Michele Cole

Michele Cole

Michele Cole Designs
Southampton, NJ

I am an artist who specializes in historic process photography, particularly tintypes, which I transform into jewelry. I use vintage cameras and lenses to capture my subjects, infusing them with a unique & timeless quality.

The creation of my photographic jewelry begins with the wet collodion process (c1851). A metal plate is coated with collodion and placed in a silver bath. After several minutes the light-sensitive plate is loaded into a plate holder, placed in my camera, and exposed. The exposed plate is taken into the darkroom and developed while still wet, hence the name “wet” collodion.

Some of my images are hand-tinted to add color, and others are burnished to bring out the shimmer of the silver. After tinting or burnishing, the plate is coated with historically correct varnish to keep the silver image from tarnishing over time. Plates are then cut, mounted and made into jewelry.

In addition to photographic jewelry, I also create necklaces, earrings, and bracelets from combinations of brass, bronze, copper, silver, and semi-precious stones.