Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!!!

Happy 2012!!!

Here is another new ring!
I decided to dip further into my stone collection for a little more variety. I'm not sure what stone I will use next but, if any one out there is interested in a Turquoise or Lapis Lazuli ring, let me know. (

Quadratum Callaina, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Turquoise  
I'll be back with more soon.
Until next time,
Peace and Love

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stone of Lāzhward

During my trip to Italy for the 2011 Biennale of Chianciano, I managed to find a great little shop full of wonderful stones and beads in Florence.

Among the treasures I acquired on that trip, I brought back some beautiful Lapis Lazuli. This is the first of many pieces I plan to make with these beautiful blue stones. 

Stone of Lāzhward, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Lapis Lazuli
Stone of Lāzhward, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Lapis Lazuli
I will be back again soon with more.
Until Next time,
Peace and Love

Monday, December 26, 2011

Aurea Gutta Aquae

Happy Holidays!
I have been hanging onto this post for quite a while now. Unfortunately, this piece was a rather special present and I couldn't just go spoiling the surprise now could I?!

I was super excited to make this piece, as I do not work with gold very often it was a good change of pace.

Aurea Gutta Aquae, Daniel Icaza, 2011, 22kt Gold, 12kt Gold, 12.5ct Aquamarine
Not to mention having the privilege to work with such precious materials. It was quite an experience.
I will be back again with more soon.
Until next time,
Peace and Love

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lapis Flavus

This was the second ring in this series. Unfortunately photographed on a dark day and then sold these where the best pictures I could get.

Next time I will be sharing the newer additions to the series. 

Lapis Flavus, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Citrine 
I will be back soon. 
Until next time,
Peace and Love

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Here is another ring from earlier in the series. One more ring from the beginning of the series to go and I will then be moving on to the newer additions! 

Purpureus, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Purple Corundum 

Until next time,
Peace and Love

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Rings, rings, and more rings. I'm going to be on the subject for a while I guess... I just have far to many beautiful stones at the moment and I really enjoy making rings.
The ring I will be sharing today is actually a pretty special ring I guess. It is first ring in this "series".

Calamochnus, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Green Corundum
Calamochnus, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Green Corundum
There are a few more rings to go through and I will be getting to the new pieces soon.
Until next time,
Peace and Love

Friday, December 16, 2011

Aura Mihi

Back for another brief "picture post". 
This ring is actually a few weeks old, it was one of the first rings I made in this "style", not sure what to call it... The "style" that is. 

Aura Mihi, Daniel Icaza 2011, Fine Silver, Dendritic Quartz
It is rather difficult to take a photograph that does justice to the beauty of the dendritic quartz stone so I have decided to include a few additional pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

Aura Mihi, Daniel Icaza 2011, Fine Silver, Dendritic Quartz
There are some new rings I will be sharring soon, but before I do, there are still a few rings like this one which I have not shared yet, so I will do those first. 

Aura Mihi, Daniel Icaza 2011, Fine Silver, Dendritic Quartz
I'll be back again soon with more.
Until next time,
Peace and Love

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Altum Rubet

The parade of rings continues. . . More coming soon!

Altum Rubet, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, 15ct Red Corundum  
Until next time,
Peace and Love

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rubro Saxo Solumque

Another new ring. . . Hope you like it. 

Rubro Saxo Solumque, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Red Volcanic Rock

More new rings coming soon.  ;o)
Until next time,
Peace and Love

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rutilus Lacrima

Newest Ring! Rutilus Lacrima. 
Rutilus Lacrima, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Rutilated Quartz

Not a whole lot to say for now. Just wanted to share some pictures of the latest addition to the collection. I plan to start posting some of these rings for sale so check back again soon for the sale announcment and I should have more things to share soon as well.

Peace and Love

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Roseus 2.0

Same stone new look. 
BEFORE: Roseus, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Rose Quartz
The first time I made a ring with this stone I created the odd little ring above. It was a nice ring and really did the stone justice, unfortunately I knew that the setting was not very stable and that it would probably not hold the stone for long.

Whenever I make little experiments like this I always let friends (usually Kaylee) use them to see how they hold up. Sure enough after a few months of wear and tear the stone became loose and I was compelled to make some thing new as this experiment was not very succesful (as I had forseen).

AFTER: Roseus 2.0, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Rose Quartz
As sad as it is to not have our efforts work out the first time, one of the great appeals of metalsmithing is that one can always melt stuff down and try again...   Hopefully this reincarnation lives longer (I'm pretty sure it will).

More new things on the way, so I'll be back ASAP!
Until next time.
Peace And Love

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back in Action!

