Q) Where do you work?

A) I work in a small studio in my backyard (haha...or as I would like to describe it: a vaulted, light filled atelier, situated on an expansive country estate, with a stunning view of the beautiful kitchen potager from one of the massive windows.  It's always summer here and pugs and small children can be viewed gamboling (quietly) amongst the profusion of rose and lavender bushes. Hahahahaha!).

Q) Can I come to your studio to try on jewelry?

A) No, I'm sorry, you can't.  I work from home and I'm honestly not comfortable having strangers come here.  I don't keep jewelry "in stock", since it is all custom order, so there is nothing for you to try on.  I'm also usually smudged with dust and cranky during the studio work day, so I would prefer not to meet strangers in that state.  I'm a bit of a socially awkward, introverted hermit to boot.  Trust me! I'm much better over email or over the phone!  Email is really the best since it leaves a "paper trail" which makes it easier for me to keep track of details and special requests.

Q) Hmmm...well then, is there somewhere that I can go to see your stuff in person?  Do you sell in shops?

A) Not at the moment. Shops generally want to take a large percentage of the sale and that would make my jewelry more expensive, so I have decided not to offer my jewelry in shops at the moment.  If you are willing to pay at least 30% more for what I make I would be glad to have pieces in a shop, but that would make my jewelery unaffordable and that really isn't what I am going for.  I would rather a wider audience be able to afford my things, rather than just those who are lucky enough to be able to afford to shop in boutique jewelry stores.  My pieces and process are also rather time consuming, so it really wouldn't be possible for me to mass produce (even at a very small scale) unless I were to hire people.  Which is a possibility in the future...once I have these twins and get things settled on the home front.

Q) Do you do custom work?

A) Yes, custom work is some of my favorite!  But I do not do custom work in silver, and I only work with customer provided stones on a case by case basis (generally, only round heirloom stones that are in good shape and have been removed from their current setting and inspected by a jeweler other than myself). Keeping that in mind, if you would like me to work with you on something special I would probably be glad to.  

A few more (honest) caveats:

I'm not really interested in making something from a design you've created, to be perfectly frank.  There are plenty of jewelers out there who love to do that and even specialize in it, but I am not one of them.  The only reason I do what I do is to make things from my own head, I don't want to spend my life making others' ideas.  So please take a look at the things that I make, and if you want something that is a variation on what I do I would be glad to accommodate you, but if what you are searching for looks nothing like what I do, I'm probably not going to be able to help you.

I also don't design on commission. I do custom pieces but I don't sell the design, I sell the piece of jewelry. The design will then belong to me. I hope that makes sense? I can't cut off avenues of design for a single piece, I like to leave my options open in all directions. I didn't even make my own wedding ring as an exclusive piece!

Q)  What are the differences in the white metals you use?

A) Silver is the whitest of the metals that I use, and it will look very white when it is clean and polished. Unfortunately, it tarnishes and isn't terribly durable. Traditional white gold is made with nickel in the alloy, and some people have reactions to the nickle.  I mainly use a white gold alloy that is white because of a palladium in the alloy.  It will never need to be plated, but it is slightly darker and more metallic in appearance than traditional white gold.  I also use 950 palladium and 950 platinum.  Palladium is very much like platinum, it will be a metallic sort of steely white. When it is highly polished is is very brilliant.

14kt palladium white gold is a 14kt gold with palladium in the alloy to make it white. Karat refers to the percentage of pure gold in the alloy (in this case 58%), the other part of this alloy is made up of silver, palladium, and copper.

950 palladium is 95% palladium and 5% other metals (my supplier doesn't say what they are since this alloy is proprietary, i.e. a brand name alloy).

950 palladium will be slightly lighter in both color and weight. Since it is a platinum group metal it also has a higher displacement rate than gold. That means that slightly less metal actually rubs off on the things you touch, instead it displaces over itself. Some people say that this makes it more durable.

But those are the main differences between 14kt palladium white gold and 950 palladium...color (slightly lighter), weight (slightly lighter), and displacement rate.

Q) What different hammer textures are there to choose from?

A) Please see this link, these are the three main textures I use:


Q) Single B seems like an odd name for a company that specializes in wedding jewelry.  Is there an explanation?

A) Yes, there is.  Although my legal name is Justine, I don't think I actually knew that my name was Justine until I was 8 or 9.  My real name is Bean (or Beani), and I feel more like Bean than Justine (I'm a little fonder of my name now, it took many years, though), and so I when I was casting around for a good name for my company, singleB just sort of stuck.

Q) Where did you learn how to do what you do?

A) After I spent two years studying international and comparative law in a masters program in Nanjing, China (ugh...law, not China..China was awesome! (Oh, how I long for a jianbing from a street food cart.)  And it wasn't really even the law.  I love law, I just didn't dig on learning about law in Chinese.  It made my mind into mush), I attended an intensive jewelry making course in San Francisco.  I learned most of what I know there, although I did do some metal smithing in college and I also have a fine arts minor.

Q) What is with the pugs?

A) They are called Gunter and Dieter (Gunter for the Nobel winning author of the Tin Drum, Gunter Grass....Dieter, just because it sounded good with Gunter).  They are the gremlins that inhabit my house. (Or as they would say it:  Vee ahr zee exchange students come from zee fahter-land to study zee Ahmerica coolture, yah.)