Michigan Made Monday, Solstice Edition: Ann Russ's Sacred Ceramics! - Beth Millner Jewelry

Michigan Made Monday, Solstice Edition! Featuring: Ann Russ's Sacred Ceramics

April 06, 2015

Let me start off with saying that yes, I know, I'm over two weeks late making a Solstice post. That being said, there is snow on the ground, and I need to remind myself that Spring is, after all, still here, technically speaking.  I saw my first big boat of the spring on my run yesterday evening!

With snow on the ground and sun in the sky today, I'd like to talk about transitions and times of change, and therefore times of growth, whether these times are chosen by us or chosen for us. 

As those of you who are lucky enough to live in the Great White North know, winter can be hard.  Dark, isolating, cold, and long.  Maybe some of you who are former Northerners left for this exact reason, and no one can shame you for that. Winter can be really...difficult...up here. 

Maybe that's the reason that so many artists and creative people find the Northwoods a perfect place to create--we're up-close and personal with the dark and looking at our inner selves nine months of the year. 

Art and life-transitions often walk side by side. Here at the shop, we've been noticing lately how deeply connecting a piece of jewelry can be, whether a custom piece made in memoriam of a special person, a necklace given as a significant gift, a ring as an expression of love, a heartfelt thank you--or something commemorative and personal to celebrate inner milestones.  Art expresses and connects and symbolizes on a spiritual level when words aren't sufficient. 

To continue along this line of thought, 


and this week, we're featuring

Ceramicist Ann Russ

“The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy.
Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves,
the whispering of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.”

--Terry Tempest Williams

"It is out of that holiness and deep appreciation for the precious gift that life is – that I make the work that I do. For me, it is a sacred act to handbuild vessels intended to hold the remains of someone who was loved and existed upon the earth."

--Ann Russ

Ann's work is a meditation on honoring transitions and sacred moments. She mainly focuses on building memorial urns, reliquaries, and Spirit Bowls.   

Memorial Urns:





Reliquaries are holders, either for a portion of ash or for an object of personal spiritual significance for the owner (or gift receiver).




Spirit Bowls are, in Ann's words,  

"...made to bless and amplify the intention of the owner reflected in the objects placed inside the bowl. They can serve…

  • To support personal rituals,
  • To commemorate special milestones,
  • To honor a legacy,
  • To celebrate a life,
  • To hold a wish or intention,
  • To mark a transition or turning point,
  • As a visual reminder to live more fully."

Her work is an ethereal combination of nature, architecture, and sacred symbolism that transcends denomination and touches the root of the human experience.  These works are often custom designed to honor specific aspects of an individual's journey through life.

Ann has an impressive, extensive resume of study and exhibition. She studied at Northern Michigan University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Wayne State, has an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Houston...and that's only the start of her biography!

We are so glad she's chosen the Queen City as her nest!  Ann is based out of her studio at 129 Baraga Ave, Suite E, in Marquette--right next to the UP Children's Museum and Dead River Coffee.

Ann is the organizer of the 100 Day Project in Marquette, a challenge to create a new, unique piece of art every day for 100 days in an effort to spark creativity and encourage one another as a community of artists. Starting this project in Marquette earned her the Marquette Community Arts Activist Award!


Her work was recently shown alongside painter Leopoldo Cuspinera Madrigal's handmade paper and mixed-media artwork at the DeVos Art Museum on NMU's campus.  I hope you got to experience this moving exhibit!


Happy Winter-into-Spring, 




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Ring Sizing

Purchase this ring sizer to help determine your ring size. This sizing tool is most accurate for double band rings and bands 6mm and under.

Fingers can change size due to many circumstances, the best way to get an accurate size is to check the size a couple of different times to determine your best size. The majority of our rings can be resized, but if the ring has a stone setting other than a diamond, it probably cannot be resized unless otherwise noted in the item listing.

Some of our rings with stones are shown with the stone not set in order for us to size the ring to your specifications and set the stone afterwards. This avoids damage to the stone during sizing. Reference the individual ring listings for more details. Wide Bands 7mm and above have more friction against the finger and will need to be ordered a little larger.

Our double band rings fit like a narrow band, when getting sized for a double band ring, you can get sized for a ring that is narrow.

When getting your finger sized, inform jeweler of the width band you are intending on purchasing and rely on them to determine your ring size.

Look here for more information about resizing items that you have already received.

Engagement Ring Sizing

Purchase this ring sizer to help determine your ring size. This sizing tool is most accurate for double band rings and bands 6mm and under.

There are many sneaky options for getting the size right, but the best way is to have their finger sized by a professional.

You may be able to sneak one of their rings and bring it into a jewelry store and ask to check the size.

Beth Millner Jewelry has wish lists too, so they could come in to the store and fill out a wish list and hopefully they provides their ring size.

Bracelet & Cuff Sizing

Measure wrist circumference. Take your measurement just above the wrist above bone.

Use the chart below to determine the correct size.

The bracelets we make are designed to fit comfortably, but if a looser fit is preferred, the next size up may be suitable.


Beth Millner Jewelry Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry Bracelet Sizing


Size Wrist Measurement (Inches) Wrist Measurement (cm)
Small 5.5-6 14-15
Medium 6-6.5 15-16.5
Large 6.5-7 16.5-18
X-Large 7-7.5 18-19
XX-Large 7.5-8 19-20.5
Bangle Sizing

Bangle Size is determined by hand size, rather than wrist size

Measure hand size by tucking your thumb in, just like when trying on a bangle. Measure around the thickest part of the hand while in this position.

Use the chart below to determine the correct bangle size.

Bangle Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry Bangle Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry
Size Hand Measurement (inches) Hand Measurement (cm)
Small 7-8 18-20
Medium 8-9 20-23
Large 9-9.5 23-24
Pendant & Earring Sizing

When determining the size of pendant or earrings you would like to purchase, please reference the item description which includes the size of the piece.

Also, there will be an image with a hand in the picture to help visualize the size.

When choosing a piece for another person, we find that our customers choose pieces that are similar to their overall stature.

People that are shorter and small tend to like smaller items, tall slender people tend to like our longer larger pieces.

Chain Length

When picking out a chain, 18 inch is the most common length.

This would cause the pendant to sit between the collar bones.

Beth Millner Jewelry chain length