Archive for the ‘Custom Work’ Category
The idea behind the design for the Evolution earrings and pendant is that you are a shining light that is continually expanding outward as you learn and grow. You can’t help but to transform and change based on the world around you. This continual expansion is represented by the spiral shape and the seed of you, your point of origin in this physical life is represented by the object in the center of the tightest part of the spiral. To see the gallery of photos skip to the bottom of the post here.
E-Volution Earrings.. the making of…
I begin with fine silver wire, cut to the size I determined would be best suited to most faces and hairstyles as a finished product. I pull the wire through the flame of my torch and liquify one end into a sphere. After cooling the wire I flatten the ball end (you’ll find out why later) and gently begin to curl the wire into a spiral shape. The other end of the wire gets hammered flat before shaping it into a smaller spiral in preparation for the supporting ear wire. The flattened ball gets drilled through and a teeny antique bronze saucer is placed there nestling a shimmering Czech bead that captures and reflects light, just like you. A very small fine silver wire is balled (by torch) and placed through the layers of saucer, bead and wire and then torched on the opposite side, creating a secure barbell style connection. The timing and temperature of this second torching is very important so as not to overheat and crack the glass bead on the other side. The flame has to get very close in order to make the wire ball up securely. I have bitten my lip and held my breath more than once during this process. To finish off the design I break out some more fine silver wire. I torch, shape and hammer the ear wires, careful to round and smooth the ends so your dainty ears don’t get all scuffed up and bleed. Scabs are not such a nice look with the shiny silver. Once the design is completed it gets a bath in sulfur to oxidize and antique the surface of the silver. Everything looks better with a little history. Then, it’s time to go into the tumbler for a couple of hours to get burnished. Finally, I bring the earrings back to my work bench and do final touch up with adding back in oxidation if too much was removed as well as using a couple of polishing and cleaning procedures (fun.. I get to use power tools) to give it a final shine before packaging. I always hold the piece and send it love before I place it in your box. Tada!! Earrings!!
E-Volution Pendant… the making of..
Copper wire makes a warm and inviting metal for this spiraling pendant. I begin by drawing my wire through my torch flame and creating a molten ball at one end. Once cooled, the ball gets flattened and I begin to shape the wire into a free form spiral. The opposite end gets hammered flat and curled into a smaller spiral before brazing it securely against the main frame of the pendant. Now for the super fun part. I turn fine silver wire into a hot sphere (blob) on my fire brick and then begin the process of hammering it flat. There are several successive torchings in this process as hammering work hardens the metal and it has to be softened again in between every few blows of the hammer. When it is the just right size I stamp the edges with some little tools I created from nails (see this post to read about how I made some cool tools http://www.gaiacopia.com/2013/blog/make-your-own-texture-tools/) and then form the flat pancake into a little bowl to hold a small Golden Rutilated Quartz stone. The stone is captured here using the technique described in the earring monologue above.. careful torching and lip biting. A small orb of fine silver is added to the outside ring of the spiral to represent the poignant moments, milestones and challenges you encounter on your journey. Additional hammering, texturing and squinting at the spiral happens for some time until it is just right. It gets oxidized, spends some time burnishing in the tumbler and then gets polished up before being strung onto some high quality leather necklace cord (17″ length including clasp). Fine silver wire is hammered and textured and securely wrapped on either side of the spiral, holding it in the center of the necklace. The cord ends and clasp are all hand forged out of copper wire. All metal is polished, cleaned and then sealed by hand with museum quality micro-crystalline wax. Each piece gets held, admired and sent love once more before being put into it’s box on it’s way to you!
So, I met this amazing gal. She requested a custom order for her birthday. Oh, what an honor these types of orders are for me to do! She and I have a lot in common except…she challenged me to use colors I had never thought to use. I LIKED this a LOT. Through our back and forth communications on designing for her we have become close friends. She lives in Germany so our communication has been rich via Facebook. How fun! So, when I really wanted to get down to business I sent her over to Design Seeds.com to pick out her colors. She picked me some pretty pinks, blues and greens. The soft cool tones were not my usual palette and I found them so fun to work with!
Sooo….that translated into this…
The original necklace she saw when I listed it and knew it was for her…
We co-created the earrings and extra necklace wraps using the color palettes mentioned earlier.
Happy Birthday to my dear friend An Ja Lu who is a jewelry designer now too! Check out her shop here http://en.dawanda.com/shop/black-cat.
My sparkly friend Mary inherited some fabulous fibers, metallic threads, silks, and embroidery flosses among other things and she offered to share them with me. How could I refuse? I had to make her something…something “her”. At first it was going to be earrings but that didn’t honor the origination point. See, these fibers were inherited from a special lady (her sister in law) in the family whom had passed. Earrings would not do, not alone. So I decided on a cuff that could incorporate some of the fibers to honor the one whom had owned them, have her presence in the piece as well. Let the creative process begin…PHOTOS OF THE PROCESS:
Here is the letter that came with the bracelet…. The earrings were made similarly by hand cutting copper sheet metal, heating with a torch to soften (annealing) and then hammering, polishing and layering with molded polymer clay that was was hand painted and sealed.PHOTOS of the FINISH: