Jewellery

Click on any of these images for a larger size picture

Note - My work over the last two decades has concentrated in larger scale forged objects.
I have undertaken fine metalworking projects, both as commissions and for personal use.

These pieces are only a sample from a much larger body of past work...


Molkeme Brooch
Layered Steel Brooch

These two brooches show work taking layered materials and using them in unconventional ways.
The first is made of a type of material originally from traditional Japanese metalwork. Molkeme is formed of thin layers that can be composed of silver / gold / brass or bronze - and in this case copper and nickel alloy. The parent block was created at a workshop at Black Rock Forge in 2002. It is roughly 25 layers thick. A section of this material was then cut out then forged to create the finished brooch. The bar was twisted, flattened and ends drawn and curled to form the spirals. This resulted in a 'penannular' shaped brooch with was finished with a silver pin.
The second object was formed from a bar of layered steel - the same material normally used in knifemaking. The use of an alloy with a nickel content yields the bright lines seen on the surface. The bar was drawn and formed to create a hair ornament or brooch. Again it was finished with a silver pin, itself flattened and curved at its end. This piece was created for the exhibit 'Traditions and Innovations in 2003.

"Celtic Circlet"

For a while in the mid 1980's I was caught with no real workshop - at least as far as a forge went. For a while I could not do much blacksmithing work at all. Still - the creative urge continued to drive me, and I turned to fine work. I had already been working with acid etching using hand painted ground as a decorative technique. I was also employed for almost three years as a casting technician for a major dental lab, this gave me great experience with working with precious metals in particular. The three objects pictured below are representative of a much large body of work.

This is one of a huge number of circlets I have made over the years. (Part of my long involvement with Mediaeval re-creation.) These range from simple bands with single glass jewels to a set of elaborate crowns made with interchangeable plates (the Segmented Crowns of the SCA's Middle Kingdom). The one pictured here was a gift for my wife (shown wearing it). The 'Celtic Circlet' (6/86) is a shaped band of 'borjay' gold (a bronze alloy), set with a total of seven semi-precious stones. The band is etched with a running knotwork pattern.

"Dea's Knife"

This knife represents a blending of bladesmithing with decorative metalwork. It was made as a gift for a woman who was a close friend (1983). In this case the blade is a commercial blank, which was modified and then etched. The handle and scabbard are made of nickel silver over a brass core - the assembly done with rivets. The etched patterns flow from handle to scabbard - or handle to blade, with different designs on blade and scabbard.

"Hero's Pendant"

On the left is a pure fantasy piece - inspired by an illustration on an old Michael Morcock novel. The 'Hero's Pendant' (1984) was originally made as a show piece for an art show, and now is in the collection of Ian Phillips. It is of nickel silver, set with a central geode slice and onyx cabs. The central plaque is a stylized wolf's head. The two Icelandic runic symbols are for 'strength' and 'divine protection' (Any SCA members in the Ontario region might be interested to know that this piece was the model for the 'wolf's head' symbol of Ealdormere.)

On the right is one of my earliest forged steel jewelry pieces. The starting form echoes artifact iron broaches from the Viking Age. In early history, iron was an expensive enough material that jewelry objects were created of the material. Here a length of 1/4 inch square stock is forged into the decorative frame of the broach. One terminal end is wrapped to a spiral, the other formed into a leaf. The body of the frame is twisted and flattened, and hot punched with Norse runes, spelling out ' Old Wolf'. Despite the small size (about 3" wide) the piece has 12 individual forging techniques employed in its creation.

"Old Wolf" Broach

 


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All text © 1998, Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge