Benicia jewelry designer and maker Steven Stark and his wife, artist and bee keeper Angela Fortain, will demonstrate silver casting at the Lindsay Art Glass studio during the Art Walk in downtown Benicia on Saturday, October 13.
Stark, a graduate of California College of Arts, will use cuttlefish bones to create molds and will then cast sterling silver jewelry. Sterling silver is a silver alloy consisting of approximately 93 percent silver and 7 percent copper.
The cuttlefish bones have a lot of ridges that add texture and a design element to each creation.
Besides making Stark helps maintain the silver at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church. Stark was raised Catholic so he has a special appreciation for the chalices and candelabra and especially for the aspergillum. “That thing is probably over 100 years old,” said Stark. “Every time I polish it I’m thinking this thing has probably buried half of Benicia.”
During a funeral ceremony, a priest will use an aspergillum to sprinkle holy water onto the casket of the deceased.
Stark’s studio is well stocked with well used vintage jewelers tools he inherited from his grandfather who was also made and repaired jewelry. His daughter has a work bench in the studio too and according to the parents, loves to cast trinkets.
“You really don’t have to encourage a kid very much to use a torch,” said Stark. “It’s an easy sell.”
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