Friday, May 28, 2010

Building a "Koru"

I just put the finishing touches on a neat custom wedding band for a client of mine in San Fransisco. He sent me this image at left of a Koru. I had to Wikipedia "Koru" to find out what sort of custom ring I would be making, the "Wiki" definition goes like this:
koru (Māori for "bight"or "loop") is a spiral shape based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern frond and symbolizing new life, growth, strength and peace. It is an integral symbol in Māori art, carving and tattoos. The circular shape of the koru helps to convey the idea of perpetual movement while the inner coil suggests a return to the point of origin.
After a few em
ails back and forth of various sketches and designs we settled on the image shown, above at right, and then it was time to get busy making the ring. I made the inner shank from 14k yellow gold, and the outer shank out of 19k white gold (to match his fiances). I used a template printed from the original image he had sent me to trace the Koru onto the 19k stock and pierce out the design with my jewellers saw. After some careful fitting the two bands were in place and I could solder them together. Some filing, sanding and polishing and the ring was complete.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Duko Designs Internship with Amanda Lye

From January to May Duko Designs had an intern, Amanda Lye, from Halifax's Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Some things we worked on while Amanda was in the studio included a series of branch and buds, sage leaves and a Japanese maple leaf belt buckle. This included everything from design, fabrication, various mold making techniques, wax injecting and casting multiples. We will soon have a whole new jewellery line with the branch and buds. Here are a few photos of the various process' involved in a few of the pieces we made.

We collected some branches from a storm in January and cast them in jewellers bronze. Then we made designs from the cast branches to include the buckle and hook for the belt buckle and earrings. We fabricated these and then rubber molded the finished designs and had them cast in silver. They were filed, sanded and tumbled along with the sage leaf line. The final step was to patina them to bring out colours such as orange, red and purple.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

...having fun

My studio has been a very busy place since I last updated my blog. As always there has been a steady flow of custom pieces, usually wedding bands and engagement rings, however I've also had the pleasure of creating various other unique jewellery projects. The bracelet pictured at left is actually many of my clients old broken 14k yellow gold bangles, mounted on a large custom sterling cuff. The original bangles held significant sentimental value but needed a change to keep them from breaking over and over again. The new invigorated bracelet holds all the sentiment of the old bangels, yet has the flare and structural quality of a fresh piece. The joy that I witnessed when my client received the finished project reminded me why I really like my job.