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heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

a difficult forging, but so happy with the results

a really wonderful client of mine has been asking me for years now to forge her a cross.

a really big cross (2.5″ long!) out of her old gold pieces. and finally we did it and man, was it a challenge for me.

cross

I don’t know if it was the forging, the white gold wrapping, or really just the enormous significance of this most iconic symbol…but it took me so long to make and in the end, I just had to say “you are finished!” and send it on it’s way.

and today she receives it and send me this:

Dear Heather,
I love the cross! It is just perfect! Thank you so much for your hard work! It is always such a pleasure to work with you.

I have the best clients in the world, thank you all for entrusting me with such beautiful commissions, I am so grateful

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

scorpio and the partial solar eclipse

Today I just had to spend some a moment trying to figure out why everything the last few days has just been so….tumultuous… oy, like really. so I did what any modern woman would do and, googled up some astrology. when in doubt, look to the heavens.

you gotta love it when the first thing you read says “Lightweights seek shelter”

seems today, as the sun enters scorpio, so does venus enter scorpio.

and at 5:56 EST, we will have a partial solar eclipse…and from here, I gotta say, just click on the link and read the article. it’s really well written and explains why some powerful stuff may be happening in your world.

and on that note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCORPIOS!

gold vermeil scorpio zodiac pendantI am sure I have some scorpio in my chart somewhere, but it isn’t my sign. still I find myself wearing this pendant from time to time.
 
I like the shape, maybe it’s the arrow…subtle but so powerful. So on your birthday, scorpios, hope you can help bring some of this energy down just a wee bit, I’d like to chill for a few please.

scorpio zodiac pendantand as always, if you need a little scorpio trinket for you or yours, the sterling silver pendants are available online here and (mostly) ship next day, so they make great gifts.
 
and I’m getting anew batch of gold plated trinkets in time for the holidays and they too will be (soon) be up in my online store.
 
“Take some time today to just breathe. It’s as if you have just witnessed the most radical circus act and your adrenalin is settling back to normal.”
 
that is from today’s astrology read! gonna take that advice now….

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

forging mother’s jewelry (bracelets!)

mother's bracelets

Forging these bracelets pretty much touches the core of my love for smithing. The process allows me to start at the very beginning, melting down an ingot of metal. drawing the ingot into stock of the desired thickness, annealing the metal (heating it up), quenching the metal (cooling it down), and slowly forging the metal into the shape of a bracelet.

in this photo you see three bracelets, the first two showcase the birthstones of her four children. the third bracelet has the birthstones of husband and wife.

a perfect trio to wear forever.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

The Howard Stern Show

so this past monday, i take the early early train into the city to go pick up our second rescue kitten from my dear friend, beth ostrosky stern. beth wanted me to get our kitten asap (so as not to miss out on her incredible little baby-ness) and meeting her at sirius radio station around the end of howard’s show made the most sense for our schedules.

now mind you, cold rainy monday morning, leave house at 5 am… wearing jeans and t-shirt…going to pick up a kitten. there was no mention of cameras, no mention of interviews, and certainly no mention of BEING ON THE AIR, live radio…

at least i had lip gloss in my bag, because well you know, you have to look good on radio :)…

but seriously, my impromptu radio spot aside, after the show I had the most special, very emotional moment with howard’s lovely co host, robin quivers. just back in the studio after a year plus long battle with cancer, I forged her one of my ribbon pendants and had the opportunity to give it to her after the show. as a seven year cancer survivor myself, this was, shall we say… emotional?

uh yes. and beautiful. there is a connection that survivors have that is beyond words.

and..robin wears one of my diamond gold wishbones that beth and howard gave her two xmas’ ago…and she happened to be wearing it monday morning. this made me so happy. here is the pic of robin holding our new little baby, sweet pea (aka selena beth).
robin wishbone selena

robin is also wearing her diamond gold wishbone on the cover of her newly released book, “the vegucation of robin”.

so needless to say, I am a very happy, very grateful mom, with two more mouths to feed and a full and happy heart.
oh and the part about being on the radio?

while chatting with beth in the green room, i hear howard on the air yelling “hey is heather still here? she doesn’t have television, get heather in here!” so in I go to discuss the pros and cons of television. with howard and robin. on the air.

i am still laughing :)

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

blacksmithing at michaelmas

well it has indeed been way far too long since I have returned to my humble roots as a blacksmith, but leave it to my children’s school to pull my dusty old forge and big 250lb anvil out of the cobwebs for a smithing demo at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf’s annual michaelmas celebration.forging at michaelmas

I was sent an email asking if I knew of any blacksmiths who would be willing to forge for the children’s festival.

perhaps this was a trick question :)…

michaelmas celebrates the life of the archangel michael, who with his great sword of steel overcomes darkness by slaying the dragon who is tormenting the townsfolk…

no, I didn’t forge a sword, but wouldn’t that have been great!?

I fired up the forge and the put some irons in the fire and the children gathered around to see the sparks fly, symbolic of the meteor showers that fill our night sky this time of year. the older children came to the anvil and “struck while the iron was hot!”, actually hitting and shaping the hot steel themselves with my hammers– they had a blast.

and we did manage to forge and finish a few iron utility hooks :)

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

sunflower trinket

Sunflowers have always been one of my favorites, the only flowers I actually find myself splurging on at the farmer’s market. their big smiling faces just make me so happy….
new sunflower pendant

so when I was asked to create a sunflower pendant to present to my daughter Logan’s teachers, I thought “how perfect!”–

Logan is in the “sunflower nursery”, early childhood program at the waldorf school here in ct and her teachers are, well let me put it this way, John refers to them as “the toddler whisperers”.

oh, but wait a minute… *I think to myself*… forging a sunflower is going to be really hard!!! so many petals, and if I make them all uniform, the sunflower won’t be believable… and if I make them all funky, like the sunflower I had in front of me, then it will look all… funky.

so here is the result of my forging, my filing and fiddling. I think instead of calling the trinket a sunflower, I am going to just call it “my flower”.

