"In grad school we always made light of the fact that we needed a jewelry goddess of some sort, one we could pray to for a successful cast or soldering job or whatever. We felt a deity would help us in our endeavors, so I thought it would be fun to create one."
That’s what Mark Nelson told me about this piece he made in graduate school. We were talking about Betty after an article in the last MJSA Journal reminded jewelers to pay attention to all sides of their pieces, even those that aren’t visible when the piece is worn. Mark’s professors agreed with the authors of that article—whenever students submitted a piece, the professors immediately turned it over and looked underneath. Betty greeted those professors with a surprise.
I asked Mark if we could share Betty on the Studio, and if he could tell us a little about the project. Here’s what he had to say.
"The primary challenge I gave myself was to carve a figure without adding any wax at all, strictly wax removal. Once the figure was completed I cast the figure and the box, praying to the goddess all the while. The rest is all fabricated from sheet, wire and ingots and soldered in place. The Sculpture depicts a torch with the smoke from the tip, an anvil, and hammer. And the writing was etched into the sides.”
How did the instructors react to Betty?
"The expression on their faces was priceless. They immediately burst into giggles like they had been caught," Mark said. "Being the prankster that I am, though, one trick wasn’t enough. I also put in a Peek a Boo under the lid and again they were caught off guard. They loved the piece because of that interaction."
What about you? Do you have any early pieces that come with a great story? We’d love to see them. Share pictures and stories with us in the comments.Comment on this article
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