Welcome to our Etsy Street Team EJAG Public Blog ~ A place for everyone.

We welcome you to visit and watch our team as we grow. This is where we post our Team Challenges and ask everyone who comes by our blog to vote whenever they see a Challenge is taking place. The Winners of our Team Challenges will become our Showcased Featured Artist. Check back often, "follow" us, and book mark us for future reference.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The "Spring Fling" cometh

Past EJAG Challenge Winners: Naked Jewelry & Jewels1977

EJAG announces its Spring Challenge for 2009.
Our theme for this Season’s Challenge is going to be:
Springs grows from the "Trees" of life that we wear.

Entry is to be Tree related. This is where the creativity begins!
Any tree, one or many; any form, the only rule is that is must be worn on the body, and we are EJAG so it will be jewelry. From earrings, to necklace, to brooch, ??? to be worn on the finger, the neck, chest, wrist, ankles, head, or even tail (if you have one).

This will be an exciting Challenge because we will all start from the same point of reference:
~Trees ~
All we have to do is make jewelry and see what diversity appears in the final product for everyone to vote on.
  • Where: here

  • When: By Mar 1 Intent to enter (please post your intent to enter at our EJAG thread in the Etsy forums http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6042480, then email/convo James with your name and your item's image). Remember to prepare you entry and hold off listing it until March 15th. Images and information will be collected prior to the start of the challenge, and the Poll will open on the 15th at 1:00AM EST.

  • Mar 15th: Challenge starts! Vote and get your friends and Etsians to vote, too.

  • Mar 31st: Challenge ends, and you know what that means, the one with the most votes WINS!!!

See you ...Here!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Featured Artist - Autumn Splendor's Winner: Naked Jewelry

N a k e d J e w e l r y
Sally Jewet-Brocato

Cuprite and Tourmaline Sterling Silver Earrings
Reminiscent of the beauty of Fall leaves
From green to red, our seasons change from summer to fall
  • Introducing Sally Jewett-Brocato
    Coming to us this month direct from her private enclave up in the Hollywood Hills of Southern California, Sally lives with her husband, son and kitty cat, Scruffy. Her private studio, erected by Sally and her husband in their back yard, sits up on the side of a hill and in the trees, where she works to the chorus of the birds songs. It’s no wonder her work has such natural beauty.

Hello Sally, I am honored to be interviewing you today. I have enjoyed your blog (see listings below), and I am very impressed with your love of jewelry and your abilities to convey the beauty around you into extremely beautiful works of art.

Tell us all about yourself and your decision to create jewelry.

Designing and creating jewelry is my “second career”.
For 26 years, I co-owned a video production company (www.onthescene.com) headquartered in Los Angeles. My business partner and I started the company in 1983 with a $500 investment and built it into a multi-million dollar company with offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Our clients were many of the world’s top brands such as Pepsi, Nike and Disney, important groups such as the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association and major, news making celebrities, authors, politicians and corporate giants. I loved the company and the employees who called it home, but my partner and I did not want to grow old “propped up at our desks” as we used to say and so we began a 6 year odyssey to find a way to leave the company with hopes that new leaders could take it to new heights. In 2006 we sold the company to investors and I was able to pursue my growing passion for jewelry making.

So you have only been making jewelry for a couple of years?

I took my first beading class in 2006 and was hooked! After about six months, I realized that I wanted to have the design range that required metalsmithing skills so for the past two years, I have been taking a variety of classes along with book learning and plain old experimentation. I can see a steady progression in my skill level but am often frustrated by my mistakes and lack of knowledge! I would love to have the opportunity to apprentice with a master jeweler so that I can watch and learn. I had the great privilege of spending a few hours watching Beth Rosengard (http://www.bethrosengard.com/) work on a custom pin/pendant and it was more valuable to me than all my other classes combined. Along with teaching me many skills, she also taught me how to work with broom cast pieces to create mini jewelry sculptures. Broom casting is done by pouring molten metal into an upright, wet broom, believe it or not! As the metal cools, it hardens into textured shapes from the spaces between the bristles. Then, the pieces can be used as they come out of the broom or more delicately cut for better control of the design of a piece. Beth is a master at it and I have enjoyed the technique very much!

I have to agree with you on that Sally, I looked at Beth Rosengard’s web site and your profile of her in your blog and I am thoroughly impressed. She is amazing. I love broom casting and hope to try it out someday. Your application of broomcasting has also caught my eye with your Montana Agate Necklace.

