Hit The Ground Running

We’ve all heard the term “hit the ground running.” I first heard this while in the Air Force, it was used to describe how we as military members should always approach anything and everything we do. I’m going to start selling swag on Etsy. I have ideas on what I want to sell, yes, it will be commercial, and yes, it will be aimed towards females. Sorry, but until dudes start rocking more jewelry on the reg, my stuff will remain female friendly.

I have nothing besides a lot of sketched designs, and one, two, maybe three pieces in the works. It’ll simply be up to me sitting down to parlay these designs into workable pieces. I plan my scope to be aimed towards females ages 20+, because let’s be honest here, teenagers have very little money. I have my work cut out for me, but I have the rest of the summer to formulate what needs to be done. The idea is to do a limited run on jewelry pieces in order to 1 – induce supply and demand and 2 – keep my creative juices flowing (yuck – flowing juices!)

The following are potential pieces:

this is what a piece looks like when its first received back from the casters, Laurent Desgrange was the original designer of this piece, I carved his idea from a wax block, and had it cast in sterling silver.


polished from 120 grit to 4000 grit


I thought about leaving it oxidized, but it just didn’t look right to me.

I finally reached the finished look, it’s now ready to be molded and duplicated. 2″ x 1″

skull dome piece, alright I might have lied, I guess this can be a unisex pendant, but it’s not done… 3/4″ x 1″

I got it molded and had wax duplicates made in order to accomplish what I want the final product to be. I sawed off the teeth of the skull, my plan is to re-cast these wax pieces with the skull being a white metal and the teeth being a yellow bronze to give it the bi-metal look, aka a skull wit’ grills.

a rushed monogram given to a friend, I’m still waiting to receive a “thank-you.” 1.5″




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Carvin’ Marvin’

Have you ever seen the movie Blood In, Blood Out? It’s about an L.A. latino gang who’s gang hand symbol is V.L., which stands for Vatos Locos and ends with 4-eva.

Another tube ring:

I bought two books on wax modeling/jewelry casting and picked up another 4 from the library. The self-educating summer of 2012 has begun. Along with the books I’ve made some purchases on carving tools. I had no idea how many different ones there were. I was under the impression all you needed were a select few dental picks and files. I was wrong, there are wax tools for just about everything from scribes, hollowers, concave/convex – needless to say I don’t have them all, but what I have is a good start. I managed to repurpose some of the old dental tools I had lying around from my wax casting class by grinding/sharpening edges and reshaping certain tools to fit my needs. I’ve decided to delve into this technique because it’s one of the more important skill sets used by jewelers who focus on bespoke pieces. In a way I am slowly nudging myself towards marketable pieces.

For a couple of weeks I was struggling with the wax models I was working on, some lack luster objects/jewelry pieces were created. Things started clicking and progression was finally made. Once I felt confident enough in my wax working skillz I decided I wanted to revisit the metal bow, this time instead of a constructed metal sheet piece I wanted to create one through the lost wax casting process. My compadre Bianca Jones-Pearson owns a business called Trashy Bow Couture http://www.etsy.com/shop/trashybowcouture  she creates one of a kind bow sculptures from recycled materials such as vintage fabrics, wall paper, newsprint, etc. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with another creative mind, I’m a big fan of fashion collaborations like Bape x Ambush. Collabs add another interesting facet to creative pieces. In my case, the collaboration would have been a metaphorical puzzle piece since I really had no idea on how I was going to make a bow piece. I contacted Bianca and got the okay, picked out the bow I wanted to replicate, and received it. The bow was lovely, the pattern from the re-purposed 1950’s wallpaper and neat origami folds the elements which sold me on it. Unfortunately the collab was not meant to be, upon further inspection I figured out replicating this bow would be a lot harder said than done, my initial approach was to shellac the crap out of the bow and get it cast, but decided that would be a pain in the butt to clean up, hollow, and polish – the entire process of casting a bow from Bianca would prove to be too much for me, which goes to show, her pieces ARE truly one-of-a-kind.

