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  • Returning from Tucson - What I learned about ethically sourced gemstones

    Returning from Tucson - What I learned about ethically sourced gemstones
    Who digs all this stuff out of the ground? Who cuts and polishes the stones? Are they real? Are they dyed or enhanced? Were the people involved in producing it treated well? Did they have ventilation where they were cutting? Did they get paid well? Were they children? Are these really rare or did they just say that? Is this synthetic sapphire or real? Why is that one $5 a carat and that one $15 per carat? What is involved in mining these? Does it damage the earth? Were harsh chemicals used? Were habitats destroyed?
  • Pink? Not a fan

    Pink? Not a fan
    Jewelry for Valentine’s Day might be as cliche as it gets. So instead of following the traditional heart shaped jewelry and feminine pink charm bracelets, what if you went a little badass this Valentine’s Day?
  • What to Do with Jewelry You’ve Outgrown or Never Liked in the First Place

    What to Do with Jewelry You’ve Outgrown or Never Liked in the First Place

    What to Do with Jewelry You’ve Outgrown or Never Liked in the First Place

    It doesn’t matter how you came by the piece, sometimes jewelry just doesn’t work for you. You love your grandma, but her bracelet doesn’t match anything you own, so it sits in your jewelry box.

    The diamond necklace your ex boyfriend gave you is gorgeous, but wearing it around your husband makes both of you feel a little weird.

    Maybe it’s the perfect ring from your mother-in-law, but it’s just not practical because you “ding” it on everything and ruined your favorite sweater because it snagged.

    You’re not the first person to be “stuck” with jewelry you can’t seem to love for the right reasons.

    I understand, which is why more and more people are coming to me to help resurrect their heirloom pieces from the graveyard of their jewelry collection.

    Here are a few scenarios where you might want to change something about what you currently have, but don’t know where to start.

    How to Keep the Sentiment and Ditch the Style

    Letting jewelry sit in a drawer makes my heart drop a little. Especially sentimental jewelry because it’s a record and memory of our lives.

    It’s given to us by people we love and reminds us how important we are to them. When you love the person, but don’t care for the piece, redesign is a great option.

    Sometimes I don’t have to completely start over if you’re open to creative ideas. For example, one customer had a bracelet from her husband she really liked, but would snag on everything.

    Instead of melting it down and making a new bracelet, I was able to repurpose the bracelet as two earrings instead! Now, she still has the same style and gold her husband gifted to her, she just wears them in her ears instead of on her wrist.

    How perfect is that? Here’s an example of a custom wedding ring redesign I’m especially proud of.

    How to Keep the Jewelry and Lose the Sentiment

    Other times, you love the piece, but it’s the person who gave it to you that you don’t care for. Maybe it was a gift from your ex or a friend you’ve fallen out with.

    In this case, you can come up with simple changes to make it your own. Things like switching out gemstones and using them for new pieces gives you the same style, but a different feel when you look at it.

    Plus, if you totally hate it - it’s fun to melt it down, start over, and make something that’s completely about you.

    So you can see why I hate when jewelry sits unworn for years. No matter what the story is, you can make something you enjoy wearing!

    Why Choose Allison Kallaway for Heirloom Redesign?

    You can bring heirloom pieces to almost any jeweler to have them redesigned or use the stones in a different setting. When you work with me, you get guaranteed quality craftsmanship and unique design.

    Nothing I create for my clients could be described as boring or ordinary. You’re really getting a custom piece of art that’s structurally perfect.

    My necklaces hang straight, no more adjusting or flipping things around. All my designs are structured to “wear” right, because that’s part of the challenge and technique. In order to make a “perfect” piece of jewelry, it has to be practical to wear.

    Have something in your drawer collecting dust? Get in touch with me today about your custom redesign options!

  • The Rise of the Industrial Elf Queen

    The Rise of the Industrial Elf Queen

    Maybe magical lands and legendary stories aren’t fiction afterall? What if the worlds filled with elves, wizards, witches, goblins, and (yes) hobbits were in our blood?

    Sometimes I wonder if they aren’t just as much part of our ancient history as the founding fathers, Louis XVI, and Alexander the Great.

    When I traveled through Europe and lived in Africa, these design elements from folklore and legends were everywhere.

    They’re not fiction in Africa, they’re history.

    That’s where my design inspiration comes from.

    My designs turn these epic legends into present day magical pieces of adornment. I believe quality technique and design aren’t contained to the runway.

    High fashion doesn’t always equal quality of workmanship.

    The pieces I make are suitable for the fantasy queens who live in worlds designed by Tolkien or Lewis. I craft pieces meant to be worn by women looking to adorn themselves with magic stones carved into earthy metals.

    I believe there’s something magical about wearing jewelry that’s not for the every day. There’s a reverence in my work that doesn’t translate into high fashion or simple aesthetic appeal.

    The claw settings give a rough royal element to otherwise technically perfect piece.

    When I’m in my studio, I imagine myself kindling the fire in the elven forgery in Rivendell. I listen to the soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings while I craft my pieces.

    It helps me add magic and fantasy to the design and reminds me the slower travels are often the most rewarding.

    So this is me, raising my hammer in a salute to what I like to call, my industrial elf queen. May adorning yourself with these talismans add strength to your spirit and power to your rule.

  • Smithsonian or BUST!

    Smithsonian or BUST!
    I'm invited to the Smithsonian, ya'll!
  • Welcome June! The month of PEARLS.

    Welcome June! The month of PEARLS.
    Why do we love pearls? Maybe it's because they are so mysterious... Like some little ocean creature covers a small irritating pebble with a beautiful, magical substance that makes them smooth and shimmery and irresistible.