Welcome to the new Forge & Fountain!

Hand Crafted Wedding & Engagement Rings by Forge & Fountain

Hello friends, family, and wedding-bound shoppers!

We are so proud to introduce to you our new website featuring our Wedding and Engagement ring collections, a list of local events we are exhibiting at, and a blog where you'll find news of our latest designs, heirloom pieces, and special projects. 

Our mission is to provide beautiful heirloom and custom jewelry to our clients. But above that, we are passionate about kindness, equity, and justice as principles to live and work by. Our work as Forge & Fountain is an expression of empathy and inclusion, honoring people’s differences and celebrating their bonds. We hope you will love what we've put together to illustrate that commitment to you!

We have many people to thank for their assistance and encouragement in putting together the many details that went into launching this endeavor. First and foremost: we were incredibly fortunate to have the pleasure of working with Tanya Anguita of Frogsong Photography for our first candid photoshoot. We're absolutely thrilled with the wonderful images she captured.

Thank you also to Rose Souders and Rebecca Hansen of Potluck Consulting, who helped us fine tune the website and focus our message. We're so grateful!

And thank you finally to the many friends who offered their encouragement and thoughtful feedback on designs, narrative, and functionality. We hope you enjoy the view.

Morganite & 18K Fairmined Gold Solitaire

October 03, 2017 by Holly DeFount

The Beautiful Resistance

The dandelion is strong; its roots go deep.
The dandelion spreads vigorously, even in poor soil.
The dandelion is hard to kill.
The dandelion is impossible to eradicate.
The dandelion cannot be subjugated.
#RESIST

 

 

The story behind the Dandelion Resistance in Holly’s words.

The Election, the Resistance and Political Expression in the Jewelry Arts

How do you square politics and art? Especially an art of luxury, such as fine jewelry?

We seriously asked ourselves that question, in the wake of the 2016 Election.

As conscientious and civically engaged citizens, Josh and I were devastated by the tide that turned last November. As self-employed artists, our means are limited, and we wanted to do everything we could to support the cause, which is now collectively known as the Resistance. Did you see those amazing “We the People” posters going up on Inauguration Day? We are proud to have supported that project by The Amplifier Foundation.

Musing on the role of art in supporting the Resistance, we found an abundance of lore on jewelry in wartime and eras of political turmoil and transformation. From sweetheart mementos, to war medals made into pendants, to Victory brooches, jewelry designers have never shied away from making political statements with their art in times of trouble. Statements of Strength, Beauty, Endurance, Solidarity. We’ve followed suit.

           

The Dandelion

After meditating on imagery and symbolism that resonated for me on what could be a long, hard road of the Resistance ahead, I settled on the Dandelion. Regardless of one’s feelings toward the plant as an often unwelcome garden resident, you’ve got to agree that the dandelion is basically indomitable. Did you know that “dandelion” is derived from the French “dents de lyon,” or lion’s teeth? Also incredibly apropos for the Resistance.

I sketched out a dandelion motif in the art nouveau style which turned out to be a necklace. As I started carving the design out of wax and the sketch began to take physical form, we knew something special was manifesting.

Ethical Materials and Support for the ACLU

Josh and I have made sure that every step of production of this heirloom necklace has meaning, beyond the “RESIST” carved into the back of the flower head. We proudly partnered with a woman-owned and operated casting studio in San Francisco, JR Casting, for the necklace centerpieces. Our chosen gemstones are American Mined™, and responsibly sourced and cut by a company that is committed to best practices in traceability, labor rights, and fair trade. And finally, at least $100 per necklace sold will be donated to the ACLU Foundation. There are so many worthy causes to support during the Resistance, and we concluded that the highest good our money can support right now is the civil rights of all Americans. We hope this choice resonates with you as well.

Our finished Dandelion Resistance Necklace is fabricated in 100% Argentium, a lustrous, tarnish-resistant form of sterling silver, and set with American Mined™ gemstones. We’ve designed two versions of this unique necklace for you. We chose these natural gemstones* specifically because they are of traceable origin (mined in California and Oregon) which is rare in the business of precious and semi-precious gemstones.

Energetically, the Fire Opal enhances imagination and brings vitality and a creative energy to endeavors. It brings inspiration to projects, ambitions, and to relationships, helping you stay on your chosen path in the face of obstacles. This is such a blessing in times of transformation! The champagne colored Sunstone embodies the radiance of the sun. Its vibration opens the heart, fosters warmth and benevolence, strengthens resolve and heightens focus and action. Sunstone is said to be a stone of leadership, personal power, freedom, and expanded consciousness. Sunstone also helps alleviate fearfulness and stress, and protects against those who drain your energies or finances.

To make this necklace as affordable as possible, we are offering the first 15 necklaces at just over our cost of production + the $100 contribution to the ACLU Foundation. Once the first 15 orders are fulfilled, the price of the necklaces will increase to their full retail value of $435 and $475 respectively, which will then include a $200 per necklace contribution to the ACLU Foundation. We want every sale of this piece to have a real impact in support of our freedom…in support of the Resistance.

Do you want to support the Resistance by gifting this Dandelion necklace to someone special? Each gifted necklace will come with a small certificate with the donation amount in your name, or a name that you specify. Please share this post with anyone you know who loves heirloom jewelry and has a passion for justice! Take heart; supporting the Arts is one of the most important tools we have as a society to cultivate empathy, human connection, and hope.

*If you’d like a different 4mm accent stone in place of the Fire Opal, we have garnet, amethyst, peridot, blue topaz, white topaz, smoky quartz, and citrine available. Send us a private message to request another gemstone. Please note that fulfillment of your order may take 3-4 weeks. California sales are subject to sales tax; shipping cost in the domestic U.S. will be an additional $9.

We’re also tossing around the idea a ring, bracelet, and earrings based on this design. Sign up for email updates and you’ll be the first to know when something new from this line becomes available. 

#RESIST #TAKEROOT #BEAUTIFULRESISTANCE
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Check out these links:

JR Casting, San Francisco

Art Campaign by the Amplifier Foundation 
“We The People” Art Campaign

 

 
My Collection of Resistance Art

Sustaining the Arts

“The artist’s vocation is to send light into the human heart.” ~ George Sand

And boy, do we need an infusion of light in a pretty dark world right about now.

It’s kind of amazing to realize this, but Josh and I are actually making jewelry full time at present. Despite the increasingly unpredictable horizon, but we’re hoping we can keep it up for the foreseeable future.

As an artist, you’re always second guessing yourself. Is my work worthwhile? Do people like it, want it, need it? And if yes to that…Are they willing to pay me a living wage for it? In times of great uncertainty and well, let’s not mince words here, GREAT FEAR, it’s difficult to rationalize wanting to make your living creating and selling beautiful but non-essential “luxury” items. So I have to remember and remind myself often how important it is to stay connected to the inspiration and meaning in your work. It’s not all just sparkle and bling. For us, making jewelry is about creating beauty for people to relate to, to express themselves with, and to show the world what they find beautiful and meaningful. People buy and wear jewelry to reflect what shines in their innermost self.

This is a sacred art.

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Not everyone thinks of jewelry in those terms, but the people that love our work generally do. And that’s what keeps us going.

It’s been a long, arduous summer and fall with 17 shows already under our belt, and gearing up again for the last 2 back to back weekend shows through early December. Between shows, I’ve been working diligently on marketing, scheduling, updating our Etsy shop, and keeping our online presence consistent and interesting, while Josh has done the lion’s share of studio work. We’re beginning to see the fruits of all this groundwork starting to come about, but it is often a difficult slog in an era when people are rightfully concerned about the future, weary of commercialism, and reluctant to spend their hard earned dollars on “frivolous” items. Like handmade jewelry. Like art, paintings, pottery, and whimsy. Like anything other than skyrocketing rents, meals, and the technology we rely on to hold our lives together.

img_4955But somehow, we’re still growing, albeit slowly and not without frequent obstacles. Despite the uncertainty of the economy, indie street art festivals, maker faires, and pop-up markets are gaining ground all over the bay area, and really all over the country. Why? Because an ever growing number of folks truly see the need for and the value of art—and specifically of hand crafted items—and the long term benefits of supporting one another in our local economies. And you know what, after the initial shock of the election results (and the aftershocks that just keep coming), I think we need to have this faith in ourselves, and we need to support each other, now more than ever.

“It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.” ~Max Eastman

 

To this end, we’re spreading as much holiday cheer as we can with our jewelry, as well as the fantastic work of our fellow friends, artists, and local galleries. If you want to help spread the love with us, please add your voice to the comments, share your favorite artists and artisans, and share this post with everyone you know who could use a nudge toward supporting the arts and buying local.

And if you’re looking to do some fun holiday shopping this coming weekend, come see us along with hundreds of wonderful independent artists and artisans at the San Jose Harvest Festival!

“I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists.” ~ Marcel Duchamp

The Smith Comes Full Circle

College of Marin
Here’s something new and exciting: Josh is now teaching Beginning Jewelry & Metalsmithing at his old stomping grounds, the College of Marin Community Ed Jewelry Department!

img_4715Most folks these days don’t know this bit of trivia, but Josh got started in the arts by learning to blacksmith as a kid, and when he saw a demonstration of “whitesmithing” or silver work, he fell in love. He began taking jewelry classes at College of Marin in his late teens and even worked as a shop tech in the jewelry department for several years. It was only when he was offered a production job with an established jewelry studio that he left College of Marin and continued his “education” in the field.

As it happens, an old friend from the College had taken over teaching jewelry classes some years later, and decided he wanted to pursue another position this fall and expand his horizons. Josh was the first person he thought of to take over teaching the beginners, and the rest is history. A brief history, but he’s already halfway through the quarter before we had a chance to blog about it!

img_6055Josh decided for their first class project this quarter he’d teach students how to fabricate a decorative pill box out of copper sheet. Here’s the sample he used to demonstrate the different construction steps; it measures just over 1″ in diameter. And yes, you’re seeing that right–it’s the direwolf of House Stark from Game of Thrones.

