I would like to introduce Tawny Reynolds from Sundrop Jewelry based in Berkeley, California. Believe it or not, Tawny makes her glass droplet jewelry by means of gravity, glass and the sun! Instead of the usual blown-glass forming methods, she uses a huge magnifying glass to melt recycled glass bottles and stained glass into fun new pieces. Now that is amazing! Nothing better than using what’s around you to create beautiful works of art, her collection is about as green as can be.
Tawny Reynolds from Sundrop Jewelry
Sundrop Jewelry’s Business Story
“My name is Tawny, and I am a work from home mom and the owner of Sundrop Jewelry. Molten glass, silver wire, tiny beads and a three-year old – what could go wrong?
My unique glass and sterling silver jewelry is made using focused sunshine to melt glass into simple and elegant droplets. I use a giant magnifying glass to focus sunshine to melt old liquor bottles and stained glass – the temperature reaches 3000 °F on a good clear day! Sundrop Jewelry is shaped solely by gravity, making my signature droplets a glittering symbol of the combined power of the Earth and Sun.
Sundrop Jewelry was founded in 2005, and has moved around quite a bit with me in the subsequent years, from Seattle, to Denver, to Minneapolis. Currently Sundrop Jewelry is based in Berkeley, California.”
High Tide Pendant
Before Sundrop Jewelry Came to Be
“In my past life I was a PhD grad student working on fossil whales. After deciding that I didn’t want to be a researcher after all, my fiancé and I bought a laundromat. In our spare time we started Sundrop Jewelry with a couple old friends. I took over most of the business when they took a year off to hike from Seattle to the Aleutian Islands, then settled in the cloudiest town in Alaska (it’s hard to melt glass with sunshine when there just isn’t any sunshine). Now it’s mostly a one-woman show, and I split my time between Sundrop Jewelry and my three year old daughter.”
Blushing Beauty Chime Earrings
“My magnifying glass is technically a fresnel lens – flat, with grooves in concentric rings, rather than the convex-style handheld magnifying glass you might imagine. Fresnel lenses were developed for lighthouses, to disperse a single point of light. Turn it around, and it focuses light instead!
Because I melt glass with focused sunshine, only glass that has enough color to absorb the light will melt. Light goes right through clear glass, and hardly heats it up at all.”
A day at the studio with Tawny.
Tawny’s Other Aliases?
“My mom was very anti-nickname (her mother named her Christine to call her Tina, which causes endless trouble for signatures, IDs, credit cards, etc), so she tried very hard to choose names that didn’t lend themselves to nicknaming. It must have worked, because I’ve never gone by anything but Tawny.”
Teal Simple Earrings