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My Last Blog Post Posted on 5 Jan 20:10

This is going to be my last post on this page, as I have begun a photo blog on Instagram to share my studio happenings. Please follow me there at KellyLimbergJewelry.

For my last post here I wanted to share a recent topaz & silver ring, which has become one of my favorite pieces made to date.  The ring started on paper with a to scale rendering of the design.

Custom Ring Design Sketch

After the design was finalized, the work began. The first step was to create the bezel, which actually starts as a simple cone. 

Cone for Bezel

The next step was to cut and file out all the detail of the bezel. And once that was completed I had to create the split band to fit exactly around the bezel. 

Trimmed Silver Bezel

Pieces of a Ring

And with some soldering, patience and careful fitting the band came together. 

Hand fabricated Ring

A seat was then carved for the stone and the prongs shaped, and then finally the stone was set and the piece polished up. 

Topaz & Silver Ring

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in having a custom ring made for you or a loved one!

A Peek at Artisan Jewelry in the Making Posted on 20 Jul 00:00

On the corner of my workbench there had been a long, plain strip of silver just sitting and waiting. This past spring I had drawn the original sketch for a new cuff, and then cut out a silver section which would be the base of the new piece.

However, then things got busy, other orders became priority, and a move to our new home shuffled things around even more. When I unpacked in my new studio, the silver piece again found it's place on the upper corner of my workbench. Months passed, until finally a few weeks ago, I was able to return to my abandoned piece of silver.

The strip has now became my new Floral Landscape Cuff. Of course there were a number of steps that occurred in between the strip of silver and the final piece. Several of those steps I have shared below. This piece is a little different than some of my other designs, like the Will-o'-Wisp Brooch, in that I combined both forged wire and sheet to create the top details.

What step do you find most interesting? Designing, sawing, soldering, or adding the patina?

 Making a cuff bracelet    Jewelry Making Process - Jeweler's Saw

Jewelry Making - Fusing Argentium Silver     Jewelry Making - Adding a Patina 

   Artisan Cuff - Handcrafted in Argentium Silver

Balance Posted on 20 May 20:32

A little while back I was working on one of my favorite ring set designs, and documented the process to share with all you great folks. 
Ring Making - Step 1
The ring set consists of two bands, each with a slight pattern variation. I love a perfect balance of ornate pattern and clean lines. That was the goal of this design. 
Every ring starts with a flat sheet of solid argentium silver. Measured strips are cut from the sheet. Smaller strips are placed on the top and bottom to create the borders.  These strips are all carefully fused together using a torch. 
Ring Making - Step 2

One of the great benefits of argentium silver vs. standard sterling, is fusing.  Instead of using solder to attach the strips, I can heat the argentium to a precise temperature and it will fuse itself together. No messy solder clean up!  

Once the ring bases are fused, the patterned section is created. From thin silver wire I fuse, cut, form, and set up the decorative wires. I try to get them all the same size and shape, then use tweezers to set them in place on the flat ring shanks. When all the wires are arranged, it's time to solder.  

Ring Making - Step 3






Ring Making - Step 4

The photo above shows a ring right before it was heated up. Originally I was going to solder the wires on, but decided to fuse them for a cleaner look. With wire you have to be extremely careful not to overheat, as small wires melt easily.   
Once the wires were attached, the rings were formed and soldered closed. (I missed a few photos at the end here.) One ring was left silver and the other given an oxidized/brushed finish for contrast. Here's a final shot of the finished set. 
You can have a set made just for you, find the details here.


His & Hers Ring Set

Promise Ring Set

My Journey into Jewelry & Metalsmithing Posted on 10 Aug 00:00

Like many artist I've always had a creative side. However, for me the path into an art career wasn't always clear. When I was young I remember loving to paint, work with clay and create anything with my hands.  As I approached high school my art interests were always there, but the logical side of me question what type of career I could find in art.  In my early twenties I worked several clerical and cooporate jobs to find that it was definitely not the direction I wanted to keep going.  So at the age of twenty three, I was off to college.

Initially I began down the path of Art Education, but the intensive studio classes were where my heart was at. So a year in, I decided to pursue a painting/drawing major.  It wasn't until I was in my final year of painting/drawing studies that I took my first jewelry and metalsmithing course.  I had been putting off the class as I was intimidated by the idea of a metasmithng studio and heard from many that it the most time intensive course.  Well of course I immediatly  fell in love with it.  The entire process of taking a simple idea, designing on paper and turning it into a tangible object really captivated me. 

In 2011, I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Since then I have been working full time creating my own jewelry and metalwork.  I currently work out of my home studio located in the country side near Marquette, Michigan. 

Oh and for fun, here are a couple of the pieces I created during my college years...

Heart Door Knocker - Hand Forged & Fabricated

Copper Heart Door Knocker

Ornate Copper Magnifier - Handcrafted

Ornate Handcut Copper Magnifier 

Shell Pocket Magnifiers - Copper & Enamel

Shell Pocket Magnifier Set

Kelly Shinabargar - Limberg

In the studio at UWM.