HTY Jewelry

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Atelier in Lacoste, France

Monthly Blog PostHsiang-Ting Yen2 Comments

2019 has been a pretty wild ride full of surprises! Just as the blog title suggests, I’m going to France from June to August. I was selected as a jewelry artist-in-residence program awarded by my alma mater, SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) at their campus Lacoste in gorgeous southern France! The program is fully sponsored by the school; I will teach workshops and have access to a storefront / studio to create my new collection as alumni ambassador.

When I was still a graduate student in SCAD, every summer our jewelry department took a small group of students to SCAD Lacoste a for a 10-week summer program  and I always heard so many wonderful things about Lacoste and experiences from friends and faculty members when they returned. Unfortunately, I couldn’t participate in it because they didn’t have graduate programs at the Lacoste campus.


A few years ago, I learned about SCAD’s Alumni Atelier from the alumni program. Here is the Atelier program’ core mission: “It’s an artist ambassadorship conceived and endowed by SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace, enriches the creative and professional endeavors of distinguished SCAD graduates. Alumni advance their careers, strengthen their connection with their alma mater and join a select group of ambassadors within the university's global network of emerging and established artists and scholars.”


I didn’t have the courage to apply before because the thought of leaving my business on pause for three months terrified me, mostly a financial concern. But the idea was a tiny seed that had been slowly growing in my head ever since. Back in January, I received a welcoming application invitation message from the program coordinator. With 100% support from my husband Nate, the encouragement of my good friend and a 2018 Alumni Atelier grantee Kristen Baird  I decided to give a shot. After weeks of preparation and coordinating… months later I got accepted along with four other talented SCAD alumni!!!

It’s only less than a month away till my departure. I’m busier than ever in my studio creating enough inventory in Raleigh for my hubby to manage and ship. Here are a couple of  notes for my future and current clients (P.S. Don’t you worry! Even though I’ll be away from my Raleigh studio for the summer, you can still reach me via email, Skype, or Facetime if you have any questions!)


For my existing custom clients:

1.Delivery: The deadline to schedule for delivery is May 31 with full payment of the remaining balance.

2. In Progress: In order to complete the piece before my departure, a 50% down payment and final approval are required by May 8.  Delivery and the remaining balance can be scheduled after August 30.  If you need the delivery between June - August, I can arrange an appointment with my husband for in-person delivery or insured UPS 2nd-day air express shipping.

For my potential or new custom clients:

I’m still accepting new clients while I’m in France with limited services provided including consulting, design, and CAD model creating between June - August, and I will continue the rest of fabrication process (casting, stone setting, and finishing) after August 30.

On-line orders:

I’ll be available to answer your questions via email, and my hubby, Nate, will be in charge of online order shipping between June - August.


I’m beyond excited to embark on this journey. I can’t wait to immerse myself in the beautiful Provence of France and its rich culture and to be inspired and create a brand new collection. I will be posting regularly, so stay tuned!

Back to my studio, signing off


Hsiang-Ting




Role Play

Custom Made, Monthly Blog PostHsiang-Ting YenComment

One thing I love about designing custom jewelry is the challenge each client brings to me with all kinds of personal stories. Sometimes this means I have to play many different roles rather than just the jeweler.  I’m truly amazed and grateful to all my clients for helping me realize my undiscovered potential through their interesting jobs.


For this particular project, I was not only a jeweler but also an archaeologist and detective. A few months prior my client lost an heirloom carnelian ring and I was asked to recreate it with very limited information to begin with. All I had was an enhanced and enlarged image that only showed half of the ring. The rest was based on my clients’ memory, which can be tricky since memory can be subjective and abstract sometimes. And that is really the most challenging part of this task, I have to think like my client.

The only clue I had for this ring project.

The only clue I had for this ring project.

This project reminds me of a recent discovery of a tail of a feathered dinosaur found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar.  This is the first time scientists have found dinosaur material preserved in amber. Based on the fossil tail in the amber, with the help of paleontologists and the imagination of illustrators, they recreated a sketch of this feathered dinosaur that was about the size of a sparrow and lived 99 million years ago.

Now, back to my story, with the clue I had in hand that I rebuilt the ring from the scratch including sourcing the perfect color carnelian, custom cutting the carnelians, and, of course, creating the ring itself.  Fortunately, my clients were very understanding and patient, they guided me through every little step of the whole process  to help me to create the ring as close to the original. They were so pleased with my services, that they decided to add one pair of custom earrings and a pendant with the same design aesthetics to make a set.

