Here you will find a diverse selection of Fine Jewelry all Hand Made by me. The only exception to this rule is in the section marked Fashion. The Fashion Collection was included here to provide an alternative to my own work. This Fashion section contains all high quality pieces, but are not necessarily pieces I would have made myself. Or, they might be pieces that I can only give you a better price on because they are manufactured. If you see something in Fashion that is similar to something you would like, just let me know. For example, you might want a manufactured Gold Chain at a good price, and I'd be nuts to try to make you one. But I can sure get you one. Or I can make you a hand made gold chain, which is very labor intensive. Catch my drift?
That all being said, you can assume that all else in this Fine Jewelry section is ;
Copyright: 1979, The Tapley Collection / Copyright: 2005, www.TapleyCollection.com
Jewelry Repair and Remodeling
As far as fine jewelry goes, I can repair just about anything. I say just about, because there are obviously things that are severely damaged or beyond repair. This is not meant to include Costume Jewelry, because costume jewelry is not necessarily meant to last. You wouldn't wear the same Halloween costume year after year, or show up to the opera in the same dress every performance. Much of costume jewelry is made from base metals, or "pot" metals. These often include lead, or lead solder, and there is nothing that can contaminate fine gold jewelry or a fine jewelry workshop faster than lead. There is really no place for lead in a fine jewelry studio, except under strict circumstances.
Now, there is jewelry I wouldn't want to work on, simply because either it is way too much time and trouble for me, or the cost might be too prohibitive for you. However, I understand that just about every woman I've ever met has somewhere tucked away in a dresser, or safe deposit, a piece of jewelry that means a lot to her. And that piece of jewelry might be in need of just the right amount of a caring touch to make it completely wearable again. I understand the depth of emotion that might be tied to a piece of jewelry, no matter how simple or elaborate, inexpensive or grandiose. A birthstone ring given by her father on her Sweet Sixteen Birthday, a charm bracelet that her mother gave to her with charms from Florida, or London, or Sausalito. Your first engagement or wedding ring might be in need of remodeling. Whatever it is, I realize just how important it is to you. And I treat it as such.
I'll let you in on a little secret. I have never taken a class in jewelry making. I am self taught. Well, I guess it's really no secret, because I'm proud enough of the fact that I've told it before. But I have studied jewelry my whole life, from watching my father cut cabochons on a makeshift grinding wheel in our pantry, to helping my mother when she would sit gluing rhinestones into costume jewelry at our kitchen table, to going to every museum show that I could that displayed historical jewels.
But the way that I really learned to make jewelry was in the beginning to watch my brother Paul, and Cindy B, and Suzanne and Connie in their farmhouse in the woods in Blodgett, Oregon in 1971. I had hitchhiked there in 3 1/2 days from Westfield, NJ to find Paul because I hadn't seen him in 3 1/2 Years. They spent their weeks pounding out bronze earrings, and hair clips and taking them to the Saturday Market in Eugene, and selling them and having an absolute Blast!
A few years later, Paul was invited to move to Sun Valley by a good friend and extremely interesting entrepreneur, Paul R. Hurley. Paul Hurley had just purchased interest in a Jasper Mine in Southwest Idaho as well as a jewelry store in Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho. Paul asked Paul to come along and be his jeweler. I decided to tag along. My direct route to Idaho from Oregon included a side trip to Arizona, Texas, Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, and then straight to Idaho! I remember barely making it to Ketchum just as the first big snow of the season started. It was a grueling trip! And when I got there, I turned off my van, opened the door, and stepped out into the road right on to a $20 Bill! I thought, "this place is going to be lucky for me." I got a job bartending in a wild apres ski bar for the Sun Valley Company, which included 2 meals a day and a free season's ski pass. And I started to do everything I could to begin making jewelry.
One day, I was standing on the very top of Mount Baldy, and I had had the best day skiing I had ever had. It was extremely cold, bright, and clear. And I could see for miles and miles and miles. I decided to make one last run from the very top to the very bottom of the mountain. I had never done this before and I figured it would take all the stamina and concentration that I had. I skied down until my knees were like rubber, and made it all the way down without falling once. But when I got down, I still needed to get into town to get a ride home. So, I released my skis, slung them over my shoulder, and trudged down the railroad tracks with my 2000 lb boots on. I reached the jewelry store, and since it was a place that had a real family type atmosphere, I was greeted by my good friend, Caryl L, who was my brother's mate at the time, and who also worked in the store as a sales consultant. Caryl said she had just sold an Amethyst ring that Paul had made as long as it could be sized right away. But Paul was no where to be found. I said I would give it a try. I sat down at the bench, soaking wet and cold, and rubbing my frozen hands together to be able to feel them again, proceeded to size my first ring.
Now, here's the feeling I want you to try to grasp. I had just come from the top of the world! Broad, unlimited vistas of White and Green. Then racing down, down, down this funnel, icicles on my moustache, tears streaming down my face. To the bottom, as I went, everything started getting a bit smaller, and after walking a mile or so, I entered another world of extremely small focus. From a 60 mile view through White and Green, way down to a 3 Millimeter section of Gold and Purple. From 20 below zero to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit with my eyes now watering from being so close to the torch. I entered a state of grace, and I sized that ring with no problem. The customer came in to pick it up, and they said "Thank You" and I said "It's my pleasure" and it has been ever since. And I walked out feeling like it was the most completely satisfying day of my life.
After that, I worked enthusiastically in a series of fine jewelry stores, all good experiences. By working at repairs, I learned my craft in such a way that I was exposed to a wide variety of styles and techniques. Every piece of jewelry that came in the store was different and unique.
And so.....back to the future.
I've long thought of how I could set up a system for my clients to send me their repair work. You can email me .jpgs and /or describe what you might think it needs, I can advise you on how much to insure it for to ship it to me, have me diagnose it, and call you with an estimate before proceeding. I'll treat your pieces well. And if I can't repair it, it can't be done.
Copyright: 1979, The Tapley Collection
Copyright: 2005, www.TapleyCollection.com