Employing a contemporary technique of texturing the surface of iron through chasing or etching, the surface is fused with high karat gold. Traditional techniques of metal forming are then employed to shape and form.
In Ronan’s work, the strength and lightness of iron provide a beautiful contrast to the lush richness of 20k and 18k gold. Ronan uses traditional techniques to fabricate each piece, etching away background areas or hand chasing to create texture and rhythm. She mixes alloys in a crucible with a torch, rolls them into sheets, and then applies them to the surface by fusing. The result is a piece of wearable art of unique richness and quiet beauty.
The rawness of steel contrasting with the elegance of high karat gold is mesmerizing! Some pieces of the collection are hand chased with hammer and steel punch to create patterns, or the patterns are etched.
Etching is an interesting process that allows the artist to draw directly onto the metal with a resist, then submerge it into a tank of highly concentrated salt. An electrical current of positive charge is attached to the patterned sheet while a steel plate facing it is charged with a negative current. Steel not protected by the resist is removed and goes into solution. The bath is checked every 15 minutes and sludge from the surface is gently brushed away with a feather, then returned to the tank until the desired affect is achieved.
24K Gold is melted in a crucible with the addition of small amounts of fine silver and copper to create just the right alloy. The metal is rolled out into sheet, cut into small pallions then fused to the surface of the steel through high heat. The patterned sheet becomes the material from which jewelry is created through traditional jewelry techniques. Many finished pieces are one of a kind, a few of the designs are limited production.
All completed pieces are then sealed with an industrial grade wax to prevent further oxidation.
How to Maintain your Steel Jewelry
Maintain your piece by storing in a dry place. Your piece is coated with an industrial wax designed for steel and should remain beautiful for many years of enjoyment.