Tag Archives: Jewelry


Make Your Mark!

Necklace, Jan Smith

Image and Mark Making in Enamel with Jan Smith

August 17-19 at Danaca Design

“I love the diversity and seductive qualities of the enamel and enjoy sharing an understanding of the material with students. I begin with a simple sketch, using the enamel as a printmaking or drawing medium, I work rather intuitively allowing the work to evolve. There is an element of assemblage or evolution in my process and composition, and I am excited about the imperfections in the surfaces.” -Jan Smith

Pendant, Jan Smith

With her decades of experience as a printmaker and jewelry designer, Jan Smith has a remarkable amount of expertise creating various compositions in enamel with a wide range of techniques. Her illustrative approach is translated into botanical and natural forms as well as more abstract and modern designs that rely on linear detail, diverse layers of color, and fine execution.

Necklace, Jan Smith

Over three days in August, Smith will lead students through a broad range of techniques to develop exciting surfaces. With sgraffito, students can create multiple layers of contrasting color by scratching or drawing designs in a top layer of enamel allowing the color beneath to show through after the piece has been fired. Through multiple layers of opaque or translucent glazes, different effects and levels of depth in the piece can be achieved. Underglaze pencils and watercolor techniques allow for more intensive detail and line-work, as well as intriguing color-play evoking greater subtlety and depth in the designs. Over-glazing in translucent or clear finishes can achieve unifying effects and protect the piece. Ultimately this workshop will open a whole new world of detail and depth to every students enamel work.

Work by Jan Smith

In Image and Mark Making in Enamel, Jan Smith takes the time to explain how each method can work with the others to build distinctive pieces. Students create prototypes of each technique, getting a feel for each method’s possibilities, and then create a series of pieces that can be incorporated into their jewelry. Armed with new knowledge, tools, and enamels, practitioners will have an entirely new narrative with which to compose pieces and images to “make their mark”.

We can’t wait!

Crowning Glory Series: Ancient History from Diadem to Tiara and Crown

This coming March Danaca Design will be hosting a show featuring tiaras and crowns in many forms called Crowning Glory: Ruling Our Own Destinies, Directing Our Own Paths. While the artists will be exploring the diverse cultural, artistic, historic, and social narratives of these accessories April decided to look into the history of these royal accessories to use as a post on the Danaca Design blog. It turned out to be a fascinating subject so instead of making one post she turned it into a four part series being posted every Monday in February leading up to our show opening and reception on Friday, March 2, 6-8:30pm. This week part 1 is focused on the ancient history of tiaras and crowns.

Pictured is a “radiant crown” on a coin from the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt around 250 b.c.e

 

Tiaras, crowns, these head ornaments have been used for centuries to symbolize social superiority and power, have a history going back to ancient Egypt and Greece. Originally these head pieces were called a “diadem” derived from the Ancient Greek “dia dein” meaning “to bind around”.  The ancient Egyptian pharaohs would wear gold head-bands that could be decorated with tassels and other ornaments that hung over the forehead, temple, or even down to the shoulders.

 

photo credit:Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig(http://www.antikenmuseumbasel.ch/) / Egyptian Museum, Cairo via www.nationalgeographic.com

Diadem found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun

An excellent example of this is the diadem discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun, King of Egypt in ca. 1339-1329 b.c.e. (pictured above) Discovered during the excavation of his tomb in 1922 the kings mummy was adorned with a gold diadem formed in a circlet, at the front a detachable gold ornament with the head of a vulture and the body of a cobra, symbolizing the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt. It is also inlaid with glass, obsidian, carnelian, malachite, chalcedony, and lapis lazuli.

Gold diadem of Pantikapeion 300 BC Panticapaeum Important Greek city on eastern shore of Taurica

 

In Ancient Greece diadems were made from all kinds of metal, and with a limited amount of gold available, Greek metalsmiths would decorate them with embossed rosettes, filigree, and other motifs such as the Heracles knot which was found frequently in Hellenistic jewelry. Once Alexander the Great opened up the gold supply from the Persian Empire in 331 B.C.E. the styles became even more elaborate and often contained intricate garlands of tassles, leaves, and flowers.

Achaemenid Seal made of jasper and hematite. You can just see that little pointy crown on top of the king’s head.

The shift from diadems as just a circular band to what we now consider tiaras and crowns today is attributed to Ancient Persia, now Iran. The original term “tiara” is Persian in origin and in its original form describes the high peaked head decoration worn by Persian kings. However in ancient Persia crowns were worn in many forms and ancient authors did not always distinguish clearly among the various terms for them, making the most reliable evidence for forms of Persian crowns/tiaras are the depictions on objects such as monuments and coins.

Kings from the Achaemenid period wore tall and serrated golden crowns, called a crenelated crown, which was adorned with gold leaves and colorful jewels. The 22 or 24 serrations of the crown symbolized towers, battlements, temples, or the Sun. The Achaemenid queen wore a jeweled crown with a thin piece of cloth reaching her knees attached. Based on historical documents it seems that the only difference between the King and Queen’s head wear was the thin cloth.

Coin with Tigranes the Great portrait (Armenian king, ruled 95 BCE–55 BCE). Coin – Ar, 29mm, 16,41g.

However it was not just the royal Persians that wore head covers to denote status in society. From writings by the ancient Greeks it appears that a tiara was a soft headdress often with a high point and members of the Median upper class wore these high, crested tiaras. Median civilians and officers covered their heads with round and soft egg-shaped felt caps which were decorated with lace. Ancient reliefs depict archers with these caps and a crenelated diadem worn over them. Upper class Achaemenid women wore long headscarves some reaching down to their ankles. This shawl-like headdress was not wrapped under the neck but was usually worn with a diadem on top very similar to many popular bridal veil styles worn today.

Well that wraps up part 1 of this 4 part series. Honestly it is really hard to figure out when to stop because their is just so much fascinating history but if you want to check out more really cool pictures of ancient diadem, crowns, and more I suggest going to The Metropolitan Museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org where you can browse their entire collection online.

Check back next Monday to find out about the crowns and tiaras of south and east Asia…I can’t wait.

 

 

Photo credits:

King Tut diadem:  Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig(http://www.antikenmuseumbasel.ch/) / Egyptian Museum, Cairo via www.nationalgeographic.com

Greek diadem: Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich via http://metmuseum.org  Metropolitan Museum of Art

Achaemenid Seal: The Met, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/323560?sortBy=Relevance&ft=achaemenid&offset=20&rpp=20&pos=29

Coin with Tigranes: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tigran_Mets.jpg; Author unknown

Winter Class Schedule Preview

Hard to believe but this year is almost over! Why not add learning a new skill to your 2018 resolutions and take a jewelry class. Here’s preview of what is in store for winter but visit www.danacadesign.com for our complete schedule, expanded class descriptions, and materials list.

To register stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle or call us at 206-524-0916

Guest Instructor:

Mixed Metal Brooch by Keith Lewis

Just Hot Enough: Mixed Metal Surfaces

Instructor: Keith Lewis

February 17-19, Saturday – Monday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee: $480|Some materials included

This workshop explores various ways of combining metals to create rich effects through experimentation with soldering, fusion, and inlay, further enhanced by rolling and roll-printing and the application of a series of simple patinas that enhance the contrast between metals. This is an intermediate class and basic metal working skills are required.

Featured Classes

Total Immersion: Beginning Jewelry Making

Instructor: Dana Cassara

January 15-19, Monday-Friday, 10:00-5:00

$595|Basic Materials Included

What better way to kick off 2018 than spending a week making jewelry? The immersion workshop combines all three of our Beginning Jewelry Series workshops in to one week long jewelry making vacation. Each day you’ll go home thinking about what to make the next day! No experience necessary.

Chasing and Repousse: A Modern Approach with a Traditional Base

Instructor: Megan Corwin

February 2-4, Friday-Sunday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee: $450|$10 fee pay to instructor

In this beginning class, students start by learning to use the pitch bowl and hammer to chase, defining, and texturing the front of a piece of sheet metal and repousse, forming from the back. Explore the great textures and forms made possible with this technique. No experience necessary.

Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Applications: Fancy Stones

Instructor: Kirk Lang

March 3-4, Saturday-Sunday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee:$295|$95 materials fee pay to instructor

Learn to set challenging shaped stones in this hands on weekend workshop with master stone setter Kirk Lang. Building off of Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Applications: Round Stones, this more advanced workshop will teach students how to confidently set stones with pointed corners. Faceted Stone Setting Theory and Applications: Round Stones or equivalent experience required.

