Thursday, November 3, 2011


I love the subtle color and natural inclusions of this material.
New pieces for FavreBijoux on Etsy.
Rutiles in pale green quartz. Sterling Silver. ©Mimi Favre-FavreBijoux

Quartz. Citrine, Clear light green, Rose. Sterling Silver. ©Mimi Favre-FavreBijoux

Amethyst in Rutilated Quartz. Sterling Silver. ©Mimi Favre-FavreBijoux

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

South Sea Pearl & Sapphire Platinum Earrings

Recently, I completed a pair of sapphire and South Sea pearl earrings. What began as 'show and tell' of recent additions to my inventory became a new jewelry project for my friend!
14mm x 16mm baroque South Sea Pearls.
I met this client over a decade ago in a botanical painting class. Our friendship began when we discovered that we had gone to the same art school (different years) and that we had both had a wonderful design teacher there whom we had learned a lot from even though she was a stickler for detail and a tough grader. She had taught both of us design and color theory.

Usually I paint the design when I make a custom piece but in this case my artistic friend knew exactly what she wanted. I had shown the pearls to her after a Tucson buying trip and a few months later she showed me a design with blue stones and yellow gold. She likes dangle earrings and wanted to use sapphires. We met once more after I had procured the sapphires to go over the fine points of the design. It was decided that all white metal, in this case platinum, would compliment the silvery white baroque pearls and cornflower blue sapphires.
For this pair of earrings I made setting models with six prongs to be cast in platinum. The center wire is round platinum stock that I drilled at each end. The earring is flexible  in two places to allow swinging movement . The pearls move side to side.
Mimi Favre Studio

South Sea pearls and sapphires- Platinum. ©Mimi Favre 2011

South Sea pearls and sapphires- Platinum. ©Mimi Favre 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Waiting for Irene

A few hundred miles away, Hurricane Irene is churning up the Atlantic heading towards us in southeastern Pennsylvania. The local news is reporting that we will have a tropical storm with 5-10 inches of rain later tonight. All we can do now is wait.

It is eerily quiet outside.  There is not one bird in sight or to be heard. The sky is beginning to get overcast and it is raining lightly but the light is still bright enough to take photos. It has been a warm and sunny summer and although there are still a few tomatoes in the garden, and everything is still green, there are subtle signs of fall. This is one of those moments when a natural event intervenes in our busy lives and allows us to pause and just absorb everything the moment has to offer.  I decided to take a walk in the rain around my garden and the yard beyond. 

 anemone. Great fall blooming plant. 

Nasturtiam in the vegetable garden border. 

Moonflowers. Beautiful fragrant flowers bloom at night.

Sunflowers are 7 ft.
Beautiful feathery foliage of amsonia hubrectii.

Sycamore bark.

Huge white fungus.

Small fungus in wood chip mulch.

This is a native grass that we have naturalized in a small field.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Art of Custom Jewelry

One of the great pleasures I derive from being a jeweler is the occasional new design project that involves an old piece of jewelry. In this case, grandmother’s ring is being dismantled and the diamonds are to be used for a new set of wedding rings.

 I recently met with a young couple that needed wedding bands for their August wedding. The groom to be had already given his fiancĂ©e a solitaire diamond engagemant ring. The bride to be had been given her grandmother's diamond wedding ring to be used for a new wedding band. The design challenge for me was to create a new band and to use most or all of the diamonds.  Also, I would be providing a wedding band for the groom.

The engagement ring is a somewhat modern style of heavy round wire that wraps the finger, twists a bit and holds the diamond with two wide bezels. A standard flat band would not lie against the side evenly. I ruled out this option because over time the wear on the rings would be very uneven. Since wedding rings are worn together continuously for years, it is important when designing them to pay close attention to where the metal touches and how they nest together.

My sketch. 

The solution was to make two diamond bands to be worn with the solitaire. There were enough stones to create a great look. And, it was decided that two small stones could be used in the groom’s band too.  I made two rings in wax then photgographed them with her ring.

Center engagement ring.
Two carved wax rings with diamonds positioned in place.

Side view.

Two cast 14k white gold rings, semi polished and ready for settting. Old ring mounting.

Another design consideration was to set the diamonds flush, burnished rather than pave with bright cut and beads.  This style of setting compliments the existing solitaire which has a clean modern style.

Finished rings. Shows where engagement ring will fit.

Trio of rings. Design by Mimi Favre 2011.
The groom opted for traditonal pave for his band. Just like the original sketch, two stones have been set in the grooms wedding band on the diagonal with a slight arc in the bright cut.

