Grad jewelry 2013/2014

Images of jewelry I created during grad school year 1, Fall semester 2013, and 1 project from Spring 2014 @ UMASS Dartmouth in New Bedford, MA.

vacuum lost-wax process, cast stone-in-place, patina

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future

I applied to UMASS Dartmouth’s jewelry program and I got in. I’m super happy as this will allow me to practice my craft further and in more depth. I will also be able to teach, which is something I’ve been wanting to do. I have some things I have been working on which will be posted as soon as the projects are completed.

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Undergrad Portfolio

It’s taken me 13 years since I started this journey. I can proudly say I have completed my task, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Here are my tricks:

Ring3 Ring4 Ring5 Ring6 Ring7 wall bow Bracelet1 Brouch1 Brouch2 Brouch3 cuffs Necklace #3 necklace1 necklace2 necklace3 necklace4 necklace5 necklace6 ring Ring1 Ring2

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Senior Thesis

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally hit the home stretch. I’ve been quite busy as a result of me taking three jewelry studio courses, it’s been hard juggling my time put into each class. My top priority has been Senior Studio, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking, designing, and creating.

My senior thesis is an evolving process, changes are made quite frequently, thus, it’s hard for me to concretely say exactly what my senior thesis is. The idea behind my work this semester entails an introspective body of work. Similar to my previous inspirations, only this time creating a series of my choice. My chosen weapon, wax casting. The general idea behind my work will be inspired by opposing forces within the self, aptly titled, “Oppositions.” I’ve decided to abstract this time around, versus my past literal sensibilities.

I’ve decided on a 3 part series, the first (which was originally suppose to be a brooch – as I mentioned, ever evolving) is a pendant necklace. I have to add, most of my work is more sculptural rather than functional, wearable jewelry just isn’t my deal. The first set of images is the unfinished oppositions necklace, the second set is a headless snake ring I’ve been working on for my wax casting independent study. Enjoy!

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Tubular Ring, Bro part 2

There’s always something that drives me to create, sometimes it’s a number of things coupled together which inspires me, this time it’s something someone said to me.

“Go with the flow, there’s no need to fight it, just relax, she said.

The Tubular Ring, Bro series’ name comes from a friend I had, she’d often quip the end of sentences with the funny noun. My inspiration comes from the flex-like-dynamic feel these rings impart on the viewer. These rings are an objectified version of me – “going with the flow.”

Going back to my tube ring series here is #2 of a 5 part series. The remaining 3 will be finished during the upcoming semester. The ring was created in similar fashion as the previous ring, annealed, bent with tube bending jigs, extended with a larger size tube, then another larger size tube, with jump rings over the soldered areas to hide the messiness. This time I had the intuition of using fine silver tube instead of sterling silver tube to set the upside down CZ’s.

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Wax on Wax on Wax

The summer is finally winding down and my last semester as an undergrad is rapidly approaching. I’m really excited about this upcoming semester, I hope to make some amazing pieces. I have registered myself for three jewelry studios: Senior Studio V, Jewelry Topics: Alternative Materials, and Casting Topics. I am most excited about the Casting Topics class since I’ll be able to utilize the wax carving/modelling I’ve been doing over this summer. In fact, some of the projects I’ve designed and started will likely become part of my course curriculum since I am designing the class based off of what I want to do. The casting topics class will involve me having to create an Etsy site with marketable jewelry, also incorporating gem stones into the casting process. I really enjoy making cast objects, the wax modelling process is so much fun, starting from essentially a brick of wax and creating whatever the heck kind of intricate object I want to make is something which has always appealed to me – making something out of nothing, like a true underdog.

I took a wax model of my cast skull, chopped off the teeth, had the dome piece cast in white brass, and the teeth cast in yellow brass. The color difference is quite apparent in this photo, but it’s deceiving!

After receiving the castings back from the casters I removed the spruces and cleaned the two pieces, it was a real pain in the butt trying to clean up the teeth since they are very small in size (approx. 1mm teeth). I then soldered the teeth onto the skull, which again was a pain since the teeth were so small, when you solder such a small piece it tends to bounce all over the place when you heat up the flux, I solved this problem by using easy solder paste. I don’t like the way the teeth and dome piece do not contrast, so I sent another 5 skulls to be cast, white brass for the dome piece and RED brass for the teeth. My intentions are to make these into necklace pendants. Would you buy one?

I received my bow mold back, my intent on the wax models was to experiment on ways to lighten the bow by carving out excess unneeded wax, but casting wax is not easy to work with, it melts easy, isn’t easy to clean up, and flexes too much, so I’ve decided not to do anything to the master. I will likely end up making these into necklace pendants and/or bolo ties.

Lastly, this is the start of my first potential Esty “collection.” My plan is to create a collection called “Perfectly Imperfect” which takes shapes and objects you would typically think to be a certain A-typical shape/dimension and skewing the shapes. This is titled, “Staaas,” it’s how I imagine a New Englander says the word stars, it’s kind of like a homage to New England – a place I find to be perfectly imperfect. Other objects/shapes I will be working with are triangles, circles, diamonds, and cross bones.

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Ready, Set, Grow!

What a month it’s been. I can’t begin to tell you how life altering these past couple of weeks have been for me – so I won’t. This is mainly a jewelry blog after all. To be short and sweet I will recap: I was unhealthy, mentally, physically, and emotionally. So I made several changes, positive assertive thinking, rejoined a gym, and figured out a thing or two about emotional control (no need to elaborate on that, for reals).

Side note: I’m going to be in a bike-a-thon and am seeking donations which go towards funding local cancer treatment, I will be riding 50 or 75 miles (I haven’t decided which one yet). If you would like to donate, or check out what the bike-a-thon is all about, please click on the following link:

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/cuongsyisdabes/rrr12

On the jewelry front I was selected to exhibit two of my pieces in the Peninsula Art League’s juried exhibition at the Gig Harbor Convention Center in Washington state. The theme of the exhibition is “Outside Your Comfort Zone.” A majority of the entrants are paintings, I did however notice 2 or 3 other metals/jewelry pieces, in particular a piece by Alaskan jeweler Joan Tenenbaum titled Chulitna River Reflection Cuff Bracelet:

beautifully crafted silver, copper, keum boo

The two pieces accepted into the exhibition were:

“A time when love exceeded realities, when we overcame all boundaries people warned would destroy us.”

And:

Now I just need to figure out how to ship my pieces…I think a box and some bubble wrap is a good start:

The next post will include my progressions on the tubular Rings Bro’s! Till then stay ffffffrrrrrreeeeeeeeesssshhhhhhh!

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