I've been making jewelry of one kind or another for over 25 years. I'm a full time artist and enjoy a laid-back lifestyle in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Boone, North Carolina.
My work is made mostly of fine silver which is 99.9% silver (Sterling silver contains 7.5% copper or other alloys.) Fine silver doesn't tarnish like sterling does. It may turn a dull gray over time, but the shine can be restored easily with a soft cloth. I have also started to work with copper. Chains and other findings are sterling silver.
My medium is metal clay. It is a water based material that consists of pure silver or copper power suspended in a binder that makes it feel like clay or putty to work with. There is no ceramic material in it at all. I use my hands and small tools to form it in an endless variety of ways. The piece is then fired in a kiln at over 1000 degrees. The firing burns out the binder, leaving only the pure metal behind. After firing, I intentionally black in the recesses of the piece to show off the texture that can be achieved with metal clay. The result is a remarkable organic look not usually found in metal jewelry.
This heirloom jewelry will give joy to the wearer for years to come and is easy to care for. "This is statement jewelry. You will get noticed." says one of my customers. "It's ornamentation that's unusual and distinctive."