Friday, July 15, 2016

John and Linda Whitney at Smith Galleries

Necklace, bracelet, and earrings by John & Linda Whitney
 New to Smith Galleries is the jewelry of John and Linda Whitney. The Whitneys have been metal-smiths for many years. They strive to maintain the goal to produce a smile on the patron's face by creating a jewelry work that is well crafted but very affordable. All of their work is made from beginning to end by using the traditional metal working technique of fabrication.
John & Linda Whitney
    When they started creating pieces in the early 1970's they were all sterling silver and gold, but now they have expanded and added red brass, copper, and nickel silver. These copper based alloys and polymer clay have added colors and oxidations that were never possible with traditional metals. One example of this is how they continue to experiment with polymer clay as a way to add color and surface design to jewelry. Only by using this clay can they make the light weight pieces with motifs inspired by African textiles and Aboriginal art of the South Seas.
    The cut pieces of metal are shaped over silver-smithing stakes or tree stumps with the use of forming and raising hammers. The surface is sometimes chased to add in a surface description or a corrugation. Then the work is assembled with silver solder and gas torches. Natural stones are used to add integrity to the designs.
    Their studio is a little like stepping back into the pre-industral age as they only use hand tools with the exceptions of the finishing equipment. They even use non-toxic chemicals, salt and vinegar to clean the metals surface.
    The Whitneys write, "Our ever bonding love for the plasticity of metal and the joy of creating with our hands is our daily inspiration."
    Smith Galleries is located upstairs at 1000 William Hilton Parkway in suite J11 of  The Village at Wexford. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. 800.272.3870