Taking Form Jade Studio

Taking Form Jade Studio

About The Artist

Peter Schilling • Somerville, MA

“I design and hand carve pendants and earrings from fine natural jade. I employ both modern and ancient methods in my work. Sawing and rough grinding are done with diamond tools. Finer diamond tools refine the carving. I then use the “loose grit” method invented by ancient Chinese carvers in which rotating metal, or wood tools cut the jade by means of a muddy slurry of abrasive grit and water. Extensive hand finishing techniques give the carvings a luxurious and intimate feel machines cannot.”


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I design and carve pendants, earrings, and small sculptures in fine natural jade. The work is done with a combination of 21st century abrasives and Chinese techniques more than 6000 years old. I make, or reshape commercial gemstone beads for the necklaces, paying special attention to achieving a fine glowing satin finish. I pair these pendants and beads with hand braided kumihimo cords my wife makes with plant dyed filament silk threads.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

My work in jade brings together many elements in my life's education and work experience. I've made hand crafted objects all my life, earned a BFA and MFA in studio sculpture, worked for artist jewelers in New York, and installed priceless art objects in major art museums. Through all this I've become passionate about making contemporary fine craft objects in the historic and timeless medium of beautiful natural jade.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

Many in our culture today are only familiar with jade as traditional objects from ancient or far away cultures, or as poorly designed souvenir goods made in factories. At shows and galleries people are surprised to find the some of the best contemporary jewelry in this amazing material known as jade.