Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My New Logo

I am very excited about my new logo, which I just designed. My two-year-old is in love with the moon, so I made a moon and stars logo, inspired by him!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thank You To My Clients!

I just wanted to thank all of my wonderful clients. Without them, EmilyWiserJewelry would not exist.

Here are some highlights from my shop's feedback that make me so happy:

snapshotsunmade says:
delicate and pretty. I like that they are unique. thanks so much.

noanoa2 says:
Beautiful, simple and delicate! They will be an everyday favorite. I definitely recommend these!

terami says:
Thank you! These are perfect. x

claireroyer says:
Beautiful! Emily guided me on which stones to choose. Went with moonstone and mother of pearl. So pleased with the result. This is for a good friend's birthday. She is going to love it. Thanks again Emily!

sylviatbrink says:
I'm super happy with them! And thanks so much for the little present :-)

URNemesis108 says:
I love these rings! They are so dainty, And the joining and soldering are as good as invisible. I can tell that the artist really loves what she does, IT shows! Thank you for such wonderful work!

annieharry says:
got my rings today, they are gorgeous! can't wait to wear them, but i have to wait for christmas.

bonsaiguy75 says:
Beautiful crafstmanship, incredibly responsive to questions, and sent the products before the estimated timeframe. Definitely will recommend Emily to others!!

chicahot says:
Just perfect.

claireroyer says:
Love it!!! Stone is colorless and setting is simple yet elegant. Perfect for everday or dressing up. Emily's work is superb and customer service is top notch. Repeated happy customer who will definitely be back. Thank you!

hannahtodd says:
Amazing workmanship! Love the way this ring fits and looks. Very fast shipping

shillson says:
These topaz briolettes are absolutely stunning!

wanitten says:
Very delicate, sit comfortably - I hardly know I'm wearing them (some stacking rings don't sit as nicely). Great everyday look to honor my two boys.

checky1 says:
These are such beautiful rings! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I really love them, and they fit perfectly:) Your work is extraordinary!

ghanagyrl says:
Absolutely gorgeous rings! They arrived in a beautiful package, and once I tried them on...I never wanted to take them off. I am saving up my money to buy the same style in rose gold. I love them!

terami says:
I love my ring! It arrived quickly and is exactly what I hoped it would be. Emily is a great seller and I would definitely buy from her again.

denasiegert says:
Beautiful workmanship and great contact.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How To Get More Twitter Followers

Sterling silver & aquamarine briollette earrings. Earrings & photo by Emily Wiser.

I know a lot of my readers are also Etsy sellers. So, I'll share some tips on how to get more Twitter followers.
1) Reciprocate. This means following people back and retweeting people who tweet you first.
2) Participate in Follow Friday. Type #FF and then @TwitterName to tell all your followers.
3) No Bots! Don't use any of the bots to send automated tweets. Don't you always hang up on those computerized telemarketing calls? People don't want to read robot tweets.
4) Twitter client. I use Tweetdeck. It works great. It allows you to make columns so you can actually sort and read your tweets.
5) Conversation. Don't just spam people. Tell them about yourself. Talk about something else once in a while besides what you're selling.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The New Year

A little while back, I wrote and published a true short story about being pregnant. Maybe you'd like to take a look at it. It's just as much a part of me as my jewelry.

The New Year by Emily Wiser.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Soldering Fun

Silver solder chips on firebrick. Photo by Emily Wiser.

Soldering sterling silver is a fun process. Above, I've taken a photo of one of my firebricks. I put sterling rings on the firebrick, heat the ring, then melt one of the silver solder chips you see in the photo. The solder balls up, and I can pick it up with my pick and drop it onto the ring. At the very end, you get a beautiful sterling silver stacking ring (see below).

Sterling silver stacking ring. Ring & photo by Emily Wiser.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Studio During Christmas Rush

thought I might entertain you with a photo of my studio during Christmas rush season. Everyone is ordering and much jewelry to make! Yay! In the photo above, you see an engraving ball, which holds pieces while you engrave them. The orange ear muffs are hearing protection. You can get constant ringing in your ears and deafness from the high-pitched ping of the silversmith's hammer. The red handle above it is a jeweler's saw. This saw is primo! I love it. The round steel objects are mandrels.

Monday, November 1, 2010

$15 Credit Winners for FB Fanpage Give-Away!

Sterling Silver Stacking Ring $10. Ring & Photo by Emily Wiser.

