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Musings from the Bench

How I Design Jewelry in my Sleep

How I Design Jewelry in my Sleep

It might seem strange, but most of my designs come to me while I’m sleeping. It’s true!

 I’ll dream about a shape first, then later it becomes a rough design, or sometimes the designs are obvious, and I’ll wake up, draw a quick sketch in a notebook I keep next to my bed, then drift off back to sleep.  There’s nothing worse than losing an idea that has great potential. I’ve learned this lesson before, so when inspiration strikes, I make sure to document it; otherwise, it may be lost forever. 

My designs are influenced by architecture, modern art, geometric shapes, and nature. 

I process the world around me, translating structures and objects into small wearable pieces of art. 

I’m inspired by modern art and artists such as Mark Rothko, Sonia, Robert Delaunay, and Alexander Calder, who is mainly known for his large-scale mobiles, but was also a jewelry artist. I also find inspiration from the works of African American modernist jewelry designers Art Smith and Winifred Mason (who were jewelry designers in the 1940s and 50s). 

art smith & winifred mason jewelry artists

Art Smith was influenced by surrealism and primitivism and considered the human form in every aspect of his work, from design to being worn:

 “A piece of jewelry is in a sense an object that is not complete in itself. Jewelry is a ‘what is it?’ until you relate it to the body. The body is a component in design just as air and space are. Like line, form, and color, the body is a material to work with. It is one of the basic inspirations in creating form.” 

Winifred Mason, a mentor to Art Smith, worked primarily in copper. West Indian cultural traditions heavily influenced her designs, and she later went on to sell her one-of-a-kind pieces in several premier department stores. Mason was the first commercial African-American jeweler in the United States.  

My contemporary and minimalist jewelry is influenced by many diverse sources. 

My designs are all structural, linear, and contemporary - inspired by my love of science and my affinity for art, architecture (especially mid-century modern), nature, and African and abstract objects. Buildings, bridges, or wrought-iron gates help me envision the elements that could become a necklace, earrings, or a bracelet.  

It’s not difficult to see the influence of other artists, art and architecture in my work. 

My idea for a piece often starts with a single beautiful gemstone, which inspires the design around it. After a design is conceived, I use hammers, punches, and dies to form shapes using recycled sterling silver wire or sheets. I’m always striving to design jewelry incorporating elements of movement and flow. 

Inside my Studio before a Show

When I’m getting ready for a new collection, or an in-person show, I’m usually head down at my bench for weeks, getting everything exactly as I want it. It can get a little bit chaotic in the studio when creative juices are flowing. I spend my days ordering materials, gemstones and am absorbed in designing and making.  I'm also fulfilling orders from collectors who saw my work at a show, went to my website and placed an order. 

Below is a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes pre-show chaos:


chaotic & messy jewelry studio


The James Renwick Gallery JRA Day Show 

I’m very excited (okay, I'm over the moon)  to share that I got accepted to the James Renwick Gallery JRA Day virtual and in-person shows in November and December. 

The James Renwick Alliance is the membership arm of art enthusiasts, collectors, artists, and educators for the James Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.  It is the Smithsonian museum dedicated to contemporary American craft. 

This prestigious art show is similar to the Smithsonian Craft Show. These types of shows require more artistic jewelry pieces, which are perfectly aligned with my work. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m honored to be included.  At the in-person show in December, I will be launching a new collection in 14K solid gold.    

For more information about the JRA show: 

If you’re in the DC/MD/VA area, I’d love to see you at an upcoming show:

list of art shows for Candace Stribling Jewelry


I hope you will come to one of the shows.  I would love to meet and show you my jewelry line in-person. 


Can’t make it to a show? Check back often to see what’s new in my online shop! 

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Why We Love Bloodstone

Why We Love Bloodstone

 Bloodstone promotes abundance, good fortune, and effortless energy flow. Oh, and if those are reasons aren’t enough, keep reading to learn why you need some Bloodstone in your life. 

Bloodstone is featured in my new capsule collection launching soon. 

