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Barbara Fernald

"I notice the edges and angles of my surroundings as often as I notice light and color. The lines of an incidental placement of tools can inspire my next piece of work. My designs are influenced by the random simplicity of life on a small island, as well as my sense humor and the latest techniques I have learned. I make jewelry because it is the most fun way I know to employ myself. I love working with my hands and having a wearable outlet for my art. Beads play a large part in my designs. I like to create my own beads and components, or use pieces that are handmade by others, before I add any commercial findings to my work.

Much of my work is of fine silver that starts out as Precious Metal Clay (PMC). This is metal made pliable by suspending microscopic particles of fine silver in a water-based organic binder. When fired in a kiln at 1650°f, the binder burns away allowing the silver particles to sinter. The result is a solid piece of pure silver with all the shape and surface texture of the original clay design. With PMC, and now with copper and bronze clays I am able to create my own unique beads and components with a maximum amount of texture and a minimum amount soldering."

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