Thursday, December 9, 2010

Concha Earrings

Teacher gifts!  :)

I really hadn't given much of a thought to teacher gifts this year.  Last year I gave bars of handmade soap from DeShawn Marie. 

This year I wasn't sure what I was going to do. 

Then I started getting some orders for some really nice teachers gifts.  Nicer than anything I've given teachers in the past. 

And I started thinking.  And then I started feeling like a cheapskate.  I mean, these ladies give a lot to my children.  I really wanted to do something special to show my appreciation for everything they do throughout the year.

Rounds of sterling silver, richly textured by a hand stamped pattern.  Stone beads securely wire wrapped to each.  Brushed by hand for a matte finish.  
About that hand stamped pattern....I sat down with my metal stamps and a piece of copper.  I began stamping, and this pattern is the first that came out.  I tried some other things, but nothing came as quickly or as easily as this one did.  

So I went with it.
A distinct Mexican, Southwest American vibe.  And as I sat sanding each patterned round, I realized that they reminded me of something.  

Conchos?  So I looked up Concho Jewelry, and sure enough....Very similar concept.  

I know it sounds crazy.  But sometimes a design comes from your soul, and this one came from mine. 

We recently  had a challenge with the Aspiring Metalsmiths.  It was to make something that represented where you came from.  

At the time I read it, I remember wondering what in the heck I was going to make that represented me, and where I had come from.  

My Mother is Mexican.  My Father always called himself a mutt, and my Grandma said, English, Irish, and German Jew.  And I know my Grandpa had a Native American Great Grandmother somewhere in the family tree.  

My people are from California, Nevada and New Mexico.  I am from the American West.  I grew up influenced by the Mexican culture, and it continues to influence my life today.

So when I made these, at a time when I just sat down intending to make some teachers gifts I came out with much more.  

Just sitting down and creating.  No pre planned designs in mind.  I am so satisfied at what I created.  I am really proud to give these gifts to some wonderful ladies this Christmas season.  


  1. Very generous indeed, but you know what? As a former (and soon planning to continue) teacher I can tell you from time to time to get an amazing gift is something really special. I have literally cried sometimes when given something special that you know was lovingly picked out (or made-those are the best). It's just nice to feel appreciated when you feel day in and day out under appreciated from nearly every angle. So good for you!

  2. These are so pretty...I wish I was one of the teachers :-).

  3. They are all just beautiful and the thought is bound to be so appreciated by those lucky teachers!

  4. Well done Amy! I really love and appreciate your entire project. While I can certainly identify with making fine production work like this by hand, I am equally tickled that I can continue to enjoy the educators in my family too. Good work. Lots of hard work. Stay challenged!

    Bobby Teller

  5. Thanks everyone! We gave the first gift tonight to my daughters art teacher. She loved them! I gave her the ones with turquoise, coral, and smoky topaz. They were my favorites.....:)

  6. I love the look of these! What wouldn't they go with? ;-)