Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Polaris Necklace

The Moon and Stars
The stars that round the Queen of Night
Like maids attend her
Hide as in veils of mist their light
When she, in full-orbed glory bright.
O'er all the earth shines from her height,
A silver splendour.
Sappho, c. 610-570 B.C.
I've always loved the stars. From picking out constellations in the night sky, to learning about black holes and supernovas in one of my many outer space books, I've always been fascinated by their mysterious beauty. I've painted them several times, but up until now I had yet to make something in metal. I think I'd been avoiding it at the risk of making something so cliché. I mean, how many times has a star necklace been made? The more I thought about it though, I decided to give it a try. I wanted to craft a star to be unique and asymmetrical. Imperfect, just like the stars themselves. So I began by taking bits of metal and soldering them to make the star's points:
I continued that process, making each point unique:
I polished and refined the piece, and I am so happy with how it turned out!
The Polaris necklace is available here!
Beautiful images courtesy of NASA/JPL, and edited by LazyDaysPhotos.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Unicorn Horn Necklace

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.
Dr. Seuss  photo unicornhornblogstyled1.jpg
I'll admit it, I'm a huge fantasy nerd. From the books I read, to the movies I watch, and now to the jewelry I make, fantasy for me is the most exciting genre. I've read my share of books that had unicorns in them, but it wasn't until I got this adorable teacup in London that I came up with the idea of making a unicorn horn necklace.  photo unicornhornblogteacup1.jpg
Teacup, Fortnum and Mason:  photo unicornhornblogteacup2.jpg  photo unicornhornblogteacup3.jpg
I began by cutting a triangular shape out of wax:  photo unicornhornblog2.jpg
I then carved it into a cylindrical shape, and used my tools to score the wax:  photo unicornhornblog3.jpg  photo unicornhornblog4.jpg  photo unicornhornblog5.jpg
Finally, I cast the wax in sterling silver and began refining the shape even more:  photo unicornhornblogmaking6.jpg  photo unicornhornblogmaking7.jpg
The finished product:  photo unicornhorn1.jpg  photo unicornhornblogstyled2.jpg  photo unicornhornmodellong.jpg  photo unicornhorn2.jpg  photo unicornhornblogstyled3.jpg  photo unicornhornmodelshort-1.jpg  photo unicornhorn-wtbackground.jpg
The Unicorn Horn is available now on my website!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Botanical Swing Earrings

I'm pretty excited about my newest piece. It's a bit more bold and daring than some of my other earring designs, but I think it still has the whimsical quality I try to incorporate into each of my works. I wanted to make something long and dramatic, using silver that fades into black. I was inspired by a design in one of my books, Le Japon Artistique. Here are some photos of the Botanical Swing Earrings, and a behind the scenes look at how I made them: Forming the silver to match my sketches (though I did stray a bit from that design in the end!):  photo blogbotanicalmaking1.jpg Using balled up silver to create the botanical "pods" at the ends:  photo blogbotanicalmaking2.jpg Soldering the metal:  photo blogbotanicalmaking3.jpg Using radial bristle discs to create a uniform finish:  photo blogbotanicalmaking4.jpg
The final product, oxidized and finished to fade from silver to black:  photo botanical4.jpg  photo botanical3.jpg  photo botanical5.jpg  photo blogbotanical3-1.jpg  photo blogbotanical2.jpg  photo blogbotanicalmodel.jpg  photo botanicalearring1-wtbackground.jpg Here are a few images from the Le Japon Artistique book, which inspired this recent piece. The works are from various Japanese artists from the Art Nouveau era, and they are just beautiful. I love the sinuous, curving lines from that time period.  photo lejapon1.jpg  photo lejapon2.jpg  photo lejapon5.jpg  photo lejapon3.jpg  photo lejapon4.jpg

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Behind the Scenes, Shark Jaw Necklace

I'm finally getting around to yet another piece that I've been finished with for months but just haven't had time to photograph until now. With the Discovery Channel's 'Shark Week' upon us, I figured now would be the time to get at it! The Shark Jaw Necklace is one of the most difficult designs I have ever created, and I am so happy at how it turned out.
I absolutely love Great White Sharks. I find them incredibly fascinating, and there is just something very exciting about a creature that is so dangerous. I wanted to design something as a sort of homage to the most awe inspiring and terrifying part of the shark's anatomy: its jaws! And because I also have a great love of strange and macabre curiosities, I figured a shark jaw would be a perfect new design for my collection. Here is a behind the scenes look at my most labor intensive design yet:
One of the hardest things about this design was adding the teeth to the jaw. I cut each individual tooth out of wax, then used molten wax to adhere it to the jawline. While this worked great to get the fine details of the small teeth, it left a mess to clean up once the piece was cast. I also discovered that the bottom of the jaw was not as thick as I would have liked, so I had to add more wax. Once it was cast, I was able to really clean it up with rubber wheels and give it a very streamlined look. Here I show that process and some of the finished design:
The final product:
The 18" chain option:
The 24" chain option:
$25 from the proceeds of this necklace will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund's 'Adopt a Great White Shark,' which supports WWF's global efforts to protect these creatures and their habitats. For more information or to make a donation to this cause, please visit:
More shark inspired art by fellow Etsy artist Christina Loraine Art:

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