The Combination of Wood and Metal in Contemporary Jewelry and Related Objects
Wilkerson, Robert Ray, Jr.
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The problem. To investigate and create several wood and metal pieces, and show that these combinations are a personal statement of the artist. Procedure. The procedural set-up for this project was to (1) Investigate the following metals--sterling silver, brass, steel, and woods--basswood, rosewood, walnut, and zebrawood. (2) Show aesthetic affiliation between the materials. (3) Create various jewelry, and related objects--belt buckle, match box, humidor, necklace, chess set and chess board, and (4) Evaluate aesthetically and technically. Findings. In my findings I discovered the following qualities of metal and wood. Of the metals I used, I found silver to be the easiest to form and shape. Both brass and steel are very durable and show good strength, but brass showed signs of cracking during forging. Each of the woods used were enjoyable with which to work. Basswood is a very soft wood and thus it was the easiest to work using hand tools. Walnut and zebrawood are also very workable as they do not split readily. For strength in the woods, walnut and rosewood would head that list. I feel both the metals and the woods have their own qualities of color variations, which I kept in mind throughout the projects. One of my main concerns in working with each project was to find a way to fasten the metal and wood together. I found that for my purposes the bezel and supporting pins were the most satisfactory.
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