Iris Willow Jewelry Now Available in Palo Alto

I'm super excited to announce that my jewelry is now available in the adorable gift shop of the Palo Alto Art Center. Stop by the art center to take a class or check out one of their art exhibitions and while you're there stop by their excellently curated little gift shop and pick up a piece of my colorful enamel jewelry.

 
 

Creative Enamel Jewelry Challenge

One of my goals in the new year is to experiment with new enameling techniques. This desire was jumpstarted by an Experimental Enameling Class I took a few months back the Crucible in Oakland. The class was taught by the talented Judy Stone, who makes lovely layered enamel vessels. I'm actually going to take another class from her in April at the Mendocino Arts Center, which I'm really looking forward to. 

The class I took at the Crucible focused on the enamel work of Fred Ball, which was highly experimental. It was a big change from me, as we broke all the rules that I had been following in my enamel practice. It was quite liberating, although sometimes mystifying trying to figure out how a specific enamel result had been achieved. And thus harder to determine how to replicate it.

Exploring texture and sgraffito technique in white enamel.

Exploring texture and sgraffito technique in white enamel.

Exploring copper balls in white liquid enamel.

Exploring copper balls in white liquid enamel.

Exploring painted enamels over crackle enamel base.

Exploring painted enamels over crackle enamel base.

After the class, there were definitely a few techniques I wanted to play with some more, but I didn't have a chance with the craziness of running a jewelry business around the winter holidays. I loved the Sgraffito technique of scratching a pattern by hand through enamel. I loved how if you hammered or scratched the copper before enameling, a light layer of enamel would allow the pattern to show through. I love playing around with copper foil, gold foil, glass lumps and beads. I also enjoyed the funkiness of the crackle enamels. But I was too crunched for time to let myself experiment.

Exploring airbrushed and painted enamel.

Exploring airbrushed and painted enamel.

Exploring copper foil and glass lumps in enamel.

Exploring copper foil and glass lumps in enamel.

Exploring gold foil in enamel.

Exploring gold foil in enamel.

But now, with the fresh start of the new year, I've decided it's time to stop putting off all the experimenting and push myself to make something new everyday. A new piece of enamel jewelry everyday for 100 days. This is my challenge to myself. A way to cut out a slice of time to dedicate to trying new things and seeing what happens. You can follow my results on my instagram where I'm posting my results. Today marks my fourth day. 

 
Today's creative experiment: Geometric enamel earrings with sgraffito in overglaze black over clear enamel that lets the copper beneath it shine through.

Today's creative experiment: Geometric enamel earrings with sgraffito in overglaze black over clear enamel that lets the copper beneath it shine through.

 

Happy New Year from Iris Willow Jewelry

The holidays were a blur of craft shows, holiday sales and production work. I want to thank everyone who purchased my jewelry last year or came out to one of my shows for the support. Halfway through last year, I took the plunge and began to work on my jewelry full time and it's been a super exciting and challenging time and I look forward to growing my business this year. I'm going to be putting a special focus on my brand new enameling jewelry classes, expanding my presence boutiques and art galleries and marketing my website. 

My classes are now being offered on Verlocal and Dabble. You can always book a private enameling class for just yourself or you and up to three of your friends on my website. But if you'd like to attend a class with other students, these sites will pair you with other participants, but still with only four people maximum in my classes. I have several upcoming dates listed on both those websites, so check them out if you're interested in joining a class. 

In other exciting news, I've finally decided to create a Iris Willow Jewelry Studio facebook page for my jewelry. I was dragging my feet on this one, but I finally have it set-up. If you have chance, check it out and be sure to like my page. 

Also, I just added gift certificates for jewelry to my website. So if you're thinking of giving my jewelry as a gift, but can't decide what suits your recipient, let them pick

I'll leave you with a couple of photos from my holidays.

I took a little time off over the holidays first for a little trip to Tahoe to play in the snow and soak in the hot springs in Sierraville. I'm a mountain girl from Colorado, so it was nice to feel real winter there.

