Sea Glass Summer

Antique jewelry has fascinated me since my teens. I love how the artists of that time used minimal tools to create the most beautiful pieces. Some of my favorites are the Art Nouveau designs of artists like Archibald Knox, Tiffany and more.

 

Archibald Knox Pendants

Enamel Pendants by Archibald Knox (photo courtesy of Arts & Crafts Home

 

Working with vitreous enamel and creating jewelry like the masters of the past is a lifelong commitment. In this new collection, I've taken the next step in fabricating sterling and fine silver settings for beautiful sea glass in combination with enamel. 

 

Enamel and Sea Glass Earrings

Green Sea Glass and Hot Glass (vitreous) Enamel in Sterling Silver

 

Sea glass is one of my favorite 'gemstones.' At some point in the past, discarded glass fell to the bottom of the sea. It was tumbled by waves, sand and salt through the years to produce a matte finish unlike no other. I love how a castoff becomes something beautiful when sea glass is used for home decor and jewelry. 

 

Amber Sea Glass Pendant

Amber Sea Glass and Enamel Pendant 

 

The sea glass I used for this collection was collected from Puerto Rican beaches by Sharon Orfebre at Enchanted Sea Glass. I've never been to Puerto Rico, but it is definitely on my bucket list. The photos I've seen of Old San Juan and the small cities and towns dotting the island look like so much fun to visit. I love the diverse natural habitat from jungles to bayous to reefs as well. 

 

Old San Juan

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico (image courtesy of San Juan Puerto Rico)

 

The technique I used for enameling the jewelry in this bespoke collection is called champleve. To do this, the artist creates depressions in metal, then applies wet grains of glass (vitreous) enamel with a very small sable brush or pick. After the enamel is placed, it is then fired in a kiln at 1440 degrees. It took several layers of enamel placement and firing to achieve the look you see here. My goal was to include the vibrant colors found throughout the architecture and culture of Puerto Rico. 

 

Lime Green Sea Glass Earrings

Lime Green Sea Glass Earrings

 

Enameling is a lifelong journey I intend to keep after for as long as I'm able. I had so much fun with this series and can't wait to explore combining enamel and stones in future jewelry collections.  

 

Cha-cha,

Chris

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