Are you taking custom orders? Unfortunately, I am unable to take on additional customs at this time. I simply don't have the bandwidth do give them the time they deserve or do them any justice. My sincere apologies. I hope to be in a place where I can accept them again in the not too distant future. It's not you. It's me, and...life. I will be sure to keep ya'll posted!
Where can I purchase your work? I sell my work directly off of my Etsy site, located here, at https://www.etsy.com/shop/RubyandRevolver
I also organize a local show, the Cold Moon Collective, twice annually. This event is hosted at our local distillery, and features myself and a slew of talented local makers. The first show is in the Spring, sometime around Mother's Day, and the second is before Christmas. As a one woman show...at this point in the game I am unable to produce enough jewelry keep any local shops stocked, although I'm not ruling it out for the future!
I went to Etsy, but don't see anything...why is your site always empty? I update the ol' Etsy shop 2-3 times a month. However, items tend to go pretty quickly, and the shop usually sits empty between those times. I do a standard update, which I usually announce a few days prior on social media either on Instagram or Facebook. And I also do some random updates from time to time, to allow folks to peruse and shop in a more leisurely manner. I try to mix it up, and hope that it works for everyone.
How can I improve my odds snagging a piece on Etsy? Etsy can be tricky, and as a person living in the sticks with terrible internet service I can relate to the struggle!
It's a good idea to log into Etsy a few minutes before a scheduled update, and get your payment info ready to go beforehand. To avoid any hang ups with shipping please make sure your shipping address is correct.
When the update time comes about, be sure to hit the refresh button to see the new listings.
If you have your heart set on something in particular, it is best to complete the transaction first, before adding addtional items to your cart. Adding multiple items at one time can run the risk of losing all of them.
And a happy, lighthearted nature is always appreciated in these sales. If you miss out on one...I promise I'll be working hard to restock the shop again for the next go around!
You live in Montana, turns out I'm visiting! What activities do you recommend? This is a pretty big state, and personal preferences vary so widely...if you're asking me I'm guessing it is because you like the outdoors...and for that the options are endless. I don't spend a lot of time in town, and I live remotely in the woods. So if you want to know about the nightlife...I'm probably the wrong person to be asking.
There are the obvious places...the national parks, Glacier and Yellowstone. Both gorgeous, both amazing. But, I tend not to spend to much time in places I can't take my dogs...so a guide book is best here. There are great rivers here to kayak, to fish, and to raft. Depending on the season, you can find a wide range of classes and great day trips as well as wilderness multi-day floats. There are backpacking, car camping and climbing opportunities all over this great state, and plenty of wildlife to watch, ridges to ramble, and peaks to bag. And of course there are also many guides available at the local gear shops to get you to them.
How did you get into metalsmithing? How did you learn? I'm a self taught metalsmith, and to this day I still have never taken a class...although I'd like to! It's on my bucket list. There have been a lot of mistakes made, a lot of metal burnt to a crisp, plenty of plain ol' messing around, and a lot of trial and error. I tend to learn by doing...so that's what I did. When I started out there weren't any classes available locally, and I was pretty broke. So...I read books and I scoured pawn shops to obtain the necessary tools. And I started messing around with copper, mostly, because it is so much more affordable than gold or silver. And things just went forward from there. I'm still learning. Still improving. And still lacking in many areas...but I enjoy the process and I love the craft. It's a lifelong process, of that I am certain.
Did you go to school? Yes, but not for metalsmithing. I went for Sociology, Criminology, Environmental conservation, Respiratory therapy, and my yoga teaching certification. I have wayyyy too many degrees for someone who tinkers with metal. My resume makes me look like a real flake...so suffice to say I've switched things up quite a bit throughout my career.
Why haven't you responded to my email? Gah! I'm sorry! It's not you...it's me. I do my best to keep up...but I simply can't. Through gmail, Instagram, Etsy and Facebook... I receive hundreds of messages and as a one woman operation, I simply can't get to them all. I'd spend all my time behind the screen of a computer, and little to no time creating, or doing much of anything else. I find that with creating, I need to seek some sort of balance, with creating, time outdoors, and time with my little family. Because without time spent enjoying the places, people and creatures that bring me inspiration, I don't have much of a well to draw from creatively. It's something that I really struggle with...so thank you for your patience and understanding. It is truly appreciated.
You smithed through your pregnancy...what safety precautions did you take to ensure the health of your little one? I too, was nervous about metalsmithing when pregnant. But, as this is how I make my living...I did some research and modified a few things for safety. I am by no means an expert, but here's what worked for me: I bought a good respirator, first and foremost. I installed a commercial grade vent that vents to the outside. I have it on at all times when I'm using my torch, oxidizing, buffing or sanding. I always open windows when I can...but up here in the cold Northwestern winters this isn't always an option. With pickling and oxidizing solutions I wash my hands a million times over, and use gloves when handling hazardous materials.
Do you teach classes or lessons? Currently, no. I have in the past...and it's something I'd like to revisit, but at this time I'm sort of maxed out. And honestly...I'm pretty unorthodox in the studio...maybe you wouldn't want to pick up any of my bad habits anyways :)
What advice can you give someone new to metalsmithing? Find your voice. And put your time in. Honestly...that's the best I can give. I think people create work that speaks to others when it comes from their soul. When you are able to draw from your own unique perspective, your own history, your heart and soul. Because really...there are a lot of amazing artists out there, and the only thing that distinguishes you...is you, it's all we've got.
What is reclaimed metal? Do you always use it? The term "reclaimed" means items or materials used in making of my pieces are re-purposed, and recycled.
All of the items in my collections are handmade and hand finished, from natural and reclaimed materials. Because of this, no two items are exactly alike or are they perfect. All handmade items will have natural imperfections. It is these slight imperfections that give handcrafted items their innate soulful character and appeal. It's not for everyone...but I like a little old soul in each and every piece I create. Nearly every piece I create is made from at least 50% or more reclaimed metal.