Working on a Special Project
Working on a Special Project

I can't give all the details here yet, but this is a custom build for a special friend. It's a beauty and will be finished in the next few days.

Working on the MFA Midterm Project
Working on the MFA Midterm Project

This is an action shot of the midterm project I worked on last weekend. It is almost finished, but here I'm soldering the back plate to the handmade/engraved bezel.

Using the Dial Caliper
Using the Dial Caliper

Here I am measuring my width to find the center for holes to be drilled. I'm practicing with the dial caliper.

Fusing Sterling Silver
Fusing Sterling Silver

This is a great photo taken by my studio assistant. It's so nice to get some action shots up here and keep y'all in the "know" with what I'm working on.

Ocean Wave Engraved Ring
Ocean Wave Engraved Ring
Custom Engraved Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes
Custom Engraved Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes

Here is a snapshot of the WIP on the fish tail exhaust engraving I'm working on. I'm hoping to have these completed by May 31, 2017! Come by and see the progress.

Rattlesnake Vertebrae Casting
Rattlesnake Vertebrae Casting

A friend brought me a rattlesnake vertebrae and I just had to make sure I got a great casting out of it. This is the raw casting waiting for the final polish.

Sterling Silver Turkey Spurs
Sterling Silver Turkey Spurs

Yes, I said turkey spurs. A dear friend is a hunter and wanted to give his daughters something unique and different for Christmas, so he brought me his spurs. We made an RTV mold and then cast them in sterling silver. Both weighed right at one full troy ounce of silver.

14K Yellow Gold Men's Ring - Raw Casting
14K Yellow Gold Men's Ring - Raw Casting

Here's a men's ring in 14K yellow gold. This is the raw casting straight out of the quench bucket - well, I cut the sprue off first, but it's almost flawless. This was 1.5 troy ounces of 14KY grain... This is a BIG ring.

14K Gold Women's Solitaire Ring
14K Gold Women's Solitaire Ring

Here is a shot of the raw 14K yellow gold casting for a women's solitaire. Yes, gold isn't very pretty until you polish it! But, this one turned out beautifully.

Copper Basketry Pendants with Feathers
Copper Basketry Pendants with Feathers

I am super-stoked about the way these two pendants turned out. From the raw skeletal armitures to the final coiling and oxidized pieces, I loved every minute of working out the details on these pieces. The FEATHERS! Yes, they were the ultimate topper to finish both.

Copper Basket Pendant - WIP
Copper Basket Pendant - WIP

Here is a shot of the smaller pendant with its final patina. Now to add something special. It needs something amazing!
 

Copper Basket Pendant #2 - WIP
Copper Basket Pendant #2 - WIP

I know the soldering really shows up even though this has the final patina - its the drawback to having only silver solder. I gave away my sample of copper solder; should have kept it. Anyway, I still like the overall shape and structure, but it's missing something...

Copper Wire Basketry Armiture Pendants
Copper Wire Basketry Armiture Pendants

This is a quick view of my "Knit, Crochet & Weave in Metal" class final project. I had to come up with a suite of pieces that reflected some of the skills we learnedfor fiber and translate them into metal. These are the raw armitures with the coiling technique started.

Woven Sterling Silver Ring
Woven Sterling Silver Ring

This was my first experiment in weaving sterling silver wire. And yes, I did have to solder all of the small joints together to make sure it didn't unwrap. I'm not sure if I like the high shine or the oxidized version. I'm partial to the patina, but it looks great both ways.

Sterling Silver Coiled Cuff - WIP
Sterling Silver Coiled Cuff - WIP

This is an in progress photo of a special gift for a dear friend. I'm trying out a new technique I learned in my master's program. I hope it turns out as well as I imagine it to.

Street Glide Tour Pack Cover - Work In Progress
Street Glide Tour Pack Cover - Work In Progress

Here is a work-in-progress shot of "Willa-G" for Sue's Street Glide. This is the wet image of the leather while working the design into it with hand tools and a Delrin hammer. Each line is cut with a swivel knife then made three dimensional with tools.  When it's the tooling is done and the leather is dry, I will dye it black and add some crystal bling to it!

Steel Roses Engraving - Work In Progress
Steel Roses Engraving - Work In Progress

This is a practice plate I've been working on for a couple of weeks not. Of course, it's practice so I've been adding a little here and there in between custom jewelry and leather clients. I will have it done eventually and it will be added to the wall of samples for my walk-in clients to admire and maybe even choose for something special.

Custom Diamond Pendant
Custom Diamond Pendant

This custom pendant project was underway in early June 2016. My client had a men's ring with the diamond cluster pictured here that he wanted turned into a pendant for his girlfriend. This shot is the WIP of the topper out of the men's ring and getting ready to be soldered into the new pendant.

One thing, the client had a pendant that he wore daily that we mimicked for her pendant. She absolutely loves it! I'm happy with the way it turned out, the only problem... I forgot to snap a picture before she came to pick it up.

Academy of Art Spring 2016 Project
Academy of Art Spring 2016 Project

Some may know, but for those who don't, I am in a master's degree program for jewelry and metal arts through the distance learning program at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. This photo is a quick snapshot of a final project I worked on for my Digital Design and Laser Cutting class last Spring. The floral and scrollwork was designed in Illustrator and then sent off to Ponoko for laser engraving. You can't see much of the engraving except for the dye I added, but I think it turned out well. There are a few things I'd do a little differently next time, but this was a really fun, creative way for me to get back into my leather working tools!

Master's Project Progress
Master's Project Progress

Here are a few progress shots of my work on my final project for my casting class this semester. I made a rubber mold of a porcupine bone with a tap & die, pulled waxes, cast in bronze and attached the microbolts.

Lost Wax Casting
Lost Wax Casting

These are the quick set up pics from my latest lost wax casting project. I'm working on a sculpture for my Master's program.

Metal Book - How To Texture
Metal Book - How To Texture

This tiny book (30mm x 35mm) is a creation I made for my Book Arts class at AAU for the Spring 2016 semester. The challenge was to make a book with anything but paper products, so yes, I made a metal book.

It's made from 20g nickel sheet and is hand cut, stamped and textured by me!

Lost Wax Casting - Roses
Lost Wax Casting - Roses

These were fun little flowers to figure out. I've never really used the pink sculpting wax before, but I decided it was time to practice and get my fingers "dirty" with it.

I think they turned out pretty well. The bottom right corner is what they look like straight out of the quench bucket. Now I just need to make something with them!

Wax Carving Tools on the Bench
Wax Carving Tools on the Bench

Here is a sampling of the tools on the bench for a wax model in progress. They will eventually be ocean wave pendants, but right now, they're still in the hard wax phase. Next will be spruing and model investing getting prepared for the wax burnout process.

Deer Antler Slice Scrimshaw
Deer Antler Slice Scrimshaw

I'm very happy about how this one turned out. I used my Lindsay AirGraver to cut the design into the freshly polished surface and then stained it with black India ink. It's abstract and interesting.

Cow Bone Scrimshaw
Cow Bone Scrimshaw

I picked up a cow bone chew from Tractor Supply to practice some scrimshaw. I sliced the bone using a band saw and then polished the surface with sandpapers. Next I used my Lindsay AirGraver to cut the design and then finally India ink to stain the design. The curves with difficult to achieve with such a hard bone, but I did it.

PnP Blue Transfer Paper
PnP Blue Transfer Paper

This is the set up for an etching.  I used PnP Blue to print an image and transfer it to the copper using a hot clothes iron and pressure.  They're all ready to go into the etchant and come out beautiful.

Engraving Scrollwork Practice Sheet
Engraving Scrollwork Practice Sheet

Here's a shot of my engraving practice plate.  I'm practicing my own scrollwork and getting to know my Lindsey Air Graver up close and personal.

Paper Maquettes
Paper Maquettes

This is the paper mock-up for my final project for my Advanced Jewelry Design & Fabrication class.  They will be a set of gauntlets for a man and woman.  I'll share the details when they're done.

21-Bangle Copper
21-Bangle Copper

This was a commission from my sister-in-law.  As a prototype, I think it turned out very well.  So, now on to the sterling silver version.

Gun Charms - Finished
Gun Charms - Finished

These were so much fun to make.  The photo on the left is the raw castings before I sand and polish them.  The photo on the right is the final charms after the loop has been soldered and they've been tumbled overnight.

Rubber Mold Making
Rubber Mold Making

This is a starting shot of the mold making process in my studio.  I use Castaldo Rubber products and cast my own charms from a master made in sterling silver.

Once the mold is complete, I inject hot wax to make a model for lost wax casting in multiples.  It's fun and challenging all at the same time.

Soldering a Chain for a Bracelet
Soldering a Chain for a Bracelet

This is the start of a bracelet chain made from 14 gauge sterling silver round wire.  Each ring is formed by hand around a mandrel, cut with a jeweler's saw, then soldered using an oxygen/propane torch setup.

Once the chain is complete, the item will be pickled to remove the fire scale and polished to give it a high shine.

Sweat Soldering Sterling Silver
Sweat Soldering Sterling Silver

This is a 2-inch diameter disc in which rings are being soldered for an enameling project in development for one of the classes to be taught this fall.

Monogram Charm Wax Carving
Monogram Charm Wax Carving

This is a work in progress wax carving of a monogram charm.  I use these to invest and burnout the wax to get the sterling silver casting.

Once the casting is done, I hand finish the piece and connect it to a bracelet or a necklace for the final piece.

Rub Over Settings or Prong Settings
Rub Over Settings or Prong Settings

These are on the bench waiting for my decision to either tube set or prong set these great, colorful stones.

Revolver Castings
Revolver Castings

These are the rough castings of tiny revolvers I made in December 2013 and are going to become part of the Summer 2014 charm line.

Sterling Silver Stacking Rings
Sterling Silver Stacking Rings

These are the parts to the moon stacking rings before they've been soldered together and polished.

Bangle Blanks
Bangle Blanks

This is a quick shot of the wire blanks I solder together to make my textured bangles.  Each one is carefully measured for the client, soldered then finished using hammers, sandpapers and other items to texture and polish.

Lost Wax Castings - Rough
Lost Wax Castings - Rough

Here's a quick look at some new charms I'm creating for the store.  These have been cast and are awaiting pickle, detach and polish.

Rubber Mold Making
Rubber Mold Making

This was my first real attempt at a 3-part rubber mold specifically for jewelry! I used a porcupine bone from Gramma Myrt's collection and created a mold for a wax copy that incorporates a micro-bolt for a connector. I had never thought to do this before and if I hadn't been in a casting class for my Master's program, I probably would never have thought of it.

This was the beginning of my project for my semester final.

Cougar Toe & Claw Casting
Cougar Toe & Claw Casting

The mold and the wax injection worked beautifully. My castings came out great and now to set the stones, engrave and add the pendant bail.