Hi! I hope you enjoy looking at the pieces of jewellery and art on these pages! This journey to designing and making jewellery has been a pleasant surprise!
One night after Christmas I had this urge to make something 3D with my hands. My partner had bought some beads and had made some bracelets for family and he had plenty left over. This particular evening I asked if I could use the beads. Like in a dream, I began envisioning finished pieces of jewellery!
Soon after I met a wonderful woman who I did some trades with; graphic design in lieu of teaching me how to fire and work with recycled fine silver.
Then another friend and I wanted to check out silver-smithing classes. I didn't really understand what I was doing until I finished the course! Then it all began to integrate. It was as if I was feeling it out first! I felt the fire of joy light inside.
I dove into some intensive studies and found I really like swinging a hammer and using a torch. And the images keep arising, shapes and challenges of things I would like to create.
I love the intrinsic beauty of the hammers, their shining metal and the way they shape other metal. (Not yet the smell of the metal shop, nor the roughness of my hands! ) Lots more to explore, and learn. In reflection, I can see two other times that spirit came to me with this offer of learning how to do jewellery. This time I listened.
Except for Diversity made with some found pieces, the pieces you see on this page were made with Sterling Silver from plate metal which is SS925 and Fine Silver (FS999) jewellery which is made from recycled silver. These numbers following the name Sterling Silver or Fine Silver represent the amount of pure silver in the piece. You may also find SS952 for sale, as artists access this sheet silver as well from England. Ask what you are getting when you shop for silver, is it plated, is it solid, is it actually silver! Often .925 is stamped into the silver.
Depending on the piece of jewellery it can involve silver-smithing methods used on sheet silver. For me, the jewellery is diving into the creative process: revealing the shapes that wish to come forward. Using saws, hammers, torches, a rolling mill, pieces of wire, clamps, vices, glass, found objects, and old objects — the creativity seems endless. I appreciate that ... how renewing. The other day I found myself hammering against a piece of baseboard to give me the curve I was looking for! (It's like yoga when furniture becomes your blocks and belts! )
Going With the Flow
Fused Sterling Silver and glass beads.
Sterling silver wire. (Mine!)
These were for me! I am wearing them in my photo above. A great bonus of making jewellery. And I get to see what people are drawn too. (Yet, that is always changing too! )
The necklace and earrings below were named Diversity because I felt like using all of these materials I had, together in some cohesive pleasurable design. (So glad that the woman who bought it, embodies diverse, open-thinking qualities as well! ) It consisted of one piece of "fine silver" hanging off the chain, sterling silver wire wrapping glass, the chain is stainless steel, two brass circles, wood and beads, man-made dark beige balls, and the clasp is silver plate.
With this one my original thought was "steam-punk." Then the flow began moving elsewhere. And that is part of the process. Can we flow with the river instead of against it when we feel like we are mid-stream. (SOLD).
Orange and Icicles
Fine silver "icicles," sterling silver wire, sterling silver beads, smokey quartz, glass beads, and man-made orange-coloured oval beads. (SOLD)
I am finding I am partial to sheet metal ... as I learn more and more about the properties of metal. (Working with the telluric realm as some might say! ) Find the earrings I gifted my sister "Potential " and the pair "In Balance" on my Inspiration page — both of these were created with sheet metal. So much fun!
Someone came to me the other day and gave me a piece of beautiful blue glass from the beach and she asked me to wrap it in sterling silver. My sister then also gave me some sea glass from one of her trips south. I had never played with that before so I decided to make a few of these with what I was given. The first pair was the pair Comforted that are pictured earlier and then I made these below.
Dilithium Crystals (?)
Sea glass, coloured glass, Swarovski crystal, sterling silver wire, glass bead. (SOLD).
My apologies to Trekkies more serious
than I. I couldn't help but think of Scotty
and his dilithium crystals and outer space when I created these. I felt I was traveling with them!
Some of my chains are long and slip over the head, others have handmade loop attachments, and lately I have been asked to use magnets for people who have difficulty putting on their own bracelets or necklaces. Strong and of varying sizes they are picked to go with the size of the chain used.
Lately more people are bringing forward little treasures that they have had for years that they have always wanted to do something with, but never have. (I have a few of those myself.) And I love it best when they say ... surprise me!
When I am using recycled fine silver, the working form is silver embedded in a carrier of clay. A kiln is used to fire away the clay, leaving behind the Fine Silver in the shape I have made with the clay.
This method still needs the silver to be burnished and polished, and sometimes sanded to create your finished piece. Sometimes a patina is used on a piece to create a colouring of the metal.