Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Very First Piece of Jewelry I Ever Made

I found this picture yesterday. It is me when I was in the 6th grade. I had forgotten about this piece of jewelry. It was my mom's cross and pearls I repurposed them without permission. I think I remember thinking, They are just sitting in that old jewelry box of hers never getting any I helped myself to her goodies to make my self a goody. Hindsight says how thoughtless I was of my mom. Sorry mom, I would not do that now for anything. It also says that even at the young age of 11 my heart was to create jewelry.

Sadly I did lose it, I don't remember what I did with it, but I do remember wearing it for almost all of 6th grade, every day.

Honestly there had been quite a few clover necklaces and telephone wire rings before this necklace, but this is proof of my early exploits in jewelry design and assembly.

Anyone else make telephone wire rings?

Sweet memories...ahhhhhhh.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recieve a 30% off Discount from Hampton House Jewelry!

All you have to do is become a follower on my(this) blog. If you already are a follower, then you automatically get the discount on fashion jewelry!

The next two weeks is going to be full of changes for Hampton House Jewelry!

Yes, I am a little fearful of what is coming, but I do believe with all my heart it is time!

You will be able to purchase online VERY VERY soon!

There will be  additional opportunities for discount through out the holidays!

Stay in touch, I will be posting new items very soon.

God Bless!


This is the small print stuff: Offer expires December 1, 2010.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I love my job!

 I have previously blogged about this ring. I have known the owner since she was about 5 years old.

She brought it into me to see if I could repair it.

This pieces needed a little more than repairing.
It needed to be restored.  The word restore makes my heart race with great delight and my eyes glaze over with the anticipation of a great challenge.

I had included this ring in a previous blog, so check it out to find the back story on it. :o)

I have spent several work hours with this ring. In addition to the repair and restoration, she wanted it sized to fit her also.

I hope that she will enjoy it for many more years to

God Bless you Kayleen and your marriage!

I hope you love it! It is a beautiful ring!

I love love love my job!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Donations!

 Each year the Sulphur Springs Symphony League has an auction in the fall of the year. It is an event that I have looked forward to for at least the last 14 years. Our little town is blessed to have them as part of who we are. They are such a large part of our Fourth of July Celebration each year on our town square. They are a partially hidden support for our students who play the stringed instruments in our local schools. I say partially, because they do not stand up and shout out what they do to benefit the students. They are like WD-40 on a squeaky door. It causes things to run so much more smoothly without even being noticed. As a parent whose children have benefited from the Symphony League, my heart is grateful. I hope to always participate in donating something special for their cause. This year I wanted to hand craft a couple of pieces that played back on the symphony theme.

For the first piece I went into one of my secret hiding places and pulled out one of my favorite things that we made in Metal Arts class at school. A piece of Mokume-Gane. Mokume translates from Japanese as "wood eye" referring to burl wood grain and gane means "metal".  Looking at the pick you can see where the name comes from.

 It took over six weeks to make this metal. We started out with 13 pieces of surgically cleaned metal. By stacking them and heating them to an extremely high heat for long hours we were able to begin the process of making this Japanese metal form, Once it reached it's inital forming temperature, we pulled it out of the kiln and used sledge hammers to pound it as flat as possible. Then we reannealed it and pounded it again. We repeated this process again and again and again. Needless to say, this was  s-l-o-w tedious work. The metal was finally 1/3 of the oringal stacked thickness. We drilled holes and graved trenches into the metal to make the pattern. Once the patterns were cut into the metal, we continued to flatten the metal by use of the rolling mill. After two passes through the mill, we had to anneal it once again. It went through the rolling mill at least 250 times that I know of.  

I do not have a lot of this metal, but I wanted to make something that would be useful and different. Sooooo I made a guitar pick with it. The odd angels on the pictures are caused by the texture I put on the finished pick so that it would not be slippery. This piece of metal is formed from sterling silver, fine silver and copper. 

The second piece is made of sterling silver. I got the idea to make this from seeing a few pieces that are similar to this. I call it "The Heart of Music". I don't really know how original that is, but I felt it needed a title.

I hand crafted the two pieces by bending sterling silver square wire. I wanted it to have a sturdy structure, that would hold the design. 

I always hesitate to post the ugly pictures. You know the ones that are not of the finished product. I hope it doesn't scare anyone off from my shoppe.  This picture was taken right after I dunked them in the boric acid for soldering purposes.

 I soldered them together and added the baille.  I used my chasing hammer to put a "hammered" finish on the pendant. It is just enough to make you want to look at it a little closer and to reflect on it a little longer.

 I had the chain in my shoppe. I chose it as it was simple and would not take away from the statement the pendant was to make.

Though these two pieces are fairly simple, I did put my heart into them and hope that whoever wins them in the auction will treasure them.

Kudos to Sulphur Springs Symphony League! Keep up the great work you are doing in our town. You make a difference for us all!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hand Crafated 14K Baby Ring

A grandfather requested this ring be hand crafted for his highly anticipated grandaughter.

