James Banks Design creations’ manifest through the conversations and envisions of Heidi Nahser Fink and Adam Shulman.
Through initial discussion, pieces are dreamt of, invented, designed and then methodically brought to life.
The pieces are handmade in their Northern California studio in beautiful Marin County.
They employ old-world techniques using such tools as hammers and stakes for forming, saws for piercing, rolling mill and drawplates for baking sheet and wire, propane/oxygen torch for soldering.
The creations, which can include such metals as various karat golds, platinum, palladium, silver, copper, bronze, nickel, shibuichi, and shakudo, are all hand finished using a hand burring technique we developed to give the final finish a rich handcrafted look.
They also have developed their own special inlay process with the butterflies in particular where a frame is created and almost like a puzzle, various metals are carefully set into negative spaces to create our unique butterflies. They then experiment with various patinas with the butterflies to bring the multi-metal inlay to life.
James Banks Design also incorporates stone setting, primarily hand pave with precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.
The lightkeepers are created with hand-blown borosilicate glass at a scientific glass lab in Berkeley. These vessels contain diamonds and other precious and semi-precious stones in addition to hand-carved charms that can come in gold, silver or bronze. The monocles also contain stones and charms. They are tapped so they can be opened and new stones and/or charms can be added over the years.
James Banks Design primarily uses recycled metal. Most of the inlay, jump rings and wire elements that are used are all handmade collecting filings and cuttings from previous pieces. They melt those down to an ingot and make new elements. They also try to create a piece only based on the materials we have in the studio as opposed to buying new materials. Using what you have when you can is important and keeps in mind being as resourceful as possible.