My Interview on The Glory Tree Herald

I am thrilled to announce that I have been featured on The Glory Tree Herald! Only a few short weeks ago, Reagan approached me with the idea and I was over-joyed at the opportunity to be part of her wonderful blog. I’ve always admired Reagan’s writing, especially her short stories (found on her personal blog Bluestocking Hack), not to mention the raw and honest articles she shares regarding her own life. She is a beautiful person – inside and out – and I feel so very lucky to have been selected as a featured artist on her blog. Check out my interview by clicking on the link below:

Behind the Scenes with Andrea Watson, Metalsmith, Wilmington, NC

Recent Custom Orders

Since posting my handmade wooden “Man Cave” sign, I’ve had a few people who were interested in their own custom sign. My younger sister, Felicia, was one of those people. She loves Sci Fi (Doctor Who and Star Wars specifically) and she decided on a “Nerd Cave” sign that included images of a time machine and light saber. The original “Man Cave” sign had hand-carved text, but she opted for store-bought wooden letters because it reduced the price dramatically. I definitely had fun working on this sign for my little sis.

 

 

Another order I finished up recently was a replica of sorts. My dear friend Alex sent me a picture of the digital artwork shown below on the left. She requested my help in replicating it as a gift for her mother. The image was something she found online and we were unable to find any trace of the original artwork or any way of ordering a print. Because of the circumstances I agreed to take on the project – although if any of you bloggers out there know who the artist is, please let me know! It was definitely a little out of my comfort zone, but (needless to say) we were very happy with the outcome.

 

 

The final custom order I completed recently was a hand-painted canvas designed to be a wedding guestbook: thumbprint-style. My good friend Katy enlisted my help and we eventually decided on the palm tree design you see below. We took inspiration from the many thumbprint guestbooks available and knew that the palm trees would be perfect for her friends Tara & Matt. This again was not my typical line of work, but I was happy to help. It’s been quite the adventure putting together some of these custom pieces and I’ve learned so much through the process.

 

Photography Update

 

Per the feedback I received from all of you on Facebook and WordPress, I decided to go with the beach wood as the background for my shell jewelry. I photographed some new earrings a few days ago and really started to love the look of the beach wood. Originally I preferred the white background, but now it’s easy to see how much the jewelry stands out against the new background. Many thanks to everyone who provided feedback!

Photography Background Options

 

I’m looking forward to opening my Etsy shop in the near future (YAY!) and need to choose a consistent photography style. Which style do you prefer? The beach wood seems to help the jewelry stand out more, but I love how clean and crisp the earrings look against the white. Both would completely change the feel of my Etsy shop, which is why I’m spending a few days before diving into pictures of my newest pieces. My jewelry is generally very minimalistic and overall I strive for a business style that is delicate but earthy. I could always use the beach wood strictly for pieces that include shells and use the white background for all my other work. I’m not sure if I’d enjoy the randomness that would result on my Etsy page though. What do you think? I’d love to hear as many opinions as I can get! 🙂

The Studio

My studio is located in the guest room of our apartment and I spend many happy hours at this little desk. I love that it looks out to the large grassy/wooded area behind our apartment and that the sunlight fills the room in the mornings – the time of day when I’m usually working on jewelry. I enjoy working from home, and even though it is only a side business at the moment, I can’t until I am able to support myself part-time!

 

I do miss the company of other people when I am working though and I dream of the day when I can move my studio into a shop or gallery run by artists. This craving has been satisfied for the time being, however. Just a few weeks ago I began working at River to Sea Gallery inside Chandler’s Wharf in downtown Wilmington. My jewelry has been in the shop for over a year now and I am ecstatic to be working there part-time.

 

 

During the slow season when customers are few and far between, I work on my jewelry to the hum of the bustling old building. From inside the gallery, I can hear other artists at work, a fountain bubbling away in the atrium, creaks in the old ceiling from the offices above, the quiet echo of a relaxing playlist, and the occasional (and contagious) laugh of a certain artisan. Needless to say, I couldn’t be happier to be spending time in this charming building.

About Andrea Watson Designs

Hi! I’m Andrea – a metalsmith, jewelry designer, website designer (apparently), and overall artist. I am the owner and solo metalsmith of Andrea Watson Designs.

 

Originally from Ohio, I now live in North Carolina with my husband, our beloved dog Ace, and our kitten-sized cat Tommy (who I affectionately refer to as Tommypants).

 

All of my jewelry is completely handcrafted, which means that every piece begins as wire, chain, or sheet metal. Transforming these materials into wearable pieces is a very enjoyable process for me and I absolutely treasure every moment I’m able to spend in the studio.  I look forward to sharing my jewelry with you and I hope that it brings you a tiny piece of the happiness with which it was created.

Yours truly,

– Andrea

P.S. You can also find me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Sara Wears AWD

 

Sara is wearing a custom handmade necklace by Andrea Watson Designs. The 2″ shark tooth pendant is wrapped in copper wire and hangs on a 28″ copper chain with clasp. I absolutely loved working with Sara on this necklace and can’t wait to begin wire wrapping the shark teeth from my own personal collection. A good friend gave me a tin full of shark teeth that he collected years ago in Hawaii,  but it was Sara’s necklace that gave me the inspiration to put them to use. Needless to say, I’m excited to begin working on more of these unique pieces.

 

To see more of my recent custom orders, click here

Custom Jewelry Orders

 

Over the past few months I have been inundated with custom orders. The most recent pieces I completed from that list are the shark tooth necklace and sand dollar pendant you see below. I had so much fun designing them both and it gave me a reason to refine my wire wrapping and handmade bail techniques. I’ve actually been preparing to begin selling sterling silver shell pendant necklaces – so I’m sure you’ll be seeing those in the near future. Not to mention, a friend of mine also gave me a large tin full of beautiful shark’s teeth, so you may even see a shark tooth collection in the future as well. Perfect timing on the custom orders my friends!

 

 

To see more custom orders (and additional photos), please click here.

Handmade “Man Cave” Sign

 

This was a custom order that I made for my friend Rachel – an old college friend. She wanted a man cave sign for her boyfriend, and liked the old beach wood I had been using for my other handmade wooden signs. We collaborated a lot on this project since it was so different from what I was used to making and we focused on getting a more rustic look. It was a tedious project (those are hand-carved letters), but totally worth it in the end. She loved how it turned out and I’m very happy to have learned a totally new way to construct and finish my signs!

 

(Click the photo to see more images)