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Organically Inspired. . .

How It’s Made

My design material is metal clay, which is pliable and works like clay, then fires to solid metal in my kiln. This material is ideal for capturing the real leaf textures that are featured in my jewelry. Metal clay can also be sculpted and carved, techniques I use in my birdhouse pieces. After being crafted in metal clay, my designs are cast by a family-owned business in the U.S.

The silver pieces are cast in Argentium, which is a tarnish resistant sterling alloy. The colors in the Nature Walk Collection in Silver are achieved using my own special patina recipe to dip the metal and create a shimmering range of colors. Finally, I polish each piece by hand to bring back the shiny silver finish, leaving the colorful patina in the relief areas.

For the Nature Walk Collection in Bronze and Copper, the pieces are cast in bronze and then hand-finished in my studio. The colors are dye-oxide patinas, which are well sealed to maintain the color and discourage tarnish.

Below, you’ll find blog posts on the topic of How It’s Made.

Category Archives: How It’s Made

Need A Bit Of Color In Your World?

I know I do!  Adding color to my copper and bronze pieces is truly a labor of love.  Early in the process, I’m like a kid slopping color around in pursuit of creating her masterpiece.  By the time I get to the final steps, with my back aching and sweat dripping from my brow, I wonder if this pile of metal will ever end.  Here’s a glimpse into how the magic happens.

Patina.collageIt all starts with my very own copper and bronze components, tumbled to a shiny finish and ready for color.  After that, I heat up the metal and layer on the dye oxide patinas.  These colorants meld into the pores and becomes one with the metal.  I like to start with a base color and then splatter in touches of a contrasting dye for a more interesting finish.  Next, I sand back each piece by hand to show off the raw metal in the high points and bring out the intricate textures.  Several coats of lacquer and a layer of museum-quality preservation wax lock the colors in place.  A final power buff melds all those layers together and give each element a deep, rich luster.  Truth be told, I skipped several of the more boring steps involved in a process that’s lengthy and laborious, but oh so worth it. Take a look at some of the finished designs that will come out of these components.

Nature Walk Mixed.collage