Wednesday, June 26, 2013

440 Brannan...

...Is a beautiful clothing design studio tucked in a unique location in the SOMA district of San Francisco. I first heard about the place when I was working at my old corporate job - from a colleague whom always wore smart and beautiful clothing. As I am slowly rebuilding my list of boutiques to sell my jewelry out of, I am super excited to have Hsu-Lee Designs jewelry featured at 440 Brannan.

They are doing a "Meet the Designer" event tonight and I will be there. For those in the San Francisco area, DO check out the gallery. Surprisingly (or maybe not..), there are many awesome pieces for men. And yes, you can find something other than skinny jeans there!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Not in San Francisco. I'm gazing out at a January sky right now. With a matching cold.

But all is well when a grandma gets to pick her apricots.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The San Francisco Affair.

I have a complicated relationship with San Francisco. I grew up in the bay area - primarily Palo Alto and San Mateo. It wasn't even until 2006-2007 that I decided that I really loved "the city" and wanted to live in it. I wish I had more photos of my first city-apartment. That was after the first bubble burst and  before this current stage of housing-madness. It was great - in the middle of my favorite 'hood and although parking was usually a nightmare - it was a such a cool, little place.

Then I moved in with the boy - into his tiny, 1-bedroom and then finally, in 2010, to our current FABULOUS rental. It was a lot of movement in a short period of time but now, I feel like I've been in SF for the longest time. When the parking/congestion/general rudeness of people/filth get me down: I hate living here. When the weather is amazing/fabulous meal/farmer's market/art scene buoys me: I love this city. Maybe it's my temperamental artist's temperament, but my feelings for this place vacillates through-out the day.

However, I will never regret having this amazing opportunity to live here. I am super grateful for all the things I've learned here.

Here, is where it all begins.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grandma's Stamp of Approval

I was raised by my paternal grandmother - an amazing woman who is a dizzying mix of traditional and non-traditional values. One of the many things she's instilled in me is a deep sense of responsibility and reliability.

So how did that girl, who got a degree in Biotechnology in three years and worked for a large pharmaceutical company for 10 years end up being a jewelry artist?

And just as important - how did GRAMS respond to this big change in career and fortune?

I have to admit something. I was a coward in the beginning. I told all my friends and of course, co-workers when I gave my notice. But I couldn't find the words to tell my Grams, much less the rest of the family. For 8 MONTHS. I'm not terribly close with the rest of the family, but I adore my Grams and abhor the thought of her being upset with anything I did. Eventually, I found out that the job I had quit was gotten rid of. But still, 8 MONTHS.

Eventually Grams and the rest of the family knew. And even though I received a damp-ering response from my Grams at the beginning, things started sorting out. Life started sorting out.

And just a few weeks ago, who showed up to see my jewelry table at the EVE! show? Grams. My darling, 85-year-old grandmother. And she liked what I was doing, my creations and goals. Of course, her old-world mentality still issues a lot of dire-warnings about my career, I think she understands. She even likes to critique my work and provide me with suggestions and ideas. (Of course, where do you think some of my artistic talent comes from???).

She even loved this piece from my M.I.S. collaboration line.

Huge *sigh* of happiness.

M.I.S Deer Pendant - painstakingly sawed out shapes
Bails are soldered on and the pieces are being pickled
A stack of finished pendants.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Post EVE!

The past weekend I was participating in the EVE! Spring Fashion event at New Coast Studios in Palo Alto, CA. The first thing everyone wanted to know post-event, is how "successful" it was.

In terms of sales, it was not so great... But it ended up being a very fun and positive experience. I met some amazing women artists - the type of people that share a love of hand-made and the bravery to take the leap into the world of art. The relationships gained are priceless, seriously! And who doesn't love a work event that involves some seriously good shopping???

