John Walter Carnes - Jewelry Gallery

John Carnes Designs
Toronto, Ontario. Canada

In 1996, I redirected my creative energies from music (I am a bassist,) to jewellery design and metalsmithing. Aside from some basic jewellery courses and specialized workshops, I consider myself "formally self taught" (a phrase coined by the bassist Jaco Pastorius).

The fierce individuality of Jazz greats Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and Betty Carter, the "less is more" approach of the great bassist Ron Carter, and the unmatched beauty of Chopin and Debussy inform and inspire my life and work every bit as much as anything in the visual arts. For me, the color, line and spontaneity of pattern and design inherent in creating Mokume Gane is analogous to the creation of music.

When I sit at the bench, however, my inspiration is derived mainly from the materials I work with. What can and cannot be asked of a given material defines the boundaries within which artistic decisions are made. Paradoxically, the more clearly one understands these limitations, the more limitless the creative possibilities become.

Materials: 24k, 22k, 18k, silver, shakudo, chalcedony Dimensions: 1" by 1"

Eye shaped chalcedony set in 22k on shakudo silver and 22k mokume gane ring with a 24k stripe and 18k liner.

Photo credit: John Carne

Marriage of Metals lidded container

Materials: copper, silver, white brass ebony
Dimensions: 3.5" by 2.5"

Copper, silver and white brass wire soldered into sheet in the pattern of a basketweave. Ebony handle, Japanese Niage patina.

Photo credit: John Carnes

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Wedding set

Materials: 18ky 14kw sterling aquamarine
Dimensions: 1" by 1" each

Mokume gane wedding and engagement rings in 18ky, 14kw and silver.

Photo credit: John Carnes

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