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Elizabeth Hake

Jewelry, Sculpture

286 Sanders Circle, Erie, CO, USA

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I work in both sculpture and jewelry, and have been making jewelry for 27 years just stepping out of my comfort zone in 2019 to begin working larger with steel. This new medium of wall sculpture has given my artistic passion a new outlet. When I began working bigger I did not realize the relationship of the two bodies of work to one another and how they inform one another is a pleasant surprise.  

My biggest inspirations are my materials. My work revolves around the possibilities and physical properties of steel for sculpture and sterling silver and gold for jewelry. I listen to my materials; while working on a piece I’m in a dialogue with it and will adjust my design and vision during the process to incorporate the materials natural tendencies. Instead of bending the metal to my will I am learning to let it do what is in its nature. Most often pieces start as an idea seen in my mind, then translated to drawings. Designs are most often solidified in sketches. In jewelry and sculpture pieces start with cutting out pieces in sheet metal. Then I bend wire or sheet metal in jewelry and round or rectangular stock in sculpture to create the linear elements. Before soldering or welding parts together I layer the different shapes on top of one another to make final decisions on placement or interaction of elements to one another. While creating each piece the understanding of recesses for patina and raised areas for bright surfaces is a key element to consider. These contrasts in dark and light areas accentuate shape and dimensionality also defining figure and ground. The little line of dark patina makes the bright edge next to it brighter. In both jewelry and sculpture all pieces are soldered or welded into place before the finishing can begin. Jewelry is finished with a flex shafts and grinding or sanding bits. Sculpture is finished with angle grinder and lap discs or a drill and wire wheel. Jewelry is then patinated with liver of sulphur then areas of contrast patina is removed leaving only in recesses. All my jewelry work is tumbled with stainless steel shot and lastly gemstones are set into place. The application of patina on sculpture is much more involved with many different kinds and colors of patina, sometimes flicked on or painted on. The use of a torch for a heat patina creates contrasting circles of color is incorporated sometimes. Once the patina is applied satisfactorily which takes more than one session then I go back over the edges to be brightened with the disc grinder, wire wheels and polishing wheels then a clear enamel is sprayed on once surfaces are dry.

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