Saturday, December 3, 2011

Handmade Holidays

Our November blogroll topic for the Aspiring Metalsmiths is 'Handmade Holidays' -- and a very fitting topic indeed! What better way to celebrate the holidays than by giving your loved ones the gift of handmade this year!
There are so many benefits to buying handmade for the holidays -- and everyday! When you buy handmade, you are supporting an independent artist, you are helping them support their craft, buy supplies and afford to do what they love. When you buy handmade, you are buying a quality product, made with thought, care and love by the artist's own hands. Each handmade gift you buy is unique, one of a kind. Every hammer-mark, brushstroke, fingerprint is unique, and there will never be another exactly like it. Buying handmade offers many opportunities for personalization and collaboration. You can communicate directly with the artist and work together to create that special gift for your loved one. I could go on and on....

But instead, I'll stop and show you a few handmade gift ideas, and hopefully inspire you to give handmade this holiday season! Happy shopping!

The first artist I'm featuring today is Hodaka Hasebe of Hodakapottery. His handmade stoneware pottery mugs, bowls, teapots, casseroles, platters and vases are beautiful works of art. I love his style, the flow of lines on his work and his amazing use of glazes. And his stunning work is also totally functional for everyday use! The perfect handmade gift!

by Hodaka Hasebe

by Hodaka Hasebe

Next, I'm featuring my fellow Aspiring Metalsmith teamie, Angela Bowman and her dad, Jeremy Burdge, an accomplished glassblower -- both of ajjewelrydesigns. Mr. Burdge specializes in lovely, one-of-a-kind art glass pieces, including these wonderful angels, as well as Christmas ornaments, pumpkins and more. I just love the ruffled, flowing skirt and the delicate wings of his angels. Amazing work!

by Jeremy Burdge & Angela Bowman

by Jeremy Burdge & Angela Bowman

Next, is a unique gift idea. My Chatty Metalsmith teamie, Laura Roberson of TrystingTreeFarm raises Alpine dairy goats and uses their fresh milk as a major ingredient in her skincare products. She handmakes all kinds of goatsmilk soaps, using only the finest grade oils, butters and essential oils and then ages them for mildness. A very unique gift!

by Laura Roberson

by Laura Roberson

And last, but not least, I just had to include some of my handcrafted metalwork. You can visit my shop AmyEstelleMetalworks for all kinds of great handmade gift ideas. I specialize in sterling and fine silver artisan jewelry, including necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets. You're sure to find a unique handmade gift for yourself or that special someone. 
by Amy Estelle

by Amy Estelle

by Amy Estelle

Remember, a handmade gift is special. It comes from the heart -- both your's and the artist's. When you buy handmade this holiday, you are buying more than a product, you are supporting an artist do what they love.

If you have a few minutes, check out my Aspiring Metalsmith teamies' thoughts and ideas about 'Handmade Holidays'!  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Jessica @ Abella Blue -

Stacy -

Elizabeth Brown –

Lilian Genebra -

Pennee- All Wired Up Jewelry Designs -

Claire English -

Gayle -

Nancy -

Autumn Bradley -

Friday, November 11, 2011

Early Holiday Sale!

Well folks, it's that time of year again. Time to start thinking about the holidays and everything that goes along with that. And what better way to celebrate than with an Early Holiday Sale in my shop! Soooo......

SAVE 10% on everything in my shop from now til Dec 1.
Use code HOLIDAY10 at checkout.

Happy shopping everyone!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My First Art Fair!

October 1, 2011 marked a great milestone for me -- my very first art fair -- 2011 Hallmarket! This is an annual art fair sponsored by Hallmark for it's artists to display and sell their personal artwork to the public.

This was so exciting and so daunting at the same time! I started metalsmithing and making jewelry back in 1992 in college, and I'd always just sold to individuals and later online. I'd never done an art fair and kind of cringed at the thought of being 'on display.' EEK!

