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Portland, OR, 97215
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Silver Lace--new line for December


Silver Lace--new line for December


  I landed on the idea of lacy silver accidentally, when I was fooling around with Precious Metal Clay(PMC) in a syringe. This is a form of PMC that is most often used to repair cracks in metal clay work or to join one piece of silver to another. I like the look I discovered after squeezing the clay out in long squiggly lines to form irregular and lacy patterns. The best part comes after the clay has been fired in the kiln, necessary for "sintering" or fusing the silver particles together and burning off the organic clay binder. After firing, I work harden and texture the lacy fine silver pieces at my jewelry bench. Hammering is wonderful for stress relief and has the added benefit of making divets and grooves in the metal in which to concentrate the darkening or oxidation. I darken the clay using the organic & very smelly product, Liver of Sulphur (neither word is nice alone and together, well, can you say STINKY??)   I had the chance to see some actual lace work in Brittany on the West coast of France this summer and I was very inspired to incorporate some of it's delicacy and beauty into my own metal work. The most remarkable manifestation of Breton lace is the "Bigouden", a tall cone of white lace that sits atop the head of traditional Breton women. Apparently the height of this extremely tall bonnet has kept getting taller and taller through the centuries, topping out in present day style at a foot tall!   The local costumes of Brittany are one of the many charming things about the region and I recommend a visit, especially the perfectly preserved medieval market town of Quimper, where we visited the family of our former exchange student. The cathedral in the town center is thought by many to be more majestic (certainly easier to gain access to!) than Notre Dame, it's contemporary.