New Jewellery Collection!

It’s that time again, where I pause in the making process and get ready to have my jewellery assessed before moving on to new (and hopefully even more improved!) pieces. Assessment is on Tuesday, so I’ve come to a stopping point with these current pieces and am getting them ready to present, and once again I need your feedback. Thank you to everyone who did my last market research survey, and a special thanks to the people who have been commenting on the work-in-progress blog posts I’ve been doing over the past few months.

All of these pieces are made with plaster as a main material. I have figured out a way to chemically modify the plaster so it is waterproof and also very hard and durable. During this section of the project I’ve been working on adding colour and images to the plaster.

Right- on to the collection [click the photo to see a larger version]:

William Morris Necklace

William Morris Necklace

Rose Garden

Nouveau Night

Filigree Necklace


Lace Necklace

Lace, detail

Fromenti Rose Necklace


Cameo: Image transfer front, embedded pearls and amethysts on back side


To see more views of the pieces, please click here for a full album, or click on the pieces above to see a much larger version, where the details of individual elements will be much more visible.

Now if you have time to answer some poll questions, I’d really, really appreciate the feedback, but if you are short on time, skip to the comment part and if you could quickly write which one is your favourite and why (and any other comments!) that would be a big help.

And a few short answer questions, if you have the time and inclination:

1. Which piece do you like the most?
What do you like about it?
Is there anything about it that you would change?

2. Which piece do you like least?
What do you dislike about it?

3. Could you see yourself wearing any of these pieces?
If yes, which ones?
If no, why?

4. Any further comments?

Thanks very much for your help! All answers received by the evening of Sunday May 9th will be included in the market research report that I turn in for assessment, but any and all feedback I get is helpful, regardless of when it is given, so feel free to keep commenting and voting long after Sunday!




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21 responses to “New Jewellery Collection!

  1. Betsy

    1. Although I really like the Filigree Necklace and the Fromenti Rose Necklace is very classy, I love the Cameo Necklace. It’s just elegant and gorgeous. I love the vintage feel.
    It’s hard to say without seeing the necklace in person, but I might change the small cameos to either side of the very front one, and just have large ones in the front, getting smaller towards the back. But I can also see the advantage to the way the necklace is right now, because the single large cameo possibly has a more dramatic effect when it’s singled out this way.
    2. I like the Rose Garden piece the least. I’m not sure I like how the pieces show a white outline around the rose.
    3. To be honest, I don’t wear necklaces very often, andI’m not sure whether I could see myself wearing jewelry that has such impact. But, I could probably be convinced to wear the cameo necklace :)
    4. Miriam, I love how you’re using your talent to create beautiful jewelry. And I think the Cameo Necklace is great. :D
    <3 your cousin

  2. Caitlin

    1. Which piece do you like the most? Really, it is very difficult to choose just one… But I do love the Rose Garden piece. I like the dimensions that the layers add. And I’ve never seen anything like it before.
    Is there anything about it that you would change? Not really. Maybe add a gradient to the flowers; like as you go up to the neck, the flowers fade or the contrast increases… but nothing major.

    2. Which piece do you like least? I would have to go with the Lace Necklace. It is almost difficult to compare this piece to all the others. Now that you have discovered color and image transfer, this one almost seems out of place. Not to discredit the technique as it is still beautiful, but maybe you can find a way to incorporate it into another piece.

    3. Could you see yourself wearing any of these pieces? Yes; Cameo, Fromenti Rose, Rose Garden, William Morris. They are all stunning; I especially enjoy the ones you title “___ Piece.” They really are pieces of art and I’m sure wearing them would be great conversation pieces.

    4. Any further comments? I feel like you could get away with not wearing clothes if you wore these necklaces (or something to that effect). What I mean is that they really stand out as individual pieces and would be the focal point of any outfit. Well done && Keep up the great work!

  3. Pamela Rowe

    1 At first glance my favorite was Fromenti Rose. That is what I voted for. It is classy with a twist. I like the asymmetry and how the fashionplate is the focal point framed by the roses.

