Check out these stunning acrylic pieces made by jewelry artist Jennifer Merchant, who works from her home studio in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Merchant studied metalsmithing but began working with acrylics after she graduated from college. She prefers acrylics in part because they're inexpensive and in part because they're so versatile.
Merchant wants to change perceptions about acrylic jewelry so that people see it as having high value. She uses a sandwich technique, combining layers, colors and patterns to great effect.
Here's how Merchant describes her jewelry making process:
..."I scour art and fashion magazines for intriguing imagery, rip out pages I like and sandwich them between layers of acrylic sheet. Paper is bonded to acrylic using a clear resin, layering anywhere from 2-15 sheets of acrylic per piece....
"The jewelry forms are cut from slabs of layered acrylic using a scroll saw, then shaped with a disc sander and polished with rotary hand tool. I sculpt each form into a wearable work of art, transforming acrylic and paper into gorgeous pieces of jewelry."
To create additional interest, Merchant designs the pieces so that the viewer can see graphic patterns from one point of view and clear transparency from another. Also, she uses inlaid stones to add an appealing dimension to all of the pieces.
Besides acrylics, Merchant likes working with Corian because of its low cost, light weight and great stone-like quality, which you can see from the bangles below.
This is dazzling work, isn't it? You can see more at Jennifer Merchant Design.