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Jon's Development as a Silversmith

After the first piece, I did a few more at the SDM&G shop and then setup a home studio. At UCSD Craft Center, I learned about things like 22-ga sterling bezels. I used to be an engineer, so my mind wants to figure out how to do complex things. If "it can't be done", I want to learn (by doing) why it can't be done. Many of the pieces shown were quite difficult to fabricate. But, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Of course, I wanted my creations to be different than most others.

All stones cut by Jon unless otherwise stated.

Jon's first silver creation, a high-dome charoite cabochon pendant. Used 28-ga fine-silver bezel wire. Created at San Diego Gem & Mineral Society silver studio under the supervision of Oscar Lopez, March 2003. 2" high to top of bail. Part of Betty's private collection.
First project in silver-fabrication class at UCSD Craft Center, Summer 2004, Jay Whaley, instructor. All metal in this bracelet was formed from molten silver. Plate was rolled, wire was rolled then drawn. Rhodonite cabochon has curved back to eliminate the "overhang" common in bracelets with large stones. Bezel is 22 ga sterling. The stone is about 2" by 1". Part of Betty's private collection.
First project with reticulated (80/20 alloy) silver. UCSD Craft Center, Spring 2006, Carol Sivets, instructor. Denim lapis lazuli with reticulated silver with fine silver bezel and trim. Not fun soldering the square wire around the edge! The piece is about 2.75" high, including the bail. Part of Betty's private collection.
First hammered silver project. Fall 2006, UCSD Craft Center Jewelry Studio. Instructor: Carol Sivets. Bracelet is a combination synclastic/anticlastic design. The anticlastic bend follows a diagonal so that the synclastic ridges vary in width. Beads move on wires. Bracelet combines unique form with color, motion and sound. Part of Betty's private collection (her favorite).
I had this georgeous agate that I bought at a garage sale. Saw a magazine picture with a stone set this way. Decided to fabricate it... Musta been nuts!!! This is a definite candifdate for wax/casting. The piece is just over 2" wide. Betty's collection.
This set started as an experiment in 2007. I was now a TA at the Craft Center. I wanted to create "drips" with sterling. After many attempts, I had created the drips that eventually became part of the pendant. All of the metal is sterling with the exception of the pendant's bail which is 80/20 reticulated. The pendant is about 4.5" including the bail. The earrings didn't come along until a couple of years after the pendant. Anyone who's made earrings knows why: "You've gotta do it twice".