We recently teamed up with Oak City Crafts, a new website promoting North Carolina artisans. You will find some our best selling designs as well as work by many of our favorite local designers.
Hurray, fall show season has arrived! We're kicking off four weeks of back to back shows on Friday at the Morning Times Market in downtown Raleigh. Its Hopscotch weekend, so we decided it was the perfect time for a change of scenery and will be skipping First Friday at the studio this month. You can find us on Wilmington St from 7-11, we'll be sharing a space with Blackbird Blackbird, who I hear is bringing some brand new screen printed tote bags with her.
On Saturday morning, we are off to DC for Arts on Belmont, part of the Adams Morgan Day celebration. This is a new event for us and we are really looking forward to it. We will have special edition DC neighborhood pendants and city skyline necklaces with us as well. I finished them today and love how they turned out.
Thanks to an amazing deal from Priceline, we are staying just 5 blocks from the White House so I plan to tack on a few hours of touristy stuff before heading home on Monday! Here's to an exciting action packed weekend...
Some work in progress shots of my latest piece, Kraken Attack! I'm so happy with how this turned out. (Well, you really can't go wrong with a giant sea monster attacking a ship, but this necklace makes me happier every time I look at it) Not to mention everything came together so perfectly and easily, I only cut myself once and nothing fell apart during soldering.
You can find this version and a smaller one in my Etsy store.
We're gearing up for the fall show season with an updated booth layout. We gave it a test run today at Logan's Festival of the Arts, so I made sure to snap a few photos.
Asymmetrical spoon bracelet
Recently I've been lucky enough to run across a couple of people who have entrusted me to convert their damaged or unused family silverware into jewelry. These pieces were a change of pace from my usual work and a lot of fun to make.
Each commission presented its own unique set of challenges. The first customer had a damaged spoon that they wanted made into three separate pieces of jewelry and the second wanted a bracelet that showcased the engraving of the J initial on the handle. Other than those basic requests the designs were completely up to me. I knew that I didn't want to make the usual spoon jewelry that I'm always seeing, so when coming up with a design I tried to see past the spoon and break it down into basic shapes and components.
I took the first spoon and cut it into three separate pieces, the bowl, the top of the handle and the middle of the handle. I flattened the bowl, formed it into a slight curve and gave it a hammered texture to cover up the damaged area. It made the perfect minimal but bold pendant. Since this spoon had an engraved texture on the entire handle I was able to take the middle section and form it into an asymmetrical open band. Then I took the tip of the handle and soldered a length of rectangular wire to it that became the band. When you wear it the tip rests on top of neighboring finger, so it looks like a multi finger ring.
The second commission was for a bracelet. I originally intended to flatten and form it into a simple cuff, but decided to cut it in half and solder the former bowl to the tip of the handle and add lengths of chain so it could be closed with a clap. I loved the basic design but it seemed to be missing something so I went back and pierced the floral design into the bowl to tie the piece together.
I was a little nervous when I started both projects but wound up very pleased with the results. Now I have the overwhelming urge to hit up the flea market and antique stores in search of more spoons! If you are interested in converting your own pieces of silverware, I would love to hear from you.
working silversmiths bench, Colonial Willimasburg
This past weekend we were in Colonial Williamsburg for Art on the Square. I got the dates of the show mixed up and ended up booking a non-refundable hotel room for an extra night, so we ended up tacking on a mini-vaction which allowed us to spend some time exploring The Revolutionary City. In addition to historic buildings and reenactments there are tons of artisans working with colonial tools and materials to visit. Obviously I didn't want to miss the silversmith. I was most blown away by how little the tools have changed in the last 250 years. With the exception of the pewter cup, the jewelers bench looked much the same as mine does. And, as I was pleased to discover, equally messy. The main difference between colonial era and modern silversmithing lies in the soldering process, which was either done in a furnace or with a lung powered blow pipe as opposed to a gas powered torch. While they were not demonstrating that technique at the time the jeweler was nice enough to show me the pipe and lamp and to explain the technique to me. I have a whole new appreciation for my beloved torch!
Spring has finally arrived! The sun is out, scarves and gloves packed away, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and the studio looks like a supply bomb exploded. We have a busy two months ahead with 9 shows over 7 consecutive weeks spanning 6 different cities and 3 states. Whoa! The madness starts this weekend as we participate in one of our favorite local shows, the Rock & Shop Market. Rock & Shop is always the perfect combination of amazingly talented artisans, local bands and tasty food trucks. This year should be even better than ever thanks to the spacious new venue, The Durham Armory. Hours are 11-7 on Saturday and it is running concurrently with The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. It should be a great weekend for Indie in Durham, NC.
Hand cut animal silhouette rings making their debut. I'm really loving these guys!
Spring show season is just around the corner and so far it is shaping up to be a busy one. I just updated the show schedule and it is packed! I'm so excited to get back on the road and to have added some new locations and shows to this years schedule. We've been busy in the studio working on new designs and can't wait to share them with you. First up, is the Rock & Shop at the Durham Armory on April 6th. If you can't wait until then, most of the new pieces are available on Etsy and as always at the studio.
I recently received a request for a set of wedding bands. The customers had a basic idea of what they wanted the rings too look like but gave me the freedom to incorporate some of my own ideas. After a few emails back and forth we settled on a design and I set to work. People are always asking about the fabrication process of the pieces we make so I took a few progress shots to help illustrate it.
1. I started with flat sterling silver strip. The wider strip was only available in either too thick or too thin of a gauge, so I took two thin pieces and sweat soldered them together, and filed the edges down to hide the seam.
2. I stamped the couples initials on the wire, formed the bands and slightly rounded the edges of the overlap.
3. I liked the look of the rivets but wanted a more solid connection as well as a smooth underside for comfort, so I soldered the overlap seam, drilled through it, inserted the rivet wire and soldered everything together. This allowed me to trim the excess and sand the inside completely smooth while flattening the top with the hammer.
4. The rivets and overlap details didn't pop as much as I envisioned so oxidized the rings and sanded most of the patina off which looks great with the brushed finish the customers requested.
I'm really excited about how these turned out and hope the customers love them as much as I do. If you're interested in your own custom bands, please contact us. We would love to bring your vision to life!