Zilveren cuff met kwarts, citrien en toermalijn

Silver cuff with quartz, citrine and tourmaline

At the beginning of September I visited the Kröller-Müller museum with my friend and art historian Lorraine. We came for the Futurism exhibition, but two corridors further there turned out to be a small temporary exhibition of the work of Paul Drissen. The work immediately touched me and I was extremely impressed by the relationship between color, line and shape.

A few months ago I was at the gemstone fair in Rijswijk where I brought a beautiful salmon pink quartz. The combination of colors and irregular lines in the painting reminded me of quartz, but also citrine, amathyst and tourmaline. (painting Paul Drissen (Oirsbeek, 1963) | temporary exhibition Paul Drissen. Short Cuts | Kröller-Müller museum)

Painting by Paul Drissen

These stones had to be given space in a new piece of jewelry and combined with wire. I chose a cuff (wide bracelet).

The use of bent and curled wire is a motif that appears in more of my designs and which I now wanted to use to secure the quartz. The setting of the quartz is part of the design with the continuous wire that dives into and on the silver.

sketches of silver cuff

The first tests of a new piece of jewelry are in brass. Many goldsmiths make the first tests in paper, but I always choose metal. Because I make quite large jewelry, portability and weight are an important factor to take into account. You don't feel that with a paper design, but you do with a brass design. I always try on and wear the design for a few hours to feel whether it fits and moves well around the body.

I make a second test in silver. In this case I wanted to test how to place the gemstones in the oval shape, and what the possible surface treatments are.

silver cuff narrow with onyx and tourmaline

Paul Drissen leaves his canvas empty and paints on a canvas with a slightly woven structure. What do I want to put back in the cuff? This narrow bracelet of 1 cm wide is worked with a shaping hammer with a point and then provided with sparkle by applying 'scratches' with a diamond block. The drilled holes add light to the design. A beautiful finish for this narrow bracelet, but for the large cuff I opted for a surface treatment with a lighter appearance. A variation on a structure that I have previously applied to earrings.

I write out the technical work process step by step, taking into account the experience gained during the making of the tests. The challenge in this design lies in the many solders and the combination of wide cuff and wire.

silver cuff that is still in the making process

After the bracelet has been formed and the settings have been placed, the surface finish can be applied. In this case, first apply a manual matting layer with Scotch Brite, then use two different sizes of round cutter to create a curled structure with a ball cutter finish for a refined dot-stripe structure. The final step in the making process is placing the stones. The three cabochon stones are set in a smooth setting and the quartz in an open setting.

I regularly share the process of making a piece of jewelry via Instagram. During open studio days I also show parts of the craft such as soldering or intermediate stages of jewelry. I tell more about the story behind a design, show the steps in the making process and show how a piece of jewelry is created.

If necessary, I will make a display and price tag from alpaca to present the jewelry during an open studio day. The final phase is pricing and taking photos and a description for the webshop.

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