"When you're in the zone, it can be easy to miss a cue to take a break. Learn to step away sometimes..."
- Katie Brown of @earthshinesilver
MEET THE ARTIST
@eartshinesilver on Instagram
This is jewelry artist Katie Brown, born and raised in West Michigan. She has dabbled in jewelry-making of one sort or another all her life, and started down the path of metalsmithing 3 years ago. You can see her creations on Instagram @earthshinesilver 💚
THE JOURNEY TO CREATING JEWELRY
A mix of things inspired Katie to start making jewelry. "I always collected rocks as a kid and as an adult, I collect crystals and cabochons, of course! Between my love for gems and anything DIY, jewelry fabrication just called to me." She shared that she regularly found herself designing jewelry in her head.
When Katie was just starting out. She recalled this moment. "During the last session of the 3rd fabrication course I attended, each student had completed sterling pieces to show to the class for the first time. On my way out, a couple employees made a point to pull me aside, comment on how clean my pieces looked for someone so new to making." Katie said they were so genuine and she sure had no idea the impact it had.
Firsts are not easy to forget! Katie's very first piece that was sold was purchased by one of her co-workers at her day-job. As soon as she heard Katie invested in a work space at her home, she insisted on being her first customer! Aren't supportive co-workers the best? 🥰
Other than that, the first piece she did sell was to someone she didn't know who found her on Etsy. It was a simple Desert Bloom Variscite ring set in sterling. Katie's first Etsy customer messaged her to say she had been searching for something like it for some time and was thrilled to find her. For Katie, it was sure indeed an exciting moment!
We asked if there was any significance with her brand name. Katie explained, "I’ve always had a sort of fascination with our moon and stars. And specifically, ‘Earthshine’ depicted in art or photographs. Earthshine is the faint glow which illuminates the unlit part of the Moon. It's the Sun’s light reflecting off the Earth's surface and back onto the Moon. So rad."
Let's take a look at some of Katie's gorgeous creations!
Creations by Katie Brown of @eartshinesilver on Instagram
ARTIST'S DESIGN STYLE
Whether you're an artist, an engineer, a scientist, or what, it's always special when you get that AHA! moment. For Katie, she shared that it was when she finally came up with an ideal template/design for her mini BIC lighter sleeve keychains - it was a proud moment for her!
Check out more of Katie's lovely work!
Handmade Jewelry by Katie Brown of @earthshinesilver on Instagram
THE DESIGN PROCESS
Katie's design process varies. If she's working on something custom, she starts by choosing the stone(s). Then, she traces them on paper and sketch out her ideas in order to finalize her intention for the finished piece. On the other hand, when she's free to finish a piece however she chooses, "I usually just sit down, start making and see where it takes me!"
When asked to describe her design style it was just two words! Rustic and eclectic. :)
JEWELRY DESIGN TIPS, TRICKS, AND HANDY TECHNIQUES
What's one design tip you one to share with your fellow artists?
"It’s okay to walk away from a piece you’re struggling with. I find I have a much better experience with a challenging project if I give myself a break and come back to it fresh another day."
One piece of technical advice on creating.
"When you're in the zone it can be easy to miss a cue to take a break. Learn to step away sometimes. Like when your solder doesn't want to flow and your piece looks red hot. Just stop, quench, pickle, wait, and start again. Nothing is more brutal than melting all your hard work because you overheated it thinking just one more second under the flame would do it!"
Any words of encouragement or tips to those who are starting out in the world of jewelry-making?
"Don’t be afraid to ask your peers or the jewelers in your feed for advice. If you don’t know how to do or handle something, someone on Instagram does! Everyone’s been a newbie at some point!"
Here's Katie's message to the universe:
Follow Katie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/earthshinesilver/
Check out Katie's Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthshineSilver