StudioAskew is taking a short break
Anna on Jun 23, 20165 out of 5 stars
Amazing craftsmanship, amazing design, stunning piece of jewelry!!!
Katie on Jun 9, 20165 out of 5 stars
Once again, absolutely beautiful and magical jewelry!!
April on Jun 9, 20165 out of 5 stars
I love these earrings. The workmanship is exquisite and the quality of gemstones is really high. I like the way thse earrings hang and the hoops make them very secure. Thank you Michelle for a work of art.
TheBusyLittleBeads on May 15, 20165 out of 5 stars
This is by far one of the most beautiful rings that I've ever come across or owned!! Michelle was so great to work with and the end product was amazing. It's not only gorgeous but is super comfortable to wear. I feel so special and beautiful wearing it! Thank you, Michelle!
Katie on May 7, 20165 out of 5 stars
This necklace is absolutely exquisite. I bought it as a birthday present for a dear friend and it's like it was made just for her. I love the variation in the color of the gemstones, the unique line of the necklace, and the delicateness of the pattern. You can't go wrong with any piece - you can see the love and care that goes into every piece!
Jennifer on Apr 14, 20165 out of 5 stars
Very beautiful. Expertly crafted. These are my most favorite and treasured earrings. People can't help but stare!
Maureen on Mar 1, 20165 out of 5 stars
Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! ring! Art! Very speedy shipping and excellent communication. Would recommend and I'll be back! Thank you Michelle.
tjnaab on Mar 1, 20165 out of 5 stars
AWESOME! BEAUTIFUL! prettier than picture extremely comfortable to wear, expeditious delivery, LOVE IT thanks will order again soon from this extremely talented artist
PREETHA on Feb 10, 20165 out of 5 stars
The earrings are absolutely stunning.Thank you so much.Hope to do business with you in the future as well.
ldyen24 on Dec 19, 20155 out of 5 stars
This was a gift for my niece. I can't believe it arrived on time! It is so beautiful! She loves it! Thank you!!!!!!!
In the beginning, joy . . .
In essence, I am not self-taught.
Everything I know about design, hard work, attention to detail, and perseverance, I have learned from my mother. I was raised from an early age to work with my hands, find SOMETHING TO DO, and to fully appreciate artistry and traditional women's work. And while I naturally, of course, didn't appreciate her quite as I should until I was 30 . . . I will say here and now that she has been the greatest influence in my life.
I've always loved jewelry. Partially because it is small and fussy and requires a meticulous hand to make -- but also because jewelry is such a simple way to radically transform how you express yourself in any given moment. It's kind of magical, like theater for regular people.
There's something about the materials, too. I've sewn quilts, thrown pottery, woven baskets, cut glass, knit socks and sweaters and odd things to put on kitchen appliances . . . but in the end, my hands are happiest with some wire and a pile of shiny stones.
I started selling jewelry in . . . second grade. During lunch. A friend and I made these really hideous chandelier earrings with electric blue and purple sequins, and we called them "The Peacocks." They were spiky and uncomfortable, way too large for children, but they matched perfectly with the neon, tie-dyed scrunchie everyone was wearing that year. We actually made a killing the first week, with record sales of about $3 (they were, like, 10 cents apiece . . . I'm sure the supplies cost our parents more than that). Eventually, we were shut down by the lunch lady.
About that time I was introduced to the loom and thus began what I call my "Lizard Period," where I made dozens and dozens of seed bead bracelets and anklets (it was the 80's, in case you couldn't tell by the scrunchie reference) with geckos in radical colors. They were . . . bodacious. I actually sold a few pieces to a little shop in Portland that I later learned was called a "head shop." My mother scored me my first big gig -- I had made her a heart-shaped peyote brooch with long, streaming seed bead tassels for her birthday that year. She was noticed by a shop owner in Seattle who inquired where she had gotten it. My mother replied, "I happen to know the artist personally." The shop owner purchased a few, and was pretty surprised that "the artist" was a 10-year-old with a 90210 T-shirt.
From there, jewelry making took a back seat to life: College (where I spent 6 months in Rome and majored in Classical Studies), trying to find an actual job after college when you've majored in such a thing, meeting my husband, going back to school for massage, starting a rather successful Thai massage practice, moving from the city to the desert, the birth of my son, and all the attendant chaos that follows.
This incarnation of my artistic career was actually facilitated by a broken arm. I am an avid tennis player -- if I am not in my studio, I am on the courts -- and I play daily, competitively and with GUSTO! Too much gusto, sometimes . . . hence, the broken arm. I found myself sitting at home with no prayer of getting back on the courts for 8 weeks, and was in the midst of a massive Pity Party when I discovered my dusty old bead box. Of course, I had only one arm at the time, so my capabilities were greatly hindered, and pretty much everything I made was scrapped. But the love was rekindled.
And here I am. My jewelry has grown up quite a lot -- it's amazing what materials have become available on the internet, and, naturally, as an adult, I have a larger budget than my $5 weekly allowance, so I get to work with some really fine stuff! But I'm still me. I still favor bright colors and I still work in concepts. I still look for new techniques and constantly am changing my designs. I'm still playful. My life is translated into my work: There's a lot of ancient world influences, some yoga and Buddhist inspired aspects, balanced asymmetry (a theme for any mother of a small child). In the end, though, I most hope that the joy I've always felt when working with my hands is fully tangible in each piece. And I hope to pass that joy onto you . . .
Here you will find truly handmade jewelry with a unique design perspective. I use only high quality materials in my work; all metals are sterling silver, fine silver, argentium, 14 karat gold fill, and 24 karat vermeil. I do so love my gemstones . . . and I think you will as well!
This is a labor of love, and I am quite meticulous about my workmanship. I find inspiration in absolutely everything . . . . literally. I've created pieces inspired by nature, architecture, poetry and music, ancient Rome, and once, the color palette of Lois' kitchen on "Family Guy."
Many of my design decisions are informed by, well, really good Thai food . . . like Thai cooking, I attempt to combine multiple elements to create depth and cohesion in a piece. I play with flavors of texture, finish, shape, flow and what I describe as "tension or something askew" (that'd be TOSA for short . . . ) in all of my work. I work intuitively and go where the wire or my mood takes me. This means that I pretty much always have at least 5 projects happening at the same time, and I love how working this way seems to flush out new ideas mid-project. My husband may say that my working style is chaotic since I tend to have little mounds of gemstones and random bits of shaped wire on my desk at all times . . . but I say that if the chaos actually works, you get to call it a "method." I rarely use sketches, and the few times I have, the finished product had evolved to look nothing like what I had imagined in the beginning. Plus . . . my son tends shred any paper left laying about, so I find it best to rely on my mercurial imagination.
Accepted payment methods
Returns and exchanges
WA state residents will be charged sales tax.
It is my pleasure to offer international shipping via USPS registered mail! Shipping may take 2-3 weeks, so please allow extra time for overseas shipping. In addition, please be aware that the buyer is solely responsible for any duties, taxes, or fees levied by customs in their own country. These vary greatly from country to country, and can sometimes be surprising. Your local post office can advise. Also note that I can not mark your parcel as a "gift." It's just . . . illegal.
Additional policies and FAQs
Please note that I am a mama to a toddler, and I do not have a smart phone (invariably it would wind up in the air vent or the toilet!). I am on the computer periodically throughout the day, and will return any convos or answer any questions within 24 hours -- though I may not respond in minutes, customer service is paramount, and I will get back to you as soon as possible!
Handmade Jewelry --
All items listed in my shop are truly artisan made; I design from my own imagination, then form, hammer, wrap and weave everything with my own two hands. While I frequently become absorbed in color palette, a shape, a particular design technique or a concept, all items are one of a kind. Please note that, unlike mass produced jewelry, handmade work is intended to be treated with care. It's not a good idea to sleep or shower in any of these pieces . . . and it is best to store them carefully and separately from other jewelry that may scratch your fabulous gemstones. Hand-sewn cotton pouches and padded gift boxes are provided for this purpose.
Please use a jewelry cleaner that is rated for gemstones. When polishing your piece, take care to not twist or torque the wire wrapped stones -- some movement is natural, but hard twisting may crack the stones. I do tend to use a lot of 24k Vermeil elements (because that stuff is FABULOUS). Vermeil is high quality gold over sterling silver . . . polishing of this material must be done with a gentle hand. If your particular piece contains vermeil, please check to see that your jewelry cleaner safe for vermeil specifically.
Custom orders --
I would be most honored to design something specifically for you within my signature style. Custom orders may take a few weeks to complete, depending on the nature of the piece. I am quite persnickety about meeting deadlines, and will be honest and forthcoming about a realistic time frame.
Should you find a piece that speaks to your heart, but is just not quite within your reach right now, let me know. I am quite willing to work with you. Layaway is done on a case by case basis -- just convo me to set something up. Please understand that my prices are firm. I made the decision early on not to mark something up only to slash it by 50%. I price based on time and materials, and I do not manipulate the shipping costs.
And THANK YOU --
I am truly grateful to have been given this life and the opportunity to work at something I find fulfilling. I am definitely aware that it is the support of my customers that makes this possible . . . So thank you from the bottom of my heart!