Because–WINTER IS COMING, PEOPLE!

College of Marin Jewelry Class

Have you been wanting to learn basic metalsmithing and jewelry techniques?

(Josh is a fantastic teacher—just ask any of his students from the Piedmont Highlanders Scottish Dance class where he’s been teaching on and off since 2007.)

This semester is already well underway, but you can flip through the college’s Community Ed website and course schedule to see what next semester might look like in terms of scheduling. If you are interested in taking Josh’s Beginning Jewelry & Metalsmithing class, drop us a line and we’ll let you know when registration for the Spring semester opens.

Hopefully in a few weeks we’ll have some examples of students’ work to show off, but in the meanwhile it’s back to the studio for us–time to buckle down and get ready for our first southern California show in 2 weeks, the Del Mar Harvest Festival!

 

October 06, 2016 by Holly DeFount

Autumn Harvest


Handmade shoppers! Autumn is here, and we’re really excited to make our beautiful jewelry debut at the famous Harvest Festivals!

blackened silver jewelryOur season begins with the Pleasanton Harvest Festival this weekend, Friday-Sunday, September 16-18. We will be located in Building A at booth #401. We have a limited number of VIP passes good for one adult admission ($9 value) and would love to give them to you! Please fill out the form below with your contact information and which show(s) you’re interested in attending. Have a look here for the rest of our event dates this season. 

Citrine & Sunshine

One of the funniest things about being an artist is that you just can’t predict which of your pieces or styles is going to be popular. So often I’ve struggled with a piece intensely and been on the verge of trashing it, only to find it is the very first thing that sells at the next show.

Which brings me to the humble Citrine.

 

A sunny and cheerful but otherwise unassuming form of quartz: citrine, to our surprise, has turned out to be our Etsy shop’s best-selling gemstone. It gets more hits as a search term and has been favorited more than any other item in the shop…but why? Well, why not? Its warm energy resonates with so many other things that I love…lemons, marmalade, roses, honey, scotch! It’s a great stone to associate with warmth, nourishment, and harvest. So here’s a little trivia for you on this sunny, sweet little stone.

Citrine ranges in color from pale yellow to a deep orange or russet, with variations in greenish or brownish gold. Our favorite to work with is Golden Citrine, a deep yellow-gold, reminiscent of a ripe Meyer lemon. GIA, the Gemological Institute of America says: “Citrine’s attractive color, plus the durability and affordability it shares with most other quartzes, makes it the top-selling yellow-to-orange gem.” It also happens to be one of the two main birthstones for the month of November (Scorpio & Sagittarius), along with traditional Topaz. But maybe the appeal is more for its metaphysical properties.

Citrine LunulaCitrine’s golden glow also resonates astrologically with the zodiac sign of Leo. Leo’s confidence, ambition, and enthusiasm are a great match for citrine’s energy. Wear or carry some citrine to align yourself with these qualities, or to attract its vibrant energy into your life.Judy Hall (The Crystal Bible) describes citrine as a cleansing, energizing, and regenerative stone, embodying the warmth and nurturing power of the Sun. It is also often referred to as the “Success Stone,” probably due to the harmonious qualities of joy, confidence, generosity, and abundance it evokes. It’s also said that citrine absorbs and transmutes negative energy, making it a beautiful and effective defense against stress and the turmoils of day to day challenges. As an emotional enhancer, citrine is said to help release sadness and fear, quell anger and self-doubt, and help cultivate positivity and hope.

Check out what we currently have in citrine in our Etsy shop!

No matter what your sun sign or astrological inclinations are, we have some beautiful loose citrines in stock, and would love to make something special just for you! 

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August 24, 2016 by Holly DeFount

Summer Show Schedule

Greetings, friends and jewelry lovers!
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Seems like it’s been ages since we’ve blogged, but we promise it’s going to happen a little more often now. Not only have we refreshed our style and brand this summer, but we committed to exhibiting at 18 art festivals around the Bay Area and southern California. We hope to see you in person at any or all of these fun events over the coming months.

Here’s our current show schedule, starting with the fabulous Park Street Art & Wine Festival this coming weekend, July 30-31:


upload-6250399356582820729park st art & wine festival
july 30-31  |  downtown alameda

fremont festival of the arts
august 6-7  |  paseo padre parkway

los gatos fiesta de artes
august 13-14  |  los gatos civic center

burlingame on the avenue
august 20-21  |  downtown burlingame

bodega seafood art & wine festival
august 27-28  |  watts ranch, bodega

mountain view art & wine festival
september 10-11  |  downtown castro street

harvest festival pleasanton
september 16-18  |  alameda county fairgrounds

harvest festival del mar
october 21-23  |  del mar fairgrounds

harvest festival san mateo
november 11-13  |  san mateo county events center

harvest festival sacramento
november 18-20  |  cal expo

harvest festival san jose
november 25-27  |  san jose mcenery convention center

harvest festival pomona
december 2-4  |  fairplex expo 4

July 26, 2016 by Holly DeFount