Cambodia ~ oh Cambodia.. how I love thee. With my feet planted freshly on the ground back in the US from a whirlwind trip to Southeast Asia, I have time to start posting about my experience. One such experience (too many wonderful times to count) was at Ankgor Wat, just out of Siem Reap in Cambodia. My family and I purchased tickets in early November, it gave me time to study some of the places I'd like to see. One such place was the ancient metropolis capital of Angkor Wat, built early in the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer king of the time in honor of Hindu deity Vishnu. I had first read about the ancient city a number of years ago when my husband handed a National Geographic with Angkor on the cover and said, "I want to go here someday". I read about it .. and Yep! I wanted to go too! Many moons later and over the years- we had tickets. I thought about what it would be like often. I thought about all the Mayan and Aztec temples I had seen- and how amazing it was that worlds apart in different times in history- All these temples were built up block by block, in mounds, up towards the heavens. I remembered that I had this amazing piece of Hessonite Garnet- a great mound if you will... and how it was going to be my muse to parle my rising excitement for the ancient Asian experience. With my hexagonal "temple" in the middle I surrounded it with 6 strong prongs~ symbolizing the backs of the slaves and elephants that that would bear the weight of the massive granite and limestone slabs. Upon my reading a bit about the history of the civilization I also learned about their complex water system~ starting with the moats built as protection and sustainability around the great temples. With the importance of the water I designed the ring to have a halo of diamonds~ a stone of great strength and importance.
I've wanted to do Bridal Jewelry for sometime now.
- at Ari O Jewelry we started fabricating rings in the summer of 2016. When I was in college all I made were rings- they were super fun and funky and well received, however when I opened up the gallery in the studio - I didn't know how I was going to size the rings up and down so that I could custom fit them to my customers. In the late winter of 2016 I visited the Revere Academy in San Francisco, CA and took extensive courses on stone setting. It was there under the tutelage of a 5th degree master jeweler, that I found my confidence in the world of rings. We started of with some simple, affordable designs, but it didn't take long for me to want to get more detailed and use precious metals and stones.. and so here we are today- with this little number- a Platinum, Salt and Pepper Diamond engagement ring for some wonderful folks I met this winter. ... I can't wait to see where my path leads next!
When my customers come in to shop at Ari O and are looking for that Amazing piece of jewelry ~ I often steer them to some of the smaller, layering pieces.
At Ari O Jewelry we've been focusing in on some of the finer things in life.. little, luxurious necklaces and earrings that can be worn alone with a tee and jeans (a must here in Big Sky country) or matched up with other fine layering pieces to create a statement. At Ari O we feel it's a win/win- you purchase individual fine, handcrafted, American made jewelry for everyday and when you feel a night-on-the-town coming on.. layer them up and get your groove on with layered luxury.
As you can imagine we were just delighted to see Ari O Jewelry featured in this seasons Soethby's "The Collection" magazine. Editor Corinne Garcia did a fabulous job taking on (what can be) a daunting task of summarizing all we have to offer here. She especially touched on our Signature Series which includes various shapes based off positive and negative space, and consists of our most high end products. We have a few copies of the magazine here for your viewing pleasure, come down, read all about it and see our Signature Series for yourself- you'll thank yourself (or your husband) later!
2015 for us at Ari O Jewelry has been anything but quiet. For starters we changed locations to be more centrally located in the Town Center where we are enjoying the views of Lone Peak and we're also adoring being right in the heart of the town we love! In addition to moving around we have had the pleasure of getting back some returning staff. Our first ever employee and technically the second metalsmith, Madison, is back working in the studio! During the weekends and off season we kept busy with the farmer's market and art shows. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle we also began to create some higher end pieces. While we still have affordable fine jewelry, we now offer pieces including Montana gemstones, diamonds and solid gold.
Thank you for making all of these positive changes possible and shopping with us at Ari O Jewelry! Come in for a visit and see what we have to offer in 2016- chances are we'll give you some chocolate!
Ari O Jewelry gives an insider's take on the 18 in-depth steps it takes to create by hand the little buttons you see on your favorite Ari O wrap bracelets.Read More
We've got the Blues at Ari O Jewelry! ~ In a good way :). I love to pair different shades of blue with just about anything! Whether it's the milky feel of blue chalcedony paired with the light shade of silver and the opalescent grey of labradorite, to give the fresh feel of summer like in the "Blue Bubble" Necklace or the Mediterranean feel of adventurine colored beads, paired with matte gold beads, like in the "Greek Goddess" hand-woven wrap bracelet. I just love blue. So if you think as much of this color as I do - I got 'cha covered!
Visit www.ariojewelry.com or visit me at the Gallery/ Studio and I will help you find that "special" jewelry piece for summer!
Recently the jewelry studio/ gallery space Ari O Jewelry was in sold. I was forced to pack up the jewelry studio and move to my new location. As a person who compartmentalizes tasks - so as not to get overwhelmed by the "big picture" - I compartmentalize the move as just that - "a move".
I didn't think about any other parameters. So in 3 days I packed up the old space and threw it all in a heap on the floor of the new space. I found myself in my new jewelry studio surrounded by chaos. I hadn't thought about the new jewelry space at all. I'm pretty sure I had convinced myself that I was going to move, set up shop and get back to business as usual.
