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I've been a metalsmith since 1986 when I started my business in Manhattan. Originally I trained as a ballet dancer, but being 5'9" by the time I was twelve, I was never selected for Nutcracker. To make up for this I made Nutcracker characters in copper for years, but the mice and rats were always the most popular.
Over time, the mice have been joined by more creatures, domestic, woodland, and arctic, and mythological ones too, like the Griffin and Unicorn, which serve double duty as tree toppers or proudly displayed anywhere on a hook.
The copper pieces are either one of a kind or production. The one of a kind pieces are hand drawn, then hand cut with a jewellers saw, filed, and hammered into a wooden stump and an anvil into shape. The blades on my saw are so fine, it is like being able to cut with a hair. This detail is not achievable any other way. They are one of a kind.
The production pieces are the Welsh Dragon, Griffin, Peacock, Hart, Tudor Rose, and Gothic Leaf ornaments, and Gabriel, Cello Angel and Welsh Dragon tree toppers. These are photo etched and then finished in the same way as the one of a kind pieces, hammered on an anvil and into the back of a stump.