I think it is really important to constantly try to learn new things. Could just be my ADHD. But, I’m too old for medications, so I take on new things to learn to keep my mind freed-up from boredom.
I just don’t like doing anything the same, more than once, or twice. And, I’ve been trying to find ways to make a niche for myself in the vast internet woodworking world. To that end, I try unique crafts, and do cross-discipline, mixed-media work, in the hopes that my work is unique enough to find customers to make this little one-man studio shop pay it’s bills.
So, I’ve been wanting to do silversmithing for about 30 years, and finally made time to do that this Spring. The idea I have is to bring silver work into my Custom Knife ,Walking Cane, Powder Horns, and Furniture work. I still don’t know where any of it will take me, but I am enjoying the thought of a journey with an unknown destination.
I’ve taken many journeys in the past with unknown destinations, and all have proven to develop my character, and have taken me places I would not have planned before hand to go, or success and achievements I could not have envisioned at the beginning. Some folks don’t like mysteries in life, but I have a constant faith in something I can’t talk about on LJ anymore. That faith has brought me through many scary things..
So far, I’ve made a couple of simple finger rings with scrimshaw insets, and a necklace with antler and green rock, and now this cane handle cap, and I’m working on a silver banding for a powder horn, which I think will really make my powder horn work stand out from the crowd. When I get that project finished, I’ll post it, but I’m a couple of class sessions from doing that at this point.
My silver projects have started to be interesting to me, and I have way more ideas than time to do them. I don’t anticipate that I will make jewelry, but rather cross-discipline, mixed media work in the future. But who knows?
These photos are of my first walking cane handle cap. It was sort of difficult work, requiring me to manipulate the silver banding with a hammer, to stretch and shrink the band just perfectly to fit the oval, mishapened, tapered, antler shape. I learned a lot working the material to my will though, so I’m glad I tried the project.
The handle is made of Kansas Elk shed antler, and the end cap material is legal pre-ban Elephant Ivory. The cap is hand-wrought sterling silver, with a fine-silver straight bezel. Soon, I will mount this handle on a walking cane shaft, and scrimshaw some artwork on the handle ivory cap.
If you are interested in this handle being mounted on a cane for you, let me know soon, so that I can work with you to do the scrimshaw artwork you want, and choose the right style cane shaft for you.
thanks for reading,
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com