Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Finally, some new stuff

I've finally had a few spare moments to get back to experimenting with colored pencils and tinted resin. On the left is Sunny the Sun Conure, who lives with my parents is and is like a third sibling. It's my mom's xmas gift. This quick snapshot doesn't really do the pieces justice, I'm quite pleased with both of these and I'm looking forward to doing more with this technique. I used to love to do drawings with Prismacolor colored pencils, so I'm excited about incorporating them into my current work.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Here's another oldie! This one was carved in wax and then cast in sterling silver by me at the Santa Rosa Junior College. There are pin findings soldered on the back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More old stuff

Here's another oldie, from the same time as the rhino. This one is a combination of casting and fabrication. The gorilla was carved in wax and cast (by me!) in sterling. The box he's sitting in was entirely fabricated from sterling sheet, meaning I cut it out with a saw and stamped (or chased, as it's known as in the biz) all the detail in will various steel chisels and punches. Then the whole thing was soldered together and finished. Ack! That was alot of work! It, too, is fairly huge and doesn't really work as jewelry, but is kind of cool as a little diorama.

As I was editing the photo, I looked up from my monitor here at work (shh, don't tell please!) and on the wall is an enlargement of the original photo I used to carve the gorilla from! He's a big silverback that I saw in 1989 in what was then Zaire and is now the Congo. The photo was taken with a 50mm lens, not a zoom. He was less than 10 feet away from me. I hope the big guy is still around.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Really old work

I thought it would be fun to show some of my really old pieces, dating back to when I was learning silversmithing in the early 90's. My favorite way of working back then was repousse', which involves sheet metal (in my case usually sterling silver), a bowl of pine pitch, a hammer and assorted chisels and punches. You heat the pitch up with a torch, put the metal in and start hammering out your form from the back. You have to pull the piece out of the pitch and anneal it fairly often, so it's a very time consuming process. The pitch supports the piece but is soft enough that you can create form in the sheet. Once the form was starting to develop, I would turn it over and work from the front, adding all the lines and detail (known as chasing) with fine chisels. And then anneal it, flip it over and work from the back more. And then anneal it and flip it over and work from the front. On and on. I quite like this Rhino, but not as jewelry since it is HUGE - about 3" across. The second photo is of the back, so you can see how it was hammered.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Technique

Phew, I have been BUSY lately! But not too busy to experiment, this cardinal is my latest. The color is done with a combination of Prismacolor pencils, tinted resin and clear resin. I'm pleased with the result, and now the squirrels in my brain are spinning with new possibilities for adding color to my stuff!