distracted by gold & platinum

yesterday was ash wednesday.

for me it was smoke wednesday.
absolutelypositivelyhorrible smoke from oven cleaning with chicken still within– I swear I had taken the chicken (made for animals in a.m) out of the stove…. well, I hadn’t.

I was so preoccupied thinking about this new platinum and gold pendant that I am creating for a really wonderful loyal client that I guess I wasn’t thinking about the logistics of oven cleaning. this photo shows the platinum which I had been forging round that morning, the bits of gold (to be milled into wire for wrapping around the plat) and the platinum bezel which I also formed that morning.

platinum and gold in progress on the bench

once again, I promised to work gold over platinum and once again, I broke my promise, never to attempt this again! but here I am, with the same wonderful client, promising to make him what has been milling about in his head… a gift to present to his wife when she gives birth to their first child. this is the engagement ring that I created for him to propose to her with, quite a few years ago.)

so i stand here and thank all the gods that we are all so healthy and strong and able to have withstood all that smoke.
all 9 of us :) I believe that because my animals all eat so well, they weren’t really bothered.

truth be told, I’ve never used an oven’s self cleaner function, so left the house with kids for four hours just to be safe.
returned to lots of super nasty smoke. super mega nasty horrible chemical smelling smoke.

I sprayed vinegar everywhere, had kids and animals outside… left the next afternoon and ozonation has begun to get rid of the smell without chemicals– hope it works!

and this morning, I awoke with a stye on my lower eyelids. been tearing from the smoke, and by this afternoon, it was really painful, felt like a pebble/eyelash in my eye.

googled, read, & finally trieda little baby shampoo on q-tip, swab stye, and it was all gone in seconds!!!

baby shampoo, wouldn’t put it on my babies, but so thankful for that suggestion, (who would’ve thunk?!?) so I thought it worthy to share.

some new (really useful!) witchy wisdom from a slightly shaken smith who is really aching to get back to that ingot of platinum on her bench……

I don’t make resolutions, however….

oh so many blog posts have come and gone through my head since ringing in this silvery new year.

I don’t make resolutions, however I did gently suggest to myself that I would blog frequently. this, I know, is the best way to reach out to all of you with coolfunkysexyunique style… the way to connect with those of you excited and inspired by platinum gold silver bronze, steel, rough, raw diamonds, one of a kind precious gems. jewellery with an organic story…

platinum engagement ring remodelworking on some really funky pieces right now. a chunky sterling puzzle piece pendant, and a rockin’ engagement ring rehab, a marquis diamond engagement ring, reset in a chunky platinum band (her present to herself). here’s a pic of the princess rock n’ roll diamond rehab ring on its way at the bench.

holiday gifts and gratitude

my senses have been most festively titillated this season!

first, thank you all for your orders and correspondences, and to all new comers from the howard stern show, welcome to my world of metals. I hoping some of you guys will get into some of the funkier ways i work, in brass, palladium etc…

huge thanks, of course, to my dear friend beth stern and her beautiful husband howard, who gave one of my diamond gold wishbone necklaces to robin quivers for a holiday gift on the air, and from that moment, I have met a number of wonderful new people!

I forged and shipped right up until the 23rd… a crazy elfen metalsmith, or so i fancied myself ;)

then came christmas eve and I just stopped working. just stopped, left my bench a mess, and headed to old lyme to be with family.
all has been glorious. and tomorrow I ship more wishbones!

and my favorite gift this year? cashmere arm warmers. so absolutely decadent, ever so practical, and supremely sexy, charcoal grey cashmere arm warmers. heaven. going to buy a union suit and live in me overalls, long underwear and arm warmers. it is 18 degrees farenheight tonight.

you absolutely must do yourself the favor of visiting minnow and checking out her fabulous handmade cashmere pieces for adults and babies, too.

beth stern wears minnow

the site is beyond sexy. all photos of beth, taken by howard. seriously beautiful!