I do not know names, but I do know the importance of grandbabies and the joy they bring when they arrive. I am so delighted to be in on this little suprise.

This is an almost step by step look at how it was made. 

1) Measure out the metal. The ring was to be a size 3. 

 2) I wanted to put a texture on it that would last without showing great wear in the future. The completed ring fit my pinky finger. Hopefully she will be able to wear this her whole life and smile at the memories that will come with it over the years.

3) Once the hammering is done, the metal is a bit out of shape.

 Thank God for Parallel Pliers. They straighten the metal so nicely.
4)The hammering stretches the metal slightly, so it has to be remeasured.

5) Once I cut the metal to approximately the right size, I began to bend the metal into a semi round state.
Remember, I did say semi-round.

6) You manipulate the metal to meet perfectly for soldering puposes.

7) You coat the ring with boric acid to protect the metal from the fire. You also add flux to where you want the solder to flow to.

8) Once the ring is clean, you shape the ring in to a round shape. You do this by placing the ring on a  mandrel and and hitting it  with a leather mallet on all sides.

Nice and round!

9) Emery both sides of the ring to get any major scratches off that were made during the fabrication process.

10) Once it is shaped properly, and the first metal clean up is done, you hammer the ring where the solder joint is. The will normally strech the ring to the right size.

11) Tripoli will normally remove the remaining scratches on the ring.
12) Rouge makes the metal come alive! It dances with the light and shimmers only as true gold can.

Finished! Now it is ready to be shipped to the
Houston area immediately!

Congratulations on your wonderful gift of a precious grandchild!
Thank you for allowing me to make this to be treasured keepsake, that she will have her whole life. What an honor, you have given me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How To Care For Your Gold Jewelry

Gold is lasting and durable, but it can get scratched or dented if treated roughly.

Gold's worst enemy is chlorine. Repeated exposure can weaken gold's structure, eventually leading to breakage. Keep your jewelry away from chlorinated cleaning products and out of the swimming pool and jacuzzi.

Protect your gold jewelry by storing it safely or keeping it wrapped in a soft cloth when not being worn.

Clean your gold jewelry with a cleaning solution of sudsy lukewarm water, or take it to a jeweler and have it professionally cleaned.

Dry and polish jewelry with a chamois or soft cloth after cleaning and rinsing.

Keep gold jewelry free from dust, moisture, perspiration and makeup.

Always inspect your gold jewelry for weakness or damage. If any is found, take it to a jeweler for immediate repair. (I will be glad to restore it for you.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I made this sweet little bracelet Saturday evening after closing. It was made for a sweet little baby girl that has not made her appearance on planet earth just yet. Just a few more weeks and we will get to see her.

This is the first in a new line of children's jewelry I will be making for the shoppe. 

I wanted to add a chain to insure from accidental loss off of her wrist.

I also stamped her name on the front side of the bracelet.  Though the imperfections glare at me,
I am reminded what Mr. Waters told us time and time again in class," Imperfections are the guarantee mark of a hand crafted piece of jewelry."  So instead of trying to perfect it, I left it alone and am at peace with it, as she will always have the first piece of baby jewelry I made. Maybe one day it will be worth more than we could ever imagine now.

I wanted to make a keepsake for her, one that would grow with her. Looking at the bracelet, you would wonder how in the world will a bracelet that fits a baby grow with her. I will tell you, when you know a metalsmith, it is possible. When she out grows this size, I will just add additional metal to each end and rework the shape. I will at that time put her birth information on the inside of the bracelet. I hope her mother likes it. It was made with love and care. 
I have another piece of baby jewelry that I need to make. I will get it posted soon...well as soon as I get it made. Surely that won't take too long...right!?!?!?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The ABCs of Life



Monday, September 13, 2010

What am I working on now??

These are the two rings that I am currently restoring.
When I received the phone call asking me if I can
repair a ring that had been cut off of a finger, my
answer was, "yes". Somewhere in my mind I was thinking of a ring that was cut off with a ring cutter,
a tool used by jewelers. Ummmm I was WRONG!
The lady that owns this ring had her uncle cut it off. I am not sure what he used, but I am sure that it was not a jewelers ring cutter! Once I got over the initial shock, my heart jumped with joy! I knew I was going to restore this ring beautifully. I have known the owner since she was 5 years old. I have to make it right for her. I want her to enjoy it the rest of
her life! If you know me very well at all, you have heard me say, "Every diamond I own, I have earned!" This sweet mamma has 3 wonderful darlings, and somehow I feel like she has earned     every single diamond in this ring! I want it right for her!

