries, design blogs, all sorts of jewelry companies, personal blogs, etc etc. I observed what others were doing and it was something I wanted to have too. Sharing what I like, what I find interesting and what I want to remember are the fundamental reasons why I started this blog. Definitely a method of recording was what I needed because I was receiving so much information I liked.

In October, an opportunity came to have a studio share with 5 other jewelers. It was so exciting for me because I really wanted and needed a space to work on my own jewelry. I knew that making someone else's jewelry is not something I could forever. So I joined this studio share. As I was internet browsing, I learned that the holiday craft shows and fairs were approaching. The deadline to submit applications were really really soon. I wanted to give it a shot and crank out work. If I didn't get accept, I would just say that it was my lack of time in making better pieces but if I did get accepted, I would be really happy. Fortunately, I did get accepted to the 3rd Ward Craft Fair. I had one month preparation before the show. Doing things last minute was extremely stressful. At the same time, my friend, Hwa, was also opening her gallery in Korea. So I had to make work for her holiday show/sale too.

To put even more things on my plate, I opened my etsy shop the second week of November. During this November period, things were happening left and right. I had no idea how everything just started to pile up or what I was getting into. Definitely learning to prepare in advance and taking my time with things is what I know now. Knowing my limit in how much I can take on is something I am still learning.

Dec 12 was the 3rd Ward Craft Fair and Dec 13 was my own studio sale. At the end, everything turned out okay. All the work was worth it. I like to look at it as a good learning experience. Knowing how speak to a customer is important for them to understand and buy the work; that I learned is so necessary!

Christmas/ holiday time is an extremely busy period. I've been working nonstop. Finally, I am getting from rest. I really forgotten how it felt to do nothing! Sleep never felt so good and it is scary to actually sleep so much. I will rest up for the new year. Looking forward to continue my studio time and see what new work I will create.

Graduating school and continuing my own work is definitely a challenge. With all the ups and downs, I am beginning to see how I have to handle the situation. I had a reunion dinner with my high school art teacher. He said to take things one day at a time and as long as I am not emotionally and physically hurt, then I am doing fine. That is something to remember. Great advice to take for 2010. I am eagerly awaiting for a great new year. Although now that I reread what I wrote, I know I gained a lot and it was a good year in learning terms, but it's been a bit mentally exhausting as well. I hope I will not make myself mentally exhausted next year. Patience and knowing that I can figure it out are good reminders.

Warm wishes to everyone! Cheers to a happy new year as well...

December 9, 2009

Learning to document all my pieces. editing photos. measuring length of pieces. what materials were used. remembering how long it took. calculating prices. writing about the piece... it goes on and on.

I've made a bit of pieces this past month. I am beginning to post some pics up on etsy again.

It can be so fun designing while making. But when I have to do all this documentation, I am not super excited about it. I just have to remember that it's all a part of the process.

One piece I am happy about is this bracelet. I've done several color variations. I am calling this the "sea bracelet"

December 1, 2009

oops, i couldn't last a day. i am blogging again.
it's only because you have to check out my friend, Yong Joo's jewelry website!! it's newly launched.

simple and tiny, that's what i like!

November 30, 2009

taking a little break from blogging... hopefully not too long.
day job + own work = too much!

i can't believe it's a day before december!

November 28, 2009

dec 12th...

is my first craft show. Don't really know what to expect or how much to prepare. It is definitely motivating me to make a lot of jewelry, which is really good. But I haven't had much energy or been in the mood to find more visual references or visit other's blogs. That is something I want to do more because I like looking at things. There is much to work on.
Well, I will post some pictures of my latest work when I gather more pieces together.

For more details, please visit 3rdward holiday craft fair. If you are in NY around this time, I would love to see you there!!

November 24, 2009


Check out this site. My friend Melissa has some wonderful jewelry there! One of my favorite is this beautiful piece.

November 22, 2009

jewelry: amulet

An amulet (from Latin amuletum; earliest extant use in Naturalis Historia [Pliny], meaning "an object that protects a person from trouble"), a close cousin of the talisman (from Arabic طلاسم tilasm, ultimately from Greek telesma or from the Greek word "telein" which means "to initiate into the mysteries") consists of any object intended to bring good luck and/or protection to its owner. Potential amulets include: gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants, animals, etc.; even words said in certain occasions—for example: vade retro satana—(Latin, "go back, Satan"), to repel evil or bad luck.

(via Wikipedia).

November 21, 2009

I was introduced to this instrument, a mukkuri, yesterday. It is a very traditional instrument in Japan. I love the sounds that it can make. A friend sent me some songs and it the type of music that can help you take your mind off things and relieve stress. Thought I also share a youtube video of it. Enjoy!

November 12, 2009

get up and move around

Yesterday, I got an email from my friend, Samantha. I think she's been noticing how much I complain about the pain in my neck and shoulders. Sam sent me this article about healthy work habits. Take a look! Simple things that are easily forgotten when you're in working mode.

November 8, 2009

Ban Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds

Sign the PETITION!

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has sent his brutal army to seize control of his country's diamond fields. 200 civilians have been murdered and profits from our wedding rings are used to fuel violent political conflict.

Official diamond regulators meeting in Namibia this week will decide whether to suspend Zimbabwe and stop Mugabe selling his blood diamonds on the world market.

We have just 24 hours to persuade these countries to act - let's get a massive petition together and deliver it directly to the meeting in Namibia. Sign the petition below and then spread the word to anyone who doesn't want our gifts of love to finance hate.

November 7, 2009

New Etsy Shop!

Please visit me here.

Feedback always welcomed and very much appreciated!
Two days ago at work, I was using the polishing machine to get rid of the oxidization on a pendant. While I moving the piece side to side, the chain on the pendant got caught into the machine as it was spinning. Don't know how it happened, but I guess I wasn't so alert. Luckily, the chain just slashed my left hand a little bit and it didn't slice my finger off. I talked to some my jewelers yesterday and they told me scary stories about using the polishing machine. I never knew how dangerous the machine was. So long story short, never polish something with a chain attached!! Also, protect your eyes and hands!

November 6, 2009

Listening to...

I've been listening to a lot of Zencast while I'm making jewelry. So much time can pass by and I just let my mind wander. It's good to listen to some teachings and explore Buddhism. Gil Fronsdal is a great speaker.

That's how I've been spending my time...

November 5, 2009

Jellyfish Swarm, Palau
Photograph by David Doubilet
(via National Geographic)

November 4, 2009

Photograph by Peter Essick
(via National Geographic)

I love the textures and colors.

November 1, 2009

Posted some new work on my portfolio website.

Some of my favorites...

Thanks to Pat for taking these pictures!

October 31, 2009

studio weekend...

make work make work make work

October 27, 2009

I find comfort in looking at historical jewelry. Structure and form are present in those works.

Title: Woman's Bracelet
Date: 19th–early 20th century
Culture :Minangkabau
Geography: Indonesia, Sumatra
Medium: Wood, gold leaf, metal, paint
Dimensions- Hx W x D: 2 3/4 x 4 3/4 x 5 in. (7 x 12.1 x 12.7 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Fred and Rita Richman, 1988
(via MMA).

Classic forms are always beautiful. It made me think about the time, environment and setting when much older pieces were made. Artisans back then did not have studio spaces like what we may have now. It amazes me how they handcrafted such jewelry. So I looked further into 'place' from the Photography Study Collection in the MMA site. I think it's a great place for some visual resource.