Midwest Amazing

I have mentioned the wonders made by Midwest Alchemy in the past but that incredible Etsy store really deserves its own post.  I am utterly amazed by the effect created by electroforming the metal around beautiful raw stones.

Midwest Alchemy helpfully describes electroforming for us on Etsy:

Electroforming, in the simplest terms, is the intricate process of controlling a metal deposit of copper and onto a conductive surface whether it be an organic or inorganic material. This process is similar to plating…but is done over a much longer period of time – and can be anywhere from 2 – 12 hours. Basically a thick “skin” of metal is built up into a rigid surface – which in this case is the ring or pendant form. Various patinas and finishes are possible after the initial electroforming process is complete.

I love that electroforming manages to make the rings look like they were chipped from a crystallized rock.   They look like natural items that happen to be suitable to be worn.

Here is a sampling of Midwest Alchemy.  It was hard to pick just a few — each one is as amazing the next.  While I am at it, allow me to add that I love copper.  I love to see it used in jewelry.

Hey, Midwest Alchemy, I’m a native Ohioian!  “Midwest Ohio” where?  Just curious.

Raw Love

Aside

Lapidary artists can do amazing things with gems — making them reflect light and look as if they glow from within.  But, there is something to be said for the use of raw, natural stones.

Here are some fine examples of artists finding beauty in the stone more or less as nature intended:

First, we have a nicely set very raw aquamarine ring by Beijo Flor, who, in addition to this piece, works with a variety of beautiful and unique stones.

Beijo Flor

Then, we have a copper ring with a herkimer diamond from Midwest Alchemy, which includes some incredible metal work that really complements the stone.

Midwest Alchemy

Finally, there’s the lovely raw golden labradorite prong set ring by Wire Adorned.

Wire Adorned

As someone who has always made things — paintings, assemblages, and now jewelry — I think restraint and dealing with ambiguity is more difficult than attempted perfection.  Using raw stones, which I’ve experimented with lately, is like that.  They’ve got their own ideas.  They tell you exactly how they will allow themselves to be used.  It would be nice if that gorgeous, shiny thing were even and not rough on that one side — but it isn’t — and that’s the beauty of it.  Incorporating raw stones into one’s jewelry is a different kind of craftsmanship.  It’s the craftsmanship of subtlety and allowing yourself to simply frame something that is just fine the way it is.