How is it Made? Part 1

One of the things I love most about jewelry is the transformation of materials.   My wood and polyurethane inlay technique is a product of experimenting with materials in my studio.  I begin the process with wood sourced from other makers and industrial cut-offs from companies with responsible forestry practices to maximize sustainability.  

A box of cut-offs sent to me by another maker.  I love the collaborative aspect of working with pieces that are byproducts of another maker’s craft. 

A box of cut-offs sent to me by another maker.  I love the collaborative aspect of working with pieces that are byproducts of another maker’s craft. 

Using my signature inlay process, I make the composite wood and polyurethane blocks.  I often use the figuring in the wood as a jumping off point.  The color palette evolves organically as I am making each piece, often to represent a landscape, place, or feeling.   Each color I add can change the composition and feel of the piece dramatically so the wood and polyurethane blocks are constantly in flux as I am working on them.  It is a very labor intensive process, and it can take several days to a week to complete a batch of 10 blocks.  

When I feel the blocks are finished I square off the blocks using a band saw and disc sander. 

Composite wood and polyurethane blocks that have been squared up, meaning the sides are parallel and meet at right angles.

Composite wood and polyurethane blocks that have been squared up, meaning the sides are parallel and meet at right angles.

Next, I begin the design process.  Using oval templates positioned over the blocks, I try to find the best compositions.  The possibilities are endless!  Often I take photographs of multiple compositions to compare them side by side.  When I have decided the final design, I trace the oval onto the block. 

Using templates to find compositions. The larger templates are designed with photoshop and glued to cardstock.

Using templates to find compositions. The larger templates are designed with photoshop and glued to cardstock.

 

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