Back in the Jewelry Studio

It has been almost a year since I published my last coloring book. In true form, I’m on to the next thing. Or should I say, back to an old thing? This foray finds me back in the jewelry studio. I thought it would be fun to show you the process for one of the bracelet styles I’m making using scrap soft glass and silver fabrication.

First, I pull out some old scrap glass rods, stringer, and murrine cane, and chop it all up.
Then I line a steel tube with kiln paper and throw it all in.
After a 16 or so hour fuse in the kiln i have a nice puck of colorful glass with which to work.

These pucks get sliced into disks to reveal the designs hidden within.

I then slice them up into funky shapes.

Sometimes I use the scrap from this step.

And configure for another, shorter, fuse in the kiln.

Then comes the polishing. Sometimes I stop at a matte finish.

And sometimes I take them through six different grits of grinding and polishing wheels to achieve a higher shine.

Here is where it all starts to come together. Setting them in silver. I create a silver bezel to frame the little masterpieces.

And then cut out more silver to give them a nice backing.

From there, I solder the bezel to the backing and file the edges to a nice smooth finish.

And add some type of decorative element to make the back just as fun as the front.

If it’s a pendant, with a larger cabochon I am starting to get a little more creative with the setting, for more visual interest without being too busy against the design in the glass.

With the bracelets, the chain links that I solder between the pieces are just enough to pull it all together.

It feels really good to be back in the jewelry studio. Thanks for following along throughout the years!

If you’d like to see more of my process shots in almost-real-time you can follow me on Instagram or my facebook page.

You might also want to check out  my new web site to see all of the other pieces I’ve been creating this year at www.lorigreenbergjewelry.com.

Letting it Be What it Wants to Be

I’ve been continuing on with the art leading the way. I find myself working as a zoom lens. Honing in on a small area and not thinking about what is outside it. It sucks me in, and when I zoom back out it’s interesting to see what has been created. In this way, it’s not me running the show and controlling what will appear. It is the creative process, in real time, dictating what happens.

Stepping back from this piece I can see many things emerging. I have more to do before the picture will be fully visible to me and just because I see certain things right now, doesn’t mean that those will be the images that survive in the end. So, I continue to hone in on the areas that need to be filled, and suspend judgment until I embark on the next step of refinement.

It’s a work in process. I just meant to type that it’s a work in progress, but I think that “work in process” is pretty accurate as well. One little stroke at a time it unfolds. Much like life. As it is in progress you might sit back and think, “Yeah. I don’t like what I see so much.” But then you have to remember to have faith, and continue working. Nothing is permanent, everything can change, and sometimes it’s ugly before beauty emerges. Sometimes beauty doesn’t emerge, so you disconnect from the work for a while. Maybe you come back and try again. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you come back and think, “Hm. It’s not really that bad. I actually like it.”

It’s pretty fascinating to watch and experience, and I enjoy relating the art process to life, letting it teach me.

Watching Art Emerge

My latest art endeavor has been to let the art lead the way. It is very freeing. Starting with no preconceived notion of what I want to create and waiting for images to appear. It fascinates me to see a finished product, and to take in everything that has shown itself to me. It makes me wonder, how do the images relate to me? How is it that those particular people showed up in the art? How did they get so interwoven with each other? 

The process is a meditative journey, and the end result draws me deeper in, wondering about that journey that took place somewhere in my subconscious mind. It really is magical.

When you look at the modern-day totems that keep presenting themselves to me you see one thing, and then you see another. It’s almost like an optical illusion, with your mind not being able to hold onto one image before it shifts into the next.

For someone who loves eyes, these are a perfect expression for me. I count 30 eyes. Thirty-three if you count sunglasses. Thirty-four if you count 1/2 sunglasses. And there were four more that didn’t make the cut.