Archive for April, 2010

jeff’s ring

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

'The Wave' turquoise man's ring

Jeff is my father in law. He spends a large portion of his life at sea. When my husband was a kid, Jeff spent nearly 10 years building a large trimaran sailboat (a Jim Brown 40) on the Oregon coast, then sailed it to Texas. He now has a Condor 40, a racing tri which he recently got from a salvage. He also works at sea; half of the year he spends on a massive ocean-going tug hauling loads across the Indian Ocean, the North Pacific, Southeast Asia, between Northern Siberia and Japan, off the west coast of Africa. Lately he has been working between Kuwait and Iraq and Durban, Africa, a tricky section of ocean notorious for piracy.

'The Wave' Turquoise Man's Ring

The turquoise came from his mother; he sent me the piece and asked if I could make something with it. I decided to carve something ‘oceany’ and this is what I came up with. I’ve always loved the Hokusai print.

'The Wave' turquoise man's ring

Anyone who has been at sea long enough encounters waves like this (minus Hokusai’s excellent visibility perhaps..). About five years ago Jeff went through a typhoon off Japan. He was in port at the docks when it was coming but the port officials told them they had to get out because they were afraid the large boats and barges would tear up the port when the typhoon hit. He and two other tugs motored out to sea and for twelve hours, they pointed into the wind and bashed into the hurricane seas at half throttle. They made time backwards at something like 12 knots, their tows thrashing around in the sea one kilometer behind them at the end of a huge tether.

'The Wave' turquoise man's ring

melissa’s ring

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

18K white gold and Tahitian pearl ring by Cheyenne Weil

This delicious pearl hails from the warm and balmy South Pacific islands. I bet it’s beautiful there.

18K white gold and Tahitian pearl ring by Cheyenne Weil

18K white gold and Tahitian pearl ring by Cheyenne Weil

palladium pearl ring

Monday, April 19th, 2010

palladium and tahitian pearl ring - cheyenne weil

I found a place that can cast palladium and I’m terribly psyched. Here’s what I made! I’m loving it and have been wearing it every day.

palladium and tahitian pearl ring - cheyenne weil

palladium and tahitian pearl ring - cheyenne weil

That awesome 10.5mm Tahitian pearl was sent to me by my good friend Antonia who sailed her sailboat with her husband across the Pacific, stopped at a small atoll where thar be pearls me mateys, and traded a bottle of scotch and some cash for a bunch of ’em. I was hugely jealous—and also hugely pregnant at the time—but her stories of the never-ending sea/morning-sickness she suffered while crossing the big bad ocean helped me to suck it up a little.

I about died when I opened the package and saw this lil’ beauty! It took me long enough to make The Ring for it but here it is.

palladium and tahitian pearl ring - cheyenne weil

palladium and tahitian pearl ring - cheyenne weil

I just listed it in my Etsy shop (a custom version, that is, with a pearl of your choice—this one is mine)!

Palladium is in the same elemental family as platinum and looks very similar; maybe a tiny bit ‘whiter’ than platinum. It’s much lighter in weight however, more similar to 14K gold perhaps. Happily, it wears more like platinum, with the curious trait of ‘displacing’ metal with wear rather than rubbing off, which is what gold and silver do. (I wonder if the tendency to displace metal as it wears is because the atomic bond between the palladium 950 alloy is so much stronger than the bonds in gold alloys?) It is very hard to finish, harder than 14K or 18K gold, and the casting plaster leaves a very rough texture, therefore requiring a lot of filing, sanding through the grit strengths, polishing with different grit wheels, then working my way through the buffing compounds… whew. I wish I had a buffing machine at times like these. But it takes an amazing polish, mirror finish really. I’m a glutton for punishment I guess because I’m definitely looking forward to making more pieces with the metal.

jewelry artist: shinji nakaba

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Shinji Nakaba ring

This is my current favorite jewelry artist. Everything the guy makes pretty much blows me away. I LOVE the classical carvings and the use of unconventional materials (PVC pipe, epoxy, steel mesh, pet bottles, beer cans, the man makes a kick-ass brooch out of a plastic Asahi beer cap). I don’t see a whole lot of carving in jewelry.

Shinji Nakaba ring

[Agate, 18K gold] This was a ring that got chipped and returned for repair. The gold part is the repair. How awesome is it that the repair makes the ring even better than it was originally.

Shinji Nakaba Ring

[Stainless Steel Wire Mesh, epoxy , coral]

Shinji Nakaba Ring
Seashell, 18K gold (carved body ring)

When I was a kid I used to have these weird half-awake sensory dreams. Usually there was something impossibly massive in magnitude competing with something supernaturally calm or smooth. This translated into many different scenarios in my childish mind: A massive freight train screaming and clanging so loud about to blast through the wall of my room. Galaxies of unidentified hugeness trying to force its way through a hole the size of a pinhead. When I was young, the dreams really frightened me but as I grew older, I gained control of them and sort of had fun tripping out on them. They grew less frequent in my late teens and I had my last one my second year of college. I missed them at first but of course have grown used to not having them. Every now and then, something I see will remind me of the dreams, the weird feelings I had from them. Some of this guy’s carvings remind me of them but I really can’t say why or how.

Shinji Nakaba Ring

Here’s a brooch that he carved out of a bit of pvc pipe:

Shinji Nakaba carved pvc brooch

I can’t stop posting images! Look at these pieces he made out of aluminum beer cans:

Shinji Nakaba aluminum

Shinji Nakaba aluminum

Shinji Nakaba aluminum

Ahhhhh, the rose ring. Sigh.

studio woes

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

cheyenne's jewelry studio

[Current studio. My IKEA ‘workbench’ with benchpin clamped on, my stone-setting vise, and elderly laptop for Important Studio Internetting, i.e., streaming This American Life.]

cheyenne's jewelry studio

[Other corner with shelves o crap and my soldering station.]

My studio situation is melting down. Studiomate #1 just bought a real live house of her very own that has an adorable little garage about to be converted into her very own studio with french doors and perhaps a skylight. I’m not jealous. Or bitter. Our current landlord has chapped the hide of studiomate #2 one too many times (or perhaps once was enough) and so we decided to give the place up. So… My options are thus:

1) Find an awesome little place, not too big, not too small, nice light, roommates or none, secure, comfortable, internet-capable, walking or biking distance from my house. And cheaper than the place I rent now. Is this really too much to ask? Craigslist seems to think so.

2) All of the above with room for two and split it with studiomate #2. Again, Craig is not being very helpful.

studio plan

[Studio design I cooked up in a fever of builder’s excitement. Siding would be corrugated metal and salvage cedar siding or palette wood. I know the roof is thin; I hadn’t decided what to use yet.]

3) Build a studio in my backyard (see above). With all of my free time. The fact that we rent our place sort of puts a soggy damper on this idea. It would be difficult to move anything we built out of our backyard without removing a tree, squashing half the garden, and dismantling the fence. Not to mention it would probably be a little heavy.

studio plan

[Interior layout.]

3) Modify a prefab shed, shipping container, build on a trailer (like a thing you pull behind a truck, not a camper) into a studio. The same issues with the fence dismantling, garden squashing, and tree killing still stand. It would be less work but a lot less pretty than my adorable little design above.

4) Buy a boat, put all our stuff in storage, and sail to Mexico. (Don’t laugh—I’ve done it before.)