I design jewelry of artifacts from thirty-five cultures, six of which date back 1000 - 4000 years as do their artifacts, and from natural treasures such as bark, shells, crystals, insects, pods, sand, semi-precious stones, and fossils.
Earrings are my specialty because I started making some in an effort to have extreme jewelry to wear when I was much younger; most match, but many are coordinated - clearly go together but are different in design from one another. Despite having taken three years of jewelry fabrication, casting, and welding, just about a year after President Nixon opened trade with China I finally realized that design was what excited me, and the fascinating objects people bother making when living basically a subsistence lifestyle turned on my eye.
I make my own ear wires; they are shaped to stay in the ear much better than the commercial ones; all pieces are constructed on wire, all fully wrapped off (as opposed to using jump rings), so parts don't simply disappear. My work is repairable for life at no charge (unless the customer has been ridiculously negligent), and the shipping charge is refunded.
I am ultra-respectful of antiques and antiquities, fastening them in the work with as little change or damage to them as humanly possible. Other objects, however, I may re-color for more sophisticated combinations, and I patina (using 7 chemicals, spraying once a week for a year) or age metal parts with acid or a torch to create a mood, often sawing off parts to achieve a more unique shape.
Many of the objects with which I design were not meant to be worn (a pill box, a medicine bottle, a body stamp, a lime container, a fossilized tooth, a small statue), so the challenge becomes to engineer a way to hold them, which may require making a chain cage or drilling, soldering, or cementing.
Most major pieces are one-of-a-kind; bracelets, hair sticks, anklets, and those earrings that are duplicatable are made by my assistant. I design everything and make the neckpieces, the pins, the coordinated earrings, and the collars.
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