I mostly just want to bask in the warm fuzzies of that post, first and foremost. I've been reading Math Equals Love for a while now, so I'm well aware of how thoughtful and warm Sarah is, so I have no good reason to be surprised by the depth of her appreciation and the kindness of her words. I guess I'm just cynical and world-weary. #TooCoolForSchool But I thought it would be fun to give my side of the story (such as it is). So: the life of a custom piece of STEM jewelry from Kokoba!
When it comes to blogs, I tend to add in huge binges: during Book Blogger Appreciation Week, ArmchairBEA, or (in this case) right after signing up for BlogLovin'. (Are you on BlogLovin'? You can follow me there!) Confession: I don't really use BlogLovin' at all for actually reading your blogs—that's what I use Inoreader for—but once in a while I peruse the categories. I found Math Equals Love and added it to my feed, and quickly grew to enjoy it. I make math jewelry, and I work as a teacher (though of English, not of math), so two things right up my alley.
I made the decision a while back to try to take my jewelry a little more seriously. I don't know if I want to make Kokoba a full-time endeavor, but my life is at the point where I could handle a fairly serious bump in sales without it eating up to much time or any of my sanity. I have a bookmark folder full of blogs that I still need to get in touch with, still; Sarah was the first blogger I contacted. Conveniently enough, she ended up getting married a while later and so I had the opportunity to make a pi necklace for her wedding. Cool!
There is something about doing a custom piece (or maybe just wedding jewelry?) that unlocks some kind of extra room in my creative brain. And, I won't lie, people also come to me with really awesome ideas for a custom piece that I would have never thought of. Rae's full adder skirt stay has now become two bracelets and a necklace (unlisted because I'm kind of "meh" about it, but the bracelets were snatched up); another custom piece was based on an equation, which I would have never thought to try and represent on my own. Another friend of mine pointed out how easily I could model molecules (somewhat abstractly) in beads. Basically, you all are super smart and give me so many ideas.
Behold, all of the silhouettes I proposed! Sarah eventually chose #3, which is the most like what I usually make. I have a couple like #2 that are back home (and were actually the suggestion of another friend aaaaaages ago), and Natalie often sports a (truncated) version of #5, the only version of that one I've made so far. I should make more. I need more bulk chain, though. (Psst: which one is your favorite? Which one is the most like what you usually wear?)
I like to take things to the next level when I can. Sarah's husband is Australian, a country renowned for some incredible gemstone deposits. And while a stone like mookaite might not be wedding-appropriate, opal sure is! It took some hunting to find opal that was 1) from Australia, 2) of decent quality, and 3) not ridiculously expensive. I eventually found these beautiful rondelles on BeadWalla:
To make things more interesting visually, I paired them with some snowy/milky quartz (which I should still do a geo-shopping post on, yikes) and some sterling beads for spacers. Overall the effect is regular without being too dull or repetitive—or that's how I'd like to think it is!
But more importantly, Sarah was happy with how it came out! (Also, I was freaked the hell out and, like, quadruple-checked the count and the digits, ahahah.) Like I've said before, I'd rather make people happy than have raw sales. Do I think that a math or science nerd needs to have a jewelry collection that's exclusively STEM-related? No way! I'm happy to be that one special piece of jewelry in someone's jewelry box. I hope to be part of many weddings to come. :)