Claudio Lopez, Athena Silversmith Designer Exhibits At East Austin Studio Tour
I am among the talented artists who will exhibit Nov. 14 and 15 and Nov. 21 and 22 at the Victory Grill, 1104 E 11th Street, Austin during the East Austin Studio Tour. My creations are made of silver and copper and 98% of them are crafted by hand. I use three methods which include recycled silver jewelry, free-form jewelry and traditional jewelry.
I conscientiously use recycled silver to avoid sending it to the laboratory where metals are refined, thereby, avoiding, as in many cases in silver recycling, the contamination of the environment, I like to work with recycled silver because I create interesting forms and textures when I partially melt the diverse pieces of silver.
Using recycled silver means that I must separate all of the small pieces of silver that I have leftover when I make other pieces of jewelry and I keep them so that they do not mix with the rest of the metals. This way I can guarantee that my jewelry is made of recycled silver and has the minimum quality for sterling silver of .925.
I make free-form jewelry when I recycle the "new" pieces that come out of metals that I buy from the companies that sell jewelry supplies. When I melt the two metals to join them and form one piece, the metals tend to become deformed with the heat. In this case, the exercise consists, on many occasions, of partially melting the metals by trying to conserve the forms that I like as much as possible. I don't want to destroy the original form but in this exercise there are many surprises with the new forms and, on occasions, I screw up a piece that I had liked previously.
A large part of my jewelry is made in the traditional manner, cutting and joining new pieces of silver with desired forms through soldering or the use of whatever other method to join the metal. This permits me a totally controlled way to obtain the forms that I want. I invite your to see my designs at the East Austin Studio Tour or at www.athenasilversmith.com.