Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reticulation Silver

"Specially formulated reticulation silver alloy contains a lower percentage of silver and a higher percentage of copper (80/20), making it ideal for reticulation." - RioGrande When you heat the surface of reticulation silver (after the depletion guild process is complete), basically the middle "melts" first, causing a ripple effect on the surface. (Notice the ripples, waves and peaks in all of the above pieces of two are ever the same.) Done effectively, reticulation presents a beautifully patterned surface finish. I have posted a few exmaples of reticulated silver above and as soon as mine is finished I'll be sure to post!

Image sources: The top two and lower right are designed by Kaelin Design, and the lower left image is by Brittany Golden.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Plum and Sage

Every now and then I happen on an artist, or a specific piece, that catches my eye and I just want to tell the world about it. When an artist alters my mood, challenges my perceptions, or just creates a feeling in me different than the one I'm feeling, I try to reflect on "why" my feelings are altered. Not only does this help me synthesize my likes and dislikes but it causes me to question my own moves as an artist and guides me when I hit a bump in the road.

A geode can take millions of years to form, and the thought that there are these little crystal lined cavities out there (sealed away for eternity) is pretty magical. Self taught artist and blogger Andrea Bonelli is responsible for unveiling this slice of treasure, thank you to Andrea for making our world a prettier place!

Image Source: You can find Andrea Bonelli and her special collections at Plum and Sage

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I love these little brooches found on States of Nature.

The brooch is one of the oldest types of jewelry, evolving from the basic pin. Why on earth would you wear a brooch these days you ask? Here are a list of ideas to reinvent grandma's favorite accessory:

1. Wear a brooch to spice up your monochromatic work outfit, your Spring outerwear or your weekend teeshirt!
2. Wear a brooch to soften the hard lines of a suit jacket.
3. Wear a brooch on your solid colored sweater, sweet and lovely.
4. Wear a brooch on your wide head-band (be careful not to get the pin caught in your hair).
5. Wear a brooch on your purse, hat or even belt.
6. Wear a brooch as the pendant of your necklace.
7. Wear a brooch to hold your scarf together (scarves have been all the rage when wrapped multiple times around your neck...but spring is a little neck!

If you like brooches, a great addition to your library would be Brooches: Timeless Adornment or if you are looking for more of a picture book you might try, 500 Brooches: Inspiring Adornments for the body.

And, while this story was all the rage a year ago, it is still very interesting to read about Madeleine Albright's brooch, I'm certain she has thousands. Madeleine said that she likes brooches, rings and pendants that have something to say. I couldn't agree with her more!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Award Observations

And, the winner goes to....okay, honestly, aren't they all winners? Look at how stunning each one of these ladies looks!

Sandra Bullock wore platinum and diamond earrings from her personal collection, and they were designed by Neil Lane. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Helen Mirren wore a platinum necklace set with 125 carats of diamonds, platinum and 9-carat diamond earrings and a platinum and diamond cuff by Chopard. photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Miley Cyrus was wearing platinum and diamond earrings set with rubies, by Lorraine Schwartz. photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Charlize Theron wore platinum and diamond cluster earrings by Harry Winston. 17.25 carats. photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

I want to comment on the lack of jewelry I saw at this year's Academy Awards. For jewels which are borrowed...why do we see bare necks and barely there earrings? I mean, the reason we have a pre-show is BECAUSE we want to see the gorgeous gowns and jewelry...isn't it? I missed seeing necklaces on these girls, but that is a matter of personal opinion.

Kristen Stewart

Elisabetta Canalis

Giuliana Depandi

Elizabeth Banks

Photographs were borrowed from (no photographer was listed)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rings and Root Canals

This ring is not finished, but trying it on gives me an idea of what type of finish I would like to apply.

I am ring-phobic. I know this is a horrible diagnosis for someone who really likes making jewelry, but I am one of those girls who doesn’t wear rings well. Or, at least, I do not perceive myself as someone who wears rings well. Heavy sigh. My nails are always a mess (even when I am on my game and have a manicure once a week) and my cuticles can look shredded mere hours after I’ve had them done. Plus it is quite possible that when I gain weight, it goes to my fingers. Okay, it really goes to my hips, but you get the point, I think I have relatively thick fingers. So really, the last thing I want to do in the morning is draw more attention to my unsightly stumps by adorning them with pretties.

Perhaps I have been shortsighted.

I know girls like rings (along with shoes and chocolate – am I missing any other stereotypes?) but since I’ve never really worn rings I am missing out on all of the fantasmarific qualities that make one a good purchase. If you could be so kind as to post what you like about rings and what makes one a “must have” I would be forever grateful.

You can imagine my dismay when I discovered my first metal-smithing project this semester would be a ring. (Another heavy sigh emits, followed by cheerful thoughts of root canals.) Okay, seriously, I somehow managed to skip the ring project in my beginning level class three years ago and while I’ve been making some sort of jewelry since 2003 or so, I have managed to avoid ever even designing a ring. The photos I am posting are my progress on this project, my first ring: A sterling silver behemoth, with a nod (okay nod may be too subtle) to my architectural background. I will post again when it is finished, I have much to do…pouring resin and filing mostly. OH, and I liked this process so much I am making two more!

Rings, where have you been all my life?

Above: I have decided on the look of my ring and have cut out my sides. I placed the cutout sides on the silver sheet.

Above: I have soldered the "sides" of my ring to the silver sheet and I have cut out.