Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guest Post: Sarah Swell

Being a jewelry designer can be very rewarding. I get to create wearable objects that bring people joy, remind them of happy occasions and connect them to loved ones. Sometimes the things that I create with my own two hands stay with a person forever. It's pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.

However, getting to the pretty end result isn't always fun and exciting. Often times the road to completion isn't smooth, nor a straight shot.

My fishbone collection always tests my will. The finished pieces feel very fluid and natural....and there is a reason. Lots and lots of hard work and time!

Each and every metal "bone" piece is hand hammered, hand cut and hand drilled. The edges must be smoothed and the pieces must be symmetrical but still maintain their obvious handcrafted feel. Between every "bone," is a hand shaped connector, or "spine" piece.

At the bench, smoothing out the edges of fishbone pieces

"bones" in various stages of completion

Once the "bones" are complete, they are assembled so that they graduate in size to create either a bracelet, necklace or earrings. I use my torch to heat the connector "spine" links so that the ends curl up and hold the piece together.

Fishbone earrings on the soldering block

The final steps including multiple tumbling cycles and polishing the piece, or oxidizing it to a rich black finish.

In the end, I'm always very satisfied when I finish a fishbone necklace (it contains over 100 pieces) but getting there can be a challenge!

Oxidized silver fishbone necklace
Silver and 14k gold fishbone bracelet

All studio images courtesy of Stitch and Hammer

1 comment:

  1. I have owned a few pieces of jewelry made by Sarah Swell. I owned two SILVER FOSSIL RINGS, and I really love it. I like that OXIDIZED FISHBONE NECKLACE,it's really a beautiful craftsmanship.Bre of where to sell gold.