"Crypt of Wanton Riches"
"Crypt of Wanton Riches" - Detail with open gates.
"Crypt of Wanton Riches" - Rear of piece.
This sculptural belt buck features a cast bronze archway with functional hinged sterling silver gates. The gates open to reveal 27 bead-set natural yellow sapphires and 10 bead-set cognac diamonds scattered among the chaotic bronze forms. This piece was an absolute joy to work on, as I was able to implement my expanding stone-setting capabilities gained through working for years as a traditional bench jeweler in service of my own creative and artistic vision. Also, I was finally able to utilize a bronze belt buckle casting from several years ago that was never properly finished, with the sprues still evident from the casting process and the back not properly ground down and polished. The sterling silver gates were cast from scale architectural model parts several years ago, and the result was an incomplete casting due to the thin nature of the vertical bar elements. This left me in the strange position of absolutely loving the imperfections within the castings, but being creatively paralyzed about how best to use the castings in a piece knowing full well that I likely could not achieve such a delicate balance of imperfection again even if I tried. Once again, time and experience has proven to be the greatest mediator of technical skill and creative vision.