Tag Archives: jewelry

Getting Back to (Art) Work

I’m excerpting from my recent newsletter, and updating my blog as to my whereabouts these past several weeks. But, unlike overprotective fathers, my blog doesn’t really care. It’s rather an inanimate object, yes? All kinds of bad keyword search Google-ish damanable metric-adverse things may have happened to my blog during my hiatus. I’ll never know for sure. However, just in case someone stumbles across these words, I’m compelled to apologize for not posting for awhile.
My plate has been overflowing with more activities than I can name. I took an this unusual break from my monthly newsletter for the past two months due to a temp job working the primary election – which turned into a job with major overtime! I’m glad I did it…but I won’t be doing it again. It gave me an appreciation for artists who work full time and try to fit in their art on the side. It validated that I’m not meant to split my time! So my focus will be on my custom clients, the creation of jewelry, and jewelry instruction. Feels good to know – again.
I’m back in the studio in fits and starts, and have completed a few projects for my lovely, patient clients, and more are underway. I’m currently making a wedding band for the engagement ring pictured below, and a wedding band for the groom based upon the bride’s ring. Soon, I’l be sharing photos of more “dreams made by hand.” Until then, thanks for sticking around.

Handmade Lilly Pad Necklace from Recycled Materials

This new necklace is made from recycled aluminum, steel, and sterling silver! The lillypads are aluminum which has been forged to create dimension. These are attached to a backing of recycled copper using tiny nuts and bolts. The reverse side of the necklace is polished smooth copper. The chain and clasp are handmade from sterling silver.

Matching earrings are available! The earrings are on handmade sterling silver earwires.

Making Peace and Love Earrings!

Peace and love? That’s a tall order for an earring. But these aren’t your everyday earrings, and I’ll tell you why.
I typically work out designs on paper and then create them at my workbench, changing things up as I go along. It’s an efficient way to work, and works pretty well for me. Other times, I take the luxurious route, one in which I allow the materials to speak for themselves, and very often these are my most inspired designs. A moment like this was gifted to me recently. I gazed upon the materials strewn across my bench and picked up some simple silver jump rings. If anyone out there has ever made jewelry, you will understand that jump rings are an integral part of jewelry-making. They do everything from creating connections between two elements all the way up to becoming a center-stage design element.
This time, I was inspired to intertwine the two rings and solder them to a “stick” of silver that would create a long, dangle earring. I grabbed my pencil and scratched out the idea before it was gone…then scanned my bench to see what else I needed to bring this idea to life. I already had the silver jump rings. Then I spotted several lengths of square wire that had been bent into an arc – these were meant for another earring design I hadn’t yet completed. Easy prey, they would soon be sacrificed to the new idea. My thought was to get this prototype soldered together to see if it would work – THEN I would make it from proper materials. Next…the soldering station.

Soldering setup for silver earrings (c) Nancy Lee

The image above shows the slightly tricky setup for the earrings. The arced square wire is laying flat, with one of the two rings already soldered to it. The next soldering operation is in the works, with the inner ring snug against the end of the square wire. It really wasn’t hard to do once I got the rings to stop slipping off of the square wire. The tension of the jump rings ultimately helped to grasp the square wire and hold the assembly in place. With the aid of some T-pins and honeycomb block, I was able to secure the soldering assembly into a softer soldering surface below. The rest was easy.
After the earrings were soldered, I tumble-polished them using stainless steel shot, which gave them a high glow and very sturdy feel even though they look quite delicate. Then I did a “test-dangle,” to make any final adjustments to the earrings. This is when I discovered the symbolic “peace” element I had inadvertently created! Can you see it? Enjoy!

Peace and Love Sterling Silver Earrings (c) Nancy Lee 2013 all rights reserved