Shannon Szostek, Kathleen Boylan, and Kelly Price Tanner are the lucky fans who have each won a $15 credit (and free shipping) from my etsy shop: http://emilywiserjewelry.etsy.com . The jewelry must be shipped directly to you, and you have six months to use your credit! So, stop by shop and pick out your goodies by MAY 1, 2011! Thank you so much to everyone for entering!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vampires & Dark Romance

Dark Romance Ring. Amethyst & Sterling Silver. Ring & Photo by Emily Wiser.
I'm writing a vampire novel. I'm really into vampires after seeing the Twilight movies and True Blood. Inspired by the genre, I've started a line of Dark Romance jewelry. Dark Romance features contrasts of dark and light colors, representing light and dark, good and evil, the innocent heroine and the worldly vampire.

Oxidized Copper Toggle Necklace & Cultured Freshwater Pearl. Photo & Necklace by Emily Wiser.

Oxidized Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings. Hoops & Photo by Emily Wiser.

Dark Romance Stacking Ring Set. White Moonstone, Black Onyx, Sterling Silver. Rings & Photo by Emily Wiser.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Life Of A Studio Cat

Here's a photo of my cat sitting my sweeps drawer. The sweeps drawer holds all your gold and silver dust from your sawing, filing, and sanding. When it's full, you send your dust to a refiner who pays you for it. No waste, no want! And it helps the environment! You work on the bench pin (the wood block), and the dust falls from your workspace into the drawer. My little cat walked out with my gold and silver dust on his fur. I was seriously thinking about nabbing him and shaving off his fur to get my gold and silver dust back!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What is White Palladium Gold?

Traditionally, gold has been "whitened" by alloying gold with nickel. Because many people are allergic to nickel, it's good to find a white gold alloy that's nickel-free. White palladium gold uses palladium (instead of nickel) to mask gold's yellow color. Palladium is a member of the platinum family--a precious metal in its own right.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In The Studio: Engraving Copper Plates

Above: Gravers, India Stone (for sharpening gravers). Photo & gravers by Emily Wiser

I recently took an engraving class, where we learned to engrave copper plates by hand. It's great practice for my engraved book and for learning to hand-engrave jewelry. You can also set stones with gravers. We had to make our own gravers. Here's some photos of my engraving tools. my copper plate, and the print I made from it.

Above: Engraved Copper Plates. I engraved them by hand with the gravers shown above. Photo & plates by Emily Wiser.

Above: A block print from the engraved copper plate. I inked it by hand, wet paper, and pressed it down on the engraved plate.
Photo & print by Emily Wiser.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

In The Studio: Palladium & 14K Rose Gold Wedding Band

Palladium & 14K Rose Gold Wedding Band. Ring & Photo by Emily Wiser.

A bride-to-be recently emailed me to request a custom palladium and 14K rose gold wedding band. She had seen my 2 separate rings, and wanted the bands soldered together. Palladium melts at much higher temperature than rose gold. It was going to be a tricky business, but I finished it successfully! Here are some pictures.

Above: Cutting the 14K rose gold and palladium to size.
Shears, ruler, ring sizing chart. Photo by Emily Wiser.

Above: 14K rose gold ring on the soldering block. In the background is the pickle pot.
Photo by Emily Wiser.

Above: Lighting the torch. Yes, I did take this photo with a lit torch in one hand and a camera in the other!
Photo by Emily Wiser.

Above: Soldering palladium. High-heat soldering block. Photo by Emily Wiser.

Above: 14K rose gold and palladium ring is ready for sanding. Ring & photo by Emily Wiser.

Above: Sanding 14K rose gold & palladium ring. In a ring vise, sanding with a flex shaft. Ring & Photo by Emily Wiser.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In the Studio: Stacking Rings

Emily Wiser's Jeweler's Bench. Photo by Emily Wiser.
I'm in the middle of making a 14K white gold tube-set stacking ring with faceted gemstone and a sterling silver stacking ring with black onyx. Here's a picture of the rings in progress. You can see 2 3M radial bristle discs on mandrels. They're used for polishing. You also see large and small jeweler's files, a round-nose pliers, some scrap silver, and a 12mm black onyx cabochon.

Here's what the 2 rings will look like when they're finished.

Above: Sterling silver and black onyx stacking ring. Ring & photo by Emily Wiser.

