Cost Structure

The full expression of my artistic abilities learned over 53 years at the bench and more than 45 years developing skills in Repousse and Chasing means I spend a minimum of six to eight hours per square inch. Some pieces I now make can take as many as twelve hours in the same square inch.That is just the time spent Chasing a piece. There is also the time spent designing and basic metalsmithing to turn the work into something that can be used. As necessary as is the time spent on Repousse, Chasing, and construction, there is also the intense degree of concentration required to meet my personal criteria for achieving excellence rather than simple acceptability. Each piece also represents exhaustion of mind. It actually takes time to “get out of,”the last piece prior to starting the next one. All of this means that the body of my work grows very, very slowly. I see value as a combination of quality and rarity. All of my pieces are one of a kind; each the only one in the world. Realizing this at the bench takes time and effort; my commitment to achieving perfection leads to rarity. The prices on my work are a function of all this. Skill and experience leads to beauty and limited production, time and material costs lead to price.

A word about patinas

I use a very diluted solution of Liver of Sulfur applied under hot running water allowing me to establish hues of blues and reds. These tones are only stable in the deepest recessed areas and strongest finishes. The ability to oxidize silver to a controlled patina is an essential aspect of my work in this metal. The finishes on my work are accomplished intentionally. It has been my experience that the colors will remain true as long as no chemical cleaners are applied. The best way to polish a piece of my work is with a soft napless rag and a bit of the moisture God gave you.

Care and feeding

Both Sterling Silver and 22k Gold are soft metals. Any vigorous rubbing will eventually diminish fine detail by actually stripping away surface metal. In all cases, a light hand is what is needed.

When polishing a piece of my silver work, please do not ever use any kind of paste or liquid silver polish. Doing so will result in a drastic alteration of the patina on the piece, which will change its “look” entirely. A jeweler’s cloth polishing rag works well, but the best method is a soft napless rag with a bit of the moisture God gave you. The term “spit and polish” works here. This “old fashion” way does take a bit of time, but the damage done to very fine detail and patina is almost nil.

Polishing 22k gold should almost never be needed. 22k does not tarnish to any degree, but a bit of soft, soft, rubbing with a damp cloth will brighten the piece up a bit. Other than that, there really isn’t anything you need to do. Particularly with 22k gold, the need for a soft hand is paramount. When I am touching up a piece in inventory, I use a bit of old dampened flannel and spend no more than two minutes lightly rubbing the piece.