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Five Reasons to LOVE Peridot

Five Reasons  to LOVE Peridot

There’s a lot you might not know (yet) about this shimmery, lush green gem, the birthstone for anyone born in August. Its sparkling beauty is undeniable, for starters, plus it’s got some unique healing and protective qualities. Keep reading to learn more about why we love Peridot:

 💚 Are you green with envy or love?

If you love green, you might think that emerald is your only option for gemstones, but you have another brilliant choice: Peridot. This August birthstone is made of iron and magnesium, which is responsible for its beautiful yellowish-green hues. Peridot often comes from volcanic rocks, which are rich in both iron and magnesium.

💚 Need a little mood booster?

The Egyptians called Peridot the “gem of the sun” because it appeared warm, bright, and transparent. Many believed that Peridot would protect the wearer from night terrors or could ward off evil spirits. Associated with balance and strength, Peridot brings peace and harmony to your mind and body. It also improves your mood and enhances creativity!

💚 Do you love a stone with history?

There is strong evidence that Cleopatra’s famous Emerald collection might have been Peridot instead. In medieval times most people believed Peridot to be emerald, which would explain the confusion. Historians thought that the stunning 200-carat gems at the Three Holy Kings in the Cologne Cathedral in Germany were Emeralds when there are Peridots.

Cleopatra wearing a headdress


💚Feeling Exotic?

Peridot, the August birthstone, and the 16th wedding anniversary gift come from hardened volcanic rock, meteorites, and some fancy exotic places like Peridot Beach in Hawaii, known for its shimmering green sand.

💚 Made in the USA too!

Originally mined in Egypt and Burma, did you know that you can find Peridot in the United States?

Arizona is the primary source of Peridot found in the United States. Volcanic eruptions resulted in lava spreading across the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation thousands of years ago when it was still just a barren desert. 

💎 Care Guide for Peridot: 

Show it some love!

Unlike diamonds with a hardness of 10 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, Peridot is softer, with a hardness of 6.5 to 7. Because of this, Peridot is best used for necklaces and earrings as opposed to rings which can expose the stone to scratches. Caring for Peridot takes a little extra TLC and should be done by hand with mild dish soap and warm water to preserve the stone. 

Craving something with rich color, history, meaning, and allure?

Of course, tall tales and folklore aside, if you love a luscious green stone, and the more common Emerald doesn’t excite you, you’ve got to add some Peridot pieces to your jewelry collection!


Explore all Peridot Jewelry HERE.

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Mother's Day

Mother's Day

In her eyes, you’re everything. She’s the one who’s always there for you, good and bad, thick and thin. She’s a role model, teacher, mentor, friend. She’ll tell it to you straight but loves you anyway if you ignore her advice. She’s your mom, grandma, aunt, or big sister, and you always want her to know what she means to you. 

In a world of blended families of every shape and size, Mother’s Day is not just about your biological mom. Mothers, grandmothers, and stepmothers (even fur moms) show up every day in extraordinary and ordinary ways. She’s your BFF when you want to have fun, and your reality check when life gets rocky. The two of you are inseparable, connected for life.

Even when you’re far apart, separated by miles or oceans, she’s there for you. When the road gets bumpy, or you’re celebrating a significant accomplishment, she’s right there beside you. There’s no one like her in this world, and you want her to know how you feel.  

On May 9, we’ll celebrate every type of mother figure (even fur moms).  And while she’ll probably say, “oh, I don’t need any gifts,” you’re already planning to celebrate and honor her with something that’s as special and unique as she is. 

Show her how much you love her by giving her a gift that lasts a lifetime.   



About My Signature Mobius Collection 

The Mobius strip motif, utilized in various ways in each piece, is a continuous loop made from sterling silver (some designs have 14K yellow gold rings intertwined with sterling silver). It symbolizes balance, unity, and eternity from mother to child to grandchild.  Perfect for Mother’s Day gifting! 

Shop the Mother’s Day Gift Guide  for the perfect piece of jewelry! Touch her heart, make her day, and show her how much you love her.  

Mothers Day Gift Guide

All orders Mother’s Day orders over $100 will include an extra little gift: a beautifully scented candle, perfect for wrapping her in a luxurious blend of warmth and love. 


scented candle with fresh flowers or fruit


Use code MomsGift to redeem your complimentary gift!   Enter 'MomsGift' in the coupon code when checking out.   Supplies are limited.  Don't miss out.  These candles smell wonderful. 




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Show Your Power! Wear Jewelry that Inspires You

Show Your Power! Wear Jewelry that Inspires You

Who wasn’t mesmerized by Amanda Gorman, the young woman at the podium on Inauguration Day, captivating and holding the nation’s attention as she read her original poem?

Amanda is more than an inspiration; she’s a shining example of what women can do with their gifts. On January 20, 2021, she stood in front of the Capitol building, our nation, and the world to uplift and inspired us. She commanded respect and admiration despite her age because she was empowered to do so. Amanda is a role model for all women of all ages. And did you happen to notice her jewelry?

The bird-in-a-cage ring on Amanda’s finger was gifted to her by Oprah Winfrey in honor of  Maya Angelou’s poem; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Amanda wore this ring to make a powerful statement and give herself the extra boost of confidence needed to share her wisdom before a very divided nation.

Jewelry is much more than adornment; it’s an opportunity for personal expression. It can help us make an impact, initiate action, and inspire change.


Jewelry can be used intentionally and purposefully to make a statement.

Jewelry has power!

Jewelry is more than just adornment; it’s a celebration of strength, courage, and our unique beauty.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th and Women’s History Month, we recognize our sisters doing amazing things every day...

  • The moms who have found a way to work while also overseeing their children’s education during virtual school,
  • The women business owners not merely surviving but thriving because they were savvy and smart and grew their online businesses,
  • The women scientists, doctors, nurses, and front-line workers, putting themselves in harm’s way and making monumental sacrifices to fight the battle against COVID-19.

Jewelry is a personal expression of who we are without words. It makes us feel empowered when we wear that ring, necklace, or bracelet against our skin, like armor. We send a message to the world...

As we celebrate Women's History Month and  International Women's Day on March 8th remember:

  • we are strong.

  • we are smart.

  • we are role models.

  • we celebrate each other, and

  • we are unstoppable! 

Feel the power with a piece from my Culler Lake collection.  The design is a series on concentric circles, reminiscent of the the ripples in a lake.   The circles are continuous and reaches out in an ever-growing circles just like women all around the world connecting and growing together.   Happy International Women's Day to each of you.  We are stronger together. 







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7-Reasons to Fill Your Jewelry Box with Sterling Silver

7-Reasons to Fill Your Jewelry Box with Sterling Silver

She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.


Have you ever wondered about this phrase? The term is associated with luxury and wealth, yet many people still think of sterling silver as just a cheap alternative to white gold. But, I’m here to tell you it’s SO much more than that. 

From a jewelry designer’s perspective, sterling silver is the perfect combination of malleability, beauty, and durability. It has everything I need to design and make beautiful, versatile, and timeless jewelry. 

“Sterling silver comprised of 92.5% silver and a mere 7.5% other metal alloys, brings the tradition of luxurious silver to jewelry.” 

Whether you're looking for everyday accessories or a timeless statement piece, you'll find sterling silver jewelry that seems tailored to your personal tastes.

 7 Reasons Why You Should Add Sterling Silver To Your Jewelry Box....

  1. Sterling Silver Jewelry is Durable 

When taken care of correctly, sterling silver jewelry can last a lifetime. Savvy women already know that their sterling silver pieces can still look new, even after forty years! 

True .925 sterling silver is an investment, but worth the extra cost for the quality and lifetime value of the jewelry. Some of your well-made pieces may even become family heirlooms. 

To make sure that you're getting the best quality jewelry, always buy from established, reputable jewelry companies, and look for these hidden marks on your new accessory:

These stamps indicate the purity of the silver and also sometimes the country of origin and the maker.