Above: 14K white palladium gold stacking ring with sapphire. Ring & photo by Emily Wiser.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In The Studio: Adventures in Enameling

Turquoise enameled copper scrap on tripod. Photo and enameling by Emily Wiser

I'm trying enameling for the first time. No teachers. No guidance. I'm learning on my own. But, I did find a great article at ganoskin.com. Here's a picture of my first enameling attempt. (Well, it's not really my first, but it's my first successful one, LOL.)

This is a piece of copper sitting on a steel screen. The screen is set on a tripod. I applied the turquoise opaque enamel 4 times, fixing it with Pantene hairspray. I heated it each time with a propane torch from underneath. I got the really deep color by adding a 5th layer of translucent turquoise enamel.

I'm going to make some cute enamel disc earrings and enameled flowers. Pictures soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thank You!

Aquamarine & Sterling Silver Stacking Rings. Photo & Rings by Emily Wiser

would like to thank all of my clients who have written positive reviews on my etsy page. Thanks for being so supportive of me! I do read all of your reviews, and it makes me feel so happy to see that you like and enjoy my jewelry. One of the best parts about making custom jewelry is working with wonderful clients. Here's a small highlight of your wonderful reviews:

megynjory says:

My new favorite seller! Not only was shipping and communication flawless but the ring itself is perfection. The fact that she hand makes her jewelry makes it even more special. It's so comfortable I'll wear it daily. Thank you Emily Wiser!!

stephaniemh1 says:

I love this ring!!! It is more than I could have imagined and will buy a ring for my mom with the grandkids birthstones.....! Beautiful and very happy! Thank you!

ghanagyrl says:

Absolutely gorgeous rings! They arrived in a beautiful package, and once I tried them on...I never wanted to take them off. I am saving up my money to buy the same style in rose gold. I love them!

hazydazy14 says:

Pretty, delicate ring, I love it, thanks.

selena43 says:

Wonderful fit and customer service as Emily kept in touch with me and provided timely status updates. Thank you!

TheBarkingTree says:

She totally loves it!!!!!!!!!! Perfect!!!!!!!!

erinmchugh says:

Lovely, understated ring arrived today. Very light to wear, perfect with everything! Very pleased with purchase, thank you!

kirbylynn says:

We had a bit of drama with the USPS but Emily was just so patient and kind--really above and beyond what was expected. My ring just arrived and I'm enthralled, it's beautiful, and I can't wait to order more pretty things from you in the future!

TiffanyTalavera1 says:

It is the perfect amount of elegance and simplicity. Thanks Emily, you always leave as a happy customer.

librariangirl says:

Lovely item and more beautiful in person. I will be a repeat customer!

robynsquyres says:

Emily is WONDERFUL! She really went above and beyond. Thanks a million!

StarlitPotions says:

Got the ring today, it's really pretty! Couldn't be happier. Turn around time was fast and the item fits perfectly. Would buy from again. Thank you!

britbart says:

Love the rings, I've been showing them off for two days straight since I received them. People will soon think I'm nuts, but the work is awesome. Great customer service as well. Thanks!

sewcutefashions says:

my grandmother LOVED it!! made her cry (in a good way)!!

primeval75 says:

lovely rings - very friendly seller - thank you so much *****

ammullins says:

The artist got them to me so quickly, I was impressed. They are very well-made and beautiful- my mom LOVES them!

Love2BInspired says:

WOW!!! THIS IS PERFECT I TELL U!! PERFECT...Do I sound excited? Everything about this ring and my earrings are wonderful..I love the stones, the band is so cute, the earring backings are wonderful..the packaging was great, and fast shipping. I felt like a princess and will be wearing my ring everyday!! Thanks so much..def. coming back for more of this wonderful artist pieces.

LiciaBeads says:

Adorably petite everyday wearers, I love these little guys! They have a sweetly handmade quality that I appreciate a lot. Thanks Emily!

krislea79 says:

love, love, love these rings! Thanks!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Organic Pickle Recipes

Large black onyx and sterling silver stacking ring. Ring and photo by Emily Wiser.
After taking classes at Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco this summer, I've learned a bunch of ways to pickle jewelry. Pickling is simply cleaning jewelry with acid after you've soldered it. In the old, old days, silversmiths used hot white vinegar. Now, we often use sulphuric acid or Sparex. I used to use sulphuric acid. Then, one day, while I had my pickle pot open, and hot, steaming, sulphuric acid fumes were wafting out, a fly flew through this cloud and just dropped dead right out of the air! "Hmmm," I thought. "Maybe this isn't so good for me, either!"

I've been looking around for healthier and environmentally friendly pickle alternatives. So have my teachers and fellow students at school. Here's the alternatives:

1. Citric Acid. That's right--the kind that comes from citrus fruits. It's available in a powder form from Otto Frei.

2. Hot White Vinegar & Sea Salt. This is what I use. Keep it piping hot in a crockpot. It smells terrible, but works great! Just imagine salt and vinegar potato chips and you won't mind the smell at all.

3. Just Hot White Vinegar. This is what one of my teachers uses. She just adds some water to the crockpot when it gets low.

4. Lime Juice. One of the students I met at Revere uses this. She says hot lime juice works fine.

5. Kool-Aid. This is the best one, yet. I know that you can dye wool with Kool-Aid. It turns out you can pickle jewelry with it, too! It kind of makes me afraid to actually drink Kool-Aid. Just mix the Kool-Aid with water (don't add sugar). You'll have to refresh your pickle often. Thanks to Shirley at Etsy for this one.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How Much Gold Is In 14K Gold?

14K Solid Rose Gold Stacking Ring. Photo & Ring by Emily Wiser.

Were you aware that the gold in jewelry is not pure gold? Pure gold is called 24 Karat (24K) gold. 24K gold is much too soft to make any durable jewelry! So, pure gold is alloyed (mixed) with other, stronger metals. So, if 24K gold is 100% gold, 14K is 50% gold, and 18K is 75% gold.

Gold is alloyed with copper and silver for strength. Rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper. White gold is an alloy of gold, silver, and palladium, nickel, zinc or other white metal. Green gold is an alloy of gold and silver.

Below: 14K solid gold bead ring. Ring & photo by Emily Wiser.

Friday, September 10, 2010

How To Buy Stones At A Gem Show

Blue sapphire, white topaz, and 14K white palladium gold stacking rings. Rings & photo by Emily Wiser.

just got back from the San Mateo International Gem & Jewelry Show. It was really crazy. Not a lot of professional buyers there, not even in the wholesale section. In the wholesale section, there were a good number of women from bead shops buying briolettes and a lot of rather silly women holding the temporary strung beads up to their necks and saying, "Does this fit?" I must admit they were beautiful stones, and I was tempted to do so myself!

At this gem show, there were a lot of fakes mixed in with the real stuff, and a lot of bad stuff mixed in with the good stuff. How can you tell the real from the fake, and the good from the bad? (Subscribe to my newsletter to get more tips like this. My next issue will tell you how to buy pearls at a gem show!)

Emily's Tips For Buying Stones at a Gem Show
1. Set your spending limit before you go! This is very important!

2. Bring your sales tax number or sales tax certificate with you. If you don't have a sales tax number, you can still buy in the retail section of the show.

3. Bring a 10x jeweler's loupe. This is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you will not be able to tell real from fake gems. I brought 2 loupes: my 10x and my 20x. Look through your 10x first, and then if you see something interesting, you can use the 20x to see more detail.

4. Bring a piece of white paper to hold stones against. You can use your white business card. I simply used an envelope that held my sales tax certificate.

5. Shop at well-lit booths. Surprisingly, there were quite a few booths that were badly lit. It becomes very difficult to see the stones' colors and flaws clearly without good light.

6. It's better to buy fewer stones of a higher quality then more stones of a lesser quality. This is just my preference. I think it's best to be happy with your purchase.

7. Ask the salesperson a question to which you already know the answer. It helps to gauge whether s/he's truthful.

8. Bring a price guide with you. You can use your smart phone or just bring a wholesale catalog. It's difficult to keep the prices of all the different stones in your head.

9. If you see dyed or fake stones being sold at a booth, skip the whole booth. Don't shop there at all. You know you can't trust them.

10. Do not pull out the bead strands. You might have to buy it if you do.

11. Ask them if they will give you a discount. Often, the price marked on the strand is not the price they sell it at.

12. Look through your 10x jeweler's loupe for scratches at the facet joints of the stone. If there are scratches, chances are good it's glass.

Do you want to know how to tell real from fake pearls? Subscribe to my newsletter!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Facebook Fan Page Give-Away!

Sterling silver stacking bead ring $14. Photo & ring by Emily Wiser

I'm giving away 3 $15 gift certificates and free shipping to my etsy shop! To enter to win, just fan (or like) my Facebook fan page at http://facebook.com/emilywiserjewelry by November 1, 2010!

