One Last Thing Before We Go…

We’ve had a great year in the Nauset Metals Department. The 2013-2014 year brought new projects and pieces that showcased the talents of many students, some of which are shown below. We’ll return in the fall to update you on all the exciting things happening during the 2014-2015 school year. Have a great summer!

3D Printer

This year the Metals Department was fortunate enough to get a 3D printer this year. Jetta Cook and Silas Watkins, both juniors, built the printer which allowed us to save money on the price. After completion, it is now up and running, and printing various pieces and objects in the studio. The printer and some examples are shown below:

Cape Cod Times Article

The Nauset Metals Department was recently featured in the Cape Cod Times for their talent in metal work. The link to the article is below

Caitlin Brown, 16, of Orleans, at right, shows a locket that she is in the process of making from copper, bronze and brass in Jody Craven’s metalwork and jewelry class at Nauset Regional High School. The results from Craven’s class are professional-looking pieces of jewelry that are often displayed around Cape Cod.

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140620/NEWS/406200316

 

Independent Study: Katie Hannon

Katie Hannon, a sophomore in the Metals Department, gave insight into her latest project, a beautiful turtle necklace and bracelet (pictured below), which she gave to her sister, Kallie Hannon, a senior at Nauset.

Katie Hannon's bracelet/necklace set

Katie Hannon’s bracelet/necklace set

Q: Why did you choose turtles as your inspiration for the bracelet and necklace?

Katie: Kallie really likes turtles, so I wanted to make her something she would appreciate. I wanted to make something different for her, so I challenged myself to make a bracelet and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.’

Q: Why did you choose to make a set of both bracelet and necklace?

Katie: I wanted it to be more personal for Kallie, and also surprise her. Now that’s she’s going off to college it’s like she’ll always have a piece of me with her, which sounds kinda corny but it’s true!

Be on the lookout for more pieces from Katie as she continues her time in the Metals Department!

Lost Wax Casting: Before and After

The students of Jewelry 2 have been working on their Lost Wax Casting Rings, as shown in the previous blog post, and we’re excited to show you the finished products! Below are some highlights:

2014 T-shirt Design

Haley Benz, Art Metal 2 student, designed the 2014 Nauset Metals T-shirt. They were hand-screened in the Printmaking department. We’re quite pleased with the design this year! Art Metal 2 student Jake Labranche models the design below:

Fine & Applied Arts Night 2014

The students of the Metals Department displayed a wonderful selection of different pieces, along with a interesting look at the new 3D printer at Fine and Applied Arts Night. It was a great chance for the community to see the talent in the Metals Department. Below are some highlights from the showcases:

 

Lost Wax Casting

Mr. Craven & the Jewelry II students have been carving wax rings for lost wax casting and came in on Saturday, April 12th to actually cast the rings in sterling silver. Lost wax casting is a technique in which the students first carve a ring out of wax. They then carve into the ring with different tools, such as dental tools. The rings are then attached to a sprue and a button and filled around the investment, the same idea of pouring cement. The entire thing is then put into a kiln where the wax burns off, leaving  negative space where the ring is. Molten silver is then poured in or sucked in with a vacuum.

The wax rings the students first carve

The wax rings the students first carve

Craven demonstrates lost wax casting

Craven demonstrates lost wax casting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are some highlights of this project. We’ll keep you updated on the status of what the students have created using lost wax casting…

Snow Library Showcase

The students of the Arts Department at Nauset Regional High School recently got to showcase their pieces at Snow Library in Orleans. Below are some of the highlights from several students of the Metals Department located in the front showcase of the gallery…

Art Poster 2

5 Minutes of Fame: Independent Study

Hannah Pells, senior in the Metals Department, gives us insight into her new project, earrings she created while continuing to work on the previous earrings shown in our previous post about her independent study.

-Inspiration?

Hannah: While waiting for the stones for my other earrings to arrive, I decided to make these earrings. I think they’re really cool and unique and the design definitely plays into the theme I’ve been going for, which is kind of a nautical feel but with personal touches.

-It seems like you enjoy designing and making earrings, why do you think that is?

Hannah: I think they’re just fun to make. There’s definitely some talent and technique involved in making two of the same thing rather than one in say, a bracelet.

