Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I like the cool, crisp days. I enjoy building fires in my wood stove and watching the flickering flames in a darkened room. I love the rich fall colors of rust, ocher, orange, red and brown.
The change of season influences the materials I use to create my jewelry - darker colored stones and metals that have been oxidized to give them a deeper tone. This year, I'm fashioning a new collections of pieces made of hand-forged copper, brass, bronze and sterling in the shape of leaves.
Hand-forging the metals forms patterns and textures which reflect light. then by oxidizing (darkening) the metals and gently buffing them with very fine steel wool, I can produce leaves with an amazing variation in color. Placing sterling leaves among the copper, brass and bronze ones is like adding a touch of frost to a pile of fallen leaves.
I start a collection by first deciding on a shape in this case a leaf. Next, I cut wire into different lengths and bend it into a stylized leaf shape. Once all the leaves are formed, I forge the wire to add pattern and texture and to harden it so it retains its shape. Then each leaf is polished either by hand or by tumbling in a rotary tumbler. Finally, the leaves are ready to turn into jewelry.
I lay the leaves out on my work bench and shift them around until a design emerges. Often I have a vision of a piece, but just as frequently the components dictate the final design. Once the design is determined, I link the components together to create the piece - necklace, bracelet or earrings. The final steps are to oxidize the metal, burnish it with steel wool to bring out highlights and seal it with Renaissance wax to provide a barrier between metal and skin.
Add a touch of autumn to your wardrobe with a piece from my Leaves collection.