Spreading Happiness Through Jewelry

Well, Etsy likes to send us tips on how to do business better. They emailed Etsy shop owners a link to this blog entry: The 4 P's. I was really inspired by the Philosophy section. It helped me articulate exactly what my business goal is: I want to make people happy by making great jewelry! People can wear my jewelry and take pleasure in it. They can give my jewelry to others and spread happiness. Well, anyways, that's my optimistic assessment of my philosophy. LOL

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In the Studio: 14K Rose Gold and Aquamarine.

Here's a picture of the 14K rose gold with 6mm aquamarine setting being made. The swirl is the end of a rawhide mallet, a jeweler's tool. You see some 6mm aquamarines scattered about and part of a 14K rose gold bezel setting. It's all sitting on my jeweler's bench (which I carefully shield with cork lol).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Newsletter Give-Away!

I've just started a quarterly newsletter. It comes out each season (4 times a year) plus I send you a great coupon on my birthday. If you sign up for my newsletter by September 1, 2010, I'll enter you to win a sterling silver stacking ring. I'm giving away one sterling stacking ring. Just enter your email address here: http://eepurl.com/KruT

You'll learn tips on silver and goldsmithing, how to tell if gems are real, get peeks inside my studio, and learn of new products. And every season, you'll be automatically entered to win some of my jewelry!

Monday, July 19, 2010

How To Make Sturdy, Inexpensive Workbenches

My husband made these fabulous work benches for my studio this weekend! We got one heavy-duty steel frame bookcase. Then we supplemented the wood shelving by laying thick plywood on top. Finally, we stuffed weatherstripping in between the sides of the plywood and the metal shelving brackets. Voila! The best part is one bookcase makes two benches! There was a really nice guy working at Home Depot who showed us how to make it.

On my workbench, you'll see my anvil, plastic mallet, planishing hammer, brass head mallet, ring marking anvil, and bent shank ring stamps, and a coil of sterling silver wire. Pretty fun, huh?

Below, you'll see some of the rings I make on my workbench. They're 14K white gold stacking rings set in tapered tube setting with faceted gemstones: white topaz, red garnet, and blue sapphire.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sterling Silver Stacking Ring Celebration!

I'm having a sterling silver stacking ring celebration! 9 sterling silver stacking rings for $45 plus free shipping to the U.S. and Canada. I love hammering out these little rings.

Do you want to know how I make these rings? Here's instructions on how to make sterling silver stackable rings!

Materials Needed:
16 gauge sterling silver round wire, half-hard
blow torch, propane or butane
fire brick or soldering pad
jewelry pickle (see my organic pickle recipe) in a crockpot
jewelry tumbler with steel shot and ivory soap chips
silversmith's anvil
silversmith's hammer
steel ring mandrel
jeweler's file
400 grit sandpaper
600 grit sandpaper
jeweler's cutting pliers or jeweler's saw
hard silver solder (you can use sheet, wire, or paste. i'm using sheet solder)
copper tongs

1. With the cutting pliers, cut the length of sterling silver 1-2 sizes smaller for the ring size you want using a ring sizing chart.
2. File the ends of the wire with the jeweler's file.
3. Bring the ends together to form a circle.
4. cut a silver solder chip and put it underneath the ring.
5. spray the flux on the ring or dab flux on using a paintbrush
6. Heat ring with a blowtorch in a circular motion.
7. Wait for ring to cool, then put in hot pickle.
8. Once ring is shiny again, take it out of the pickle using copper tongs. You must use copper, not any other metal tongs, for this.
9. Sand or file any rough edges.
10. Hammer the ring on the anvil horn to get a rough shape
11. Hammer the ring on the ring mandrel to get the size
12. Lay the ring flat on the anvil. Tap it gentle to make sure that it is straight when it lies flat. This is called "trueing" the ring.
13. Put the ring in the jewelry tumbler half full of water and add ivory soap flakes. Tumble for a half hour.

Your ring is done!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Organic Pickle Recipe

I've researched ways to find an environmentally safe alternative to traditional sulphuric acid pickle. I've found that 30 ounces of white vinegar combined with 3.5 ounces of sea salt does a terrific job of cleaning sterling silver, white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold. You put the white vinegar and salt in a crockpot and set the crockpot on high. It should be really hot. It smells terrible, but it's better for your health and the environment.