    But I really like three others as well.
    Nouveau Night looks even better upon closer examination (took 2 clicks to get good closeup of elements). Like the scattered treasures/surprises. What I would change, though, and what kept it from my #1 choice was that I want the fashionplate to be the focal point, and the blue chandelier piece competes too much. Maybe the color is too bright (blue vs dk green?), the fact that it is center front, or that it is so big. I would like the necklace more with that piece smaller and darker I think.

    Cameo is just plain fun. Makes me want it as a bracelet to make it easier to admire on myself, though it wouldn’t have as many pieces. Love the idea of hidden treasure– pearls and amethysts next to the skin out of sight. (I was going to draw the comparison to wearing fancy silk undergarments that nobody else knows about, but decided to skip it.)

    The more I look at the William Morris, the more I like it. The square links and the beautiful metal clasp really make the piece. I want to wear it with jeans and a blouse and boots. Cowboy boots. I like the proper little lady up high almost out of sight next to all the chunky patterns and odds ‘n ends. Maybe that’s why it appeals to me…My grandmother whispering lady manners in my ear. I’d like to see a bigger piece of that dogwood flower center front to help tie the sides together a bit more, tho.

    2 The lace is the one from this collection that I like the least. I love the idea of it, but in the photo it looks flat and plain with no particular shape. Esp when compared to the color and interest of the others.

    3. All of the ones mentioned in #1–I’d wear them in a heartbeat. Chandelier as well, though it is such a “heavy” piece. It is so big and distinctive, it’s not something I’d want to wear very often. I love the blue and white. I love the dimension (not flat!). I love that you found the crystals in Italy.

    You do such good metalwork (the Wm Morris piece and the S clasp on Filagree, for ex.) I would like to see more of that incorporated into your pieces when possible. It really does take your pieces to another level. It’s like your, the artist’s, signature.

  4. 1. Which piece do you like the most? William Morris Necklace
    What do you like about it? The colors are really bring me back to this one. I love the elegance of the browns and coppers. I like how this piece, and several of your others, are asymmetrical.
    Is there anything about it that you would change? I’m pretty much sold. Having the same design in a smaller version would be a nice option to have. I think that would work with several of your pieces.

    2. Which piece do you like least? The Lace Necklace
    What do you dislike about it? It’s very rough looking and an awkwardness to it. Perhaps if it was smaller and more delicate, like lace, I would be more drawn to it.

    3. Could you see yourself wearing any of these pieces? Yes
    If yes, which ones? All of them excluding the lace necklace and the rose garden necklace.
    If no, why?

    4. Any further comments? I’m so proud of your work! I really think this last aha! moment is a blessing. I love the images on the plaster and the colors. I think the colored chandelier necklace is gorgeous and very unique. Keep it up!

  5. Thanks very much for all the comments so far- this is really helpful!

  6. longbrakeliving

    Came here by way of Molly’s Blog.

    1. My personal favorite (and I went with “I would actually wear this” as a way to define favorite), was Cameo. I really loved the images on the front, the fact that there is some interest to the back, and the general size of it. From an artistic standpoint though, my favorite is Chandelier. Its rich color is fantastic, and I adore the sweeping, grand lines of the piece. I also feel like there’s a really good sense of movement and and a lot of visual interest. However, this piece is quite a bit too large for me, which is why it didn’t get my initial vote as favorite in the poll above. Of course, one of the things I like about it is its grandness, so I don’t think it would work well scaled down. The size is just a personal preference for me.

    2. My least favorite piece is Lace. I like the detail on each individual piece, but something about the pieces as a whole that just doesn’t appeal to me. Unfortunately, I can’t quite put my finger on what this is.

    3. I could see myself wearing Cameo and possibly Nouveau Night. The rest just seem too large in scale for me.

  7. Melissa

    Cameo is my favorite- a very wear-able fresh take on such a classic look.
    Chandelier is my lease favorite- I think the color + the texure is a little coral-reef-ish for me. But still very well done.
    However, I COULD definitely see myself wearing any/all of these pieces– they’re lovely.
    I found your blog via Molly’s…. we’re missionaries in the Czech Republic and would love to see your work if your ever on a weekend holiday this way!