The day before the delivery, I woke up from an anxiety dream. I was quite nervous, worrying about all the things that could go wrong when they receive the jewelry. What if she just absolutely hates it? What if this is nothing close to her original ring? What if the color of the stone doesn’t look right to her in person? What if? What if?? What if !???  My worries immediately dissolved as soon as I saw my client’s big smile. And this is always the most rewarding part of my job: seeing my client’s happy, glowing face. It just means everything to me. Did I mention I slept like a baby that night? LOL.

Does this story resonate with you? Let me help you to cherish your memories by restoring or redesigning an heirloom piece today!


XOXO,

Hsiang-Ting





Happy 2019!

Custom Made, Monthly Blog PostHsiang-Ting YenComment

Happy 2019! I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday with your friends and family! Thanks to your support 2018 has been a great year. I’m looking forward to what 2019 will bring me. There are lots of exciting things already brewing in my Raleigh studio since January 1st and I can’t wait to tell you more about them in the next couple of months!

To kick off 2019, I want to share my last two custom jewelry projects from 2018.


#1. Custom Montana Sapphire Wedding Set

This whole set is definitely one of my top 5 favorites of 2018. I met this lovely couple back in July at a bridal show and they are both in the gaming industry. She is a game programer and he is a game designer. They were looking for a jewelry designer who could create a custom wedding set to meet their special requirements. Their concept was very clear: she wanted a lot of colors and sparkles with moon motifs embedded in the two-toned metal design; he wanted his ring to have a sense of medieval castle/stone wall texture in the design yet still match her rings. Most importantly, they wanted to engrave “PLAYER 1” and “PLAYER 2” inside of their rings because of their love for video games. How cute is that?! So, I took on this challenge and this is what I created for them:

Her engagement ring features 14kt white gold, Montana Sapphire, rainbow moonstone, and accent diamonds. Her wedding ring features 14kt rose gold, rainbow moonstone, and diamonds.  Can you see the little half moons in both rings?

His ring features 14kt white gold with black rhodium on the faceted texture, and set with a square Montana sapphire.

And, of course they loved it! I can’t wait to see their epic wedding pictures in May! Congrats to L & M!


#2. Custom Heart-Shaped Ruby Pendant

This one was also quite a challenge. My client asked me to repurpose the heart-shaped ruby and diamonds stones from his wife’s old, broken engagement ring into an elegant pendant for their 30th wedding anniversary. I was able to give this project a complete makeover by turning those stones into an Art Deco-inspired rose gold pendant. The combination of 14kt rose gold, ruby, and sparkly accent diamonds is simply perfect! A couple of days after the pendant was delivered, he told me she absolutely loved it! To me that’s really the biggest compliment: to know my jewelry is making her so happy every time she wears it.  


Do you have a piece of outdated or broken  jewelry sitting in your jewelry box that has sentimental value and just not wearable anymore? Why not contact me today? We can start with a 45 minute complimentary consultation via phone or in-person. I can help you to turn this jewelry into something you can cherish everyday! It can be one of your 2019 resolutions (and the easiest one too since I’ll be doing the job for you :P)  


Cheers to a bright and exciting 2019!

XOXO

Hsiang-Ting





Rustic Wedding, Custom Jewelry

Monthly Blog Post, Custom MadeHsiang-Ting YenComment

Who doesn’t love a beautiful fall wedding in the mountains? As fearless millennials, last month my hubby and I went to a family friend’s wedding in Black Mountain, North Carolina, despite the fast-approaching Hurricane Florence. The wedding was held at a charming family farm. The reception was in a rustic barn located near Lake Eden, surrounded by the gorgeous North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. With the cooperation of the weather, we had a wonderful time with our friends and the other guests. It was a truly authentic North Carolinian-styled wedding with cheerful bluegrass music and delicious, mouthwatering BBQ.  

The best part is, I was so honored to custom-design this lovely couple’s engagement ring, matching wedding bands, and even a bridal pendant. It’s not very often that I get to go to my clients’ weddings, you know? But on this night I saw my designs come to life as the bride and groom as they enjoyed their first day as husband and wife.


The Engagement Ring:

Originally, the bride wanted to use the center diamond from her grandmother’s engagement ring for her engagement ring, but the diamond was severely damaged. I did not recommend repurposing it for the ring. Therefore, I helped her select a one-of-a-kind teal blue (her favorite color) Montana sapphire as the center stone. The neat part about this sapphire is that it changes color from blue to teal to green depending on the movement and lighting. Since the bride is a natural lover, the design is inspired by nature with leaves and flower petals motifs.


The Matching Wedding Bands:

The couple loves nature and the outdoors and the groom is a carpenter. So, they wanted wood grain textures on their wedding bands.  It was a lot of fun figuring out how to scale down and create a realistic wood grain texture on a ring. I ended up spending so much time staring at my hardwood floor when I was carving the ring just so I can get inspired! Then, I repurposed the bride’s heirloom accent diamonds for her band and heirloom sapphire for his band.


The Bridal Pendant:

Since it’s a no-no to repurpose the damaged center diamond for her engagement ring, I suggested that we use it for a pendant instead. Pendants experience  minimum wear and tear for daily wear. Thanks to the groom ‘s background in industrial design, he suggested that we combine the damaged diamond from her grandmother’s ring and the remaining three sapphires from her grandfather’s ring and turn them into a very modern and chic pendant. It’s great for everyday wear and it fits her lifestyle perfectly.


And voila! It’s like solving a puzzle, everything just fell into right place once we started the process. It’s all about deconstruction and reconstruction. Thankfully, everyone is happy with the results!


Many congrats to B & C!!!


P.S. We made it home safely right before the storm hit Black Mountain (almost got hit by a falling tree limb in Black Mountain, but we dodged it right in time), and our home in Raleigh was spared from any storm damage!  


Till next time,


Hsiang-Ting





The Royal Fever

Monthly Blog PostHsiang-Ting Yen1 Comment

Did you wake up way earlier than usual on May 19 for the wedding of the year - the royal wedding? I was at a black tie wedding myself so I couldn’t get up at 5am to watch live on TV with the rest of 29.2 million American viewers.  I missed the live ceremony, but trust me, I had my share of royal wedding highlights over the weekend : P

As a jeweler, I can’t help myself, the thing I care about the most is not her dress or the glamorous guest list, but Meghan Markle’s engagement ring! So, here is a little backstory on her engagement ring.  As a touching tribute to Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, the two smaller diamonds are from her personal collection. And that’s not the only way Prince Harry is keeping his mother’s memory alive: the large stone in the center has a hidden meaning, too. The diamond is originally from Botswana, which Harry often refers to as his “second home.” The couple recently vacationed in the African country for Meghan’s birthday.  This heartwarming story just totally melted my heart, no wonder Prince Harry is one of the most popular royal and lucky Meghan!

Do you like the idea how Prince Harry honors his mother by repurposing her jewelry for Meghan Markle’s engagement ring? Just in case  you wondering, I provide custom jewelry service to help my clients honor the memories of their passed loved ones by giving their heirloom jewelry a new life such. A redesign or restoration allows my clients to  wear the jewelry and cherish the legacy in their everyday life.


For example, the beautiful yellow topaz center stone of this ring is from my client’s great-grandmother’s necklace circi the 1920’s. She couldn’t wear the necklace before because the necklace mounting is not balanced. I removed one of the yellow topaz gems that is still in good condition, and created this Art Nouveau-inspired gingko leaf cocktail ring for her.  It features 18k rose gold, yellow topaz, pink sapphire, and pearls.


Here is another example, for this wedding set, I repurposed the small marquise diamonds from my client’s great-grand aunt’s engagement ring as accent stones for the new wedding set, and I reset the heirloom center diamond to a pendant so she can wear it on her wedding day. (I couldn’t repurpose the diamond for her engagement ring  because it was seriously damaged when she received it from her grandmother.)

I can help you whether you are local or located outside of North Carolina! And, you can learn more about the custom process here: Learn more about custom jewelry service

Congratulations to B & J : )

Custom MadeHsiang-Ting Yen
I had SUCH an awesome time working with Hsiang-Ting on my wedding band. I really wanted something non-traditional and custom-made to compliment my engagement ring. We met one-on-one so she could get a feel for my style and what I was looking for and she took it from there. The whole process was so much fun, she’s an incredible artist who is really good at listening to you and running with your ideas. In the end I have a GORGEOUS wedding band (white gold/sapphire) that is completely one-of-a-kind. I am in love with my ring and it is so special knowing that I am the only one with a ring like this, I can’t thank her enough! I would highly recommend Hsiang-Ting if you’re looking for a custom piece of jewelry!!!!!!
— Brooke S

Congratulations to B & J! I had such an amazing experience working with her, very easy to communicate and she has a clear picture about the perfect contour ring to match her gorgeous engagement ring, so that made the design process flow smoothly.  I appreciate she fully trusted my artistic instinct, so I can be as 100% creative as I could, the fabricating process is totally effortless yet rewarding!