Sunday, May 18, 2014

So here I was chugging along with my jewelry line and everything was fine.  But that's just it... it was just fine.  In the back of my mind I had visions of wild crazy stuff that you may see in the fringes of high fashion, but it ended there.  And then it happened, one day while messing around on twitter I commented on a tweet from someone I had talked to for about a year.  Her name is S. Avery and she is a celebrity stylist, basically someone who styles someones look.  I think I could use some help in that area myself actually... ok ok I'm day dreaming again, it's way out of my budget anyway.  So long story short in the course of the conversation we decide to do some sort of a collaboration.  Well that turns into me designing a piece for her, which by the way scared the heck out of me. How was I going to design something for HER???  Well not being one to run from a challenge I jumped in with both feet.  It was decided I would design this piece for her and have it in a local art gallery show coming up.  That's all well and good but let me fill you in on the timeline I was working with.  ....Big Breath...Pretty much my wife and I were expecting our second child at any moment this piece had to be big crazy and bold and surpass anything I had done before....breath.... oh and I had to have it designed, built, modeled in time for the gallery deadline of Aug 16 (I had just over a week)..... oh my that's not much time.... Whew ok ok lets do this!  And then it happened! I freaking did it!  I jumped so far out of my box I can't look back and see it, I am ready and not scared to jump now! Here are the details of the piece and the build I call my "Make a Statement" project. 
Here is the sketch that Avery sent me.  This is when I knew I was going to be in for an adventure!

So here we go with my initial design sketch, well after many other and much messier sketches.  The design changed from this original concept you will see as we go. 

Here my wonderful friend Chelsea is being very patient with me as I work on the full scale mock up of the piece.  It's more tapered, or graduated now than the original design.  On a side note she is wearing G2G earrings! 

So here we are with all the pieces cut out and ready to hammer. I do all of my hammering with one hammer and it's free form hammering.  I do not use forms to shape the metal. 

Whew this was my first time hammering a collar piece and it came out perfect!  It was such a relief to see this part come together because it was the hardest part to hammer.  All the other pieces were flat. 

Here are all the pieces hammered and just laid out on a board.  Nothing is connected at this point, but I am very excited to see it coming together. 

Its a bit hard to see here but I was gluing the sheer black fabric to the pieces.  This is what makes this piece so flexible and wearable.

Here I am riveting the back plates on with copper rivets I made.  

All put together here and polished.  Ready to be modeled! 

My friend Chelsea once again helping me, this time dress shopping just hours before the shoot!  The model was busy working and Chelsea is the same size, just a few inches shorter so it worked out perfect in the end! 

Here the amazing makeup artist Kristy Jahn is putting the finishing touches on Model Emily Berz and then we are ready to shoot!  I am very proud that I styled this shoot so well, it was a first for me.  Kristy took my idea and concept and really nailed the look, she is a truly talented professional. 

A few shots from the shoot, I only needed one shot for this whole project.  That ONE shot that really nailed it is the one at the start of this post.  It is just WOW, a real statement and that's what this piece of jewelry is! A real STATEMENT! 
Special thanks to everyone who helped me on this project.
My wife who put up with my craziness for the week. 
S. Avery for giving me the opportunity to jump, and giving me advice and encouragement throughout the project.  
Chelsea for modeling the mock up and dress shopping last minute.
Emily Berz for modeling and bringing that attitude to the shot and just being a fun person to work with.
Kristy Jahn for the world class makeup artistry, you really tied it all together with that double wing hotness! 
Amber Sturgis for the photography and getting that perfect shot I needed, and for getting the prints done. 
I couldn't have done it without all of you, I thank you all and appreciate each of you so much! 
Thank You

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