Monday, November 5, 2012

First stop, the tropics

Our jewelry vacation has begun! Thanks for joining me on the journey of Metalicious jewelry making. This is where we travel together to learn about the inspiration of creation. (Sorry, I love a good rhyme).

One of the first jewelry collections I designed when I started Metalicious was my Bubble Collection.  These are whimsical, fun pieces that I made by slicing up different sized tubing and soldering it together to look like bubbles. Here's my best selling Champagne necklace in sterling silver with a gorgeous London Blue Topaz briolette gemstone:

So why the bubbles? I'm not a soap maker, deep sea diver or competitive bubble blower. But I do love going through the car wash.

All that blue, sudsy goodness that leaves my car squeaky clean!

I also love to swim. I was lucky enough to have a pool growing up and spent entire summers swimming and ending up with green hair. And I can play a mean game of "Marco-Polo." But my favorite way to spend the summer now is at the beach.

My husband and I were lucky enough to spend our 10th wedding anniversary in Vieques, PR. I found some amazing shells and sea stuff that I carefully packed and brought home to make into jewelry. I added them to my Raw Collection of shark teeth.  This recycled sterling silver shark tooth necklace is my best seller:

My favorite piece from Vieques is my Sea Urchin Necklace.

But I also was obsessed with these tiny conch shells as I was snorkeling. I only picked the ones that were uninhabited by both conch and hermit crabs!

Totally not kidding...

No, that's not seaweed on my head. It's my ratty hair...

So after our trip I wanted to be able to do something good as my way of thanks to Mother Nature. I'm donating a percent of the profits from my Raw collection will be donated to the Coral Restoration Foundation. They work hard to recover the Florida Keys coral reefs through nursery rearing of coral colonies and planting out on reefs. I'd love to "adopt a coral" on behalf of my customers. Every little bit will help!

Thanks for taking the trip with me!

Jewelry design tour: Hong Kong

I traveled to Asia for the first time in 2002 for the jewelry company I worked for at the time. My mission was to work directly with our overseas designers in Hong Kong and to visit jewelry factories there, in Bangkok and in India.  I was so excited to get to travel to these beautiful countries even if it was for work.  The bridge above is one of the first things I remember about that trip, jet-lagged from the 12 hour flight, it was beautiful, architectural and it took me over the water into Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has bright lights, a polluted harbor, clothing stores, world-class restaurants and is bustling with millions of people. It reminded me of my home in NYC. :-) I loved it there!

Our Hong Kong designers were even nicer in person than over e-mail. It was great to put faces to the names of the people I had been working with for a year. And I was so busy, I barely had time to actually see anything other than the inside of the office!  Our vendors were kind and took me out for dinner most of the time, since I had no idea where to go other than the hotel restaurant.

This was my view of Victoria Peak, hidden behind the storm clouds. We would stay on the Kowloon side of the harbor across from The Peak. Jet lag would make me get up by 4am. So in the mornings I would go to the gym at the top of the hotel and run on a treadmill as I watched the sun rise over the harbor. There's now a giant skyscraper in that view, I saw it being built over a few trips to Hong Kong, and to me it looks like a giant electric razor.

One night, my co-worker and I ventured out and took a funicular to the top of The Peak. We had dinner at the top, gazing down at the lights of the city and the sparkling water of Victoria Harbor. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I can still remember sipping a glass of wine and feeling so small as we looked at this beautiful city.

This isn't my photo but it's similar to the view that night:

One of the neatest things I saw were the 'junk boats' which are fishing boats, out on the harbor. I felt like I had stepped back in time, or maybe went to the future where Kevin Costner ruled Waterworld.

Crazy to see the contrast between the old fashioned junk boats and the uber-modern city buildings. I had such a great time in Hong Kong, even though my hair was a frizzy mess the entire time (it's not the heat, it's the humidity). My Metropolis line was inspired by the beautiful modern buildings of the big cities I've visited, including my home NYC.  This is one of my most popular ring designs in recycled mixed metals:

But sadly I had to move on to my next stop: Bangkok! To be continued...