  8. Kat

    1. I chose Cameo as my favourite. Whilst I’m not sure I’d wear it personally (I don’t think I’m cool enough!) it really stands out amongst the collection and I’ve never seen a piece of jewellery quite like it. I like things that stand out and I think it’s really unique. Plus all that Art Nouveau/vintage cameo stuff is really quite trendy at the moment. (I think! Lol. What the hell do I know?)

    2. I chose the Filigree as my least favourite. I don’t particularly dislike it. I just thought it was the least interesting visually. It seems a bit bland compared to the others which are all visually quite striking. Having just said that…I’ve just looked at the picture again and like it more than I did initially! I quite like the metal work on that one round the back. I do like metalwork. But yes it’s probably still my least favourite. But I do like it!

    3. I think I’d be most likely to wear the Formenti Rose necklace. But that’s because it’s the most commercial looking and I’m not sure I’m cool enough to wear the others! I could see myself wearing them all though if I was feeling brave, stylish and slightly daring! I love the chandelier one and think it would be a great talking point at a dinner dance/posh party type do.

    4. You’re very talented. They’re all amazing. You should be very proud. I want all of them. Especially the Cameo. ;-)

  9. Sheila Mayson

    I think the addition of colour is really great, it opens up a whole new dimension to the previous pieces. Whilst I love the colour of Chandelier it’s a bit bold for me but the rose garden has such a pretty, sublte pattern which is beautiful. The necklace is a bit big for me but I’ve already told you I love the earrings you made in this pattern.
    Most of this new collection is lovely although I’m not so keen on the lace one. Maybe it’s as your Mum commented – it seems a little flat compared to the rest. But, like her, I do like the idea so maybe you could use it some other way? Sorry, I have no suggestions as I don’t have your fab artistic talent!
    Keep believing in your abilities – I feel sure you have a bright future.

  10. Jane

    1. These are all beautiful! I love the colors of the William Morris piece, but I was really taken with the Fromenti Rose!
    2. I like all of them–maybe the Lace piece is the one I would feel that I would not wear because of its large size.
    3. William Morris because of the colors, but all are breathtaking!

  11. I originally chose Filigree as my favorite, but I also really, really like William Norris and Cameo. I appreciate the fact that these pieces are a bit daintier, more subtle than, say, Chandelier, but are also absolutely stunning and unique. To me, Filigree is delicate and feminine, and… maybe just the most “me.”

    I don’t much like either Chandelier or Lace, to be honest, though I wish I could see both on a fully-dressed model. (I don’t think I’m very good at visualizing what a full ensemble might look like with these pieces, which seem very haute couture to me.) I think it’s mostly an issue of scale; both pieces are so large as to seem ostentatious. I can’t really picture anyone I know–even my coolest acquaintances–able to carry these off. I’d really like to see a scaled-down version of at least one of them, to be able to decide if similar elements, arranged more sparingly, would attract me more.

    I’d just love to wear (or give as gifts) any of my three faves: Filigree, Cameo, William Norris. I think the reasons sited in my first paragraph answer here as well.

    Lastly, I think I agree with the previous commenter, who mentioned that the white space around the roses in Rose Garden are a bit of a turn-off. I think that, without the “margin,” this might be a much more intriguing, more polished-looking piece.

    Lovely work, Miriam! And congratulations on completing this round of projects. What an accomplishment!

  12. Nancy

    I’m going to merge my responses to all four questions into one freeform answer, because all my thoughts about these pieces seemed to come together that way. Initially my strongest reaction was to the William Morris piece; I liked the autumn-ness of the colors, and oddly enough the clasp appealed to me as well. Then as I continued to look through the entire collection, I was also drawn to both Nouveau Night and Fromenti Rose.

    I discovered, however, that when I clicked on each picture to get a larger image, my initial reactions often changed. The thing that is most striking about your pieces is the detail of each transfer, which you can’t fully appreciate in the thumbnail images. Once I did that, I found myself zeroing on specific parts of each necklace: I strongly like the orange-and-green medallion (is that the right word?) in William Morris, for example. And then I discovered that necklaces which didn’t appeal to me as much overall, such as Lace, suddenly did when I saw the detail of specific medallions in each necklace. Which led me to wonder if the impact of each medallion is sometimes being lost when it’s combined with so many others in one necklace.

