Tag Archives: sea creature

Kasumi Style Pearl and Sterling Silver Ring

This pearl ring was a recent commission piece – a nice big Kasumi style pearl in a simple sterling silver setting.

Kasumi Pearl and Sterling Silver Ring

Jade provided the design, and was just lovely to work with!

Kasumi Pearl and Sterling Silver Ring 

I learned a lot about pearls while making this ring. The mussel that grows this particular kind of pearl makes pearls with a lot of texture and variations in color. I really like that idea, as I like the “grown by mother nature” feel provided by some bumps and imperfections. A bit like all of us, really!!

Seaglass and Sterling Silver Cuttlefish Cast Pendant

Cuttlefish Casting and Seaglass Pendant

I finally finished making a pendant from the last piece of cuttlefish casting I had from our casting workshop earlier this year.

Seaglass and Sterling Silver Cuttlefish Cast Pendant

It’s a bit of a departure from my usual style, but the casting just seemed to need some softness with it!

Seaglass and Sterling Silver Cuttlefish Cast Pendant

My teacher gave me a couple of suggestions for how to finish it off – thanks Sue!  I love the nature of silversmithing, there’s always some new way to look at things and something new to be learned!!

Seaglass and Sterling Silver Cuttlefish Cast Pendant

I’m keeping this piece for myself!

 

Inspiration – John Paul Miller

John Paul Miller

I came across the most divine pieces pictured in ‘Jewelry Concepts and Technology’ by Oppi Untracht, a fantastic book that I bought recently. I was inspired to research John Paul Miller, the artist who created them.

Miller was born in 1918, and started his career as a painter.  Inspired by the creations of a fellow student, he started making silver jewellery of his own.  After receiving advice from the director of his school that “we don’t need any more good watercolor painters. Why don’t you concentrate on jewelry?” he turned his full attention to the craft.

Miller rediscovered the lost Roman art of granulation. He immersed himself in enamelling.  I love his work, it is so intricate and organic. I can only dream of aspiring to be one hundredth as good as this!!

From the interviews I have read, he seems, at 94, to be a humble and gentle man, who has lived an interesting life – well worth reading more about. Thank you, John Paul Miller, for providing such beautiful, inspirational works to the world!

Cuttlefish Casting

As part of the goldmithing course I did in 2012 I attended a weekend casting workshop. We did some lost wax casting (more on that later), and also some cuttlefish casting. Yes, really using cuttlefish! Or more correctly, their little (or not so little) cuttlebones.  I hasten to add no actual cuttlefish were harmed in the making of this jewellery – their life expectancy is around one to two years, they die soon after mating, and you can quite often find their cuttlebones washed up on the beach.

Giant Australian Cuttlefish

The procedure for cuttlefish casting is to cut the ends off the cuttlebone and cut it in half.  Grind down the two surfaces until they are flush.  Carve a funnel in one end of the two halves, and carve your design just below that.  Bind the sides together to form a mould, smelt your silver and pour it in!

Malachite and Sterling Silver Cuttlefish Cast Pendant

I cuttlefish-cast the bottoms of these two pieces, then set bezels with bails attached into the cast pieces to create pendants. One is set with malachite, the other with paua shell.

Paua Shell and Sterling Silver Cuttlefish Cast Pendant

I had to hand these pieces in as part of my final presentation, and then they were sold from my online shop.

Pharaoh Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish are members of the cephalopod family, like ocotpus, squid and nautilus.  They emit a brown ink to help them evade predators.  This ink, known as sepia, was once prized as a dye. Cuttlefish have green blood, due to haemocyanin, which carries oxygen and contains copper, unlike humans who have iron-containing haemoglobin filled red blood.  Cuttlefish have beaks.  Cuttlefish have chromatophoric cells, which enable them to change the colour of their skin instantaneously.  Aren’t they wonderful!  And coincidentally in keeping with my (unplanned) marine themed year!!! Thanks, little guys!!

Sterling Silver Seashell

She sells seashells…

Sterling Silver Seashell

Ok, so this piece is not for sale – but I did create it! This seashell is the physical component of my latest goldsmithing course project brief. Lots of wire bending and soldering made this an interesting and challenging piece to create.

Sterling Silver Seashell

It started life as a sketch from my mind, and went through some incarnations on paper, as a freehand art drawing:

Seashell Freehand Art Drawing

Also as a technical drawing:

Seashell Tech Drawing

One of my very favourite creations!