When the owner of this ring brought it in, he thought that maybe the diamonds could be pulled and the metal melted down to make a new ring. I would have gladly done that for him, but I had to offer to restore it. All I could think of at the time was the hard work that the man had done for his family wearing this ring. It was honest, diligent hard work. You can see it on the ring. He wore the ring until it could not be worn any longer. That told me he loved the ring. I really hoped he would agree to let me restore it. I knew it could be done. I just hoped he would agree.......and he did! My heart soared with delight knowing that I would get to put a few good doses of TLC on this ring. He and his precious wife came into the shoppe this weekend to check on the status of the ring. They were very delighted with how it is looking!
I hope to complete both of these very very soon. When I do, I will post the restoration pictures.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Restoration and Repair

The story behind these rings says true love! The couple that that belong to were married shortly after high school. They took their senior rings, had them melted them down to make their wedding bands.
The rings had been worn with such love and devotion until they could not longer be worn. 

 One was so misshapen that it was not wearable and the other was cut off the finger. They set idle for years waiting to be restored. Mrs. Vickie had received another beautiful wedding set, but this ring had knit itself to her heart. She wanted it back and she wanted her honey to have his back too, so she snuck them out of their normal storage place and brought into my little shoppe for some TLC!
The first thing I did was to take her husband's ring and round it out. The quality of the gold and the workmanship of the original rings are wonderful! The person who made them did an excellent job. They were made to last forever and a day!... just like their marriage.  After rounding it out, I took out as many scratches and evidence of great wear that was possible. Then I put a high polish on it to make it shine like new! Vickie could hardly wait, she came into the shoppe to see it before I had done any work on her ring at all.
You can still see some of the wear on the rings. I did not want to take any more metal off of the rings than what was necessary. In school we are taught to always respect the clients gold and not to be overly aggressive when doing this type of work. We are to let the piece wear the character of it's life in it's best light.
I hope her honey is surprised by her generous gesture and pleased with my work. I look forward to getting to know Mrs. Vickie better in the future.
Melissa, thank you so much for the referral!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Little Girl's Bracelet

Many of you have asked to see the bracelet I finished up for little girl's 4th birthday.

Her great grandmother is having it made. I think that it will always be a treasure for her.
We will continue to add diamond charms for different events through the years.

I included a dime so you can see how small the "charms" are.

Happy Birthday  Miss Sallee! I hope it is a wonderful day for you!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What is going to be the hottest color this fall??

Jewelry expert Helena Krodel reported the fashion and jewelry trends during New York City fashion week. She reports on the must-have jewelry trends for Fall 2010, which include the color blue, huge necklaces, clear jewelry and colorful bangle bracelets!
Yes, you have read it here first... well kind of first if you haven't read it anywhere else!
The big color for fall is BLUE... any and every shade of blue from cornflower blue to midnight blue.
So start buying!
Blue will be in the next shipment I get in!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Diplomas are UP!!

My wonderful husband made me buy frames this week. He wanted me to get my hard earned diplomas up on the wall at the shoppe.

It was my intention to have them framed and up by the end of the day. He came in right before lunch and assisted me in getting this done. He was so excited to get them up,  he totally forgot a sales meeting he had at lunch.

He felt horrible about missing the meeting, but was so glad to get my credentials put on the wall.

Thank you Honey for taking such good care of me! I wouldn't want to live without you...EVER!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Simple Repair

These three pieces were brought into my shop for a simple repair. The same part of had fallen out of both the original designed earrings. My client had this small charm made of gold she wanted to use to replace what had come out. The earrings turned out very very nice. My client is very happy to have them back in
wearing order.


She was wearing them last night. They looked beautiful on her. Her hair is that beautiful platinum color, that everyone woman wants to have if they must have silver hair. Her skin is that beautiful olive color and blemish free. The two tone earrings had the most beautiful model wearing them! The original designer needs to come to Sulphur Springs and check out the beauty of this woman with the earrings.  They would hire her in a heart beat!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Restoration Polish

I love doing this type of work. The instant gratification is so satisfying.
These pieces are just a few from this client. She has beautiful pieces.
Thankfully she has trusted me with her treasures. I am very grateful for
getting the opportunity to see the American Indian pieces of art in the
form of jewelry that she has brought in.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Making of a Simply Elegant Wedding Band

I made this ring earlier this month.
It is a custom order. I started with
what is called "stock" meaning the
material can be used to size a ring
or make a ring. First, I hammered
the stock into a round shape around
 the ring mandrel.


Once is was in a semi round state, I used my ring bending pliers to make the two ends meet up. Once they met, I had to align the ends perfectly straight.

Once this was accomplished, I soldered the ends, cleaned the ring, shaped it, and polished it to a high polish.

If you will look closely you will see what I saw... slight blemishes... so I took it back to the polishing machine and worked those blemishes out!  It is now awaiting to meet it's owner.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Team Members of Hampton House Jewelry

I fell in love with these mannequin heads last year while I was still in school. They are so wonderfully fun! I could not justify buying them at that time, so I put them on my business back burner. 
Last week, my sales were up to the point that I had a little extra
cash so the burner they were sitting on was turned on simmer
and the thought slowly began to boil yesterday til it reached a
rolling boil and low and behold...

 I "adopted" them! I think they will be terrific to
 use in my windows to draw more people to window
shop and hopefully come on in!

I am expecting their arrival at the end of this week!