platinum sagittarius zodiac pendant

platinum sagittarius zodiac pendant

here is a photo of the first platinum zodiac pendant, fresh off the jewellery bench! oh how I love to forge in platinum. those of you who regularly read my blog have often heard me wax poetic about the joys of forging in platinum… and here I go again! so malleable, so durable, doesn’t require any solder (read, no discoloration whatsoever!) platinum welds to itself thus creating a completely pure piece of seriously valuable jewellery. the texture is buttery soft, and the depth of color is not to be rivaled.

the sun has only just entered scorpio, but sagittarius is just around the corner and the holidays are hot on the archer’s heels!

and here in redding, connecticut, we have 17.5 inches of the mushy white stuff. most of the state is still without power, however, we have just been restored to toasty warmth, thank you!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone. please, keep your four legged children safe inside!

yellow gold ring with rolling white gold diamond band

yellow and white gold rolling rings

a rather challenging ring to fabricate! the base is a yellow gold, forged concave band. a forged white gold band, studded with diamonds, rolls atop the yellow gold band.

my client, a most lovely woman with a real eye for design, had been looking for a jeweler to realize her vision. apparently, many a jeweler had turned her away! indeed, this was a challenging commission, but in the end, a most satisfying one.

my rust studio ROCKS

the view from my new studioredding, connecticut has to be one of the most beautiful places in all of america. I am absolutely in love with my new home here with the wild turkeys, the deer, and the really large sounding bullfrog in the boggy pond (are there big bullfrogs here)?.

moving in the midst of a hurricane is always an adventure, but we have settled in so very beautifully and my studio absolutely, positively ROCKS… check it out, even my furniture and artfully neglected rusty anvil match the cool rusty toned (ahem) linoleum. I can’t help but make beautiful things with this vista.

the jewelry studio in Redding

I finished this sweet little sapphire and gold ring, right before I sent the studio off in the moving truck, all hand made 18k yellow discs soldered together with a lovely deep blue sapphire bezel set in rich warm gold. I’ll have to find the picture, as its a great example of what you can do when you melt down gold and start anew. sweet, little and rather unique, my friend beth’s design for her sister in law who just gave birth to a boy, a sister’s “push present” if you will :)

~ looking forward to receiving sue’s “disco” gold earrings to melt down and create anew. dig out that old gold. gold is good right now, brings some of this sun with you as the days get cooler ~

and I do so love melting it down into molten…

be so warm and dry

heather

hand forged sterling spoon

in my packing frenzy, I found a hand forged spoon I made many years ago and thought some of you would enjoy ~

hand forged sterling silver cala lily serving spoon

still the most comfortable spoon to hold, for my hand at least. found the fork as well, but I never felt that I got that one right (the tines are not strong enough)… so no photo is to ensue

these iron scrolls however, are bringing back some fond memories. I think i must have forged the scrolls 11 years ago and i used them to make a table out of some lovely burled maple. they are covered with dust and cobwebs … I vow to give them more respect in our new home.

hand forged iron scroll brackets

and on that note, our new home in redding, connecticut is on quite a bit of land and has the perfect little setup for my gas forge (wedding present from my dad, so many years ago) and my lg anvil. weighing a mere 250lb, my “dropped forged” german baby has been living underneath our front entry way table for too long now, time to get it out, get dressed it dressed and get it dirty.

sexy lil’ zodiac pendants

symbols have always fascinated me. alchemical, scientific, iconic or archtypal, from the simplest to the most complex, glyphs captivate me with their primal expression of a force. metalsmiths are weird, we really do play with fire… and i just love books of alchemical glyphs. for really great dreams, read alchemy before bed…

and with celebration after months of playing with silver shapes and fire, my zodiac pendants have made their debut. i am really proud. they are simple, sexy expressions of self, our sun sign, our moon sign, his sign, her sign…

wearing my kids' zodiac sign, the virgo pendant

in this picture i am wearing my babies sign with my diamond from John. hunter and logan are both virgos. so far, the virgo zodiac (glyph!) has been my favorite to forge, the most complicated and heaviest weight in gold, but really fun to shape with the hammer. my sign, aquarius, has been a bitch to forge. going to give it another go at the end of this week. wish me well.

