Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Commemorative Jewelry

Originally I thought it would be great to etch a photograph into metal - a true likeness of a person or an animal.  A true likeness would be fantastic!  After researching jewelry pieces like this, I found that laser imaging would be optimal... an investment that would entail a total focus and commitment!  Etching with acid is lovely (especially for my botanical pieces), but not exact; it doesn't really lend itself to this end.  I think I would need to run a parallel life in order to pursue this!

So... I am exploring other means to achieve personalization and meaning.  This horsehair pendant with the added touch of hand engraving might work well.  Each piece would be unique and require more in-depth communication during development.

Also, I am interested in trying other shapes and forms for this.  The disk lends itself beautifully to this piece because of the bezel and top crystal, but the surrounding shape could be more inventive, I'm sure!  Front designs could be unique and significant, and the back could also include designs with the lettering.

YES!  I am still making chains.  I think I am up to 6 unique hand made chains... I have 4 more designs to make!  I have worked around the same basic idea for the first 6, so my last 4 will definitely be a different approach.  When finished with this goal, I will line them up and publish a picture.  So far, the "Twigs Deco" is my favorite.  I will make a neck chain (not one of my 4 new ones) that will have shorter 'twigs' and perhaps attach a Peace Square in the middle.  (This one is for me. I should actually wear more of my jewelry!!!)  Making chains is like therapy for me and I am anxious to design my last 4... (maybe more)... we shall see.

If you have ideas about Commemorative Jewelry, I would love to hear them! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hand Engraving - Getting Personal

Hand engraving is a traditional and specific technique of creating surface decoration in precious metal.  The tools, gravers, are made by the artist from steel which is then anchored in wooden handles.  The steel is shaped and honed at particular angles so that the precious metal can be cut then lifted from the surface.  While good and careful cutting is critical, the layout of design comprises 90% of a successful job.

The differences between hand engraving and machine engraving are important.  Hand engraving cuts deeper into the surface and the groove goes from thin to thick as the graver lays over on it's side while cutting a line; the resulting edge is reflective.  When two or more lines echo each other, the light basically dances over the surface of the piece.  Machine engraving does not have a reflective inner edge because the machine stylus cuts straight down into the metal without lifting out pieces and basically forms a ridge on either side of the cut.  The cuts are more shallow and are not artistic in design.

Older presentation platters and trophies have 'entries' that are hand engraved.  They endure over time because the words/dates do not wear down from handling and polishing.  I have felt honored to cut platters and trophies for more than a couple of years in a row, adding to its history my 'hand' to the pieces.

I am interested in making pieces that are personal using hand engraving.  While I am a traditionalist with this technique, I am exploring ways to loosen up and have some more fun making designs on my jewelry pieces.  I am thinking of commemorative jewelry - of people or pets... Let's see what develops!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Sunday, May 10:  MOTHER'S DAY!
I have placed my first Facebook Ad highlighting the Keepsake Heart Pendant for Mother's Day.  It will run for one week.  Let's see how this goes...