Pat, your stuff is spectacular! Wow - could you give me or all of
Orchid a short description of how you are making it? The inlaid
golds, and the designs are wonderful. Do you engrave or machine the
designs? Are you casting the steel or just machining it?
Thanks to all for the kind words and im responding to this via the
orchid list to give everyone a feel of how i construct my work.
Everything is made from 316 series of stainless steel, bar or plate
stock, machined and fabricated to the final shape, no casting here. I
have been fortunate enough to acquire some of my big boy toys over
the years with my real job. My baby being a Haas VF-E 3 axis CNC
mill, various lathes, and a couple 2x60 burr king belt sanders.
Coupled with traditional polishers, grinders, deburring machines and
I do my design work via Solidworks and CorelDraw, transfer the
artwork into Gibbscam for tool path generation then cut in the CNC,
or manually machined if the part lets me.
Rings are machined as a solid piece and curvatures formed via files,
sanding, and grinding. All my inlay is done via cold connections,
including pressfit and channel inlay. The inlay work im new at and
still learning the limitations of this technique, in the gallery all
the inlay is 18k yellow gold and fine silver.
Bracelets are machined out of flat bar or plate. Normally starting
with 3/16" stuff and machined to a final thickness of 0.150",
including the designwork and channels for inlay. Then hand bent to
final shape with the assistance of a home made 4 ton hydraulic press.
No heat is applied to piece before bending.
All my stone work is done with presets, until I learn some other
stone setting techniques that can be applied to stainless (ideas
other than tension set?) thats what im limited to.
Everything is hand finished via hours of sanding, both mechanical
and by hand, yes I buy sand paper by the reams...Frosted finishes are
done via a pencil bead blaster from Rio in a home made cabinet. I
really tend to say away from polish finishes on stainless, there is
just something sexxy about a sanded/sandblasted finish on this
The incorporation of unusual items into my pieces is just getting
started. Im playing with carbon fiber and exotic leathers. Right now
Im on this kick of doing chain work via ball and socket linkages with
very robust links. Most of my design work is definatley geared for
the masculine crowd, but a lot of women find the work attractive as
well. I try to keep my style simple and refined, making items that I
would personally want to wear bringing in design influences from my
As you can see, my techniques are a bit more on the industrial side,
but in a nutshell there you have it, how i do what i do. If you guys
have any questions about specifics, feel free to ask.
Apologize for the novel,