1763

Molten silver photo of metal soft
Every piece is made from raw materials from alloys that I create in my studio

1763 is the temperature that silver melts. Molten silver can be poured into moulds and formed into castings or ingots. At 1763 degrees silver changes from a solid to liquid, from something relatively hard to something that can flow.

1763 is also a somewhat relevant year. As his silversmithing sales lagged, Paul Revere turned to engraving, drawing cartoons, and even dentistry (one can still hear him on his fateful ride upon seeing the British troops movements screaming, “the fillings are coming”). In 1763 alarmed by the actions of the British empire, Paul began to organize other artisan and craftsmen to protest parliament and the crown. Later, he would further venture into politics and engrave the famous depiction of the Boston Massacre.

Artists and art have always had a role on influencing political movements. Art, by its very nature, challenges the status quo by allowing free subjective expression. To the extent that this is true, all art is therefore potentially political in nature.

Trust me. I am a designer

Dan Balk Jewelry Silver Ring with a triangle amethyst and pearls.
Dan Balk Jewelry Sterling Silver Square Ring

Traditionally, rings are round in shape. However, when you examine the human finger you notice that they are not, in fact, round. Our wonderful fingers, which allow us to perform so may tasks- from eating food to expressing our feelings toward the driver who just cut us off, are rounded at the top and bottom and somewhat flat on the sides.

Rings designed with the finger’s anatomy in mind are far more comfortable to wear. They also reduce swelling by allowing for venous return from the finger.

There are other advantages to alternatively shaped rings. Round rings, when set with gemstones on top, become unbalanced and ‘roll’ on the finger. This change of position of the gemstone in relationship to the finger is not only annoying and uncomfortable, but changes the presentation of the gemstone diminishing the overall look of the stone.

Rings should be designed for comfort and style. If the ring is uncomfortable and restricts blood flow it will not be worn. If the jewelry is boring, and doesn’t reflect the wearers personal aesthetic, it wont be worn.

Life is to short for boring uncomfortable jewelry.  Trust me. I am a designer…

My current identity

Dan Balk designer goldsmith working at his jewelers bench
Dan Balk working in his studio at his jewelers bench.

I am a goldsmith, designer, artist, teacher, and father. I design and fabricate every piece of jewelry from raw materials in my studio in Tampa, Florida. Each piece is one of a kind, designed by me. I create my own sterling silver, 18K, and 14K alloys that I fashion, mill, forge, fuse, and braze into miniature sculptures for personal adornment. I select and set each stone, often performing my own lapidary work on select stones. I have complete contact and artistic connection with each piece of fine art jewelry from concept to collection.

Welcome

Just getting this blog set up. I am an artist, goldsmith, and designer. I enjoy working with noble metals like gold and silver. I like designing with precious gemstones. There is a connection between artists and the materials they choose to work with. It is humbling to work with these geological wonders that have been formed by the earth over millions of years….