Whoa! You can't favorite your own shop.

Whoa! You can't buy your own item.

Whoa! You can't favorite own item.

Whoa! You can't add your own item to a list.

Add this item to a treasury!

You don't have any treasuries yet. Enter a title below to create one.

This item has been added.

View your treasury.

Like this item?

Add it to your favorites to revisit it later.
:: Desert Varnish ::

A deep, rich, multihued patina married to reticulated silver evokes the mineral-darkened canyon walls of the Southwest in these timeless earrings. I've recently begun exploring reticulated silver in the studio, but have loved it for many years, long before I became a full-time jeweler. I suppose it's because it reminds me of the erosional patterns in dry landscapes and the richly primitive textures of the desert. The darkened stripes and areas that color sandstone walls is called "desert varnish", which is formed when minerals oxidize over thousands of years on the stone's surface.

Fresh from the torch, reticulated silver looks like tinfoil, so these pendants underwent an extended journey in the patina solution as I repeatedly immersed them and removed partial layers. Slowly a deep hue emerged that is cool in the deepest recesses and warm in the higher spots. The overall effect is like aged bronze, but with both warm and cool lights. The photos give a great example of this: facing sunlight bouncing off a stucco wall, they look warmly golden. Turned to reflect the light of blue sky, they become gunmetal blue. Only liver of sulfur, the traditional patina for jewelers, creates these marvellous colors.

The handmade earwires were also darkly oxidized, and both they and the reticulated silver pendants were treated with Renaissance Wax to preserve the patina.

There is also a good bit of dust on the earrings from the weathered juniper I used as a prop in these photos...not seen until I looked at them in enlargement! A sad testimony to aging eyesight. The earrings will be cleaner when you receive them!

Size: 68mm x 14mm.

Care: Rinse in cool water to clean and blot dry with a lint-free cloth. Never scrub these or use polish...unless you want tinfoil.

Desert Varnish will arrive beautifully giftwrapped in a hand-decorated pillow box, along with a handwritten description.

Reticulated Oxidize Sterling Silver Earrings with Deep Patina


  • Handmade item
  • Material: sterling silver
  • Ships worldwide from New Mexico, United States
  • Feedback: 595 reviews
  • Favorited by: 19 people