the zodiac pendants, (charms) are featured in the “trinket” section of my new site, artfully designed by john, alongside the peace signs, ohm pendants and wishbones. trinket is the word that always comes to mind when i think of the spirit in which i forge my zodiacs, peace signs, ohm symbols. simple, elegant expressions of energy.

and i think they are pretty sexy on a piece of rawhide with a tan :)

two stray diamonds for a dusty blacksmith

last night i found two stray diamonds in my jewel tray. funny enough, I had sat down at the bench to make a few improvements to the large forged bangle I have been wearing for years. The bangle, while lovely in its heftiness, was actually just some cutoff scrap, left over from forging a baby spoon years ago.

I had never finished off the ends of the bangle and have always been a bit embarrassed to show it to people (felt a bit like the cobbler who has no shoes)…so imagine my delight when I found that these two diamonds (each approximately .40 ct) fit perfectly in the ends of my hand forged sterling bangle.

i took this photograph with my phone, minutes before boarding a flight to jfk. i say this to convey my new dedication to sharing my work via my blog, facebook (join my facebook fan page here) and to follow me on twitter.

those of you who know me know that such technology does not come easily to me, in the past i would have rather nailed my eyelids to the wall than go through the steps required to photograph my new work and post it online. but times are a changing; the kids will be in school in september and i feel that i am morphing out of baby mode and into a whole new phase of my life. quite exciting actually.

and here is my big news… we are moving to redding, connecticut closer to my family and my beloved city (nyc). a healthy, happy move into a lovely home with a fabulous work studio for me. bright, airy, sunny and best of all, quite perfect for a 250lb anvil and a dusty old blacksmith’s forge.

platinum and steel are such a sexy combination :)

be so well and enjoy august!

heather

olympic ring birthstone necklace

swimming in the ocean

i am an ocean child.

the kids and i have just returned from a three week holiday. first in old lyme with my mom, the kids learning to swim, being crazy little fish with their cousins. then off to the water’s of newport with my dad at the new york city yacht club’s summer residence at harbor court, newport, rhode island and ending with our pittsburgh cousins in stone harbor, new jersey.

oh yes, and i have also fallen in love with redding, ct, a delightful little town in fairfield county. life is really very good to us and i could not be more grateful for the ocean, my family and the serendipity of running into old friends.

and my jewelry always looks better with a tan :)

before i left for our beach holiday, i finished this gold birthstone necklace. three forged gold rings with hammered texture, three bezel set birthstones, with the birthstones representing mommy, baby and daddy, rings forever linked together, but able to move freely.

olympic ring birthstone necklace

this piece was so much fun to forge and here is the cool part:

mom and dad had a courtship during the china olympics as dad was a coach for the us olympic sailing crew and she joined him there while they were dating. i didn’t know about the olympic connection, however, when i designed this necklace, the three rings just came to me while i was chatting with him about her “push present”. the image of three rings, forever joined, but able to move freely.

this is why i like to talk to you all before i design for you :)

be so well and stayed connected, change is afoot!

heather

the newest trinkets have been forged!!!

oh i am thrilled to finally be able to say that i have forged the first seven of my newest trinkets, the zodiac pendants!

in the spirit, size and style of my peace sign jewellery and Ohm charms, the hand forged zodiac signs join my ever growing collection of symbolic
pendants.

here they are, photographed with my favorite ball peen hammer, the rat tail rasp (round file) that i have become so enamored with while making these zodiac charms, and my anvil (which i am too embarrassed to show to my metalsmith friends… it so needs to be dressed properly!!!)

having always been fascinated with symbols, especially alchemical symbols, the zodiac charms seemed a perfect progression from the peace signs, Ohm pendants and wishbones.

the peace sign originated as the symbol for nuclear disarmament and the Ohm is the symbol of a sacred invocation to be intoned at the beginning and end of any mantra. the wishbone, well we all need to make a wish every once in awhile.

while the origins of the astrological symbols themselves seem to be lost in history, the symbols remain elemental expressions of the sun sign under which we are born. the starting point of each of our unique blueprints.

additionally, for us alchemical freaks, the twelve core alchemical processes are ruled by the twelve signs of the zodiac. (i find all this fascinating and yes, people think i am weird :)

the pendants however, are classic. not corny or literal, the twelve signs of the zodiac are universal and expressive. I am really digging the pendants on a piece of natural rawhide (with solid gold or silver lobster clasp).

on my website, however, the pendants are featured on the traditional rolo chains that so many of you have with your peace signs.

email me if the rawhide chain intrigues, i am always happy to cater to customization!

by the way, the rawhide looks great with a tan :)

starting with leo, the zodiac signs now have their own pages on the website. the remaining five zodiac signs are on my bench awaiting my hammer. so far my sign, aquarius, has been the most challenging to forge (still haven’t perfected the little bugger) and virgo, the sign of both my babies, has been the most fun.

and in closing, may i say a huge happy birthday to my many leonine girlfriends and my mom! leo is the polar opposite sign to aquarius and i do seem to attract the leonine women. the first leo pendant i forged in 18k yellow gold, in honor of all of you gorgeous lions!

be so well and radiant

heather

diamond platinum wedding ring duo

diamond and platinum engagement/wedding ring set

platinum and diamonds at their sensuous best

so loved forging this platinum wedding ring duo… and damn if the finish didn’t reflect that right back at me.

pretty sparkly, conflict free diamonds, set a wee bit off kilter. there have been many variations of this ring forged and all with unique success.

and finally, this ring set has a bit of a dramatic story attached…

alas, discretion, being the better part of valor, i am not permitted to share

forged iron rose wedding present

all time favorite piece.

ever.

hand forged steel rose

forging flowers, many trials before realizing anything remotely worthy of mother nature’s glory…
this one i felt. it forged itself.

i formed petals one upon another with pliers that i have torched and tweaked, made a small peen hammer to etch the petals, forge welded ever so gently the stem, forge welding is good for the soul i tell you…
this is me, the root of your jewelry commission.

a wedding present, given in spain by us.

i learned to forge foliage from dorothy stiegler, thanks to a scholarship from the American Blacksmith’s Association of North America. what can i say? she is a goddess and i hope to forge under her instruction again someday.

handforged iron gate

often i am asked how i came to make jewelry… and what do i do with that 250lb anvil in my entryway!

well in ’96, i had the very good fortune to apprentice with artist blacksmith angelo garro. truly a master, check out his site, beyond stunning work. having very little experience (read, none) i had to beg angelo to take me on (he later to confessed that it was only because he thought i was cute).

we forged all morning, a gorgeous fig tree gracing the half open air smithy. i learned masses from angelo and later, receiving a scholarship from ABANA (american blacksmiths association of north america) i had the amazing fortune of studying iron foliage with dorothy stiegler.

all of these incredible learning experiences came together in this handforged steel gate I created with John for a couple in Ramona. Interwoven with grape vines handforged from solid stock and adorned with grape leaves in Dorothy’s style, this was one of the few full blown iron projects I did on my own before turning my full attention back to jewelry in 2002.

the leaves and vines that wind through this door and gate are based on a cabernet grape motif etched on glass doors of the wine cellar in this beautiful home, which thankfully the home and gate survived the devastating witch creek fires that ravaged san diego in 2007.

18k yellow gold diamond engagement & wedding ring

a rather unique engagement/wedding ring duo. i selected a beautiful G color, 1.25 carat solitaire diamond and set the diamond in a “horseshoe” shaped prong setting, studded the sides of the setting with diamonds and forged a thick gold band to showcase the sparkle.

