Reticulation and chips
make for lots of texture

I started my company around 1987 or 88, but by the early 90s, realizing that scrimshaw, even on fossilized walrus ivory or bone, was not going to be viable, had to come up with some other technique for focals. Therefore I took some metal working classes at WSU, with Philip Fike, because bead-stringing alone was not ever gonna get me into good art fairs. (Fike himself despised beads, and I never told him my bead-stringing business paid for the classes I took with him.) I didn't pursue some of the more advanced techniques he covered, such as niello[1] and moku-magane, but simple stuff, like reticulation (aka heating the bejeezus out of the metal to make it wrinkle) or riveting, I was able to do.

Brass, copper or bronze, turquoise, goldstone, black onyx, hematite, sterling silver, aluminum, tigertail. Reticulated, riveted, sawn, pierced, strung. The original transparency is dated august 1991. Scanned, rotated and cropped (& filled in the background of) the image a bit, but it's otherwise as is.

I wasn't quite up to making my own clasps, obviously (though why I thought it would be so difficult kind of mystifies me now—mebbe it was as much a cost issue as anything else) but I certainly made the center piece. The silvery looking stuff covering the tigertail[2] is not bullion, but tiny, antique aluminum seed beads that are about size 18/0 or 20/0.

I consider this one of my more successful early pieces, though it clearly was made before my friend Page's exquisite design sense had started to reduce the heavy clunkiness to which I was prone. I hadn't the sense to buy a big velvet or make a bust, so adjusting the strands so they stacked nicely when the piece was on would've been a tedious process.

Nikon CoolscanIV settings: (this is for me:)

  • name of program used to run the slidescanner: skanlite
  • bit depth per channel: 12
  • resolution: 2900DPI
  • IMAGE INTENSITY: brightness -15; contrast 2; gamma 179
  • Exp Multiplier: 0.90
  • red exp time: 1330 microsec
  • green: 561 microsec
  • blue: 374 micro se
  • frameshift 0
  • use center of scan area as AF point (probably a mistake...)
  • focus postion: 131
  • autofocus: ON
  • date of scan: 29dec91
  • info on (original) slide: AUG91F05, slide#2
  • location of original: metal box
  • info on a dup slide (evidently 15 made) (currently in carousel) c1992[3]
  • list of slides in carousel: see /Pictures/WeirdMisc/Scanner directory

[1]His recipe can be found in the Oppi Untracht classic Jewelry Concepts and Techniques for the Craftsmen, btw, along with references to the least pleasant jeweler's supply vendor it's ever been my misfortune to encounter.

[2]Beadalon hadn't been invented yet, more's the pity.

[3]So, these slides were made for 1992 jury applications.