About the artist:
Bill Spear, aka WM Spear, is the self proclaimed “King ‘o Pins”. He lives in Juneau, Alaska and has been making his colorful pins and zipper pulls for over 35 years.
Find more information about Bill on his website
About the process:
The pins you see here have been made almost entirely by hand. The enamels themselves are glass, colored by metal oxides. Each color is fired separately so as not to bleed into another. Some of the designs have as many as 13 separate glazes and require an astounding amount of careful work for their completion.
The enamels are supported by copper, which is chosen for its ability to take platings as well as its malleability, stability and non-corrosive qualities. At Wm Spear Design, we use copper which has been recycled from the ship breaking industry, insuring that 80% of the pin by weight is recycled material.
After completion of the enameling process the enamels are ground down to the level of the underlying copper and carefully polished. The findings are soldered on. Where the design allows, our U.S. made, two piece safety pins are used and must be carefully measured and soldered into place. The pins are then electroplated in gold.