filigree means anything, cast, handwrought, or otherwise
that has delicate swirls. The kind of filigree I do
is known as Russian filigree, or open back filigree.
build the frame from 18K gold or sterling silver wire
and make the tiny "filler" wires from fine
silver (.999% pure silver) for flexibility and contrast.
I shape and cut each individual wire to tension fit
it within the frame so that I can turn the piece over
with the wires still in place and solder from the
back. This method preserves the integrity of the wires'
is much filigree on the import/tourist market from
Mexico and Israel. What makes mine different, besides
the less traditional designs, is the way I use the
"filler" wires. In the faster methods a
whole section of frame is simply filled in with a
tightly packed coil and flooded with conventional
solder. For me, sculpting each section is like shading
in a line drawing. I don't plan out that part of the
design ahead of time. I just know how it's supposed
to feel in terms of negative and positive space and
then have fun making pieces to my own puzzle.
always accuse me of having infinite patience and great
eyesight to do this technique. I find it humorous
because I don't see myself as patient just determined.
I joke I do filigree more by feel than sight, particularly
in the wee hours of the night with an impending deadline.