When Jeff and I had been planning our journey to Arcata, California for the Marching Lumberjack band reunion final fall, I did a fast on-line search to see what was new within the space, and I used to be stunned to see that the Holly Yashi jewellery studio was in Arcata.  I used to be accustomed to the jewellery as a result of my BFF Barbara has worn their earrings for years and I have been along with her as she’s shopped for them, however I had no concept that they had been made in Arcata!  Once I noticed that the studio was inside strolling distance of our lodge, that sealed the deal – we might should go test it out.

Holly Yashi was based in 1981 by Holly Hosterman and Paul “Yashi” Lubitz, each Humboldt State College graduates.  What started of their storage has developed right into a profitable enterprise of knickknack as artwork, as Holly likes to say, and I now personal a number of wearable items of artwork because of my go to to their studio.

We arrived on the retailer, and it was just about my dream to stroll inside and be one with the jewellery.  The gross sales employees had been all tremendous pleasant, providing us espresso or water, and giving us area to stroll round and drool over every thing.  Look towards the again of this shot – that’s the manufacturing space – and sure, every thing is made proper there.  Our saleswoman mentioned a tour was beginning in about 30 minutes, so we determined to hold round for that.
The ready space for the tour.  Because it turned out, there was simply Jeff and I and one different lady, so we received to see every thing up shut with out having to jockey for place.  Our information ended up being our saleswoman, and he or she was a hoot.  

Holly Yashi jewellery is understood for its distinctive look – it is manufactured from niobium steel that’s dipped into a shower of electrically charged water that creates a everlasting colour on it.  We received to see how that occurs on the tour, in addition to many different ways in which their designs are made.  It was fascinating to see how the jewellery comes collectively, starting with Holly’s sketched designs and ending with lovely items of knickknack.

That is their custom-made water jet machine – it does the exact cuts of the steel that begins the jewellery course of.  We noticed skinny sheets of steel with the designs lower, and a employee was popping each bit out, one after the other.
Sprucing the perimeters.
It is a grasp board, which exhibits every present piece and in what order every thing goes – particularly essential for the bracelets and necklaces which have a whole lot of elements.
It will get fairly sophisticated!
She was setting stones, which created the half within the subsequent image.
Each a part of each piece is completed by hand.  I had no concept…I actually thought this was totally automated.  Nope.  If you’re sporting a Holly Yashi necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings, it was created by the folks you see in these photos.
Making Pansy Publish earrings – it was so cool to see the items come collectively after which see the identical earrings on the market within the showroom.
There’s a die for every jewellery design to make use of within the press.  They had been hanging from a bicycle chain system which made it straightforward to spin and select the precise die wanted at any given second.
Everybody who labored there was so gracious and took the time to indicate us how they labored their magic with no matter they occurred to be making.

This is the method of coloring the niobium steel by way of water tub:

This sheet tells her how excessive to show the dial on the electrical dealie (sure that is the technical time period I am certain) to get the specified colour.  It was fascinating to look at occur and fairly mesmerizing.
Delivery division.  If you are going to buy something from their web site, now you realize the place your bundle began out.
Holly wasn’t there that day however Paul (Yashi) was, so we received to have slightly chat with him – he is very energetic and smitten by their jewelry-making course of, as you may think.
Our tour information – she and Jeff riffed backwards and forwards and by the tip of the tour had fashioned fairly the bond.
Me with my little bag of goodies in entrance of the showroom and manufacturing studio.
Why sure, I needed to put on one pair of earrings instantly!

The tour was actually attention-grabbing and I realized so much – I’ve a brand new appreciation for a way a lot craftsmanship goes into each bit of Holly Yashi jewellery now.  And whilst you know I used to be going to purchase one thing or three, they did give a reduction on the finish of the tour, so I had much more enjoyable buying – plus I received just a few Christmas items as effectively.

I selected items that I noticed being made on our tour (or related items).  I’ve worn all of them fairly a bit within the three months since our tour – some days it is laborious to determine which pair to put on!

I discovered a brief (about four minute) video on the Holly Yashi web site that offers you a digital tour and explains in slightly extra element how their course of works – click on right here if you need to look at it.  And hey – when you ever end up in Arcata, remember to cease by and take a tour in individual!

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