INFORMATION ABOUT VARIOUS ASPECTS OF MY FINE JEWELRY
THE MEZUZAH & IT’S MEANING
“As a Silversmith, the most gratifying work I can be asked to create is a commission for a customized piece of major importance. The Mezuzah is that piece.
For those that don’t know what a Mezuzah is, this is a very good explanation I found on the internet.
On the right doorpost of almost every Jewish home you will find a small box or case positioned on a slight angle. This box serves as a reminder to live by God’s commandments.
The Mezuzah is the piece of parchment inside this case. On this parchment are two chapters from the Torah written in Hebrew, by hand, by a “scribe” in Israel according to certain rules and traditions. This parchment is called a “kosher scroll”. The parchment is rolled into a scroll, wrapped in paper or plastic, inserted into the case, and affixed to the doorpost.
In essence, the Mezuzah is a reminder to live a spiritual and/or religious life. It’s a reminder to think about God. It’s a reminder to connect with God. The mezuzah is a bit like God’s writing on the wall saying, “Hey, remember me and my teachings on your way out into the world and your way back into your home. Remember…as you pass from room to room in your home.” “
1. “ALBERT’S DIAMOND MEZUZAH” housing a hand-written “Kosher Scroll” from Israel in Sterling & Fine Silvers
2. “GARDEN OF LIFE MEZUZAH” In Sterling & Fine Silvers with Brushed Finish
3. “GARDEN OF LIFE MEZUZAH” & Hand-Scribed “Kosher Scroll” from Israel – The top end cap is removable to allow the “Kosher Scroll” to be replaced whenever it is recommended.
4. Lezlie Caryn Design rough sketches & Fabrication Plan
5. Lezlie Caryn Designs Rough Sketches & Fabrication Plan
6. Audrey enjoying her custom made Mezuzah
“PAWS OF LIFE” CUSTOM MEZUZAH IN STERLING SILVER FOR “THE GRACE FARM SENIOR PUG SANCTUARY”
The Meaning of My Design – “The heart at bottom symbolizes the love Andrea & David give to their animals here on earth on their farm. The paw prints in movement upward towards the sun are their Pugs living a full and complete life, moving free and experiencing grass under their feet on the farm and the warmth of the sun on their faces. They are walking towards the “Chai”, which is the Hebrew symbol meaning “long life”. The heart above the “Chai” are all the precious Pugs that have crossed Rainbow Bridge taking Andrea & David’s love with them, running and playing freely, happy and in good health once again on the other side. The top of the Mezuzah has to be removable so the handwritten “kosher scroll”, the blessing, can be inserted inside the Sterling Silver case. Twisted links on top and bottom enable the Mezuzah to be affixed to the doorway. The Mezuzah now has it’s intended meaning and will come full circle with it’s blessing once it is affixed to Andrea & David’s doorway.”
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO “EMPIRES”
Just as in our world their are differences in cultures, countries and landscapes. In Lezlie Caryn’s world, there are differences in the “Empires”, specifically the Woman’s “Empire” Necklace vs. the Men’s “300 Empire” Neck Chain. Have a look.
* The Woman’s “Empire Hand-Woven Necklace” in Sterling Silver (Right) is a graduated necklace going from larger Byzantine units front and center, to gradually smaller woven units going up both sides. The smallest units of the weave being at the Clasp. Notice only TWO rings making the connection between the units.
* The Men’s “300 Empire Hand-Woven Neck Chain” in Stainless Steel (Left) is in the same Byzantine weave as the Women’s chain, with no graduation. The same bold thickness runs the entire length of the chain. However, notice that there are THREE rings connecting the units to each other here… making that the main difference between these two epic “Empire” chains.
ANATOMY OF A WEAVE
In answer to questions I get about how I weave a piece of jewelry, the simple answer is “ORAAT”, which translated means “One Ring At A Time”. A piece of my hand-woven jewelry starts out with hundreds and hundreds of small to very tiny sterling silver rings, which is my precious metal of choice.
Once I have figured out the size or sizes of rings I feel will suit each weave to perfection, and once I have studied and figured out the solution to the puzzle of each weave, it’s time to get the pliers out, put the magnifiers on and get weaving.
The pictures show one particular weave’s inner core, but it’s really the outside of the weave that creates the pattern that makes sense of it all. With pliers as my hands, I pick up One Ring At A Time (ORAAT) and weave it through the maze of rings before it, which obviously is different for each particular pattern. My brain becomes a weave library of sorts. That’s the short answer!
