Studio Life While on the Road
Working out of a 6x10‘ box might be a challenge in itself for many metal-smithies. Jewelry components are small, but they can take up a BIG space. This week, I only wanted to plan out designs for 7 rings, yet my 7 stones multiplied by 7 and they began taking over my bench and my mind! I had to tell myself “Ok girl, I know all the stones are pretty, but you don’t need to have your entire collection of gemstones out right now”. I work best when my space is clean (as clean as it can be) of clutter. Luckily For me, I live on the road- which means only my very best of the best essential tools live with me. I keep it simple. Yes it would be easier to have a big fancy polishing machine to help me do the dirty work faster, but doing things the old fashioned way builds character! In both me, by helping me practice patience, AND in the piece I’m polishing, by letting me see how the metal cleans up by each and every stage, leaving me with a finished piece I can be proud of. Working where you live also means that everyday you clean up what you were working on. No leaving things out everywhere thinking “No use cleaning that up, I’ll just continue on it tomorrow”. Making jewelry is dirty, so I spend a lot of time setting up my space, and cleaning up my space.
My working space is about 2’ wide with storage underneath. I have a mobile bench top that I place on the counter to make the counter the right height for me to work at. I love my mobile worktop! My husband made it for me last minute with leftover wood scraps from the camper renovation before leaving for the big open road.
I like to release jewelry in small batch updates. It helps me keep on track as a maker, and it also lets me release Jewelry thats truly inspired by our current location, while the inspiration is still fresh. This week, I worked on a batch of rings which will be released one at a time, each day of the week. In-process rings pictured under my handy dandy magnifying lamp.
I left the door cracked while working, and turned around to see that I had a friend watching me work.
After the designs are set, stones picked out, stone settings are made, ring components formed and soldered, and the rings are lightly sanded; I dip them in a bath made of liver of sulfur to darken the silver. when the silver gets polished, the higher silver surfaces take a high polish, while the lower surfaces keep the liver of sulfur in tact, giving the piece a sense of depth.
After polishing, the stones are carefully set. Each one gets photographed and ready to be sent to their new home 💙
Note: Most people like to see jewelry being worn, so whenever you see photos of me wearing my creations, my husband, Sawyer is the man behind the camera.
Jewelry is one of the most difficult things to photograph. Pictures turn out best when they are taken just before sunset to reduce glare, and show the real color of the stones, which leaves very little time to snap some shots! The colors of the gemstones look very washed out when photographed midday, so having a golden hour photo shoot is a must. Sawyer gets bribed with food after. 😂
6 rings released over a period of 6 days.
I made 3 blue toned rings, and 3 green toned rings, so we grouped them together by color for the release.
My favorite ring out of this release- the raindrop ring. All designs were inspired by the Montana landscape that we lived in during the making process.
Thank you for tuning into my process.. I am happy when I am making. Until next time- be at peace ✨