Architectural & Fine Details

There is a peculiar habit of mine, that is taking photos of architectural details & things with intricate details always grabs my attention. On a recent trip to London, it was a feast for my eyes. Thank goodness for the invention of digital cameras! I was trigger happy...

Natural History Museum ~ these stop me dead in my tracks, these dramatic arches & towering columns, I believe were hand carved by skilled craftsmen back in 19th century. Such intricate designs which are derived from plants & animals. I'm in awe.

The Tower of London ~ majestic & amazing ambiance

Exhibition of Armors & Weapons for Kings in Tower of London - such fine detailed work on armors & weapons you forget what their real purpose is for

Rings & Things (Metal Clay Class ~ Part 2)

Here are two simple pieces which I learned to make during my first two lessons. I designed a simple loop ring, with slightly curved taped band n satin finish with a prong-set synthetic green gem and a the leaf was a class project. The ring didn't really turn out as perfect as I want it to be. But I guess it'll do for a beginner.

Each piece takes more than half a day to make by hand without the help of machinery. I enjoyed making the leaf most. It takes patience and a steady hand as the leaf is composed by a repetition of carefully placing layers of soft clay on a real leaf and drying process. It may sound easy, but you need to find the right technique to form these layers in order to get a strong & solid piece. I love how this technique was able to capture the shape, curves & reveal the fine details on the leaf after firing and finishing. I decided to leave most parts of the leaf in brush matte finish and only shine up some parts around the edges and in the curved parts of the leaf to capture light like a real leaf would. I have not decided what to do with the leaf. This technique, possibilities of using other base materials started popping up in my head. I might try to make a lace necklace next.

Having done basic traditional jewelry metal smithing years ago, and now working with metal clay, I would say it's more tedious to create the same pieces shown here using the traditional method. The finishing process however is about the same. You still need to get your hands dirty, brushing, burnishing, filing, sanding & polishing to achieve a professional look. So ladies, forget about manicures if you are serious about taking up a metal clay course!

In the next lesson I will be learning how to create some interesting hollow filigree beads. I can't wait...

Ripples in the Water (Metal Clay Class ~ Part 1)

Recently I've taken up a short course in Jewelry Fabrication in metal clay. I've been contemplating this for quite some time before jumping in, and when I do, it has been a liberating experience so far. You know something good is happening when it gives you a buzz.

I will be sharing items I created during my class every now & then. This is my favorite piece so far made using metal clay in dough form in 99.9 pure silver. It was made by rolling, cutting, pressing & shaping the clay like you would with playdough. My design morphed into an asymmetrical 3D pendant, with circles in different size & shape, which looks like ripples in the water with stacked pebbles in the center. To bring out the organic shape in different levels, I've used shiny and satin finish in parts to give it texture & visual contrast. I've decided to turn it into a necklace accented with a petite wire wrapped marquise cut labradorite gemstone for a bit of luxe & color. I love the subtle blue flashes on the cool labradorite which incidentally also represents the water element in this design. I also have a thing with unique chains too, and this is using silver wheat link chain which I bought on a trip to Japan.

1ST Giveaway: Nostalgic Rose Ring

Just when I was thinking of how to get a giveaway going, Bridget, the writer of the lovely blog Mint Green With Envy approached me. So together, we collaborated and came up with my very first giveaway! I'm very excited to see what everyone has to say about my shop.

Join the giveaway contest here.
Contest starts: 04 April 2010 / ends: 18 April 2010
May the best person win...good luck everyone!


Sneak Peak

This is what I've been working on recently...some pretty and delicious gems which I've been hoarding for a while. In order to really preserve the natural beauty of the stone, I've decided to take the simplistic approach in terms of the design to let the gems shine. There will be more to come...stay tuned

Form & Function

I'm usually not the type to swoon over cute electronic gadgets, but this nifty little thing has caught my attention. I must say this is the cutest gift I've received this X'mas. It's a black Mickey Mplayer designed by iriver, a company based in South Korea. What I love about this is that the design remains simple and clean while incorporating core functionality. It's not overworked. You will see a lot of thought is given to the design of this Mplayer, right down to the packaging. The two spherical ears are functional, with one that controls volume and the other to forward/back soundtracks. The quality of the music output is good in my opinion. I especially love the earpiece. It's made to wear like a necklace with the mickey player as a pendant. The Mplayer comes in many delicious colors, I'm so tempted to collect a few more. Did I mention it has won a few design awards too? I'm absolutely won over. Thank you Cindy!

(photo source:

And here's the latest of the pack - Mplayer Eyes. The LED eyes display different eye signals when in operation, showing various menus such as Play, Rewind and Volume like a monitor. Now that's what I call a good design with form & function!

Distressed Luxe

I'm at the stage of gathering materials to make up a mood board for the interior theme of our new place, which hopefully will be ready by sometime mid of this year. We've now decided on a term which I made up - 'Distressed Luxe'. Do not mistaken it for Shabby Chic, it's not. It's a theme which I hope will achieve an old world feel with some form of luxury, without looking shabby. Yesterday, while at a local bookstore, browsing through mazagines, a favorite pastime which I love, I came upon this vision of the french style which I think fits the mood. I'm in love with the whole color theme: french blue, white, black with a subtle touch of gilded pieces.

The monumental Salone Grande, which was built in the Fifties and based on 17th-century plans. The summer home for the Prince & Princess of Borromeo, Italy. La dolce vita!
(Source: W magazine)