Fall Quickies

Precious Metal Clay Basics I

Instructor: Suzette O’Dell

January 13, Saturday, 10:30-5:00

Class Fee $95|$75 materials fee pay to instructor

Discover what can be made with Precious Metal Clay+ (PMC+), a marvelous material that can be worked just like clay but when fired becomes pure fine silver. PMC is a great alternative to casting and lots of fun too. No experience necessary.

Kiln Fire Enameling Basics I

Instructor: Linnie Kendrick

February 23, Friday, 10:30-5:00

Class Fee: $145|Basic Materials Included

Get a taste for the beauty of colored glass on metal. In this fast paced one day workshop students will be introduced to enameling with a kiln for optimum control over desired results. Learn how to apply richly colored opaque enamels onto flat and domed sheet metal. No experience necessary.

Silver Reticulation

Instructor: Juan Reyes

March 25, Sunday, 10:30-3:30

Class Fee:$95|$25 materials fee pay to instructor

First developed in Russia by Czarist jewelers such as Faberge, reticulated silver will add exciting and unique 3-dimensional texture to your work. By carefully preparing the surface of the metal and heating with a focused yet delicate torch, this specialized technique reveals a mysterious lunar like landscape within every piece of silver. Moderate comfort level with a jeweler’s torch is helpful.

Classes for Newbies

New to metalsmithing and don’t know where to start? These classes are great for those with no experience or those who want to sharpen their skills.

Which came first?

Beginning Jewelry Series: Introduction

Instructor: Dana Cassara

January 27-28, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00-5:00

$295|Basic materials included

This workshop is an introduction to the fundamental aspects of silversmithing. Explore jewelry design while learning all the valuable basics: to saw, file, texture, form, and solder nonferrous metals like copper, brass, and silver. No experience necessary

 

Beginning Jewelry Series: Rings

Instructor: Dana Cassara

February 10-11, Saturday-Sunday, 10:00-5:00

 $295|Basic materials included

Another class in our Beginning Workshop series focuses on the basic construction of fabricated rings, with and without stones. Each student will construct a simple, textured band ring as well as a ring with a bezel set stone. No experience necessary

 

Whew! We have a lot going on this winter…and that’s just the half of it. To get our complete schedule and full information on all of our classes go to our website www.danacadesign.com

To register call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by our location at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle. We are open Monday-Friday 11-6 and Saturday 10-6

December Events at Danaca Design

The Holidays are Here; it’s Time to Celebrate!

Like every other jewelry seller December is a big month for us. But for us December is not just big, it’s really big, because in December we celebrate our anniversary. Since 2003 we’ve been hosting an awesome party in December. For nearly as long we’ve also hosted an annual Student/ Teacher Holiday Show, the entire month of December.

AND as it so happens the party and the reception for this show coalesce into a really fun evening! Come party with the artists, Friday, December 8th from 6-9pm. We’ll mix, mingle, eat, drink, show off, buy and sell! This is our biggest event of the year so put it on your calendar.

We try to do something fun and community focused for this event and this year is no different. This time around we are doing a donation drive for the Women’s Shelter Jewelry Project, a project of the Seattle Metals Guild.

This is the deal: dig up some unused, unwanted, slightly broken jewelry and put it into the donation basket and we’ll give you a 10% discount on your jewelry purchase through the end of the party! Give and take, that’s what it’s all about right? There are more details below about the Women’s Shelter Jewelry Project.*

 

If that is not enough, our Annual Tool and Supply Sale begins December 1st! Spend up to $100 on tools and supplies and receive 10% off, spend over $100 and get 20% off! Of course, exclusions apply, but not many. This sale runs for the entire month of December… plenty of time to get your wish list to Santa. Hint: tools are a great gift for jewelers.

Also, in case you haven’t thought of it, we also sell gift certificates so if you’re not sure what they want but know they will want something a gift certificate is perfect! And they are pretty too.

Find the perfect holiday gift and support a terrific community. How can you go wrong?

Here’s a recap with few other details:

Student/Teacher Holiday Show and Sale December 2–30, 2017

Highlighting jewelry by students and teachers

 

Anniversary Party and Student/Teacher Show Reception

December 8, Friday 6–9pm

Refreshments and tasty treats always served

Select tools and supplies 10%–20% off

The entire month of December! 

 

For your shopping convenience, we’ve extended hours December 1 –24:
Monday — Friday 11–7
Saturday 10–7
Sunday 12–5

 

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

*The Women’s Shelter Jewelry Project

The Women’s Shelter Jewelry Project solicits donations of any and all jewelry to sort, clean, repair, and give to Seattle-area women’s shelters and the YWCA Dress for Success Program. Members of the Seattle Metals Guild, and their friends, volunteer to do the sorting and cleaning.

Have a necklace that is collecting dust in your jewelry box or a pair of earrings that you just are not wearing anymore? The Women’s Shelter Jewelry Project will take it. All types and styles of jewelry are accepted, even if broken. There’s a nice write up about the project on our blog: http://www.danacadesign.com/blog/page/3/

Danaca Design is a donation site year round but for one night only you donate the old and get something new with a discount!

Making Jewelry with Wire

Jewelry Making Basics with Wire

Instructor: Jennifer Stenhouse
November 4-5, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 – 5:00
Class Fee: $295| Basic materials included

Basic Bead and Wire Jewelry

Instructor Dana Cassara
December 15, Friday, 10:00 – 1:00
Class Fee:$75| Basic materials included

If you’ve looked at our fall class schedule (and if you haven’t you can at www.danacadesign.com) you may have noticed that we are offering two classes about making wire jewelry: Jewelry Making Basics with Wire and Basic Bead and Wire Jewelry. Both of these classes will get you on your way making your own jewelry designs but what’s the difference between them?

Basic Bead and Wire Jewelry is teaching the skills most people think off when you say “wire jewelry”. Basic wire wrapping to create linkage systems for earrings, necklaces, ear wires, and clasps. These linkage systems can be used to add beads and other items to necklaces and earrings or to even be links all by themselves. Ear wires and clasps mean you don’t have to buy them premade and can make them to fit the style and design that meets your creative needs. All of these techniques are cold connected meaning that no soldering is involved so all you need to get started are a few pliers, wire cutters, hammer, and bench block.

From the links to the toggle clasp all you need is some wire and solder know how!

 

The Jewelry Making Basics with Wire workshop is taking wire jewelry to the next level. In this class you will learn the essentials of soldering wire and making wire jewelry. So you can make your own chain and a variety of clasps and findings. But that’s not all you can do. Basic prong setting and some quick tricks for simple stacking rings are also covered in this class.  

 

Examples of prongs settings made with wire

 

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to start looking at wire in new ways. Now the real question is what are you going to make with wire?

 

To register for these or any of our other classes call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle

For  our complete fall schedule visit us at www.danacadesign.com

 

22nd Seattle Metals Guild Symposium

Tiff Massey, Power

It’s almost SMG Symposium time! What’s the SMG Symposium? It is an annual event put on by the Seattle Metals Guild that is a gathering of makers and speakers from both the Pacific Northwest and around the globe. It is a popular tradition that is great for metalsmiths, artists, and jewelers of all ranges and abilities. You don’t have to be a member to attend…but you do get a discount on tickets if you are. 

Online ticket sales end at midnight, Thurs Oct. 12.

There are many places in the area to purchase lunch but you may pre-buy lunch through the symposium. Last day to purchase lunch with symposium ticket is by midnight, Sat Oct. 7

For more information to go www.seattlemetalsguild.org 

To purchase an advance ticket click here

This year’s speakers include:

Montreal-based jeweler, author, and Toolbox Initiative co-creator Matthieu Cheminee

New Orleans based modernist sculptor, and post-industrial blacksmith Rachel David

Self -taught engineer, inventor, and kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson

San Francisco Bay area art jeweler, curator, and Shibumi Gallery owner April Higashi

and Detroit based interdisciplinary sculptor and jewelry artist Tiff Massey

While the artist talks are a big part of the symposium that’s not all! Explore a selection of hard-to-find metals and jewelry related titles at Charon Kransen’s book sale, the always popular Silent Auction, and a post-Symposium after-party at Rhein Haus restaurant.

And that’s not all…there is more to see and do over Symposium Weekend

Friday, October 13:

Nucor Steel Mill Tour (spots are limited)

Sunday, October 15:

1pm – 3pm “Designing Kinetic Sculptures: A Conversation with Arthur Ganson” at Equinox Studios

3pm – 5pm Opening reception for SMG show Contained at KOBO in Higo

5pm – 8pm Open House at Equinox Studios

What a weekend!

 

 

Fall Schedule Sneak Peek

Happy Fall! It’s finally cooler and the rain is coming back…which is a perfect time to take a class. Here’s a sample of what is in store for fall but visit www.danacadesign.com for our complete schedule, expanded class descriptions, and materials list.

