Making One of a Kind Jewelry
Being an autodidact and a bit of a hedonist, I only want to make pieces of art that will stretch me and give me pleasure. Therefore, each piece that I make is a one of a kind. Though I may make several pieces that are similar, creating a line of jewelry so to say, once I feel that I've explored all that that line can teach me, I will move on to something new. Therefore everything I offer up for sale will only be available for a limited time. That's right, if you like it, purchase it, because I may stop making that style at any given moment!
I'm lured by the impossible, pushing myself to do things I know nothing about and pushing the metal to do things it isn't usually asked to do and pushing my customers to wear jewelry that no one else is wearing. Unique is my goal.
Currently I'm working with lots of fine (.999 pure) and Sterling (.925 pure) silver along with copper, brass, some bronze, rose gold, 14k gold and gold and rose gold filled (base metal clad with fine gold on both sides). Sometimes I add semi precious stones in various forms from cabochons to beads.
My Day in the Studio
Each week I generally work six 8-10 hour days in the studio.. Being very passionate about what i'm doing helps it not feel like work. In fact, some days I'll start at 6:00 in the morning and not realize at 3:00 that afternoon that I've been working away for nine hours straight.
Each piece I make begins with an idea or problem I want to solve. I believe that art making is a "call & response" activity where problem solving is a major goal. I love the alchemy of metal. Getting it to imprint, bend, melt in ways I want it to. Playing with the colors of mixed metals adds even more joy. Once I decide on my topic, I select the metals that I think would suit it most and add in any embellishments like stones or granulation etc. and bring all those things together at my work table.
Next, I cut the metal using metal sheers. I rarely use a jewelers saw because I have a tremor in my hand and it ends up being inaccurate so I work with shapes I can cut with scissors - which I'm more used to anyway!
Once the basic shapes are cut then I add textures. I use a variety of hammers, stamps, repose and chasing tools, an engraver and a flex shaft. After the textures have been added then I clean the piece up by sanding it, making smooth edges and points.
Then it's off to my soldering station to melt everything together. I'm a big fan of paste solder as it allows me to heat/join compositions that have multiple layers of metal all at one time. After joining various units the metal has to be quenched (cooled) then placed in pickle to remove the fire scale. After this cleaning process I can add any metal embellishments such as granulation or other melted bits.
Once everything has been soldered in place then the piece has to be quenched and pickled again then cleaned thoroughly to remove any excess solder, fire scale and scratches. Sometime this takes longer than it took to make the piece. The final step is to polish the piece, photograph it for this site then price it for the market.