Spring is here

By March 24, 2019 Articles, Spring

Here, in North Carolina, spring is popping with trees blooming and lots of tree pollen. There is so much inspiration all around. I have begun planting our vegetable garden and looking forward to some beautiful Cherokee Purple tomatoes along with beans,, cucumbers, radishes and peppers. So much to do, so little time.

Now to my studio. Improvements on the horizon. I have a wonderful stainless steel top for my torch station and need to rotate the blades for my sheer. I need to stop production to do this so I may need to wait until May to get this done.

April 27th and 28th is Days at the Docs in Holden Beach, NC. This is a wonderful beach festival under the curved bridge that brings you from the mainland over the Intercoastal. It is always sunny and windy this time of year so tents have to be weighted down unless you want them to become large kites. There is a such a huge variety of artists at this event from painters, basket weavers, silversmiths and even blacksmiths. What I love about events like this is everyone is happy and enjoying the beach, the art and the music to say nothing of the food. You need to come visit us there if you are in the area.

Now, down to basics. I will be working on landscapes in enamel. This is such a large area to explore from Monet style impressionism to more simple abstract landscapes it seems limitless. I constantly challenge myself and try new things.

So, I made a ring last week A local jeweler would like me to work with him on a spinner ring project so I made the ring as a learning prototype project.

Now this ring is glass inside and out. The core and edges are fine silver but there is glass inside the ring as a counter enamel. It has to be there so the cloisonne does not crack while cooling. Since this was done as a prototype for me to learn how to get the enamel on the ring, most likely I will not sell it. If I did I would tell the owner to wear to a party etc. and come home, take it off and put it in their jewelry box. You cannot do housework, move furniture or do bricklaying with this ring on. It is glass! Although not terribly fragile and the silver edges protect from chips you must understand that glass can crack, chip or scratch and dull over time. Rings and bracelets are especially vulnerable to this type of damage. It is beautiful and I have worn it a few time getting compliments on it but will always take it off when I get home.

Stay tuned for the next adventure. I have a few things up my sleeve. Happy spring.

Barbara Bennett

Barbara Bennett

I spent most of my career in interior design and the last 20 years designing restaurants in the Raleigh, NC area. Since I grew up on the coast of Long Island I headed for the coast of NC Ince I retired in Raleigh. I set up my silversmith studio and began creating sterling and fine silver jewelry reflecting my love of the sea. In the past year I discovered enamel and cloisonné. I was hooked. You will see many cloisonné and champleve pieces in my collections. My hope is that you will love them as much as I loved making them.

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