We’ll keep you updated on Hannah’s progress of her previous work & can’t wait to see what else she makes as she heads toward her final days in Metals Department!

5 Minutes of Fame: Independent Study

Lizzie Douglass, a junior at Nauset, shows us her latest project as part of her independent study with the Metals Department…

-What inspired you to make this bracelet?

Lizzie: I was looking through a book of different techniques for bracelet and jewelry design when I got inspired to make this bracelet. I really like the turquoise color of the stone, it adds just the right touch of color to make the bracelet pop.

-Would you say this bracelet is a good representation of you in the Metals Department?

Lizzie: I think so. It’s a very simple but elegant bracelet and it definitely shows how I can create a really interesting piece of jewelry from a single stone.

Be on the lookout for other pieces Lizzie designs as she continues her independent study in the Metals Department!

Spotlight: Independent Study

Hannah Pells, a senior at Nauset, gives us insight into her latest project as a part of her independent study in the Metals Department…

-Inspiration?

Hannah: I was looking through a book of various designs from Ross Coppelman, a well-known artist from the Cape when I got inspired to make these earrings. I’m adding stones so they really pack a punch.

photo    -Any new techniques?

Hannah: I melted scrap silver and used the end of a dap to squish the silver while it was still warm. Craven called it ‘melting and squishing’, so I guess that’s a new  technique? I then oxidized and darkened the earrings, polishing the rest of it to leave one part shiny, so they really stood out.

Hannah will be ordering new stones and finishing her earrings in the upcoming  weeks. We’ll keep you updated on her progress, we can’t wait to see the finished  product!

3-D Figures

The Nauset Metals Students recently were challenged to create three-dimensional figures to showcase their talents, below are some favorites!

Be on the look out for more interesting projects by the Nauset Metals Department!

New Semester, New Projects

As the Nauset Metals Department enters the new semester, many new students and independent studies are joining the program or continuing their work from the first semester. These new students are broadening their knowledge of the Metals Department by starting  projects that showcase techniques that they’ve been learning, resulting in beautiful and interesting pieces of all different shapes and sizes. Be on the lookout for new pieces that show the creative ability of the student of the Nauset Metals Department!

Things are certainly heating up in the Metals Department!

Boston Globe Scholastic Art Winners

Below are the winners of the Boston Globe Schloastic Art Competition

Boston Globe 2014 Submissions

Below are work entered by students into the Boston Globe 2014 Scholastic Art competition.

Andrew Battles Hammer

Sophomore, Andrew Battles, created this functioning hammer that can be used inside the metals studio, or just a nice display of his talents. He just began as an independent study and is just beginning his work in the metals department. Below are pictures from different angles of this polished hammer. In the Student Work, Andrew’s hammer is shown in greater depth.

Stamps

In Mr. Craven’s Art Metal I class, he assigned the task of creating a stamp to be used as a tool to add design to metal. Students were very creative creating images, such as snow flakes, fish,  cats, and all abstract shapes.

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Metal in the Raw

Below, are some stones and assorted metal used in the department. The stones are organized by color and can be used in almost all projects. The wire spools are great for design and in the basic assembly of projects.

Studio

Many people see the beautiful artwork that comes out of the metal department, but very few have seen the studio and all it’s components. Displayed are a few elements of the room. Photos taken by Abby Grattan, a student in the metal department.

Hannah Wilson

A few of Hannah’s metal projects have been highlighted on our page under the ‘Independent Work’ page and “Hannah Wilson’. Make sure to check it out!

Nauset Art Metal Collection Featured at Snow Library

Taking a drive or doing some chores in the Orleans area? Take some time and stop by the Orleans Snow Library and take a look at our most recent work from the Nauset Art Metals department! We have works ranging from first year students to senior independent studies! On display we have Jewelry 1 earrings, rings, and metal of honors! You can also see independent work that includes chains, pendents, rings, earrings, bracelets, and even a perfume bottle! Walk up to the front entrance, through the double doors, and you’ll see our work right away!

Thank you from all of us at the Nauset Art Metals department!

Student Showcase: Carlisle Wheeler

photoFor most, everyone loves to finish a project and start another one right away. Carlisle Wheeler, sophomore, did just that on her medal of honor in Mr. Craven’s Jewelry I class. ” I couldn’t wait to begin my medal of honor once i completed my earrings because I wanted to take on a much bigger and complex idea” she said. Carlisle decided to cut out a horse out of copper and rivet it onto a horseshoe cutout. You’d think that was it, but attached on the back was a picture frame she cut out that had a cover piece on top and could rotate out to see what was inside. This was a big task to take on for a Jewelry I student. “It got to be very frustrating at times trying to rivet so many pieces of metal onto a little pin but I was very happy with the end result” she said upon finishing.

Silias’s Take On A Classic Pen

When’s the last time you saw someone write with an old fashion feather pen? Bringing together two different styles Silias Watkins, Sophomore, decided to create a handmade pen. Using a copper base, Silias is in the process of finishing his new pen. By coming up with this idea he’s able to incorporate new techniques that he has learned to create a pen that looks modern with an old fashioned twist. Watch here to see Silias talk about his process, ideas, and even take a look at the pen so far!

Congratulations!

The results for the 2013 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards are in! We would like to congratulate our students who have won gold keys, silver keys and honorable mentions! Individual works as well as entire portfolios have been awarded to our students.

“Avian Paradise Pin,” Jetta Cook, Sophomore, Honorable Mention

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“Nauset Light Perfume Bottle”, Alexander Calderwood, Junior, Silver Key

 

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“Mermaid’s Treasure,” Aria Conte, Senior, Gold Key

 

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“Jewelry Portfolio,” Ellie Garside, Senior, Gold Key

 

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“Braided Gem,” Kenneth Granlund, Senior, Honorable Mention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“True Teacher,” Katie Hannon, Freshmen, Silver Key

 

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“Guepard,” Charlotte Miller, Junior, Silver Key

 

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“Railroad Spike Knife,” Walter Rowell, Sophomore, Gold Key

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“Morgan Dollar Locket,” Walter Rowell, Sophomore, Gold Key

 

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“Dragon Scale,” Remy Tivnan, Senior, Honorable Mention

 

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“Lotus Locket,” Silias Watkins, Sophomore, Silver Key

 

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“Seagull Earrings,” Silias Watkins, Sophomore, Honorable Mention

 

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Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 2012-2013

It’s that time of year again! The Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have become a very important competition for the Nauset art department. Over the years, our students have been awarded various gold and silver keys, as well as honorable mentions. We are very proud of our students and are excited to show you the finished works.

 

Who Do You Honor?

Some say that high school students look past the small things, but not these ones! Nate and Morgan, Juniors, took their Medal of Honor project very seriously. They wanted to rightly show what their fathers meant to them. They took very important details of their lives and creatively put them into a work of art. Watch here as they explain their Medal of Honor!

 

Nauset Metals goes to YouTube!

Today in the metals studio students are practicing their annealing and soldering skills! Hannah Pells, Junior, is creating a small silver box clasp for a bracelet and Sam Pickard, Junior, is also working on a very unique bracelet.

Nauset Metals is always striving to find new ways to show ourselves to the public, so the next step was to create a YouTube channel!

Here are our first two videos!

Hannah Pells soldering her box clasp!

Sam Pickard soldering his intricate bracelet!

 

Student Showcase: Cassie Williams

As we begin to stumble into November our independent studies are working hard to finish their pieces for the Rio Grande Emerging Artist contest. Cassie Williams, Senior, is in the midst of completing her very first pendant. She created the design last year in the hopes of making it then, but with the end of the school year rush it just wasn’t an option. This contest gave Cassie the perfect opportunity to make her pendant!

When her materials had arrived she began quickly! She decided she would make her pendant out of Niobium and Silver, then she would set a 8.9 mm Blue Topaz stone. She knew this wouldn’t be an easy, but she took on the challenge!

She started by cutting her piece of niobium into a circle using a jeweler’s saw and then filed and sandblasted it. When that part was done she anodized it to create the heavy purple effect. Once the niobium piece was completed she used a dapping block to cut out a smaller silver circle to eventually rivet to her piece of niobium. To hold her stone in place she has to fabricated a bezel out of silver sheet because her stone was so large there was available no tubing in the needed size. Before she soldered the bezel to the silver circle she drilled holes in the niobium and the silver circles so she could clean the stone once the two pieces were riveted together. After soldering the bezel to the silver circle she cleaned up the piece by using scotch bright and a burnisher.

To rivet the pieces she first had to drill two holes in the silver and one hole in the niobium. Once that was completed she set her stone using the flex shaft. Cassie decided she would use all tube rivets on her pendant. After this her next step was to rivet one hole to connect the niobium and silver and then to drill the second hole through the niobium. Next she made the second rivet to connect the niobium and silver again.

Once she attaches the pendant a long necklace using a unique jump ring her pendant will be finished. All the holes will be filled, the edges clean ed and the metals shine,  her piece will be ready for judging and ready to be worn!

Student Showcase: Sean Mahoney

Into the second month of school the metals studio has been full with many different projects. Sean Mahoney, a Junior, decided to be extra productive and work on two projects at the same time. Along with fabricating a bike, he decided to attempt wire twist mokume. He has been working on this piece for almost two weeks. Although this process hasn’t taken too much time he has put a lot of thought and dedication into it.

He began with two pieces of wire; copper and brass. Once he annealed it he twisted them together tightly in a clockwise motion. After this he cut the twisted piece in half he and then put the two pieces on top of each other and soldered the ends together. The next step he took was to twist the soldered wire together counter-clockwise. Next Sean soldered the whole piece together so it would flow in between the two metals.

His next step was forging. He used the rolling mill and a hammer to bring the two metals closer together. To make sure these two pieces stayed together he soldered them together again to make sure it would flow to reinforce the connections. After this step he filed enough metal away to brightly expose the copper, brass and silver solder. Once that was completed he put it through the rolling mill again and then annealed it. Using the ring mandrel he bent the piece into a ring.

Just finishing up his wire twist mokume gane ring, he will now begin using a new technique called laminate mokume gane. Going through the process of wire twist mokume it gave Sean a background to begin his new project.

Sean is not the only student using this technique. Katie Sullivan (Senior) has created a wire twist mokume ring that, when finished, will look like a snake. Here is her piece so far…

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When Cut-Outs Come to Life!

Whether you are a Jewelry or Art Metal student one of the first tasks in the class is to cut several  different shapes out of a small piece of brass. This year Mr.Craven added a twist for the students who have taken one of his classes before. Their task was not to only cut out shapes using a jewelers saw, but to somehow make a piece 3-D. The outcomes were amazing! They ranged from birds, spirals, spiders and crickets, and sailboats. Some were more abstract than others, but all in all it showed off the true creativity of the more advanced students!

iPhone Safety 101 with Walter Rowell

With all the buzz of the new iPhone 5, Walter Rowell (Sophomore) decided to bring his iPhone 4 to the next level. Starting the first day of school he began to make an iPhone case out of copper, bronze and mokume. After he measured, cut, soldered and filed the backing piece, he connected a piece of mokume using three flattened ball head rivets and one tube rivet to the backing piece. When that was completed he lightly etched a tree on to the back of the case. When the back was completed he needed something to hold the phone so it wouldn’t fall out of the case, so Walter decided to use a piece of bronze that he rolled a design on. He connected the bronze piece in the bottom left front corner using a tube rivet. Being both aesthetically pleasing and keeping his iPhone safe, Walter has already started his second case!

Nauset Gets Chopped!

On the first day of school its hard to introduce new art metal techniques to a class that has never even stepped into the studio before. Instead of jumping right into work Mr.Craven gave the students a team building, mind bending exercise. He themed it off the show “Chopped.” If you have never seen the reality show “Chopped,” it is originally a show where chef’s are given the task to make four dishes out of random ingredients. In the Nauset Art Metals themed “Chopped,” the students were separated into five groups. Each group was given the same “ingredients.” They were given an envelope, two paper clips, two thumb tacks, two brads, one piece of monofilament, a small piece of mesh, three cut out copper shapes, a small piece of paper, with scissors and pliers for their only tools. Depending on what group they were in they either had to design and fabricate a bracelet, ring, necklace (with a pendant,) or a broach.

This exercise wasn’t just to gain team building skills, but to get their imaginations roaring! In jewelry and art metal, design work and imagination are very important parts that each student must incorporate into the pieces they create.

Once the groups finished their assigned piece a member of the group had to model the piece and another member had to explain the process and what was most difficult. When every group was done talking, the Independent Studies had to choose a winner. Although the final winning team didn’t receive a physical prize, they won a hearty round of applause from their classmates and a great start to their year in the studio!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winning second place in the B3 class, group four! Modeled by Isabel Souza

Welcome Back!

After an eventful school year and a relaxing summer, it’s about time for a recap! Last school year the Nauset Metals department, and its students, were awarded some high and well deserved achievements! Many students, across all grades, submitted their work into the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards. Our graduated Seniors all together earned two gold keys, one silver key, and two honorable mentions. These were awarded to Nick Hoffman-Klauke and John Erickson. Not only seniors were singled out for there accomplishments. Hannah Pells, current Junior, took home a gold key. This competition was a great success for the Nauset Metals department and a shining moment for the winning students.

Next on our agenda, Fine and Applied Arts Night! For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is an annual art show at Nauset Regional High School that showcases the artistic talents of all participating students at the high school. After hours upon hours of set up of the jewelry, metals projects, bowls, and bikes, the show was on! Walking around the show you could hear the amazement in the visitors voices looking at the work. You could hear statements from “Young high school students made this?!” and “I would buy this kind of work in a store!” That was the night that really showed the students what they were working so hard for. All in all, Fine and Applied Arts Night was a complete success!

Last, but not least, the final project by two of our finest seniors. John Erickson and Nick Hoffman-Klauke created an amazing kaleidoscope that was gifted to the school and is housed on campus. Even after there last day of school came and gone, these boys came back to work and finish their piece. Starting with a sewer pipe, they handmade and installed this working and breathtaking kaleidoscope. Although both of them have graduated and moved onto higher forms of education, there Nauset Metals legacy will live on forever.

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The Mother’s Day Weekend Ring Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

So four women walked into the Art Metals workshop… Just kidding, this isn’t a joke, but it is true! This past Mother’s Day weekend the Cape Cod Museum of Art and Jody Craven, together, created a ring making workshop that was done at Nauset Regional High School in the Art Metals workshop. In two days, six hours each, those four women made their own ring or two rings that they could walk away with. The jewelry background of these women ranged from working in their own studio at home to only having worn rings before. Between Jody Craven and his four helpers, John Erickson, Walter Rowell, Nick Hoffman-Klaucke, and Aria Conte, they helped and taught these women how to fabricate their own rings. Since the workshop was two days it took many steps. In the two days the women had the opportunity to make one ring with just a texture and one ring with a texture and a small diamond setting. First, the women had to weigh out their silver and then Jody Craven melted the silver in the crucible and poured the hot metal into the ingot mold. Once the silver cooled down it then had to be forged and annealed repeatedly until it was  run through the rolling mill to create the long, flat piece of silver ring stock. That was the end of day one. Starting bright and early, the women sized their rings and chose a texture to put on their rings. They could either make a hammer texture or use the rolling mill. When the texture was done they formed their rings into a “U” shape so they could be soldered. With the one-on-one help from the students and Mr. Craven, the women had soldered their first ring together. On the second ring, with the help of the students, the women set a small diamond. After final finishing (sanding, using the pumice wheel, possibly using a patina, and burnishing) the four women successfully made six beautiful rings that will last for generations.

 

Nauset Metals 2012 Freshmen Independent Students

For those of you who don’t attend Nauset Regional High School or don’t know what an “Independent Study” is, it is an opportunity for students with previous metals experience to work independently where an emphasis is placed on researching new techniques in the metal medium. Walter Rowell and Silas Watkins both started the year freshmen year in Art Metal 1. Walter also took Jewelry 1. Both of these young men started their Independent Studies at the beginning of term three, the second half of the year. Each student showed a lot of interest with working in metal and wanted to work at a more advanced level. With the permission the Mr. Craven, their parents, and their guidance counselor they began work right away.

The Freshmen Q & A with Silas Watkins!

Nauset Metals: “What did you first enjoy about Art Metals?”

Silas Watkins: “I liked being able to build these different projects and say that I made them myself.”

NM: “What projects from Art Metal 1 did you enjoy the most and why?”

SW: “I enjoyed the fish project where we had to cut out and file a fish then stamp on the scales. I liked this project the best because it produced the best product.”

