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Recently Kyle Schaefer from Soul Fly Outfitters in Kittery, Maine was awarded his Captain's License and his Maine State Guiding License. As he was setting up his guiding service he spent a week with Mark Nutting from LoCo Fly Charters in Hilton Head, SC fishing for Redfish. Kyle gave Mark a Tarpon Buckle from the TSDesign Collection. As Mark unpacked the buckle he said to Kyle, "We have to get Taf to design a Redfish."
So with inspiration and morphological advice from two expert fly fishing guides, the Redfish Buckle took shape, first in wax model form and then in bronze for the final hand finishing.
Custom, Hand Carved Initials Buckle
The family that fly fishes together stays together. For an uncle and nephew there's nothing better than sharing a love of the sea and spending time together fishing. The Permit and Bonefish buckles are part of Schaefer's Fly Fishing Big 5 Buckle Collection
From being an accessory to a Limestone Anteater Sculpture, to a wall sculpture, to a wearable piece of art, our hand sculpted ant will keep finding new ways into your heart.
Silver Ant Pins worn by a happy customer.
How an idea takes hold.....going from a sculpture to a belt buckle.
Just in from the sea....
Handmade in the USA.
Schaefer's Striped Bass Buckle arrived early this spring with a following leather belt and an ocean created patina.
As of May 20th my fly fishing and fish related jewelry and men's belts will also be available on the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust website to benefit the trust in their conservation work.
The Sterling Silver Wisteria Seedpod Pendant and Vine Cuff Links were commissioned to commemorate a cherished Mom's life.
After the sketches were approved hard jeweler's wax was carved - models of the seedpod and vines. The models were cast in sterling and finished by hand. The cuff link mechanism was soldered on and both pieces were signed and marked 925 for sterling, ready to go to the happy client.
Ask me for the finished set for a couple's special night out.
Spring Golf Season is the time to start hoping for that Hole in One.
When pondering another Golf Buckle idea the Hole in One was top of the list. At Taf Schaefer we wanted to capture the essence of that moment... the golf ball dropping into the cup with determination and exuberance achieving that elusive goal.
The form takes shape starting with sculptor's wax that warms with the heat of the hand. Choices along the way start with the decision on the composition; should it be oval, square or round? Making it round seemed best because of the inherent shape of the cup on the golf course and of course the ball itself.
The texture and size of the golf ball is key to the concept. Taking an actual golf ball, we made a mold and cast a wax of that portion needed. Just a bit of the interior of the cup is shown since most is below ground level, really only showing its side walls. The grass surrounding the cup is represented by a swirling texture.
The wax model has been cast in bronze. This original metal model will be finished with hand tools and polished so the master mold can be made of this second stage buckle. The master mold will be vulcanized rubber, a material that captures intricate and subtle detail. That mold will be used to recreate more waxes that will then be cast in the cire perdue or lost wax process.
"The Ace" is completed by either a Chestnut or Black leather belt. Click on the image to see the product page.
Men's Bronze Striped Bass Buckle available exclusively at TidalRoots.com where you'll find....ProductsWithASoul
In the world of Stand Up Paddle Boards one company stands out by virtue of extraordinary craftsmanship and purpose... Tidal Roots. With handmade Stand Up Paddle Boards made on the Southern Coast of Maine and a dedicated following from around the world Tidal Roots has taken the "Made in America" ethic, combined it with a love of working with aged, reclaimed wood to build spectacular, artful boards.
A love of the outdoors propels Tidal Roots and to celebrate the art of fishing from a Stand Up Paddle Board they commissioned Taf Schaefer to design a Striped Bass Belt Buckle. The Striped Bass is glistening in the sun filled water as it chases its prey and will inspire you to get outdoors, get on the water and make your day.
To see the handmade Tidal Roots Stand Up Paddle Boards and to purchase a Striped Bass Buckle go to:
The Royal Wulff Fly Buckle in Sterling Silver available for special order.
My first choice of metal to use for a belt buckle is sterling silver followed by bronze. Keeping silver for special orders allows me to focus on mid - priced buckles.
To achieve the right whitish/silvery look for my next buckle or for custom work, White Bronze becomes a good choice. But, White Bronze is notoriously difficult to cast as it's a combination (alloy) of two metals that have dramatically different qualities. They fight against each other during the casting process and a great deal of attention must be paid to achieve optimal results.
In addition to White Bronze is a Sterling Clad Bronze finish which is able to take a darkened patina as shown in the photo.
Recently I had a request to design a twig thumb ring and use some old gold jewelry my customer no longer wore to be used to cast a new and more modern piece. She had seen my custom twig engagement and wedding ring set and knew that a twig design would be just the thing for her.
I suggested a ring that would wrap around the thumb for an overlap that would give flexibility to the fit. That way is would easily slide over the usually larger knuckle and settle comfortably in the smaller place where the ring would be worn.
By using my hot wax pen I was able to melt certain areas for the knots and to create some very smooth surfaces to juxtapose with the rougher, textural areas.
We weighed out my customer's gold to be sure we had enough to cover the ring, the casting sprue and the button which acts as a reservoir of molten metal to make sure the ring casts properly. The wax ring weight is multiplied by 14 or 15 to estimate the amount of gold for the ring and then doubled to account for the sprue etc. We had enough from a couple of old but beautiful pins that were no longer worn but were about to be reborn as a gleaming, gold thumb ring.
The 14K Yellow Gold Twig Thumb Ring is complete.
Catching the large Striped Bass that was making its way along the coast of Cape Cod on a fall night at the turn of the tide was a revelation, a shimmering beauty whose bounty fed the entire crew who came to the Blue Moon party.
An extra pair of bronze fish bones laid on the work table for months until the day the thought of a cuff sprang to life. Off to the vise with pliers and hammer to gently coax the bronze around my wrist. A twist here to soften the end, a reshaping of the larger end to finish with purpose and the men's Fishbone Cuff was born.
The large fish bones that remained from the feast caught my eye. After setting them aside, their form and function shifted and they suddenly looked like they could be antlers on a wood carving progressing in the garage studio. Their sturdy compound curve, when cast in bronze, worked perfectly as two pairs of antlers set into the mahogany sculpture.
The March Merkin Invitational Permit Fishing Tournament
being held in Key West, FL on March 16-19, 2015 will be an exciting event and if this year is like previous years the tournament will raise a sizable donation for the Bonefish Tarpon Trust.
Schaefer is pleased to announce that her Permit Tailing Buckle will be the winning trophy in 6 categories. And, Taf designed a Permit Stud Earring for men and Permit Dangle Earrings for women to benefit the Tournament and their work on behalf of the Bonefish Tarpon Trust.
Working on my Bonefish Buckle, one of the Big Five Fish of Fly Fishing, was a thrill and a challenge especially when trying to get the composition just right to show the tension between the fish and the crab. The crab needs to be adversarial and the fish.... well the fish needs to be a hunter!
Inspired by the way the Bonefish tail appears above the water line led me recreate that element in the buckle by taking some liberties with reality. But, I think it works, don't you?
The shimmery water was achieved by melting the surface of the wax with a hot wax pen. My favorite hot wax pen is from Giles Studio in California. I've used their hot wax pen along with a small portable hot wax pen called a Wax Max for years and they've never let me down.
A number of years ago I did a fair amount of fishing for Bonefish in Florida, without a guide and as a result, I didn't catch one of these elusive Gray Ghosts. But, now I've caught the Bonefish in my own way and offer it to you.