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Alex In The Studio

Welcome to the heart of Alex a Mano!  I am Alex and I love being in my studio.  Designing and handcrafting jewelry is my biggest joy and passion.  Oh, did I mention that I love tools? :)  Many hand tools at my shop have a history from a previous owner. I love being part of their ongoing story and bringing designs to life with them.

Here are some pictures of work in action at the Alex a Mano studio:

Adding a cutout feature to a pair of earrings:

One important tool to keep this metalsmith going is my mate (pronounced ma-tay).  I grew up in Argentina where mate is enjoyed by many throughout the day.  The handmade wooden cup or gourd holds the tea-like yerba (pronounced Jur-ba) leaves and sugar for those who prefer.  Put leaves in the cup, pour in hot water, insert the metal straw (bombilla) sip and repeat!. The mate ritual is symbolic of community and friendship as it is often shared amongst family and friends. The bombillas are typically handmade and come in a wide variety of styles.  I have always loved the artistry and variety of each and have been collecting them for years!

Mates:

         

Bombillas:
 

Here are some other action shots from the studio:

Bringing the heat at the soldering station:


 Post soldering hand filing:

 Further surface refining with the flex-shaft:

 Shaping a ring on a mandrel:

 Texturing pieces at the anvil:

And when I need a creativity recharge I enliven the studio spirit with an ancient incense called sage stick.  This bundle of sage is lit, blown out and then waved around the studio with a feather to cleanse the air of negative ions.  It works outside the studio as well! :)

Little succulent plants collection bring some green and life into the studio: 
 

Some vintage flea-market found objects I like to re-purpose and display, like old irons used as book-ends and antique brick molds where I store my supplies.