oneyear!

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So…. it’s been one full year, guys.  Insanity!  I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people though my journey thus far as the handmade heroine.  It really means so much to me that I’m getting tons of support as well, so thank you all very much for that.  Many more adventures are to come soon too, I’m so excited to share it all with you!  So stay tuned for that.

In the meantime as a token of my appreciation of all your support, today I am launching an Instagram Giveaway.  The piece that I’m giving away is the geometric hexagon necklace by Lockhart Wrks.  Rebecca’s work was my first feature on the handmade heroine, I figured it only fitting to be able to share it first hand with one of you.  Head on over to instagram and like the photo I posted!  The rules of the giveaway are that you have to tag three of your friends who you think would like the necklace, as well as following both me and Lockhart Wrks.  Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Wednesday February 11, 2015.

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sophie monet jewelry. venice, ca.

SOPHIE MONET JEWELRY.

For over a year now, I’ve had Sophie Monet Jewelry on my radar.  I was immediately entranced by her utilization of geometric form through the medium of wood.  The second I found her work I knew I had to meet her.  Fast forward 9 months later, and admittedly I completely forgot about contacting her, and I stumbled upon her booth at Renegade!  You can imagine my excitement!  I’m really happy to have gotten the opportunity to meet her.  I recently went to her studio to shoot the shit, take some photos and more importantly get insanely inspired by her once again.

Here is her story…

bio.

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Always a maker, Sophie spent her childhood in her fathers wood shop.  She knew she wanted to have a career in fashion the second she moved to New York and got her feet in the water.  The natural progression of utilizing her creativity in the form of accessories was very easy from thereon.  In 2009 she moved back to LA and started making jewelry in the form of charms for family and friends, soon thereafter Sophie Monet Jewelry was created.

process.

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Sophie is daily assembling jewelry which involves a well loved but tedious process of cutting, sanding, and finishing each piece of wood.  Often taking trips to answer emails and her daily coffee break at a local coffee shop, Gjusta.  Her favorite part of the design process is discovering new gems and stones.  She describes it as a thrilling scavenger hunt to find interesting and unique cuts of stones to use in her designs.

philosophy.

Make stuff that makes you happy.

materials.

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Sophie uses ton’s of different types of exotic woods, in particular she likes to utilize Leopard wood for its graphic nature.  All of her designs are based on the groundwork of wood but a lot of her work has semi-precious stones and metals incorporated.

featured.

The+Fluorite+Pyramid+Necklace

the fluorite pyramid necklace.

The+Disk+Collar+Necklace

disc collar necklace.

The+Crown+Cuff

crown cuff.

Sophie+Monet+Agate+Ring

the agate ring.

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the gilded spike earrings.

where.

You can purchase any of these amazing pieces on Sophie’s website and keep an eye out for her new collection, The Stellar Collection, launching soon!

As always follow both Sophie Monet and the handmade heroine. on all of the social mediums to show your support for creative entrepreneurs everywhere!

thanx for reading,

alex.

relax: get inspired.

Something that I’ve become more and more in tune with is how freakin important it is to relax.  Providing that space within yourself creates the space for inspiration.  With that being said, I’ve been going to the beach. A lot. So much so that my new official rule of California living is: watch the sunset on the beach as often as possible.  Here’s some images from my recent trips.  Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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(Had to throw a jewelry picture in there of course, who do you think I am?!)

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photo

Moral of the story is.  Chill out, look around, free yourself and create awesome shit.

btwn wind & water. laurel canyon, ca.

BTWN WIND & WATER.

I’ve been loving the way that Artist’s & Fleas curates their events.  Pretty much every booth is huge hit and very different from the next, so it would be fitting that I discovered my new favorite leather goods brand, BTWN WIND & WATER, there.  I was initially drawn to Mariah’s use of indigo to treat and dye leather, a technique very unique to BWW.  Each piece she creates is so effortlessly sophisticated, with a little edge of the unexpected.  You know, pretty much everything that I love.  The name BTWN WIND & WATER comes from the nautical saying that means “to be at the most vulnerable state” something every artist can relate to.  Her brand speaks to creative, strong, entrepreneurial minds and it certainly speaks to me.

Here is her story…

bio.

