New work on display .

2-20140817_200853Come and check out some of my handy work in the Extra section , I currently show most of the steps in making a pair of 14k Gold spinning earring out of the material in the picture above.. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I had making them..

Repousse: Making tools and my first attempt..

  While  researching different types of smithing and applications. I found that Repousse is an interesting technique dating from Antiquity. An age-old metalworking technique where a malleable metal (gold, silver, copper, tin and bronze) is hammered from the back to create an ornate design. Also accompanying Repousse is Chasing,  Chasing works from the top side by sinking the metal to create the desired effect.  Astonished with the creations of  forms, raised design and sunken relief, I Inquired about it a little more.. I came upon Victoria Lansford’s work, displaying her technique on High Relief Eastern Repousse.  Who offers her modern-day approach to the age-old technique.. As well as an article on Ganoksin  website, going into detail about techniques, tools and application.  
   Being the diverse artist that I am, I thought I would give it try “What do I have to lose”. I decided to make some of  the basic tools on  my own. For the pitch bowl: It was a salsa container purchased from Wal-Mart. Placing a piece of lead at the bottom and filling it  2/3 with quick dry cement, until it sets. Then I removed the legs on the salsa bowl giving it a round bottom. Filling the remaining area with Green pitch from Rio Grande. If utilizing the bowl with a sand bag, you can achieve a wider radius of working angles. With a little help of my brother Pat’s toys, I was able to make the basic tools out of tool steel, nail punches and ruined stamps. This was achieved by cutting, sanding, filing, polishing and flame hardening the tools.
  “Now  I’m ready to play”  Working with my hammer, punches/tools, steel block, chasing bowl and base (sand bag). I began to work out my designs on paper, then transferring then onto the silver (annealed) with a magic marker. Using a liner tool I chase the design into the silver, on top of a steel block. In order to show the design on the back. Placing the silver onto the chasing bowl (top side down) with a little heat it will stick to the pitch. Now Im are ready to start hammering out the designs. This will be done in several process, as the metal will work harden and need to be annealed again and again. 
 In the pictures are my first attempts at creating a pair of earrings utilizing the Repousee technique.  Dabbling for 20 min at a time, it has taken me 3 to 4 hours to get this far (just on the Repousse) Still not finished with the earrings I decided to share my experience so far with you.


Further info on the following :
       Repousse and Chasing @ Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.
       Chasing and Repousse @ Ganoksin
       Victoria Lansford – High Relief Eastern Repousse

Great things at Tom Taylor.

On one of my journeys to Santa Fe, I went to Tom Taylor shop in the La Fonda hotel. There you can find a slew of fine quality leather belts, sterling silver jewelry, buckles out of sterling silver, stainless steel and titanium. Along with many other fine quality leather goods.  While there we (Philip and I) chatted about the new and exciting items I will be making for them, to have in the shop during the Santa Fe Indian Market festival. Some of the items they will have but not limited to: new earrings , M&M pendents, Dogtags and some inlayed buckles.. As always I had a great time talking shop with Philip and Kim Spiers. During my visit Jessica, employee  for Tom Taylor took that opportunity to snap a few pictures of me in front of the shop. We had fun laughing on San Francisco street while people passed by wondering about the photos being taken.

They will be hosting the “Black Jade and Diamonds” cuff and the “Coral, Lone Mtn turquoise and Diamond” inlayed bracelet for a limited time. If you are in Santa Fe stop on by to chat and see what new items adorn their shop @ 108 East San Francisco Street.

Thanks to everyone at Tom Taylors..



Black Jade and Diamond Cuff

Recently I took some time off to have my tonsils removed. Which allowed me to relax and take things slow. After recovering I made my way back into the studio. Things were slow to start, but my time away has brought up some new ideas. Here is one such design that has come to light . I still haven’t come up with a name for it yet, so in the time being  it will be ” Black Jade and Diamond cuff “. It started almost 13 months ago, when I was working on a cabochon of black jade, natural Royston turquoise and coral. Spending only a few hours to cut, slab and polish these stones to create the interesting cabochon above. It sat on my desk staring me down and wondering where it would lead too next.. As time passed it was shuffled from place to place, until last week. I began to work on a silver cuff, texturing, forming, sanding and polishing the piece. When I remembered one of my recent sketches, that incorporated a cabochon of similar shape and design. The decision was made, I would combine the two. I started on the setting for the cabochon and braised it onto the new silver cuff slightly risen and off center. This design element took advantage of the rule of thirds (which I use in a majority of my work), thought to me by another great artist, teacher and friend Mrs. Jean Thurow. Next I created the seating for the 6 diamonds (2mm, 0.24 tcw) and set them into the cuff. The final stage would be to set the cabochon, this would be done by chasing the silver bezel around the stone. After one last polish and cleaning all the elements had fallen into place. At last,  It was complete.

Thank you to everyone who assisted in my recovery and all who wished me well and a speedy recovery.