Every piece I make begins with a sketch, but I don't have a single drawing on paper. After spending 12+ years as a graphic designer, a mouse feels more natural in my hand than a pencil. So my sketching is done on my Mac.
No matter if I'm doing a colorful enamel, textural enamel, or one-of-a-kind piece with gemstones, I lay out my elements on screen so I can ensure I'm happy with the balance and composition of the piece. Since most of my pieces incorporate some element that is formed on my hydraulic press, using tooling dies that I make myself, I begin my process with that shape. I tend to lean more to geometric, symmetric shapes - I'm a pretty left-brained artist, so this isn't surprising.
Most recently I have begun working with one-of-a-kind cabochon gemstones. For designing, I'll snap a quick pic with my phone, airdrop it to my computer, open it in photoshop, and add a quick clipping path. I can then take that into my layout program to design the piece completely to scale.
After I'm happy with my design on screen I head to my bench. If I have to make any tools for the piece, I start with that. For these, I needed to create the little diamond die I use to form the "pillows" of the earrings in this series. After that, it's just a matter of putting all of the pieces together.
By using photo elements and to-scale illustrations, I can very accurately "sketch" my pieces on screen. And believe me, it's much more cost-effective to go through several design revisions on screen than in actual silver!
Here are a few pieces currently in the works. If you like what you see, or would like me to find stones specifically for you, contact me! I'd love to hear from you.
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