Mariah started working in leather goods when she was 17 years old, under a man named William Adler who taught her the ropes of the industry.   In her mid 20s she left leather to work in an ad agency as a strategist, all the while utilizing leatherwork as her creative outlet.  She would give pieces to the women closest to her, whom eventually became her client base.  In the new surge for demand in hand crafted leather goods Mariah noticed a gap.  The handicraft being pushed by most of these indie brands catered almost exclusively to men. Noticing that there was a gap in the market for handcrafted leather goods for women, she shifted her focus less from strategizing and more to designing and creating.  After moving to Los Angeles from Portland, Mariah launched BTWN WIND & WATER.  She now creates in her studio in Laurel Canyon and is inspired daily by her surroundings.

process.

No sketches involved.  Just Mariah and the leather.  Her process isn’t the most direct but more organic and reflective of what she observes around her in the community.  She draws inspiration from color, fabric, and texture and how they relate to one another in the world.

philosophy.

Three points of focus:

a) Functional elegance.

b) Being mindful and putting energy into what you do.

c) Adding intention.

materials.

Hand picked leather is the name of her game.  The newest BTWN WIND & WATER collection utilizes indigo dye, which I alluded to earlier, in traditional Shibori techniques.  This makes each BWW piece entirely unique because she essentially creates an entirely new textile for each bag(exclusive!).

featured.

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earth indigo wanderlust tote.

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horsetail carryall.

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canyon bucket.

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earth indigo pouch.

where.

   Visit BWW’s stockist section to find a store near you, ooooorrr you can purchase through the website oooorrr you can see her at artists & fleas every third weekend of the month in dtla. Don’t forget to follow her on instagram, twitter, and facebook too!

tata for now,

alex.

a handmade life: lustered walnut

LUSTERED WALNUT.

If any of you follow my instagram account you know I’m always at some kind of something happening somewhere.  I put a lot of energy into visiting craft fairs and markets so that I can find the best of the best designers to feature on here.  Which doesn’t always prove to regulate my post-schedule, that along with insane procrastination and a busy schedule lead to my lack of keeping up with this.  Anyway while attending these events I don’t just put the blinders up to the brands that are not jewelry and accessories.  I’m ever inspired by all hand craft and think it all needs exposure.  So here we are, ringing in my first ‘a handmade life’ post with the amazing Lustered Walnut.  Glad to be back on the posting wagon by sharing their brand.

Here’s their story…

bio.

Robert and Marie met while they were studying at Detroit’s Cranbrook Academy of Art.  Marie is a ceramicist and a painter while Robert is a designer and woodworker.  They married their talents to create Lustered Walnut, a home wares brand that offers sophisticated whimsical ceramics and wood workings.  After welcoming their son, Oliver, in the summer of 2013, Robert and Marie launched Lustered Walnut in the fall.

process.

Like most designers getting their hands into the material is where inspiration strikes.  Sometimes they start with drawings but that quickly turns into prototyping.  They produce everything in-house in their 100% solar powered studio from start to finish.

philosophy.

“Lustered Walnut is a line of functional products that brings art into everyday experience. We believe in producing high quality objects that are responsibly made.”

materials.

The clay used in their goods are made with a mixture of raw materials that they source on the West Coast.  The wooden products are made from reclaimed, local, and/or sustainably  harvested walnut, white oak and other hard woods.

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banana mug. ||crowd favorite||

Spatula_Walnut_1000px

spatula.

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mine and yours tumblers.

Spoon_Stirring_Walnut_1000px

stirring spoon.

BathTub_1000px2

mini bathtub.

where.

 Check out Lustered Walnut on etsy or see their work at Treehaus and the Gallery of Functional Art.  Don’t forget to follow them on instagram and twitter and all the things!

mkbaii,

alex.

Cradle. portland, or.

CRADLE-LOGO_WP

CRADLE.

I’ve been a fan of Cradle for some time now but it wasn’t until recently that we’ve gotten connected.  As I’m sure you guys have noticed, my taste in jewelry has become a little more minimal.  Maybe it’s me getting on this trend or maybe I’m becoming a woman.  Who knows, but I’m excited to explore this.  Anyway, I really really really think what Sonia of Cradle has been producing is crazy edgy and very forward thinking. So sit back and enjoy.

Here’s her story…

bio.

Forever inspired by her late father’s creative endeavors as a painter, dancer and musician,  Sonia used her creative outlet through the fashion industry.  Originally from Berkeley she moved to NYC to pursue fashion, while still selling and honing in on her jewelry technique on the side.  She was spending so much of her free time focusing on jewelry that she decided to take the plunge and work on her brand full time.  Sonia launched Cradle earlier this year after moving to Portland.

process.

