Studio Saturday with Erin Prais-Hintz, Tesori Trovati Jewelry

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
This weeks winner is Elaine Robitaille of Too Aquarius!  
Congratulations! You have won a  sweet little ring dish from Shannon of MissFickleMedia!
Send Shannon an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.
This week we visit the studio of Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry.
 I don’t know about you, but I am the sort of person who can’t say no. 
Some months ago, I was talking with the director of my daughter’s dance studio pitching her the idea that I could take my ‘simple truths’ pendant line and do a semi-custom order form for the dance studio that would be a fundraiser for them. I would take 2/3 and they would get 1/3. And the dancer’s would have a semi-custom necklace commemorating the 10th anniversary of the studio.
Win. Win. Win.
But I agreed to do more. I am also working on a showstopping necklace for Ms Tori to wear during the performances next weekend. Something that shows up on that stage with all the bright lights shining when she takes her bow. I have a good idea and I did actually pre-order some materials. But I have yet to start it. I sure hope that I can pull this off (just as soon as I take that ham out of the oven for the Easter dinner that I am serving!). 
But wait! There’s more! 
Ms. Tori approached me to say that she had an idea to treat the young ladies who have been dancing with her for 10 years. They were the foundation of her school starting and these families have been the backbone. Would I take on that challenge? 
Here is where the problem comes in. I cannot say no. I see that challenge as an opportunity and I just cannot walk away from it. And I love to help. So, of course, I said yes. Even though I had every single second of the month of April scheduled out and there would be no room to take that on between dance and baseball and softball. And oh, did I mention that I am hosting my husband’s family tomorrow for Easter? Those eggs don’t hard boil themselves you know!
So in the midst of creating the 25 special necklaces that were ordered (and I have a feeling there will be more orders after I deliver them next week) and the drop-dead gorgeous necklace (that is merely in my head!) for Ms. Tori, I agreed to take on 14 more necklaces.
Someday my Tiny Dancer will be honored with the ten-year prize. And if all goes well I may be doing this for a long time for her. (Plus all these projects are going to pay off the 4th quarter tuition and the 11 costume changes for Tiny Dancer for next week. Eleven! And you know those things aren’t cheap!)
I had a rubber stamp of the studio’s logo made so that I could use it for the other pendants. Could I use it for etching on metal? Why not! Now etching metal is something that is still quite new to me. You can read about my earlier exploits with etching here. When I started developing my ‘simple truths’ line, one of the materials I was experimenting with was etched or stamped metal. So my ‘market research’ last fall included creating dog-tag style necklaces with one word of each power phrase per tag. People love them. And they are quite novel where I live, but I knew that there were plenty of people out there in Etsyland who were far better than I would ever be at etching and stamping on metal. That is when I came up with the current look of the ‘simple truths’ pendants. But I digress (if you know me, you know I do that a lot! ;-).
{copper tags awaiting a spin in my new Lortone tumbler…first time out of the box!}
I have no problem saying I will do that thing that I do not the know the first thing about doing, and in my wicked overconfidence I don’t seem to see that there would be room for error. But there always is.
My first experiments with the resist were not pretty. The paint pens were blotchy, the toner transfer flaked off and in one instance I left the metal in the etching solution for far too long and it wore the image down completely. Drats. And now I only had 4 more days to complete this until the deadline. Still I had to keep going. Because I promised.
{etched dancer logo on copper with hammered texture – pre-tumble}
I was able to get the dancer logo etched but the words were just a hassle and there was originally a skinny border around the outside edge (if you squint just so you can still see it). In my frustration I took a hammer to one… and I liked it. I hammered all around the etching, obliterating the sparse etched line, and creating texture which was repeated on the other elements.
Since the etching wasn’t going my way, I opted to use my very favorite stamp set to personalize a tag with the dancer’s name (which I will have to buy again at Bead & Button since you can barely make out the ‘e’ or the ‘s’ anymore!).
A third tag captures the Dance Education Center’s motto: never surrender your dreams
To finish them, I added a little eyelet to the hole for a nice finishing touch (and finally taught myself how to use a tube rivet – thanks to my friend mary jane dodd!), aged them with liver of sulphur, conquered my fear of my new (sitting in the box since November!) tumbler, buffed them all with steel wool, rubbed them all down with a layer of Renaissance wax, packaged them in pretty little pillow boxes with my signature chocolate satin ribbon. (Seriously… how many new things can I teach myself with one project? Does anyone else out there do that? It is just dumb luck that any of these things worked!)
I delivered them all on Wednesday. And now I have one more custom order for one of these charm neclaces… for Miss Tori herself!
In my etching experiments, I etched some tags with the motto that I did not use. They are raw copper, so they are like blank canvases that you can age with Liver of Sulphur, or color with paint, or maybe enamel, or play with patinas. There are no holes, but if you ask I will be happy to add them for you.
Next week I will have Heather select three winners of one of these etched copper tags for you to play with. All you have to do is answer this question:
What is your wildest dream?
Enjoy the day!
Erin Prais-Hintz writes about all things that inspire her at Treasures Found::Inspiration Is Everywhere. Her jewelry designs are one-of-a-kind made one-at-a-time. She collects quotes and dust and invites you to send her your favorite (quote – not dust!) to [email protected].

