Archive for the ‘Designer’s Notebook’ Category

Birth of a Collection: You + Me, pt. 1

How does a ring go from spark to sketch? How exactly is a collection born?

The finished betsy & iya jewelry you know & love isn’t born overnight, as you’ve seen in our weekly Maker Monday Instagram series. With this video, however, we want to show what happens BEFORE a piece is even in our makers’ workflow. Before it has a price & a name. Before anyone has even seen it outside of our production studio. Before even Betsy knows exactly what the finished product will look like.

We filmed Betsy over the months leading up to this collection’s debut to give you an unprecedented look at the birth of a collection – from idea, concept sketch, prototypes, and final finishing- and ALL the emotions that go along with a designer exposing her “baby.”

Did you enjoy this video? Want to hear more about Betsy’s creative process? Check out the Extended Cut for the full 30 minute interview.

Shop the entire You + Me, pt. 1 collection online NOW!


***Song of the Moment: Happy Together by The Turtles***

Small, but Mighty.

There are many details in life that are integral to functioning in various situations, but rarely get their moment to shine. I’m talking about things like shoe laces, seatbelt buckles, and those smartphone friendly fingertips on gloves. The jewelry world is no different; imagine wearing a pair of studs without earring backs (they wouldn’t stay on you for very long!).

This Maker Monday video highlights one such detail: necklace clasps. I love giving this important part of many betsy & iya necklaces its moment in the sun. These hardworking little guys make it possible to wear pieces like our Humboldt Moon necklace, Divisionary necklace, & Talus necklace, without having them fall off, sometimes never to be seen again (the worst!!!).

Take a look a Barrie whipping out a few of our clasps in this video:

She begins by bending the sterling silver wire, then uses the torch to fire the end. Fried from the flame, the clasps take a bath in the pickle – special care given to the stirring – and come out shiny & clean. Then, they’re put through the rolling mill, tumbled, & hammered. Once finished, they affix to one end of a necklace & meet the clasp on the other end!

Further proof that every little detail of a betsy & iya piece is made with love. Next time you lace up your shoes, buckle up in a car, or put on a necklace, give a special shoutout to the things that make life a lot easier and safer.



***Song of the Moment: Little Things by Bush***

Maker Monday: Catenary Ring Necklace.

Part of Betsy’s Bridge Collection, the Catenary Ring necklace came to be while Betsy was playing around with materials and pondering the idea of ‘suspension.’ Those thoughts manifested in this amazing creation, made of leather cord, antique brass beads, oxidized brass chain, and brass accents.

Catenary Ring Maker Monday

In the video, watch Alyssa’s dexterous hands cut, then drill the leather cord to insert the brass accent pieces. Then she adds the antique brass rings, & brings the brass accents through the other side of the leather so they’re parallel to each other. Oxidized brass chain is added & the piece is ready to wear.

I own this beauty and it’s one of my absolute favorite necklaces and one I can always count on to elicit compliments from strangers. Which is why we all wear jewelry in the first place, riiiiiiiight???



***Song of the Moment: Summer by Calvin Harris***

Maker Monday: St. Johns Bridge Cuff

Our Instagram contest ended last week, and as a final prompt, we urged our followers to share pictures of what home means to them. It was only fitting to dedicate Maker Monday that week to a piece that reminds us of home, the St. Johns Bridge Cuff.

betsy & iya St Johns Bridge Cuff

Why this piece when we think of home? The design of this cuff was inspired by the bridge that Betsy & Will cross everyday they come to work. For them and for all of us, this cuff has a very special place in our respective hearts.

Watch Amory anneal the brass pieces (heating metal makes it easier to manipulate), remove rough edges on the polishing cabinet, hammer & form into a cuff shape, oxidize the recessed area, & finally clean up with a flex shaft.

Each one of our bridge cuffs is hand stamped on the inside with the year it was built and geographic coordinates (I love this detail!).



***Song of the Moment: Teenage Riot by Sonic Youth***