This year marked a new direction for my jewelry designs where I've created pendants with enamel and cloisonne on fine silver. It's an extremely time consuming and detailed endeavor often requiring between 20 to 30 steps.
I've bezel set 1 of my fused glass cabochons to this extra colorful pendant.
These pieces have much more depth, reflection and subtleties of transparent colors than can be captured digitally. I chose a solid sterling silver chain available in 16" or 18"
I prefer working on 99.9% pure fine silver because of how reflective it is. I also prefer transparent enamels because they reveal the beautiful quality of glass. Being able to see through solid material is so unique and gorgeous.
I consider the jewelry making process much like creating little sculptures. I am inspired by elements found in the natural world as well as architecture.
My jewelry designs range from boldly feminine statement pieces to small scale, lightweight and minimal earrings and necklaces. All are set on sterling silver or 14K gold filled and rose gold filled components.
I aim for simple elegance and take precise care to ensure a perfect balance between comfort and style.
I also make originals in wax and have them cast in sterling silver which I then polish, texture, oxidize or add 24K gold foil with a process known as Keum Boo.
Here are the steps taken to make cloisonne jewelry.
Constant cleaning of worksurfaces and floors so no dust or contaminants affect the end result
1 Set up studio with 3 tables 1ea for firing, enameling, metalwork/drilling/grinding
2 Make granules out of fine silver or gold- torch on charlcoal
3 Cut silver and gold foil- set aside or future use
4 Rinse transparent enamels as needed. Opaque enamels do not require rinsing
5 Make glass cabochons
Prepping the blank
6 Stamp or saw shape from sheet metal
7 File edges
8 Drill hole
9 Stamp with signature
10 Texture if desired with hammer or diamond drill bits
11 Clean vigorously with ammonia and water
12 Apply flux by sifting to face of piece
13 Counter enamel the back side
14 Bend cloisonne wires
15 Cut bezel wire, shape into circular fitting
16 Set cloisonne wire or bezel on first firing
17 Set stone or glass cabochon into bezel
18 Fill cloisonnes with enamel and fire (Repeat 5 to 9 times)
19 Redrill hole that has filled with glass with drill press and diamond bit
20 Grind flat and smooth to expose wire
21 Rince under water with Alundum stoe and glass brush
22 Fire again
23 Add moriage (Piling up)
24 Drill for granulation (if desired)
25 Add granulation and/or gold foil and fire