I talk about my jewelry studio a lot because it’s a very big part of my life.  It is such a great environment not only for making jewelry, but for discussing the business of selling it as well.  In addition, these women are my friends and there is a feeling of camaraderie and support that is very valuable to me.

Here we are, hard at work:

Even though I have most of this equipment at home, there are certain things, like the rolling mill, that I can’t install in my condo.  I also have access to a proper torch, which allows me to solder heavy things that a butane torch simply can’t handle:


My teacher has hung photos of our work on the walls of the studio which is a constant inspiration.  I’m proud of my work, but frankly, it can’t touch some of the pieces made by his other students.  Simply stunning.

I think the best part of all of this, however, and what keeps me coming back, is that the type of jewelry making we’re doing is an ancient art.  The techniques we use have been used for thousands of years–when I go to museums and see jewelry, say, from ancient Egypt, I can look at it and see exactly how it was made and see techniques that I use in my own jewelry.  From tiny lumps of 24k gold or fine silver, we make the most lovely things, completely by hand.


Sometimes jewelry seems a very superficial thing to me, but I absolutely love the process of making it.  I am smitten.

4 Replies to “In the Jewelry Studio”

  1. Vintage Rings says: February 20, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Great Job Holly!This is worth posting.Looking forward for more from you.This proves woman can do best in all fields.woman Rocks!

  2. Holly says: August 23, 2007 at 11:30 am

    And you’re right–humans have been adorning themselves since their existence, so perhaps “superficial” isn’t the right word as it has negative connotations. I think I was probably thinking in terms of the “keeping up with the Jones'” aspect of jewelry, which I find distasteful. Not that I don’t fall prey to that myself.

  3. Holly says: August 23, 2007 at 11:26 am

    All the people in my session are women, but Ralph has a few male students. Ralph has been making jewelry since he was 13 years old! He used to make stuff for Ray Charles.
    As for the financing bit, there are lots of different “situations” in the class. Some sell more than others, but I’m not aware of anyone who is able to make a living off it.

  4. Antoinette says: August 23, 2007 at 11:09 am

    I agree with you that on the surface jewelry seems superficial. But there is something very primal in it’s nature (that you touched on in your blog). It’s nature to want to preen, glitter and adorn. Both ourselves and our “nest” or home.
    And yes, being a part of a larger group (especially of women like you) is also very primal, tribal and important. I would have stopped trying to make my business work by now if not for the companionship of my group, The Sacramento Craft Mafia.
    Interesting how all the people in your workshop are women. I wonder how many are in the situation of having their husbands as the conventional “bread winner” and financing their company (like us)?

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