I'm back... After a very long break I have returned to my computer.

So very much has happened over the last few months, its very difficult to put it all into words.
Instead of writting everything out in nauseating detail, I have decided to make this more of a photo blog post and I may add a few comments in here and there.

To start things off, I have had the honor of being featured in a few publications recently so I figured I would share those links in this post as well.

I have finally been able to get lost in the studio for a while, so here are the newest creations from the past few months.

5 Colones? (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Copper, Fine Silver, Paper Money  
Very excited to finally start making the Costa Rican series of bills for "Monetary Bondage". I had the idea for bonding this specific bill a few years ago and I am very happy to finally have it done.

5 Colones? (back), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Copper, Fine Silver, Paper Money
Jeweled Rings, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Gemstones 

Some new ring concepts!!! As always each ring is hand fabricated one at a time, so each one is unique and special in its own way. I hope to start making many more gemstone rings in this "style". 

Jeweled Rings, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Gemstones
Candy, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Copper/Nickel Mokume-Gane,  Watermelon Tourmaline 
 I made this ring a few months ago as a commisioned piece for my friend's college graduation. Now that they graduated I can share the picture with all of you.

One Cent? (Blue Indian Head), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Copper, Silver, Vitreous Enamel, Cubic Zirconia, 1898 Indian Head Penny
Some times I have to trap a penny just for kicks.

10 Euro Cent?, Daniel Icaza, 2011, Copper, Silver, 2000 Spain Ten Euro Cent Coin 
I  am also very happy to have bonded my first Euro! I hope to add many more pieces to the "Monetary Bondage" collection in the coming months.

Well I guess that is basically the last few months in a short and sweet photographic summary.
I hope to start posting regularly again, so I plan to be back with more things to share very soon.

As always,
Peace and Love

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Biennale of Chianciano 2011

Hello dear friends and new visitors,

I recently returned after being selected to participate in the 2011 Biennale of Chianciano Terme (Italy, September 17-24).

It was a great honour to be selected to participate in this prestigious event and an even greater honour to have been awarded the "Leonardo Award for Applied Arts Second Prize" among so much international talent.

It was a marvellous and unforgettable experience and there are sure to be many new things happening soon.
To watch an interview with me and my work at the Biennale please feel free to click below...

I'll be back soon with more news and updates.
Until next time,
Peace and Love

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Fresh New Look

Hello there! I'm Kaylee Hinrichs, an artist/designer/craftsperson, and I blog over at Birch & Bees. I'm popping in on Daniel's Blog while he's off showing his art in Italy, to tell you a bit about Daniel's new web design. I hope you enjoy! 

Designed by Kaylee Hinrichs
I'm quite proud to say that Daniel's new blog design was created by myself. Daniel had a brochure, business cards, and fliers designed by another talented graphic designer. My challenge was design his website, blog, and shop around that established design. Daniel has given me the seal of approval for the blog design, and I'm quite happy he likes it.

Daniel's new web design will expand to a home page, a portfolio page, and a shopping page. The idea is to create a simple, functional, and seamless experience while looking at Daniel's websites. I'm going to be completing the rest of the designs and the whole project should be completed by 2012 at the latest.

When Daniel returns from Italy, we'll be finishing up the last touches on his blog and making everything complete!

More exciting things to come in the future! 

Peace and Love,

Monday, September 5, 2011


It's Kaylee's Birthday today!!!!
In celebration of her big day I decided to look through the good old rock pile and make her something pretty.

"Roseus" (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Rose Quartz

I took a glance through the collection and was immediately drawn to this very smooth and soft piece of rose quartz. It reminded me of her and I felt it was very representative of my special girl.

"Roseus" (back), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Rose Quartz
Another spontaneous creation this ring almost didn't turn out the way I had envisioned it in my mind, but in the end I was able to make it work.

"Roseus" (side), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Rose Quartz
I have been having a lot of fun playing around with my rock collection and will hopefully be able to make some more rocky pieces when I have the time.
For now I get to go have some fun with my sweetie! and give her her presents! (I sure hope she likes them)

Until next time,
Peace and Love

Sunday, September 4, 2011


This is a new ring I made.
I decided I wanted to start playing around with some BIG stones and see what I could come up with...

"Essence" (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Leopard Jasper, Patina 
I "borrowed" this beautiful stone from my grandmother's rock collection several months ago. I had fallen in love with it and knew I wanted to do something with it but was unsure of what at the time.

"Essence" (side), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Leopard Jasper, Patina
As usual, this piece did not have much planning and was created very spontaneously, fortunately I am quite content with the result this time. Not all experiments have such successful outcomes.

