The Ponderosa Pine

When I first moved to Arizona, I lived in Flagstaff in the northern part of the state. The Flagstaff landscape is not what most people think of when they imagine Arizona. Flagstaff is located at 7000' elevation at the foot of the San Francisco peaks in the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the world. It is beautiful there. I grew to truly love it, especially after I spent a summer as a crew leader for a plant survey crew where we spent 40 hours a week hiking through the Coconino National Forest. 

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ponderosa pines in the coconino national forest flagstaff

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I made the Ponderosa Night Sky cuff as an ode to this region. It was selected by a jury to be part of the Coconino Center for the Arts "It's Elemental" show in 2017. It weighs in at over 3 ounces of recycled sterling and took hours of planning and work. I cut out and textured the ponderosa first, then cut and textured the solid sheet of silver that is the band. There were many filing and sanding steps in between. It took quite a bit of thinking to figure out how to set up and solder the two pieces together. I don't typically solder such large things, so I had to rig a few soldering blocks together to create a big enough surface. 

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soldering station for a big cuff

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To my relief it came out better than I could have expected! Shaping this massive cuff was a beast, I'll admit. Sometimes silversmithing really is an arm workout. The last thing I did was to set one single black sapphire above the tree. One little star to represent the glorious night sky, which Flagstaff is known for.

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black sapphire flush set stone in large silver cuff

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It is the most substantial piece of jewelry I have ever made and one I am extremely proud of it. You can see the whole gallery of photos of this cuff and purchasing information here

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ponderosa night sky cuff in sterling silver

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