A few remnants of the humble beginnings of my etruscan chain. A fellow student kindly lent me some fine silver wire so that I would be able to have something to work on last class. Here's to waiting for mine to come in the mail so that I can make enough to begin weaving it. Making chain and jump rings in general is not always as simple as they can appear.
A couple weeks ago I made this ring with a set white howlite cabochon. I had been wanting to use these stones for the longest time and needed to up my bezel setting skills. I was a bit frozen in the silversmith sphere but I am warming myself up, with the flame of the acetylene torch and my passion for metalware.
Shown above are spoons I made on a day in the studio recently when I needed a break from the projects I was working on. It's funny that although I created these in the same way I was working on it felt different. I used these with scrap sterling silver and brass I had, and I can't wait to make even more flatware at a larger scale!
A glimpse of my ring I've been working on, shown above in almost completed form. It was inspired by compasses and letting the soul speak the loudest and guide you in todays fast paced modern world. I admire Japanese design and artisans that even have developed a vocabulary specifically explaining this. The center of this ring has a herkimer diamond that lights up, and each metal part on it's surface is North, South, East, West, with the negative holes being all of the unspoken spaces in between.
I often view my torch tip as a magic wand, an extension of my being, I am reminded of the part in Harry Potter when he is testing out wands to go with his liking, to power him with the right forces. With the right forces, and intention, the torch tips we use every day can better the world, for they enable us to make a living doing something we love, without the man breathing down our necks, as we send off each piece with the love of creation, form, function, aesthetics, and as another voice to get out the things we can't always say in person.
Taking weekend trips to the woods is not only a form of therapy for me physically when I am in need from a retreat away from the studio, but it so very often gives me knew ideas as well. Here is a photo I took of some magical pine trees in Ellicottvill on a hike.
I used to get very upset when a piece didn't work out. Something that I had spent hours on constructing failing in my face felt like I was failing, like I wasn't on the right life path. However, lately, with a few gray hairs on my head, I have come to see mistakes as a gift. After having a whole bracelet constructed and then melting the silver at the very end with a finicky torch, I was led to construct a whole new piece. I ended up turning the very same design into an all sterling silver ring which I came further more adore then the last. The second piece came along much faster and I knew with more certainty what had to be done.
Shown above is a ring sample with a texture I've been playing around with made by using the chasing and repose technique, I like it because it has a snake like feel and quality. I've been wanting to make a snake and bracelet in reference to the ouroborus, and although it's been done many times before, I love that each one is so different from the last, it's almost like the snowflake theory.
Shown above is a brass incense burner that I found at an estate sale, the jewelry I've been making lately is usually geometric and minimal like the squares and rectangles you see above where the smoke disperses. However, I was intrigued by the demon like cat and detailing on this piece, it got me excited to make some new pieces that lean in a different direction. Much like the few things I've casted in the past that are much chunkier with more of an organic and ancient feel.
This morning when I awoke and mustered the strength to fully open my eyes a treasure was on display in our bedroom. Upon me was the Sun putting on a linear puppet show with my windows and curtain. A good motivating inspiration to start my day with and a reassuring example of the modern world and natural world being friends in certain situations. Design has the power to change everything for the better, and I constantly struggle with my path and how we can help save this world. Elements can all be changed and progress through good design and consciousness.
Having lived in Miami for a few years, palm fronds became as common to my eye as the gray skies of Buffalo. This weekend I saw them in a new light as I noticed the individual linear parts of the leaves shooting out from the base as if they were mimicking the suns rays that feed them. I also admired the way they sometimes interconnect and shoot through one another, giving them more dimension and playing with the eye, as to figure out where they start and end. I will definitely use this as a reference image for my ongoing theme of geometric and linear structures within organic existences, mostly of which I focus on plant life.
This weekend I ventured to the Botanical Gardens in South Buffalo to pretend I had discovered a hidden portal where it is always the majestic growing season. My soul was fed by the plant life and I could not stop swooning over the architecture of the green house and the apparition of the structure as a whole. When you first walked upon it, it was if it was a glass castle amidst the white white snow. What a gift it is to have access to a place like this to fuel the ignition of the creation of future pieces. I will definitely revisit this special place when I am feeling lost.