NM: “Why did you want to take an Independent Study?”

SW: “I wanted to take an Independent Study to further my scholastic career in Art Metals.”

NM: “What project are you working on now?”

SW: “I am making a round domed locket out of copper with  brass bails with the design of a lotus flower cut out of it. Although this project has not taken a particularly long time so far, it has given me a few difficulties in cutting the lotus design out.”

NM: “What do you hope to gain from your Independent Study?”

SW: “I hope to be able to make jewelry for the people I love and gain the knowledge of soldering, casting, etching, and engraving.”

Freshmen Q & A with Walter Rowell!

Nauset Metals: “What did you first enjoy about Art Metals?”

Walter Rowell: ” I liked being able to work with my hands on projects and I’ve always been fond of working with metals.”

NM: “What project from Art Metal 1 did you enjoy the most and why?”

WR: “I enjoyed making the spiral with the frame because it had the most steps and it was the most challenging.”

NM: “What was your favorite project from Jewelry 1 and why?”

WR: “My favorite project was making the ring because that project was much more difficult and challenging because of the bezel setting and the tricky soldering.”

NM: ” Why did you want to take an Independent Study?”

WR: “I wanted to take an Independent Study so I could have more time in the Art Metals studio, make whatever I wanted, and learn more about different types of  methods in Art Metals.”

NM: ” What project are you working on now?”

WR: “I’m making a corrugated box with a rounded dome using the hydraulic box. The solder was giving me some minor difficulties as well as running a bit of my palm through the corrugator After getting all bandaged up, I went right back to work.”

NM: “What do you hope to gain from your Independent Study?”

WR: “I hope to gain more time and knowledge by spending the time learning and working while in the Independent Study. It will help me broaden my Art Metal and Jewelry horizon.”

Since these two boys are only freshmen they have three more bright years of high school and Art Metals ahead of them. Best of luck to you both from the entire Nauset Metals team!

Student Showcase: Nick Hoffman-Klauke

Ever since the completion of my first titanium tension ring, I have loved the simplicity and the challenge of tension set pieces. I love the precision required to set a stone between two prongs of hardened metal. I love the simplicity of the design; only two pure materials, stone and metal. No solder, rivets, or bezels. The metals own strength is all that’s needed to complete the union. I decided to attempt a pair of tension earrings because I wanted to explore more options for tension settings. The process begins pretty simply; four gauge titanium wire is cold forged over an anvil into a strip, this is the first part of the hardening process that will eventually hold the stone firmly in place. After the strip is prepared, it is cut to the desired length and then folded over using a hammer and anvil. After the metal is folded once it is flattened out and refolded, this process adds additional tension and is the first step where the shape of the earrings starts to emerge. Once the earrings are symmetric in their geometry they must be filed and ground down to a smoother finish. The forging and shaping process leaves the earrings exceptionally rough, to a point where it is nearly impossible to form them to their final level of symmetry without first acquiring a better finish. Once cleaned with files and some rough sandpaper the two earrings are lightly hammered over the anvil to adjust their form to the final shape. The stones were then set. This process is the most difficult as it requires symmetrical beds for the rubies to sit in. To do this, a heart bur is used to dig a small well for the stone to sit in. The earrings are then firmly secured in a bench vice and pried open just long enough to slip in the stones. This process is repeated until the stones sit perfectly in place. From this point the earrings must be taken to a fine finish in order to be colored in a process known as anodizing. This finishing process was done first with files and then sandpapers of ever increasing fineness until there are no surface blemishes; they are then taken to the rouge and Tripoli wheels for a final luster.

The anodizing process can be used to accurately control the coloring of reactive metals such as titanium and niobium. Existing on the surface of both metals is a thin oxide layer. The thickness of this layer determines the wavelengths of the light that is refracted, thus the thickness determines the color. Anodizing controls the voltage applied to the piece to control the layer of oxide that forms and controls the color. These earrings were taken to 93 volts of current to achieve their color.

