Sunday, March 25, 2007

Reversible Circles Pendant

This simple pendant took a couple of prototypes to make. It's reversible, with copper dominating one side and aluminum, as pictured, dominating the other. I punched out and shaped the circles, hand drilled the holes, then sawed copper wire to hammer into rivets. Takes a bit of time, but with each one I am faster.

As simple as it appears, it holds great meaning for me. It is symbolic of an internal healing circle I have been developing. The circle has three parts: Nurturing, Protective, Spiritual. You decide which part is the largest for you... I've sold several of these. Each of them holds a bit of me.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Maze of Options

Somewhere in my psyche is a maze of ideas about, well, mazes. Or cages. To play with wire, metals and natural materials in such a way that it creates unique dimensions. Think air, suspension, three dimensions, light, surprise. Wire and metal may capture, suspend, hide or highlight natural materials in unexpected ways.

This Copper Mabe Maze is one such idea. I've also made it in a smooth aluminum and plan on making more. I constantly see out unusual focal pieces to use in these ideas.

When you think of this, what do you envision?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Using Argentium Silver

Sterling silver. No more tarnish. No more buying special polishing cloths to clean with. No more blackened fingers. Can you imagine? It can be true with Argentium Sterling Silver as it is highly tarnish-resistant. How? Well, "regular" sterling silver is 92.5% silver with copper as the additional 7.5% alloy. With Argentium silver, part of the copper is replaced with germanium. Voila!

In my newer jewelry pieces you will find Argentium Sterling silver. I think it's worth the slight extra cost. The piece in my previous post and this one are both made with Argentium. Especially where I use wire that is hard to access and polish, I think it's important.

Fine Silver: 99.9% Silver. Will tarnish, but more slowly. Not very hard, so not good for earwires.
Argentium Sterling Silver. 92/5% Silver, with 7.5% alloy and a touch of germanium to make it tarnish resistant.
Sterling Silver: 92/5% Silver, with 7.5% alloy. Alloy is typically copper and is added for strength, but is also what causes it to tarnish more quickly.
Silver filled: Has 100x more silver than silver plated. There are currently no laws governing what this means, so it can differ by manufacturer. Gold-filled does have rules regarding it, though. Filled should mean that it is not likely to chip or wear off. Can be a good alternative to the cost of solid sterling and a higher quality choice than plated.
Silver plated: Typically copper or brass, with a coating of silver. (Not sterling silver.) Cheaper alternative, but can wear or chip off.
Silver toned: Has no silver in it at all. Cheapest choice. Could be any kind of silver metal.
As you go up the list above, the likelihood for having an allergic reaction to the metal decreases.
I typically use Argentium, Solid Sterling Silver, Fine Silver and sometimes Silver Plated. I always specify.

Monday, March 12, 2007

New To Blogging!

Hello and welcome to my blog! For the longest time I thought I was too old for this. But I just decided it would be a good motivator for my jewelry making/metal work as well as my business in general.

A little about me...
I live in Minneapolis Minnesota with my little long haired Dachshund Lillie (nickname Stinky) and little grey farm kitty Lucy. We live and studio in the second floor of an old stucco house. It's warm, safe and a good place to work. My day job is as a Technical Analyst, but that's not very creative. Creating my jewelry has been a wonderful outlet for me.

I love to work with my hands where there is a mix of creative and technical. I prefer metal in my work as well as semi-precious or precious gemstones. Other types of materials do find their way into my pieces as they develop. My intellect plays little part in my creations, as they often just develop as I'm working. The inspiration comes from elsewhere. It's fascinating at times to me.