My jewelry involves traditional metalsmithing techniques and metal clay.
My background in art began working with earthenware clay. As a potter, I made functional and nonfunctional sculptural pieces. Later, in art school, I studied metalsmithing, printmaking and graphic art. I worked for ten years as a graphic designer, using a computer for layout & design. In 2000, I retired from my computer graphics job to search for a more meaningful, hands-on creative life.
That year, I discovered an entirely new way to work with silver, silver clay. Precious Metal Clay was introduced to the art community in the United States by Mitsubishi Japan in 1994. PMC is a soft malleable substance that is made from pure silver or gold. It is comprised of three ingredients: pure silver or gold (much of which is recycled and cut into extremely fine particles) organic binder & water. It can be molded, textured, and shaped like traditional clay, when fired in a kiln to sinter it, the binder burns off and what is left is .999 fine metal, which can then be soldered, formed, like sterling silver sheet. I often create texture by carving plates as I did in printmaking, and I create polymer tear-away plates as well, often using the computer. I can also carve the silver clay with carving tools when it is dry. Silver clay is perfect for fusing 24k gold in the ancient Keum-boo process and enameling as well. Since working with this amazing material, bronze, copper and other metals have been introduced. The biggest advantage is I can combine techniques I have used in printmaking, pottery and graphic design.
A few years ago, I began working with a torch and soft glass to make lamp work beads to add to my jewelry designs. The torch is another challenge for my artistic background, this time using colors as they interact in the flame.
My hope is to make my designs unique and to create a piece of art to wear and enjoy.