Moose has always been on the lookout for amazing artists to feature on our Instagram account and blog. We’re lucky enough that this community is surrounded by a lot of talented jewelry artists and with this, we are incredibly proud to share them with you!
THE JEWELRY ARTIST
Meet California-based artist Carol Kron, the creator behind the brand Thistle and Stones, or @thistleandstones on Instagram. With about 20 years of experience in creating jewelry using beads and wire, Carol got started with silversmithing just 3 years ago.
As a self-taught artist, Carol learns techniques from both books and YouTube videos. She shared that often, she has to learn by her mistakes and make a piece several times before she gets it right.
We find this truly beautiful - we learn and hone our techniques by practicing!
Just last year, she discovered the wonderful community of jewelry artists on Instagram. As Carol described, the community has been supportive. She appreciates getting feedback and help from other artists as well. In addition, she has learned a lot through the sharing of art, techniques, favorite tools, and process videos within the community.
She has a small studio in her house in Long Beach, California. Her favorite place to be? It happens to be where her “woman cave” shed studio is at, their cabin in Lake Isabella, California.
Now, if you’re familiar with this place, her business name Thistle & Stones would make sense! According to Carol, it is where the name comes from, as the land is covered in large boulders and a lot of beautiful pink thistles grow among the rocks.
THE DESIGN STYLE
Carol’s design style is notable for its nature-inspired beauty. She shared that she gets a lot of ideas when she’s wandering around their land at Lake Isabella.
Whether she’s watering her cactus garden, looking at the lizards and roadrunners, studying the shape of a leaf or the petals of a yucca plant - she notices all the details and sounds like the raven’s wings flapping as they fly overhead. The quiet helps her notice these things.
From this, she makes sketches of her ideas and then draws a pattern using Adobe Illustrator on her computer. Being a bit of a geometry nerd, as she says, Carol likes all her angles and distances to be exact. Her example was, in her circular designs, she makes a shape, like an oval, and rotates it at calculated angles around a central axis.
Such a neat technique, no?
Take a look at some of Carol’s gorgeous turquoise jewelry pieces!
by Carol Kron of @thistleandstones on Instagram
THE DESIGN PROCESS
Carol also shared her design process when she was just getting started with silversmithing. At first, she decided the first thing she’d learn was how to use a jeweler’s saw. She loves how such a simple tool can transform a sheet of metal into something beautiful.
Once has her design figured out, Carol glues the pattern to the metal sheet, drill a hole in each section, turn on her favorite podcast like “This American Life”, wax her saw blade with beeswax, thread it through a hole and saw out the shape.
Recently, she made two necklaces that involved sawing out 144 oval shapes and drilling 76 tiny holes. Truly an artist with a lot of patience!
As well as her jeweler’s saw, her tabletop mini drill press is one of her favorite tools. After sawing, she learned how to solder and now she can add dimension to her creations. Carol can also solder bezels and add turquoise and other beautiful stones to her jewelry.
ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY JEWELRY ARTIST
In doing her part to help the environment, Carol makes sure that she tries to buy stones either directly from the miners or from vendors who source the rocks and make the cabochons themselves. In addition to supporting them, she finds it also amazing to see photos and videos showing the mining and lapidary processes.
When she’s making jewelry, she saves all her silver scraps and sends them out to be recycled. Through this, not only is it bringing in a little extra cash, but is also good for the environment.
“I recently learned an important bezel soldering tip - once you've filed the two sides of the bezel seam straight, so it fits as close as possible, give the seam a final sand, then don't touch it again with your fingers. Handle the bezel with tweezers only. That ensures there's no grease on the joint, so the solder can flow. Also, I recently bought weighted "hummingbirds" from Elie @eg.therockman. These work amazing and I use them to hold the bezel in place while soldering.”
- Carol Kron, @thistleandstones
Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thistleandstones/
Check out her Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/thistleandstones/