The Art of Living by Making Art

Jewellery inspired by nature and made by hand.
How I make it, why I make it, the challenges I face and the successes that come my way.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Leaves

Outside my window the ground is covered in snow but inside I still have leaves on my mind. I have been using the leaf skeleton pattern in my jewellery for quite a while and I'm not tired of it yet, I don't think I ever will be. Every time I roll the leaf onto the silver is like the first time.

The challenge is to make the jewellery as exquisitely as I can while still retaining some sense of how much time it is taking and therefore how much I will charge for the piece. That is the nature of production work - a continuing juggle of time, money and artistic inspiration. These leaf earrings I recently made are a simple silver shape with two shades of green enamel on them, front and back and a silver hook, but even they took several hours to complete from start to finish, all completely handmade in my studio. I love the simple look, not fussy or ornate.

On the other hand the necklace here took many many hours to complete and it is a one of a kind piece because I don't think I could reproduce the exact colouring again, the shades of rust and brown and verdigris green, like an old junkyard find but with shiny silver edges! To be quite honest it was a happy accident. I didn't prepare the sterling silver quite enough before enamelling (not enough depletion gilding for the jewellers out there) and some of the copper in the sterling came through and coloured the enamel. At first I was quite dismayed but then I decided that I liked it better than the original plan I had. Sometimes things that go wrong are really going right, if only we know when to go with the flow.

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