So the WORK began! And boy oh boy, it was ALOT of work! First and foremost, I needed to build up my inventory! Then there was the matter of how to display the pieces and what my booth display would look like.


Production line!

Now, after all of that work, I'm thrilled to share a few photos of my very first art fair. I was scared to death, but I DID IT!!! And I couldn't have been happier with the way everything turned out! The booth display went together just as planned, the weather was beyond perfect, we had a huge crowd, my sweet Hubby helped me man my booth and I made 11 sales! What a perfect day! 

Couldn't have asked for better weather!

Welcome to Amy Estelle Metalworks!

I was really happy with the way the booth display came together!

I displayed  a small photo album containing both finished work and process shots.
I was thrilled to see people actually looked through it! Some even asked questions!

Homemade necklace displays. Fabric stretched over cork board and put into fancy frames.

Showing off my signature handmade clasps.

Contrasting necklace busts highlight the different silver finishes.

Custom logo stamped earring cards.

Overall, it was the perfect day, a great learning experience, good exposure for my shop and a whole lot of FUN!!! I saw inspiring artwork, met amazing people and spent a wonderful day with my Hubby! Thank you, Hallmark, for this wonderful opportunity! I look forward to next year's Hallmarket Art Fair! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Show us your packaging!

This is my first time participating in the Aspiring Metalsmiths' team blogroll project! So exciting! And this month's topic is a subject I love -- my packaging design.

My goal with my packaging is for my customers to see how much detail and care I put into my jewelry, from start to finish. I want them to be excited to open their package, or to give it to their loved one as a special gift.

Packaging is also a great way to help build your brand and your brand identity. You can use it to create a cohesive brand experience for your customer. For my packaging, I always use kraft recycled-paper gift boxes, tied with beautiful bows of varying cool shades of green, blue, teal and white. These are the same colors I use on all of my branding -- business cards, stickers, banners and my online shops. I also tuck a business card, complete with a 'thank you note' and QR code, under the pretty ribbon, so it's sure to be seen.

This is my new business card design (front & back), complete with a OR code that links directly to my shop. If you'd like to make your own QR code, here is a link to a free QR code generator.
Tip: When choosing your output type, choose 'SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)'. Then your QR code can be sized up or down without any resolution problems. For example, I was able to use the same QR code file on both my business cards and my art fair booth banner.

Inside the boxes -- more branding, my logo design, my color palette, pretty tissue paper, anti-tarnish zip bags and jewelry care instruction sheets (not shown). I designed my logo and necklace cards in Illustrator and then printed them on heavy paper stock. And for my earrings, I chose to use commercial earring cards, stamped with a custom logo stamp.

I found this awesome shop on etsy that creates custom rubber stamps. Lisa from 'stampoutonline' provided super fast service and rushed my order to me in time for my art show. I LOVE how the stamp turned out, and it added the perfect touch to my earring cards! And the clear mount made it easy to line up my stamp and put it exactly where I wanted it! Very cool!

Well, that about covers everything with my current packaging design. I'm always looking for ways to improve my presentation, and I strive to make my packaging as special as the jewelry inside it. I must admit, I find it fun to package up an order, tie the pretty bow, send it on it's way and try to imagine how the recipient will feel when they open their box. :)

If you have a few minutes, check out some of the other Aspiring Metalsmiths' beautiful packaging! Enjoy!

Beatriz Fortes -


Claire English -

Mary Anne Karren -

Lisa -

Stacy -

Morgan MetalAdornments -

Jason -

Jessica @ Abella Blue -

Gifted Designs -

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Ocean Jasper Necklace in Sterling Silver

Hello! Welcome to Amy Estelle Metalworks and my first-ever blog post! I am a metalsmith and jewelry designer. I use both traditional and modern metalsmithing techniques and tools to personally fabricate each piece by hand. Specializing in sterling and fine silver creations, I draw my inspiration from color, contrasting textures and nature as a whole. I love to work with natural stones, beads and glass to create designs that are both feminine and edgy—rustic and elegant. Thank you for following along!
Visit my shop at: