Featured Photos

Discover an extensive visual resource of hand engraved work and stone setting examples, complete with commentary and personal stories. New every Tuesday and Friday since 2007.


A Natural Selection
work by Tommy Mock

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 Published in: 2014 Archives

Artists love to work from nature. Animals, plants, clouds, water — even with variations from one to the next, all become universal and many are easy to recognize from one culture to another.

The bird is a perfect example. Few people, even new and small ones, can go far from home without seeing a bird. These animals inhabit the city, the country, the desert, and the jungle. So when an artist wants to create a design to which many people can relate, using a feather is a natural choice.

Tommy Mock of Georgia recently shared his take on a feather. In contrast to the airy, light construction of a real feather, this fabricated one takes on a much heavier form. Mock started with a piece of steel, engraving and cutting it by hand. After engraving it, he turned a simple piece of steel into a feather bracelet.

"Stainless steel is a very hard material, so a sharp graver is important," noted Mock. When making jewelry for engraving, he recommends artists "try to use a softer stainless steel" for easier cutting. In order to achieve the range of colors, Mock used a torch to heat the steel. The metal changes colors, going from a tawny yellow all the way to a deep purple, as the flame touches the surface. Proper handling is important in this step of finishing because the metal gets really hot. Nice job, Tommy, and thanks for sharing!


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