Since 2008, Liz Oppenheim has been creating organic jewelry in gold and silver using a traditional Japanese hand-sculpting technique. The masters are created using a sculpting wax called mitsuro - a mixture of organic beeswax and pine resin cooked in her studio.
Sculpting with the wax is a meditative and process driven activity, and many new pieces result from direct experimentation with the wax. The wax is warmed to body temperature in the hands until it becomes pliable, and then gently stretched like taffy. This stretching creates the finely grooved texture, called hikime.
The unpredictability of the process brings an aliveness to both the process of creation and the finished product. The finished pieces explore the simplicity of natural forms, and the process of pattern formation in nature.