Sculptural Jewellery

Polymer Clay, 2012

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Sculptural Jewellery Statement

Working with ten–ton boulders in my reductive sculpture project for St. Albert (click here to see the work) taught me a very valuable lesson: the bigger the sculpture is, the more difficult and expensive it is to make. It seems obvious, but sometimes you have to experience a thing before it sinks in. This is the reason I began working with lighter and smaller materials like polymer clay and semi precious stones. These materials lend themselves very nicely to jewellery–making and so that's what I did.

Millefiori Glass

At first I made some fun and playful earrings using colourful Millefiori Glass. Millefiori (meaning a thousand flowers) is a glass-working technique that arose in 7th century Europe where it was artfully used in Anglo-Saxon jewellery. This amazing process allows artisans to create colourful floral patterns by repeatedly dipping and layering different colours of molten glass. The glass cane is then stretched and cut into segments before it cools. A floral pattern is thus embedded in the glass bead forever. I gave a pair of earrings (with Millefiori and mother of pearl) as a Christmas gift to my daughter who was less than impressed. I think they might have been too cute for her sophisticated sensibility.

Mother of Pearl, Abalone Shell

I then made earrings and pendant necklaces from "organic gemstones". These natural materials – fresh water pearls, mother of pearl, abalone shell – are grown on aquatic farms or found in the wild, harvested and then carefully polished to achieve a wonderful iridescent quality. The subtle rainbow of colours and velvety sheen of pearls, mother of pearl and abalone shell gives jewellery a sense of style and elegance. More importantly, they look fantastic with almost any colour of clothing.

Semi Precious Gemstones

Semi precious gemstones are beautiful and durable. When polished, they have lustrous depth and vibrant colours. Whether a gemstone is as rare as benitoite (found only in San Benito County, California) or as plentiful as quartz (found in sandstone and shale deposits around the world), each is as unique as the person wearing it and will last a lifetime. These are some of the mineral gemstones that I've used in my sculptural jewellery: aventurine, agate, alexandrite, amethyst, aquamarine, black onyx, bloodstone, carnelian, citrine, garnet, hematite, jade, jasper, lapis lazuli, peridot, quartz, rhodonite, serpentine, topaz.

925 Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is a precious metal alloy that combines the warmth and richness of 92.5% pure silver with the strength and durability of 7.5% copper or germanium. With a bit of care, sterling silver jewelry will look amazing for decades to come. Since precious metal alloys are kind of expensive, I also use base metals such as copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel and titanium for components that require strength but may not be as noticable. More importantly, I've learned to NEVER use nickel or lead because of their negative health effects.

Polymer Clay

I'm discovering that polymer clay is very versitile and fun to work with. I don't think that it can replace stone, but there are some very amazing 3D effects that can be achieved only with polymer clay. The adventure continues....

HomeBread CrumbsSculptural Jewellery, Polymer Clay

© 2016, Terry Reynoldson