Black and White

Nell Chandler

I used to be a painter and printmaker and these influences seem to weave their way throughout all my jewelry.

I often use a sheet of brass like a printing plate. I draw on it with a permanent marker, which acts as a resist to the etchant ferric chloride. Instead of printing it like a printmaker, I flip it over onto a sheet of silver and hit it with a hammer to create a pictorial texture in the silver, which I will turn into a piece of jewelry.

Other times I draw pictures or shapes, and saw them out so that I can solder them onto the jewelry. After cleaning and applying a liver of sulfer patina, I inlay the pieces with resin. This technique tends to be narrative in nature.

I also might hand paint the metal with a variety of mediums; acrylic paint, pearlescent ink or powdered pigments. I inlay the little painting with a clear resin.

Another technique I use, is incorporating shrink film into my work. Shrink film is a sheet of plastic. I draw on it with Prismacolor® color pencils, put it in the oven and it shrinks down. I then set it in a bezel I have soldered to the metal.

But for this show I have decided to explore black and white. I have recently found myself once again profoundly curious about the opposites in our lives. The death of loved ones, the white and black of life and death. Amazed by all the things that go on in between. And all the colors that go on between black and white. The calm and chaos I found myself pondering.

To bring it together for our Whimsical Nature show I have once again chosen words and pictures-or hints of them.


I have been playing with white polymer clay. This time the etched plate is pressed into the clay to make a depression in the clay. After it has been baked I cover it with black acrylic paint and then remove the paint from the surface so the paint is left in the crevasses. It is also set in clear resin.

This group has some subtle color sprinkled in the end, that I have joined with the black and white, and I’m sure as time goes on there will be more experimenting.

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