These designs are inspired by tree branches in early spring, just beginning to sprout flowers and leaves. The design is cut out of sterling silver, and then fused to a backing sheet of silver. The metal is patinated (blackened) and then the front sanded back to silver. When the design is below the level of the picture, it is called an Intaglio. Usually, this is done by cutting out the design using a graver (to make an engraving). In this case, its done by fusing layers and developing the image by patination and restoring the top layer by sanding.
Another intaglio of budding branches....
Spring Branches, in Relief
These are the reverse of the preceding pairs. In this case the cut-out branches are fused to sterling silver, blackened, and the branches sanded back to silver. Because the image is above the level of the picture, it is called a relief.
Leaves in the wind
Drop earrings with an intaglio of leaves blowing in the wind. In this case, the cut out on the top layer is more intricate, but done with a jeweler’s saw and a fine saw blade.
Green Berries on Winter Branches
The green berries are flush set emeralds and the branches and leaves are an intaglio, as previously described.
Intaglio of bubbling goo....I guess
The design is cut from the top layer of silver, fused (soldered) to the background, and then oxidized black. The top layer is sanded to a mat finish, revealing the design.
A Red Garnet Added ....
The garnet is floating on the ‘goo’…
Simple drop earrings
The design is a simple uneven square of silver, with a crack at the bottom. Two sheets of silver are fused, the top with the cracks cut out and the bottom for the black patina. The design is developed by lightly sanding the top layer, leaving a mat finish. The sides are beveled and polished for accent.
Fire Opal, set on crossed lengths of silver
4 mm fire opals, simply set and attached to crossed pieces in sterling silver. Reminiscent of a wood fire.
Fire Opal Earrings, in a wisp of smoke
Fire Opal earrings. 4mm Fire Opals, simply set in a puff of smoke.
Dogwood Blossoms, but with blue topaz
Dogwood blossoms have a green flower in the center, and implied by the green peridot stones in my Dogwood Pendants. However, license can be taken and different colors used. In this case, the central flowers are London Blue Topaz. The edges are copper, fused the each silver petal using the marriage-of-metal procedure.
More Dogwood Blossom Earrings....
The same marriage-of-metal technique is used for the petals. The colored stones are 5mm clear cubic zirconia and pink tourmalines.
Dogwood Blossom Earrings
These pieces are small, about 2cm across (3/4 inch). The stones are garnets, each 4mm in size. In all of my Dogwood pieces, I used marriage-of-metal to finish the tips of the petals, in most cases using copper.
Dogwood Blossom Earrings in Many Colors
The stones are (from left to right): London Blue Topaz, Peridot and Idaho-mined Garnets.