18k yellow gold diamond engagement & wedding ring

the wedding band required a curve to be forged in the center, so that the wedding ring would hug the engagement band. with three white diamonds, two flush set and one in a low domed bezel, the wedding band has a life of it’s own.

olympic ring birthstone necklace

3 gold rings pendant

olympic ring birthstone necklace
when he called asking for a gift for his wife who had just given birth to their son, i immediately saw three gold interlocking rings, with topaz for the baby’s november birthday and diamonds to signify his wife and himself.
here is the funny part: he coached a usa olympic sailing team and she accompanied him to china for the olympics.
another pendant that feels good to play with.

sterling silver forged bar bracelet

one of my classics, a hand forged sterling silver bracelet.

hand forged sterling silver bar bracelet

I start with an ingot of silver, draw it out with hammer and mill, and forge the bars concave.

the final result is definitely weighty, so sexy on a man, a statement of strength on a woman

this bracelet seems to forge itself to it’s wearer.

as beautiful Tom said…

“Thought you might like to know that the bracelet has fused itself to my being – hard to explain why. People have commented on… how naturally and well it seems to suit me. Feels that way from the inside as well.
”

platinum diamond wedding rings

another one of my favorite sets.
forged platinum wedding band with flush set smoky blue diamonds alternating with white diamonds. the blue diamonds are so unique, almost grey. she came to me years later to design her anniversary band. at this point she was fully bedecked with my forged bracelets and wanted to continue the theme…so the matching forged platinum anniversary band, studded with flush set diamonds, was a perfect compliment.

sterling silver orb pendant

sterling silver orb with garnet on ball chain

sterling silver orb pendant
another example of recycled silver.

i melted the ingot of silver and was so pleased with how the fine silver came right to the surface of the orb, producing such a brilliant white texture.

i set the garnet and here is the really romantic part:

he wanted the pendant to hang in a very specific spot on her chest, so he measured while she slept and i made the chain to fit.

love…

gr tourmaline stackable mother's rings

stackable, forged sterling silver tourmaline rings

sterling silver stackable tourmaline rings

rarely do i effuse about an image of my work…always seem to find the one aspect of the piece that i would like to change, one more time on the anvil, but this photo really captures what I love about these silver rings.

i see the watery sparkle of the sea in these green tourmalines set in the buttery texture of hammered sterling silver– i love these rings!

this stackable design lends itself beautifully to mother’s rings, birthstone rings and other custom gemstone combinations.

the square top of each band is approx 4mm and the ring shank or round band is 3mm, which makes for a lovely, comfortable weight.

i want to make platinum bands like these with smoky blue, black and white diamonds.

anyone?

grace’s platinum sapphire water ring

i think of this as my “elfin” wedding ring, grace’s ring.
ringgrace
later i forged a wedding ring that perfectly hugs this band
this ring will wear forever, age beautifully. heavy forged platinum deep, beautiful stones.

record spindle in 18k gold

18k yellow gold record spindle

record spindle in 18k gold

we all recognize one of these, don’t we?

the spindle required to play a 45 rpm record, right?

music remains my life line, so when a past client contacted me to make one of these for his wife…over the moon, was i. never asked the significance, but it was tangible.

…now the actual forging of this piece, a bit of a real challenge. many a time, i thought, why did i agree to forge this by hand? this could have been a wax carving. but it is truly one of a kind and when his wife rang me personally to effuse…oh bringing that kind of love and joy together is what makes me feel it is all worthwhile.

platinum rolling rings

i made this ring and then called my client and told her that unfortunately i was headed to tahiti with her ring…never to return, so sorry…

handforged platinum rolling rings

seriously, i did not run off with her rolling ring, but i did dig mine out of my old jewelry box. i have an original cartier tri gold rolling ring, a gift from my parents when i turned 16, and i forged a sterling rolling ring years ago. funky rings to create as i have to make the bands a full two sizes larger than the final band–

this ring is seriously soothing. she came to me with her design, one band hammered, one brushed matte finish, and one perfectly shiny. the intention being a ring for her to roll on her finger, calming, soothing, healing.

we all need this ring :)

white gold anniversary ring

white gold fancy sapphire anniversary band

white gold anniversary ring

we chose fancy sapphires to celebrate ten years of marriage and because her engagement ring is a beautiful blue sapphire.

such cheery happy stones for an anniversary band.

she wanted a ring that was a bit easier to wear than her original prong set stone. flush set stones are much more practical, easier to wear throughout our days, hands in the dirt, on the steel…

encounter quite a few practical ones these days :)