Friday, January 14, 2011


It's Thing a Week time again! This is week number two, and let me say, it is a good week.

I let my THAW week 2 entry and my entry for a challenge organized by Etsy team Aspiring Metalsmiths overlap, since two challenging items in one week plus a full time day job is a bit much.

I said in my previous post on THAW that I wanted to challenge myself in both technique and design in my entries. And here I said that I wanted to learn riveting. So voila and check! Sometimes you haven't used certain techniques and you think 'I can't' and 'I don't know how' but then you just try it and.. succeed. I love it when it's like that (believe me, not always the case).

The Aspiring Metalsmiths challenge is described here. It asks of us to explore our roots and translate that into a piece of jewelry. I'm a molecular biologist and work with genes, so it was only natural that instead of thinking of my own Dutch and Romanian roots I thought a little further back, and of our evolution into Homo sapiens.

It is not easy to identify what makes us human. Many qualities that we possess have later been found to exist in other species as well. One important quality that is believed to have meant a lot for the development of humanity is speech. A mutation that happened a few hundred thousand years ago in the fox2p gene may be crucial for the development of speech in humans.

The cuff I made had part of the DNA sequence of the human fox2p gene (including the mutation) on the inside. I riveted a thin silver plate to the outside of the cuff and stamped it with our branch of the evolutionary tree, starting with eukaryotes and ending in Homo, our species.

I really enjoyed making something where I could use my scientific background. Maybe there will be other projects like these..


  1. Wow Esme. That is really cool. Very technical. You did a great job on the riveting and stamping.

  2. I love the cuff! What a unique and creative take on the challenge. And All that stamping!

  3. Have I told you how much I love this?! You did a beautiful job on it.

  4. I told you, when you showed us the photo...I am SO impressed! You did an incredible job!!

  5. LOVE this! Well done! And in my house that is the highest compliment!

  6. Seriously Esme, this cuff is fabulous!! Nice riveting, BTW...just perfect