Wedding Design?

Late last year, as I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, I was asked if I'd be interested in helping to plan/design a wedding. I'm not a wedding planner, but I am a designer who easily gets inspired by a new scope for a project ... so of course I said YES! I've been working with the bride and her parents for the past several months, fine-tuning concepts, developing designs, fabricating mock-ups, and most recently meeting with florists. We are still in the midst of finalizing the fine details for the ceremony and dinner (which will both be held at The Walker Art Center) ... but the invitations are done and have been mailed out - and I've been dying to share them!

So, neither the bride or groom are from Minnesota originally, but they moved to the Midwest to pursue their PHDs from the U of MN and have fallen in love with Minneapolis. The bride's parents just officially became Minnesota residents as well (moving from Washington DC to Duluth, MN) and so the majority of the guests will be coming from out of state for the wedding.

The concept for the invitations was to have a sculptural paper element wrap and enclose the flat written portions of the invitation. When the outer piece was unwrapped, I wanted it to be able to stand on its own and be a beautiful teaser before the wedding and a visual reminder of their weekend after they return home from the wedding. Given that most of their guests will have never been to Minneapolis, it only seemed appropriate to have the city greet them when they opened the invitation ... and be the sculptural paper element that wrapped the invitation.

We decided to use stock paper from PAPER SOURCE for all elements of the invitations using a mixture of Lux White that has a bit of texture and Lux Silver that has a bit of shimmer. The invite and response cards & overall envelope in white, the city-wrap and response envelope in silver. {side note: it was only after these had been finalized that I heard Jeremy Messersmith coining Minneapolis as the Silver City. How appropriate!} All printed text was done in black ink. I etched the bride & groom's names on the front flap of the city-wrap (and included the .silvercocoon. copyright on the back side where the Walker Art Center is revealed.)

During our first discussions I assumed we would have someone print the invitations for us, but in the end I produced the invitation cards, response cards and the city-wrap and we had only the envelopes printed by a printer. I even designed a little "logo" for their wedding {as seen on the response card} that might transfer to other elements {like thank you cards etc.} I thrive on finding a good process and developing a system for producing multiples of the same item, so I was well suited for making 130 invitations! And even better ... they've been received well.


blog feature

I send special thanks to local photographer, Jennifer Simonson, who featured some of my jewelry in her recent blog post. I love this photo of her jewelry collection on the wall-mounted Minus + Hanger by Steve from Danish Teak Classics. (You might remember seeing them at their debut back at my Catalog Release Party in 2009)(Steve and I have since developed a table-top version that I use for jewelry shows ... which deserves its own post another time.) In Jennifer's collection of photos you will see that she has the small POD earrings in cherry wood and a single strand STONE necklace in paduak wood - both with oxidized sterling silver.


the start of "new"

I'm ironing-out the kinks in some new prototypes and can't wait to start sharing some new pieces soon. In the meantime, I can give you this little teaser ... a small-scale earring that is so light and easy to wear that I've been known to sleep all night with them on and not notice! Available in the online shop in a variety of colors of sandblasted acrylic and wood.


playing a bit of catch-up

So, in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and being so-pregnant last November & December, I neglected to share any of my new jewelry work from my "winter collection". I revisited an idea that was such an integral part of my initial collection back in 2007 = SANDBLASTED acrylic. And then I added a new element - OXIDIZED sterling silver. I have talked before about how the even the smallest moves have the power to completely transform the feel of an object. I knew how beautiful the translucent acrylic was when sandblasted, as well as sandblasted red. But I was entirely blown away by the effect of sandblasted black: it was transformed into the ultimate (architect's) charcoal gray - pure excitement! If the sandblasting was transforming, then the oxidizing of the silver was the perfect mature match to the look -- it had the same effect with wood. These changes breahted new life into my collection, making it feel fresh and mature.

For the Walker Jewelry Mart back in November, I offered Translucent, Matte Black, Matte Red and Matte Brown as well as Cherry, Walnut, Paduak and Maple wood - all with the oxidized sterling. It was very well received and I will continue making/offering these material finishes going forward. In fact, I'm adding sandblasted ORANGE to the list for Spring and Summer! (Updates have been made in my online shop, but if you notice something I've missed, just send me a note.)


back from maternity "leave"

When you work from home, and give birth at home, a maternity leave seems a silly thing to call it. The only thing that I really seem to have left is this blog....but it takes time to do all the things that one should when you have a baby, and when you transition into the new old routines again. It all takes time, which doesn't leave much for blogging. I won't go into too much detail, but I will say that I had an amazing second birth experience - one that I couldn't have imagined making happen a year ago when I first found out I was pregnant again. My first son's birth happened to me. My second son's birth transformed me. Veli Hanka arrived at 10:16am the morning of December 26th after six hours of smooth, natural labor. Our second boy was born in our basement, in a birthing tub, next to a roaring fire. The Japanese try to avoid fours ... but so far my little family of four is very harmonious - it's like he allows everything to fall into place. Veli - (sounds like belly) - means 'brother' in Finnish and 'guardian' in Turkish. Hanka is my mother's maiden name and the surname of my late grandfather who passed just over a year ago.

The last three and a half months, during the snowiest winter Minnesota has seen in years, have been spent laying low at home and getting used to new routines. I tried to refrain from jumping back into work until the 3 month mark, but I failed. Luckily (and possibly because of the fact that) I work from home! One project that I tackled within the first couple weeks was to design these THANK YOU cards. My husband took the photograph and I designed the cards to fit a specific envelope that I have and use often. I wanted the card to provide a space for a written note but also allow the thank you to be visible right away . The layout also allows people to save just the photo element that has his name and birth details included on the back side. With the immediacy of facebook, we didn't send out an official birth announcement, but I considered changing the thank you to 'welcome' and that would have worked as a great for that, too.