Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sterling Silver Coral

I guess by living in Florida for 8 years it has made me aware that we are losing our reefs.

After a few snorkeling trips, I have found that our coral reefs are one of the most beautiful and visually impressive habitats on earth, swarming with life with an abundance of color, they are just amazing.

I guess by living in Florida for 8 years it has made me aware that we are losing our reefs.

After a few snorkeling trips, I have found that our coral reefs are one of the most beautiful and visually impressive habitats on earth, swarming with life with an abundance of color, they are just amazing.

Quick Facts: Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and productive ecosystems on earth. Hosting hundreds of different species, one square kilometer of healthy reef can produce food for 2,500 humans per year.

Tiny animals related to jelly fish and living attached in colonies of millions build up the massive reef structure by secreting calcium carbonate, the same chemical material of limestone and marble, to form a protective outside skeleton. Coral reefs flourish in warm, clear, shallow waters of tropical oceans worldwide.

The highly productive coral reefs provide significant benefits to the human population. The reefs are sources of food. They are a major source of sand as they erode. As buffers, they provide protection to coastlines from waves and currents. There is increasing interest in reef species as sources of biologically active compounds for medical drugs.

But for the past 30 years there has been significant decline in coral reefs from massive hurricane damage, plus a number of other factors mostly caused by human action have led to the deterioration of the reefs. Over-fishing, sedimentation, the increase of nutrients in the water and a large scale die-off of Diadema, the black sea urchin (sea egg), have been identified by the researchers as being among the major causes of the decline of coral reefs.

The growth of large algae (seaweed type marine plants), if not kept in check, smother existing coral and prevent coral larvae from settling to form new colonies. The algae are kept under control by herbivorous organisms which graze on them. The parrot fish, a Jamaican dinner delicacy, is one of the most important grazers, and over-fishing of parrot and other reef species allows the algae to flourish. Blast fishing using dynamite kills living coral and does damage to the physical structure of the reef.

Sea urchins (sea eggs) are also important grazers on the reefs. Between 1982 and 1984 there was a mass die–off of the black sea urchin, Diadema, from a disease which attacked only that particular species. The Diadema population fell a hundred-fold and has not recovered. So algae flourish on the reefs.

Sedimentation leading to turbid water conditions also blocks coral growth. The coral polyps share a symbiotic relationship of mutual assistance with microscopic algae living in their cells. These algal partners, as plants, need sunlight for photosynthesis. Sedimentation from land run-off reduces sunlight.

Peter Edwards and Tatum Fisher identify sewage and agricultural fertilizers as the major sources of nutrient-supplying pollution affecting coral reefs. Additional nutrients mean additional growth.

...My vision with this new line is to bring awareness to our Coral Reefs and to donate a portion of the sales to an organization to support long term restoration.

Once these pieces are completed, I will locate an organization that help coordinate a donation program ...if anyone can give me a name of an organization, please e-mail me this information and I will be more than happy to post the results.

New Stones...

I have the most wonderful gem guy from Hobe Sound, FL ...he came by our booth in Sarasota this past weekend and dropped off a few of my favorite stones which include Citrine as well as Aquamarine, pear shaped Blue Topaz and a trillion cut Garnet .

I have already started sculpting with these and I'll post the results later today.

If you are interested in a one-of-a-kind design using any of these stones,
please email me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Collector's Choice" Award

What an honor!

I won the "Collector's Choice" Award at the Craft Art 2008 Show. and I couldn't have been more surprised! The show was put on by the FLORIDAcraftsmen, Inc. this past weekend.

What an honor to have this ribbon hanging in my booth.

The show was so professionally was just wonderful being there. I was amazed that I was among some of the most talented artist I've had the pleasure to talk to, it was just an inspiration being there.

Also, my hat off to all of the volunteers who helped, not only were they there helping to organizing the event (as well as us) but offering us coffee in the morning and water in the afternoon...they certainly spoiled Don & I and we look forward to next year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Well it's time I sculpted a new Orchid...I've been to a few Orchid shows and this little guy stole my heart.

Psygmorchis pusilla is an ephemeral species often found growing in orange groves in Belize. The small fan-shaped plants usually last only a few years...another good reason to sculpt this beautiful Orchid.

I will use the roots as the bail and balance the fan shaped leaves, bud & flower asymmetrically.

I think it will (I hope it will) be a favorite among Orchid growers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pretty Little Daisey Ring

...far from finished but by the time I get this one finished, I'll have to cast it and
get it off to the cute couple waiting to get married.

I still have to add her wedding band plus create a band with the same theme
inside the carved channel ring.

