Ivy & Gold Handcraft

Ivy & Gold Handcraft

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness” – John Muir

I met Carlene when I was about 13 years old. I distinctly remember sitting next to her in 9th grade french class with Mr. Underhill (who oddly enough was my mother’s french teacher as well).  While our teacher was a bit surly and often times intimidating, Carlene made the class bearable with her fun and outgoing personality.  I remember discussing tofu one day, something at the time I had never tried.  The next day we had class, Carlene was thoughtful enough to bring in a container of tofu for me to try.  It may not have been love at first sight for me and tofu, but it definitely opened the door to a new friendship. I know it’s such a silly thing to remember, and I’m sure that we have had plenty other moments, but I’ll never forget it.

Carlene has always been a friend and a supporter of my work.  Year, after year Carlene would come out to the LarkFest Craft show to visit me and often times bought some of my jewelry pieces. This past fall I was completely honored when she asked me if I could create some custom earrings for her wedding day. Carlene had seen a pair of earrings I had made on Instagram and wondered if I could make her a pair in a similar style. She gave me some guidelines to design by: Moonstone, Silver, Lace, Birds, Branches.


I based the lace design off of elements of her dress, Bronwyn by Maggie Sottero.  Then I added a simple bird on a branch in the middle of the lace design.  Carlene mentioned to me that she loved Moonstone and wondered if it would be blue enough for her, “something blue”.  I ended up contacting my favorite gem gal, Julie, who had some flashy blue Moonstones for me.  Carlene loved my suggestion of using rose-cut stones which I thought would be more vintage/antique looking and unique.

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I made a template from my drawing and affixed it to my metal sheet, and away I cut.  Both earring designs were all hand cut.  I’d estimate that all of the hand cutting took around 24 hours total. As much piercing I’ve completed in the past, this was by far my most intricate and challenging piece.

Carlene Wedding Earrings 1

After the pieces had been cut, I gave them a soft matte finish with some fine sanding papers and high polished edges for just a hint of shimmer and shine. I added  5mm rose cut rainbow moonstones in bezel settings for the pierced design to hang from.  I also soldered friction back posts to the backs of the bezels.


Carlene and Jay were married on November 7th 2015 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA.  They were wonderful enough to share some of their pictures of their beyond beautiful day.  Their drool worthy wedding photos were taken by Kelsea Holder, at  additional locations, Muir Woods and Muir Beach.





“My earrings were my favorite part of my wedding ensemble. As beautiful as my dress was, thousands of girls will be married in a similar dress. As lovely as my flowers were, they wilted and died within the week. As great as my hair and makeup looked, both only lasted for a day. The one part of my wedding that was completely custom-made to reflect “me” was my earrings, and they’re mine, forever. I barely gave any instructions — “I love birds and trees” was literally my guideline for the design — and I received a pair of metal masterpieces in return.” – Carlene









I’m so grateful to know Carlene, who is such a wonderfully inspiring individual. She truly made my job as a designer and craftsperson simple.  I can’t thank her enough for choosing to wear my handcrafted jewelry on her incredibly momentous and special occasion.  So much love to the newlyweds as they embark on their extraordinary journey together.