Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wedding Look Books are posted!

Introducing My Precious Studio Wedding 2012. 

It's been a while in the making, but the Wedding Look Book images are now up on my website for your viewing pleasure. 
I collaborated with two awesome women in the Richmond, VA "biz".
Rhea Calpeno is the artist behind Photosynthesis: floral. Her bouquets are out of this world.
Ellie Bolton is the talent behind Ellie Bolton Photography. Her images are to die for.
They are both super sweet and very easy to work with. 
This collaboration was full of spirited talks over coffee and I am thrilled with the final product.

So, hesitate no longer.

Please visit my website to see for yourself. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival - November Edition: Why do you make jewelry?

Why do I make jewelry?
There are a million reasons.

I've always been artistic and have enjoyed making things throughout my childhood. I love photography and design and painting. I love sculpture, glass and textiles.
When I started college at RISD, I went in thinking for sure I'd major in illustration or photography. Nothing else crossed my mind. We spent our first year there taking all sorts of foundation classes. I had very little actual experience in 3 dimensional art, except for the one ceramics class in grade school, and of course I made lots of things at home. The bonus of having artist parents.
Before that first year was over, we were expected to choose our major. I suddenly had no idea where to go. I definitely didn't measure up to all the talented illustrators at school and I was really enjoying all the work in my sculpture class. During class one day, after a critique, my professor came over to chat. He asked me if I had ever considered majoring in Jewelry.
Well, no, actually.
He commented on my patience, my attention to detail and how I enjoyed working in a small scale.
Obviously, I love to wear jewelry. But I really had no concept of how it was actually produced. I started going to all the open houses to try to spark my hidden passion.

Then I met the jewelry majors.

What an eclectic bunch. They were funny and weird and down to earth. My kind of people. They showed me some of the pieces they made. I loved the conceptual jewelry immediately. I loved that you could make an artistic statement on such a small and personal level and that it could mean something different depending on the wearer.
I was hooked.

I have never once regretted that decision. I love the nitty gritty of working in metal.
I get to play with fire!
I love that my hands always look rough.
*side note: whenever I went home for holidays, my dad always asked to see my hands. He wanted to make sure they were callused and looked like I was working hard.
I love that the jewelry making process is still a mystery to so many people. I feel like a magician!
I love the intimacy of my work. How it pierces the flesh.
I love the symbolism and meaning that each wearer attributes to a piece.
I love the energy it holds.
I love how it makes you feel.
I love that it will last forever.

Make sure to read everyone else's post on this topic!

Cynthia Del Giudice -

Laura Jane Bouton -


Beth Cyr

Peculiar Forest

Tosca Terán


Mary Anne Karren:

Deborah Lee Taylor:


Anne Walker:

Andrea Ring

Gracebourne Design

Danielle Miller

Evelyn Markasky

Inbar Bareket ... d-dig-deep


Abella Blue -

e5jewelry -

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Venture

Today I would like to officially announce my participation in an exciting new venture here in Richmond, VA. I am one of the inaugural core vendors with Blush on Berry: Your Everything Bridal Boutique (grooms, too!). Blush on Berry is a Wedding Collective consisting of up to 12 "core" vendors and advertisers, representing various wedding categories. The Collective was co-founded by Amanda Robinson with Sweet Fix RVA, Honey Armstrong with Honeydew Events LLC and Jessica Maida with Jessica Maida Photography.

Our current Core Vendors:

Like us (we think you'll love us!) on Facebook!

Last week we kicked things off with a friends and family fundraiser, which was a ton of fun!

setting up for the fundraiser
silent auction goodies
BRIDEface  lash bar
bidding war!
gourmet cupcakes by Sweet Fix RVA

Today we officially open to meet with clients in the gorgeous space at 425 Strawberry Street, Richmond, VA 23220. Our goal is to have the retail space up and running on November 8th. Just in time for the holidays.

If you're planning a wedding or special event, please contact us! We are more than happy to answer your questions and meet with you.
My Precious Studio will also be using this space to meet with clients to discuss the creation of your unique wedding bands, engagement rings or other wedding jewelry.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Mourning Monday 9.24.12

Julia deVille

Julia deVille "Kitten drawn hearse" 2010

To say that I am fascinated and a little obsessed with Julia deVille would be a huge understatement.

Her work speaks to me. 

Do yourself a favor and visit her website: DisceMore/Julia deVille/ Jewellery/ Taxidermy
This short interview (1/5) provides insight into being a vegetarian  and a taxidermist: INFRAME.TV/ Reflections on Mortality. Becoming a Taxidermist

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mourning Monday 9.3.12

my brother and his bride

getting ready to cut the copper

cut and sanded

personal message added to the back

My brother Carlos (Gallo) got married to his long time girlfriend Vanessa on August 18th. The wedding was bittersweet because, as many of you know, our mom died in 2006. She knew Vanessa and also loved her.
So, leading up to the big day, Vanessa approached me about making something special for their wedding day. She wanted a pin or pendant that she could give to my brother to commemorate mom on this day.
It was to be a surprise.
The color theme of the day was red, white and black, so I decided to incorporate these into the brooch.
I cut the brooch out of copper and made a sterling silver bezel. I found a photo of mom and my brother and made that black and white. The photo is set under a watch crystal. I then gave the whole piece a light oxidation to darken it up a little. 

