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Karen Christians

Jewelry Evangelist

Karen Christians

After 30 years of teaching jewelry and advocating for the arts, it's finally time to get my blog on. What will you find here? I'll be exploring photography, cooking, jewelry fabrication, exotic travel and the tools that make it happen. It's hard to pin me down on just one subject and some of you might know me through Cleverwerx, and my love for cool tools. Others know me through Metalwerx, the jewelry school I founded (and pretty damn proud of that one). Perhaps you've embellished a bronze pendant in my tent on the playa at Burning Man. I obsess about jewelry, but more important I love fabricating and understanding the tools that jewelers use. It's why I belong to one of the largest maker studios in the world, Artisan's Asylum. I often view my world through the lens of a camera such as a compelling story of a simple walk on a wet day. Simplicity rules. With the help of friends, it's now under all one roof and you can find my writing here, from past jewelry articles and about Burning Man and crazy bicycle rides with 35,000 people in New York. Through my blog may you find your passion in making jewelry, cooking, or de-mystifying a tool. This blog is about what makes me tick and the cool stuff that's out in the world.

Kickstarter #20

Kickstarter #20

Books, books, books!

We are pleased to announce that our ship has come in! Our gracious metal caster, Dan Grandi at Racecar Jewelry has created a dock for 5 pallets of books. As soon as the pallets were broken down and guided to their new home in Pawtucket, we got busy fulfilling YOU, our lovely Kickstarter supporters.

We are about ¾ the way through and many of you have seen them fly into your mailbox. More are coming!

Thank you all for your patience. You have been waiting a very long time and your patience has been rewarded!

3) Book Signings and Reception in California – PUBLIC IS WELCOME TO ALL EVENTS

JULY 8, 6-9 PM

Burning Man Headquarters

660 Alabama St.

San Francisco, CA 94110

JULY 10, 7-10 PM

Revere Academy of Jewelry

785 Market St. #900

San Francisco, CA 94103

JULY 14, 7-10 PM

Chaucer’s Books

3321 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Mosiac Hallmarks in Knife Handles

Mosiac Hallmarks in Knife Handles

 Knife makers create a distinctive pattern in the handles of their knives. These patterns are called "mosaics" and are made up of square and round metal tubing and rods of different sizes and thicknesses. The combinations are endless and each pattern is the makers mark. Here is a little video on the process.

 

 

Wood's Eye in Metalsmithing

Wood's Eye in Metalsmithing

Mokume-gane is a Japanese term for "wood grain eye". It is a combination of complex metals that can include gold, copper, steel, brass, sterling and nickel silver, iron and bronze. Stacks of 2 x 2, 18 ga metal, scrupulously cleaned and placed under pressure, these plates are heated until they achieve a liouidous state and fuse together. As a stack, steel burs are ground into the metal creating scoops and lines. Worked first on an anvil to flatten and then finally rolled through a mill, the metal "grain" emerges, distinct to that maker. The final result is a beautiful and delicate pattern emulating the grain of wood.