    As other people have said, I am drawn to the asymmetry in your work, so that’s probably why I like Fromenti Rose so much, especially the draping triple chain at the bottom. This piece also has fewer medallions, which allows each one to stand out more. Both it and Nouveau Night aren’t as massive either, which makes them look more comfortable to wear. [But you should know that I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and when I do, I tend to be drawn to draper, pendant-like pieces.] So as a purely personal preference, I would love to see that green-and-orange thistle medallion from William Morris in a setting like Fromenti Rose.

    I love the colors and the shape of Chandelier; it seems less like a necklace to me and more like a piece of art that I might want to hang on a wall. There is something aquatic and mermaidy about it; I guess it’s the colors, and the shell-like look of the white plaster. (I kept thinking of sand dollars, actually.) I got that same impression of a mermaid with Nouveau Nights, but it has a funkier feel to it than Chandelier, which is more regal. I also like the amazing colors in Rose Garden.

    Sorry for the disjointed nature of this reply. It’s fascinating to see how much you’ve discovered in less than a year in the studio there.

  13. stefani

    1. Which piece do you like the most? There are several I like a lot, but the Fromenti Rose necklace wins it for me.
    What do you like about it? I love the off-kilter arrangement. Quirky yet somehow balanced. The tiny stones – amethysts? – are a really nice touch.
    Is there anything about it that you would change? Not really, though I do have a few questions… like how long is it? How heavy? Would it require constant readjustment?

    2. Which piece do you like least? The William Morris necklace.
    What do you dislike about it? I guess I just can’t see how it would work. It feels like the styles don’t mesh and like it would be an uncomfortable level of clunky.

    3. Could you see yourself wearing any of these pieces? I really like most of them, and could imagine putting together outfits with all of them, but I’m particularly interested in wearing the lace necklace. It was my least favorite piece last time, but it’s starting to grow on me. I think I’d have to physically see it to get a real idea of everything it entails.
    If yes, which ones?
    If no, why?

    4. Any further comments? I’m really excited about the direction you are going with your creations and can’t to see what jewelry lines you will develop in the future!

    Augh, spastic and discombobulated, but perhaps there are some helpful words in there somewhere. Love you!!

  14. I would wear one of these porcelain pieces with the ladies or floral decoration on a single chain with some added embellishments FOR SURE!
    That is why my favorite is the Fromenti Rose! Love the vintage ladies!

    The chandelier is a beautiful piece but it seems too bulky to be worn as a necklace. It is almost like a sculpture to hang on the wall or frame a mirror. Stunning work.

    I wish you continued success in your career!

  15. Gwynn

    Your prototypes remind me of the runway fashion shows. The clothing is more about a concept and it comes to the consumer in a little different form. So I see your designs as more of the concept. So you have to read my comments in terms of the average shopper/consumer.

    William Morris–like it, although I don’t know if I would wear it myself. I know some people who probably would. Asymmetrical pieces will still often have a focal point. The shell-like brown piece draws attention to itself by its color, shape, and smaller size.

    Rose Garden–too much of a good thing.

    Nouveau Night–I would wear it. Good balance of chaining and beading details.

    Filigree–the plaster ornamentation almost overwhelms the beauty of the wirework. The plaster pieces seem a little large. In other words is this about the concept or is it about enhancing the wearer? This is not a question with a right or wrong answer. Good complement of plaster shaping to the transferred designs. Choker styles are not a personal favorite. If I were going to wear one, I wouldn’t want it to feel like any part of it was poking into my neck.

    Lace Necklace–A very interesting piece. There are more details to this that must be seen close up to be appreciated, and a concept you should continue to develop.

    Fromenti Rose–Simplicity and symmetry, love the chain draping, and looks unique and wearable.

    Chandelier–I agree with the person who said it is a stunning piece. It is more of an art piece that happens to be hanging on a model dummy. Just depending where you are taking it, what of separating the motifs, creating articulations, and connecting them with netting, chains, or something that keeps the visual weight and connection that you have created with this piece? That is, if it is intended to be worn.

    Cameo–Love the fashion transfers and the balanced mix of sizes.

    All the best!