Student Showcase: Rachel Wiegand

The first time I walked into the art metal room I thought to myself, “What am I doing here..my creativity level only pertains to theater and music.” For my earrings I really wanted to make something unique. Something I could look at and say, “Wow, I made this.” That would be a huge accomplishment. For making a pair of earrings, Mr. Craven gave each student two pieces of silver. The earrings were fairly small so you had to be very precise in each cut. The students had to lay out their design and each stroke of the jewelers saw could either make or break your piece. I was so nervous and was terrified my waves would be crooked or one earring would be a lot smaller than the other, that’s why it’s easier to make abstract things rather than perfect replicas of each other. The silver had to be polished with tripoli and rouge, and in the end cleaned with a scotch bright finish. Then using the drill press I had to drill a small hole at the top of the earring to fit the ear wire through. The final step of the earrings was to create the ear wire. We practiced on copper wire first, using the third hand and the torch, we created a ball at one end of the ear wire so the earring wouldn’t fall off. To finish of the ear wire we used pliers to form the shape of the wire. I felt so confident that I could make something this different without messing it up, for the most part.

The second project we were assigned was the Medal of Honor. For this project we had to pick someone who was important to us and honor them through that piece. We were able to choose between a pin or a pendant, and the project had to incorporate a non-metal material. I chose to honor my older sister. We’ve had a long road, but she’s my best friend and I love her. I guess it was my way of showing how much I care about her. For this piece my design meant a lot to me. I chose to incorporate a lamb and Hebrew lettering. I chose the lamb for sentimental reasoning. When I was younger I couldn’t say my sisters name so I called her ‘Ba,’ the sound a little lamb makes. It meant a lot to me. The layout of the design was the first step. A student not only has to focus on the front of the piece, but the back as well.  Each piece of the design had to be cut out individually, which probably took the longest. I used copper, brass, and bronze as my major pieces with a small bit of fine silver. Everything had to be placed onto the chosen backing piece. I chose blood wood, which has a darker mahogany red hint. It’s extremely beautiful. We had to use different textures and gages (which is thickness of the metal). I got to use the rolling mill to transfer textures onto a piece of metal. Once all the pieces were ready, it was time to assemble and rivet. We were taught multiple techniques when it comes to rivets: flush, tube, ball head, and then the normal rivets. We had a minimum of 6 rivets to be completed, but we’re expected to produce more than that. A few of my pieces actually move on the backing piece. The Hebrew lettering slides down to reveal stamped lettering. On the front, the girl and her hat both move from side to side. I’m actually quite proud of this piece.

The last project the class was given was our ring. I wear too many rings as it is, it has to be my favorite jewelry. Rings can just be so incredibly different on shape and design. It’s amazing. Designing an original ring is quite difficult. You usually want to make something unique, something no one else has seen before. That’s slightly hard to do. Every time you design something, it looks like someone’s already done it. I finally chose the design I felt looked best and went to work. The first step of making a ring is retrieving all the correct measurements. After measuring you will be given the correct size of metal from Mr.Craven. If you had anything you needed to cut or drill out of your metal, that would have been done then. After you have cut everything out, you needed to shape your ring using a ring mandrel. There are various shapes when it comes to Mandrels; round, square, ect. Shaping the ring has to be done correctly or else it will cause your seam to be uneven. By placing your thumb directly on the metal where it lines up with the mandrel and pinching the two ends with your fingers it will cause the metal to form into a long “U” shape. After this shape is formed, by taking half round to flat pliers, the metal needs to stay in that “U.” The two ends need to be brought together perfectly, that’s your seam line for soldering. Soldering is tricky at first, but once you get the correct technique down, it’s pretty awesome. The steps to soldereing are as followed; first apply flux (a paste to keep metal from overheating) to your piece, you would then cut two small pieces of hard solder. We use the hard solder because we only have one solder seam. It gets softer as the metal has more seams. Once the solder flows the ring is placed in the pickle solution and then placed in water. Next, you must place the ring back on the ring mandrel and hammer it till its the desired shape. The next piece that needs to be created is the bezel. A bezel is what surrounds your chosen stone. After I placed and set my stone in the bezel using a triangle scraper, sticky wax, bezel pusher, and burnisher. Lastly I had to use the Flex Shaft to pumice my bezel, this step really made my ring shine. Through all the hard work and knowledge I have gained I am truly proud of myself for the work that I have completed.

2012 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards

This is the student work which was submitted for the 2012 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards.