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The State of Metalsmiths by Salt Magazine

PressHsiang-Ting Yen

I'm so excited and honored to be one of the featured artists at Salt Magazine this month, to know more about this article, here is the original link: http://www.saltmagazinenc.com/the-state-of-metalsmiths/#

Enjoy!!!

 

The State of Metalsmiths

Wilmington is home to some of North Carolina’s most acclaimed metal crafts people — a tradition that now spans the state        

By Emily Colin

North Carolina is known for its deep-rooted “maker” tradition, where crafting has risen from a traditional way of life to a finely honed art form. This is certainly true of metalsmithing, a field where an incredible community of designers has emerged over the past century — all dedicated to creating original, inspired personal adornment. The art has evolved, even as the tools of the trade — torches, hammers, pliers, anvils, files and roll mills — remain constant.

“One of the reasons that there’s such a rich tradition in the western part of the state is the craft movement that took place in the early 1900s,” says Melissa Manley, Wilmington metalsmith and Cape Fear Community College professor. Driven by economic initiatives, schools like “Arrowmont in Tennessee and Penland in the (N.C.) Blue Ridge supported local people by educating children and giving trades to adults, like jewelry making,” explains Manley. Penland School of Crafts (est. 1929) — northwest of Asheville — was at the epicenter. “(Students) wanted to learn from the finest people in the field, and (Penland) kept those fires stoked.”

Penland still thrives today, offering multidisciplinary workshops led by a rotating faculty. Asheville metalsmith Joanna Gollberg took her first-ever class at Penland, which “really changed the course of my life.” She is now an instructor there. “It’s a small community and everyone’s making something. Everyone’s supportive, and it’s a beautiful environment in terms of learning and sharing.” Though an anchor for the state’s tradition, Penland doesn’t offer a degree program.

North Carolina’s eastern stronghold, East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design, was forged in 1962, bringing the state’s tradition to the coast and refining it. ECU offers both B.F.A. and M.F.A. programs. Celebrated instructors and internationally acclaimed artists Linda Darty and Robert Ebendorf helped shape an entire generation of metalsmiths, many of whom settled south in Wilmington post graduation. Ebendorf has retired, but Darty founded and directs ECU’s study abroad intensive in Certaldo, Italy.

Another ECU professor, the late John Satterfield, played a seminal role in teaching several of the metalsmiths featured in this piece, such as Wilmington’s Will Olney. “He intrigued me,” says Olney. “He had technical knowledge about everything. The way he constructed pieces, with mechanical, moving parts — it was steampunk before steampunk was cool.”

Goldsmith and designer Mary Ann Scherr’s role in shaping the metalsmithing scene — not just in North Carolina but in the field as a whole — cannot be overstated. Scherr passed away just last year, but lived in Raleigh and was a highly sought-after instructor, teaching at Penland, Raleigh Fine Arts and many others. A treasure beyond the Triangle, her work has been displayed in the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian.

Raleigh metalsmith Sarah Tector served as one of Scherr’s studio assistants and later helped to found a Triangle metalsmithing group in her honor. “It was just such a gift to know her. She was an inspiration as a woman and as a creative person,” says Tector. “And it wasn’t just metals. She was the first female designer at Ford Motor Company, she did extensive work in commercials and graphics, she designed clothing — some of her cookie jars wound up being things Andy Warhol loved. To be doing this, as a female, in times when it was such a struggle to get recognition was amazing.”

This small but formidable group of instructors blazed the trail for the thriving and diverse community of metalsmiths that calls our state home today. From seasoned metalsmiths to emerging artisans, gallery owners to college professors, here is a glimpse into the world of North Carolina’s metalsmiths — from our backyard to the hills.

Hsiang-Ting Yen, Raleigh

htyjewelry.com

Hsiang-Ting Yen was an undergraduate business administration student in Taiwan when inspiration struck. “My parents were afraid ‘you’ll starve yourself if you become an artist.’ I studied business, so I’d definitely have a job when I graduated. But I wasn’t happy,” Yen says. Then, an end-of-semester metalsmithing show at her university transformed her perspective.

Yen went on to attend Savannah College of Art and Design, graduating with an M.A. in metals and jewelry and an M.F.A. in jewelry and objects in 2012. Now living in Raleigh, she participates in the Triangle’s monthly get-togethers founded in honor of Mary Ann Scherr.

“Right now, my business’s main strengths are custom designs, craft shows and wholesale,” Yen says. She loves revealing the end result of a custom design — it’s “like a kid opening a candy box.”

In a departure from earlier nature-inspired influences, today Yen leans “more toward geometric and sculptural forms. I love Art Deco, the Art Nouveau era — I like how they interpret the design and the color.”

 

 

Where to Learn

Cape Fear Community College, Wilmington.
www.cfcc.edu/hfa/home/art/metals

East Carolina University*, Greenville.  www.ecu.edu

Pocosin Arts, Columbia. www.pocosinarts.org

Cary Arts Center, Cary.

Pullen Arts Center, Raleigh.

The Crafts Center at NC State University, Raleigh.
www.crafts.arts.ncsu.edu

Sawtooth School for Visual Art, Winston-Salem. www.sawtooth.org

Haywood Community College*, Clyde. www.haywood.edu

John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown. www.folkschool.org

Penland School of Crafts www.penland.org

*degree program

Where to Shop in Wilmington

Blue Moon Gift Shops

203 Racine Drive, bluemoongiftshops.com

Cameron Art Museum Gift Shop

3201 South 17th St., www.cameronartmuseum.org

Edge of Urge

18 Market St., www.edgeofurge.com

Jonkheer Jewelry & Cicada Metals

4410 Wrightsville Ave., www.facebook.com/JonkheerJewelry

Spectrum Fine Jewelry, 1125 Military Cutoff Road, Suite J

www.spectrumartandjewelry.com

It's here!!! HTY Jewelry 2017 Collection "REVEAL"

HTY Jewelry CollectionHsiang-Ting Yen

I've been working so hard developing and creating my 2017 collection in the studio since last December....and now I can finally share my new collection "Reveal" with you!!! 

The “Revel” series is the true marriage of geometric inspired elements and electro-formed enamel design. I'm completely intrigued by the endless possibility of the triangle form: from the 2D form to the 3D form to the wearer, and the space is created among three. I intentionally left the fold-formed enamel triangle component with an opened seam in order to create an invitation for the wearer to look closer because there is more to be revealed inside. The organic pattern is created by electro-forming. This makes every piece unique.  

It's available in my shop now, how would you dress of these beauties? 

I love to hear from you! Let me know what you think about this new collection!

Custom Jewelry Design FAQ

Hsiang-Ting Yen

I hope this post will help for those you are interested in starting a custom jewelry design project with me!  

Q1: Why custom design?

Ans: Custom design jewelry is a great way to celebrate your life’s journeys, such as an engagement, wedding, anniversaries, or even a redesign of heirloom jewelry.  Custom-designed jewelry is original and allows you to tell your unique story.  Custom pieces of jewelry can include engagement rings, wedding bands, heirloom jewelry redesign, and custom design for special occasions.

Q2: How long does a custom jewelry design order normally take?

Ans: Generally speaking, from initial consultation and brainstorming to final delivering, it takes around three to six weeks.    

Q3: What is the process? What should I expect?

Ans: After you contact me, we will schedule a thirty minute to one hour initial consultation via email, Skype, Facetime, or in person where you will give me all the essential information I need to begin the design process.  Soon after this consultation I typically provide four to six hand-drawn sketches. Depending on the project I may also use a CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawing  to enhance and ensure visual communication.

At this stage you are welcome and encouraged to add ideas or makes changes to the design. My goal is always to make my customers happy and feel confident in the final design before we moving forward. Please note: I will not continue to the next step until I receive your final approval (Email with final design attached). This stage may take anywhere from three business days to two weeks.

Based on the final design I determine the best fabrication method for your design. Often, with a simple design, I can hand-fabricate the entire piece in my studio. However, if the design is more complex I will create a wax model of the design and have it cast in the material of your choice before I perform the final fabrication.  This step may take anywhere from five business days to two weeks.

After hand-fabricating or casting I polish the jewelry, set the stones, and give it a final touch before the piece is delivered to you.  This step might take anywhere from five business days up to two weeks.  

Lastly, my favorite part: Watching that magical moment when your eyes brighten as you hold the final piece in your hands. A design dream come true!

Q4: How much does custom jewelry cost?

Ans: There are several factors that may affect the price  of a custom piece of jewelry. However, custom jewelry can cost less than you might expect depending on the materials and design. Of course, it is more costly than mass produced. I believe that custom jewelry is worth the time, money, and effort in order to get a quality piece, made just the way you want it. The time invested in design, labor, and production are what makes custom jewelry more expensive than ready-made. Normally I ask that clients give me an estimated budget so that I can suggest appropriate materials and designs. This ensures that we avoid any unexpected costs.

Q5: What is the source of the diamonds and color gemstones?