Sonia creates pieces that are minimal and strong yet timeless, all the while challenging the concept of fast fashion.

philosophy.

“I usually make terrible sketches first that no one can understand but me. After several months worth of sketches I then narrow it down to form a collection. My favorite part is definitely doing the wax carvings, it’s incredibly therapeutic. “

materials.

All of her designs are created with brass or sterling silver.

tunes.

Checkit. 

featured.

CRADLE Lookbook 11

danae.

CRADLE Lookbook 2

daphne necklace. enlil cuff.

CRADLE Lookbook 5

dalia.

where.

Find all of Sonia’s pieces on Cradle’s website. Look at the Stockists section to find a store near you.  AND don’t forget to follow @cradlejewelry on instagram and all other social media outlets!

baiii,

alex.

B.C.E. Jewelry. carmel valley, ca.

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B.C.E. JEWELRY

We’ve been experiencing some very hot weather here in LA, that means simple lightweight jewelry is an absolute must.  I’ve been Instagram friends with Becca of B.C.E. Jewelry for quite some time now.  About 2 months ago we were both in Vegas for the trade shows and her booth at Capsule was an absolute must visit for me.  It really gets me jazzed to see the face behind the handle, especially when they’re producing really great quality work like Rebecca is.

Here’s her story…

bio.

Rebecca’s love for jewelry was ignited by receiving some turquoise rings her father made in the 70s from her grandmother.  She kept the flame alive by studying art history, where she learned about ancient jewelry technique, style and significance.  On her rolidex of inspiration includes tons of books on Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Byzantine jewelry so it’s no wonder that the root of B.C.E. derives from the term ‘Before Common Era’.

process.

When starting a new design Rebecca draws her inspiration by referencing the ancient jewelry books she has in her collection.  This leads into a very organic path for her where the more mess and texture there is the more creative she becomes.

philosophy.

“I believe in keeping things simple, but different and unique. By unique I mean that I don’t like things to be perfect, all of my pieces have some kind of flaw or quirk in them, I like things to be uneven and look as though they’ve already been worn in.”

materials.

Most of her jewelry is made from yellow gold in 10k and 14k.  Turquoise is her favorite stone to work with however she often utilizes natural diamonds and lapis.

tunes.

Rebecca is often playing rock in her studio, some of her favorites are Arctic Monkeys, Interpol, The Strokes, Tom Petty, Led Zepplin, and the Eagles.

Listen to a mix just for B.C.E. Jewelry on my Soundcloud.

featured.

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gold hook earrings.

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black diamond with gold band.

052914_LITTLEWOLFCOLLECTIVE_BCJEWELRY__X5A9826 copy

rose cut white diamond.

090514_LWC_BCE0318

one of a kind cuff.

LWC_BCEJEWELRY__MG_9887_CU copy

large scale necklace.

where.

You can visit B.C.E. Jewelry’s website or a personal favorite of mine the one i love nyc [expect a blog post soon about this one!] .  She’s also carried in many fine retailers across California.

Also remember to follow her and all the designers I feature on instagram [@bcejewelry] and all other social media outlets.

see ya next time,

alex.

Dea Dia Jewelry. portland, or.

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DEA DIA JEWELRY.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m really into statement jewelry with some edge[like, the larger the better].  While the pieces produced by Jessica of Dea Dia aren’t the most chunky, they definitely provide a statement of their own.

Here’s her story…

bio.

When Jessica was growing up she drew a lot of inspiration from architecture [specifically Frank Lloyd Wright] and the relationship of line and shape to create a structure that is so stimulating to the eye.  Acknowledging her draw to these forms but never understanding how to apply it to herself directly, jewelry design crept up on her behind this unassuming mask.  She was working at a weekend designers market in Brooklyn when she became interested in jewelry and bought her first set of tools.  That was three years ago and she’s never looked back.  Entirely self-taught, Jessica is constantly learning and utilizing new techniques in her designs. Super exciting to observe that evolution in her designs too!

process.

Following a very organic production model, Jessica lays the materials out in front of her to guide the design as opposed to sketching the concept out.  Creating a piece for the first time and getting her hands on the components to yield a new design is her favorite part of the process.  So, taking breaks to compose a new piece between constructing the same inventory in repetition is a must.

philosophy.

“I’m not influenced by trends and have never really followed fashion…I like to create pieces that are simple, yet statement making and can be worn everyday for years on end.”

collections.