The cute story about this ring is that the couple went to NC mountains to find their precious stones to fill each Daisey. She was very excited about her idea she came to me with her sketches and if I had a scanner, you would have seen those as well but they were good enough to where I did not have to sketch this one, she knew exactly what she wanted.

Cute story...just thought I would share this one with you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Lady Slipper Earrings - Finally!

Too Cute!

These are some of my latest editions to our Orchid family. These little
Lady Slipper Orchid Charms are 3/4" or 18 mm tall and are hanging from our handmade ear wires.

We are making these little charms into Ear Wires (as shown) Post Earrings, plus I have also designed bamboo hoops in which the lady slipper hangs beautifully.

We have created 5 new charms which include our Lady Slipper, Cattleya, Phala, Cymbidium and a Ghost Orchid.

These are on my Ruby Lane Website, for more information, please click here.

New Cattleya Orchid Pendant

This is one of my new "Susan Fender" Cattleya Orchids with a 7mm white freshwater pearl.

When I sculpted this orchid I new it was the perfect size pendant or brooch for a pearl so I left a little space to cradle a either a black or white pearl. Once the pearl was set, the texture in the orchid as well as the little flips I added to the edges makes this an elegant piece to pass down to the next generations.

Because I'm a huge fan of the Enhancer(clip on the back), we have soldered one of our larger enhancers to the back of the pendant. You can add this pendant to an existing set of pearls or to an Omega Chain up to 7 mm wide.

I have added this pendant below to a set of my pearls. I personally thing it perks up a beautiful set of pearls.

Pendant with Pearl: $225
With 17.25" Pearls: $329

This piece is currently spoken for!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Key West Collection

My Key West

The Orchids are by far (in my mind) the most unique flower of all and the tropical leaves are by far the most unusual as well, each having their own uniqueness and all a pure pleasure to sculpt.

But I think I'm finally seeing a pattern in me, I enjoy seeing the whole tropical thing together as if I was on a tropical island looking in. I enjoy looking at my jewelry and seeing a vein wrapping around the bamboo while a hibiscus flower is nudging its way through trying to find his spot to shine.

...anyway, I hope you see my jewelry as a place where you can escape too.

I wanted a pendant that is bold, like my cuff so I was off to my drawing board to sketch out a solution. What I didn't draw but was in my head was that hibiscus peeking out between the leaves and to make up for that, I wanted her to shine in 14KG. (
I think she was very happy with that).

Once sculpting I decided that I did not want a bamboo oval with all the leaves
crowded inside, although if you look at it you would think that's exactly what I did but if you look closely you'll notice that the leaves make up the circle.

I also wanted the leaves to have height so I cupped the leaves which gave additional depth to the piece.

For more information about this piece, please click here.

Again, thanks for looking!

Bamboo & Phalaenopsis Orchid Pendant

New Bamboo & Phalaenopsis
Orchid Pendant

Every chance I get, I try to wear this necklace. It has an oriental feel to it that I just love. In one sitting I drew up three designs, this being one of them but so far, this is my

I sculpted the pendant in wax, earrings at this time were not in my head so I started by making a bamboo frame and then it was a no brain-er...a small orchid fit perfectly inside.

I haven't finished the earrings but I think you can get a pretty good idea from the wax.

This is a new collection that I introduced earlier called the Orchid Spray, not sure if the name is sticking though, might have to work with that one a bit.

Here is the new pendant completed, this one is in Argentium Sterling Silver but we will be introducing the SS with 14KG Orchids & Buds.

For more information about this piece, I have added it to my Ruby Lane Store at: Bamboo & Orchid Pendant

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tropical Cuff, My New Key West Collection: Update

Whew! Never thought this day would come. This design has been in my head ever since I visited the Florida Keys a couple of months ago and now, it has finally spilled out onto my paper.

Funny, it only took about 30 mins. to draw but yet it has been a 2 month design in progress in my head. The last two pieces of the puzzle in my mind was the Bamboo & the Stone in the middle but even while drawing it out, the stone changed over from a semi-rough gem to a gold hammered disk with silver palms running over the disk and the gold bamboo holding everything in place.

I want two or three different styles of earrings, one incorporating the gold disk and one showing just the philodendron leaf.

The Philodendron Slider has already been designed in is already in the works.

This cuff will be an absolute delight to sculpt!

Update! I will start the casting process in the morning (June 24th) and so far this piece is definitely has the two thumbs up from both master jewelers who work with me. The hammered dist will start out in Sterling Silver but I have decided to make all three hibiscus flowers in 14k will be stunning! More to come...

It's here...