In the last few weeks I have been working on some special wax carving projects. I usually fabricate most of my jewelry from sheet, wire and various metal stock but sometimes a project calls for unusual curves or shapes so I carve a wax model to be cast in silver or gold.
I just carved a setting for the pear shaped citrine pictured above. This stone is a large gem and I wanted to have some interesting cut-away areas to allow for light to pass through the setting and brighten the stone. Faceted stones need a “seat” to sit on inside of a setting, you can see that I carved out a step down for the stone to be able to sit evenly all around. I will be adding a bail to the top of the drop so that this can be worn as a pendant.
Another project I am working on is developing a fun line of stacking rings in various textures. I’m enjoying working with geometric and repeating patterns. I will be offering these in both silver and gold in a range of sizes.
And pictured above is a one-of-a-kind wax carving for a large flat stone. My customer desires a signet style ring and I will be adding Masonic symbols that he has chosen as well as carving words on the inside of the band.
Carving waxes taps into a free-form sculptural style. Fabrication with metal is also sculptural but more architectural in its approach, building blocks put together with connecting angles.
Summer passes quickly at 7,000′ above sea level, we’ve had snow on our mountain tops this week and a very rainy August.
In the shop I have been busy splitting my time between jewelry making and working on a public sculpture for the In|site:Ex|site, Pinedale Fine Arts Council’s public arts program. I am drawing inspiration for the granite peaks of the Wind River Range and mixing in my love of gemology to create a beautiful outdoor sculpture. Granite is compromised of quartz, feldspar and mica; each of those minerals has its own shape, habit and color. While the colors of the feldspar can vary from one mountain range to the next, ours is a pinkish color. When you go up into the mountains here with eyes pointed towards picking out the minerals, the granite proves super interesting. You can see lines of black mica flakes, jumbles of quartz, and chunky facets of feldspar.
(veins of black mica within the quartz and feldspar, spotted colors of pink feldspar and white quartz)
Earlier in the month I had the good fortune to get into the mountains for five days. I went backpacking to the base of some of these enormous peaks so that I could look at this granite up close. I brought a couple of small samples back with me.
(above, vein of golden mica flakes within the quartz)
(rugged Wind River Range peaks are solid granite rock)
Now I am in my workshop laminating together large blue foam sheets so that I can carve the shapes for the sculpture. I will use these pieces for molds and innards of some of the shapes. It’s all a new process for me and I’m using new materials so the learning curve is pretty steep. As usual I am finding that good tools and experienced advice from other artists can help alleviate some of those difficulties.