Throughout the many years that we have been working in metalsmithing our goal has been to produce a smile on the patron's face by creating a jewelry work that is well crafted but very affordable.
All of our work is made from beginning to end by using the traditional metalsmithing technique of fabrication.
When we started creating pieces in the early 1970's they were all sterling silver and gold, but now we have expanded and added red brass, copper, and nickel silver. These copper based alloys and polymer clay have added in colors and oxidations that were never possible with traditional metals.
One example of this is how we continue to experiment with polymer clay as a way to add color and surface design to jewelry. Only by using this clay can we make the light weight pieces with motifs inspired by African textiles and Aboriginal art of the South Seas.
The cut pieces of metal are lovingly shaped over silversmithing stakes or tree stumps with the use of forming and raising hammers. The surface is sometimes chased to add in a surface discription or a corrugation.
Then the work is assembled with silver solder and gas torches. Natural stones are used to add integrity to the designs.
Our studio is a little like stepping back into the pre-industral age as we only use hand tools with the exceptions of the finishing equipment. We even use non-toxic chemicals salt and vinegar to clean the metals surface.
Our ever bonding love for the plasticity of metal and the joy of creating with our hands is our daily inspiration.
John and Linda Whitney