Saturday, October 31, 2015

Astrological Bracelet

Sterling Silver Astrological Bracelet
My brother; Ernst Wilhelm, is an extraordinary Vedic astrologer.  He was the one who first sent me the materials to make my first piece of jewelry; a 9 stoned astrological bangle.  I have enjoyed making jewelry ever since and setting stones for astrological jewelry was my major source of income while going to acupuncture school.  Astrological and healing jewelry can be challenging because one of the design considerations is that the stones must protrude through the setting and make contact with the skin.  I also like the way the light goes through the stones when set in this way, it reminds me of a stain glass window or dream catcher.   This bracelet has a total of 27 jump rings and each of them is soldered closed.   Only someone who has soldered jump rings can understand what an exercise in patience and futility making a chain like this can be.  This particular client wanted the ability to add or remove stones as needed which is why the large single rings can be removed and re-spliced without damaging the settings.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Moonstone Zanshin Drop Earrings

Often times when I come up with a new jewelry design, it is without conscious effort.  Many times I will wake in the morning with an idea in my head almost as if it had come from a dream.  The drops of these earrings came to me in just that way.  They are inspired from the "zanshin" acupuncture tool.  When I awoke with the design, it was a zanshin that was coiled and it resembled a sort of machinists version of a shell.  For this particular design I preferred them being straight plus I have a few details of the coiling that, technically, will be challenging.  Often times our ideas are simple but the execution of them not so.  These times of challenge are one of the reasons I enjoy metalsmithing so much and they drive me to become more skillful.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ode to Iron

Here are a couple pendants that are made of iron, silver and stone.  The iron discs were formed red hot and given a dimpled texture. The silver settings and bails are attached with rivets.  I very much like the dual texture and color of the forged iron and polished silver.  Iron is very much under appreciated but our bodies know better.  Not only does iron make up hemoglobin, but is an important component of many crucial enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and amino acids in our bodies.  Iron oxide (yes rust!) is what makes our blood red and carries oxygen to our cells.  Its oxidative ability is what allows it to freely exchange oxygen with carbon dioxide which would quickly acidify and poison our system.  After the hemoglobin's short 3 month life, our liver breaks down these cells and clings onto every molecule of iron for eventual generation of new blood cells.  So is the intelligence of our bodies.  Although iron is, by mass, the most common element, our bodies know it is also the most valuable and would not trade it for gold.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Moonstone Wisdom Earrings

These earrings were made last year and have a bit of tarnish on them but still are eye catching.  The triangular moonstones are set on sterling silver discs that were first roller printed and then slightly domed.  The bottoms were formed on a homemade hydraulic dye forming press.  Moonstones have such a timeless way about them.  They seem to impart wisdom upon the wearer.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day Citrine Earrings

Here are a pair of sterling silver citrine earrings for my mother on Mother's Day.  The drop portion of these earrings are made by hydraulic dye forming, which produces lovely, pillowy shapes in a repeatable way.  Citrines have always been a favorite stone of mine.  Citrines are beneficial to the solar plexus chakra which includes the liver and spleen organs.  In Chinese medicine the spleen and stomach make up the earth element.  Of course these organs are critical for obtaining nourishment and sustaining life.  We see that mother earth keeps giving without ever asking for herself.  Thanks Mom, I hope these earring give back a little of what you have given.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Amethyst Moxa Charm

One of my classmates asked me to make a charm bracelet charm for one of her special clients that was turning 21 years old.  She wanted the charm to contain a bit of ultra pure moxa.  I did not want to have any hinges or other openings since jewelry warn on the wrists tend to get a little abused.  I opted to form a chamber underneath the stone that held the moxa and was permanently encapsulated by the faceted amethyst itself.  Sorry the picture of the stone does not show it's beauty.  This piece was created by first sand casting a rough ingot of silver. The ingot was then turned on a metal lathe to a perfect cylinder. The groove detail as well as the moxa chamber and the stone setting itself were all milled on the lathe as well.