… and I love it!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

lucky four leaf clovers

whimsical is not a word I would use to describe my jewellery, however when I forged a little four leaf clover for my cousin this christmas, I found myself feeling so … happy … it would seem that forging a good luck trinket was just what I needed to bring a smile to my face.

just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I have 21 four leaf clovers to share with all of you who wish to spread a wee bit of good fortune this March, with free shipping this week to boot, so click here to get yours! (they are also the first trinket now available in my being-remodeled online shop– which is a story for another day. the peace signs, zodiac pendants and everything else will be up again soon)

sterling silver four-leaf clover pendantsunlike the rest of my trinket line, these charms are forged solid (rather than the outline). starting with an ingot of silver, I hammered the metal flat, cut out the rough shape of the lucky clover and then began filing until my four leaves had that happy heart shape.

did you know that according to legend, each leaf of the clover represents something?

the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

i love that :)

I am half irish, (with the temperament to prove it), and I remember my grandfather saying, “you know, the irish are historically an unlucky folk, but the grand thing about them is that they just don’t know it… they believe they’re lucky, and therefore, they go about life with a smile on their face.”

four leaf cloversto me that pretty much sums it up. luck isn’t something you have or you don’t have. luck is something you believe you have …

so if you believe yourself to be lucky, then just maybe you’ll be able to see the good fortune in the coming of each and every day.

so this st. paddy’s day, may you find yourself with a wee bit ‘o faith, hope, love and luck… and if nothing else, a tasty pint ‘o guinness in your hand!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

new year’s and a pot of gold

happy new year! yes, I know I’m a wee late, but honestly, the new year doesn’t really happen for me until the beginning of feb, after john and I celebrate our birthdays at the end of january.

this year, I am still hibernating a bit but yesterday’s spring weather finally had me boxing up the new year’s bells and moving forward.

been working on a favorite kind of project… the “recycle your old gold” job. making a 4-5 thousand dollar bracelet for under a grand. with the metal and stones that you just don’t wear anymore!

pot of gold

this pot o’ gold will become a solid gold bangle bracelet with a lovely hand forged weight, smooth and shiny texture with only the slightest evidence of the hand forged hammer marks.

not shown in the pot of gold is a tennis bracelet of diamonds. this week, this bangle will ship to my client’s daughter and she will try the bracelet on for size and then take my sharpie and dot along the bracelet where she would like me to flush set the tennis bracelet diamonds.

this will be a classic piece: mom gives daughter a bracelet forged from the gold worn by her mother, her grandmother and her aunt.

history…made economical :)

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

where we live.

I planned to blog on friday night. I planned to tell you all about the christmas presents nearing completion on my bench, remind you that my holiday special is coming to an end (so buy your trinkets now etc), but then while i was at the computer writing friday morning, i received the emergency msg regarding the lockdown of my children’s school, the housatonic valley waldorf school of newtown, ct.

and now, a blur of inexplixably angonizing days later, I would like to reach out to all of you who follow my work, who care, and say thank you, happy winter solstice.

fill your homes with love and so much light and share it with everyone far and wide so that there are no more people who walk among us in such agony as to be capable of wreaking such unutterable anguish.

how we move forward? I still don’t know. and then I look in the eyes of my babies, now 5 and 7 years old, and I am absolutely positively sure that we will go on, with more love, more patience, and more sensitivity than ever before. my community has shown such an immense outpouring of support for each other, this in itself moves me to tears all over again.

sterling silver ribbon pendantoh and if you still need the gift of one of my little hand forged trinkets, my amulets, please send me a msg, email me, pick up the phone and call me… and i will make sure you get it in time. right now, this is a way that I can bring some joy. in my head I am formulating a trinket in memory of all we have lost, but until then…

and yes, I am still honoring the holiday discount of 40% off.

may peace and love reign supreme, for real…

heather

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

my holiday special offer for friends & fans

for your cyber monday shopping convenience, I wanted to get all the details on my holiday special offer together in one place, complete with pictures and links.

  • what’s the deal?

    every year I do a ‘thank you’ promotion for everyone subscribed to my email list, where I try to come up with something to help you with your holiday shopping.

    gold vermeil gemini zodiac pendantand ever since the Steals and Deals promotion on the TODAY show in March, people have been asking me for the trinkets in gold at a similar huge discount– nearly an impossibility in this year’s touchy gold market.

    I posted recently about finding an expert chemist and voila! this year’s special: limited edition gold vermeil trinkets, genuine 22k gold plate on my sterling silver originals, gold that will last and age gracefully, at about the same price as the silver originals.

    the deal is both silver and gold trinkets are available to subscribers at 40% off, with free shipping in the US, until December 15, 2012.

  • do the pendants come on chains?

    gold vermeil wishbone necklaceto keep the price down, the trinkets in this special come knotted on rawhide only, with both tan and black included. in the spring i was able to offer matching chains or rawhide with matching sterling clasps, but I decided the corresponding price in gold wasn’t worth it.

    besides enough people (like me) are wearing their trinkets on chains they already have or with other pieces that new gold chains especially seemed exorbitant.

    and of course I can get you the right chain if you want it.

  • gift wrapped?

    in cute little silver and gold organza pouches with ribbons and my label.

  • did you say free shipping?

    I did, USPS in the continental US, guaranteed on me if you order before December 15, 2012.

  • ok, what do I have to do?

  • gold vermeil capricorn on black rawhide
    if you are on my list, check your email. you received a special password and instructions already.

    if you’re not on the list, sign up here. you’ll get the password and directions directly upon confirming your email address.

    you’ll need to use the password twice, once to access the gold vermeil trinket page here and then again when prompted at checkout to get the 40% discount.

  • I have more questions

    no problem. click here to email me and I’ll get you sorted out. after all, where would I be without you?

good luck with your shopping!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

burl ives, neil young, silver and gold

the kids have broken out ‘rudolph the red nose reindeer’ and once again the song ‘silver and gold’ keeps running through my head.

this has happened every year, even before silver and gold became my career as a jeweler. I have to launch into a good hearty rendition of neil young’s “powderfinger” to get burl ives out of my head :)

but for everyone shopping online, I digress…

a question people always ask about the trinkets: how do I wear my trinkets with my other jewelry?

the answer is ‘silver and gold’, or actually silver and platinum and gold most days.

wearing my 22k solid gold ohm pendant

rarely do I ever take off the emerald cut diamond that john gave me so many years ago. it is my version of my engagement ring. but gold vermeil is my offering this season and I wanted to wear my golden om.

so given the sparkly nature of the season, I am going to wear my golden symbol of calm right next to my sparkly diamond symbol of love. this sets the tone for lots of sparkly silver and gold as the holidays progress

silver and gold….

and now you’ll excuse me as I sing another verse of neil young, burl ives has taken over again.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

hooray! gold vermeil trinkets are online

well, i’ve been meaning to get this out to everyone sooner, but since the storms and with John gone all day every day in the city, I just wanted to enjoy us all being together NOT huddled down against the weather–

our holiday tableanyway we’ve had a lovely weekend so far, making time for a beautiful holiday dinner- brining the turkey is the way, even a non-turkey lover like me can enjoy.

also some football, pies (pumpkin with my best homemade crust ever), champagne, roaring fires, Santa and the tree-lighting in ‘downtown’ Bethel last night.

might even get a date with John tonight!

so more to the point, the gold vermeil trinkets are now available at a 40% discount only to fans who subscribe to my (infrequent) email updates. here’s the earlier post with more details. if you’re on the list, check your email this morning. if you’re not, you can sign up here.

if you hate email lists, i have something for you to this holiday season, too, because there’s free shipping for everyone in the US until December 15. its been a terrific year, and thanks again to all who’ve supported me and my work on the way along.

here’s some pics of the gold trinkets, I’ll write some more about them later.

