Posts Tagged ‘lauren markley’

This week marks my first week as an almost fully self-employed jewelry designer!  I officially ended my full-time position at the non-profit in Princeton that I have been working at for almost a year and a half last week.  I’m still working there part-time, but going forward, the majority of my waking hours will now be devoted to making jewelry, developing new designs and learning new techniques. 

I’m really excited about this new direction that I’m going in, so to mark this occassion, I’m having a weekend sale!  From 12:00am Saturday, Sept. 6th, to midnight Sunday, Sept. 7th, some of my best-sellers will be marked down 20% in my Etsy shop.  The sale will be limited to items that are in stock and ready to ship, so I’ll be able to get them out the door ahead of my trip to Kansas on the 11th.  So stop by this weekend, and tell all your friends!

Speaking of going places, my trip to Kansas is from the 11th to the 17th.  I’ll be hanging out with my family, going to a Laurie Anderson performance and checking out my mom’s artwork at the Strecker-Nelson Gallery in Manhattan, KS.

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I’ve gotten into bangles recently. Not ‘The Bangles’, for anyone hoping for Susannah Hoffs pics.  Just bangles.  I’ve started to make some and I’m really liking how they’re turning out.  They’re fun to bang on with a hammer, and I know I’ll never be able to make two alike, so I’m not even bothering to try!

I take the 8:47 train out of Princeton Junction, NJ, every Saturday to get to my class in the city.  (The ‘city’ being New York, if you’re wondering.  You are just supposed to know which city.  I mean, come on, is there any other city, really?)

The view from the train window along the way is stunning.  As in, how the hell did it end up like this?  It is an amazing study in urban decay and rural abandon.  Scrap yards; abandoned construction (and de-construction) sites; crumbling buildings with not a single window intact; wildly colorful grafitti in places only those with nothing to lose would dare attempt to reach with a can of spray-paint; a whole stretch of power lines crumpled and half-submerged in the marsh.  

It’s called the Northeast Corridor passenger rail line, and it is the busiest in the nation, ferrying hundreds of commuters daily between some of the wealthiest communities in the country.  I don’t know if other passengers are aware of what is outside the window of the train, but it often seems like nobody notices. 

Despite what it stands for, I think there is something of an inherent beauty in the scenery along this line.  I love the repeating patterns of bricks and support beams in the old buildings, the rich red rust color of the heaps of scrap metal, the brightly colored rows of junked cars.  I need to find a way to get some good pictures. 

In the meantime, I’m trying to capture some of mess that is the NEC line in my jewelry. 

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Handforged links, oxidized to a smokey black, with pale green freshwater pearls.

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For no particular reason, I wanted to post some pictures of my new and improved workspace, along with a few pieces that I’m currently working on.  I use this space as both a work bench for my handmade jewelry and as a packing center for my Fair Industry (my fair trade store) orders. It’s great, I’ve been able to streamline the order fulfillment process and it has greatly reduced stress on those days when I do have items to get out the door. Why didn’t any

one tell me about this thing called ‘organization’ a long time ago??? Seriously, people, I need the info. 

Sitting on top of one of the organizers is Volume 1 of The Handbook to Handmade, a monthly collection of thirty-five Etsy artists with information about their work and shops.  I got myself a spot in the first volume and love how the book turned out. I think it’s going to be a great promotional tool for anyone who participates in it.

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Got any “jobs” you want done?  Anything or anyone you want, well, “taken care of”?  If so, I’m your man.  Or, woman, to be precise.  Not that I’ve been leading a life of crime up to this point, but now that I’m in the perfect position to, why not?

I’m pretty new to torches and soldering and all the fun things I’m learning in my class.  I’m really starting from scratch.  I thought I at least knew enough, however, not to touch something hot.  Today as I was working on soldering a large chain, I realized a link was not properly closed and as I went to try to adjust it, I caught myself.  Wait a tick, hold on here, the link is probably still toasty, I thought.  So instead, I took hold of the cross-lock tweezers holding it….By the metal tweezing end that had just been in the same flame as the link.  Damn near burned my fingerprints off! 

My fingers are still red and seem to be perfectly smooth. 

So as I said, I’d be the perfect criminal – untraceable, unidentifiable.  Send your dirty deeds my way.  Want a million dollars?  I’ll rob the bank for you.  I’ll just try not to do something stoopid like write the demand note on the back of a deposit slip from my own savings account.

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I just have to brag a bit – I got a Google Alert the other day and found this:

Spotlight on AntiGenre

The lovely editors at Indie Collective are writing up reviews of all the jewelers in the 2007 Holiday Gift Guide.  Thanks, IC!

Josie Necklace

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Since starting to make jewelry this spring and joining Etsy, I have been inspired to learn as many new techniques as I can, and I’m now taking a jewelry class at Studio Jewelers, Ltd. in Manhattan. 

I wore the necklace below to the class a few weeks ago; it’s one of my favorites and always gets lots of attention:


As I was leaving, this woman, who is already annoying for various reasons, said “Oh, that’s beautiful. Did you make it?”

I said “Thank you but no, it is handmade, just not by me.”

She said “Oh, that’s too bad!”

So I’m thinking, why is that too bad? I must have looked puzzled because she said “Now that you are taking this class, you can make that yourself. It’s really easy!”

Um… it doesn’t look easy to me. To be fair, I am taking the class to learn the metal-smithing and fabricating techniques that are required to make things like this, but that’s not the same thing.

She then went on to say something like “When you see how easy it is, you’re going to think ‘I fell for that???’ Ha ha ha.”

Huh? Was she advocating simply copying someone else’s design? Was she trying to make me feel bad for spending money on something I really like?

The world of DIY is an interesting one. Where is the line? Where do we stop valuing creativity and artistry – our own and that of others – in the name of doing it ourselves? 

I didn’t ‘fall for’ anything. Even if I could make this (which I can’t), the fact is that I didn’t. And won’t. And I would much rather reward someone for their creativity and efforts than simply copy someone.


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I promised myself over and over again that I would start blogging, but I just never seemed to get around to it.  Well, here it is! 

There will be something much more interesting than this to read in just a day or two, so please check back.

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