Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Work from Old finds

I have had a small stash of pottery shards since childhood.  My family moved from Hunington Beach California to the desert of New Mexico in 74.  This was a quite a culture shock! I went from roller skating with the neighborhood kids to being the only kid for miles on a dirt road.  As skating on dirt is virtually impossible, I had to take up new hobbies!   My playmates were the cows in an adjacent field and my new pass time was "treasure hunting"  We lived along the San Juan River about 1/4 mile from Salmon Ruins.   The ruins were just being excavated at this time and the riverbank was littered with amazing finds.  I would come home everyday with a backpack full of rocks, arrow heads, pottery shards and other amazing items.
My mother, not appreciating my finds, would periodically dump my "collection"  I would be upset for a day or two and then resume my treasure hunting. After several large losses, I began to stash my finds outside of the house where they would not be found.

I have kept these pieces for 35+ years.  I come across them during moves or spring cleaning, wondering what to do with them. I knew I wanted to incorporate them into jewelry, but was never sure how to do this.  Ive never really been a big fan of prong setting, but while I was in Tucson this February, I sat in on SLK'S "capturing uncommon object's" class. SLKs class demo were amazing.  I realized it was not the prong I had an aversion to, but what is commonly trapped within in them that I'm not a fan of!  Susans pieces had interesting items caged within the prongs.  It hit me that this would be the perfect way to display my treasures.  Prongs allow for the majority of the piece to be visible.  I tried bezel setting them years ago and I just did not like the results.  Too much of the piece was obscured.

 So here is my first piece.  
 I used bronze sheet, textured with the rolling mill.  I wanted the texture to mimic some of the designs on the pottery. 
 I used sterling accents for interest.  I love how the prongs allow you to see the side view

I used large raw garnet and Turquoise for the necklace. 
 I think the stones complement the rustic look of the piece
I have next weekend off, so I plan to lock myself in my studio and work on more designs.  Let me know what you think of this one!

I may take a walk along the river for inspiration, and maybe ill get lucky and find another treasure!


  1. I think it is absolutely amazing! I love it very much. I can see your beautiful finds wrapped in leather and all sorts of organic material. I'm sure your mind is full of wonderful ideas.

  2. Stunning piece Sandy! I love the way you textured the metal.The beads are awesome also!


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