Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Fusion


Phases of the Moon cuff with rose quartz and a forest cuff, hand pierced and fused.



Over the past two years I have continued to work primarily in Argentium silver. I love the process of fusing this alloy. The two cuffs above were both hand pierced (sawn) in two layers and then the layers were fused using my torch. Argentium silver is sterling silver that is alloyed with germanium instead of copper. It has a higher fine silver content than traditional sterling silver. The majority of metals used in jewelry are alloyed (combined with other metals) to create greater strength, hardness, and durability. Pure silver and pure gold are not hard enough on their own to be made into durable jewelry, so for centuries metals have been alloyed. Silver alloyed with germanium has two primary advantages: the reduction of fire scale (stain produced by heating) and greater capacity to fuse. Argentium silver has a greater temperature range between its fusing point and it's melting point, thus making it conducive to fusion. I love the fusion process because it is gorgeous and magical! When two pieces of metal are heated to the point of fusion, they become luminescent and shiny. There is a fine point at which the metals begin to glow and appear almost liquid. This point lasts for just a few seconds as fusion occurs. When it is done carefully, and not overheated, the fusion of metal perfectly joins two pieces, without either changing form. The process is delicate though, because if heated a fraction of a second too long the metal will begin to melt and the pieces will lose form and reticulate, creating misshapen pieces and uneven surfaces.  Fusion is magic:)


Spinning band rings in sterling and 14k gold

Monday, February 27, 2017

"Pinned"


I thought I'd share a couple new pieces from my "pinned" collection.  The top pendant is an orthoceras fossil cabochon, tab-set is silver.  The earrings are Montana agate.   This pair has a wonderful translucent landscape quality.   The "pins" in these pieces are made by balling silver wire at both ends using a torch.  I love the industrial effect this technique gives to the pieces.  The pins are still moveable, but the balls hold them in place.

I'm working hard to produce a new body of work for my upcoming summer shows!  I will be updating the show list on the right of the page as I firm up plans.  Here's hoping for a wonderful summer.  I can't wait!!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Sign of Spring

Sterling bumble bee with rose quartz
I've been thinking lately about the arts, and the immense benefit of having a vital art community.   Today I spent the afternoon in my studio.  My studio is in a building full of multiple artist's studios. Among them are painters, jewelers, photographers, clothing designers, architects, etc.. I've talked with my fellow artists lately and many of us have the same experience of our studios as being a refuge from the chaos of the outer world, a place for creativity, energy, and reflection.  When the world around us is in a state of conflict, creating provides a means to channel the frustrations we carry around and in turn create something that we give back to the world, whether it is work that reflects the conflict around us, or work that reminds us of more peaceful times.

There's no denying that our country is in a divided state, and these are challenging times for many. Rumors abound that our current administration may drastically reduce funding for arts programs, including the NEA. I haven't ventured to tackle political themes here in my blog, but it is my sincere hope that moving forward our country does not forget the vital importance of a thriving art community.  It is in creating, music, song, dance, performance, and the visual arts, that we come together, build relationships, and reflect. The arts can provide a venue for people to join and share experience.  The arts can be a starting point for community dialogue.  The arts are a nonviolent means to explore conflict, to release struggles that otherwise may never find an outlet.   The arts remind us of beauty and joy at times when we may only see anger and frustration around us. These are my thoughts today, and as always, thanks for reading!