The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Game of Shells: Abalone Crowned 2014’s Top Trend

Apr 16, 2014
1 Comment
Heather Apodaca
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wholeshell

Back in December, Jennifer Heebner, senior editor at JCK, named abalone the top jewelry trend for 2014 in her Style 360 blog at JCKonline.com.

wholeshell

an abalone shell

“Since the color blue continues to be a big hit in both fashion and jewelry, abalone shell (or paua, as it’s called in some other parts of the world) fits the current color trend,” she writes. “And while this shell or mother-of-pearl material is oftentimes inexpensive—and has been fashioned into numerous entry-level-priced silver numbers in the past—some more recent, super-high-end and diamond-encrusted styles have appeared, making the material a candidate for newfound appreciation in the luxury market.”

Luxury or non-luxury, the shell’s swirling rainbow of colors gives designers a pop of eye-catching color to work with. A piece of paua shell wrapped in silver (or gold or base metal) is simply stunning.

shellproject

Inspired? Check out our Wire-Wrapped Paua Shell and Pearl Pendant project to get you going!

Abalone is a mollusk, in the same phylum as snails, lobsters, and even squid. But its shimmery iridescent shell has made it prized since ancient times.

Paua, which is the Maori name for the abalone found in New Zealand, is the most sought-after type of abalone because it is thought to display the richest range of colors—from light blues and greens to deep purples. The Maori consider paua shell tonga, or sacred, both for the nutrition it provides and its beauty.

And so now we want to know! Four months into 2014, are you working with abalone? Have you seen more of it in the first few months of the year? Are customers asking for it?

Take our poll below and then click on results to see what your fellow jewelers think of abalone.

Do you use abalone in your designs?

View Results

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Non-Traditional Engagement Rings: Are Diamonds Still Forever?

Apr 2, 2014
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Heather Apodaca
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emerald

Wedding season is almost upon us. And while diamonds are usually the darlings of the jeweler’s bench during this time of year, more and more couples are requesting sapphires, rubies, topaz, and other colored stones for their engagement rings. Will your work reflect this colorful trend? Check out The Studio today to get inspired!

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What Are You Working on Now? Show Us Your Stuff AND Enter Our April Contest!

Mar 27, 2014
21 Comments
Molly Therese Bell
feliciathree

What inspires you these days? What materials have you been experimenting with? Nearly every month we present you with another “What are You Working on Now?” contest, in which we invite readers to submit a picture or two and a description of what’s on their bench right now. Well, this month’s winner, Felicia Cinquegrana, has won a $20 Rio credit, and April’s contest has officially begun. Show us your stuff for a chance to win!

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Jewelry Design Options: Mixing COPPRclay and New WHITE COPPRclay

Mar 19, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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WCC1

Rio recently introduced new WHITE COPPRclay to its line of base metal clays, and every clay artist in the building could hardly wait to work with it. After giving him some time to experiment, we cornered Rio Grande metal clay artist and Tech Team member Thomas Flores and asked him what he’s discovered about this exciting new color of COPPRclay. Read about his experiences today at The Studio.

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2014 Saul Bell Design Award: Spectacular Finalists Unveiled

Mar 13, 2014
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Molly Therese Bell
featured

Today, The Studio is thrilled to unveil the 35 finalist pieces of the 2014 Saul Bell Design Award competition! Across seven categories and from nine different countries spanning the globe, this is the best of jewelry design and it brings us one step closer to the announcement of SBDA winners in May! Take a look and be inspired.

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Etsy Trends We Love: Shapely Jewelry

Mar 9, 2014
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Heather Apodaca
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featuredgeo

Today at The Studio we talk with three jewelers (from three different continents!) whose work takes inspiration from the clean lines and simple forms of geometry. Shlomit Ofir of Shlomit Ofir Jewelry Design, Laura Geupin of SharpCloud, and Jess Jones of FawnAndRose are all creating Etsy Trends We Love –Check it out!

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Olympic Inspiration: Gold Medals by the Numbers

Feb 26, 2014
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Heather Apodaca
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olympics

The closing ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics were held on Sunday, which means all the athletes are headed home with their gold, silver, and bronze hardware (U.S. athletes are bringing more than 25 medals back). This year a record number of medals were given out, thanks to the 12 new competitions added to this year’s games. And, being jewelers, that got us thinking, what exactly is the golden jewel of the Olympic games made of?

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Spark Your Creativity: Five Jewelry Exhibits Not to Miss!

Feb 6, 2014
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Heather Apodaca
Posted by
countessnecklacecap

Today at The Studio we bring you a little fodder for your creative soul. Here at Rio Grande, one of our favorite places to go in search of inspiration and new ideas is museums. All that creative genius gathered in one place just makes us want to make something. Luckily for jewelers, there are a bevy of jewelry-focused exhibits this spring and fall. From the Medieval to the avant-garde to the diamond-studded, the exhibits offer a little creative rejuvenation in the dark days of winter.

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What’s Hot Now: Rustic Chic Wedding Jewelry and Rio Grande’s Linen Displays

Jan 31, 2014
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Bernadette Bennett
floralcollage

Jewelers get ready—spring is coming! If you create wedding jewelry or you’d like to, outdoor woodsy weddings are all the rage! Weddings with a rustic chic, vintage revival, or country romantic theme are popping up everywhere. This inspiring outdoorsy theme is all about sunshine and fresh air—organic textures and rustic, handmade adornments, décor, and accessories. Rio Grande’s linen displays capture the elegant, rustic theme perfectly and will beautifully complement your wedding-themed jewelry!

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Valentine’s Inspiration: Heart-Themed Jewelry Products to Make You Swoon

Jan 15, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Valentine’s Day is just a month away. Do you need some quick but elegant solutions to please your customers? We’ll make it easy by sharing some favorite romantic selections from our heart-themed jewelry products. Get ready to swoon!

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