  16. Grandmother H.

    Oh,Miriam, my head is swimming in the presence of such pulchritude ! Idea: why not create a “multiple choice” necklace, with your FILIGREE necklace as the prototype? I love its lovely lacy incorporated side clasp and would like to see an identical clasp on both sides, with removable and interchangealbe decorative pendants of varying styles, materials and effects to complement one’s attire and mood. From all the comments I have read I can conclude that not every shoe fits every foot! So, just follow your star!

  17. 1. Which piece do you like the most? Fromenti Rose
    What do you like about it? The way it hangs and each part is displayed
    Is there anything about it that you would change? No

    2. Which piece do you like least? Chandelier
    What do you dislike about it? It seems too large for my personal taste

    3. Could you see yourself wearing any of these pieces? Absolutely!
    If yes, which ones? Everything but Chandelier and Lace, they just aren’t my style.

    4. Any further comments? Your work is amazingly beautiful and creative

  18. Cassondra

    I’m afraid the Cameo is the only piece I could honestly see myself wearing. While they are all beautiful, the scale of the pieces is to large to think about for every day wear. I absolutely loved the William Morris in the first picture until I realized it was a necklace and not a bracelet. I generally prefer the angular, squared shapes of the metal links in the William Morris necklace over the more rounded and organic shapes of the Rose Garden and Filigree. I would love to see more regularity of shape and more symatry. I think the symatry is the reason I liked the Cameo so much.

    I love the actual roses in Rose Garden, dispite the fact that I’m not a fan of pink, but there’s just to much going on here. I think this would be much better if only one or a few roses were worn as pendants or a small cluster rather than this overwhelming flow of roses.

    I’m sorry to say I really do not like the Filigree Necklace. The chain (which is the best part about it) is completely overwhelmed by the plaster pieces which remind me of mardi-gras masks.

    These pieces also seem very informal to me. Perhaps it is the plaster material that makes them seem so. Only Lace and Cameo seem like they could make the transition to evening wear.

    I am a large person (trying to look smaller) and I’m afraid that’s a big turn off when I’m looking at all these organic rounded shapes. One of the few things I’ve really learned about fashion is that when you’re a big person you already have a lot of curves so you don’t want to play them up with more round or oganic shapes. Instead you want texture (like the lace imprint) and more sharp definition. I learned this about handbags (I’m always looking for the more tailored shapes) and for smaller jewelry it might not be an issue, but for these larger pieces I think shape is very important.

    In general I prefer simple jewelry, and most of these pieces are very complex in shape and organization. In part they are lovely, and as art they are interesting, but taken as a whole I don’t believe they are comercially viable except perhaps to a small fashion niche. Dispite the fact that I can’t wear them, I look forward to seeing what you make next. It’s always interesting.

  19. Becky

    1. Which piece do you like the most?What do you like about it?
    Is there anything about it that you would change?

    Cameo. I would prefer it as a bracelet, but I love the vintage look. I too had a sexy underwear thought when I saw the pearls and amethyst on the back. I like the Fromenti Rose Garden second because I like the strands and few accent pieces. Classy, my dear.

    2. Which piece do you like least? Lace. Compared to the color ones, it seems out of place. Accenting with more color would improve it (to me at least)
    What do you dislike about it?

    3. Could you see yourself wearing any of these pieces?
    If yes, which ones? Definitely the cameo because it’s smaller than the others. I don’t wear a lot of long or stylized jewelry because it gets in the way at work (and I don’t go out to any fashionable districts any more)
    If no, why?

    4. Any further comments? I love you! Miss you bunches!!!

  20. Janine Henry

    1. Which piece do you like the most?What do you like about it?
    Like the filigree- I’ve been partial to filigree in anything/style but do like the mixture of silver (chain) and the unusual shaping and color of the plaster pieces. It’s a combination of larger pieces but not so big that I couldn’t wear it.

    2. Which piece do you like least? Least favorite is Noveau Night. I like the elements but too much going on for me, not enough connectedness? Do like the elements individually.
    3. Could you see yourself wearing any of these pieces? I would wear all but chandelier and lace, mainly because of the bulkiness and size- I’m too small!
    *keep up the good work!- adding color to the pieces has made the detail so much more evident! and shows off your work!

  21. Anna

    I especially like the Chandalier, Lace and Rose Garden Necklaces. However, I like them all!! You are so talented Miriam.

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