Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sterling Silver Necklace

I finally completed a project that was about a month overdue -- a large necklace in the twiggy floral style for Mobilia Gallery's jewelry exhibit "Objects of Status, Power and Adornment". I used oxidized sterling silver wire, iolite beads (which are a shade of blue I can somehow tolerate!), faceted blue-grey glass beads from Toho Shoji in New York, and singed fabric flowers. I think the necklace took so long mainly because many of the techniques were new to me, since I don't usually work in silver. I also noticed that a lot of the chemicals involved (liver of sulfur to oxidize the silver wire, even the wax to polish and protect the oxidized wire) gave me headaches, so I couldn't do them very often or for long stretches. I don't know how metalsmiths manage! I suppose the draw is similar to working in the darkroom -- you have to go through long and tedious processes with smelly and often dangerous chemicals, but in the end something magic and luscious is created and you get to hold it in your hands.

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