overdue update and remembering Wendy Shifrin (1951-2015)

Wow! I can't believe it's been almost 2 years since my last post!?
Where did time go?

A lot has happened since that last post in June 2013.
For example, I have picked up my belongings in Cambridge, MA and moved to the Bay Area to pursue a Master of Fine Arts Degree at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA.
It's been an adjustment, but I have no complaints. The weather is nice, people are friendly; school keeps me very busy and engaged, which is all good stuff!

Just because the blog was on hiatus, does not mean LBEW Jewelry had been! Here are a few things that I am happy to have created:

There are more where these come from, but you can check out the more comprehensive record of creations here.

Last fall, I started making these wire-wrapped orbits. I would wrap a small crystal with wire, then take the crystal out and continue to wrap around the wire "cage" with small gemstones like sapphire, labradorite, seed beads, etc. It was a fun process. I didn't like the idea of "cage" though.

This past week was a big week. I heard the news that a beloved professor from my alma mater had passed away. Wendy was a loving friend and a compassionate, brilliant teacher. I owe my creative career to her. She was the first person in my life to acknowledge me and believe in me as an artist.
I feel so sad for the loss, but also incredibly grateful to have met her, and to have been touched by her...
I'm also thankful to gmail for keeping my old emails where i was able to find an email from her that said:
"YES you would be suitable for art school!  Your problem will be figuring out which art form(s) to concentrate on since you are so talented!  I could also see you going into arts management but would rather imagine you in art, not business school!  I think when people ask you should say, "yes, I am an artist."  What is an artist?  I define it as a person who makes things - and you do.  For me it has more to do with passion and action than fame or marketability, or (even) quality (though one assumes artists are always committed to pursuing quality in their work)."
So spot on...

It was her belief in me as an artist that deeply encouraged me to pursue this creative path. So I thought the best way to honor her was to make something to remember her, and this is what emerged:

I used pearls, a green amethyst and wire. 
This is the first time the orbit doesn't feel like a cage, but protection.
Pearls for the quality of hard work, patience, and endurance
Amethyst for healing

The finished product almost reminds me of the magic pumpkin in which Cinderella rode to the palace. Wendy was kind of like a Fairy Godmother. She was so loving and lovely. Fierce and generous.

Thank you Wendy for everything. You will always be loved and remembered. 


!!!Poem Illustration Contest!!! (Submit by 7/15/2013)

Hey all creative folks out there,

I have a poem I want illustration for, and I decided, why not put a call out for a CONTEST!!

Flower Poem

by Paula Junn
All I wish to see is a flower blossoming in my palm
In sunshine and in rain
In light hearts and in pain

I also wish to let it go
Plant its preciousness in soil and let it grow
On its own, in its own body and strength

I wish to be there when it’s in full bloom,
When the sun shines through and through
As the ray of sun lifts the beauty in all its glory

I also wish to be there when the petals fall
And the color starts to fade
For it is time for it to wane

No room for regret
For she has left her seeds of beauty behind
Now there is hope that these will be even more divine

At this moment
I hand these seeds in your palm
So you can enjoy and taste the beauty of love and life
For there is no joy that could be bought at any price.


Story behind LBEW and logo...

You might have wondered why I call my jewelry line, Little Big Excellent Whole.
It is a bit long and clunky, although I would like to think it has a nice ring to it. Maybe this little story will help you find the rhythm in it, too?

The secret is..... it's my name, literally. No joke. 
Here's the break down.
Paula = Little Haan =한 = 瀚 = Big Soo = 수 = 秀 = Excellent Junn = 전 = 全 = Whole 
==> Little Big Excellent Whole, is me!!

So then, where does the logo come from, you might ask? The short answer is, this also comes from my name. How egotistical of me, right? But hey, it's MY name! Deal with it. :)

The longer story is this: Back in 2004 I was taking a break from college and working at an international law firm in Korea. At this law firm my job as an intern was to translate legal documents from English to Korean and vice versa. I would like to think the process helped improve my English quite a bit, but I also got tired of dealing with the legal jargon in both languages pretty quickly. To keep my mind and heart busy, I decided to take a continuing education course at a local art museum called "Think Like an Artist." The course was taught by a renowned Economics professor at a University in Seoul, who also happens to be an avid art collector. It was quite an experience. A big part of me feels that this course served as a turning point for me in discovering myself as an Artist (of which process I'm still working on). Anyway, the main point that I took away from the course was that the Professor had a simple method of distinguishing a professional artist from an amateur, which was that a pro would never get sick of carrying out the same process that they are working on. They can keep going and going and keeping and keeping on, while an amateur would get bored of the process and stop. So the task that the professor gave us was to pick a "signature move" and repeat the process for the duration of the course (10 weeks) and see if we get bored of the process; and persevere even if we do get bored.
I thought long and hard about this. I wanted to pick something that I could not get bored of. Something Fascinating!! But then, I came back to the word "signature move," and a light bulb went off: SIGNATURE!! I was thinking to myself, I'd better not get sick of writing my own signature, let alone my own name! So that's where I started.
Why did I pick my Korean name instead of "Paula"?
It definitely wasn't because I preferred being called a certain name over the other.
The following is the thought process I had while deciding which name (in Korean...)
Paula 보다 한수가 더 친근 한 이유는 뭘까?왜 나는 Paula 라는 이름을 미국 친구들로부터한수는 한국 친구들로부터 불리기를 원할까?
미국에서는 내가 PAULA 답고 한국에서는 한수 답기 때문일까?
Paula는 자신만이 가지는 공간을 지배하지만 한수는 주위 공간에 따라 그에 맞추면서 바뀌어 간다.
Paula는 여성스럽고한수는 남성이 더 강하다
Paula의 A는 Paula를 여성으로 만들지만한수는 '한'과 '수'가 만났기 때문에 남성적인 image가 강해진다.
Paula는 그 위에 글을 덮어 쓸 자유와 여유를 주지만,한수는 허락하지 않는다.
한수는 이름자체가 mixed media, 예술Paula 는 그 속으로부터 예술을 분출
Why is "수 (HaanSoo; HS)" more familiar/friendlier/approachable than "Paula"?Why do I prefer being called Paula from my American friends, but HS from my Korean friends?Is it because I am like a Paula ("Paula-esque") in the states, and I am like a HS ("HS-ish") in Korea?
"Paula" dominates the space she is in, while HS adapts to the space she goes into.Paula is feminine, and HS is more masculine*.The A in Paula makes the name feminine.HS has more a masculine tone because of the combination of Haan and Soo.Paula, visually speaking, gives you freedom and space to write over it,but HS does not allow it.
In the name HS itself, it is mixed medial; artPaula expresses the art within.
*HaanSoo is traditionally a boy's name in Korea. Comparable to Richard or John.

So I started writing 수 over and over again. I eventually got bored of it, so I decided to design something out of it, like put it all on one line. and then put it in a box, and then make it three dimensional, and then and then and then......

After a while, I noticed that I was obsessed, completely consumed by this mark-making process. 

At the end of the course, each student had "something" that they had been working on that they were equally obsessed with as much as I was with my name.

So then the art museum sponsoring the course decided to let us use their art gallery, and we had an exhibit!!

So my little things were in the exhibit, too. Oh, yes I made 3-D objects with my name. It was cool. 

And this is what ended up sticking with me. Now I have a stamp of it and all that jazz..... I might actually get a tattoo of it too someday.

But there it is. The story behind LBEW.

What do you think of that?


being at the 1st Annual Boston Seafood Festival

Yesterday I had the honor to be part of the first annual Boston Seafood Festival as an artist vendor. It was my first time being part of a crafts fair, and it was so exhilarating, scary, and fun!! 

It was at the end of August that I got a message from my friend, Ivy about becoming a vendor at the seafood festival. I was intrigued. I've never done such a (cool) thing before. I've been to crafts fairs but never did I really think I would be the one behind the craft table with my stuff. But I decided to take the plunge anyway. However, I did seriously ponder over the option of pulling out of it, not gonna lie. I'm so glad I followed through with it though!!

The day of the festival, I woke up at 6:30am, which surprised me because I don't think I fell asleep way past 2am... 'twas the butterflies that kept me alert, I guess.. I got into bed much earlier, but then remembered, "PRICING." So I got back up, filled out an inventory sheet with all the prices and items, packed a small carry-on suitcase and then went back to bed. That inventory sheet proved to be very helpful, too. So I'm thankful for that.

At around 8am my trusty friends Eugenia and David came to pick me up. Not only did they bring me to the festival with all my stuff, but they also spent the entire day with me in the sun and boisterous wind and helped me not lose my mind and sold some of my creations together! They are sooooooooooooooooo wonderful and I don't know what I would have done without them. I would have been so lost!

We arrived at the Bank of America Pavillion around 8:30am and started to set up. The festival didn't open until 11am, so we had some time. Time went by so fast, though, I feel like I took a couple of breaths and then people started to trickle in. 

post-setup (minus coffee cup) :)
Earring display
more display and treasure chest (that was NOT for sale ;))
A bunch of people including friends came and went, and time went by fast and slow (it was particularly slow when the coffee wore out). Some people swiftly walked by without giving a single look, some came by made a few comments and left, and others stayed and engaged in conversation.

The most memorable person during the day (I wish I got her name) was a young lady maybe twelve or thirteen years old (I'm really bad at telling age). She came to my booth, gave a thorough 10 minute look at my jewelry and left, then brought her grandmother and looked hard at what I've got again. They left, and then came back, bought a pair of earrings for the young lady's mother, then left. And THEN, she came back again WITH her mother to show her what I had, and after they left together she came back by herself again just to look. It was such an experience! I am flattered by the fact that what I created could catch someone's attention for that long that many times. 

The best selling item was the button rings:
It was a HOOT!!
Which was great information.
I need to make a bunch more!! and this time, in more colors and various sizes. Some of them turned out to be just too small.

The very first customer bought a pair of button rings, but there wasn't a pair of rings her size in the color she wanted (she likes anything pink). There was only one ring that fit that criteria, so I offered to make another one on the spot for her. She came back a half hour later and picked up the finished rings with a smile. 

One of the special things about yesterday's selling experience was that I pledged to donate 25% of the proceeds to Rosie's Place, the first women's homeless shelter for women in the US. I have a deep connection with this organization, because I worked as an intern at the Women's Craft Cooperative (WCC) of Rosie's Place a couple years ago.  WCC helps women help themselves by turning new and vintage buttons into decorative accessories. That's where I learned to play with buttons and make things out of them. Actually, the button ring was the very first product I've ever made!! 

It was awesome that my very first (signature) product, the button ring, was the most popular item at my booth.

I raised $40 to give to Rosie's Place, and I am so pleased that I can contribute to this great organization in any way at all. 

Overall, great experience was had, and I look forward to another opportunity to be creative, productive, and put myself out there and try to do good all at once.

We'll see what my next move will be!!

c'est moi!

There are so many people I would like to thank for helping me make this possible. Just to name a few, I want to thank Ivy, Eugenia, DavidNorah, and massmouth, inc. for helping me in such concrete ways throughout the process and the day-of. 


New creations (jewelry & website)

So I want to introduce you to some **new** creations of mine...

First off,
say hello to my new website!!
I'm so excited to have a website with my name on/in it.
and I think it's going to help me get the word out a lot.

I even have a "contribution" part where people can help me out by "Levels of Support"
and look how cute the options are!!
• Latte ..... $5
• Lunch ..... $10
• Dinner ..... $25
• Tripod ..... $50 (support... get it?)
• Ext Hard Drive ..... $100

I'm so in love with it.

Let me know what you think?

Moving on....

Here are some pics of new creations....

this was inspired by something I saw in the Bazaar Magazine... I didn't save it, but it was something with black and gold, and I thought "what can I make that would look good with that color combo?"
So here you go... :)

 I intended this necklace to be something totally different. Like, I wasn't planning on useing those ceramic beads at all..... but I'm pleased with the outcome. Now what to name it?

I like this pair a lot. I love the pink drops especially.
Without them, it was kind of dull to be honest. But I think it works.

I also discovered that it's fun to do a "Name this product" contest via Facebook.
and I thank everyone who participated in naming this  pair of earrings.

That's all for now.

Thanks for reading!

•• Coming up ••
Story behind the name LBEW...


"Everyday is SOMEBODY's Birthday"

I have mentioned this before, but I find creating much more fun and rewarding when I think I am gifting it to someone.

Rather than making for selling.

And it's true, Any day, Every day is SOMEBODY's Birthday!

But the other day was my dear friend Heather's day, so I made this for her:
Labradorite (?), pearls, garnet

I think she liked it. 

and this is what I made for my recipient:
Also, I'm participating in an Art Exchange project where each month People get creative, make things and send to another person participating in the project. It's quite fun!

Quartz, onyx, metal balls

The following two pairs I didn't make thinking about a specific somebody, but tried the design anyway:
Stone, coral

this is a new design i'm trying...
I haven't done linking beads together the way I did here before. It was tedious, but I like the result.
I've only seen it done with pearls, so this was a nice contrast.
I think the colors complement each other, which I like...
Sapphire, rose quartz, fire-polished beads
 this was very much inspired by the earrings I made for Heather. The drops I used for this pair and heather's pair came from a pair of earrings my mother gave to me with all these semi precious stones hanging like a chandelier. I should have taken a picture. It was a beautiful collection of gems, but somehow the length and everything didn't work. So I' deconstructed the beautiful pair and am recreating earrings from it.

the aftermath of deconstruction of my own b-day gift

I'm using more natural light for my jewelry photography, and I think i like it (?).
It's less harsh, it seems.



Wow, it's been awhile since my last post! It's a new year now, and I have good feelings... So what have I been up to? Well, last fall I took a beginning jewelry metalsmithing class at MassArt. and it was AWESOME.

 Here are some samples I've made:

Silver ring. It's of my logo. can you tell?
"Hug" Pendant.... it's two people hugging... made this via cuttle fish casting technique. it was a lot of fun. I realize that many people think of boobs when they see this, but my intention was to depict an embrace.
Made this pin thinking about my friend who loves mountains... it's really small. a little bigger than a thumbnail probably.
This one became a pair of earrings after I made another side to it. It's kind of funny looking because each side is different in size. but hey, no one can say I didn't try :)
This one I made thinking of my mom who is fond of square shaped things...
And this was the last object I made... right now, it's just a "thing" perhaps a paperweight of some sorts... I used the lost wax casting technique. so much fun!! and here you may be able to see more easily that it IS indeed a HUG an embrace!! :)

 I had a lot of fun with this class. Thanks to Peter Evonuk at MassArt for his patience and teachings.

I would like to create more things in the future using Metalsmithing techniques. But it is by NO MEANS an easy method....

I'm gonna leave you with one freshly made pair of earrings. and I will promise to update more regularly. Thanks for reading!! <3