Monday, March 7, 2011


A few weeks ago, I lost my wedding ring.  The house was searched several times over, memory jogging exercises revealed nothing.  Yesterday, my dear husband found it!  He cried.  I cried.  My grandaughter asked why I was crying.  This ring is a symbol, it has great meaning. 

Over to the right, you will see 3 pictures...  A Mother, giving her daughter a beautiful necklace that will add meaning to her wedding day.  A Pearl necklace, someone purchased, having not purchased a nice piece of jewelry in years, gave herself a gift.  And, the third, A group of friends who share something special, giving themselves the gift of sharing a necklace!  MEANING

Recently, I designed a special pair of earrings for a bride for her wedding day.  Last week, she brought her daughter back to choose jewelry for HER wedding day.  MEANING

A mother, brings her daughter to me to give her a jewelry gift for her birthday, that she can wear for her wedding, and after.  MEANING

Jewelry is meant to be an emotional purchase, one that connects you to a part of yourself that you hold dear.  Or one that is a gift you give to someone, because you want them to feel the beauty of your love.  It can be simple, or elaborate... doesn't matter... still MEANING.

Often, I re-visit the "why" of creating my jewelry... and it all comes down to:  connecting at my deepest level,  to a gift given to me, and my desire to share that gift with others.  So that, in the end... what I leave others with is, the gift of MEANING.   Jyl Walker Jewelry Designs~Give Meaning to the Jewelry You Wear! CALL NOW 865.360.3007

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sometimes as an artist, I find inspiration to be elusive... sometimes it becomes just a matter of being still and listening for a while, and reminding myself, that I don't always have to create.  Working in mixed metals is a very different process for me... a longer process with many intricate details to attend to before the finished piece is ready for viewing.  I remind myself to be "in" the process and to enjoy the ride, and I would offer that it makes a big difference in the quality, look and feel of the finished piece.  The "piece" I create, whatever it is... is given much attention... the same attention to detail that you enjoy in my beaded work.  I hope you will continue to follow, and to feel inspired by what you see. 

My work can be found at Liz-Beth Gallery, 9211 Park West Boulevard, Knoxville, TN, or you can visit with me in my studio to create something special & unique just for you or your loved one.  Call now!  865.360.3007. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Earthy Treasures

In order to create natural, earthy treasures, one must only look outside these days to find inspiration.  And so it is with my work... a few moments watching the soft yellows/browns/oranges/reds & greens sway softly in the wind, and kissed by the sun, and I find myself eager to begin the process of creating once again! 

I have spent a few days in this state, sawing, hammering, soldering, cleaning & polishing...  and the results are spectacular...if I do say so myself! 

I've given a few sneak previews, but there is NOTHING like seeing my new line of mixed metal earrings in person!  Now... if you know me, you know all pieces are originals.  Some of these earrings will be available for reproducing so that you can order them for Christmas!

Come visit with me at Liz Beth Gallery, this Friday night, for their 20th Anniversary Party!  So much to feast your eyes and heart on... from many artists who are inspired, and capture the beauty that surrounds us in so many ways!  Park West Boulevard, Knoxville, TN from  5-9pm.  As always, I am available for consultations.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Back Into Fashion & Make Them Look Twice!

Ahhhhh, Fall...  the changing colors of the season are abundant!  One only has to open their front or back door to view the beautiful yellow/golds, orange/rusts, reds & browns... with still a smidgen of greens!  At Jyl Walker Jewelry Designs there is an abundance of these beautiful fall colors to enhance, soften, enliven, your fall/winter wardrobe!  From Carnelian''s beautiful orange, to the rich blues of  Blue Tiger's Eye, to the deep reds of  Ruby, to the depth of beautiful Amber &  warmth of green Tourmaline.  Add to that, the richness of mixed metals of Sterling, Copper, & Vermeil, finely hand crafted into earrings, bracelets, rings & necklaces.  Always original, always fashion forward, always affordable!

This fall is a good time to freshen up your wardrobe, and for that, you'll want to call on the one place you can have your jewelry exactly the way you want it!  Jyl Walker Jewelry Designs!  865.360.3007... call for an appointment today!

"I love Jyl's elegant and easily wearable jewelry creations. Each piece is made with love, real gems, fine metals, and brilliant artistry. Thank you for sharing your talents."  Barbara ~ Knoxville, TN.

"...She was wearing the MOST BEAUTIFULLY AMAZING necklace and earring set made by you!!  I had a hard time looking anywhere except her necklace! "
Monica ~ Knoxville, TN.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some Things You May Not Know About Nickel & Precious Metals

There have been many recalls of Fashion Jewelry made in foreign countries due to the high lead content.  These days, it is also important to look at the Cadmium content, another inexpensive metal used to replace lead, yet just as dangerous, especially to children! 

At Jyl Walker Jewelry Designs, I strive to use only the best materials from the most reputable sources.  I work with precious metals and some copper, taking care in my designs, so that only the precious metals touch your skin. 

Below are some common terms and definitions for purchasing jewelry.  I hope you find them helpful for purchasing purposes.  Please visit my previous blog post for more information, and if you ever have any questions, please, don't hesitate to contact me at

The term precious metals usually means platinum, gold or silver.  Sterling silver, stamped .925, is an alloy of at least 92.5% silver, and (usually) copper.

Fine silver, stamped .999, is at least 99.9% pure silver.

Karat (kt) gold: Pure gold is 24kt, meaning 24 out of 24 parts are gold. 24kt is too soft to be functional, so it is alloyed with other metals for durability, cost and color.

14kt is 14 parts gold out of 24.  The remaining 10 parts are other metals (which can be yellow, rose, green or white), the other parts may be copper, silver, nickel, zinc, tin, palladium and/or manganese. *People with nickel allergies should be aware that white gold contains nickel. 

Gold fill (also called gold overlay) is made by using heat and pressure to apply a layer of karat gold to a base of less costly metal. This produces a surface with karat gold. The minimum layer of karat gold must equal at least 1/20 of the total weight of the item.  The surface layer of karat gold on gold-filled items is usually 10kt, 12kt or 14kt.   To know the thickness of the layer, look for a fraction, such as 1/10 or 1/20. It will be 1/20 unless otherwise stamped.

Vermeil, pronounced "vehr-MAY," is a plating of karat gold over sterling silver.

What are Platings?
A plating is a thin deposit of metal that is electrochemically or otherwise appplied to the surface of a different metal base.  White is the silver color that you most often see on costume jewelry and base-metal findings. White-plated components are generally a bit grayer, but also more durable, than silver-plated components.

Silver plate is a thin surface layer of silver color or actual silver.
Gold plate is a very thin deposit of gold color, or actual gold (about 1/1,000 - 1/1,000,000 of an inch). The color matches 14kt gold.
Copper plate is a bright, shiny copper plating.

Antiqued pewter (AP), Antiqued silver (AS), Antiqued gold (AG), Antiqued brass (AB), Antiqued copper (AC)  has a plating that has been darkened to provide a "distressed" (oxidized) appearance.

Gunmetal plating varies in color from gun blue to matte dark gray to shiny black metal. It often consists of black nickel plated over brass.

Gilt is a very thin finish of gold color (not actual gold).

Vermeil, pronounced "vehr-MAY," is a plating of karat gold over sterling silver.

What's the Difference between Gold Plate and Gold Fill?

Gold fill is 50 to 100,000 times thicker than gold plating, and about 17 to 25,000 times thicker than heavy gold electroplate.

I hope this has been helpful.   It is important to trust the source of your jewelry! 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Little Education About Base Metals

Base Metals:  Copper, zinc, tin, boron, lithium, germanium, platinum, indium and to a much lesser extent these days, nickel.   
In general, Sterling Silver is 92.5% silver, and 7.5% of "something else". The vast majority of the time that "something else" is copper. Copper is nickel free and has the right balance of color, durability and cost to make it the number one choice by raw sterling manufacturers.  The formula for Sterling is always being refined to give it better properties.  

Rhodium is sometimes used (a member of the platinum group) to plate sterling silver to give it the look of white gold.  Unfortunately, rhodium does not stick easily to silver so another metal is often used to coat the silver and the rhodium is plated over that "glue" metal. What is a very popular metal for that "glue" process? You guessed it, nickel. The problem is that rhodium is fairly brittle and can form microscopic cracks. Now the underlying nickel can get moist from your skin and leech out nickel salts. All of a sudden you have an allergic reaction to sterling silver, which is really the underlying nickel causing the rash.  It is also possible for the jewelry piece you have purchased, to be plated with nickel. Because Sterling silver tends to wear and tarnish over time some manufacturers plate their pieces with nickel to give it a long lasting shine.

Alpaca Silver, German Silver, Paktong and New Silver: These are actually different names for Nickel Silver, a silver type that, as the name suggests, will likely contain nickel. These types of silver should be avoided!   In addition, when shopping, try to avoid older pieces that may have been produced when nickel plating was a more common practice.

Since there seems to be no economic benefit to using nickel, and since regulation limiting the use of nickel is spreading, you really should put sterling silver on your list of safe to wear items.  The good news is that it is very unusual for sterling silver to contain nickel anymore, but it doesn't hurt to ask! 

My best advice... Always shop where your "satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back"!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


This week, the week of my birthday, has been one of reflection, respect and renewal. After spending the first part of the week reflecting, sharing with friends, and generally taking stock of the last 50+ years, It came to me, that there are 3 things that have been very important learnings.

(1) Take time to reflect: If there is one cell in your body that is brewing "CaCa", then use your best resources to clear yourself of them! Several of my friends have been sharing about self doubt and self sabotage this week. If you will rid yourself of the "brew", then you become more open, self-loving, self-respecting and confident. Is it easy? Well, at first ... no. But when you find a combination that works for you, go for it with gusto! Don't let anything hold you back from being all you want to be and all you already are!

(2) Share with friends who are willing to stand in with you and see the best in you. I have several friends who are wonderful at coaching and standing in with me as I take this journey... some just share a morning with me and tell me what they see and help me see the best in me.

And (3) Respect yourself, your place in life, your gifts. The more you are wiling to clear, the more open you are and the more of who you are is shared with the world. 10 years ago, if you had said I would be creating beautiful jewelry, I would have doubted you severely. Because I sought out support to change that negativity within myself, I am tapping in to my creativity in amazing ways! When others say what they see, I am grateful to the bones for being willing and able to listen and move into love, gratitude, and creativity.

I wish you well, and if you would like some suggestions for women who are wonderful at standing in with you to support you to do your work around this, email me at and I will share their names with you! All of them are coaches, but each has a special area of expertise!