The Year of the Compass was a project that I completed in 2012 that involved designing and fabricating a new piece of jewelry for every week of the year. The project pushed the boundaries of my creative abilities and, with a limited working time of seven days per piece, forced an element of time management. The project consists of a series of fifty-two consecutive pieces that are compartmentalized into twelve sets. The individual sets range from as few as one piece to as many as twelve and each set explores a common sub-theme. The individual pieces in each sub-theme tell their own story and the common threads ultimately connect the beginning of the series to the end. Each piece in the series is stamped or marked with the date range for the week it was created. The stamps or marks are often related to the story of the piece and include arabic numerals, roman numerals, binary numbers, hash marks, and ancient or cryptic symbols.
Reflections of my emotional and psychological journey can be found in the series and are representative of my experiences leading up to this project, as well as my feelings as the project progressed. The stories and descriptions explore my thoughts and ideas on creation, mortality, confidence, guidance, secrecy, fate, morality, and redemption. References used in the series include literature, song writing, spirituality, historical tracts, astronomy, mythology, astrology, geography, mariner’s lore, maritime history, legends, mythology, and scientific fact.
All of the pieces in the Year of the Compass series have been hand fabricated using traditional jewelry materials such as copper, sterling silver, fine silver, vitreous enamel, and precious and semi-precious gems. Exotic materials such as rare earth magnets, optical glass lenses, polypropylene, beach glass, and natural stone were also incorporated. The techniques and processes used to create this series include coppersmithing, silversmithing, plique-à-jour enameling, salt-water etching, cold connections, and traditional finishing and patination.