BEST GIFT EVER

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Stephan S. Says... "I just gave my wife a custom designed Annie K ring for Christmas. She said that in the forty five years we have been together, this was the best gift that she has received. I completely agree. This ring is a masterpiece. In my first meeting with Annie, she asked me what I had in mind. She was sitting there with a blank piece of paper and a sharpened pencil. I collect gemstones and had a large Oregon Sunstone in my collection which I knew I wanted in this ring. I … [Read more...]

THE COMPLETION of SURRENDER: Part Five: The Award Ceremony

Annie K Jewelry - 2014 Saul Bell Award Winner

PART FIVE: SURRENDER RECEIVES SAUL BELL DESIGN AWARD Walking into the ballroom for the Saul Bell Award banquet, my eye was immediately drawn to the crowd gathered around the showcase. I walked over to see the other winning pieces, and a smile spread across my face as I got a chance to examine them all.  This is one group which I am honored to be a part of. After a dinner done to perfection, we were treated to Michael Harrison’s video expertise, a series of vignettes about the artists and … [Read more...]

THE COMPLETION of SURRENDER: Part Four

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PART FOUR: THE LESSONS OF SURRENDER Whew...that was intense, my biggest challenge to date, with the complexity of the piece and pieces, and then the mental game as well.  Looking back, what did I do right and what I would do differently next time? TIME: I assigned false deadlines to allow what I thought was plenty of extra time. Better Next Time: Things always take longer than you anticipate when you doing things outside that proverbial box.  TRIPLE THE TIME NEEDED. I tended to allow … [Read more...]

THE COMPLETION of SURRENDER: Part Three

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Part Three:  Final Steps Journal Entry Winter 2014 “I go to the shop early this morning to do my best work, to finish this necklace called Surrender, that has brought me to my knees.  As this is magic, white light or whatever you want to call it, it is a spiritual quest of sorts, so just go there and do it. This necklace is all I have to give, let me do it justice.” "From concept to creation, Surrender demanded all I had and still pushed me farther. In the end, it was only when I … [Read more...]

THE COMPLETION of SURRENDER: Part Two

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PART TWO: ASSEMBLY Journal Entry Winter 2014 “I have worked for 5 months, no 6 months on this piece from inception...  and now it is getting life breathed into it.  After seeing it on the computer and in my mind for so long, I get to see that actual necklace.”    “I have one more mold to cut. Cast four more white gold pieces. And then cast 16 yellow gold pieces onto the white gold tomorrow night. Set the diamonds, assemble, and I'm almost there.”   “And I want to enjoy this time … [Read more...]

THE COMPLETION of SURRENDER: Part One

dyson inspiration annie k jewelry

PART ONE: THE FINAL INSPIRATION IS WHERE YOU FIND IT I think when you're working on a big project like this, you hear what you need to a different points in time. This afternoon on NPR they were interviewing the founder of Dyson vacuums. He said a lot of interesting things about design and approaches to design, and combining them with engineering, but that wasn't the thing that struck me the most. He talked about working on a project and the pace of working on a project. And he said that at … [Read more...]

WALKING THROUGH the CHALLENGES of SURRENDER: Part Five

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PART FIVE: BI-METAL CASTING THE YELLOW GOLD For the yellow gold castings, each night I pushed hard to get the pieces invested and into the kiln. It took time to prep the castings, and only 4 flasks per night would fit the kiln.  The necklace could only move forward as quickly as it could be cast. Here are the piece, just cast.  I wonder what the yellow gold color will look like? I love the color of the yellow, 18K yellow has such a rich look.   It’s nice to be working with … [Read more...]

WALKING THROUGH the CHALLENGES of SURRENDER: Part Four

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PART FOUR: BI-METAL CASTING THE WHITE GOLD The more I thought about the high polished white gold pieces fitting right up next to the textured yellow gold pieces, the more I was convinced that bi-metal casting was clearly the best way to go. I am so glad I did bi-metal castings 15 years ago in a workshop on gold alloys at Penland School. Bi-metal casting can take twice as long and can create a bottleneck, so it is not done a lot. Contemplating, it was still clearly the winner.   I would … [Read more...]

WALKING THROUGH the CHALLENGES of SURRENDER: Part Three

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PART THREE: 25 MOLDS AND 57 WAXES TO CAST Journal Entry Winter 2014 In the morning, “Today is a big day because I get back what I hope will be the final link cad for 2 links, actually ready to make the links from.  All other links are scaled off of these, and the yellow gold links will be in place then.” Later that evening, “Well, it almost 11pm, and I am just in from the studio- tonight I shot the first piece from the new molds and invested it to cast in 18K yellow gold tomorrow.  That … [Read more...]

WALKING THROUGH the CHALLENGES of SURRENDER: Part Two

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PART TWO: THE PEARLS As I checked the pearl fit on the original test printed pieces, I discovered that the lower bottom lip cupped around the pearl too much, for the pearl to “slip” in and out. I had to adjust the bottom lip, rolling it outward, for the pearl to fit properly.  Fit, size, post placement, sliding in and out w a tight fit in the mouth, the angle of the mouth; all were critical. Once adjusted the lip, I could check the pearl’s movement sliding onto the post to hold it in … [Read more...]