Thursday, January 29, 2009


Hot off the Quench bench!! A friend commissioned this pendant a while back. Oxidized sterling silver, hollow formed and riveted, 3 bezel set diamonds, and bits and pieces from my scrap bin (sort of grunge meets steampunk...would it be called grunpunk or steamunge?).

I'm clearing of my bench, checking off the list, and tying up loose ends as I prepare to vacation! Ah, sun, sand, and palm trees! I'll be closing my Etsy shop for three weeks starting February 1st. I'll be sure to pop into my blog from time to time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Latest Obsession

Between cleaning cream cheese smears off the cabinets, scrubbing marker off the walls, and managing daily home life chaos, I have been thinking about photography: namely, my photos in my Etsy shop. Quite frankly, photos are everything on a site like Etsy. Your photos need to be clear, well-lit, creative, and capture a potential buyer's eye in a second. I have the clear and well-lit part down...but creative? Not really. A smart use of props would help in that department, but, I'll admit, the idea gets my brain all frazzled. Currently, my backgrounds are paper, mostly gray and consistent (read: boring and unimaginative).

So, I am on a bit of a quest to include props in my photos: a quest to bring life to my work: a quest to develop a bit of a storyline. Honestly, my head spins thinking of all the possibilities: rocks, gravel, rusted tools, shiny tools, fabric, thimbles, eggshells, nails. In the meantime, I would love to share some of the best (of course, this is my opinion only) prop usage and photos from Etsy.

Above is a photo from Metalsgirl's Etsy shop. Shop owner Laura has a several listing using models as props...fitting, right? The photos depicted wildly vibrant jewelry on, what I deem to be, very hip, edgy, sassy women. Photo credits go to Casey Laura's words "her awesome photographer"!

In this photo, I adore the juxtaposition of the stark white background against the model's bronzed skin. Then, there is the pop from the vibrant pendant's displayed on her neck. Excellent use of a model!

Kathi Roussel employs odd little knick-knacks in many of her photos. This ring is clearly the focus, but there more: a worn, pink miniature bed...sans the mattress, a blurred background of a hot pink boa, perhaps? My attention immediately focuses on the ring, but I want to know more. What's the story with this little bed? Why a flash of pink in the background? Her photos are sweetly mysterious and, when viewed together in her shop, work wonderfully together!

Another Kathi Roussel creation...anyone else interested in what is going on beyond that settee?

Littleput Land's Scrabble tile pendants are all photographed and propped identically. Rock, moss, pendant, rock, moss, pendant. Together on the page, the repetition translates to calmness, much like a zen garden. Ahhh. ( creds go to Joy of Ribsmalone!!)

Annie from Imogene and Annie photographs many of her pieces on book pages. In the photo above, I love how the crisp text and illustration compliments her pierced designs. Romantic with a slight pinch of playfulness.

One of my favorite photos and listings on Etsy. The balance of lighting, props, and pendant drew me in at once. I clicked and discovered even more charming photos in the listing!!

Lastly, this is one of my latest creations. I grabbed this miniature pitcher from my grandmother's collection and popped it into this photo. I'm liking this little splash of color, but I'm not convinced that mini pitchers will be my props for future photography sessions! Do you have any prop ideas for Quench's photos?? I will gladly accept all suggestions and comments!!! Thanks in advance!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Family Time

I'm away from the Quench bench for a few days. My father in law passed away on Inauguration Day. We are all together just as it should be...crying, laughing, hugging, celebrating, eating, drinking, remembering, sharing. I am certain that he is in a better place with all of his brothers and sisters (7 total).

I'll be back with a new post on Monday. In the meantime, take the time to say 'I love you', hug just a little longer, linger at the dinner table, say 'goodnight', write that love note....make every moment count.

Friday, January 16, 2009


A few weeks ago, Etsy Maine Team members, Jamie, Kim, and I, joined Kathy Williamson (owner of for some lively conversation at the Liberal Cup in Hallowell. She interviewed us all about our online shops, Etsy, blogging, photography...and we chatted her ear off! Previous to our date, she interviewed another team member and friend, Jes, about her Etsy experiences. To listen to the entire podcast, click here.