I took a little time off over the holidays first for a little trip to Tahoe to play in the snow and soak in the hot springs in Sierraville. I'm a mountain girl from Colorado, so it was nice to feel real winter there.

Next I traveled to St. John for a little tropical beach time, which was rejuvenating and the crystal clear ocean was filled with beautiful coral and fishies. 

Next I traveled to St. John for a little tropical beach time, which was rejuvenating and the crystal clear ocean was filled with beautiful coral and fishies. 

Iris Willow Jewelry 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

As the season of holiday gifting begins, Iris Willow jewelry has you covered for something for every lady on your holiday list. 

Perfect Gift under $50 for Ladies with Classic Style

My Tiny Drop Earrings are a popular gift for that stylish lady on your list who enjoys modern, understated jewelry with a pop of color. They're lightweight and perfect for everyday wear. Consider the lovely feminine purple and gray color combination for the graceful lady on your list or the best selling blue and turquoise combination are always a hit.

Perfect Gift under $40 for Ladies with Playful Style

The super fun tiny triangle hoops are a great gift for the the lady who likes stylish, yet dainty jewelry in fun bright colors. 

Perfect Gift under $75 for Ladies with Bold & Edgy Style

A necklace or pair of earrings from my Patterns Collection make a wonderful unique holiday gift for the lady who likes her jewelry to stand out and get noticed. The patterns collection features bold, eye-catching, high contract screen-printed enamel designs.

Perfect ON SALE Gift under $100 for Crafty DIY Ladies

Experiences make the best gifts. Give a gift certificate to my enameling jewelry workshop to those crafty ladies on your gift list. They'll make their own enamel necklace or earrings and have fun in the process.

Plus, I'm offering 25% off all my workshops & gift certificates purchased through the end of 2015.

25% Off Workshop Costs Per Student:

$90 (normally $120) for private class
$75 (normally $100) for two students
$60  (normally $80) for three students

$48.75 (normally $65) for four students

Just enter the following coupon code at checkout:

HolidayClass

Happy holidays!

Iris Willow jewelry at first store in Alameda, CA

I just dropped off my first supply of jewelry to Modern Mouse, a cute little local gift shop in the South Shore Shopping Center in Alameda. While I was there I had a chance to look around the shop a little. They have a great selection of gift items from jewelry and paper goods to dinosaur hanging racks and many of their items are from local independent designers and makers. I was even able to find a card and birthday gift for a friend. 

Modern Mouse and Secession makes two new stores in one week for me. Woohoo! That's a great way to start off the weekend.

Iris Willow jewelry now available at Secession in SF

I'm super excited to announce that my jewelry is now for sale at a lovely little art gallery called Secession Art & Design in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood. I just stopped by today to drop off lots of my colorful enamel earrings and necklaces - just in time for the holidays. Stop in and check out their selection to see my jewelry in person. 

Inside secession Art & Design. photo credit: Secession SF

Inside secession Art & Design. photo credit: Secession SF

Chillin' last weekend & Patchwork - Oakland next weekend

I had a fun time selling my jewelry at the Chillin' show last weekend at the Mezzanine. I had a little trouble during set-up, when my entire table toppled over and I'm not entirely sure why (possibly the risers - it was only my second time using them). Anyway, after I got it righted and collected all my jewelry and set it up again, I was ready to roll. You can see my table in the photo below.

I was located upstairs, which was nice since it was away from the crowds and allowed for a more intimate shopping experience. I got to chat with quite a few interesting folks and even got a chance to check out all the artwork displayed at this show. 

I was excited that my new line of chevron necklaces did so well at this show. It's always fun to see a new design find a loving new home. 

Next Sunday I'll be selling my enamel jewelry at Patchwork in Oakland. I'm excited to do my first show ever in Oakland. It'll be a Jack London Square from 11 to 5pm on Sunday, October 25th. plus it's FREE. I'll be in booth SS.

I'm currently working on a new backdrop for my show display to hold my new laser engraved sign I just had made. Come by and let me know what you think. Hope to see you there next weekend. 

