handmade jewelry & metalsmithing

harvest time

I’ve got a very loose workflow going, it’s kind of a one for me, one for you thing. I make a new piece from a sketch or just playing around and I wear it for a week or so before I make another. That way I get a feel for it and decide if there’s anything I would change about the construction. And if no one notices it, I don’t get in any hurry to duplicate it ; ) I used to be in a mindset about jewelry that was instilled by production jewelers that led me to create a lot of duplicates and to try to build up my speed. But this time around, I like to make new stuff every day, and I don’t want to feel like I’m on autopilot in the studio. I want to feel like I’m actively engaged and learning from the creative process. Producing new challenges, rather than a pile of repetitions.  For the most part, I love the differences that separate the art world from the craft world, but when a painting is admired-the painter isn’t asked to reproduce it, the value increases. Jewelry is inherently different as an object and in the way that people relate to it, but the creative process is still the same.

flower with moth pendant

sunny morning flowers made me wanna jump up and take some photos

gerbers & earrings

sometimes I'm caught looking for props because I need to take photos, this morning I just took off my jewelry so I could snap it against these pretty gerber daisies

Back to the workflow, there’s a lot of waiting involved in metalsmithing. Somethings always too hot to touch, or soaking in the pickling acid, or maybe you just haven’t decided how you want to work a detail. This makes you have several pieces going at the same time in various stages, so one piece is being polished while another is getting sketched and all states in-between.

fresh from the tumbler

These came out shiny and ready to go home--finished pieces are never around the studio for more than hour. This makes it so you have nothing to show visitors except works in progress-and the process is always a stark contrast to the finished product.

ring parts

This is a ring before any soldering, the arrangement is getting laid out and the shank is shaped to fit

unfinished ring

Now it's technically a ring, but I will oxidize the finish and polish it for that dark look. Also, I think it would make a great pendant, and perhaps a smaller version would be better as a matching ring. I'll wear it around and see how it feels and looks.


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