To register stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle or call us at 206-524-0916

Guest Instructor: Jeff Georantes

Start with scrap metal and end up with a ring…how cool

Fire, Forge, and Flush-Stonesetting

December 1-3, $395|$35 materials fee paid to instructor

Jeff Georantes is coming from Hanover, New Hampshire to explore a variety of core metalsmithing skills that culminate in a finished silver ring set with faceted stones. Class will begin with casting and end with polishing and in between you will roll, hammer, and set stones. This class will be filled with tips and tricks and is open to all skill levels. No experience necessary!

Featured Classes

We don’t have this classes very often…so best to get them while you can!

Cloisonne Enameling

with Linnie Kendrick

October 21-22, $295|Basic materials included

The vivid color and unique beauty of enamel has been prized for centuries. The beauty of Cloisonne, with it’s fine lines of precious metal combined with the rich color of enamel to create patterns and images. This is a beginner level class, no experience necessary however basic enameling helpful

Jewelry Making Basics with Wire

with Jennifer Stenhouse

November 4-5, |Basic materials included

Learn the essentials of soldering and making jewelry with wire – a perfect class to create gifts for family and friends, or even start a little business. The techniques covered in class can be continued at home with a simple setup. No experience necessary

Needle Felting Forms for Jewelry

with Cynthia Toops

December 16-17, $285|$30 materials fee paid to instructor

Spend a relaxing and inspiring weekend learning to shape a ball of soft wool into amazing 3-dimensional objects. You might poke your finger a few times but you will have lots of fun discovering this new medium. No experience necessary

Fall Quickies

Can’t commit to a whole weekend? These one day “quickies” pack a lot into one class

Soldering Essential

with Dana Cassara

October 27, $95|Basic materials included

Whether you’ve already started soldering or never even tried, if you are looking to learn how to silver solder, or just get better, this class is for you. Expect lots of hands on time at the soldering table and practice with different torches. No experience necessary

Riveting Basics

with Dana Cassara

November 17, $95|Basic material included

Don’t have a torch at home? Don’t worry you can still make jewelry! Riveting is a fun and simple way to connect metal to metal or metal to non-metal. A new world opens up once you take away the heat. This is a fast paced class focused on designing, problem solving, practicing, and producing work without soldering. No experience necessary

Using the Smith Little Torch

with Micki Lippe

December 9, $95| Materials list

There are several torch options on the market but a popular choice among jewelers is the Smith “little torch”. Micki Lippe, a seasoned professional, will show you why as she demonstrates the versatility and precision of this well loved tool. Basic soldering experience required

 

 

Classes for Newbies

New to metalsmithing and don’t know where to start? These classes are great for those with no experience or those who want to sharpen their skills.

Beginning Jewelry Series: Introduction

with Dana Cassara

October 7-8, $295|Basic materials included

This workshop is an introduction to the fundamental aspects of silversmithing. Explore jewelry design wile learning all the valuable basics: to saw, file, texture, form, and solder nonferrous metals like copper, brass, and silver. No experience necessary

Beginning Jewelry Series: Rings

with Dana Cassara

November 11-12, $295|Basic materials included

Another class in our Beginning Workshop series focuses on the basic construction of fabricated rings, with and without stones. Each student will construct a simple, textured band ring as well as a ring with a bezel set stone. No experience necessary

Basic Bead and Wire Jewelry

with Dana Cassara

December 15, $75|Basic materials included

Learn the simple tricks to cold working wire to create linkage systems for earrings, necklaces, ear wires, and clasps. This class will give you the basic skills to start making jewelry for yourself or even as gifts. No experience necessary

Expand Your Skills with Mentored Study

So you’ve taken a few beginner metalsmithing classes and have jewelry ideas you want to make but are still feeling a little unsure of your skills. Or maybe you’re starting to get more confident but have a question from time to time and don’t have a place to set up a studio at home. You are in the perfect position to sign up for mentored study!

What’s mentored study?

Mentored Independent Study at Danaca Design is having a space to work on your own thing with a helping hand along the way. You can learn new skills while improving the skills you already have in a supportive environment. 

How does mentored study work?

Register for a mentored study class time; either Tuesday evening 6:00 pm-9:00 pm with Juan Reyes or Thursday morning 10:00 am-1:00 pm with Dana Cassara. Classes run in consecutive weeks: 3 weeks = $115, 4 weeks = $145, 5 weeks = $180, 6 weeks = $215.

