About the Artist
Jewelry making has been my absolute passion for 36 years! I believe that I was born with an innate desire to create. If you were to ask my parents you would find that as a child, I was always captivated by art and delighted in discovering new processes.
There was something so enchanting about that first ring I made in my high school art class (thank-you Mr. Ponti!). It was silver and set with tiny beach pebbles. It seemed to me like a little piece of magic. The process was so intriguing. The notion that I could take my ideas and transform them into a lasting metal object began my love affair with metal arts.
Later came one of the gratifying and compelling aspects of my work; other people could actually find enjoyment from my pieces and wear them!
Sometimes my ideas come from what seems to be completely within myself and other times they come from images, shapes and forms I see in the world around me. Wherever I get my inspiration from, it is in the creating that I get the most satisfaction. To have my pieces purchased and loved by another is just icing on the cake.
My studio is in our home in Idaho. I have been working at home since my husband and I had our two boys, which has allowed me the freedom to be with them and set my own work hours.
Jim, Nancy, Tyler and Ryan
Description of work
I do all the design and creation of the jewelry pieces myself, from the first rough sketch to the finished piece of jewelry.
To create my jewelry, I usually start with a sketch. I then transfer the design to wax or metal depending on if the piece will be hand carved and lost wax cast, or fabricated. If the piece is cast, I carve exactly what I want from a block of wax using dremel type tools and specially re-shaped dentist tools. The wax is then encased in plaster in a metal flask, and melted out in a kiln. I melt the silver or gold in a ceramic crucible using a torch, and force it into the plaster mold using a centrifugal casting machine. I then quench the mold in water to break apart the plaster and retrieve the casting. The piece then needs to be finished by filing, assembling, soldering, sanding, setting the stones and polishing.
To make a duplicate of the first finished metal piece, I can make a rubber mold of it, inject it with wax, and do the lost wax casting process again. Many pieces can be cast together on a "tree" and then cut apart once cast into metal. They then all need the assembling and finishing again.
Many of my pieces are a combination of both casting and fabrication processes. For fabricated pieces, I use many different hand tools and processes to shape and texture the metal. Some of the tools I use are: files, drills, saws, torches, a buffing (and grinding) machine, sand blaster, vibratory tumbler, rolling mill, vises, stakes and hammers, drawplates, gravers, punches, stamps, and dapping tools.
I use 14 and 18 karat gold and sterling silver for my creations. I sometimes combine silver and gold together. I buy the metals from refiners and jewelry supply houses in the forms of casting grain, sheet and wire. The gemstones that I use in my pieces are purchased from gem dealers and cutters.
Born in and raised in Oregon.
B.A. in Fine Arts, specializing in jewelry and metalsmithing/ University of Oregon
Worked as a bench jeweler for 7 years for jewelry stores in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Portland, Oregon.
Set up my own studio at home in 1985.
Moved to Idaho in 1987.
I show my work in many galleries and shows in the West.
See the Gallery and Show listings.
Current List of Shows
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All designs copyrighted by Nancy Hoyt. All rights reserved