Comstock Heritage Mason Celtic Scrolls

For this buckle, James felt like playing with a new angle on the longtime theme of Old World scrollwork; the specific inspiration for this piece came from seeing a museum display of traditional Celtic artwork. The 14k gold scrolls were inlaid using the uncommon and exceedingly difficult technique of recessing, which involves cutting the shape of the inlay into the sterling silver face precisely, then securing the fully formed gold inlay in place. Not many smiths attempt this process because there is absolutely no margin of error, but when done correctly (as it was here) it creates a very cool effect—the gold scrolls appear 3-dimensional because of their smooth, lustrous contrast against the rough, dark sterling silver backdrop, but the buckle's face is actually flat.