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My First Frog

Silver Frog

6.1 grams of pure 999 fine silver with gold leaf inlay and black powder coat eyes.

My first frog! This one was a custom request and I was challenged as to how to design. “Can you make me a frog” is a pretty broad statement and there are so many ways to run with the design.

This incredible feat of sand casting was a challenge for sure. Getting silver to flow into the legs properly requires a whole lot of vent cuts, I heated the silver a little more than usual and poured as fast as I could. I was ecstatic when I opened the mold to discover there was a result I could actually shape into a nice piece of jewelry.

I made a small rectangular cut on the head, inlayed gold leaf and sealed with crystal clear then, polished to a seamless transition and shine.
I could not figure out what to do with the eyes. I considered drilling them out and inserting black onyx but, too much for such a small dot which, will most likely go unnoticed so, I used powder coat mixed with crystal clear and boy, did that work well because the eyes pop well next to the gold and they are smooth and shiny like the rest of the piece. I am very proud of this item.

Here is a pic I took with the frog on a leaf randomly picked from outside my shop.

Turtle #4

This is almost completed.
Silver Turtle Stone Selection

Silver Turtle Stone Selection

Silver Turtle Stone Selection

Turtle For Sale

I will be making another today 11/29/2014.
You may pre-order if you want. Just use my contact form and mention the item you wish to pre-order.

SOLD

I just completed this today.
I am offering it for sale.
I will post more pictures, details.
Price is $80 cheap.

This is 8g of .999+ fine silver. Completely hand cast, shaped and one of a kind.
Onset is a black tiger eye which really complements the dimension and depth of the silver.
The 18″ 2mm leather cord is highest quality I can find.
The connections to the toggle clasps are hand wound by myself with waxed black cotton cord.

As soon as I bring this out in the public, it will sell quickly for $100.
Visitors to my site can see and purchase my items before anyone else!
Why? Cost. These items do sell for twice what I ask from inside a jewelry store.
It costs money to get my items out to stores or shows. There is a a lot of overhead in a jewelry store. That cost must be absorbed into the piece.
My costs are very close and already but, bypassing all the travel, storefront, postage fees and so on, allows me to MAKE MY ITEMS AFFORDABLE.
This is exactly what I want. The ability to create high quality pieces, have people flip over them, be able to afford them too so, I make enough to keep it all going.
Silver Turtle

Custom

Some items are just inspired by a moment or for a special request.
I can make a custom item for you based on what is close to your heart.
So, just because you only see guitar picks, arrowheads, turtles, skulls and angels here, don’t think those are my only offerings.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE a challenge. I also love seeing a person receive an item I made just for them.

So, what is dear to you? What best compliments your attitude or energy?
Allow me to make a high quality personal piece for you that will shine for generations.

Custom hand cast silver jewelrySilver skull opal eye

Above notice the silver skull eye. It is crushed opal with red coral and black onyx. On top of a small pile of crushed opal, I made a ring of red coral stones and put a piece of black onyx for the pupil. This took a lot of patience and quite a long while. The angel has the same opal and is beautifully clear and shimmering.

Black heart silver liningInner Silver Guitar PickRaw TurtleWooden Hand Carved Turtle

Silver Frog

My First Frog

6.1 grams of pure 999 fine silver with gold leaf inlay and black powder coat eyes. My first frog! This one was a custom request and I was challenged as to how to design. “Can you make me a frog” is a pretty broad statement and there are so manyRead More…

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Custom hand cast silver jewelry
.999+ pure silver is just beautiful.
The deep luster and strength make it a great medium to create jewelry and art. I prefer to use ONLY .999+ fine silver when I create a new piece and I pay a premium.

When I stamp .999 on the back of my item, you can rest assured that it is the finest silver available.

Native American

In some Native American cultures, a dreamcatcher (or dream catcher; Lakota: iháŋbla gmunka, Ojibwe: asabikeshiinh, the inanimate form of the word for “spider” or Ojibwe: bawaajige nagwaagan meaning “dream snare”) is a handmade object based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with sacred items such as feathers and beads. The dreamcatcher was adopted by other north american tribes over time.