gold vermeil virgo zodiac pendant
gold vermeil aries zodiac pendant
gold vermeil ohm pendants
gold vermeil gold wishbone necklaces

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

a love affair with my hammer

dana ring

total love affair with my hammer today and this piece of platinum (shown below). forging an ingot formed from a wedding ring and an engagement ring (diamonds removed of course). so satisfying to see the rings so separate, completely fused, and rolled and forged into a band. i love transformation. at whatever pace, it never ceases to inspire.


on the left, you see the platinum rings I started with. on the right, the platinum ingot and hammer in the studio today, and at the top of the this post, you see the final product…I just love this ring!!!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

gold trinkets for my fans at the holidays

when I think of you – my friends, fans and subscribers – at the holidays, I always want to do something you’ll really appreciate, and if possible, something you’ve been asking for— this year, the overwhelming request been gold trinkets at a price you can afford.

so while I haven’t solved the crazy gold market, I have found a way to get gold trinkets (and they are gorgeous, check out his picture) into your hands this holiday season, for gifts or for yourself, gold for about the same price as sterling silver, and whats more, a holiday discount on both! read on to find out how.

gold vermeil trinkets for the holidays

here’s the story:

leave it to one of my custom clients to come up with a solution to the “gold market fiasco”, as I’ve been calling it. a couple of months ago a client came to me with her very sentimental angel medallion in sterling silver. she wanted to have a replica made in yellow gold. it priced out a mere 3k. that’s right, a solid gold replica would be $3000, and that itself was heavily discounted from the “suggested” or traditional jeweler’s mark-up.

ummm, no.

the client actually suggested the solution: how about plating the silver medallion in gold?

well I have always shied away from gold plating. there is so much stuff out there done with sub-standard plating. full of nickel, too thin, lousy color etc. you’ve seen it: the color doesn’t look quite right and within months, you are left with some base metal (of indiscernable nature) “shining” through.

not cool and not worth it.

the universe however, is kind to me. after a few calls to some of my mentors in the biz, I found myself chatting away with a chemist, a woman who has been plating for over 55 years. she plates in 22k yellow gold and will match any gold color desired. the medallion was sent off and returned with the most gorgeous 22k gold vermeil. in the rich color of 18k “european” gold. absolutely stunning.

well, this got me thinking: expert gold plating on sterling would last longer than on base metal. the trinkets are not heavy wear items like rings or watches. her services are quite affordable compared to my costs to fabricate or cast in solid gold. so……

so I sent off a package of solid sterling silver trinkets. peace signs, little wishbones, ohm symbols and zodiac signs… and they too have returned with a gorgeous 22k gold vermeil, again in the color of 18k yellow gold, that you see in the pic above.

I LOVE them, and I’m particular. they are so rich, so warm and so pretty, and sooo affordable as my holiday special offer to my subscribers, fans and friends–

so here’s the deal

because they are experimental, I only have a few of each trinket in gold: peace signs, ohm pendants, wishbones and all 12 zodiac signs. I’m not sure if they will be part of the line yet, but John is going to make new items in the online store for them anyway, and we will send out a private link to them to my email subscribers only on Thanksgiving morning, along with a discount good for 40% off all trinkets in the online store. (yes its been a good year, thanks to all of you :)

the gold trinkets will retail for $135, the sterling silver ones remain $117, so at 40% off, gold trinkets will be $81 each and the sterling trinkets will be $70 each. they will arrive to you prettily packaged for the holidays. two pieces of rawhide , black and natural. cut long so you can tie the rawhide at any length.
delivered in one of my silver, gold or black organza pouches.
super simple, super sexy, super grateful.

the discount code will be good until December 15, but when the gold trinkets are gone, they’re gone for delivery this holiday. (if you really like them, I will add them permanently to the line next year.)

get yours early

now if you know you want one (or more, for great holiday gifts!), you can email me now to reserve yours and I will get back to you and handle your purchase personally. new subscribers will get the code, so tell your friends who love your pendant to sign up here, this is their chance to get the best deal I can do outside of morning television ;)

as always thank you for your support of me and my work, and have a fantastic holiday with your families this weekend!

more soon,

heather

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

hurricanes and holidays

there is nothing like 8″ of nor’easter snow to make you think about the holidays, and nothing like a massively destructive hurricane to make you grateful for everything you have in life, especially heat, running water and power!!!

Connecticut nor-easterwhile thousands around us lost absolutely everything, we are extremely grateful to have fared really very well.

we didn’t get any work done for a good two weeks…my jewellery studio was cold, powerless and had a bunch of big huge pine branches blocking it’s entrance. getting back to work was just about the last thing on my mind as I struggled to maintain a sense of calm for the sake of my wee ones who missed an entire week of school… it would seem that to me ‘calm’ means food. so i cooked our way through the storm (thank heavens for gas stoves).

so this year, my holidays are going to be really stream lined. simpler. less stuff! everyone will get a gift of something they need (yes, socks do count!) and a gift that expresses how much they mean to me. something small, something sentimental, something that brings joy and expresses my love.

it is at this time of year that I traditionally offer one really amazing deal to all of my loyal friends and fans.
those of you who have stood by me, championing my work and supporting my latest endeavors deserve to be thanked, properly with an incredible bargain!

I have a great special for you this year, one that so many of you have asked me for, but as you can guess, I need a few more days to get it together…. stay tuned!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

finally, the ribbon pendant

ahhh, the ribbon pendant.

I have been procrastinating and not writing this post, because i get emotional and then don’t write well at all.

earlier this year, I forged a very special commission: a survivor ribbon for one who is battling breast cancer, from her husband, a gift of love, a pretty, sparkly, solid ribbon of hope & camaraderie, a ribbon that says…I stand with you, I support you.

sterling silver ribbon pendant with rubytender spots were hit as i forged this ribbon.

(scroll down for a better picture but without the stone)

it was quite the process, creating this piece for a most passionate husband.

I hammered in a stone for her, pink for breast cancer, and imagined forging ribbons in a myriad of colors ~ we all have our causes, after all.

of course, i am a cancer survivor myself, six years clear and counting. colon cancer, diagnosed 6/6/06, removed a week later, and forever clear… I believe blue is the color most associated with colon cancer. i see tanzanite in a platinum ribbon for me. now there’s a smile.

I milled my stock out of sterling ingot and created my version of ‘ribbon’. quickly it became apparent that the silver was not going to gracefully bend into a beautiful bow shape, as silk ribbon would. a turning point was needed, I needed a pivot around which I could hammer and forge, a strong pivotal point. I needed a fulcrum.

… and i LOVE fulcrums.

a pivotal point, the point upon which something turns, that is what a fulcrum is. when blacksmithing, you almost always create a fulcrum for your job. I will forge an original curve and then weld it onto a steel table. when ready to turn my steel, I forge around my fulcrum and have perfect curves every time.

sterling silver ribbon pendant

when you’re battling cancer, you need a turning point. the point at which you realize that you are going to be okay. whatever the outcome, you will survive…

my fulcrum came to me post opt, through the morphine haze I heard what the surgeon said after removing the tumor from my colon. I listened to him talk about what the cancer looked like, what everything else looked like, and I turned a corner. I realized that I was going to survive, whatever that meant, I was going to be okay.

everyone who has every had a disease, been abused or forgotten, needs a turning point in their journey. they need to know that they will survive. live or die, they are powerful and they will survive.

believe that all is well, be strong and believe. for someone else, for yourself, for all of those who will someday battle. show support, give support.

so even now as I write, my throat swells, my eyes well, and it is why it has taken so long to share my little ribbon in anything but pictures, but finally I am so ready to really get these ribbons out there and forge right through the tears into the sparkly happy bits of life…

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

Leo Zodiac Pendants

okay, I have always known that leos are proud, they are the lion right, so of course they are proud. but this I still find this to be so funny…

when I was preparing for the NBC segment of Steals and Deals back in march, I made an equal number of all of the zodiac signs. I have a special affinity for certain signs, simply because some of them are easier to forge than others… some flow better with my style of forging than others.

for instance, my own sign of aquarius is really a challenge to create. something about those zig zag lightening bolts that just don’t want to match up under the hammer. the leo glyph however is an absolute joy to make, it just flows so smoothly and I love making the little knobby bit at the bottom.

so is this why I have all of 7 leo pendants left in inventory and only about 40 left of aquarius? because my joy in forging them signs through? or is it because leos are so proud of their sign that they, unlike us ever so understated…cough, cough… aquarians, just love to show the world that they are born under this fiery sun sign?

either way, here’s another photo of another happy leo, Marisol Benejam Donovan, wearing their sign and their kind words as posted on my Facebook page:

Absolutely LOVE my birthday present from my sister, Isabel!

Marisol's leo pendant

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

my astrology…

I just did something i haven’t done in a long time. I printed out the entire july astrological forecast for my sun sign, aquarius. I haven’t done that for ages, to be honest, because I haven’t found anyone’s forecast that really resonated with my life, month after month.

In march my dear friend amy sent me this link, out of the blue.

“love, I think you should check this out”, were her words… so I did.

really interesting, but of course i forgot all about it…

my hand hammered sterling silver aquarius zodiac pendanta month or two later, something jarred my memory and I exclaimed to john (also an aquarius), “remember our horoscope the other month, all that about a new home and I remember thinking, yeah right, in september but not now.”—

because we upped and move into this amazingly perfect home. beyond perfect really.

so I started reading her monthly and this month I have actually printed it out. so useful in the way susan miller states,

“That’s why we study astrology, to avert difficulties.”

gotta love that.

so I wanted to share with you in hopes that you will find her forecasts interesting, and useful as I have. here’s the link again.

I’ve hope, too, that you’ve enjoyed read your updated horoscope on the zodiac pendant page of your sign, and now we’ve added links to Susan’s full monthly forecasts on those pages as well.

susan miller has helped me to understand the importance of my rising sign, why I should read (and why I am now going to wear) my rising sign (taurus if you would like to know). this is the face you show to the world.

my hand hammered sterling silver virgo zodiac pendantfor instance, I just discovered that hunter is not just a virgo sun sign, but virgo rising as well. I am finding that if i am able to understand a few of the different influences the planets are having, not just on my own birth chart, but my babies, too, then I am better able to navigate our days together.

some days now I wear a virgo zodiac pendant as well to help me focus on what the kids need that day (logan is a virgo, too.) call me crazy, but I really think it helps!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

celebrate with me: six years clear!

i am a cancer survivor.

in fact, today as i write this tonight, i celebrate 6/13/06, my six year anniversary of being cancer free. six years ago, 6/13/06 a miracle doctor cut out an egg-sized tumor and 21cm of my colon–

from that moment on, i have never been better. ever.

if you’ve been following my work for a while, you know that this spring was a different kind of magic for me. for the first time i developed a fully production (not custom or individually crafted) line of jewelry in the trinkets and they got a tremendous amount of attention through their appearance on the TODAY show.

what you may not know is that the evolution of these trinkets pulled me through these past six years: the meditation of making each one individually, the people I’ve touched through them and the new friends I’ve made, and the universal meanings and messages contained in their symbolism:

  • the wishbone > our deepest wishes
  • the ohm > our rejoicing in being alive
  • the peace sign > our ideals of harmony & serenity
  • the zodiac > the eternal return of seasons & life milestones

a powerful lexicon for a mother, metalsmith and fortunate survivor of one of the greatest health scourges facing us today.

of course, my heart still yearns for the personal & private immersion of bespoke/custom jewelry design, and the universe granted me that in abundance this spring, too– one commission has actually given birth to a beautiful new life affirming pendant that will soon be an official new addition to the trinket line. (hint: some of you may have seen the photos on my facebook jewelry page last month)

anyway, i want to celebrate.

i always do this time of year, and especially this year, so it is with much gratitude for all of this, to the universe and to all of you that I offer my friends and fans my very best wishes indeed.

so here’s the deal:

small sterling silver wishbone necklacejohn made a special page with a special price on the most popular trinket of the Steals and Deals sale, my small sterling silver wishbone pendants.

if you already get emails from me, check them tomorrow morning (June 14) for a message from me with a special URL & password to get a small wishbone at a special price of $66.13 (regular price is $117).

The special is good for six days, or through midnight next Tuesday, June 19, 2012.

if you don’t, click here to sign up for my mailing list and check your email for the confirmation message. when you confirm your subscription, you’ll get the link and the password straight away.

the wishbones have made many powerful connections this spring that have made me so happy to hear, like this post (Facebook again) from my new beautiful friend Michelle wearing her wishbone necklace.

Michelle's wishbone necklace“Grandpa and I had a tradition of breaking the wishbone, I came across this piece randomly and had to have it! It came in today! Truly appreciated, thank you Heather!”
- Michelle

please feel free to share with your friends or anyone you think would appreciate the wishbone necklaces. just like Steals and Deals, there’s no limit, either, so if you need a few extra for gift-giving later…..

be so well,
heather

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

megan’s take on her virgo zodiac pendant

in addition to some lovely comments from fans who purchased trinkets through the Steals and Deals promotion, I also received some great pictures of people wearing their pendants, including this one from my sister-in-law, a talented creative in her own right, who added this beautiful customization to her trinkets.

“I got my pendants today from Heather Reilly Hiemstra! Along with special extras, including Logan’s drawing. Smiling from ear to ear tonight :) :) :)”

Megan's spin on my virgo zodiac pendant

I love this! if you do, too, let me know and I’ll keep bugging Megan to make this collaboration happen on a regular basis for purchase on the site!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

things i learned from the TODAY show

what I learned from the Today shownot a title I’d ever thought to see on my own blog, but there you have it. its been an experience delivering 1500 pieces of jewelry all ordered in one day, not the usual for my quiet little studio.

a higher ratio than usual of packaging, printing and envelope filling will give you a new perspective on your work, and I realized that I liked knowing that each order was handpacked by me just as much as when i send a custom order. I could definitely do without the printing war, but I now appreciate the USPS development API in a way I never thought possible (after John explained it to me) as well as the beauty of barcodes and the lack of lines at a rural post office!

what I learned from the Today show

i’d much rather spend long hours with a few hammers and my torch than with scotch tape, labels and baggies, but we already knew that. I never wanted “business” stuff taking away from “smithing” stuff, and long time fans already know that I focus on custom work and that the trinkets have each arisen out of a custom jewelry request of one kind or another.

I took my time getting to a large scale production and promotion like “Steals and Deals” because I wanted the jewelry to stay hand made and high quality but didn’t know how that would translate into the lower prices (cost and retail) that these kinds of promotions require.

so the second biggest thing I learned from the TODAY show was how to do just that, find a production alternative where i still handwork everything to the same quality but get my time and prices down. I actually learned enough to reduce my regular prices on the small trinkets by over 30% as reflected on the new online shop page. more on how this works later.

the most important thing I learned, though, is that a change in the production process (done right!) doesn’t change the impact of my work or the response from my wonderful clients. I have received many happy emails from Steals and Deals purchasers so far but I want to share this one to both make my point and let you all know again: this is why I do this!

be so well,
heather

“… one of my co-workers was having a bad day. She saw me wearing my wishbone necklace and said “I love your necklace! It makes me happy!” She said it reminded her of her childhood and always wanting to get to the wishbone…I told her how I came about your necklace and that I had such a good feeling from it that I had to keep it and order more! I guess I can feel the love in your handiwork, and the energy just spreads.”

trinkets on my jewelry bench

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

shipping your steals and deals

i’ve got three fingertips taped up from final filing & fitting, and a sore wrist from hammering, but its still more fun than i ever imagined filling and shipping dozens of orders everyday.

the Steals and Deals appearance on the TODAY show two weeks ago was, of course, a huge success, not just in sales but also in getting to meet hundreds of great new people interested in jewelry, symbols, blacksmithing and my style through email and on the phone.

Shipping your Steals and Dealsthanks to everyone who’s ordered and if you haven’t gotten your pieces yet, rest assured that they are headed to he post soon in a box like this, hand filled and double checked by me personally.

once again, i couldn’t have gotten this all in order smoothly without john’s help. i guess all those years of him framing pictures are good for something still– he’s helped me make a smooth system of printing labels and packing slips and entering it all into the computer so we know what’s done and what’s not.

i’d rather just be making the jewelry but i have to admit its pretty satisfying seeing the box fill up with packages all labelled with their postage already and delivery confirmation tracking bar codes– we’re burning through printer cartridges, but me and %$#@&^! technology are getting along pretty well right now!

so on that note, if you;re still looking for your order, i should mention that your shipping confirmation emails don’t actually come from me, they come from paypal.com with some crazy long number in the address, so for some people they are being blocked as spam. we did write you a note mentioning that if you sign up for my mailing list, you will get exclusive access to future special offers direct from me–

Jill’s Steals and Deals was the first time i’ve ever offered a discount to anyone not on my mailing list or a fan on Facebook!

(right now, all mailing list subscribers can still get the Steals and Deals 76% discount through next Friday, April 21 with a special code, (even tho Jill’s deal is over) so if you missed out two weeks ago, you didn’t! check your email for a message from me (if you’re currently a subscriber) or sign up here if you’re not– new orders won’t ship until May, but the trinkets won’t ever be this cheap again!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

love my friends and fans!

i started shipping trinkets from the Steals and Deals offer last week and have already gotten some wonderful responses. i wanted to share these two from longtime friends and fans who have been wearing my jewelry for years.

you guys totally made my day!

my dear friend Miranda (i made her wedding rings!) even changed her Facebook profile pic to the one below when she received her ohm pendant and sent me this message:

“Thank you Heather for the stunning Om Pendant.
I LOVE IT!!!!!!”

Miranda loves her ohm pendant!

you’re SO welcome Miranda, my beautiful friend!

to make sure none of my friends and fans missed out on this deal (the biggest discount i’ve ever offered) we created a new page on the site at the same special pricing and emailed a new discount code out to everyone on my list, prompting this beautiful message from Audrey, a custom jewelry client and friend for years now:

“Congratulations on your Today show shout out. Of course, I couldn’t resist the deal and just ordered the wishbone pendant. BTW, you won’t even believe how many compliments I get on the 3 ruby cuff. I love it as much as I did the first day I received it. Maybe even more. It’s such a part of me that I rarely take it off.”

seriously, i love you people, its an honor to create for you!

click here to see the sterling silver trinket collection in all their newly photographed glory.

click here to get in on the second chance friends and fans deal (76% off!) good through April 15, 2012.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

video: Jill’s steals, my new deal for you

if you’re like me in that you don’t watch television or have cable in your house, you probably didn’t see my jewelry featured last Tuesday morning on Jill’s Steals and Deals, a bi-weekly segment on NBC’s Today show.

and if you didn’t see it, you didn’t get a chance to jump on the best deal and biggest discount I’ve ever offered anyone on any jewelry I’ve ever made.

so to make sure all of my longtime fans, friends, clients and email subscribers could get the same deal, i’m opening up the same offer today to everyone who likes my work, whether you’ve been supporting me for years with your good energy and enthusiasm (you know who you are!) or if you just discovered me and didn’t get your order in before Jill’s offer expired.

if you’re already on my list, check your email this evening (April 3) for a new discount code just for friends and fans and the link to use it on.

if you’re not on my list, please watch the video to see the offer and get the URL where you can sign up for this special deal. don’t worry, I *hate* spam and only email my friends and fans a few times a year, and only when I’ve got something good for you like this–

enjoy!

the kids and I went across the way to watch it live last week at our neighbors and record this homemade clip to post here- quite a kick to see your own stuff on national TV! John edited in the closeups of the jewelry from my new gorgeous catalog pictures courtesy of Pittsburgh photographer Ed Rombout.

got questions? click ‘contact’ in the menu above and let me know directly. as always, I’m happy to help you out!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

catch my trinkets on the Today Show tomorrow!

well honestly, i never imagined I would be sharing a “press release” with you all, but this is a rather unusual situation. tomorrow morning, tuesday march 27th, my little line of hand hammered sterling silver trinkets are going to be featured on the Today Show on NBC in the “Steals and Deals” segment.

for real…

(so if you know how to forge sterling, get yourself over here, I am gonna need some help!!!)

but seriously, this is an amazing deal (especially with the current price of sterling). these little trinkets (peace signs, om symbols, little wishbones and all 12 zodiac signs) are really dear to my heart. I forge them as a testament to the power that lies within all of us, to share, to rejoice, to quietly roar… so enjoy this deal and take advantage of it while it lasts!

i also had some new photos of the trinkets taken by awesome Pittsburgh photographer Ed Rombout, check out the new peace sign, press release below.

small sterling silver peace sign on tan rawhide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Metalsmith Offers Huge One Time Jewelry Discount on NBC’s Today Show

New York, NY – March 23, 2012 Known to her fans for one of a kind custom and limited release jewelry designs, metalsmith Heather Reilly is doing something different next week, and doing it in a big way.

On Tuesday March 27, Ms. Reilly’s line of hand forged “trinket” pendants will be featured on the weekly “Steals and Deals” segment of the The Today Show on NBC hosted by Jill Martin, where unique products are offered at a 75%-95% discount from retail for 24 hours only.

“I haven’t done any real wholesale jewelry since leaving The Sundance Catalog in 2002, and I only offer small discounts on these pieces to past clients, email subscribers & my Facebook fans,” says Ms. Reilly, “but after hearing about Jill’s enthusiasm for the trinkets, I thought, why not? I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t appreciate that kind of deal these days.”

The “trinkets” offered on the segment are all forged in solid sterling silver, which Ms. Reilly points out, “is pricing at an all time high right now, like most other precious metals. So I feel really good about hooking people up.”

Fifteen different designs will be available, including the wishbone, peace sign and ohm pendants that have been best sellers for her for years. The other twelve represent the traditional symbols of the zodiac, a new line Ms. Reilly just introduced at the end of 2011.

“I’ve always been interested in icons, symbols and alchemy, so after a couple of custom requests, it seemed a natural to make a birth sign for everyone. Since only my fans have seen them so far, I look forward to sharing them with so many new people at such a great price.”

Trained as a blacksmith’s apprentice, Heather Reilly is a metalsmith and jewelry designer whose work is available exclusively online at http://heather-reilly.com. Tune in to NBC’s Today Show Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 9.15 am in your time zone for your chance at this special deal.

###

For more information, please contact Heather Reilly at 619.232.5999 or visit http://heather-reilly.com for her bio, videos, and portfolio of handforged custom jewelry. For more on Jill Martin’s Steals and Deals, please visit http://www.facebook.com/TodayShowStealsAndDeals.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

howard stern and robin quivers’ wishbone

small sterling silver wishbone on black rawhideHoward Stern’s wife Beth is a longtime friend of mine, one of my dearest in fact, and this christmas, Beth purchased a number of my wishbone pendants to give as gifts.

 

Howard jumped on this as well and gave Robin Quivers one of my favorite yellow gold wishbones (with a lovely diamond inset).

Robin Quivers wearing my wishbone necklace on the Howard Stern showwell little did I realize how this would change my business in such a big huge way!

the wishbone pendants have already been experiencing a massive resurgence in popularity as, thanks to the urging of many a new customer, I began making a smaller version of the cornish game hen wishbone pendant that I have been casting for years.

this smaller version has given way to wishbone earrings and now has joined the ranks of my “trinket” line of hand hammered pendants… peace signs, om symbols and my latest line of hand hammered zodiac symbols.

and now for the really something fabulous that is about to happen~

this tuesday morning, march 27th, NBC’s Today Show is going to feature my trinket line on Jill Martin’s segment Steal and Deals.  Jill has about 5 specialty items for sale at a discount of anywhere from 50-90% off retail price.  the deals are available for 24 hours only and my trinket line of zodiac symbols, peace signs, wishbones and om symbols will be sold for an insane discount off my retail price.

i personally make each of these trinkets (here in the usa, not in china!!!) and given the recent surge in silver pricing, this is going to be an amazing deal!!!  I am offering the pendants on one of three chain options (silver chain, natural rawhide chain or black rawhide) and they make fabulous gifts.

check it out at TODAY SHOW and from there you will see the STEALS and DEALS link to my site.

after all, howard and beth have fantastic taste :)

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

distracted by gold & platinum

yesterday was ash wednesday.

for me it was smoke wednesday.
absolutelypositivelyhorrible smoke from oven cleaning with chicken still within– I swear I had taken the chicken (made for animals in a.m) out of the stove…. well, I hadn’t.

I was so preoccupied thinking about this new platinum and gold pendant that I am creating for a really wonderful loyal client that I guess I wasn’t thinking about the logistics of oven cleaning. this photo shows the platinum which I had been forging round that morning, the bits of gold (to be milled into wire for wrapping around the plat) and the platinum bezel which I also formed that morning.

platinum and gold in progress on the bench

once again, I promised to work gold over platinum and once again, I broke my promise, never to attempt this again! but here I am, with the same wonderful client, promising to make him what has been milling about in his head… a gift to present to his wife when she gives birth to their first child. this is the engagement ring that I created for him to propose to her with, quite a few years ago.)

so i stand here and thank all the gods that we are all so healthy and strong and able to have withstood all that smoke.
all 9 of us :) I believe that because my animals all eat so well, they weren’t really bothered.

truth be told, I’ve never used an oven’s self cleaner function, so left the house with kids for four hours just to be safe.
returned to lots of super nasty smoke. super mega nasty horrible chemical smelling smoke.

I sprayed vinegar everywhere, had kids and animals outside… left the next afternoon and ozonation has begun to get rid of the smell without chemicals– hope it works!

and this morning, I awoke with a stye on my lower eyelids. been tearing from the smoke, and by this afternoon, it was really painful, felt like a pebble/eyelash in my eye.

googled, read, & finally trieda little baby shampoo on q-tip, swab stye, and it was all gone in seconds!!!

baby shampoo, wouldn’t put it on my babies, but so thankful for that suggestion, (who would’ve thunk?!?) so I thought it worthy to share.

some new (really useful!) witchy wisdom from a slightly shaken smith who is really aching to get back to that ingot of platinum on her bench……

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

I don’t make resolutions, however….

oh so many blog posts have come and gone through my head since ringing in this silvery new year.

I don’t make resolutions, however I did gently suggest to myself that I would blog frequently. this, I know, is the best way to reach out to all of you with coolfunkysexyunique style… the way to connect with those of you excited and inspired by platinum gold silver bronze, steel, rough, raw diamonds, one of a kind precious gems. jewellery with an organic story…

platinum engagement ring remodelworking on some really funky pieces right now. a chunky sterling puzzle piece pendant, and a rockin’ engagement ring rehab, a marquis diamond engagement ring, reset in a chunky platinum band (her present to herself). here’s a pic of the princess rock n’ roll diamond rehab ring on its way at the bench.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

holiday gifts and gratitude

my senses have been most festively titillated this season!

first, thank you all for your orders and correspondences, and to all new comers from the howard stern show, welcome to my world of metals. I hoping some of you guys will get into some of the funkier ways i work, in brass, palladium etc…

huge thanks, of course, to my dear friend beth stern and her beautiful husband howard, who gave one of my diamond gold wishbone necklaces to robin quivers for a holiday gift on the air, and from that moment, I have met a number of wonderful new people!

I forged and shipped right up until the 23rd… a crazy elfen metalsmith, or so i fancied myself ;)

then came christmas eve and I just stopped working. just stopped, left my bench a mess, and headed to old lyme to be with family.
all has been glorious. and tomorrow I ship more wishbones!

and my favorite gift this year? cashmere arm warmers. so absolutely decadent, ever so practical, and supremely sexy, charcoal grey cashmere arm warmers. heaven. going to buy a union suit and live in me overalls, long underwear and arm warmers. it is 18 degrees farenheight tonight.

you absolutely must do yourself the favor of visiting minnow and checking out her fabulous handmade cashmere pieces for adults and babies, too.

beth stern wears minnow

the site is beyond sexy. all photos of beth, taken by howard. seriously beautiful!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

platinum sagittarius zodiac pendant

platinum sagittarius zodiac pendant

here is a photo of the first platinum zodiac pendant, fresh off the jewellery bench! oh how I love to forge in platinum. those of you who regularly read my blog have often heard me wax poetic about the joys of forging in platinum… and here I go again! so malleable, so durable, doesn’t require any solder (read, no discoloration whatsoever!) platinum welds to itself thus creating a completely pure piece of seriously valuable jewellery. the texture is buttery soft, and the depth of color is not to be rivaled.

the sun has only just entered scorpio, but sagittarius is just around the corner and the holidays are hot on the archer’s heels!

and here in redding, connecticut, we have 17.5 inches of the mushy white stuff. most of the state is still without power, however, we have just been restored to toasty warmth, thank you!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone. please, keep your four legged children safe inside!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

yellow gold ring with rolling white gold diamond band

yellow and white gold rolling rings

a rather challenging ring to fabricate! the base is a yellow gold, forged concave band. a forged white gold band, studded with diamonds, rolls atop the yellow gold band.

my client, a most lovely woman with a real eye for design, had been looking for a jeweler to realize her vision. apparently, many a jeweler had turned her away! indeed, this was a challenging commission, but in the end, a most satisfying one.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

my rust studio ROCKS

the view from my new studioredding, connecticut has to be one of the most beautiful places in all of america. I am absolutely in love with my new home here with the wild turkeys, the deer, and the really large sounding bullfrog in the boggy pond (are there big bullfrogs here)?.

moving in the midst of a hurricane is always an adventure, but we have settled in so very beautifully and my studio absolutely, positively ROCKS… check it out, even my furniture and artfully neglected rusty anvil match the cool rusty toned (ahem) linoleum. I can’t help but make beautiful things with this vista.

the jewelry studio in Redding

I finished this sweet little sapphire and gold ring, right before I sent the studio off in the moving truck, all hand made 18k yellow discs soldered together with a lovely deep blue sapphire bezel set in rich warm gold. I’ll have to find the picture, as its a great example of what you can do when you melt down gold and start anew. sweet, little and rather unique, my friend beth’s design for her sister in law who just gave birth to a boy, a sister’s “push present” if you will :)

~ looking forward to receiving sue’s “disco” gold earrings to melt down and create anew. dig out that old gold. gold is good right now, brings some of this sun with you as the days get cooler ~

and I do so love melting it down into molten…

be so warm and dry

heather

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

hand forged sterling spoon

in my packing frenzy, I found a hand forged spoon I made many years ago and thought some of you would enjoy ~

hand forged sterling silver cala lily serving spoon

still the most comfortable spoon to hold, for my hand at least. found the fork as well, but I never felt that I got that one right (the tines are not strong enough)… so no photo is to ensue

these iron scrolls however, are bringing back some fond memories. I think i must have forged the scrolls 11 years ago and i used them to make a table out of some lovely burled maple. they are covered with dust and cobwebs … I vow to give them more respect in our new home.

hand forged iron scroll brackets

and on that note, our new home in redding, connecticut is on quite a bit of land and has the perfect little setup for my gas forge (wedding present from my dad, so many years ago) and my lg anvil. weighing a mere 250lb, my “dropped forged” german baby has been living underneath our front entry way table for too long now, time to get it out, get dressed it dressed and get it dirty.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

sexy lil’ zodiac pendants

symbols have always fascinated me. alchemical, scientific, iconic or archtypal, from the simplest to the most complex, glyphs captivate me with their primal expression of a force. metalsmiths are weird, we really do play with fire… and i just love books of alchemical glyphs. for really great dreams, read alchemy before bed…

and with celebration after months of playing with silver shapes and fire, my zodiac pendants have made their debut. i am really proud. they are simple, sexy expressions of self, our sun sign, our moon sign, his sign, her sign…

wearing my kids' zodiac sign, the virgo pendant

in this picture i am wearing my babies sign with my diamond from John. hunter and logan are both virgos. so far, the virgo zodiac (glyph!) has been my favorite to forge, the most complicated and heaviest weight in gold, but really fun to shape with the hammer. my sign, aquarius, has been a bitch to forge. going to give it another go at the end of this week. wish me well.

the zodiac pendants, (charms) are featured in the “trinket” section of my new site, artfully designed by john, alongside the peace signs, ohm pendants and wishbones. trinket is the word that always comes to mind when i think of the spirit in which i forge my zodiacs, peace signs, ohm symbols. simple, elegant expressions of energy.

and i think they are pretty sexy on a piece of rawhide with a tan :)

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

two stray diamonds for a dusty blacksmith

last night i found two stray diamonds in my jewel tray. funny enough, I had sat down at the bench to make a few improvements to the large forged bangle I have been wearing for years. The bangle, while lovely in its heftiness, was actually just some cutoff scrap, left over from forging a baby spoon years ago.

I had never finished off the ends of the bangle and have always been a bit embarrassed to show it to people (felt a bit like the cobbler who has no shoes)…so imagine my delight when I found that these two diamonds (each approximately .40 ct) fit perfectly in the ends of my hand forged sterling bangle.

i took this photograph with my phone, minutes before boarding a flight to jfk. i say this to convey my new dedication to sharing my work via my blog, facebook (join my facebook fan page here) and to follow me on twitter.

those of you who know me know that such technology does not come easily to me, in the past i would have rather nailed my eyelids to the wall than go through the steps required to photograph my new work and post it online. but times are a changing; the kids will be in school in september and i feel that i am morphing out of baby mode and into a whole new phase of my life. quite exciting actually.

and here is my big news… we are moving to redding, connecticut closer to my family and my beloved city (nyc). a healthy, happy move into a lovely home with a fabulous work studio for me. bright, airy, sunny and best of all, quite perfect for a 250lb anvil and a dusty old blacksmith’s forge.

platinum and steel are such a sexy combination :)

be so well and enjoy august!

heather

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

swimming in the ocean

i am an ocean child.

the kids and i have just returned from a three week holiday. first in old lyme with my mom, the kids learning to swim, being crazy little fish with their cousins. then off to the water’s of newport with my dad at the new york city yacht club’s summer residence at harbor court, newport, rhode island and ending with our pittsburgh cousins in stone harbor, new jersey.

oh yes, and i have also fallen in love with redding, ct, a delightful little town in fairfield county. life is really very good to us and i could not be more grateful for the ocean, my family and the serendipity of running into old friends.

and my jewelry always looks better with a tan :)

before i left for our beach holiday, i finished this gold birthstone necklace. three forged gold rings with hammered texture, three bezel set birthstones, with the birthstones representing mommy, baby and daddy, rings forever linked together, but able to move freely.

olympic ring birthstone necklace

this piece was so much fun to forge and here is the cool part:

mom and dad had a courtship during the china olympics as dad was a coach for the us olympic sailing crew and she joined him there while they were dating. i didn’t know about the olympic connection, however, when i designed this necklace, the three rings just came to me while i was chatting with him about her “push present”. the image of three rings, forever joined, but able to move freely.

this is why i like to talk to you all before i design for you :)

be so well and stayed connected, change is afoot!

heather

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

the newest trinkets have been forged!!!

oh i am thrilled to finally be able to say that i have forged the first seven of my newest trinkets, the zodiac pendants!

in the spirit, size and style of my peace sign jewellery and Ohm charms, the hand forged zodiac signs join my ever growing collection of symbolic
pendants.

here they are, photographed with my favorite ball peen hammer, the rat tail rasp (round file) that i have become so enamored with while making these zodiac charms, and my anvil (which i am too embarrassed to show to my metalsmith friends… it so needs to be dressed properly!!!)

having always been fascinated with symbols, especially alchemical symbols, the zodiac charms seemed a perfect progression from the peace signs, Ohm pendants and wishbones.

the peace sign originated as the symbol for nuclear disarmament and the Ohm is the symbol of a sacred invocation to be intoned at the beginning and end of any mantra. the wishbone, well we all need to make a wish every once in awhile.

while the origins of the astrological symbols themselves seem to be lost in history, the symbols remain elemental expressions of the sun sign under which we are born. the starting point of each of our unique blueprints.

additionally, for us alchemical freaks, the twelve core alchemical processes are ruled by the twelve signs of the zodiac. (i find all this fascinating and yes, people think i am weird :)

the pendants however, are classic. not corny or literal, the twelve signs of the zodiac are universal and expressive. I am really digging the pendants on a piece of natural rawhide (with solid gold or silver lobster clasp).

on my website, however, the pendants are featured on the traditional rolo chains that so many of you have with your peace signs.

email me if the rawhide chain intrigues, i am always happy to cater to customization!

by the way, the rawhide looks great with a tan :)

starting with leo, the zodiac signs now have their own pages on the website. the remaining five zodiac signs are on my bench awaiting my hammer. so far my sign, aquarius, has been the most challenging to forge (still haven’t perfected the little bugger) and virgo, the sign of both my babies, has been the most fun.

and in closing, may i say a huge happy birthday to my many leonine girlfriends and my mom! leo is the polar opposite sign to aquarius and i do seem to attract the leonine women. the first leo pendant i forged in 18k yellow gold, in honor of all of you gorgeous lions!

be so well and radiant

heather

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

diamond platinum wedding ring duo

diamond and platinum engagement/wedding ring set

platinum and diamonds at their sensuous best

so loved forging this platinum wedding ring duo… and damn if the finish didn’t reflect that right back at me.

pretty sparkly, conflict free diamonds, set a wee bit off kilter. there have been many variations of this ring forged and all with unique success.

and finally, this ring set has a bit of a dramatic story attached…

alas, discretion, being the better part of valor, i am not permitted to share

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

forged iron rose wedding present

all time favorite piece.

ever.

hand forged steel rose

forging flowers, many trials before realizing anything remotely worthy of mother nature’s glory…
this one i felt. it forged itself.

i formed petals one upon another with pliers that i have torched and tweaked, made a small peen hammer to etch the petals, forge welded ever so gently the stem, forge welding is good for the soul i tell you…
this is me, the root of your jewelry commission.

a wedding present, given in spain by us.

i learned to forge foliage from dorothy stiegler, thanks to a scholarship from the American Blacksmith’s Association of North America. what can i say? she is a goddess and i hope to forge under her instruction again someday.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

handforged iron gate

often i am asked how i came to make jewelry… and what do i do with that 250lb anvil in my entryway!

well in ’96, i had the very good fortune to apprentice with artist blacksmith angelo garro. truly a master, check out his site, beyond stunning work. having very little experience (read, none) i had to beg angelo to take me on (he later to confessed that it was only because he thought i was cute).

we forged all morning, a gorgeous fig tree gracing the half open air smithy. i learned masses from angelo and later, receiving a scholarship from ABANA (american blacksmiths association of north america) i had the amazing fortune of studying iron foliage with dorothy stiegler.

all of these incredible learning experiences came together in this handforged steel gate I created with John for a couple in Ramona. Interwoven with grape vines handforged from solid stock and adorned with grape leaves in Dorothy’s style, this was one of the few full blown iron projects I did on my own before turning my full attention back to jewelry in 2002.

the leaves and vines that wind through this door and gate are based on a cabernet grape motif etched on glass doors of the wine cellar in this beautiful home, which thankfully the home and gate survived the devastating witch creek fires that ravaged san diego in 2007.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

18k yellow gold diamond engagement & wedding ring

a rather unique engagement/wedding ring duo. i selected a beautiful G color, 1.25 carat solitaire diamond and set the diamond in a “horseshoe” shaped prong setting, studded the sides of the setting with diamonds and forged a thick gold band to showcase the sparkle.

18k yellow gold diamond engagement & wedding ring

the wedding band required a curve to be forged in the center, so that the wedding ring would hug the engagement band. with three white diamonds, two flush set and one in a low domed bezel, the wedding band has a life of it’s own.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

3 gold rings pendant

olympic ring birthstone necklace
when he called asking for a gift for his wife who had just given birth to their son, i immediately saw three gold interlocking rings, with topaz for the baby’s november birthday and diamonds to signify his wife and himself.
here is the funny part: he coached a usa olympic sailing team and she accompanied him to china for the olympics.
another pendant that feels good to play with.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

sterling silver forged bar bracelet

one of my classics, a hand forged sterling silver bracelet.

hand forged sterling silver bar bracelet

I start with an ingot of silver, draw it out with hammer and mill, and forge the bars concave.

the final result is definitely weighty, so sexy on a man, a statement of strength on a woman

this bracelet seems to forge itself to it’s wearer.

as beautiful Tom said…

“Thought you might like to know that the bracelet has fused itself to my being – hard to explain why. People have commented on… how naturally and well it seems to suit me. Feels that way from the inside as well.
”

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

platinum diamond wedding rings

another one of my favorite sets.
forged platinum wedding band with flush set smoky blue diamonds alternating with white diamonds. the blue diamonds are so unique, almost grey. she came to me years later to design her anniversary band. at this point she was fully bedecked with my forged bracelets and wanted to continue the theme…so the matching forged platinum anniversary band, studded with flush set diamonds, was a perfect compliment.

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