This is where it all happens....
ABOUT MY PROCESS
I work alone, I have no apprentices or employees,
but I do occasionally bounce designs off of my husband who also has an artists eye and a fresh perspective which helps! He has also learned some good soldering skills and helps me with creating stone settings when I need the help.
It all starts with the raw materials....sterling silver, argentium silver, 22K gold, 24K gold.....and don't forget all the stones! To say I love gemstones is an understatement! Just look at some, and I mean some, of my stone drawers! I do not use casting, all my pieces are fabricated from sheet and wire using hand tools, rolling mills to add texture to the metal, a propane oxygen torch and a small kiln to do Keum-boo which is when I fuse thin sheets of 24K gold to the silver.
Stones are my inspiration and starting point. I rarely have just one stone in a piece so I pick complimentary stones to go with the focal stone that help ease out some lesser colors in it, or just to give the piece an added pop. I may sketch around the stone on paper to get some place to start, but many times I just go for it! Then I decide what textures I will apply to the sheet of silver to help convey the stones feeling or intention or just to compliment it.
Texture is very important to me not only in the stones I choose but on the surface of the silver/gold.
From there it is a matter of technique, the soldering, the joining of parts fusing gold to silver, cleaning the piece and applying the final patina.