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My Jewelry Making Exploration

My Jewelry Making Exploration

When representing many different artists, I have come from the belief that having the experience of creating in the same mediums was the best way to fully grasp the abilities of the artist and be able to express the level of talent it took to create their works. Jewelry was next.

Fabricating jewelry, and not just selling it, has been so inspiring. I have been taking jewelry classes to give me a more educated insight on what it really takes to finely handcraft pieces, and I have been loving it. I came to this project; create a ring with spinning elements.

I started with a wide flat piece of silver to form the band, allowing plenty of room for all future parts. I wanted to put a lot of creativity and thought into the spinning part. Then I formed two more bands of brass to guide the spinning part and keep it in it’s place. I hammered and pick soldered one of the brass rings on slightly in from the edge, keeping the finished profile in mind. I wanted a slightly round profile to consider comfort as well as design.

I chose a very thick silver for the center spinning band to give room to remove a lot of material for its pattern to have depth and for it to have the highest surface when the ring was finished. After marking, scribing, sawing, filing, and then sanding, the design took shape. I let it evolve. As I kept working, I started seeing the screw heads pop up and I went with it! I kept working at removing more silver to amplify the heads even more. I wanted them to float!

The last brass ring was soldered on and it was almost there. More filing, and sanding to sharpen it up. It still needed one more thing before polishing, oxide to turn it black. It needed depth and aged contrast to make it sing!

After a soft high polishing, it was finished, and it spins as good as it looks! It spins when I wiggle my fingers. It takes off on my steering wheel during turns! My son can’t stop playing with it. It is so much fun!

What I gained most from this was a huge respect for the process and the dedication that jewelry artists have for making pieces. Every single day they work for so many long hours providing the opportunity of sharing their creations with us. There is just nothing like the feeling of wearing handcrafted magic!

Samantha Lazarus

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