I have been hard at work in my studio creating new handmade jewelry for the season. By “the season”, I am meaning the Shakespeare season in Ashland Oregon.
I sell my work at an outdoor marketplace called the Lithia Artisans Market, which is downtown along Ashland creek. We open a month early this year ( in March), but things don’t really get hopping until the outdoor Elizabethan theater opens in June.
About My Materials and Process
I am using a variety of materials to make my handmade jewelry – porcelain, pearls, gemstones, bronze precious metal clay and Argentium sterling silver.
The bronze fiddlehead pendant on the very top was created with a special clay that has very fine particles of bronze mixed with water and a binder. I am able to form small sculptural pieces by hand. After forming, I let them dry, then fire in my kiln.The binder burns away, and the piece shrinks until it is a solid piece of bronze, then I polish it and it’s finished.
If this sounds like magic….serious….it’s as close to it as I have come. Before PMC clay, we had to go through an arduous process involving wax, molds and a long serious of steps to the finished product.
In the other jewelry pieces pictured, I use a technique called fusing.
To fuse the petals in the Flower Shield necklace (above), I saw out all the petals from sterling sheet, then lay them on a larger piece of metal and began heating with a torch until they are melted/fused together. Too little melt and they will not stick, too much melt and the whole thing will disappear in an instant into a blob. I use this fusing technique where ever I can, it is a fun process.
If you happen to be visiting Ashland Oregon you can check my facebook page where I post by Friday if I will be setting up on the weekend.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Holly Gonnella