I design my jewelry to create a unique piece that is made with quality workmanship. Many of my pendants and focal pieces are designed and created using sheets of brass, copper and stainless steel; earthen clay, crystal clay; pieces of antique/vintage jewelry in combination with components, stones and crystals; knotting or soldering with stained glass or on metal for designs.
When using copper, brass and stainless steel I etch my design onto the metal and then cut it out. I use a variety of hammers, chisels, embossing tools, dapping tools, wire wrapping pliers and mandrels to texture and form the piece. Once the piece is textured and formed, I sand it to make sure all the edges are smooth. When I have multiple pieces that need to be connected I rivet them together using a rivet and hammer. The last step is to give it color, if I choose not to leave it the natural color. I paint with patina and a clear coat or do embossing using a heat gun and powder for color. I follow this same process for creating pendants, focal pieces and/or cuff bracelets.
I use both earthen clay and crystal clay. When using earthen clay I design, create and texture the piece and then let it dry until it is leather hard. It is then bisqued in the kiln for the first firing. I then glaze it, which gives it the color and have it fired again in the kiln for the final time.
When using crystal clay, I use two-part epoxy and clay that I mix together. I use bezels when using crystal clay by filling the bezel with clay. After the bezel is filled I create a design or texture the clay and then add Swarovski crystals and/or metal pieces that I have cut and sanded. The clay will dry cement hard within a couple of hours. The bezel will be used as a pendant, focal piece or for earrings.
When creating vintage pieces, I take apart old jewelry that I have purchased at antique stores or estate sales. I disassemble the jewelry and then play with the different pieces until I come up with a design that I like for a pendant or focal piece.
When knotting jewelry, I tie a knot in between each bead. It is time-consuming but very relaxing for me. I usually like to do a toggle clasp in the front of the knotted necklaces to give them a little more pop.
When using stained glass, I cut the piece of glass to the desired shape. Then I wrap it using copper foil and solder it using solder and a soldering iron. I solder a jump ring to it if I am using it as a pendant. I also cut pieces of metal and solder the metal pieces making designs. I then use those pieces for pendants or earrings.
When I have finished creating a pendant or focal piece, I use stones, freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, Czech, chain and/or a variety of metal components to create the necklace, and or bracelet. I use brass, copper, gunmetal, stainless steel, sterling silver, 24k gold plated and 14k gold filled for my metals and chain. If I could only work with one type of material, it would be metal. There are endless possibilities when working with a piece of metal.