Trender: Jeweler Patrick McMillan
Monday, February 28, 2011
Today we're featuring Patrick McMillan of McMillan Metals, a master metalsmith, artost and community volunteer who's been around the world and chooses the Renaissance City to call home.
1. What was your inspiration for launching the line?
There were many sources of inspiration for the current work I have listed in my store. For starters, I find a lot of beauty in the traditional techniques of silversmithing and blacksmithing. When making my fine silver rings, I use no solder and every ring is hand forged and stretched to size. After this process, I often place rivets along the surface to pin parts together or to serve as decoration. In the end, my rings will always have a combination of hammered and mirror finishes intended to reflect their traditional craftsmanship.
My animal pieces stem from previous exhibition work. There are many elements of my gallery pieces I find quite charming on their own. I had many casting of the cows, horses and lions made for an exhibition last year but, before they were assembled into their corresponding piece, I saw they had different potential uses. Their present shapes led me to create the ‘Double Head” pieces.
Recycle-a-Bike and donate 10% of my sales of these ring and any other bike jewelry to support their programs.
2. What is the range of materials you work with?
For the most part, I work in Sterling silver and bronze for my production pieces. In the past, I have made work using various types of plastics, steel, aluminum, and copper. For custom pieces, I work with 14k and 18k gold and semi precious stones.
3. How do you describe your pieces?
4. Tell us about your adventure in jewelry making, and your experience with commerce sites like Esty...
I am trying to find a balance between exhibiting in galleries, creating custom work for individuals, and generating a production line of work to sell at fairs. Since my move to Providence two years ago I have worked on building my studio up to support this multi-faceted jewelry business. As of right now, I have work at Queen of Hearts in downtown Providence and the Royal Gallery on Atwells Avenue.
Online shops like Etsy are quite helpful in selling my production work and creating an online presence to help people fine me through search engines. Etsy in particular, has also given me the chance to pick up some custom work through the Alchemy portion of the site.
5. Finally, tell us a little about yourself- where you're from, where you learned your craft?
Follow Patrick McMillan on Facebook.
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