ABOUT THIS SPECTACULAR CLASSICAL LOOP-IN-LOOP HAND-WOVEN CHAIN
“This completely hand-woven chain has been traced back to the Bronze Age through to the Middle Ages. The samples that have survived through the ages, typically made in high karat gold, are seen in museums all over the world. The chain you see here was hand fabricated today using the same exact process as our ancestors.
THE PROCESS – I start off with fine silver wire that is hand coiled and cut into individual rings of the exact same size. Hundreds of rings are carefully torch fused one by one, creating a secure closure to each. Each ring is then stretched with pliers, by hand, into the desired shape for weaving, making sure each ring is stretched to the exact shape.
THE WEAVING – The time consuming weaving process of these hundreds of rings then begins with a deliberate even hand, meticulously criss-crossing these rings until a shorter length of chain than desired is achieved. At this point, the chain is a bit stiff. To the wooden draw plate we go, carefully pulling and stretching the chain to the length and width needed. Unfortunately, if one link was improperly fused or stretched past it’s limit and breaks, the chain must then be taken apart at the break and mended with the utmost care and patience. Obviously, careful consideration and respect is given during each step in the process of this chain. The chain is now completely flexible.
THE FINDINGS – Not finished yet. The appropriate end caps have to be fabricated and attached so the clasp can be made and added.
THE FINISH – Shiny or Oxidized? If the look of this chain is to be bright and shiny, a beautiful polish is done here for that effect. If oxidation, or a darker finish is desired, it would be done at this point with a polishing afterward to highlight the high points of the metal, keeping the recesses darker. This creates a more tonal appearance.
IT’S COMPLETE – The long process of making this chain is now complete and will sit perfectly around the neck. It is then beautifully boxed for my client and ready to wear.”
THE DIFFERENCE IN THE “LOOK” OF STERLING SILVER VS. JEWELRY GRADE STAINLESS STEEL
The differences between Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel are many. Their weight is dramatic. The feel is apparent. Their metal make up is like day and night, and that’s just the beginning of what you don’t see. What about the difference in what you do see? See for yourself!
* Bright Sterling Silver (Left) – Whiter and Brighter, with a Cool, Rich Tone;
* Bright Stainless Steel (Right) – Deeper and Warmer in color, with Rich, Beautiful “Grayish” Tone
Either one of these metals can be oxidized (darkened or antiqued) to change their look or left bright or given a brushed look to change the original finish. You can’t go wrong with either metal, or either chain!
(Left) “The Empire Hand-Woven Necklace” (Sterling Silver)
(Right) – “The 300 Empire Hand-Woven Men’s Neck Chain” (Stainless Steel)
18″ Sterling Silver Gemstone Collar – Repurposed, Refurbished & Reworked
I was commissioned by my client to somehow repurpose, refurbish and rework her 18″, 1970’s Sterling Silver Gemstone Collar possibly into a bracelet. She had not worn the collar since shortly after she purchased it, and did not plan on wearing it as a collar now or at all. So it sat in the dresser drawer all this time.
When I received the collar it was so black, dull and tarnished that I had my doubts that it could ever come back to life as anything really beautiful or worth wearing! She told me that she had paid a substantial amount of money back in the day, and I could see that the gemstones, Blue Topaz, Peridot & Citrine, were of very nice quality, so I was excited to see what I could do to transform this collar.
18″ 1970’s Sterling Silver Gemstone Collar – Repurposed, Refurbished & Reworked
The first thing I did was professionally polish the piece to see what, if anything, was worth doing to it. I had to see what the heck I was working with. I was blown away at how this dull piece cleaned up. It was gorgeous!!! OK, I was excited to get going on this piece.
- I shortened the 18″ collar to make a bracelet as my client requested, fabricating new, beautiful closures
- I created a smart, clean, simple Sterling Silver, Citrine Pendant which I attached to a dainty Sterling Box Chain.
- I created Sterling Silver 2 Ring Lever Back Earrings using the same elements of the bracelet and pendant design. However, for the stones I used Swarovski Briolettes for more casual and even daily wear, and to prevent all the pieces from being too “Matchy, Matchy”.
I loved transforming this 1970’s Sterling Collar into a bracelet that my client will wear in years to come. Custom work and designs are always welcome