Ans: Most of the diamonds and gemstones come from reputable jewelry suppliers such as Stuller and Rio Grande, and all diamonds are conflict-free. I can also work with diamonds and gemstones from provided by clients, such as heirloom jewelry.  

Q6: How will I know what ring size to order?

Ans: I can send you a plastic ring sizer once we start the project.  

Q7:  I really like HTY Jewelry’s style but I do not live in Raleigh or the Triangle area. Can I conduct the custom jewelry design process with the designer remotely?

Ans: I have had the opportunity to help clients from outside of North Carolina to design the perfect piece of custom jewelry including Virginia, DC, Baltimore, San Francisco, New York, Chicago,  and even outside of United States such as Australia, France, Korea, and Taiwan.  We communicated the design process via email, Skype, and even Facebook. Finished pieces are only shipped with insurance using UPS Domestic/International Express Shipping.  

Q8: Do you accept trade-in pieces?  How would this work?

Ans: I am able to recycle your gold or platinum pieces to up to 85% of the weight value. You can deduct this value from the total cost of the custom jewelry fee.  

Q9: I saw a ring by another designer. Can you make a copy for me with my diamond?

Ans: I do not copy another designer's work. Legally, this practice is prohibited. Ethically, as a designer of unique pieces myself, copying another designer’s work is not part of my core values . Certainly, though, if you would like to have a design in a certain motif, style, feeling, or perhaps with the same essence expressed by an example you found, we can certainly design a new piece that meets your expectations.

Also, some designs are termed "generic" and are simple and widespread enough that no one can claim ownership of them. For example, a simple comfort-fit ring band with matte or hammered finish or a solitaire 14k white gold engagement ring prong set with a brilliant cut diamond.  These designs I can recreate.  

Q10: What metals do you work with?

I work with precious metals: Platinum, palladium (a platinum group metal), 18 karat yellow gold, 18 karat white gold, 14 karat yellow gold, 14 karat white gold, 14 karat palladium white gold, 14 karat rose gold, and sterling silver.

These metals offer the workability and durability needed for the artistic creation of fine jewelry. I work with them using fabrication, casting, reticulation, hand-engraving, and advanced stone setting techniques. Sometimes I create wax models for casting using CAD and CAM (computer assisted manufacturing) mentioned above. I always finish and detail the pieces by hand.

Q11:  Do you work in Titanium?

I do not work in industrial metals: stainless steel, tungsten, titanium, niobium, and so on because they require industrial techniques and machining.  A jewelry designer’s studio produces pieces in precious metals; a factory produces pieces in industrial metal.

 

 

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!  

[HTY Jewelry] Black Friday Special Preview

Hsiang-Ting Yen

Happy Holidays from HTY Jewelry

Our Black Friday Special Starts from Nov 25 to Nov 28
get a first look at our great deals!

It's been a wonderful year for HTY Jewelry, but we couldn't't have done it without you!  To honor the Thanksgiving spirit, our way to say thank you by offering several great Black Friday Specials just for you!

Make a set:  We are offering a gift set special, Silver & Gold Geometric Earrings $65 + Silver & Gold Geometric Pendant $79 for just $125.

Mystery Gift:  We hand select a special piece of HTY Jewelry just for you with any purchase over $300.

Gift Card Codes: Like our Facebook page and/or follow our Instagram (HTY Jewelry), share a picture that you are wearing HTY Jewelry with our hashtag #HTYJewelry on social media and shoot us an email, the first 20 responder will receive $20, $35, and $50 gift card codes* that can be used toward to any HTY Jewelry purchase.  

Hit up our site to see the full range of things we have in store for you.

Happy holidays from HTY Jewelry

 

Hsiang-Ting

*Limitation applies: $20 off with $100 purchase, $35 off with $175 purchase, $50 off with $250 purchase.  Excluded custom design jewelry service.

Love Fall Proposals

Hsiang-Ting Yen

It's that time of the year again, fall, everything is perfect, the weather is just cool enough that gives you a bit of crisp in the morning, the leaves are changing, the sun is shining, and the love is evolving......

Back in June, my good friend A told me about his grand proposing plan, and he asked me if I can help him to design the perfect engagement pendant for his future fiance-soon-to-be, he doesn't want to be traditional, we ended up choosing the Forever One Moissanite as the center stone for the pendant.  The design is based on the core concept he gave me, it's a mobius strip, and I added a lit bit twist (literally) to it, so it presents as two circles wrap up as one mobius strip, the bigger circle represents A, and the smaller one represents her, and their love just like the mobius strip is eternal and forever and ever.  

A picked one of the most romantic places on earth to propose - Budapest, Hungary.  He put one knee down right in front of her at Chain Bridge (Szechenyi lanchid), and she said yes, everything was just so perfect as they can ever imagined.   

I was so happy for them when he told me the good news, and he can't wait to share the pictures with me, and here they are. 

Congratulations! A & W!

She said YES!!!  (Pendant: 14k white gold, Forever One Moissanite)   Photo credit to Dana in Budapest @flytographer

She said YES!!!  (Pendant: 14k white gold, Forever One Moissanite)   Photo credit to Dana in Budapest @flytographer

The magic moment!     Photo credit to Dana in Budapest @flytographer

The magic moment!     Photo credit to Dana in Budapest @flytographer

The eye witnesses (lol)        Photo credit to Dana in Budapest @flytographer

The eye witnesses (lol)        Photo credit to Dana in Budapest @flytographer

The beautiful Chain Bridge.      Photo credit to Dana in Budapest @flytographer

The beautiful Chain Bridge.      Photo credit to Dana in Budapest @flytographer

 

 

Cody is always on my mind

Hsiang-Ting Yen
Custom Made Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings with Natural 5mm Blue Sapphire & 4mm White Sapphire

Custom Made Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings with Natural 5mm Blue Sapphire & 4mm White Sapphire

Custom Made Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings with Natural 5mm Blue Sapphire & 4mm White Sapphire

Custom Made Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings with Natural 5mm Blue Sapphire & 4mm White Sapphire

Custom Made Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings with Natural 5mm Blue Sapphire & 4mm White Sapphire

Custom Made Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings with Natural 5mm Blue Sapphire & 4mm White Sapphire

I want to share the story behind this custom made earrings.  In 2005,  I was working at Yellowstone National Park with my J-1 visa (work and travel program for exchange students), it was one of my best summer ever, and we met H during one of our epic hitchhike adventures from Old Faithful to Cody, WY (It was a little over 100 miles of the trip).  Yes...i know... we met a friend through hitchhike....

I've always have some fantasy about the wild west and cowboy/ girl culture,  I invited (or more like insisted) my friends to go to Cody with me so we can go watch some rodeo show.  The trip wasn't very well planned, we just decided to take off one day after work.  It was early evening so there weren't that many cars leaving Yellowstone, we were waiting and waiting, hoping our luck will pick up somehow, we were just about to give up and head back to our dorm, there was this huge Ford F-150 showed up, it was H.  

H: Are you guys OK? Do you need some help? 

Us: We want to go to Cody to watch rodeo show, can you give us a ride? 

H: Sure, I'm heading back to Cody from Idaho, just hop in.

We were so thrilled and excited, and amazed by how lucky we are, without a doubt, we jumped right in! We had a great time during the three hours of ride, right before he was dropping us off to the rodeo arena, he mentioned if we had booked hotel for the night after the show, since we didn't really plan the trip, we didn't have any hotel reservation.  He seemed really surprised and concerned, so he offered his guest room for us to stay the night, and again we gladly took the offer.  

Next day in the morning, before he dropped us off to downtown Cody, he told us he can totally give us a ride back if we want, but we didn't want to trouble him more, so we graciously turn down his offer.  We enjoyed our day in Cody, visited Buffalo Cody's Museum, cruised the downtown a little bit, had some good meal at Irma's hotel,  by end of the day, we had to face the reality, apparently nobody is going to Yellowstone in the evening (what would they? ).  It was getting dark, and we still have no luck to find a car to take us back to Old Faithful, we were struggling to call H as our last resort.  Right this moment, there came a white pick-up truck, we were just celebrating our good fortune, we realized it was H who came to the rescue (he changed the truck), we were so embarrassed but so grateful, he brought us back to Old Faithful safe and sound. 

A week after, he even brought his father to visit us since we were leaving the park within a week, we hung out. catch up, and he even took us to Yellowstone Lake Diner for the dinner.  Everything was so surreal and wonderful, good times always gone fast, there were some tears when we had to say goodbye because we didn't know when will we really meet again.  

Thanks to the modern technology and social media, we got to stay in touched even though we are thousand miles away.  The connection is always there, the friendship never ends.  I've always thinking about going back to visit, 11 years after, I finally was able to visit Yellowstone and Cody with my husband, we took a two weeks road trip this summer, and we stopped by Cody as our last road trip stop.  H welcomed us just like 11 years ago, he shared his love of Cody with us without reservation, we had so much to catch up, some have changed yet some still just like the same, and we got to stay at the same room again this time!  Again, good times always gone fast, we had to say goodbye, just before we were leaving, he mentioned that he wants to consign me to design a piece of jewelry for his daughter-in-law as her birthday present, I was thrilled and honored to take the job, the design process was pleasant and smooth, and he is very happy about the end result.  

I truly learn a lot from H, he's a great businessman, entrepreneur, son, father, grandfather, friend, and just a great person with a big heart.  He helps people within his power without expecting or asking for any return, he's generous and loves to share with his family and friends, he has a great work ethic and a man in his word.  I cherish the friendship and connection we have, thank you for picking us up that night 11 years ago. 

 

Thank you Durham Arts Council, thank you Center Fest!

Hsiang-Ting Yen

I'm thrilled to announce that I won the 1st place for CenterFest 2016 Visual Artist Award last weekend! The three on-site judges selected 4 award winners from 147 exhibiting artists.  I feel so honored when they told me I've won the award, thank you Durham Arts Council and Center Fest for acknowledging my hard works and I'll continue to make good art! 

A winner deserves a selfie lol

A winner deserves a selfie lol

Me selling : )

Me selling : )

At award ceremony 

At award ceremony 

From Durham Arts Council Newsletter

From Durham Arts Council Newsletter

My booth at the show (E8)

My booth at the show (E8)

Third time is the charm, Chicago!

Hsiang-Ting Yen

Just returned from my trip to Chicago for Old Town Art Fair, it was a beautiful weekend and it was so refreshing to catch up with old friends from SCAD and college.  Oh man, I will totally move to Chicago in a heart beat if they don't have over half year long brutal winter.......Well, at least I get to visit it every year during the most awesome season : )

Our Wedding Bands 2.0

Hsiang-Ting Yen

Finally, finally...!!! It took me over a year to eventually make up my mind and finalized the designs then remade our wedding bands, and the results are amazing! I'm totally in love with our new rings (says from a narcissistic jeweler lol)

Custom made wedding bands:  Hers - 18k white gold, rainbow moonstone, diamond, paraiba tourmaline; His - Platinum

She Said YES!

Hsiang-Ting Yen

She said YES! (To the ring and of course to the man!!!)

Knowing this great news just made my day today! Congrats to M & S!!!

Custom made engagement: 18k yellow gold, Passion Topaz, White Sapphire.

Happy Mother's Day!

Custom MadeHsiang-Ting Yen

This ring is designed for my mom, the two rubies represent my sister and me, and the center aquamarine is my brother, as to those diamonds, well, according to my mom, she just wants something sparkles and fancy (you got it mom lol)

Truth to be told, my mom really lucked out on this one, fortunately the color combination of our birthstones aligned beautifully, and the design resonate my mom's personality just perfect.   Can't wait to see my mom's expression when she receives the ring!

Hand-carved wax, 18K white gold, natural ruby, natural aquamarine, diamonds. 

 

Cloud Pattern Enamel Pendant for Susan

Hsiang-Ting YenComment

Enamel, copper, 24k gold vermeil, 14k yellow gold chain.

B & M's Custom Wedding Bands

Hsiang-Ting YenComment

  I got this custom wedding bands request from Brain and Margaret last month. They are getting married in June, so it only allows me 1.5 months to come up with the ring ideas to finish both rings.  I always enjoy making custom designs, it's challenging, interactive, and I love it comes with the rush and high when I'm under the pressure of deadline (only my SCAD FAHMily will probably understand this part lol). 

 

     I started this project in the middle of April, had few meetings with B&M to figure out their expectations about their rings.  Brian's ring is simple and contemporary, I designed a half round brushed finish 6mm 14K White Gold band for him. I used a half round 14k white gold wire to hand fabricated the ring, it was HARD, but with lots lots of annealing and hammering, I'm very happy that the end result for his ring is just perfect. 

 

     The real fun stuff is to design Margaret's ring, she has a clear picture about what style of her ring should look like.  Fortunately, we are both huge fans of Art Nouveau era style, so it was very pleasant process to communicate with her about the designs.  I decided to go with the floral scene for her ring because one of the most recognizable characteristics about Art Nouveau is all about flower flower and flower!

     

 

     I combined her favorite flower "Lily of the Vally" as the main theme, hand carved the wax, and set with mix of three 2mm diamonds and four 2mm Period (which is also her birthstone) around the flower buds and veins to give a nicely visual flow. Dustin Walker did an amazing job setting the stone and milgrain texture. The ring is cast in 18K White Gold, and the milgrain texture is added on the veins and bezels.  Her choice of white gold, diamond, and period makes the color combinations just as perfect as this ring ever could be!   

 

Congratulations!