Wood Jewelry has been around from the beginning of time and now has been getting a new look with the use of modern technology. Before people only had natural resources such as wood, bone, teeth, leather, and stones to create jewelry. While now we have much more tools and technologies to create these wearable natural works of art. Once thought as tribal and native, wood jewelry is now seen as more contemporary and chic. This semester in my intro to metalsmithing class we worked on creating mostly jewelry, this got me thinking and I thought what about wood jewelry and and combining the two. So I started to look up wood jewelry and fell in love with some of these creative designers.
Anthony Roussel creates beautifully intricate jewelry that are works of art. Roussel bonds thin layers of wood such as birch, sycamore, ash, maple and walnut and then uses the latest technology in designing his jewelry. He works with 3D software, CNC routing and milling machines, laser cutting and or etching, and water jet cutting methods. He uses digital software to create his designs then laser cuts them to seal the edges. He then finishes them using eco friendly milk based paint.
Gustav Reyes has very sleek and contemporary designs such as this necklace titled: Tie Me Not Neckpiece.
Reyes makes this necklace out of either 3-4 different types of woods: walnut, maple, cherry and/or rockelm. Each piece of this necklace is hand formed using a cold bend process, and finished with natural beeswax. The cold bend process is where a piece of wood is put in water before it is put into a mold and bended to the desired shape. He also is using salvaged wood in his pieces, which is inspiring and eco-friendly. He uses wood from old instruments such as bass violins and xylophones to other things like baseball bats. He re-purposes salvaged wood from one form and function and transforms it into a new shape and function.
Good Wood NYC is a company started in 2007 that uses techniques such as engraving, hand sanding, and painting to create fashionable jewelry and accessories out of wood.
In researching I also found out about many different techniques there are in creating wood jewelry from carving, lathing, and even mixing it with different materials such as precious metals and stones. The plus side is if using salvaged wood or remnant pieces you are being more ecofriendly and helping the environment. The possibilities of materials are endless and I hope to start experimenting myself on creating some of my own unique wearable works of art.