Bracelets of Late Summer 2010

by Sam on October 12, 2010

Summer in Tucson is tough, it is HOT and business is S L O W …which is the prefect time to do some experimenting. It’s a good time to build inventory for fall. The price of gold and silver combined with stones makes the retail prices high and so this summer I tried to make do with what I have. I have an addiction to purchasing pretty stones. Instead of wanting to use what I already have, I want MORE.

Business realities are a bummer so I made the decision to try and use stones I have had for a while and set them in silver that I already had.

Bracelet by Sam Patania 6-2010

Bracelet by Sam Patania 6-2010

This is a bracelet made with stones I have had for years. I bought stone lots to get the size I wanted and these were left. I had to carve and have cast ( my casting is done by Race Car casting) the mounts since I am too lazy to fabricate all that many mounts. I had these half finished on my bench for months because I thought I had made the mounts wrong,then one day I sat and just started setting and they came together in a matter of hours. I played with the texture behind the mounts and left it black to set the stones off.  This was a project I thought I was going to hate, I thought I had completely struck out in the design department. Until I finished them I hated them. Then at the final polishing I fell in love with them. My vision was alright, my craftsmanship went well and the color and shapes really came together. Some times I don’t know what’s good for me. I made 2 of these, the other one has fewer stones. I named them Color City Scape.

I then stared on a series of Biomorph bracelets. Now, Biomorph is not a word I would normally use since I’m much simpler than that. But, I was reading Marbeth Schon’s book of Modernist jewelry and got all jazzed about that work. Reading about the Bauhaus coming to Chicago, the Soviet’s discouraging the art movement Construcivism , Cubism, Dada and Surrealism all coming to the US in the early part of the last century just got me going. Reading about the struggles of the early studio jewelers with marketing and production made me feel less alone and gave me a larger vocabulary of art terms. I have shied away from art terms since I have little formal art education and was prone to use them incorrectly like some career Department of Corrections associate trying to be sophisticated.

Sterling bracelets by Sam Patania summer'10

Sterling bracelets by Sam Patania summer

I played with texture with these. I like making silver frames and then pushing the center out with my Bonny Doon press and urethane. I used a set of free from tourmaline cabs for the top one and some wonderful beryls of different colors in the bottom one. The background textures are chiseled. Any shape, enclosed by a frame, can be given dimension by pressing outward with urethane making a much more interesting form. These designs are very influenced by my dad, Frank Patania , Jr.

Bracelet by Sam Patania Summer 2010

Bracelet by Sam Patania Summer 2010

Bracelet by Sam Patania

Bracelet by Sam Patania

Two views of the same bracelet. The other two Biomorphs were backed with sheet sterling, this one, I wanted to make an anticlastic piece with out a regular shape. I forged this out of heavy 12 gage sheet so it flows in several directions.  I left the inside so that you can see the hammer marks. It is a heavier piece with several changes of thickness and width. I used my Bonny Doon press to give it the anticlastic shape and wanted the elements inside it to flow around the inside curves. I set several sapphires in the tubes and  a few domed 18K gold pieces in some of them as well. This is a bracelet that needs to be touched and held to be appreciated.

All the above bracelets will be gong to Marbeth’s gallery, www.mschon.com in a few days.

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