Thursday, June 25, 2015

The devil IS in the details…

My dear reader,

For Sweet Romance jewelry, our finished product cannot possibly result from assembly line production.  Most designs require talent in various techniques, handling each piece one at a time.  

A cuff bracelet of artistic excellence and profound
meaning, the subject is the Monarch Butterfly
The creation of just a single original piece of jewelry is quite a process, requiring a broad knowledge of materials and methods. It’s yet another story to do a production run of, say, 100 of the same article. Problems and obstacles quickly overtake the joy of the creative side of a project requiring perfection times 100. 

Our Monarch Butterfly Cuff is an example. Once off the drawing board, we order several of the tooled parts – the cuff and butterflies. We cast the settings and pierce worked elements. The butterflies arrive with sharp edges which must be smoothed with a hand drill. The gorgeous carved onyx flowers come in, but they vary in size and most don’t fit the settings we made. Ok, so we make additional settings of varying sizes to accommodate the problem.
Here's how we do it--the traditional method of joining elements--torch heat and years of experience.Click to shop our Rosette Cuff which is made in this technique.
We’re ready to join the parts which requires a variety of different solders because the melting points of the metal elements are all different . Insufficient heat means a cold joint that won’t hold. Just a tad too hot and the fixed elements begin to drift and melt. There we are—a finished bracelet. ..What do you mean a butterfly is on crooked? We’ll just torch the underside and
Click to take a closer look at this amazing turquoise ring!
 move it a little... whoops, we melted an edge of the round setting. In lifting off to replace it, the blasted butterfly has heated and slipped again.  Only 184 more butterflies to go… Days later,  we finally have our 100 bracelets ready for the next calamities of plating, burnishing and enameling.  

They say that everything must fall apart in order to come together again...that a Phoenix rises from the ashes…(at least our butterflies really do.) Anyway, that’s the axiom we’ve come to live by in the production of our jewelry designs.  It accounts for the beauty and complexity of every piece.

With love from Shelley


  1. hi-- i know what you mean. im getting this to celebrate my new job. sorta feel like i'm ready to leave the cocoon behind and take flight. i like reading your blog diary. super inspirational. keep it up.

  2. I hope those butterflies on your new bracelet do their magic at your new workplace. Congratulations and thanks for your kind words. Check in weekly!