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Show and Tell - Jewelry.


One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is one that I made! It is a wood and silver ring with a garnet stone set into the wood. I was supposed to be learning how to set pearls into jewelry, but due to ethical reasons, I did not want to use a pearl. My teachers, Frank and Dorothy, told the class that we could use indigenous materials along with the fine silver we were working with, so I chose to include wood. I drew my design on a piece of teak and cut it out. Shaping the wood was a long process, but with a lot of filing and finessing, I created the wooden component. We were using silver metal clay, so there was a lot to figure out to get the design I wanted. I needed to work out how much material to use to account for the shrinkage, which always happens during the firing process, and what to use to shape the curved part of the silver component, as it was a bigger curve than found on the mandrels available. With the two pieces done (wooden and silver), it was time to rivet them together, carefully sand the humps of the rivet wire down and place the garnet.


I loved every step of making this piece. A big thanks to my instructors for helping me to create this and many others I cherish! The class had at least ten students, and the teachers not only taught us the techniques for the many types of jewelry during the course, but they also fostered a high level of creativity by enthusiastically helping everyone figure out how best to achieve any design they conceptualized for the projects. This, along with the treasure trove of tools and materials in the studio, made for such a freeing and fun learning experience.

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