It's been awhile since our last post. Things have been crazy over here in the studio!!! Back in March we decided to roll out an entirely new made to order sterling silver line. We literally spent hundreds of hours designing, creating, tweaking, perfecting, finalizing, photographing and finally listing all of the new pieces. It turned out to be around 60 new items. This took about 6 weeks in total and coincided with a hugely busy Mother’s Day rush with tons of custom orders. We didn't realize the timing to roll out the new line for May 1st was kind of insane haha. But we buckled down, made lots of coffee and got it done! Once all of that was over with, I was so ready to begin making one of a kind pieces. Being creative and making things just because. Not worrying about being able to create it again and sketch the process, not making a custom order, just playing around with stones and silver and seeing what came to be. That is always my favorite part of the job. So I'm really excited to share the things we have made the last few weeks since things have calmed down and we were able to get back to being creative in the studio.
Paul and I invested in a welder, this is totally new for us and a very exciting addition to our studio! We went to a trade show in NYC earlier this year and were able to play with one that was set up. We love technology and are always looking for something new to learn and use in the studio, this seemed like the perfect thing. It's not as easy as we originally thought to use it, it's entirely different from soldering and the process felt very foreign at first. Determined not to have it just sit in the studio untouched I spent hours playing with scraps of silver, seeing how the welder would respond to different applications. After much frustration and fruitless efforts (and lots of burned fingers) I began to see some serious potential. I learned that you can weld right next to a stone without damaging or heating it. I realized I could create tiny cages to fit stones perfectly which turned out to be the perfect technique for some raw stones and minerals we had in our collection. This was so fun!! Not really any measuring required as there is in most stone setting, just kind of eyeballing, serendipitous twisting and then connecting wires.
I was also able to play around a bit with some antique impression dies and created a bird by pressing soft silver into the mold with a hydraulic press for leverage. Then I sawed out the bird and was able to weld it right onto the silver setting I had created for this Super 7 Quartz stone. Love how it came out!!
I'm really excited to continue working with the welder to learn more about what we will be able to do now that we have it. I really think tools are so important. They keep us interested in the craft and offer new challenges but also provide shortcuts and new techniques to explore. I have to admit a lot of the time I get really excited about a tool, buy it and then never actually use it lol. But the welder is becoming something I use everyday and it's really awesome. Here's a pic of me having fun spending the day welding in my pajamas :)
I'm learning quickly to get my hands out of the way. Here's a pic of my burned up finger the first day. Pretty sure I have officially ruined any chances of becoming a hand model lol.
I have to admit I was really kind of monopolizing the welder so Paul was not really able to get it to use it (sorry!!) but it's kind of a good thing because he made some awesome stuff over at his workstation. These are a few of the new pieces he created this month:
Yes, that is PINK and PURPLE flash labradorite. So awesome!!!
And that's what we have been up to! Hope your summer is off to a good start :) It hasn't felt much like summer yet here in CT, lots of rainy cold days but I am ready for some sunshine and it's finally June so it can't be too far away!