About Janine Gibbons:
Janine Gibbons, the creator and designer of Janine Gibbons Designs, draws inspiration for her handcrafted jewelry from her island home in Southeastern Alaska. She incorporates the colors that surround her into the pieces that she creates. Through the ancient art of enameling, she carefully handcrafts each and every piece.
Janine graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle as well as Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. In trying to find herself, she has studied everything from education to philosophy to biology to religion but finally settled upon what she has been doing for her entire life, which is art. Home for Janine has always been in creating things with her hands and she has been designing and producing jewelry since 2002.
How the jewelry is made:
Janine Gibbons Designs jewelry is handmade from beginning to end with the exception of the chain used in many of her designs. Each finding starts as a long piece of round sterling silver, brass or copper and then Janine starts cutting, hammering, soldering and wrapping.
To start the process of enameling, from a sheet of copper, the forms are cut out, sanded, molded and drilled and then sanded one more additional time to remove any oils or dirt from the metal. Enamel will not adhere to residues left on the metal. The final product of the enameling process is a beautiful glass piece but it starts out as a fine powder that must be sifted on to the form. Each application of color is fired in a kiln at 1500 F. Each piece of enameling has a counter enamel. Counter enamel is the enamel that is put on the back-side of each piece to give the metal form and additional strength. Generally there is one coat of enamel on the back side and three coats of enamel on the front. Each coat represents 3 to 4 minutes of elapsed time in the kiln. The base metal for the enameled earring part is copper. Due to the lengthy process, each piece of variegated enamels is one-of-a-kind and there are variations in each batch.