Martians - Patania - Jewelry Studio & Gallery - Tucson, Arizona

Martians

by Sam on May 25, 2011

I made a bracelet several months ago with a piece of Royston turquoise set on top of an overlay cuff the design of which was circles in a frame. That piece sold right away and unfortunately coming across another piece of turquoise I could do that with is getting more difficult, large pieces of natural American turquoise are hard to come by. I also had the thought that such a piece bridged a strange gap in my artistic sensibilities. It was both Modern and Southwest. Anything with turquoise is almost always viewed as Native American or at least Southwest United States. The Royston Dots bracelet was unusual for its modernist appeal.

I then made a couple of all silver dots bracelets experimenting with different sizes of dots and made one or two in two colors using 18K gold and sterling silver. I played with the background texture on which I placed the dots. Then I was provoked by my muse who sent me a picture of a bracelet which had varying shapes of circles which interacted with each other. That set me off and I made several drawings for this muse so she could make sure I was going in the right direction for her with my designs. I don’t usually draw much and I certainly can’t draw well but these were coming out in a way that pushed the original idea.

Well, the first bracelet I made didn’t follow the drawing at all and I found that when working in metal I did things which didn’t occur to me on paper. The second bracelet followed the bottom drawing as close as I could do it. I followed the drawing just to prove to myself that I could do it. I have made an other Martian bracelet with 18K gold elements in three colors, green, yellow and red along with sterling. I am currently working on another gold and silver Martian and will post about it when I finish.

Sterling Cuffs by Sam Patania

The one on the far left is a piece which I had on my bench for months, planning to make it into a negative “Dots” bracelet but, it fit right into the Martian series. Many times I start something and have to wait along time to finish since I can’t figure out the engineering or design or something which will allow me to finish. I don’t figure this is any mystic artist thing but rather disorganization. I have come to accept lots of disorganization as part of my method, if a method exists. It doesn’t translate very well to bookkeeping though but I keep trying.
Martian Cuff with Gold

Cuff bracelet, overlay

I love making these bracelets, they are challenging. I cut all the shapes and lay them out on the frame which I make first. Then I completely disassemble the piece so I can solder, I flip each piece onto the soldering surface, and after melting solder onthe back of each piece I try to re-assemble the design I layed out. This presents problems, I really love my lay out but I can never remember how it went when re-assembling it. I could take pictures and refer to them while re-assembling but I don’t. I have found that if the lay out works then I have all the pieces I need to make a good design and it will come back together, I don’t worry about it. It is hard to do that if I have done a drawing which a client has seen and desires. Maybe they will read this and understand me? or at least trust me? Who knows, I try to tell new clients that part of the process is to let it happen and I always deliver more than I think I can.
I hope some budding artist finds my blog and it helps them to understand that ,in my case, I find that dogged determination to the point of stupidity and all evidence to the contrary in the income department I persist and keep working. I have had lots of family help and clients who trust my vision. I have been blessed but many times I don’t feel that way. I do understand that producing work is the only way to make my point. It takes time and I don’t like to wait so instead of waiting I work. Chasing the market is not where I shine so I decided a few years ago to just work and if it got in front of the right people, somehow, I would be able to support myself and family, and I am now most of the time. I just got a handful of bills which weren’t red! Just keep working and trust and focus on the client, give them everything you have.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Camille June 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Sam, you’re work is always amazing to me! Beautiful, strong, simple, yet complex…the fact that you just let it flow out of you is what makes it all so special…every single piece. You can make all the drawings you want, but the pieces that come ‘from you’ are always going to be the best…keep up the great work…you amazing jeweler, you!! LOL! I can’t wait to see what you post next!

Vicki K May 27, 2011 at 3:31 am

Hi Sam,

I love these bracelets! Especially the one done in different colored metals. Your muse hit a home run!

Aida May 26, 2011 at 9:07 am

Your work is a good example for me, thank you!
I also want to do my work, that´s what gives me pleasure. But I’m constantly being advised to look at the market´s needs in order to succeed. I´m so frustrated that I don´t know what to do.
Your idea is so simple and ingenious. Congrats!

Linda Dewhurst May 26, 2011 at 7:51 am

I love the Cuff Overlay bracelet, with the texture and blend of colours. And its suitable for male or female.

And I agree completely with the comment that letting it happen is part of the process. When a client asks you to make something you have to assume that they have come to you because they like your style of work. And they have to trust that you will come up with something they will like.

After all, you wouldn’t go to Rembrandt because you’ve liked his other paintings, then ask to be painted in the style of Picasso would you?

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