Announcement Thank you for visiting my shop. I design and hand make sterling silver pendants, earrings and rings of animal and nature themes. Most of these original designs are also available with a variety of stones. All items are brand new and manufactured with pure sterling silver and all safe materials.
Thank you for visiting my shop. I design and hand make sterling silver pendants, earrings and rings of animal and nature themes. Most of these original designs are also available with a variety of stones. All items are brand new and manufactured with pure sterling silver and all safe materials.
Jill (Gillian) Thompson on Jul 23, 2016
Absolutely beautiful pendant!! The aqua aura is perfect! I know I'll be back for more :D Jill
Jewelry As Art
It is quite easy and inexpensive to set up a home jewelry casting shop and begin creating original designs. I have 5 work stations in my studio: (1) A model creating work station (I use wax models), (2) A space for investing the model in a casting flask, (3) A burnout area with a kiln, (4) A casting station for injecting metal into the hot flask (I use sterling silver) and (5) a finishing area.
My jewelry is intended to have meaning beyond the intrinsic value of the metal and stones and so I carefully and accurately detail all of my nature themes. The foundation of jewelry making for me is wax sculpting and that takes very little equipment. Easily acquired hand held wax carving tools; a heat source like an alcohol lamp or soldering iron to heat the tools and shape the wax; good eye magnification and a lot of patience. A completed wax model can be invested in a gypsum and quartz slurry, inside a cylindrical steel flask, that will harden around the wax and preserve the exact shape of the model during the burnout cycle. The model itself completely evaporates during burnout leaving a perfect impression of itself. The hot flask can then be injected with molten metal and once quenched yields a metal model almost identical to the original wax. When I have carved a wax that I like, I make a Room Temperature Vulcanized rubber mold of the wax which enables me to obtain as many exact replicas as I need.
When I started making jewelry, I made all of my own equipment for less than $200. A kiln capable of reaching 1500 degrees Fahrenheit I constructed out of firebricks and heated with propane; I employed a steam casting technique using a small torch, a clay flower pot and an electric hot plate. My hand finishing tools were garage sale items that I modified and an old motor was perfect for polishing. I used these tools for several years until I could afford better. It is actually quite useful and beneficial to make your own tools. The same skills needed to fabricate tools are also needed for jewelry work.
I have found that wax sculpting, for me, was and is the most rewarding and difficult part of the process. The mechanics of manufacturing jewelry can be easily learned with practice. Creating original design figurines with perfect detail however, can take many years to master and differentiates an artist from a craft person. The insight for a design comes in a flash of light but a finished design comes from diligent work and many hours.
My shop is in my home and I have been a jewelry artist, manufacturer, designer, fabricator and vendor for 22 years. During that time I have acquired very useful equipment such as a very reliable electric wax pen, a vacuum chamber and pump, a flex shaft polishing motor (or two), vibratory finishing machines, a good torch, a centrifugal casting machine, a pressurized wax injector, and many elegant hand tools. Some tools are best purchased if the resources are available and in that regard a small home jewelry shop with impressive capacity could be set up with excellent tools for $5000.
A functioning jewelry studio can also be located in a very small space. When I was enrolled in jewelry classes at Palomar College in San Diego I had my shop in part of a 2 car garage; now I have a 200 square foot studio in which I can make 100 pieces a day if need be and from my small shop I ship to customers worldwide (thank you Etsy). Jewelry creation is fun, it is creative and it can be a career. I very much enjoy hearing from other artists who are finding their way to successfully offer original designs.
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
Returns & exchanges
- Custom or personalized orders
- Perishable products (like food or flowers)
- Digital downloads
- Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
- To communicate with you about your order
- To fulfill your order
- For legal reasons (like paying taxes)