Welcome Back, Spring!
Song birds, spring rains and cheery apple blossoms are the harbingers of spring! Welcome back the season with beautiful hand crafted cloisonne enamel and watercolor floral note cards. Apple Blossom is truly a one of a kind collection I hope you'll love as much as I do.
I love walking through our apple orchard right after light spring rain. The freshness of the air is indescribable! Sweet scents of green grass and apple blossoms fill the air. We grow McIntosh apples. Their blooms are the palest white and lovely to behold. For this collection, I decided to take these delicate blooms and re-imagine them in brilliant colors of living coral, cobalt blue and peach.
Many of the jewelry pieces I make start with simple sketches and come to life on the bench. For cloisonne, I love painting watercolor studies to test placement and color. The enamel never comes out exactly like the watercolors do, but it's a nice test of color combinations and flow. For Apple Blossom, I started with four studies and decided they were too pretty not to share. This is the first time prints are available in the shop and I hope you love them!
After the watercolor studies were completed, the fun process of cloisonne enameling began. Each pendant in the Apple Blossom Collection is made with at least 11 layers of individually applied and fired enamel. Fine silver wires were bent with tiny tweezers and placed in just the right spots to create the flower outlines. And those stamens? They are fine silver balls I made by melting the silver with a torch before cleaning and adding to the mix. Once the design is completed, hand tools are used to carefully grind the surface of all the elements to a uniform gem-like layer.
Even the backs of the cloisonne pieces are given extra care during the art process. For one of the pendants, I decided to go even further with a hand cut and fabricated sterling silver mount. This one has a secret apple blossom made for the wearer of this special necklace. I hope you enjoy this collection as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to life!
Chris Cravens, Watercolor with Fire Artist