Chasing and Repoussé Class

I'm a bit late in writing this post, but this summer has been quite busy... I can't believe summer is almost over and that school is starting this week. Wow, how time flies.

Finished project from class.
During the last week of July I got the very exciting opportunity to go to a chasing and repoussé class at Touchstone Center for Crafts, located in beautiful southwestern PA.

But What Do You Really Do All Day?

Many people seem to feel that as a stay-at-home parent or when you work from home, one would have time to sit around with their feet up, enjoying themselves. Time to volunteer at the many school functions or elsewhere, time to do all those things that people who work don't have time to do. While usually unspoken, that stay-at-home person often perceives others thinking, "But she should have plenty of time, she's home all day..." Maybe it's hard to consider it "work" when someone is still in their pajamas. Maybe the problem really is our own perceptions, that, when you're still in your pajamas, you don't feel like what you're doing is legitimate work.

Double Loop-in-Loop Chains

The simplest form of the double loop-in-loop chain is shown below. This was the predominant chain type of the ancient world. This is a one-way pattern where one single link is put through two previous links.

Single Loop-in-Loop Chains

The simplest form of the loop-in-loop chain is the single loop-in-loop, shown below. A link, previously formed into a dumbbell shape, is passed through the ends of the previous link.

Introduction to Loop-in-Loop Chains

One of my favorite chain-making techniques is called Loop-in-Loop, dating back to approximately 3000 B.C. Due to the high quality of these chains found in royal graves at Ur, it’s thought that perhaps this chain type dates back even further. This method of creating chains was used until the end of the Middle Ages.

Birthstones, Part III

September – Sapphire

Radiant cut sapphire

The word “sapphire” is Greek for blue, and when people envision sapphires they immediately think of a stunning violet-blue gemstone. Blue sapphires, ranging from very light to very dark greenish or violet-blue, represent a promise of honesty, loyalty, purity and trust. Sapphires are not only blue, however, as they can be found in pink, purple, green, orange or yellow. Sapphires are found in many parts of the world, but the most prized stones are from Myanmar.

Birthstones, Part II

May – Emerald

Cut emeralds.

The emerald is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. This stone was mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C. Cleopatra was known for wearing emeralds, and carved emeralds were often buried with the Egyptian mummies, symbolizing eternal youth. The deeper the green of this stone, the more it’s value increases. Today, most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia.

Birthstones, Part I

I do not often use gemstones as I love to simply use the interplay between gold and silver, but sometimes certain pieces call out for gemstones. In these pieces, I use only the best quality, and as close to natural (heat-treatment is not unusual as a color enhancement, but I will not use dyed stones), stones I can find. All of the birthstones I list in this series of articles are available and can be requested in any pieces containing gemstones.

Gallery Exhibit at The Bellefonte Art Museum of Centre County

This week, my collections were installed in the Jewelry Gallery at the Bellefonte Art Museum of Centre County and will be displayed through February, 2017. This museum is a wonderful gem in the quaint historic town of Bellefonte, PA. The museum, established 9 years ago, is located in the beautiful Linn House, built in 1810, and is located in beautiful downtown Bellefonte, a block from the courthouse.

Delicate Two-Tone Loop in Loop Necklace

Ancient Greek Drachm in 14K gold setting.
Coin circa 325 B.C.
I received a custom request for a necklace to suit a very special pendant, a gift for a 50th wedding anniversary. The pendant is an ancient Greek drachm, dating to approximately 325 B.C., set into a 14K gold setting. I was incredibly please with how this item turned out.

The pendant is stunning, and the client asked what kind of chain I would

Symbolism in My Designs

Symbolism is very important to me as I create many of my jewelry designs. While sometimes the design itself speaks to me, many times it's the meaning, or feeling, of the piece that comes before the design.

The Circle

The circle is a powerful symbol that has been important to humans as long as recorded history. It is a universal symbol in most cultures, often symbolizing wholeness, completeness, infinity and timelessness. Cultures throughout time have used the circle to

Korte Jewelry Designs - Byzantine Collection

Armour of the Ottoman Empire,
chainmaille shirt with
armor plates.
Chainmaille (also referred to as chain mail or maille) dates back to as far as the Etruscans in the 4th century B.C., although there is some evidence of earlier scale armor. The technique of weaving rings together to form armor spread worldwide, including as far as India and China. The Byzantine Empire then brought chainmaille to Europe, and during the Middle Ages it was commonly used as battle armor.

To create chainmaille, wire is wound into coils, the coils are cut into rings, and then each ring is individually opened, woven into a pattern, and then closed. The early European patterns alternated between rows of soldered rings and rows of riveted rings, but after the 14th century all rings were riveted.

Korte Jewelry Designs - Etruscan Collection

Etruscan Circular Pendant on a Chain.
Walters Art Museum 
Humans have always felt the need to adorn themselves, with the first known shell beads dating back over 100,000 years ago. The first gold jewelry, made from electrum, which is a natural alloy of gold and silver, dates back to the Egyptians around 5000 B.C., and the first gold chains were produced in Ur, the most powerful city-state in Mesopotamia, around 2500 B.C. The ancient chains were made in high karat