Hand made dream catcher art
This “Dream Catcher” was inspired by a trip to Cherokee. I tried to find a real native hand made piece of art. Problem resides is Native Americans have come to see dreamcatchers as over-commercialized, offensively misappropriated, mass produced in other countries and misused by non-Natives. I asked around at several shops until someone pointed me to the shop of a true Cherokee traditional artisan. Amazing work and form of expression with tradition. I purchased two amazing works from him, one for each stepdaughter. I asked the artist many questions as we talked about an hour. We both agreed that “Creating something from the environment around you, whether a weapon or blanket is the purist form of art”.

The Dream Catcher I made above is in the tradition of our conversation. The stick is from a tree that I planted and grew, the feathers are from our backyard quail, the stones I found then polished, the bead was in a box of old buttons, there is another carved piece of local stick and the hemp twine has been in my tool box forever. I soaked the stick until flexible then, formed it into a circle. After drying, I wound the twine around the entire circumference of the stick. The entire length of the twine is unbroken.

Hand Made Dream Catcher Florida Native

Silver Dream Catcher

Silver Dream Catcher

Sorry! I have to go make silver pieces instead of web pages!

This page will have my Native American inspired items.
COMING VERY SOON!

Music Inspired

Below are two .999+ silver guitar picks I made. Each mold was formed from a guitar pick I acquired at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland. My Mom and I went there when I was visiting her in Youngstown.

Notice the two pieces next to the pick on the 2mm leather cord in the top picture. I made those from “jewelers grade” bone pieces. I cut, carved, burned, polished then applied four coats of clear lacquer to them.
Silver Guitar Pick with Carved Bone

Below, notice the two piece mold.
This was the only way “I” could figure out how form a thin (appx. .070″) item via sand casting.
The mold housing is made from one side of an aluminum housing that I cut in two and arranged into a two piece box that has “guide pins” for alignment.
I must repeatedly hammer and pack the casting sand into this thing (while in a vise) so, it had to be pretty strong.
I worked with what I had but, the aluminum box is heat and corrosion resistant as well.
This contraption has held strong for over 100 castings so far.
I plan to put ends on it with a small cutout for the cup & sprue.
Here is a horizontally configured mold with proper terminology.
Horizontal sand casting
Notice my mold below.
It is clamped in a vice so the guitar pick is positioned vertically.
I then pour molten silver straight down into the mold.
The vent lines you see allow the gases to expand.
Without these vents the silver will not fill the mold and there is a mess.

.999+ Silver guitar pick mold
Since I only make one piece at a time I do not use a tumbler to polish. (Don’t have one..yet)
After coming from the mold, there is a lot of grinding, shaping, drilling and polishing.
I eventually polish to a mirror finish and protect with Renaissance.
There are a lot of materials used to make just one silver guitar pick. Not to mention time.

15 grams .999+ silver (9-10 grams will be the end result)
1/2 lb of Petrobond (about 4 grams will not be re-usable)
Oxygen & Acetylene (about 4 minutes worth)
Crucible can be used about 20 or so times I believe
Borax, Sodium Bisulfate and Sodium Bicarbonate
1 cutting wheel (up to 3)
2 drill bit sizes
3 different rubberized wheels
4 different muslin wheels
3 different files (and assorted stones)
Abrasive rouges and polishing compounds (~9 different items used/needed there (for me))
20″ 2mm high quality leather cord
18″ black waxed cotton cord
Silver toggle clasps (I usually use the high-Q thick silver plated ones due to selection and durability)
One 2″ piece of “jewlwers” bone (aka hairpipe)

“My” basic materials required but, the more detailed the piece, the more tools and disposables used.

Below is the first one I ever made. I wear it almost every day.

I will have a video of the whole process here soon. (If you have some time!)

Silver guitar pick art James ConzettSilver guitar pick art

Okay everyone! I just imagined this last night and made one today (11/25/2014). Took me 10 hours.
This piece represents perspective pertaining to beauty that resides everywhere.
The “material” may be the same but, it’s all about the beholders immediate eye.
Some may like the raw look of the natural silver.
Some may respect the refined and polished socially acceptable.
Some may admire the chaotic transition between the two and where they sometimes escape.
Just as you, I and everyone retain these characteristics and present ourselves within our own perspective.

I made a .999 silver pick that is a whopping 3/16″ thick. I cast it with rough sand.
I then filed the edges down around the center with a very small file for several hours.
During the polishing process, I left small tooling marks too, very faint and remaining because this piece is just that.
The center I left raw retaining the aesthetic detail of molten silver right from a crucible into traditional sand cast.
I wanted the contrast between the refined versus reality go well but, I was not sure until I was a couple hours into removing the edges.

Sorry! I have to go make silver pieces instead of web pages!

I will put more items here as they develop.
Feel free to comment. Inspiration and criticism is welcome!

Turtle Shapes

Turtle Symbolism

The turtle symbolism is characterized by the association with the Earth and earth symbols of groundedness and patience:

  • Symbol of the world, of the Earth
  • Ability to stay grounded, even in moments of disturbances and chaos
  • Slowing down, pacing yourself
  • Determination, persistence
  • Emotional strength and understanding
  • Ancient wisdom

The turtle is also linked to the spirit of the water and the fluid nature of emotions.

Turtle on cedar
This is a very neat turtle shape that I created.
The oval piece is a Black Tiger Eye.
This Tiger Eye looks amazing on this piece since it contrasts well with the deep rich color of the .999+ pure silver.
The eye “follows you” as your view change angles. Really cool.
I can put any kind of gem there just ask! A real gem, a synthetic, a hole(looks cool) or nothing at all.

I make two versions basically. One with the pointed rear feet and one with rounded rear feet.
I can forge and shape the front legs to different configurations a little too.

This turtle shape was inspired by a charm my friend Les used to wear. (R.I.P.)
The picture does not do it justice but, I am diligently working on that photography issue.

On the right is my second one which, still had not been fully shaped and polished yet.
I was placing different colors and types of 10mmx8mm cabochons on it for reference.

I wanted to create a turtle that a man would also wear considering some musicians wear my items on stage.
A little dangerous, pointy and flowing with a dark center without being “frilly” at all.

Here are five stones that I think all look great. The one on top is a natural Tiger Eye. The Abalone Shell is down and to the right. On the bottom left you will see the Black Tiger Eye which does not occur in nature hence, man made. The spotted one is natural Snowflake Obsidian. Finally, the one in the center is Hemalyke which is man made, very deep, lustrous and consuming black.

You may notice this piece is not yet completed. The hole is not drilled and polishing is not yet completed but, still a beautiful piece.

This one is actually the thinnest I have cast at about .040″. This piece was a challenge for sure.

Silver turtle on bike
Now you can say you have seen a turtle on a custom v-twin 1100. (with cell phone blasting straight pipes)


Red coral and turquoise silver turtle

This silver turtle (right) is quite amazing.
After I made it, I crushed Red Coral and Turquoise into small pieces.
I then in-layed the pieces into each small area under a 20x microscope.
There is 8 to 12 stones in each section totaling over 100 stones.
I then use a water clear jewelers clear to encapsulate the stones.
THIS TAKES HOURS to create this piece that is about the size of a nickle!

Black Onyx and Turquoise turtle

This (left) is the first one I made while in process.
I crushed Black Onyx and Turquoise.
In this overexposed shot, you can see the individual stones.

I still had to carve out the front legs and finish the back ones.
I do all of the silver shaping and polishing before in-lay now but, my first one was exciting and I got distracted.

Here is one of my first inlay turtles before final smoothing and sealing. Looks a lot different when done. I did this one back in early 2013. Notice the cross shape in the Black Onyx stones and the Turquoise background. Many many hours under a 20x microscope to make this one.

Just making the mold was pretty intense as it was so small and I needed to retain the 12 concave sections to hold the stones. Each section is only about 100 thousandths of an inch which is enough to hold 10 custom shaped stones each section!

This is for a lover of music.
Inverted is for a player.

My latest one off is a swept back turtle abstract on an inverted guitar pick. The turtle design I created was inspired by music so, I designed it to retain a “guitar pickish” shape and lines. I was casting one of my turtles when something went awry and the item was seemingly ruined. I set it aside and moved on to another two hour mold set up for another piece. The next day I re-visited the “failed” casting and decided to grab a torch and modify some areas. This was a daunting task as this is a “large” piece and much heat is required. The piece must actually go molten before I can attach more silver. This typically results in a nice indistinct ball of silver. You see, silver pretty much goes into a sphere when melted, it does not conform to a mold on its’ own and must be forced into a mold cavity via gravity or pressure. An hour or so later while filing, I just happened to set the piece down next to a guitar pick. I saw the marriage of the inverted pick with the turtle inverted against the lines previously envisioned. I am happy and so is this piece.

Turtle Guitar Pick

Sorry! I have to go make silver pieces instead of web pages!

This page will have my Turtle inspired items.
MORE COMING VERY SOON!