Sunday, March 2, 2008

Finding my jewelry artist's voice....

In the two years since I've started creating art jewelry pieces, I have developed skills in quite a few techniques. I started beading which helped me develop my some very basic beginner skills; using pliers, opening and closing jumprings, crimping, but most importantly I developed my design sense, an eye for color, textures and balance.

While still fully immersed in stringing necklaces and bracelets, I began to experiment with sterling silver wire...uh yeah I said..."experiment with sterling silver wire"! I began making my own clasps, making coils and coiled beads and incorporating this into the strung jewelry I was creating.

The next steps I took with the wire started me on a path that diverted my interest from stringing beads to creating bead links...wire looped beaded jewelry, on to wire-wrapped hand formed focal with beads, wire woven designs on wire frames wrapped with gemstones...every new technique I learn makes me crave trying something on another level...I have developed an addiction to learning new techniques and I cannot seem to my fill.All of the wire work I have done has been very satisfying but I always want to do more, something new, another challenge!

So, currently my focus is on metalsmithing, creating art jewelry pieces using sheet silver and copper, fabricating using both hot and cold connections...(hot connections = soldering...cold connections = rivets, wire-wrapping, hinges), setting stones in bezels and manipulating the metal into dimensional forms using a wide range of tools from simple pliers to a variety of punches, stakes and hammers. It is in this medium that I am finally finding my jewelry artist's voice. The metal and I are developing a relationship in which it speaks to me, I hear what it is saying and I am able to interpret and communicate to my audience the direction it has given me. Our exchanges are soft-spoken, I wish to learn its dynamics and have it show me how best to have it speak through me, so I do not argue. Maybe later I will gain enough confidence to provide more direction to it...but for now...I'm listening and sharing what I my jewelry artist's voice.

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