This is a little glimpse of the work I created before Touchstone Jewelry. The work goes back to when I was in graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art. I loved my time there. It was a very conceptual school and it really forced me to redefine my concept of jewelry. This image is of a sterling silver necklace with 300 hinges. The inspiration was a snake. I was creating vertebra necklaces that ranged from 5-10ft long. They wrapped around the body like a boa. This piece is a toned down version.
After working with all those vertebras, I wanted to put a skin on them so I started to explore the incorporation of fabric. This sterling silver pod pendant is the first time I used fabric. I often look to nature for inspiration. I try to take something that is often viewed as creepy and transform it into something beautiful. I was looking for unexpected ways to combine the materials. This pendant is hand-formed sterling silver, lined with silk and human hair.
This bracelet is a continuation of my exploration of the use of fabric. Here the fabric has a structural look. This piece is sterling silver, with organza ribbon stitched on.
With this necklace I am also trying to redefine the classic strand of pearls using the same technique I used with the bracelet. This is sterling silver, synthetic chiffon, and pearls.
The “From the Sea” pieces is sterling silver , synthetic chiffon, and ostrich feathers. The silver segments and all hand-formed. I am continuing my search for alternative materials to combine with silver.
The is the only production piece I am showing. I want to show how the one of a kind pieces translate into production pieces. This is hand-formed sterling silver, synthetic chiffon and ostrich feathers. It came just after “From the Sea”.
I made this piece the year I went through treatment. I was unable to be in studio much. My concept of jewelry had expanded and I realized the main material did not have to be metal. This piece was really about the repetition of shapes. The petal taper and so do the pearls and thickness of the necklace. This piece is sterling silver, leather, pearls and monofilament. the length is 36inches and it wraps around the neck like a scarf.
This necklace was also made while I was in treatment. The base of this necklace is chain mail. The beauty of chain mail is, it creates a sold structure but moves like fabric. This is one of my favorite pieces. The layered pieces of fabric create a softness. The clasp is pearl buttons. This piece sold to a collector at the Philadelphia Museum Show.
I will finish here with the “Hydrangea Necklace”. I took what I learned to do while going through treatment and brought the strong use of metal back in. The base of this necklace is cast sterling silver. I then stitched in chiffon and pearls into each cast piece. You may have noticed my pieces are mostly necklaces. I made a little bit of everything but the neck is such a great location for a show piece. These pieces are what spurred my production pieces. The other important thing about the final piece is, it is the last piece I sold and it helped fund Touchstone Jewelry.