If you’re a frequent visitor you will notice that this is a brand new website. It is a work in progress, so bear with me and please check back to look for updates. The website is a representation of my work, more a photographic gallery than an online shop. There is always more to be seen if you visit the studio!
Pricing and Shopping
You will notice there are no prices listed on the website. My business is small and intimate, therefore I don’t pursue internet sales. As a pricing metric, the smallest item I make is the foundation hoop earring that all of my drops go onto. It is 18kyg, ½” diameter, and is around $650.00. Prices go up from there.
My work is available by appointment in my studio and I am honored to have a small retail presence in the gift shop at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. If you are not local or choose not to visit the studio, I am just a phone call away and we can work together via credit card and FedEx.
While I used to, I no longer take on custom work. Commissions have been a very fulfilling part of my career and it has been a tough transition not to help clients with special projects. I will entertain customizing one of my own designs for you on a case-by-case basis, but I have reached a point in my life where I need to focus my energy on keeping up with stock and want to create new work using the gemstones I have been collecting for over 30 years. Please check back to see what they turn into!
I work with 18 karat European golds, Palladium, Platinum, and hand selected gemstones of all sorts. With the exception of the ideal cut diamonds that I use for their intense sparkle, I look not necessarily for perfection in stones, but for beauty and uniqueness. I use a sandblaster to give a matte finish on most of my work, putting a natural casualness and subtle focus on the design of the piece.
How long does it take to make a piece?
This is the most common question and the hardest one to answer! Some designs take years to ponder, play with and develop. Others come more easily. Some days at the bench are smooth and productive, and some are ridiculously frustrating. Depending on the many factors involved in the process, pieces can take hours, days, weeks or months to fabricate. My good friend Ray says “Jewelry is something that takes a long time to get right. Integrating technical skills into one’s own sense of style and design occurs over time.” Two of my favorite sayings are “It’s a mystery” and “It’s a process”!
Care and Cleaning
Finger oils, lotions, and soap scum kill the sparkle of diamonds and the dull the allure of sandblasted gold. The key is to clean often. Do not ever use antibacterial gel; it hardens like a rock under your stones and you will need to leave it with me or another jeweler for days to get it out. I recommend dipping or soaking in a solution of 50% Windex to 50% water and using a soft toothbrush to scrub, then a rinse with water and dry. Doing this daily if possible will keep your jewelry looking great!
Marie Chamblin Dirom
2024 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220