As I stood in my new jewelry studio, under the harsh glare of the florescent light and the orangish/cream colored office paint, the feeling of, "Ugh! This will never do!". I knew at that moment that I was going to have to convert the new jewelry space toAri O Jewelry Studio - a contemporary working studio/gallery space.
Where to begin? and Uh-Oh this is going to be a ton of work - as "detail" is my middle name. Oh and did I mention that it was October- the beginning of Retailers ordering wholesale jewelry for Christmas?!
So began the "new space" woes. Step one: configure the space and the scheme ( that took a Long time and a lot of shopping on the internet, as we are Rural here in Big Sky). While working on the gallery part of the jewelry studio, I still had to pay attention to my orders, my jewelry repairs, marketing, and try not to lose my mind- this is why I compartmentalize.
A huge problem was ventilation. When I moved from my old location (an old pizza parlor with a commercial hood for ventilation) I had to research and come up with a way to vent my toxic torch fumes. I contacted Sentry Air and talked to a rep who sold me on a ductless air mitigation system that cost a pretty penny (found out later I was sold the wrong system). The system consists of a filter housing in the shape of a box with a "snorkel hose" coming out of it, which you are to set close to your torch flame to suck up the bad air it puts off. Well since the system that I was sold- didn't have enough suction, I had to get the torch flame Very close- So close I started the snorkel on fire! Oh the odor of melting plastic- so good for you! (not) One Thousand dollars well spent- thanks Sentry man.
Then came the wholesale jewelry Christmas orders. Those orders were fine- expected- but dang, always such a busy time. I had to get my shop some inventory after being wiped out from a summer/ fall season of Farmer's Markets.
Meanwhile, the retail special orders were pouring in AND for the first time in my career I had a product failure. One of my wholesale jewelry orders consisted of a new group of earrings that were breaking. Good to know so that I can learn from my failure, but ugh, the problems were starting to add up.
So now with the Grand Opening of the Ari O Jewelry Studio looming in the near future and the unveiling of Ari O door signage declared another do-over, I notice my jewelry torch has blown one of it's gauges. I know I have come too far to give up - and I wouldn't do that anyway - so I trudge on - I trudge on as the Captain of my own destiny, the only sailor on my ship - I am the "Boss", the boss of all my own problems
We recently finished up another photoshoot at Ari O Jewelry. When planning a photoshoot there are So many questions. Who? What? When? Where? and What to Wear?!
First I answered "Who"? "Who" represents Ari O Jewelry? Who do I envision wearing my jewelry when I design it? First, I consider myself a strong, comfortable, confident woman. I felt the models for Ari O had to represent my that feeling. In the town of Big Sky, MT I didn't have to look far for woman who are strong, confident AND above all BEAUTIFUL!
Now for "What"? What am I looking for? What is the setting that should represent the feeling of Ari O Jewelry? How about where it is created: Montana. Montana represents many different things to many different people. To me, it's rustic and natural. You can still drive anywhere in this great state and find barbwire doing it's job.
Which leads me to "When" and "Where". No time like the present I say! A gorgeous spring day in the Rocky Mountains is not only the Perfect time for modeling, it provides the Perfect backdrop. We only had to go so far as the "backyard" for "where". Ari O Jewelry is inspired by where it is created!
And last, but not least ...What to Wear?! I do not consider myself a cowgirl, but I do feel the essence of cowgirls is their inherent "bad-ass-ness". I do consider any woman that lives at 7,000 feet a bad-ass. We live in the Nation's largest ski resort (Big Sky Resort/Moonlight) in winter-like conditions 9 months out of the year! The only thing to keep you happy around here is to get out into the elements and embrace them. So I consider the Ari O Jewelry woman, a bad-ass or cowgirl of sorts. So I made sure models wore some denim, and some boots for some of the photos... oh and don't forget the bracelets!
Sometimes I get into the funk of wearing black. As a artisan jeweler I love black! Plain black clothes ensure that the jewelry I'm wearing "Pops". I usually don't like to wear patterns or brights colors, as I feel that it may take away from the very thing I make and sell - however, today I found that if I put on a Pink Circular Scarf- like this one made by b.handmade designs and a reversible headband, my little pink earrings that I make on a long ear-wires still "popped". It was a little pop of pink that did it. I had my friend model all the pink together and I still think the earring looks fabulous on her - especially with her dark brown hair. :)
My friend Tyler Call of Bozeman, MT is an aspiring photographer. Tyler took some wonderful photos of my jewelry. This one of my favorite pictures involving a model:
I like the use of the model, as I often get asked "Well how big is 2 inches in diameter?!" You put the piece of jewelry on the model and BAM! people understand how it will look on their body. I love the product shots - don't get me wrong, but the model gives the jewelry life and that is what jewelry is all about. When you create jewelry it's okay to have structure and an idea of how the piece will look, but if it doesn't move well or fit correctly- it's all in vain.
Jewelry's sole purpose is to decorate one's beauty, to accent what is already lovely about us all- our bodies! Sometimes jewelry can make us move in certain ways. For instance I have a ring I like to wear, it has a Huge piece of Chinese Writing Rock in it- 1 1/2 " in diameter (well how big is that- you ask?! BIG,) Anyway I wear it and my hand goes Wild! Everything I say is accentuated by my hand waving that giant ring around- it makes for Drama and makes my whole arm look lovely. Anyway I'll get a picture of that big ring on a model and my point about using a model will be put to use. ttfn. Ari O