Grooms wedding ring with two small diamonds.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dogwood Ring

I opened an Internet shop called FavreBijoux on Etsy almost two years ago.  Etsy provides a template for photos and descriptions and facilitates transactions through PayPal. FavreBijoux is where I sell some of my production designs in both sterling silver and 18k gold along with a selection of one of a kind jewelry. The Internet has made it possible for artists like myself to connect with buyers anywhere in the world. Since opening I have shipped pieces to Europe, Canada and many states in the US. Today, every brand is developing a social presence and in many cases directly selling on their sites. Luxury products are selling online along with Fine Art.

Through the years I have made many wedding bands and other custom pieces to mark special occasions.  I have been privy to the engagement plans and intimate stories that inspire the jewelry and I am always honored that my clients share these personal messages with me. 

The original Dogwood ring was commissioned by a couple. She is a published author of books on horticulture and he is a master gardener and teacher of horticulture. Her love of the Dogwood flower, a native species in Pennsylvania, inspired the ring. My interest in botanical painting infused the project with the necessary detail required to sculpt the original wax.  I guess it should follow that this Dogwood ring is a sentimental favorite on Etsy and on several occasions it has become an engagement ring.
Dogwood Ring- 18k Gold. ©FavreBijoux on Etsy.
Dogwood Ring-18k gold. Original sketch ©Mimi Favre-FavreBijoux
Dogwood Ring- Sterling Silver. ©FavreBijoux-Mimi Favre

Friday, June 10, 2011

Decorative Metalwork- Early 20th Century

Decorative metalwork from the Early 20th Century Arts and Craft period has always been an inspiration to me. I was intrigued as a child by a flat copper dish that was in our home. It had a hammered design on the border and was obviously handmade . The story is that my grandfather had made it in school shop class circa 1911.  I know now that it was a design and object typical of the era. I loved the color of the old copper and I coveted this object by carrying it with me to my college dorm room and various apartments over the years.

I also remember visiting numerous antique shops in upstate NY, where I attended college in the 70's, that were crammed with stuff from this period—of course I had no money! This was before Arts and Craft style and brands, like Sickley and Roycroft, had renewed popularity and prices escalated. 

Maybe what captures my interest is the handmade aura that the objects of this period posses.  Roycroft employed 500 crafters in East Aurora, New York at its peak. Along with other handcrafts like bookbinding, the community made decorative metal objects from copper that fit the style of oak furniture of the day.  The Stickley brothers produced hand made furniture in the Mission Style from quarter sawn oak and visible joinery, which incorporated hammered textured hardware from bronze. 

The common elements of metalwork of this style that I find appealing are the simple somewhat organic designs and the use of texture. Rivets are used to join elements together. The touch of the artist’s hand evidenced by hammer marks and use of other chasing tools make this work unique. The objects were meant to decorate and be useful. Large bowls and vessels, candle sticks, lamps, book ends and desk sets were common products.

The objects pictured are from various makers to be sold by  Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey. This established business specializes in this period. I took the pictures onsite with permission from staff.

Karl Kipp- Rago lot 380A

Roycroft- Rago Lot 394

Roycroft-  Rago Lot 383
Roycroft Desk Set (Detail)

Roycroft-  Rago Lot 383

Stickley - Rago Lot 408

Add caption

Gustav Stickley- Rare Candlesticks- Rago Lot 374

Tiffany Studios- Rago Lot 540
Tiffany Studios- Rago Lot 521

Tiffany glass lamps and decorative objects of this period have always been popular and I believe will always be collected. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011


A week of rainy weather gave way to a picture perfect day. The Steeplechase event now in it's eighty first year in this lovely corner of Chester County, PA, has more recently become a fundraiser to benefit The Brandywine Conservancy. There are several horse races during the day over a hilly open course of mowed fields and jumps. 
Jockeys form a line just before the starter signals the start of the race.
Race has started. 

The race is on.
To hear the rumble of galloping horses approach then see a flash of color as the jockeys ride by wearing the color of the stables they ride for is like being in a Degas painting- a spectacle that has not changed in a hundred years.
This could be a painting by Edgar Degas.
The race course lined with picnic tents.
Enjoying the race at The Bellevue Tent. 

Cheese and fruit table.
The Bellevue served a Moroccan dinner to their guests. Flower arrangements by Beautiful Blooms were incredible. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

South Sea Pearls

Two new pieces.
Pyramid Earrings.  12mm South Sea Pearls 18k gold.

Baroque South Sea Pearl Enhancer. 17 mm x 20 mm Pearl, Aquamarine and Mali Garnet. 18k and Platinum.