I create my jewelry designs drawing inspiration from each carefully chosen fine gemstone, while combining curvalinear silver to create a distinct melodic energy in each piece as I inject design in every element of the jewelry often manifesting new functionality.
The stones are chosen one-by-one at gem shows where I pour over piles of gems to find the individual pieces which spark a tingle of excitment in me. Are they speaking to me? I do have a feeling for them and know that the tingle will translate into a piece of jewelry with extraordinary dynamics. Other than this initial feeling for a stone, premeditated sketches of design elude me. I prepare "sticks" of silver in random lengths and thicknesses as well as solid balls of silver. With these on hand I contemplate a particular stick or two alongside the stone. Shorter sticks will have a swoosh effect. Longer sticks will loop and wind around and back. Balls have a staccato effect. Unlimited are the combinations I can make with these sticks and balls. The curves the sticks become produce character. The character of the curves evolves. The interplay between sticks and stones varies depending on the point at which they are joined and then again by a staccato ball placed sometimes a balancing point, sometimes as an accent.
Balance. Symmetry. Asymmetry. I think in terms of balance. Quite literally in regards to my pendants. The positions of the asymmetrical curvilinear designs mean that the application of the bale (portion through which the necklace passes) determines the success of the piece. I must lift the newly soldered pendant off of the soldering pad and hold it up by the bale to see if it is in balance. On a good day this only takes a couple re-solderings to accomplish.
Another wave of excitement comes after the extensive, labor-intensive polishing of the silver that has been altered by the high temperatures of the torch in the soldering stages. The moment of setting the stone, without use of adhesives, but through moving metal over the stone to hold it securely in place. I often feel that I have the first moment of consciousness with the piece because the earlier stages are at a different conscious plane. At this moment, I look forward to the final chapter for the piece . . . finding its owner.