The Silver Fusion collection is comprised of jewelry crafted from a blend of different metals and techniques. This collection originated from a basic exploration of a copper fold-forming technique - a metalworking method that involves folding the metal, subjecting it to alternating annealing or heating and then forging or hammering it repeatedly to shape. The final step comes in adding silver to the copper piece that I have formed and molded.
Fold forming begins with a sheet of metal—I typically use 24-gauge dead soft, copper or silver. To begin, the metal needs to be dead soft, meaning very malleable as it hardens quickly during the fold-forming process. Each hammer strike “hardens” the metal. The piece is continually heated and cooled and hammered which makes it increasingly more difficult to work with. Continuing this process allows each piece of metal to assume a completely different and unique three-dimensional form.
I enjoyed working with fold forming copper and silver sheets but wanted my designs to have a bit more artistic spirit. I decided to play around a bit to add more interest and started adding snippets of silver, rivets and gemstones utilizing the technique of silver reticulation. As in other reticulated silver I have featured and written about, the process of heat and “pickling” are also used to fuse the metals together.
This whole technique of silver fusion has been exciting and rewarding. Ultimately, I end up creating interesting and attractive statement pieces of jewelry that can be fun or elegant and always easy to wear.