The Challenge of a Collar

Arrow Collar ©2010 WTEK sterling silver, agatized heart of palm

Lately I’ve been challenging myself with collars.  I know, I keep talking about them, but they’re all I can think about.  I want to work on rings, earrings, and pendants, but all my ideas are for collars.

So far I’ve made three of them.  There is an idea for another one waiting in the wings until I purchase some more silver.

Collar I ©2010 sterling silver & breceated jasper

They all feature gemstones, textured silver, and doubled up thick wire around the neck, leaving an opening in the front.  This is an idea I worked with as early as college (open front collars), but was refueled by seeing some of Art Smith’s collars.

Working on these pieces has forced me to improve my soldering.  I rivet a lot of my other work, and it takes different design considerations to use solder instead.

Snake Eyes ©2010 sterling silver, serpentine

It’s kind of like the difference between nailing a piece of wood or using glue.  I have to work out all the steps before hand and then join everything in a certain order.  It’s been good to have to work differently than usual.

Even though these necklaces are more involved and take me outside my comfort zone, I truly enjoy making them.  Probably because they’re more involved and outside my norm!  So far they’ve come out beautifully and I love the way that they sit around a neck.  I can’t wait to start my next one!