Alpha and Omega

This is one of a series of postings about enameling and art metalwork. It is based primarily on my work in the 1980s. I am not a master of these arts, but I hope this fact will be an advantage in communicating the basics, in simple terms, to readers who are not already familiar with them.  The series is not intended to instruct in procedures, but solely to impart an appreciation of the art forms involved.

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 Alpha and Omega is a work that justifies the “metal arts” part of the series title. It achieves its rich color without benefit of enamel. It features a star sapphire, a generous gift from our son, Philip, to his mother. I constructed the setting, a pendant consisting of several sheets of fine silver, each sawn to shape, and silver-soldered together as layers.

In a mineralogy class, I learned that the six-pointed star seen in the sapphire is actually the reflection of a consistent geometric pattern by which the atoms of the various elements are arranged within the crystal. Seeing this evidence of atomic properties seems almost to be an otherworldly experience.

To make the point that the atoms and we are in the same world, I began by enclosing the entire design within the symbols for Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Six silver rays, extensions of the star points, penetrate to the limits of that world.

Scanned-07 Sapphire