But the best part is you also have access to practice hours! Practice hours are Tues 10am-2pm, Thursday 5pm-9pm, and Sun 6pm-9pm. 

What is I can’t commit to consecutive weeks?

We also have options for that too. Drop-in to either class time for $20 an hour or purchase a punch card. Punch cards are $150 for 12 hours of class time. Stay for the whole class or just an hour or two. They don’t expire so you can use the time as you need. 

Tell me more about the mentored study teachers:

Juan Reyes began studying silver smithing in 1995 at North Seattle Community College and since then has developed extensive expertise in a wide range of techniques including lapidary and goldsmithing. He is generous with his knowledge, patient beyond measure and well loved for his helpful, non-judging nature. Juan brings warmth and creativity to every class he teaches.

Dana Cassara is the founder of Danaca Design. Her aim as an instructor is to guide individuals through the learning process offering solid technical information, personalized attention, and lots of fun. With the intention of setting students on the path towards transforming their ideas into solid form, she hopes students will take the experience they gain in this studio beyond the classroom into their everyday life where problem solving skills and a profound sense of achievement always come in handy!

Alright I’m sold…now how do I sign up?

To register for mentored study or buy a punch card either stop by the studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle or call us at 206-524-0916 to register over the phone. 

 

FYI…Dana will not be having mentored study 8/31/17 because we are having our Intermediate Intensive that week. 

Jan Smith enamel+metal

Traces 1 by Jan Smith

This month we are pleased to have enamel artist Jan Smith coming down from Canada to join us for a weekend in our studio!

Jan started her art career as a print maker, and you can see those influences of in her jewelry and mark making. Since the mid 1980’s Jan has worked in the field of art jewelry. Her pieces combine vitreous enamels, alternative materials, and precious metal to create dream like surfaces. 

Red by Jan Smith

Focusing on the surface she uses color, texture and mark making to create unique non-traditional surfaces. Her pieces are meant to explore memory, how it changes and the impressions memories leave behind. 

Stem Slice by Jan Smith

August 18-20, Jan will be with us sharing how to create exciting surfaces through the exploration of nontraditional enameling processes. Line is an important element of design and will be explored through a variety of enamel techniques that allow you to achieve line and images.

Image and Mark Making in Enamel

Aug 18-19, Friday-Sunday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee: $435 | Some Materials Included

To register call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle

Cuttlebone Casting – Texture from the Sea

Pretty Pink Princess Party Birthday Cake Ring by Jennifer Stenhouse

Cuttlebone casting is one of the oldest jewelry casting methods. It is quick and fairly accurate, its main limitations being the size of the item to be cast. However it is perfect for casting at a jewelry scale and produces a wonderful unique texture that is a favorite among jewelers and jewelry lovers alike. 

Look at this adorable cuttlefish. Such a cutie.

Cuttlebone comes from a squid-like mollusk known as a cuttlefish. The cuttlefish has a chalky internal shell with a hard, thin crust surrounding a soft internal shell.Because the cuttlebone’s soft interior can be easily carved and withstand high temperatures make it perfect as a mold making material. These days cuttlebone can commonly be found in pet stores for parakeets and parrots as a bill sharpener. 

Cuttlebone washed up on the beach

The cuttlebone can be found on beaches after sea storms and the technique has been used in Mediterranean  countries for centuries and was using in mass produced jewelry up until the 1950’s. These days the majority of cast jewelry is done by centrifugal casting which is faster and cheaper than cuttlebone for mass production. However it is still a favorite method among artists because of the unique texture that the cuttlebone produces on the metal and the spontaneity of the technique.

Halo Rings with cuttlebone texture by Jennifer Stenhouse

This texture is created naturally by the cuttlebone. It is reminiscent of ocean waves, shifting sands, and topographical maps. It can be uses as a small design element or the focal point of the piece. Learning to cast cuttlebone isn’t too hard and if you wanted to do it in your own studio the casting set up is much cheaper and easier than with lost wax casting. Jennifer Stenhouse will be teaching Cuttlefish Bone Casting: Beyond Texture with us Sunday, August 13th where she will give some tricks and tips that can extend the versatility of your cuttlebone designs. Come play with us and learn all about this wonderful technique:

 

Class Details: Cuttlefish Bone Casting:Beyond Texture

August 13, Sunday, 10:00-5:00

Class Fee: $145| Basic materials included

To register give us a call at 206-524-0916 or stop by our studio at 5919 University Way NE, Seattle 98105

Next page →