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42 Comment

  1. KJ
    April 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I am always learning new things for pieces I have committed in advance. For instance on 7000 Bracelets of Hope I made 4 new styles of beaded beads- of which I used 2 (the other 2 need more tinkering.)

  2. Alice
    April 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Erin, what a project for you! I can't wait to see what you create for Ms. Tori. I'm like you in that I can't say no. Unfortunately its not due to over-confidence, but rather a desire to please people.

    As for my wildest dream (I have many) I guess it would be to own a very successful shop in my small town–so successful that people from all over come to visit, and because of it's success, my hometown grows and thrives.

    I hope you are able to relax and enjoy Easter with your family!

  3. Shirley
    April 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Ok, I can totally relate to the "can't say no" issue.
    I'm not sure how many new things you learned from this, but I learned a ton just reading this post! Love, love, love the dog tags! I would have to say that my wildest dream would be to actually open a shop to sell my stuff, and have people buy it! 🙂
    Have a blessed Easter.

  4. Kym Hunter Designs
    April 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    My wildest dream is to be able to retire early, so that I can spend my days doing what I love…making jewelry. I would like to take some metal smith classes and be able to set up a home studio. My plan is to be able to retire in five years, when our house is paid off. Keeping my fingers crossed that all works in my favor.

    Happy Easter!

  5. m.e.
    April 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    my wildest dream…
    Quit my "pay the bills job"
    move the the Florida keys
    Scuba dive all day
    and sell my beads at Mallory Sq
    sunset celebrations every night !
    🙂 m.e.

  6. Marian Hertzog
    April 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    My wildest dream would be to live in an ocean front house with a big front porch! … and to have the time to enjoy it!

  7. mairedodd
    April 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    you did a beautiful job with these layered pendants… you may have set yourself up for a bounty of orders! you will get miss tori's necklace done – just think of your 'inspired by' show last year… it will be fabulous!

  8. lunedreams
    April 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Those are awesome! The dancer one is wonderful, LOVE the hammered texturing (it was inspired!) I am in love with my tumbler, it really "rubs in" the patina, in addition to giving a high shine. Otherwise it gets all over your hands and everything else. One project down! You will get it all done, because you are resourceful! Sometimes finding times takes some serious creativity and you've got that in spades!

  9. EmandaJ
    April 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    My wildest dream would have to be that I start and finish a PhD and end up teaching in a prestigious university in the UK. Now, that's wild!


  10. Deci
    April 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    My wildest dream is hiking into Machu Picchu.

  11. Jane Perala
    April 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, you certainly took on a lot this last month, and congratulations in accomplishing it all – way to go!
    I guess my wildest dream would be to have the energy to accomplish something like you have just done – although I used to when I was younger – lol.
    Lovely necklaces by the way.

  12. cypress sun
    April 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    one of my wildest dreams is to expand my jewelry business to the world..so that my family can see more of the world!

    these are really amazing!

  13. Malin de Koning
    April 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Oh Erin! I love the tags. I hope I will be one of the winners.

    My wildest dream? Gosh, I think it would include traveling to different places around the world doing different things. Like for instance going to Borneo and work in an Orangutang Resort for one year. Or to sail around the world. I wanna travel up the Congo river in Africa. I wanna go back to South America, and particularly Brazil, which I've already been to twice and really love. Still so much left there for me to experience. Galapagos Islands. Japan. Hong Kong. United States on a bead odysse meeting all my newly made friends from the beading community. New York. Nepal. It would be totally awesome to make an around-the-world-beading-trip. I would like to make a series of progammes for TV based on this idea. Visiting different countries, meeting people, learning about beads and special beading craft traditions of that area. Just imagine what a good show that would be.

    Great post as always Erin! Thank you.

  14. Sally Anderson
    April 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Mine would be to be able to afford to move to California to be near our kids and grandkids and still live comfortably. That's not asking too much, is it?

  15. Erin S
    April 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Those look great, Erin! I have had projects that I had high hopes for turn out to be lemons. In many cases, they just stayed lemons, but occasionally the lemon god smiles upon me and I end up with lemonade. My wildest dream is to win the lottery. Now if I would only just buy a ticket…

  16. CreekHiker / HollysFolly
    April 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    My wildest dream is to be able to make a living doing something creative!

  17. sandi m
    April 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    My wildest dream would be getting lost in the Paris flea markets scooping up pieces and parts for components.
    The necklaces turned out great. Don't you love the tumbler?!

    Happy Easter to you and your family.

  18. Kristen
    April 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Erin you never cease to amaze me and now I have finally gotten over here to see what this is all about. Can you say "new follower"! Anyway I know you aproached this in so many different ways but I thing that "Tiny Dancer" is behind it all and I feel it when I look at those gorgeous pieces.

    As for my "Wildest" dream it may sound kinda cheezy but I would love love love to spend a weekend with my bloggy friends from all over. That would be "WILD"!

  19. gailwhitehead55
    April 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I love your necklaces and the way they came to be.Like tossing a rock in still water,and a ring is created,then another,all growing larger and larger.It is wonderful that that rock led to so many otherripples.Many times,a stone is cast into the water barely making a mark.
    My wildest dream is to fall in love again-with the right man.If that doesn't happen,I dream of serenity.

  20. Sabine
    April 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    My wildest dream would be enough wherewithal to have an art studio of my own. While we are at it, a nice maid service so I wouldn't have to take time from art!


  21. moonlitfantaseas
    April 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I want to learn lamp working and have every thing I need to have a working studio for lamp working….
    I love how your project turned out, etching is fun when it goes good!

  22. BooBeads
    April 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    OH isn't metal such fun? I am in love with metal 🙂

    Wildest dreams- I've always wanted to travel the world, always! And it will continue to be a dream for me until I make that a reality!

  23. somethingunique
    April 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Erin, with your attitude & positive outlook at life i think you could and probaly do accomplish anything you put your mind to, and that is evadent here i think you did a wonderful job!! and i'm totally with Kristen i would love a weekend at the biggest bead show best if it's in Hawaii of course with all of my new bloggies taking workshops and just having a wild and crazy time & i really really have trouble saying no to anyone i am just a real people pleaser and sometines really bite off more than i can chew ttfn and have a safe & Happy Easter with your family ttfn L:)

  24. rosebud101
    April 24, 2011 at 12:47 am

    All I can say, Erin, is WOW!!!!

  25. Jenni
    April 24, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Erin, you did an amazing job. I love it when newly tried techniques work out so well. I can see that tumbler will be going non-stop, now!
    I think my wildest dream would be to go and live in Italy for a year, travelling around, soaking up the language and vibes. And to live in Venice or Murano, now THAT is a dream I am going to make come true!!
    cheers, jenni

  26. For My Sweet Daughter
    April 24, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Those are beautiful and I am sure the girls will cherish them.
    I am good at saying no I am not sure why but I am, except to family. I have now learned to tell family I am over committed right now is not a good time. (My sister the therapist told me to say that)
    My wildest dream? May seem so silly you see I own a salon. I do nails and I have a girl that does hair. I would love to turn the salon idea on it's head and have a boutique in the front entry area, a bead store, teaching area in the middle and the salon in the back area. So you would have to walk through the boutique and down a hallway to get to the salon area but the bead store would be like a gem that people from all over would come to shop and "play" at.
    Shannon C

  27. Mellisa
    April 24, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Ah, wildest dream Miss Erin? Farmhouse with a vineyard in the back and gallery out front in Sonoma 🙂 I have a lot of work to do before I get there though!

    Love how your necklaces turned out! What special pieces for those girls 🙂

  28. KayzKreationz
    April 24, 2011 at 1:47 am

    I'm always starting a project and then realizing I need to learn something else to finish it or for it to turn out the way I want. LOL. My wildest dream would be to get 50-75 items listed in my Etsy shop and then for it to take off and make at least 1-2 sales each week. And get a following or at least several repeat buyers.

  29. Judy
    April 24, 2011 at 3:00 am

    The little dancer is just darling! I love the pendants and everyone will be so happy with them.

    For me traveling the world would be the most wonderful dream!

  30. Cindy
    April 24, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Erin, you did it! You met your deadline with sooooo many custom made necklaces! I am really in awe of all that you did to create these piece from all of the letter-stamping/etching, riveted, adding patina, tumbling and polishing. I can truly appreciate all that went in to these. I think I would have been wiped out after making just a couple! What a relief and sense of accomplishment for you.

  31. Kokopelli
    April 24, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Sail the Atlantic ocean from east to west in a 15 metre/45 ft sailboat. Still looking for the right crew to be locked on a boat for four weeks with no bow-out-option. *lol*

  32. Linda Landig
    April 24, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Love your copper tags!
    My wildest dream is to live part-time in a tropical country on the beach and run a successful online jewelry business, while beading beneath the palm trees!

  33. SueBeads
    April 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Oh my gosh, Erin, you are amazing!
    My wildest dream is to retire to Fiji, or somewhere like that!!!!

  34. roseworksjewelry
    April 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Ok – this probably sounds boring to you guys – but my big dream is to be self dependent as a business woman – selling jewelry, writing, or both 🙂 Not to original I know, but I have health problems that disable me, but not quite to the point where I qualify for disability. Oh brother >_> Anyway, it would be a dream come true if I could support myself on my own schedule!

  35. B and B
    April 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    my wildest dream is to be a published author and make jewelry all day.

  36. Cherrie Fick of La Lumie're
    April 25, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Hi Erin, It was fun to read this and find you had a few starts and redo's too. Sometimes it seems we are the only ones. That was a nice big order.

    That would be one part of a wildest dream. I sort of have already reached my wildest dream coming true by getting published this year, so now it would be to get on the cover of a magazine and then to be able to travel and attend some classes, tour europe and build a much larger studio at the beach.

  37. Until We Bead Again, Beth Murr
    April 25, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Live in a place where the weather is perfect with an endless supply of beads and money is of no concern.

    Your necklaces for the Dancers are outstanding! I love jewelry that truly means something special.

  38. Courtney
    April 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    They are beautiful! Your work is wonderful. Some of us work better under pressure, I think that is what it is. 🙂

    Wildest dream – apart from the usual stuff, to not be afraid to take that first step.

    Happy Monday.

  39. SusanZ
    April 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    My wildest dream–to travel anywhere in the world, spend a year in England, move back to New Zealand–travel, travel, travel.

  40. quiltingjewel39
    April 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Erin – those necklaces are wonderful- I can just imagine how thrilled those girls will be. You are so talented and brave for tackling all of it at once!! I think my wildest dream would be to sell my jewelry and travel around teaching.

  41. Rebecca
    April 25, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Oh wow, my wildest dream……I don't think I have any particularly wild dreams – I so want to be able to make all of my living through singing rather than teaching….but other than that…and that's not particularly wild is it, just heartfelt!

  42. Off the Beadin' Path
    April 26, 2011 at 3:08 am

    One thing about a late comment is that you can read a lot of other comments first! Those wild dreams aren't really that wild, are they? Things we'd all love! I feel now that my wildest dream is to live in Tuscany most of the year, create jewelry in a large studio overlooking the water, and drink lovely wine in the evening! But, really, my first thought was to be just HALF as industrious, brilliant, talented, and accomplished as you are, Miss Erin "Out There" on the Leading Edge!

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