The pic? New work...stay tuned!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Today is my birthday. If I could, I would sit down in front of the TV, watch runs of some guilty pleasure show, and eat this cake! Wouldn't that be a celebration! But, let's focus on the painting....the brush strokes look almost as decadent as the subject. Buttercream or french cream? Flavored lightly with orange or lemon, perhaps? Mmmm...oops, thinking of cake again! For more yummy treats, check out Blue Mango's Etsy shop here. I adore the pastry pieces, the warm palette, and the simple composition. Thank you for providing me with a taste of virtual cake, Blue Mango!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fluffing the Shop

I conquered a snarky graphics program on my PC (grrrr...) to make a more professional banner for my Esty shop. As a do-it-yourselfer, I'm quite tickled with the results. The bottom banner was the winner. Oh, and by the way, I had eight total, but only burdened you with three. Now, if I could just settle on a look for my blog....

I've been tweaking, fluffing, and virtually dusting the shop this week. I reshot a bunch of items with efforts to creating more visually appealing listings and to change the background color to gray on many items. I still would like to add props...but what? Wooden spools, stones, rusty washers, dioramas, sewing notions? The challenge is to commit to a theme/ or story with my work. ~sigh~ Not an easy task as my work embodies vastly differently expressions from my life's journeys. Perhaps a road map or chart would be in order....hmmm.

Another new listing! A 3 bangle piece from the Dot Collection! I LOVE THIS! If I didn't list it, you can imagine where it would be right now...dangling from my wrist and banging against this keyboard, of course!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Good Vibes

Drea's cupcakes...oh yummy!

When the stars and planets align to create positive energy, I'm always first in line to absorb it up like a sponge! Last night, Etsy Maine Team members and twins Jamie and Joy hosted craft night (make this part of your New Year's a craft night immediately...the world would be a happier place if more people came together to chat and create!!!) at their Sweetland Retreat....a gorgeous cape farmhouse that they are magically transforming into a bed and breakfast!!! Chatting, laughing, singing, squealing, eating, crafting, eating again, more chatting. Just a lovely night for a gathering! In attendance: Drea, Kim, Peggy, Jamie, Joy, and me!

Dioramas by Kim...more about this in a later post!

Quench needlework!

After returning home from our craft night, I received this email. In short, the following excerpt beautifully summarizes why I create jewelry:

Hi Jen, Someone has already written the story, "The Necklace," I am quite certain. But here is my version. Jen was shocked when she opened her beautiful little package. She even commented on the wrappings and how pretty the tissue
paper was. Then when she saw it, she was couldn't believe it. She was speechless for a second, and then just kept saying she couldn't believe it, and we shouldn't have done that. (All the while clutching it to her.) She wore it several times while home and said she got many compliments. It was very pretty
on her. So, thank you again for creating such a unique treasure for us to give Jennifer.

This is the necklace! A worthy receiver and a generous giver. Both lovely souls who urged me to return to jewelry making! Many heart-felt thank you's to you both for your support, enthusiasm, and good taste :)!

To top off all this good karma, I had a sale today from my friend, Jes! Ah, I'm floating! Here's a good helping of positive energy for you all this evening! ~~throwing good karma dust into the virtual world~~

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Listings

I'll be adding these pieces to my shop in the next few days. I have several vintage button pendants (besides the one above) that will join their kin as well!


I sketch. I draw. I smudge. I doodle. I plan. I diagram. On these many bits of paper and vellum are designs that number well into the hundreds. I dare not think of the percentage that have graduated from paper to metal....a very, very low success rate indeed! However, I continue to sketch, noting which may become actual pieces and crossing off the unfortunate few who will never make the cut.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

Ah, at last, a new year. A new calendar, a fresh slate, a season for resolutions. Time to clean the studio, finish commissions, and work on some new pieces (like this pendant from my new collection, Dot).

2008 was a super eventful year for Quench Metalworks. I started my business, worked diligently whenever possible, had sales (yes!), started this blog, and forged many new and old friendships! My expectations are great for 2009. Here's wishing you all a healthy and prosperous new year.