handmade jewelry & metalsmithing

work, but doesn’t feel like it

It’s been a happy week-props to my friend Anna for landing a cool new  job. She will now work as a jeweler for two sisters that travel the world in search of rare gemstones. That’s a New York job all the way, Knoxville was definitely not offering that. I picture twins dressed like Indiana Jones with helicopters, translators and machetes, bringing back dusty bags of gems with snakes and scorpions sometimes hiding amongst the loot. And I’m really liking this image, so I’m gonna perpetuate this myth whenever anyone asks me how things are going for Anna. She has a really cool website and gorgeous work- annaruthquarles.com

As for me, I’m really enjoying all the feedback from throwing all my work online. And especially, I like it when people take a look at what I’ve made, and then tell me something they want me to make for them. So, I think I’ve begun to view myself as an enabler of sorts. People have awesome ideas, they just don’t have the know-how and the studio. Thus, I get the excitement of bridging the gap between not only my ideas, but other people’s requests. Making someone else’s idea is a cool challenge, because they’re not basing their request on what you can do in metal-that’s  out of their range; you get the chance to try something new .

In other news, I smashed out some Mokume Gane and made an adorable tiny pink pendant. I put this pendant as well as around five other pieces of jewelry on Etsy, so take a look and give me photo advice or sales-however you feel inclined.

tiny mokume pendant

no fresh flowers this week, so ignore the rabbit fur clinging to these silk flowers


my worktable. Jewelry is small, so I can have all this crap everywhere and still be able to work. If everything's on your worktable-then everything is at hand, right? Here's a more detailed panorama of the workshop.

on your right

And looking to the right we see music, tumbler, pickle pot, stockpile of chemicals, metals, books and various safety junk

on your left

And on the left we have the acetylene torch, soldering station, and flex shaft area for drilling & polishing


Which concludes the tour. Now this is a strip of silver that has been soldered closed so that I can shape it into a circle


Next it is shaped into a ring using a stake and a rawhide mallet


A chunk is sawed off the billet, then filed, then ensues a lengthy cycle of hammering and annealling until patterned sheet is created. This little slice is a chunky one-for making the stripes on the bunny earrings that are on my homepage, as well as being my facebook avatar. But the variation of effects you can get with this technique is truly beautiful.


The ring is soldered to the sheet, sawed out, filed, sanded and polished. I made a clasp, cut & soldered the chain, and there we are.


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