One of a kind bow accessory by Trashy Bow Couture

After the disappointment I decided to trudge on with the bow, using Trashy Bow Couture as an inspiration. I knew I wanted to use this origami like shape for the bow, so I google’d “origami bow tie” which resulted in a slew of sh*tty dollar bill bows and you’re a-typical bows. Then I stumbled across a bow tie by Laurent Desgrange, who designs bow ties mixing fantabulous pattern with simple folds and/or crazy folds with simple pattern. Although it isn’t exactly origami, the folds reminded me of the origami folds found on the Trashy Bow Couture bow. Here is the bow I decided on:

by Laurent Desgrange

This was difficult, to say the least. I hit so many road blocks and made so many mistakes, thank goodness wax is a very forgiving material. Here are progression images of what I came up with.

It needs more clean up, then it’ll be cast in recycled sterling silver. Due to all the folds and underlying spaces I do not believe this piece can be duplicated. Eventually this will end up being a bow tie pendant or bolo bow tie – yeeeeehaw mother truckers!

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Tubular Ring Bro

I finished this ring in 2 days, it took me 15 hrs. It’s made of: silver tube, silver jumprings, a 5mm CZ, and a 2mm sapphire

The tube was bent using one of those spring-like-looking tube benders. In the past I haven’t had much success in stone setting (my reasoning why I’d like to focus
more on it), I did alright this time. I set the CZ upside down, I don’t know what the correct terminology of the setting is, but it was one shot one kill. The sapphire was tube set. I like how this ring came out, it might become a series.

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Final and some earrings

My final for Metals IV, titled IMDABES-IMDAWURS, was a bit of a disappointment for me, but for some reason people seem to like it. It is the best final I’ve turned in for my metals courses, but it just doesn’t do something for me. Maybe it’s my nerves getting the best of me, since this is my last piece before entering senior studio, I just know I need to somehow pick my game up and figure out what direction my art is heading. This piece is a constructed vessel which utilizes casting, chasing, repousse, and piercing techniques. It’s constructed to look like a cigarette box. Brass & silver.

I also managed to make a pair of earrings which I have dubbed Man-Hands. They go with a particular necklace I made. These were made just for kicks, they came out quite stellar.

Apologies for the bad photography, I used my point and shoot for this.

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My second to last semester of undergrad is complete, I now only have 1 more class to take and I’ll have my BA! It’s super exciting news, I should be much more excited than I feel. I’ve narrowed down my list of grad schools, top choice is San Diego State University, I know the metals program there isn’t as renowned, prestigious, or even good, but I’ve been looking for an excuse to move back to California and now I’ve found it. Second choice is UMASS Dartmouth, third is RISD, fourth is SUNY New Paltz.

I’ve been keeping myself busy trying to get my work into as many exhibitions and competitions as I can possibly get into – for the experience, and grad school consideration. I’m not doing too shabby, I still need more finished portfolio worthy pieces which I’m steadily coming up with. I’ve come to find that I often get bored when cracking out a single project, boredom often leads to mistakes being made and lost of drive. To combat this boredom I’ve decided to work on multiple projects at once, I feel more like a working metalsmith/jewelry designer now that I have to force myself to multitask. Seeing the results of multiple projects coming to life all at once is a great feeling.

Sorry I don’t have any photos aside from this crappy one (I’m still trying to figure out how to work this DSLR camera). I’ve been in a necklace making frenzy lately. I revisited Forget (necklace) by taking the idea of the hands untying a knot, remixing imagery by making the elements smaller and more detailed. I am making this revision in both sterling silver and yellow brass. Overall, I am satisfied with the outcome, but for some reason the impact of these revisions aren’t as profound to me. Maybe it’s the actual idea of the piece which makes me not like it as much, as if the “specialness” and allure of it all has faded. As more photos are created I’ll keep them coming.

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Bam! A necklace

This necklace is my repousse project as well as my IPMI competition entry. It is approximately 26″ in length made of sterling silver, pierced, repousse’d, and engraved, with a liver of sulfur patina. Congrats, great job, thanks.

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Forget – chain link necklace

I received this chain link necklace back from my casting professor who had it professionally photographed. Created Fall 2011 through a wax casting process. The hands and knots are yellow bronze. I’m still a bit up in the air on how I decided to clasp it last minute by adding a shanty hand stitched ribbon, oh well, the photo came out nice! It’s quite hefty in weight, I wish I would have created the elements a bit smaller in scale.  It’s a pretty literal piece, the act of pulling a knot, means to me, forgetting the institution of marriage, and forgetting memories.


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