EDMONTON, AB | Stuart Adams is an Edmontonian who has worked in silver since 1995 and uses a fusing method to create sterling silver “art jewelry” – one-of-a-kind pendants, pins, rings and bracelets.
Each work goes through a process of discovery whereby a composition is assembled from irregular silver fragments that he heats to melting (961°C, 1763°F). The surface becomes glassy like a mirror and the metal wants to collect into a shiny, mercury-like puddle; bubbles and textures appear almost instantly, edges melt and curl almost as quickly as the pieces fuse together. The shapes and textures are unique, and Adams often accents his works with 14k gold, or semi-precious stones such as Ammolite, amethyst or lapis lazuli.
Meet the Artist
Who do you make your work for?
I create work for people with a sense of individual style who are able to appreciate what I call one-of-a-kind “art-jewelry.”
What attracts you to silversmithing? What is the significance of the silver and gemstones you use?
I started silversmithing because I like to work with my hands, especially when my regular work as a communications consultant is cerebral, involving planning and writing. So, the studio is a place to go where “time stands still.” I like woodwork, but silver is more compact and practical (you can only make so many coffee table and store them, too). The gemstones are accents and present a challenge – I especially like Ammolite, which is Alberta’s official gemstone.
What are your artistic inspirations?
I have to say that I’m influenced by Edmonton’s abstract art scene; I like representational art as well, but my design process is centred on creating pleasing to the eye abstract compositions.
How are your pieces made and what obstacles do you face in production?
Mine is a two-step process. Composition is where I begin by arranging random pieces of silver into a pleasing formation that “speaks to me” – that’s important, and I have to have a good feeling about the basic design. I like to “repurpose” silver cuttings that are left from other projects. Once I have the design elements in place, I put the torch to them. I live at the melting point of silver and that’s where the texture and surface appear when silver shimmers and bubbles and flows – I’m not always in control and can get unforeseen responses. Sometimes, I start by creating a backdrop for a stone, or only later I will decide to add a stone or 14K gold accents.