Celebrating One Year of Craft Shows this Weekend

I'm super excited to be doing the Chillin' Productions show again this year. Last year, it was the first show that I ever sold Iris Willow jewelry at. Since then, I've participated in several more craft shows and learned a lot. I've developed new enamel jewelry lines and launched my own website, begun to sell in retail boutiques and art galleries and quit my day job to work on my jewelry full time. I'm excited to kick off the holiday season of shows, doing this one again. 

The Chillin' Show is a super fun event with shopping opportunities from tons of local San Francisco designers, funky art and video installations, live DJs and yummy drinks. This event definitely has a party vibe. It's located at the Mezzanine and runs from 8pm - 2am. There is a $15 cover at the door or you can buy advance tickets here. Stop by and say hi.

Iris Willow Jewelry Available in Washington State

Exciting news to report - my handmade enamel jewelry is now available at the Galley One Visual Art Center in Ellensberg, Washington. Stop by their gift shop to see a lovely selection of my screen-printed pattern enamel earrings and necklaces available for purchase. They have some of my tiny holes earrings too.

I’m super excited that my jewelry will now be available in WA and I hope to expand to additional locations soon. If you know of any art galleries or boutiques in your area that you think would be a great fit for my enamel jewelry, please email me at iris@iriswillow.com 

Craftcation Conference Recap

My head is spinning as I look over my growing to do list after attending my first Craftcation Conference last weekend in sunny Ventura, CA. I flew down to LA last Wednesday and then drove up to Ventura through nasty rush hour traffic to arrive in the cute little beachside southern Cali town spotted with lush trees. I stayed at a motel only a couple blocks from both the conference (and beach!) and the main drag of Ventura with lots of little restaurants and bars with a fellow SF Etsy jeweler, Camille Ouellette of Camillette. My conference schedule was jam-packed with business classes and a couple of craft workshops just for fun. I found this was a nice way to balance out the business classes without getting overwhelmed and provided a great opportunity to chat with other makers in the craft workshops.

I started the conference learning how to make this resin pendant with Lauren Rudeck of La Ru. The hardest part was picking the image, I ended up going with a carpet pattern I cut out from a magazine. The other tricky part was the drying time, it takes 24 hours to dry, and I sadly tilted mine on the way to lunch afterward, so it spilled a little, but ended up not too be too big of a deal.

After that I got to work with business classes learning how to grow my handmade enameling jewelry business. I took classes on marketing, blogging, selling to retailers, the nitty gritty details on teaching a diy class, something I hope to launch soon with enameling jewelry and so many more. This is where my to do list really expanded. 

Some of my fav workshops included Meghan Auman’s presentation on getting your products into stores. Her talk was filled with practical info and it helped that she is also a jeweler so her advice is directly transferable to my business. The last presentation I went to was on SEO (search engine optimization) with Se Reed or Se Reed Media was fantastic. Not only was her presentation packed with useful info, she was filled with energy and weaved in all our questions as she went along.

I also took a cross-stitch laser cut jewelry workshop hosted by MAKE Ventura, a non-profit creative space where members have access to all their fun tools like their laser cutter. Sadly we didn’t get to use the laser cutter in this class, as the pendants had already been laser cut beforehand and we just added the the cross stitch onto them. I’d never cross stitched before, so I spent a bit of time planning out my design, but that wasn’t a problem, it just meant I got to finish my pendant out in the sun along the boardwalk after class.

Even more valuable than all the business info I learned at Craftcation was the wonderful sense of community the conference provides. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many like-minded crafters and makers trying to turn their passion into a hand-crafted business. It definitely gave me the inspiration to keep growing my business.

Craftcation Here I Come

Super excited to be heading down to southern Cali today to attend the Craftcation Conference, a four day business and makers conference in Ventura, CA. It’s my first time attending this conference, which is in its fourth year and is packed full tons of creative craft workshops and small business lectures and panels. 

My focus is on the business classes and I’m really looking forward to attending lectures on marketing, SEO, teaching art classes, wholesale and photography. Plus I signed up for a couple creative workshops including creating jewelry with a laser cutter and resin. I’ll be sure to post about my experience when I return.