Fall is in full swing here on the east coast, and I have been working hard in my studio on new pieces for the holiday season. I just completed a batch of wood and polyurethane resin blocks that I will cut the shapes of my jewelry out of. I usually make around 10 blocks at a time which takes me around 40-60 hours to complete. Once the blocks are squared up (the sides are made parallel) I am ready to begin designing.
Completed blocks from the last batch, ready for the design stage.
Next, I come up with a rough idea of what I would like to cut out of each block, and then slice the blocks into pieces of varying thicknesses depending on what type slice will become (thinner for earrings and necklaces, thicker for rings, brooches, and some larger necklaces.)
All of the slices from one block, side by side.
I really love the design phase of the process - the possibilities are endless! I use oval templates of varying sizes to try to find the best compositions in the blocks. Because the blocks are one of a kind, I must be decisive. If I have trouble deciding which composition to choose, I will often take photos and compare them side by side, and usually, the best option becomes clear.
Next I begin to trace the shapes as a guideline for me cut out the shapes. I try to challenge myself to find as many compositions as I can on each block. Below are a few of the blocks – if you look closely, you can see my pencil marks.
If you would like to learn more about my jewelry making process from beginning to end, I’ve written about it here in my “How It’s Made” series.