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.
Spring Branches, in Relief
These are the reverse of the preceding pair. 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.
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.
Another example of a free-form design in intaglio
The process is the same as before, but in this case the edges of the piece were beveled steeply and polished to a high shine.
Cracked Silver Drop Earrings
These were made in two layers, blackened and sanded back to silver as done for the previous drops.
Intaglio of Grasses
This piece is a an intaglio, made with two sheets of silver. The top sheet is cut to invoke grasses bending in the breeze. This sheet is fused to a backing sheet of silver by soldering the two together. The piece is oxidized (patinated) black, and then the image revealed by sanding away the blackened layer, leaving blackened silver on the lower silver sheet.
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.
Dogwood Blossom Earrings
As with the Dogwood blossom pendants, I married a colored metal, in this case brass, to the outside of each petal. I wanted to invoke the Dogwood blossom in late spring, when the white petal turns brown on the edges. The green stones are 4mm peridot.
Dogwood blossom earrings with padparadscha
These earrings feature a copper edge fused to the sterling silver petal and a simple setting using, in this case, a beautiful pinkish-orange sapphire called padparadscha. Natural padparadscha is rare; this is manmade, but still a genuine sapphire.
More Dogwood Blossom Earrings....
The same marriage-of-metal technique is used for the petals, using copper married to sterling silver in these pieces. The 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.
Fire Opal Earrings, in a wisp of smoke
Fire Opal earrings. 4mm Fire Opals, simply set in a puff of smoke.
Peridot set in a simple flower
These simple earrings complement the floral clusters in the Callary Pear Pendants. Both the pendants and earrings are set with Peridot gemstones.