I have to say too, that I am not a fan of doing shows. I really admire people who have the patience to cart their stuff all over the place, set up and man their booth with the endurance of a marathon runner!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Ring for a Boy

These were actually made before the one pictured in my previous post. This octagon ring is simple, could-be-classic and wonderfully unisex. For my hubby, I made a "think" one of about 4mm wide and 3mm thick. I'm planning on doing a bunch in super thin gauges so that they will stack beautifully. And of course, some gold-plated ones, oxidized ones, brass, etc., etc. The ideas are flowing and endless!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Because Real Men Wear Jewelry Too!

My hubby has in the past year or so started to wear jewelry - other than his wedding ring. He sticks with rings, mostly; interesting, cool and unique sterling silver pieces. We've collected a sweet, little assortment of interesting rings - from our travels all over. A couple from Germany, NYC, China, SF, Provincetown, etc. When people meet us and ask what we do and discover that I make jewelry, they always do the "look" to see what wares I'm displaying. They'll also check our my hubby's ring-of-the-day

And sadly, until now, I've always had to say that the rings he's got aren't mine.

Men like jewelry, too. I made this ring this past weekend - you know, when you have things you are supposed to do but would rather play. But, it turned out great! I love it! And better yet, hubby loves it!

Argentium sterling silver - hammered and annealed, several times over. I fused the ends overlapping a bit - for something different. I left most of the oxidation on - it seems to accent the texture of the ring better. The band is about 3/4" wide - which is pretty wide. But the entire piece is still light-weight and comfortable to wear.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The New Kids on the Block..

Some new items posted to my Etsy shop. Come check it out! Treat yourself to a little, Friday jewel.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

That's Right, It's Awesome!

Do many of you face self-doubt? I feel pretty certain that it is more common than is acknowledged. I am sure that it happens with artists, scientists, engineers, politicians (maybe not so much...), etc.

I have weird moments of self-doubt that can be about anything from my designs, to the making of my pieces, to how I write my blog. There have been some good discussions with my hubby though - and we both agree; self-doubt is NOT a good use of time + energy. As I am gearing up to participate in the EVE! event, I am reminding myself, yes, my work is awesome. I love it. And I am searching for other who will love it as well. And not everyone will - and that's okay. Because hey, it's all this diversity in life that makes it so exciting, don't you think?

All my pieces are inventoried and tagged - over 170 items, ready to find a happy home. Not it's time to pull together my table display and some confidence, to boot. That's right - my jewelry is awesome!

Monday, March 4, 2013

EVE! Spring Fashion Event 2013

A few weeks ago, I got an email inviting me to participate in a local fashion event. Yay! And here it is:

Hope to see you all there...


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

All That Glitters...

There really is so much that other cultures can offer us in regard to jewelry + history. Everything we know now and enjoy about jewelry all had its roots in the past. While gold isn't generally a metal that I have an affinity to, I appreciate its history and place in so many cultures around the world.

This place seems amazing - I think I would very much love to see this some day... The Dubai gold souk - amazing! Beautiful! 
Roland Wich

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Over the Hundred Mark and Now What?

One of my goals for my Etsy shop was to reach at least 100 listings (don't ask me why - it's kind of arbitrary, isn't it?). I have over 100 listings - now people, please, shop!

I've also decided to be brave and just go with the (my) flow. Listen to my creativity instead of trying to control it.

On a random note: how many of you love the smell of a Sharpie? I do. I can never have enough of these pens lying around the studio. My favorite color is blue. What's yours?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happiness is...

... when you get a shipment of goodies in the mail and you're ready to play!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy 2013...

Is it really already February 8th? I am still coming to terms with it being 2013...

What's been happening... Sadly, two more of my retail stores are closing. Absurdly high rent increases in a couple of locations in San Francisco is forcing out small businesses. On the other hand, I have been working on doing more business on my Etsy site. I'm also doing a collaboration with a good friend and an artist. I was approached by a local gallery last week and this week, got an invite to participate in a fashion trunk show event! Yay! 2013 is going to be THE year! Yes!