Past collections were based around raw stones [like quartz and pyrite] in addition to her standard brass and bronze work.  But, the newest collection Jessica mixes silver and brass alongside recycled glass, ostrich egg, and coconut shell beads.  All the chain the she uses in her designs are vintage too!

what’s she listenin’ to.

Recently sticking to the classics you’ll hear tons of  Gene Clark, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, the Byrds, and Gram Parsons playing loud in her studio.  Also Tears for Fears, Kate Bush, and T-Rex.

Check out my soundcloud to hear what fuels Jessica’s inspiration.

featured styles.

DDLB-001blue kyanite raw crystal pyrite cuff. raw quartz crystal pyrite cuff.  raw pyrite cuff.

DDLB--3-2

big butte ring.

DDLB-005

santiam necklace.

DDLB-008

columbia necklace.

DDLB-009

 

wenaha bangle.

DDLB-0504tualatin necklace.

where to find dea dia.

You can purchase through her website or check out the stockist section of her site to find her in a store near you! Don’t forget to show your support by following her on instagram, facebook, twitter and tumblr too!

See ya next time,

alex.

Loschy. la, ca.

Loschy

LOSCHY.

There’s nothing that I love more than mixed media and original design technique[but really though I get super jazzed on it and feel like I’m going to pass out].  Melissa Loschy of Loschy definitely delivers on all fronts.  Here’s her story…

bio.
Crafty by nature, Melissa Loschy’s journey to jewelry design started when she worked as an events coordinator at Michaels Arts & Crafts while studying design in college.  She chose her post school career to be Graphic Design, of which she still works.  All of this[in addition to being a Girl Scouts and the women in her family] played into her innate ability to create truly innovative accessories. In 2008 Loschy was born.

design process.

It all starts with exploration and a photograph.  Inspired most by international and local [her newest collection is based around Downtown LA Art Deco] architecture.  She takes photos of architectural details during her travels.  She then manipulates the images into the base design of her jewelry on the computer, utilizing her graphic design skills. After printing them on epson paper she applies chiffon on the surface to add sheen and increase the durability for hand stitching details she wants the accentuate.  Then she assembles the piece with a vinyl or metal backing and brass chain.

design philosophy.
“My favorite design professor/advisor while in University always challenged us students to ‘break conventions and think critically’ … I’d say that philosophy rings true.”

current collection.
Her most recent collection is inspired by Downtown LA, called Queens of DTLA, where she explores some of the most famous Art Deco architecture in the city. 

what she’s looking at.
Currently reading “Girl Boss”by Sophia Amoruso and “The Death of Cool” by Gavin McInnes as well as travel guides for Copenhagen and Croatia[I smell a  new collection coming along!].

what she’s listening to.

A huge metalhead, Melissa’s listens to melodic and progressive death metal, black metal and djent metal.  Check out the soundcloud playlist for Loschy.

featured styles.


sun realty.

eastern columbia.

opheum theater.

where to find loschy.

Visit etsy and storenvy to purchase her beautiful pieces online or click here to find out what stores carry her.

thank you,

alex.

janjoon jewelry. los angeles, ca.

JANJOON JEWELRY.

bio.

Originally from Jerusalem, Tamar Pelzig was raised on handcraft and fine artistry.  At a young age she began to test the waters of hand production through the expression of pottery and sculpture.  It wasn’t until she lived in NYC that she discovered her natural talent and inclination to knit.  After producing a few cowls and colars Tamar decided to take her knitting to the next level.  So, she began to experiment with alternante media in the form of 14k gold filled, bronze, sterling silver, brass, and steel chain, texturized leather and raffia. Thus in 2012 blossomed her jewelry line Janjoon [her childhood nickname] Jewelry.

design philosophy.

“My intent as an artist is to constantly find innovation and originality in my work, from unique methods to unique pairings of the materials I use.”

process.

The materials call the shots when leading Tamar to her next design.  Each piece she creates is truely one of a kind and the joy that comes with her manual production process is the most gratifying part of creating her wearable art.

what she’s listening to.

When not playing a film in the background or listening to ‘This American Life’  Tamar enjoys folk, jazz and classical music playing through the studio.  Listen to some of her top picks on Soundcloud!

featured styles.

arakno v necklace.

 

cesaria necklace.

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sahara necklace.

ig necklace. lucy copper & black copper ring.

where to find janjoon.

You can purchase Janjoon Jewelry on Tamar’s website, at the SF MOMA and UNDESIGNED.  If you follow her facebook you will also get updates on what events and craft fairs Janjoon will be gracing.

 

thank you,

alex.