Blog Archives

On the Bench

Just finished! This is a giant almost orange decahedron (12 sides) double cut buff top citrine in a sterling silver necklace. Oh, this gem is gorgeous! It has sparkle like you cannot believe. I can’t wait until I get some good photos of it! I’ll have a Storybook on this one as soon as I get some nice photos of the completed piece.

Orange citrine pendant

Giant orange citrine pendant

This one is just finished too. OK, I work on a bunch of things consecutively, so it doesn’t seem like I’m doing anything, then all of a sudden there’s a bunch of pieces done. These really pretty pieces have complex executions, so it takes awhile to complete them. This one will have a Storybook on how I made it too.


Drusy and garnet pendant

Handmade drusy and garnet pendant

This particular piece began as just sheet. I hand etched the Celtic pattern into it, cut it out, made the hinges, did the hinge pin catch assembly and set it with amethysts on both the top and the bottom. Everybody who got a sneak peak preview at the opening of the jewelry show was fascinated with the catch. (Thank you Jean Stark for teaching me that catch–elegant.) They were pulling it up, unfastening, putting it on, fastening the thing. Repeat. All the extra tight hinge allowances have now loosened to their proper tension. It didn’t go in that show, but will be going in another, and then off to a gallery.

Handmade Celtic bangle bracelet

Handmade hinged Celtic bracelt with amethysts


Fold forming

One of the techniques I use in some of my work is called fold forming. It can have soft folds that make metal look like fabric, sharp folds that cause the metal to stretch into three-dimensional forms, or a combination of folding and forging to make fantastical forms. The picture below is an example of a soft fold.
The leaves are an excellent example of fold forming because they have a central spine.

Here’s a leaf pendant made in an Art Nouveau style.

You can get great dimensional shape like these 3-D flowers and cups. These are more appropriate for sculpture, hollow ware and decorative elements.

This is a big leaf and a boat shape.

I like the fold forming techniques for their organic nature, but I lean more towards the score folding techniques because they’re more easily adapted to jewelry.

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

Great 3-D jewelry

For many years I’ve used several techniques to get jewelry that most people have never seen. Below are some example of sample forms made in copper and a fully developed form made into jewelry. Would you believe the top three forms began their lives as round disks?

Do you recognize the gold pendant from the form in the middle of the picture above?

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

Using handmade dies to make jewelry

Some of my work is made from dies that I cut. This allows me to get a 3-D form that’s lightweight. Here are some dies I’ve cut, along with copper samples.

Matrix dies

How they look finished
Made in silver.

Here is a pendant made from a handmade die. It is the amphora shape in the top photo, middle die.

Split matrix die
Even a simple shape can produce a variety of results.
 Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

What can I do with a broken chain?

Whether the chain is silver or gold, it’s not so much about the cost of the metal, as it is the cost for the labor. Gold chains are almost always worthwhile to repair because of their cost. With silver chains, you’ll have to weigh whether the cost of the repair is going to exceed the value of buying a new chain.
But still, a lot depends on the type of chain it is, and where the break is. If the break is close to the end where the fastener is, then usually it just needs a new tip or jump ring soldered on, and it’s only a smidgen shorter than it was. It it’s a very fine chain, such as a triple rope, and the break is more towards the middle, then it takes time to reweave the links and repair them. It can be very labor intensive and costly.
Sometimes actually fusing the broken area of the chain works and is hardly noticeable. Another option you might consider is making a shorter chain for a young child or teenager, since their necks are smaller than adults. One or more bracelets can be made out of the broken chain, if the type of chain is suitable for a bracelet.                             
You can always walk into a jewelry store that does repairs and ask what your options are. The jeweler will be happy to help you with your question.

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

What kind of jewelry do I make?

When looking at various shades of white snow for a good deal of the year, I’m eager to use stones with lots of color and interesting patterns.
Okay, actually I’m a girl that likes shimmer, shine, glitzy, COLOR! and usually big jewelry.
Then again, sometimes I like to make things that are delicate and lacy, like filigree.

Many of my pieces are simple, but bold in scale.

And some are just, “How did she do that? How does that work exactly?”

Whatever I make is going to get noticed, so it’s not for the faint of heart. You can check out more information at my website Metals and Gems and current pieces at Jazzn Jewelry Etsy shop.

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak