RITVALIISA OJANEN - Jewelry Design
 
 
Ritvaliisa Ojanen

My intricately woven bracelets feature subtle combinations of fresh water pearls and glass seed beads. My use of color is a sophisticated mix of shades with a touch of contrast, texture and sparkle. Each bracelet is finished with a unique handmade fine silver (Precious Metal Clay) button that is both the perfect closure and the perfect accent. In addition to the beautiful beaded bracelets, I make fine silver earrings and pendants.

I grew up in Finland. I feel my design sensibilities have their roots in the clean lines and spare use of embellishments of Finnish design. New jewelry ideas emerge on my worktable as Iím inspired by different combinations of materials, color and texture. My stunning flat ribbon like bracelets and the three dimensional pearl ďcaterpillarĒ designs are constructed using various combinations of off loom seed bead weaving and stringing techniques. My pieces are always one of a kind, meticulously constructed and a joy to wear every day and on special occasions.

After earning a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, I worked as a clay artist for several years, exhibiting in local and national galleries and shows. I also hold a Certificate degree in graphic design from UMass Lowell and have worked as a freelance graphic designer. Iím self taught in beading techniques and I feel my background in ceramics lends itself well to the Precious Metal Clay work. I am a Certified PMC artist and have been creating mixed media jewelry for the past ten years. Iím a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen. My work can be found in fine craft galleries in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Materials used in the jewelry:

A thousand and one shades and finishes of glass seed beads are available to me to create my woven bracelets and other jewelry. I choose seed beads from Miyuki (Japan), Czech fire polished beads, natural semiprecious stones, and cultivated fresh water pearls. Stringing materials are different types of nylon thread and I employ various off loom bead weaving techniques.


I use PMC (Precious Metal Clay) to create closures, pendants and some earring styles. PMC is clay like material consisting of fine particles of silver, organic binder and water. After kiln firing, it is .999 pure silver. I incorporate textures found in nature in the surface of the silver work. I employ hand construction techniques and also use found objects to make press molds with which I create silver buttons and beads. I finish the silver with an applied patina that coordinates with colors of the beads and pearls. Earrings have sterling silver wires. Silver can be cleaned with a polishing cloth.


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