So Sally, tell me, what is one of the biggest lessons your art has taught you?

My art has taught me that it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks! Ha! I never imagined ten years ago that I would be making jewelry. Life has a way of taking some unexpected twists and turns. I was never interested in science or chemistry, yet as a metalsmith, I am now fascinated by the characteristics of stones and the use of heat to manipulate precious metals. I love the solitude of creating something all my own, with my hands.

I see, and which type of item, do you have the most fun creating & why?

Right now, I most enjoy creating that which is most difficult for me. With each piece, I try to incorporate something that is a step more difficult. Most recently, I created a pair of earrings where the bottom stone moves because it is attached to a tiny silver tube that revolves on wire. Seeing a “new” type of construction work is very exciting and satisfying! tube hinges -->

Sally, I simply must ask you this, as it is one of my favorite questions:
What inspires you?

I am inspired by many of the jewelry designers I view online. The more I know about metalsmithing, the more impressive much of the work is to me. I have always believed that success comes quicker when one is surrounded by successful people. So when I began making jewelry, I started a blog focusing on successful jewelry designers, called “for the love of Jewels”* Writing this blog has required me to focus some of my time on the pursuit of the best designers in the world. Being exposed to them and their work is a tremendous inspiration!

Well you have definitely picked some wonderful designers to profile on your blog. Do you keep a journal of any kind?

Yes! I have a little red book that I always carry with me. I use it to take notes in class, draw an interesting design from a store window or make a note about a way a piece is constructed. I love my little red book and refer back to it all the time!

I agree. I love journals too. Sally do you have any formal training in your chosen Art?

I have taken classes almost wherever I can find them in the Los Angeles area! Venice Adult School in Venice, CA., offers a tremendous, affordable program; Loyola Marymount University offers an extension course that is also great, and then there are day classes at Farrin O’Connor in Pasadena and Precious Metal Arts in Santa Monica. One day, I’d also like to take classes at Revere Academy in San Francisco. Just yesterday, Jan 28th, I took my first class in goldsmithing so I will probably start venturing in that medium over the next few months.

Is there a basic ‘household’ item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual ‘tool’?

I bet there are lots of these, but at this point in my skill level, I am carefully working with the tools I have been taught to use. If anything, I think I have probably purchased too many tools that I am not using and yet when I start to try something new, I often realize I am missing some important type of pliers or whatever….

What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?

My husband and I love movies and food so that combination makes a perfect night!

I should have asked her if she also does creative cooking with her husband.

Do you believe in goals? If so, what is your next goal?

My goal for 2009 is to become proficient as a goldsmith, to have my work accepted in a few galleries and to master online marketing.

Sally, It sounds as if you are off to a great start already this year, now that you just completed your first goldsmithing class. I am sure that soon we will be hearing about your work being in galleries all over LA.

What are you doing to market your jewelry business?

It is clear to me that to be successful on Etsy or any other form of online e-commerce, that it is essential to harness the power of online marketing and social networking. I have become consumed by Facebook, Twitter and a host of blogs but the more I know, the more I know I don’t know. It is a huge and virtually endless online world and I am determined to find ways to use it to drive traffic to my work!

Sally, it has been my honor to present EJAG with this interview of your wonderful work. It is my hope that you keep going onward with your creative endeavors.

Also, as the winner of our very first Challenge in EJAG, we congratulate you, Sally, AND Happy One Year Anniversary at Etsy.com (Jan 30)

Thank you so much, Sally. This has been a pleasure for me. It is my hope that my husband looks at your work and buys me something for my birthday. :o)

Sally's connections and websites:
See Sally Jewett-Brocato’s blog and connections here:
this one, honey

Member of MetalSmiths in Action etsy Team
Member of the Southern California Metal Arts Society

* Sally’s blog: focusing on the "best of the best of jewelry designers: For the Love of Jewels: http://fortheloveofjewels.blogspot.com/
Sally's Etsy Shop: http://NakedJewelry.etsy.com
See a Naked Jewelry Profile of Sally’s art here http://worldartisangems.com/2008/11/05/naked-jewelry/
Facebook - Sally Jewett-Brocato
This article courtesy of Carol@ wires'n pliers wiresnpliers.etsy.com