"Essence" (back), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Leopard Jasper, Patina
I'm not sure what I will make next but I doubt I will have much time to make a whole lot more with the up coming trip. (Italy in September)

"Essence" (model), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Leopard Jasper, Patina
I have managed to make a few other pieces recently and I will hopefully be sharing some pictures of those pieces soon as well; we shall see how things go.

Until next time,
Peace and Love

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bronze Casting

Last weekend I managed to play around with some bronze and my casting machine... this is what I ended up with.

Bronze Spiral Castings

Although I am more accustomed to working with a centrifuge, I currently use a vacuum caster in my studio. Since I haven't had as much practice with this type of machine, I am still working out all of the "kinks" and becoming more familiarized with the vacuum casting unit.  

I had a pretty good success rate this time around, but as the old saying goes "practice makes perfect"...  

I am not sure what will become of these spiral castings, but I am sure inspiration will strike at some point and these castings will turn into little treasure/s eventually.

The last batch of castings I made in this style turned into some pretty nifty pins, we shall simply have to wait and see what these "new spirals" turn into... 

Previous bronze castings turned into pins, CLICK HERE to read more about these pins and a few others.

Until inspiration strikes, I have a few more projects to work on and some more things to share, so I promise I will be back soon.

Until next time,
Peace and Love 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BIG Changes

Hello every body, I am terribly sorry for my lack of new material, but life has been extra busy lately and I simply haven't had the time to write anything new. Although, I do have many things to talk about, I am unfortunately short on time today as I have many "to-do's" on my list. I just felt I should try and share a few of the things that are going on in my life at the moment.

As you may or may not know, I will be travelling to Italy soon to participate in the 2011 Biennale of Chianciano. I have been very busy preparing for the trip, building crates, making reservations, looking at dates and buying tickets. Fortunately, things are finally starting to come together as the date of departure quickly approaches.
(CLICK HERE to find out more about what I will be displaying at the Biennale.)

Besides the upcoming trip Kaylee has been very busy helping me redesign my blog page and a new web site, so hopefully there will be many changes coming to my "on-line presence" soon.

I have had a couple of chances to make a few new pieces, including the completion of one of the commissions I received. Hopefully, I will be able to take some pictures this afternoon, and write new posts tonight and tomorrow.

I will be back soon with some cool things to share and just maybe, this site will be very different soon as well.
Until next time.
Peace and Love

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seventh Entry: How to Rivet (Basic Rivets and Their Uses)

Welcome to the seventh entry in this series of articles. In this article, I will be demonstrating A) how to place a basic rivet, B) a few different types of decorative rivets and C) a few of the practical uses rivets can have. Please feel free to CLICK HERE and read my other articles leading up to this entry in order to gain a better understanding of “how metal works”.
Necessary Materials and Tools:

-File/ Sandpaper
-Small Hammer  (Ball Peen)
-Measuring tool (caliper or gauge plate) 
-Compass/ Divider
-Jeweler’s Saw
-Flex Shaft and/or Drill Press
-Drill Bits
-Steel Bench Pin/Block or Anvil

There are many different types/styles of rivets and they can be used for a variety of different applications. Sometimes the use of a rivet is strictly aesthetic, other times it can be incredibly functional. I will be going over only a few basic rivet options and some of the ways rivets can be used.

In order to demonstrate some of these possibilities, I have decided to use the hinge I constructed in my previous article as a “sample piece” for mechanisms and other various examples to come.  

For this article, I will be placing three different types of decorative rivets on one side of this hinge. Before placing the rivets I need to decide how big the rivets are going to be. This is entirely up to you, and your main limitation will probably be your tool set. For the sake of this demonstration I will be using copper and brass stock pipes/tubes measuring no larger than 3mm in diameter.
To begin placing the rivets I make three arbitrarily spaced punch marks to help guide my drill bit through the sheet of metal.
NOTE: Rivets do not have to be made out of tubing, the can also be made out of solid wire and rod.

Now that I have made a guide mark for my drill bit and established a size for my rivet, I need to make sure I pick the right size drill bit for the job.

 After measuring both my tubing and drill bit to make sure they are the same size, I can drill the holes for my rivets to pass through. I like to drill my holes using a drill press to ensure the tubing or rod will pass through “straight” (perpendicular to the sheet); this is especially important when planning to join multiple pieces together.

Drill the necessary holes and make sure to clean them of any leftover material.

