I love drawing and painting as much as I love forging metal jewelry. I really love creating tiny works of art. Something like this, which is about 4x6, is something I can make pretty quickly so it satisfies my need to get my creative fix. The substrate I create is a little hard to explain. I'm planning on fully explaining in my first creative on-line course, if i can ever get that sucker of the ground.
So let’s talk about the silver plate materials I use when making my jewelry. As some of you may already know, I’m a huge fan of thrift stores. I love the idea of taking an object, cast away by another, and turning it into something precious. Most thrift stores have an abundant supply of silver plate platters and bowls from which to select. I’m always on the lookout for ones that tarnished. A bright and shiny piece will rarely, if ever, catch my eye.
The way the piece feels in my hand has a lot to do with whether or not I buy it. The lighter it feels (for it’s size) the better. Cutting these is not easy. But I have found that the lighter the weight of the piece, the easier it is to manipulate with a blade or metal sheers.
I used to spend a lot of time etching metal to use in my jewelry. The process is messy, time consuming and, honestly, a little bit scary to me. The chemicals required to etch a great piece are pretty nasty. One day I was looking at a stack of silver plate platters (when shopping at a thrift store of course) and noticed that the embossed design on some were a lot like my etched designs. Voila. There it was. My eyes saw the potential for amazing jewelry right there in this dusty and dull selection of silver plate platters and bowls.
I don’t limit myself to only embossed silver plate objects. Every now and then I find the perfectly plain platter or bowl. Great jewelry comes from these objects too.
I've really been enjoying the process so much lately. And have been busy preparing for an upcoming spring show, keeping the Atlantic Beach Arts Market full and getting ready to add new work to my on-line shop. Busy, busy, busy.