.925 sterling silver mark


  1.  Keep Up with Fashion Trends 

Any woman who likes to keep up with the latest styles knows that the fast pace of fashion jewelry trends can be dizzying. Keeping up with what's in and what's out is exhausting, and expensive. 

Luckily, sterling silver's popularity means it's always in fashion. The latest styles in jewelry will always include sterling silver, even if the designs change. 

Recently, for example, gemstones and uncut minerals, set in sterling silver, have become a staple of Spring and Summertime accessories. 

Keeping a few sterling silver pieces on hand in your jewelry rotation is a sure way to make sure you always look your best.  

  1. The Options are Endless 

Because silver is a very versatile metal, it's a favorite for innovation and creativity among jewelry designers. This means you’ll always be able to find new and exciting pieces to fit your personal style. 

Whether you're looking for a locket, bracelet, ring, or pendant, there are thousands of options. 

Even sterling silver loyalists are not limited to the same variations on old concepts. Innovation is constant. There will always be a new sterling silver piece to spruce up your collection! 

  1. You Can Easily Build Your Personal Jewelry Collection 

The variety of sterling silver options makes it easy to completely build or upgrade your jewelry collection. 

Want to build a look around one of your more expensive statement pieces?

Want to build a look around one of your more expensive statement pieces? 

Sterling silver complements most metals, so your pieces will all work together, giving you endless combinations and options to build your signature fashion style. 

Looking for unique high-end pieces?

Sterling silver should be on your list. Designers use it to cast their most creative designs all the time. One of the big perks of sterling silver is that it's not just popular with consumers, it's also popular with designers. 

“People are excited to buy the latest styles that designers create, and designers are happy to keep creating new things. Everybody wins!” 

  1. Incredible Versatility 

Sterling silver jewelry is appropriate for any occasion… 

  • Dressing up a casual dinner outfit? Sterling silver fits the bill!
  • PTA meeting? Yes, sterling silver! 
  • Meeting your girlfriends for brunch? Sterling silver is a perfect choice! 
  • Want to add sterling silver to a jewelry collection that already has a lot of white gold or platinum pieces? Do it! 

You can confidently wear sterling silver jewelry with a white gold or platinum piece and still create a look that is put together. The colors are close enough that you won't look like you're mixing up jewelry. Instead, you'll create a new image that is uniquely you.  

  1. Hypoallergenic Jewelry 

Unlike pieces that are made of inexpensive nickel, brass, or other base metals, which can irritate your skin, sterling silver jewelry doesn't contain metal additives that can cause an allergic reaction. 

This is especially important for accessories like earrings. You can wear them without fear that a piercing will get infected. 

Wear your silver with confidence knowing that you won't face any consequences later.  

  1. Easy to Care For 

As beautiful as silver is, many women avoid it because it’s prone to tarnish. 

It's disappointing to see a favorite piece looking dirty or discolored after sitting in a jewelry box for too long. All silver can tarnish with time, especially if it's not worn often. It’s the nature of this beautiful metal. 

Here's the good news…

  • Wearing your jewelry can actually help prevent tarnish. The oils on your skin 'clean' the metal, which means you don't have to worry about that dirty look.
  • Even if your sterling silver jewelry does dull, there are easy ways to restore its original shine.
  • By storing your pieces in individual bags, or compartments in your jewelry box, instead of sitting out in the open, you can prevent a lot of this tarnish
  • There are gentle cleaners and soft polishing cloths to return your pieces to as good as new!

 Are you ready to add to your collection? Or, just beginning? Check out my newest sterling silver pieces HERE, to get started.

 Or contact me to start a custom, one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry made JUST for YOU!


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What’s happening at Candace Stribling Jewelry

What’s happening at Candace Stribling Jewelry

Since January, I took a hiatus so I could rethink my business and come up with ways I can better serve you, my customers, now and in the future.  This process has been eye-opening. I’ve learned there are a lot of things I’ve done well but there is room to change and grow.    Read how CSJ rebranded.    

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