Now that the holes have been drilled through the piece, we can prepare our rivets. Take the piece of wire or tube that you are planning to use for your rivets and cut a small length of the material; make sure to file it clean. Each rivet should only be a millimeter or two longer than the width of the piece you are attaching the rivets to. This is only a general guideline; the length of a rivet can vary greatly depending on the desired appearance and function of the rivet.

NOTE: If multiple rivets of the same size are needed, a divider/compass can be used to mark the tubing before each rivet is cut. There are also fancy rivet cutting jigs that will facilitate the cutting of equally sized lengths of tubing/wire.  

With all the holes drilled and all the rivets cut, we can begin to set them into place. Make sure to work over a solid steel surface. The bottom of your rivet must be supported by a surface which will withstand your hammer blows and also allow the softer metal of the rivet to deform appropriately.
With tube rivets I like to flare the ends of the tube open to help hold the rivet in position before I begin to hammer on the head/top of the rivet. To do this I take a tapered scribe and give it a few taps with a hammer when placed inside the tube-rivet.
It is always very important to work a rivet equally from both sides to ensure it has an even finish and appearance on both sides. To make sure your rivet forms evenly, the work piece needs to be flipped over so the rivet can be hammered on from both sides.   
NOTE: If I were making a solid rivet using wire instead of tubing, I would start hammering the top/head of the rivet with a ball peen hammer; as always hammering both sides slowly by rotating/flipping the work piece back and forth.

Once a rivet head has been established on both sides (by flaring or hammering both ends) the rivet can be hammered down. Even if you are confident that you have enough material on both sides, you should hammer your rivet head slowly and periodically check the other side of the rivet to make any adjustments/corrections if necessary. 

Hammer deliberately and firmly working all sides of the rivet as evenly as possible. 

Hammer on one side…

Then hammer on the other side…

Back and forth, until you are happy with the overall look of your rivet…

And that is how to set a basic tube rivet. There are many simple ways to “spice up” this simple rivet. Here are a few basic “alterations” that can be done to create different styles of rivets…

After cutting and filing the rivets, various cuts can be made to one or both ends of the rivet to create “bifurcated rivets”. These rivets will create different shapes when set depending on how many cuts are made. For the purposes of this article, the “bifurcated rivet” I will be making is going to be cut twice on one side in the shape of a cross. The idea is that when the rivet is set, the cuts will cause the rivet head to split and make a sort of cross shape. The other side without the cuts will form into a normal round tube rivet head on the other side.

NOTE: Bifurcated rivets can have as many cuts as desired to create a multitude of different “shapes” and can also be bifurcated on both sides if need be.

 To set this type of rivet in place, simply use the same steps you would for a normal rivet.

Another simple way to spice up a standard tube rivet is to set another rivet within it. To do this you will need to set a tube rivet and then set another rivet inside of it (either tube or wire). In this example, I set another tube rivet within the original rivet I placed. To set additional rivets within rivets, simply follow the original riveting procedure again.

NOTE: Occasionally it may be necessary to widen the opening within the first rivet to allow the second rivet to pass. This can be done be pushing a scribe through the opening to push excess material to the sides; or by 
drilling through the opening to provide enough space for the next rivet to pass. 

Place more rivets within each other to build rivets with a “bulls-eye” aesthetic. Or layer bifurcated rivets with normal rivets to create interesting and unique rivets.

These are only a few basic ways to use rivets in aesthetic ways. By experimenting with different types of rivets and materials one can achieve a wide range of shapes and colors; especially when different types of rivets are stacked together.

As many ways as there are to use rivets in a decorative fashion, they have an equal amount of functional purposes as well. The most basic use for a rivet is as a simple way to connect two or more pieces of similar or differing materials together. For this example I will be connecting an interesting forged scrap of copper to our hinge.

As usual we can follow the same steps as before: drill holes, prepare rivet, and hammer into place (set the rivet). Just make sure the rivet is big enough to pass through both of the pieces you are attempting to join.

Same as before, hammer on the top…

And hammer on the bottom.

Once you are satisfied with the shape and security/fit of the rivet, you’re done.
Use multiple rivets to secure two or more pieces together and keep them firmly in position. 

Or use single rivets in specific places to create very basic hinges!

Well that wraps up my little introduction to riveting and some of the wonderful possibilities this very basic process/technique can offer. As always I hope you found this information to be helpful and useful.

I’m not quite sure what the next entry will be about, or if I will have time to write one for next month due to my upcoming trip to Italy… (Italy in September) Whatever happens I will be sure to make an update about that information when I have it figured out. 

As always feel free to browse the archive of “Process Notes” to learn more about “How Metal Works”. CLICK HERE

Until next time.
Peace and Love
Daniel Icaza 8/13/2011