Right before the ceremony, I gave this brooch to my brother and told him how Vanessa had wanted to remember mom and to do something special for him. Then I pinned it to his lapel.

Congratulations to the happy couple! I love you both so very much!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mourning Monday 8.27.12

Mom's resting spot.

Complete with weeping willows.

Mom was a bird person in life. Also in death.

Hi Mom.

I finally made it home after many years to see my brother get married. 
I visited Mom's cemetery during every visit, but I hadn't seen the tombstone since it was finished.
It's no surprise that I love it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mourning Monday 7.30.12


This was one of the most amazing cemetery plots I have ever seen! 
While vacationing in Kauai, Hawaii in July I visited two really beautiful cemeteries on the South Shore. 
Alongside these plots, there was a Japanese section as well as a Chinese section. 
So different, yet all so beautiful.
I also shot a short video of this plot, since seeing these flowers move in the wind is what really made an impact. I will share it once it's uploaded...

Click HERE for the short video clip. I apologize for the less than stellar quality.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mourning Monday 7.23.12

Funeral Sauce on tumblr

Every now and then, I peruse the world of morticians. If I wasn't already a jeweler its what I'd want to be. I was surfing online and discovered Funeral Sauce, a tumblr of a "twentysomething funeral director's apprentice" and I couldn't stop reading it. It's insightful, informative and hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing!
He is my kind of people!
Read on and enjoy...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mourning Monday 7.9.12

LR16 Coffin design by Adam Miklosi

Brilliant coffin design by Adam Miklosi dealing with the aftermath of death during disasters and a family's right to say goodbye.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mourning Monday 6.18.12

Today is my birthday and I'd like to share one of the best obituaries ever. Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark died in an automobile accident on my birthday in 2006. I had a copy of this on my fridge for many years.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mourning Monday 6.11.11

I made this custom urn ring in 2005

The urn, a vessel to hold the ashes of the dead, is a widely used symbol of mourning and immortality. You can see it used on tombstones, in art and architecture and in mourning jewelry.
Read this informative article to learn more about its symbolism and use.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mourning Monday 5.28.12

Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy

Today is Memorial Day and I, along with many others, will be honoring fallen soldiers.

Many of us in the CrossFit community will be honoring Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005, by taking part in "Memorial Day Murph".
Along with raising money for charities, we will be doing the following WOD (workout of the day) for time:
Run 1 mile
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 squats
Run 1 mile
If you have body armor or a 20 pound vest, wear it.

I will be participating at my box, CrossFit RVA.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mourning Monday 5.14.12

Spanish artist, Daniele Del Nero's series entitled , "After Effects"

Daniele Del Nero has created a series of mold covered architectural models that are hauntingly beautiful. They are part of a collection entitled, "After Effects". 
Click here to see more gorgeous images* and to read more about the artist's vision.

*bonus: no sneezing! for those of us with mold allergies 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mourning Monday 5.7.12

'The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses' (Photo: Paul Koudounaris)

I recently discovered this photo of painted skulls in an ossuary in Dingolfing, Germany.
Everything about this is gorgeous!

Click away to see more beautiful images and to buy this book:

  • to learn more about ossuaries click here and here
  • buy the book (I am!) The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses by Paul Koudounaris
  • check out the author's website
  • view more stunning images here 

thanks for reading!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mourning Monday 4.23.12

I'd like to share a link I stumbled upon recently called: Morbid Road Trip: The Scattered Artifacts of Lincoln's Assassination. It's wonderfully macabre.
I love how mundane objects can be instantly transformed into sacred relics.
I think people like to find a way to connect with the past. It's our way of remembering, of focusing on that one instant or moment in time.

Some of you may be familiar with my Weekly Reliquary project recently. One very personal relic in particular stands out to me.
You can read about it and see the relic here and then view the reliquary here.

What type of artifacts do you find magical?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mourning Monday 4.16.12

mourner #55

tombs in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Dijon, France

photo from the New York Times (to show scale)

catalog book by Sophie Jugie

I made it to the final day of The Mourners exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts yesterday. 
The exhibit consisted of 40 tomb sculptures, carved in marble and alabaster, from the Court of Burgundy; specifically from the tombs of Philip the Bold (1342-1404) and his son, John the Fearless (1371-1419). It was the final stop in the US before returning to its home in France. 
While maneuvering around dudes wearing loafers without socks (the horror!), I was able to experience the magnificence of these beautiful Medieval sculptures up close. And I really wanted to pick one of these up to hold! 
Each statue represented a monk in various states of devotion and mourning. One could almost feel the sadness when seeing them all together in procession. 
Unfortunately, no photos were allowed. There is an accompanying book by Sophie Jugie: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy as well as an interactive Mourners website where you can see each mourner in 3D. 
I'm so glad I made it to this exhibit. Maybe I should get started on my mourner sculptures...they will be cats, of course. 

thanks for reading!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mourning Monday 4.9.2011

 St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
 New Orleans October 8, 2011
(part three)

xxx marks the spot.