I've included one photograph of a piece in process. Sometimes I will begin a piece and put beads out with it to see how it might look. I play with it for a few days or weeks to explore possibilities and come to a design that really resonates for me.
Have you ever wondered how to clean sterling silver naturally? Different environments affect the rate at which sterling tarnishes, but some tarnish is inevitable due to exposure to air, oils from skin, chemicals in the air, etc. You don't need expensive, chemical solutions or special cloths to keep your jewelry looking like new! While a handy cleaning cloth works with smooth surfaces, it doesn't always reach all the crevices and sometimes you want a little brighter shine.
You may notice that my jewelry stays brighter longer than other sterling. This is due to the quality of silver. All the silver I use for wire-wrapping and hammering is Argentium® sterling silver. This type of sterling is .935 fine silver (more than sterling, which is typically .925) and has germanium in it, which raises the surface and prevents oxidation and therefore, tarnish. But there are still times when you want to give your sterling pieces a clean up, and it's easy to do with this quick and natural cleaning process. I have used this on sterling as well as a number of different gemstones. I've had great success with this for many years and love that there's no need for stinky chemicals! As I can't know exactly how this works with your specific gemstones/metals etc, please use at your own risk.
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp salt
hot water (just below boiling)
*disposable aluminum pan
*Note: The pan must be aluminum to create the chemical reaction. You could also use aluminum foil (with no plastic coating) to carefully line a bowl.
Place tarnished jewelry in the aluminum pan. Add equal parts baking soda and salt to the pan. Pour hot water evenly over the powder mix to distribute it. A sulfuric reaction will occur which will have a slight odor. (I don’t recommend smelling it too closely.)
Move the jewelry around a bit with a utensil. You will see the silver turn a shiny white after the bubbles calm down (after a few seconds). Carefully pour out the liquid and rinse the jewelry a few times (careful to protect it from falling out or down drain). After residue is rinsed off, spread jewelry out on a towel and pat dry. You can do this process over and over to remove old tarnish.
Wine, cookies, & chocolate Will accompany you on this cozy holiday shopping experience. We’ll have fun specials, do free gift wrap, & more. #avlevents #radaevents #riverviewstation #riverartsdistrictasheville #avljewelry #avlrad #avl
This summer I traveled to Spain. Little did I know the deep impact this trip would have on my creativity, spirit, and inspiration. I simply planned to take my nephew for his high school graduation senior trip. My sister-in-law and I had spent months planning. I hadn't traveled abroad since I lived in Central America in 2003 and felt long overdue for an international trip. I felt excited about travel in the age of GPS (so much easier!) and I was anxious to test out my rusty Spanish. I was especially focused on giving my nephew an experience of Europe and exposing him to lots of culture....and good food. Gratefully it was all that. And, this trip ended up being so much more for me.
The beauty of the art, architecture, land, and people filled my heart and uplifted my spirit. I still feel nourished from the trip on a deep level. My favorite experiences in Spain are reflected in these photos and videos. At the end I've shared images of new designs (so far) that have come as a result. As you'll see, this experience is also influencing my work. My intention is to share my experience so that you also feel inspired and uplifted.
Gaudi's Casa Batlló
One of the things I love about Gaudi's work is that there are hardly any straight lines in some of his creations. The various organic lines make for a rich experience. Though I tried to play along, I eventually opted out of the headphones for the virtual tours of all the places I visited. I wanted to fully experience the space, the visual elements, the physical journey through each place. Casa Batlló was one of my favorite experiences. I couldn't get enough of the details of each new space.
Gaudi's Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is a cathedral that is still under construction after a hundred years and still has at least nine more years to go. This building is so unique everything you look at, you have to get closer to really see what you are seeing. There's a video below where I tried to capture the interior light in the afternoon. As the sun moves, the light shifts, making for an ever changing experience.
The Alhambra is the most visited destination in Europe. Even though I bought tickets weeks in advance, I barely got them. The grounds are gorgeous, the views are stunning, yet quaint, and the geometric repetitions are exquisitely detailed and intricate. I felt like I couldn't actually digest the scale or beauty. The combination of stunning craftsmanship, the large scale of each room or corridor with the meticulous detail left me in awe. I could have stayed hours longer and still not absorbed the beauty. I left with a sense of shock; it was so stunning that I couldn't seem to take it all in.
Estepona, Marbella & Ronda
These charming towns were a delightful surprise. I love the way some streets have a color coordinated theme in Estepona. We walked around the towns, visited the cathedrals and spent time at the beach.
New Jewelry Designs inspired by my experience in Spain
The first time I had a chance to design and make one of the sketches that I drew when I was in Spain, I started hammering metal in asymmetrical shapes. I was totally inspired by the artwork and architecture there. I feel that the influence of the organic shapes of Gaudi, along with his use of color, emboldened my work. Here are a few examples...so far. 🙂
If you would like to order, please click an image to send me an email, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 🙂
Artist Dates and Gratitude
Labradorite and brass hammered ring. Size 6. #labradoritering #gemstonejewelry #avljewelry #ashevillejewelry #hammeredring
Announcing an exciting new collaboration. I just moved in to studio 256 in Riverview Station, to share space with Jessica Hall of Bluebird Designs.
Here is a freshly hammered labradorite pendant. The hammered silver and wire-wrapping are Argentium sterling, which is less prone to tarnish than traditional sterling silver. This smooth chain has an adjustable slide that takes it from a choker to 24″. It’s called a “magic ball” adjustable necklace and has a smooth, square chain. It’s great