The Tools Responsible for Anna Sheffield’s Amazing Line
As the Bing Bang designer sees it, getting to play with the hammers and torches is the fun part.
“I sit down and build things from scratch,” jewelry designer Anna Sheffield says. “I always have—that’s how my mind works.” A metalsmith at heart, Anna creates almost everything for her line Bing Bang in-house and a lot of it by hand—even ten years in as her company has grown to include a team, comprised of a small crew of talented and invested girls (and the rare, but occasional boy). Get a glimpse at the tools she uses when crafting each piece. —alisha prakash
“I often sit down and work directly in the materials…you can’t really sketch it—you have to see and feel how things hang and look together—what should be heavier and lighter, how long something should be and style of the chain. This is our work bench where we do all of the fabricating and assembly, from measuring and cutting chains to sawing out and building models. We do tons of hand-finishing, which means the patinas are all done here as well—surfaces are oxidized, brushed, and polished until they are perfectly Bing Bang—which is to say you can’t always tell if it was a relic unearthed in a faraway place or made just today in New York City. At least that’s the idea!”
“Anvils and hammers are for forging and forming. I use the hammers to add texture to original models, and we also do a lot of hammering on production pieces in both Bing Bang and my namesake line. Since I was a blacksmith before a jeweler, it’s an integral part of my process and aesthetic.”
“The soldering station is essentially an area for building prototypes by assembly with the torch. It’s the same as welder’s set-up, only tiny. I make most of the original models by hand and this is where it happens.”
“I assemble most of the models by hand, which requires using the metal stock I keep in the studio in either gold, silver, brass, or copper. I saw, bend, hammer, and otherwise tweak pieces to the appropriate shapes. Then, I assemble, using pliers and cutters on the big work table.”