inspired metals : artist/designer paul deblassie

I had the privilege of visiting (and documenting) the studio of artist/designer Paul DeBlassie over the weekend. Paul's jewelry design reflects his background in sculpture. A lot his pieces are made of hand-forged titanium. The beauty of each piece is in the details. He's found ways to truly showcase unique characteristics of various metals and combine it with innovative design. The end result is both unique and beautiful.

In addition to his own work, Paul has taught Metal Fabrication at Parsons The New School for Design since 2006 as well as production assistant for Ted Meuhling (jewelry and decorative object designer) for the past 6 years.

Below are a few of my favourite pieces:

Tension set ring: Titanium and Herkimer diamond (transparent quartz)
My absolute favourite piece. GORGEOUS.

Tension set ring: Titanium and rough brown diamond

Trefoil Leaf earring in Sterling Silver

Crescent Earring in Sterling Silver
Photos above from Paul DeBlassie

The Titanium and Herkimer diamond ring shown with loose Herkimer diamonds
(click on the photos for an enlarged view)

Tension set ring with Apache tear rocks (small pieces of volcanic glass or obsidian)

I loved this amazing (one-of-a-kind) necklace and bracelet set made of hand forged titanium hollow "pods"

Another one of my faves: Fleur De Lys Earrings in Sterling Silver

The best part of my studio visit with Paul was getting a behind-the-scene's peek at his design process. I loved getting a chance to dig through his sketchbook, see the beginnings of certain pieces in sketch form and speak to him about his work. I instantly knew I had to photograph them together. It was beautiful seeing the end result next to images of their inception!

Garnet bud earrings in oxidized Sterling Silver

Fall leaf earrings in oxidized Sterling Silver

For someone like me who works behind a computer most days, getting to look at the workspace of someone who works with their hands all day was fascinating – even enviable! Below are photos of both the studio as well as the tools of the trade.

Thank you to Paul for an inspiring afternoon (and for letting me snoop around the studio).

All studio and still life photos by Catherine Mangosing © 2009