Although most folks would say I am in a creative field, it is actually hard to break away from the demands of fulfilling commissions (and teaching) to do new or exploratory work - i.e. stuff I'm not getting paid for! Recently I did manage to do that, and I have SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) and Halstead to thank. Last fall I made the easy decision to sign up for their competition "Hidden." It works like this - enter for a modest fee, receive a box of goodies in the mail, make a piece with said goodies (plus a found object) on the theme 'hidden' by a deadline, hopefully be chosen to have your piece included in the exhibition in May. And what jeweler wouldn't want to receive a delicious box full of shiny things?? The box came last fall, and it sat on my bench, predictably, until weeks before the deadline. It lurked there, mocking me as the deadline grew closer. Finally guilt prompted me to get busy - the kits were sold out, there were people on their waitlist, how awful would it be to waste the kit??
As a mokume person, I was so happy to open the kit and find nice thick sheets of copper and brass - just waiting to be chopped up, stacked and squeezed into a billet. Those were the easy ingredients to use. Harder were the less familiar bits - most notably the sterling silver screen, the delicate chains, the tiny silver beads. I ended up using 11 of the 17 items, but I admit the beads are still in their little bag. Having pre-cut metal parts like the copper washer and silver teardrop shape was novel and certainly influenced the design process. And I discovered I could indeed sweat-solder onto perforated silver screen without melting it - that was empowering.
Well - there's lots I could say about the meaning of the piece, but I'll leave that for another time. If you feel like it, have a look at the video so you can see the 'hidden' inside and found object, and let me know what you think the piece is about. Oh, and wish me luck! If it is accepted, it will go to Portland for a SNAG-related exhibition.
SD Voyager is an online magazine with all kinds of local info and interesting San Diego stories. They recently interviewed me as part of their "San Diego's most inspiring stories" feature, along with many other fascinating business owners. It is organized by neighborhood, so I'm part of the Point Loma/Shelter Island section. Thank you SD Voyager! Read the full article online at sdvoyager.com.
Spring class schedule up at West City - classes start January 31
WCCPL (West City Campus, Point Loma) is a continuing education jewelry/metals lab only about a mile away from Anneville Studio. With a class max of 20 and a large room full of great metals equipment, it is a vibrant and social place to learn. I'll be teaching on Wednesdays there this spring - mornings for more advanced folks and/or open lab, evenings for beginners. Registration for these classes is through the school, not me! Just follow the links to register.
In some ways, 2017 was the year of the chisel for me. Because of a new book project I'm helping Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski with (I'm creating many patterning samples and co-writing one chapter), I've been doing extensive research to find ways to efficiently pattern larger pieces of mokume. It was clear to me chiseling was the way to go, and thankfully the classes I took last March with Ford Hallam helped lead the way. Now, chisel patterning is way more fun and interesting to me than stamp patterning! It is cleaner, more adaptable to different sizes, and it really is faster.
The first bracelet was an exploration to see how many layers of material are needed to get a complex pattern. The fewer the layers, the more practical it will be to create the piece in gold, using just blank layers of silver to add strength to the bottom half of the billet. First bracelet is sterling silver with two exotic Japanese alloys - 25% shibuichi and my new favorite metal kuroshibuichi. Kuroshibuichi is the dark gray, shibuichi is the lighter gray. The gold one is finished now too - two bottom photos. Pretty happy with it.
Calling all student and pro jewelry/metalsmiths in San Diego - Allcraft is coming! Allcraft is a New York based jewelry supply company headed by Tevel and Sara Herbstmann. If you have never had the pleasure of visiting Allcraft or one of their conference booths before, just know you can't miss it! They've been in business longer than I've been making jewelry; I remember encountering the magical Allcraft booth at my first SNAG 25 years ago. I spent hours perusing the tiniest elegant needle files, mysterious long-nosed hammers, wooden and plastic forming tools, the most comfortable pliers on the planet, shiny chasing sets, good-quality reasonably priced hand files, flexible sterling cable neck wires; just all manner of specialized jewelry tools. So many hammers .... come see for yourself! Allow at least an hour to browse.
If you'd like a preview, check out their website.
Anneville is pleased to host Allcraft Tools at our studio this November - Monday, November 6, from 3:30-6:30pm.
Educator, metalsmith, jeweler, maker of custom mokume gane jewelry and wedding rings.