Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Because Mami Love is Sacred

I've been inspired by my family.  I've been spending lots of time with my mom Carolina, who lives with me all year round, and my mother-in-law, Isabel, who happens to be visiting from Costa Rica. Needless to say, there have been numerous displays of unconditional motherly love. This far-reaching, all-hugging, and caring love inspired me to create some new pieces celebrating our Spanish-speaking mamis.

Take a look and see if you fancy any for your own mama as a Mother's Day gift. Perhaps you would like a custom order with the word that you use for calling your mom: Mama, Ama, Ma, Mamita, Mamacita, Madrecita, La Jefita, La Mera Mera, etc.

BTW: Click on the name of the piece to be taken to the Wink Artisans Etsy Shop and see details on the already listed items.

Mami Sacred Heart Necklace 
L to R: Isabel, my mother-in-law and Carolina, my mom turistiando in La Jolla, CA. 

Mami Heart Charm Necklace

Madre Querida Love Drop Necklace 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Greek Coin Pendant

Wow, I never know what to expect when I get a custom order call. This project took me over a month to make, it was a challenge indeed. It all started with a phone call. Someone had found me online and he wanted to know if I could make a pendant featuring an old Greek coin. At first, I fired all sort of questions... what's the size of the coin? how old is the coin?  What is the coin made of? etc. After he answered my questions he added that he if possible, he would like to see if the pendant could be made way bigger than the coin.  I asked to have a pic of the coin sent to me and that I would do some sketches.

Greek Coin Pendant by Wink Artisans

So my parameters were:
  • Do not solder the coin... this meant it had to be set. 
  • Show both sides of the coin.
  • Make the pendant bigger, if possible double the size of the coin.
  • Sterling silver was the metal to be used.
As soon as I got the pic of the coin, I did some research.  I found out all sorts of interesting facts about this Arkadian coin circa 175-168 BC. The observe (front of the coin) is a laureate head of Zeus, the reverse is a seated Pan.  After my research, I printed the coin to the size I was told -about 5mm- and did three basic sketches, a teardrop, a horizontal plate, and a circle.

How I was to set the coin was not clear yet.  I had not actually seen the coin live. I had no idea how thick it was, or how delicate it was.  Initially, I was thinking of a prong setting, then lateral tabs, but then again, both sides of the coin had to be visible so those would not work in such a small coin.

Then I started thinking about a prong/teeth setting that could work for both sides. So that was the plan. My client opted for the horizontal plate shape.  Now, it was time to get the actual coin. Meanwhile, my eyes started acting out and making it difficult for me to work. 

Once I got the coin, the actual setting was to change, the coin was uneven. Not only was not a perfect circle, but the thickness was worn on one side more than the other.  Also, it was a little bigger that was I had projected. I had to sketch the shape once again to make sure the coin fit. Right round this time, my eyes were really out of commission. I went to the optometrist and after some tests, I was told that I might need a procedure call refraction.  Okay, I'm getting older I thought. I decided to let my eyes rest and put the order aside.

The melted setting.

After a few more eye procedures and few days of rest, I went back to the pendant.  A bit nervous, anxious, and scared.  After all, I did have a piece of Greek Antiquities on hand. I constantly kept working out the setting fit. Then, when I was ready to solder the setting, I melted it.  Chingao'!  Back to fitting the setting and then quickly to solder it to form the circle -this time with more caution- and then solder it to the silver plate.

Setting soldered to the silver plate.

Coin about to be set. 
And there you have it, I hand-polished it, gave its final touches, and added the chain. I was happy that it was over, that my eyes made it through, and most importantly, that my customers were happy with the end result. To see a pic on my client wearing the necklace click here!

Now, I'm ready for the next challenge, who says me?

The front, a laureate head of Zeus

The back, a seated Pan. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Holiday Sale

This is the season of gift giving, so here's a little something to help you give some Wink this Holiday season.  Enjoy!

Visit the Wink Artisans Etsy Shop Now>>

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Small Earrings

Lately, I've been inspired to make small earrings.  Weird right? I have no idea why. Maybe it's because big earrings are getting caught on my scarf. Nonetheless, here they are. I'm sure they will make someone happy. Find them on the Wink Artisans Etsy Shop.   Happy shopping!

Hand of Fatima Mixed Metal Earrings

Calaverita Day of the Dead Stud Earrings

Small Heart Stud Earrings


Saturday, October 3, 2015

What I Made With A Chewed Up Earring

Frida Kahlo Necklace by Wink Artisans

It all started with my sister-in-law, Jackie, and her dog Buddy. Sometime last year, Buddy got to one of her earrings and gave it a good chew.  Needless to say, that pair of earrings was gone.  Soon, the earrings made their way into my recycled bin to be "salvaged" or be turned into something else.   And that's how this Frida Kahlo necklace came about.  Below are pictures of the process for you to see how the pendant developed. 

The Pair of Earrings
I decided to only use the chewed up earrings. I'll save the other one for another project later on. I kept it on my desk for about three hours before figuring out what to do with it. I kept looking and looking at it. 

The Chewed Up Earring
First step: to cut it open the top with shears, then carefully open the body with my hands and finally cut with the saw blade the bottom where the two pieces of metal were soldered.  

Cut the earring open.
 After I flattened them, it was time to stamp away. You know I love stamping my metal.
Stamping and Texture
 Then I saw a heart shape. I had to do several more cuts to get the desired shape.
Shaping it into a heart
Then came the background in copper.  I enjoy mixing metals and textures. I opted for a cold-connection technique. I grabbed my drill and started drilling holes for riveting.

Riveting to copper background
 Once the piece was washed and polished, then came the image... of course it had to be Frida Kahlo.

There you have it.  Now, let's see you is going to snatch this beauty away.
Good luck everyone!