Studio Saturday with Erin Prais-Hintz of 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 week’s winner is Renetha of Lamplight Crafts! Congratulations, Renetha! You have won a a polymer clay Buddha pendant from Barbara of SecondSurf.com courtesy of Erin Siegel of Erin Siegel Jewelry! Send Erin an email with your address and she will get your prize out to you soon!
This week we visit the studio of
Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry

I started my Simple Truths Sampler Club in the spring of 2010 with the idea that it would push me in new directions and help me come up with new ideas. I wanted it to be affordable, so I broke it down into four levels: 3-, 6-, 9- or 12- months. The original idea of the Club was to have a limited edition design that was exclusive to the Club and would not be sold elsewhere. If someone came back to me and asked about a previous Club selection I would explain that I could not recreate it. However, I have a limit of 20 spots in the Club and if the membership was not full in a given month, I would sometimes bend my rule and make one that might be similar to the Club selection at full price.

The only problem was that I would not really plan out what I was going to make and more often than not, I would wait until the very last minute. What came out was what I was focused on at the moment, what was in my heart and on my mind. And sometimes what was sitting right in front of me. While that is a true representation of where I am as a person there wasn’t a lot of advanced planning. And I sort of felt like maybe I had failed my loyal members.

Each year I put together a collage of the previous months to see where I have been. It is interesting to me that there is sometimes a theme present. Sometimes there is a color or shape that I gravitate to. This year there were a fair amount of winged things (birds, bees, fairies) and flora (flowers, leaves, acorns).  (For some reason, I am missing a month and cannot for the life of me recall what it was! June? July? Does anyone who was in the Club last summer remember?) I am not sure what that says about me and my mental states… that I have tried to fly away and seen a lot of growth? Hmmm…..maybe….

At the end of last year the interest in the Club seemed to be waning. That is bound to happen. I
have a lot of hoarders in the Club and several members told me they wanted to continue but just couldn’t. I completely understand. I have a shameful glut of art beads that I must deal with this year before I can allow myself to buy new ones. (On a side note, I do have a special Pinterest board to
promote those that use the Simple Truths in their creations. And if you
get one published and let me know so I can celebrate you!). I have
always said that as long as there is one person in the Club I will
continue. I thought that the Club might fade away at the end of the year. I almost removed the listings from my shop, but some long time
customers, and some new ones purchased spots to start in January, so
that gave me a reason to refocus my vision for this years’ Simple Truths Sampler Club.

So I knew that I wanted to change things up a bit to the Club. Here is an excerpt from the revised Club welcome letter:

For 2013, I have made a few changes to the Sampler Club.

I am challenging myself to carve my own designs whenever possible and to try new techniques. I am excited to share them with you! This will be a big learning curve for me but I am ready to take these components in a new direction.

I find incredible inspiration in the monthly challenges over at Art Bead Scene and my plan is to make some of these ABS-inspired pendants as Club offerings. I encourage you to come and play with us in this fine creative community at www.artbeadscene.com. It is where I got my start designing. It pushed me creatively and I have met some of my best friends through this place. Since you have to use an art bead in your submission, my hope is that you might consider using the one I send to you as inspiration. This monthly focus will allow me to have a plan in advance and to work at pushing my creative boundaries while still giving you a quality jewelry component.

The biggest change involves that I am actually planning instead of procrastinating! And since my word is BALANCE for 2013, I think that feels sort of good!

I sat down with the paintings for the year and sketched out designs. That doesn’t mean that I will be sticking to these exact notes, but it feels good to actually have a plan that I can look forward to each month. I am even ahead of the game because I have already completed my design for February and I have ideas percolating for March and May! Because I made the decision to change things up at the very beginning of the year, I was a little bit late with the January Club selection, but I was also trying a few new things that have been on my list:

  • Inspired by the Art Bead Scene challenge painting for January, Black Peacocks with Japanese Persimmons
  • Carved my own texture plate with an original design
  • Played with the Swellegant line of patinas, a new technique for me

I hope that my Club members felt that it was worth the wait. 😉 What do you think?

Inspired by the challenge painting, I carved a peacock feather. The center, or eye, of the feather is a wee little heart.

I wanted it to look old, like a relic from the past. The patina I used is a rich bronze with verdigris and touches of Caribbean Blue, Indigo and Violet. The highlights are in a rich brass.One of my members emailed me to say that she thought it was bronze PMC and not polymer clay. Aha! My clever disguise worked! Pretty good considering that before I worked on the patinas, my husband thought it looked like fish bones!

Proud as a Peacock

One final change to the membership – or rather a clarification – is that I will continue to offer these special pendants inspired by the Art Bead Scene challenge each month to the Club members first. Their privilege is that they are guaranteed to get one. And their membership price works out to be reduced from my regular shop offerings. However, I have decided that I will now offer limited edition runs of these pendants each month to my Etsy clientele, provided I haven’t hit my membership max. This month I only had four members, so I have a few available in case you are interested. 😉

The remaining Proud as a Peacock pendants are available in my Etsy shop as of today. But I set one aside just for my Art Bead Scene readers. Would you like to win it? It might be a bit too late to enter a design with it before the end of the month, but I sure hope it will inspire someone to make something special! And that it will be shared with me so that I can Pin it!

Answer the following question to be entered:

What is a new technique that you are interested in trying to shake it up in 2013?

Want an additional entry? Leave a comment if you share on social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, blog, etc) with a link back to what you did. The random winner will be announced on January 26th!

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54 Comment

  1. beadrecipes
    January 19, 2013 at 11:01 am

    These are lovely Erin! As for learning new things, well, I have started playing with clay (ceramic) clay with my Mum, who is a potter, and I'm planning on playing with some polymer clay too. I'd love to work on some wire skills this year, but there is only so much I can do …

  2. Ellie
    January 19, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Your peacock feathers are beautiful! In answer to the question, for years I have been yearning to try using precious metal clay. Or silversmithing. Or…

  3. Lori Bowring Michaud
    January 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

    July Miss Erin – 2 little stars & stripes (oh, so, sweet)!

  4. Lori Bowring Michaud
    January 19, 2013 at 11:47 am

    This year I am going to try torch-fired enameling. I have had the supplies for well over a year now (maybe 2) and I haven't tried it (well, if I'm honest, I have supplies for many new techniques that I haven't tried yet). You're an inspiration Miss Erin!

  5. Ann Schroeder
    January 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I love your peacock feather pendant. It is beautiful! I bet being so ahead of the game for you Club this year feels great. My word for this year is patience. I want to take the time to practice and master things that don't come easily. I've made a list (that keeps growing) of techniques I want to work on, but first things up are wire wrapping and incorporating fiber into my jewelry.

  6. Ann Schroeder
    January 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I have posted about this on Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/oldworldart/jewelry/ Thank you for the giveaway.

  7. Kathy Lindemer
    January 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I posted your lovely creation on my Facebook page at http://m.facebook.com/home.php?refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&refid=8&_rdr

  8. Kathy Lindemer
    January 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    This year I would love to work with polymer clay. Can anyone tell me if I should start by getting a kit or just buy some clay. I have a pasta machine that I can devote to the project. I intend to buy a toaster oven. I have a few tutorials bookmarked and that is the extent of my progress. What is my next step?

  9. Michelle
    January 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    This is an absolutely stunning pendant. I love how the feather is framed, and how elegant it looks.

    The new technique I want to learn , and got a little head start on, is painting on polymer, with acrylics and swellegant metal paints. There is lots to learn!

  10. Purple Fish Studio
    January 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    What beautiful pieces. I work in Yixing clay and thought your Peacock feathers and other pieces might be ceramic – great job!
    New Technique: One of my goals this year is to create "settings" out of clay – and as a final step incorporate resin. I have never worked with resin, but it intrigues me.

  11. A Polymer Penchant
    January 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    GOrgeous Erin!! Sounds like a wonderful direction. I have some Swellegant in the studio now but haven't played yet – maybe this week!

  12. SueBeads
    January 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Wow, I love your new pendants! Very impressive! Love the little heart detail. I would like to try bead weaving, although I don't know if my ever-aging eyes will be happy with that! And PMC. And get back into polymer clay. etc.!

  13. peacockfairy
    January 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Erin, I am so happy there was a limited edition of these to purchase. I went right over and snagged one, although I would love to win an extra! Even thought I am in the midst of my studio redo, I am going to force myself to dig out some beads to do the challenge this month. How could I not? Peacocks? The new technique I would like to try is 2013 is more bead knotting, braiding, etc… There are so many cool designs done with this now.

  14. Zeniswoman
    January 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Oh Erin, I love the peacock feathers!!! I really want to experiment with Ranger patinas, resin, and PMC. I really, really, really want a small jeweler's kiln; however, I need to save my pennies. I feel like this is going to be a very creative year for everyone! Just a feeling 🙂

  15. freshbakeddesigns
    January 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    The colors you've achieved in these pendants are dead on with the inspiration painting! Just beautiful.
    This year, I'm going to work on learning more metal smithing…things like texturing with a rolling mill and riveting. Actually started a class last week at the local adult school, so I'm on my way.

  16. Erin S
    January 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Love this one! I know exactly what you mean about waiting until the last minute and using whatever is right in front of you. I am not very good at planning in advance. Good luck with the new direction–I'll be watching to see what you come up with.

  17. Erin S
    January 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    forgot–new technique goal–RIVETING.

  18. Beaditi
    January 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    The peacock pendant is just STUNNING!
    More than the "simple truths" you create to influence other people's lives, your blogs have been a huge source of inspiration for me…
    My word of the year is EXPLORE – and I plan to learn ENAMELING with Barbara Lewis in 2013…
    Her book "Painting With Fire" has opened a whole new world for me to explore, and i think i find myself looking for platforms to explore with a whole bunch of METAL techniques too….
    [email protected]

  19. Beaditi
    January 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I just PINNED this on my Pinterest Board for ABS JAN Challenge –

    [email protected]

    ps – pinned the pendant in your etsy store too 🙂

  20. Maneki
    January 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Those pendants look gorgeous! Love the colours!

    This year I'm focusing on bead embroidery and embroidery, but also hoping to learn more about pewtersmithing and experimenting with (painted) patinas and crackle effects. As well as try and learn a little more about printing and stamping and stamp making. I recently bought a soft cut squares and carving knives. Haven't done lino carving since my early teens when we were taught lino printing in art class in school. So far I've done one really crappy carving and one rather decent flower and crass motif. The idea is to use it to print images on clay with.

  21. Elaine
    January 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    The peacock pendant is lovely!

    I'm trying more in texture and dimension this year – making my own stamps, texture plants, screens and more sculptural elements.

    Also hoping to play with a beginner lampworking class and kit this year but we'll see.

  22. KayzKreationz
    January 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I'm really wanting to work on learning to solder and doing some fold forming.

  23. KayzKreationz
    January 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm
  24. Beaditi
    January 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm


    Just shared with the CREATIVE BEAD CHAT – facebook page :


    [email protected]

  25. Beaditi
    January 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I also shared it with the POLYMER CLAY COLLECTIVE on their facebook page here:


    [email protected]

  26. Bobbie
    January 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Erin, these are gorgeous! I'd love to experiment with resin this year — I've got all the stuff to do it just sitting in my workroom, just waiting for me to get brave and go for it!

  27. Jen Ren
    January 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Erin, the pendant is gorgeous! I love the little heart. This year I want to learn polymer clay and would also like to try resin. 🙂

  28. Cindy Cima
    January 19, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Love your pendants and really love the peacock feather pendants!
    My plan for 2013 is to learn how to work with polymer clay.

  29. Kristi Jaro
    January 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Thinking of trying clay, or resin or both

  30. sandi m
    January 20, 2013 at 12:03 am

    These are so beautiful Erin. And the fact that you made the carving makes them more special.
    As far as a new technique this year, I want to play with fold forming and play with more of the solder techniques we learned.

  31. Alice
    January 20, 2013 at 12:36 am

    I lover your beautiful peacock in spired Simple Truth pendant. I really enjoyed my time with the Sampler Club and need to get back in it sometime.

    This year I want to make my own charms and pendants using the Big Kick I purchased with Christmas money, and I want to make twisted wire pieces using Kerry's book and my coiling gizmo.

  32. Karen Williams
    January 20, 2013 at 1:40 am

    What a beautiful start to the year! And a lovely way to handle the limited editions of your Simple Truths.

    This year I'm thinking of playing with wire weaving. I love the look and would like to learn more.

  33. Stepha
    January 20, 2013 at 4:23 am

    I would like to learn how to make items with my polymer clay.

  34. Tracy Van Niel
    January 20, 2013 at 4:38 am

    There are two things I want to do this year to shake it up. I'm a beadweaver and have been taking a couple of bookbinding classes, I want to make a book that incorporates a beadwoven scene as the cover. I've also taken some collage and mixed media classes and want to make some kind of monumental neckpiece or artwork that combines collage/mixed media and beadwork.

  35. Sarajo Wentling
    January 20, 2013 at 5:00 am

    So lovely! I would love to play more with resin this year and I've also been toying with the idea of some sort of clay… epoxy or polymer… undecided as of yet. So many things to try!

  36. AutEv
    January 20, 2013 at 5:14 am

    I love the way your pendant turned out! It's really lovely; I particularly like the little heart. That makes it so special!

    The technique that I'm trying to learn and apply more in my designs this year is leather carving. In fact, for the first time ever in any of my work, I used it in my design for this month's ABS challenge!

  37. Tracy Kruse
    January 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Love these and the idea of the Club…! As for new techniques, I just need lots of wire wrapping help. I also have a whole new set of dye oxide patinas….and then there is the enameling…and…and…!

  38. Tracy Kruse
    January 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Also pinned you to the ABS Board on my pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/pin/73042825178257744/

  39. Charlie
    January 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I plan to try a bunch of new techniques in 2013 by hosting a free class friday program at my B&M shop. I think it would be great to share exploration with a group.

  40. Chris White
    January 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    'love this piece, simple yet creative and though-provoking. It has definitely drawn my attention to new year goals and growth.
    With each new year, I look to push myself to achieve more, and increase my creativity and design.
    2013 brings with it my goal of selling my pieces in local museums, creating my own unique designs in my favorite technique, bead woven jewelry. This piece would make an outstanding pendant with an appropriate bead woven necklace.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  41. Lynn
    January 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    The peacock feathers are lovely—they really do look like bronze clay! I would love to win one as I live in an area where there are lots of peacocks. I plan to work with polymer clay, patinas, & metal stamping. I have my toaster oven (in the box), my pasta machine (in the box), my alphabet stamps (barely used and not too happy with my results—need practice!).l Don't know why I am procrastinating. But, I will do it.

  42. Sarajo Wentling
    January 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I just shared this on my Facebook page too at https://www.facebook.com/sarajo.wentling

    Thanks again for doing this giveaway!

  43. Meadowland Designs
    January 20, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Oh, lovely! Sometimes it takes awhile for me to like art beads (they kind of have to grow on me)but I liked your feathers immediately.

    As far as techniques go:
    Revisiting polymer clay is part of my plan for this year along with finally experimenting with the silk cord that I've been collecting…

    Keep up the work (much banging of the head a wall I'm sure)of designing & carving your own stamps.
    Many blessings,

    ~ Catherine

  44. SoulsFireDesigns
    January 20, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Oh Erin, you never fail to inspire! This pendant is just lovely 🙂

    I was given a bunch of resin flowers and cameos recently so I am determined to learn to put them together and use them in my work this year!

  45. Cynthia
    January 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Miss Erin, I do wish I were still a sampler club member. Maybe I can rejoin soon. *sigh* In the meantime, to answer your question, I have purchased the Swellengant metal coatings and patinas and am hoping to try them out this year. Looks like you mastered them already!! Nice job.

  46. Maplegirl
    January 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Wow, that pendant is wonderful. You have done the colors so beautifully.

    My challenge for myself this year is to try soldering. I love my microtorches, and I have had some success at fusing argentium sterling silver. Now I need to try soldering; I am ready! I just need to find time without the kids/work…

  47. Despina
    January 22, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I am eager to try out bead weaving, it intimidates me a little 🙂
    Amazing pendant, Miss Erin!!

    [email protected]

  48. Joanna-Gloria
    January 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Gorgeous pendants, Erin!
    I would love to try out metal smithing and soldering

    [email protected]

  49. Becky Pancake
    January 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Erin. Awesome pendant. Thanx for a chance to win one. I used my Christmas money from Mom to purchase a hole punch set, a dapping punch set, gilders paste, alcohol inks, embossing powder, & patina. So My new skills will be in the metal work area.

  50. Jeanne aka Gem Chick
    January 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    The pendants are stunning!
    This year I'm hoping to step up my wirework and take a class with the local silversmith.

  51. CraftyHope
    January 23, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Oh goodness!! That pendant is amazing. I sooooo want it, bad! As far as what I want to learn this year, what don't I want to learn? From my list of goals: I want to learn to sew and also to use my camera more professionally. January's almost over and I've barely started on either. I need to get my butt in gear it seems! Thanks for that reminder.

  52. CraftyHope
    January 23, 2013 at 2:47 am

    I shared this on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CraftyHopeJewelry)

  53. Angi
    January 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I want to try enameling this year!Pretty please count me in for the awesome giveaway! Thanks a bunch!

    Angi Mullis [email protected]

  54. Shaiha
    January 26, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Oh Erin I just love the new direction you are moving in. My plans for this year include learning to use resin and stamping. Yeah I am a bit behind.

Comments are closed.