handmade jewelry & metalsmithing

shiny and new

Holiday extravagance seems like a good excuse to make some extra special jewelry-my favorite things I've created lately have been motivated by the season of giving, and the search for something that is truly special. What I can offer is original items that are thoughtfully and skillfully constructed, without cutting corners to benefit output. No items are cast, no components are manufactured outside of the United States. Every item is handmade from original designs, and it's a joy to work that way.

At this time of year bargains and deals are everywhere, and in the holiday spirit, I'm offering free shipping and a coupon code (SNOWDAY10) for a 10% discount in my Etsy shop.

Here's a little play-by-play of the construction going on in the studio.

What I'm making here is a Mokume-Gane wedding band. Mokume is absolutely the most random and organic metal form of beauty in the metal world. It begins when you fuse together alternating layers of metal-in this case silver & copper, then begin creating a wood-grain pattern by filing across the layers and forging them down by hand. By the time you have a thin sheet left-the pattern is constantly changing with each pass of the sandpaper.

The mokume band is surrounded by silver, so that the copper has limited contact with your skin, and the exterior has a high polish to preserve the beautiful color of the copper. Mokume can also be made from silver and gold (especially beautiful with a black patina on the silver in that combo) as well as platinum, palladium or even iron.

The finished ring has gorgeous line variation, and Mokume, with its organic beauty revealed by digging through the layers, is a perfect choice for ring that signifies love and commitment.

Here's a portion of the process-first a slice is sawed off the Mokume Billet. Then the process of filing, forging and annealing is continued many times over until the desired thickness of sheet is attained.

I made some very simple circles because the beauty of the pattern can stand alone. I love the little circles, because to me they conjure up ideas of a strange, beautiful planet-a globe of pink islands and silver seas. This necklace is available on Etsy. http://www.etsy.com/listing/52826823/mokume-gane-pendant-handcrafted

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