Copper in the Arts

June 2018

Electroformed Copper Jewelry with Violet Forest Creations

By Jennifer Hetrick

Holly Hox followed her passion and opened Violet Forest Creations in September 2017, launching her unique line of nature-inspired electroformed copper jewelry. 

Electroforming with copper is a process of allowing the metal to grow and shape itself around something else while suspended in a bath of distilled water, copper sulfate and battery acid. Wire is used to suspend pieces in connection with anodes and cathodes, as specific tweaks of voltage is applied with a DC power supply unit and clamps.

VFC-Photo-1.jpgA tiara design for a bridal hairdo which Holly Hox also did this year for a past client.
Photograph courtesy of Holly Hox.

Hox named the business after her daughter, Violet, and says she wouldn’t have made time for learning this copper-centric type of work without having had her.

Before, she worked as a stylist and traveled in educating others in the hair and beauty industries.

“In the past, I had wire-wrapped crystals,” Hox says, noting that she liked what she knew of their healing and metaphysical properties but wanted to make them more convenient in being wearable and more practical versus just something to carry. “But, I didn’t have time to invest in my love for them before.”

A friend from her salon days initially taught her wire-wrapping.

While she focuses on making necklaces and has dabbled in fabricating rings, too, she still works with hair clients, like in the case of recently designing a wedding tiara for one of them using electroformed copper holding 10 clear quartz points aimed skyward.

“This was something I could do at home and not need heavy machinery, “Hox says. “And it’s more scientific.”

Since Hox wanted to raise Violet by day after she was born in spring of last year, the flexibility to have her own studio in her house worked well in helping to shape this reality in her career shift.

“I realized electroforming took this love and dedication to a whole other level,” Hox says about her dive into finding out the varied techniques possible in jewelry-making.

Hox is largely self taught, and is always researching and practicing to build her skills.

Jason Welsh was a huge influence into my education journey,” she adds. “He has a lot of YouTube videos on electroforming, the foundation of where my knowledge really grew from.”

She sculpts her pieces together, sealing any crystal to protect them from any damage in the acid bath.

Hox describes her experience with electroforming as 75 percent control---the rest is up to the copper.

She applies a copper-based conductive paint where she wants the metal to grow and develop its placement in jewelry.

Her paint is sourced from Safer Solutions in Philadelphia, while her brass jump rings and copper alloy chains come from a variety of sellers on Etsy; most of her other materials are from local hardware stores.

These one-of-a-kind handmade necklaces carry an earth-driven look and feel in how they come together visually—and often away from symmetry.

Hox sometimes incorporates pre-made brass stampings of rabbits, roses, fairies and other themes of shapes from artists in Etsy, too. And she’s hunted for small sticks from fallen tree branches, electroforming them in copper for pendants.

Some of what Hox appreciates about crystals are how they have powerful influences in helping people to improve from within, not necessarily curing anything directly, but working well in allowing people to believe in their own healing better for more likely chances of it, especially if paired with modern medicine approaches.

Hox notes one crystal which she finds herself gravitating to lately in jewelry work.

“Amethyst is a sobering stone,” she says. “It helps to calm and clear an erratic mind.”

Pairing copper with crystals all the more reinforces Hox’s interest in tying her work closer to what comes from the earth.

“I like copper for the fact that it is one of the best natural conductors,” she notes.
“It conducts and amplifies energy in crystals. Copper itself has so many antioxidants, and its antimicrobial and helps with arthritis.”

Physically, Hox values copper’s finish and that it’s so raw and earthy in its often jagged and then filed down appearance through electroforming.

About 80 percent of her sales are in the U.S. while the remaining 20 percent are abroad; Canada and Australia are popular for orders, and she’s shipped to France and the U.K., too, with her jewelry traveling to more countries than she has, she points out with a laugh.

Instagram has been a huge part of her success, with sales directed back to her website, but Hox admits that the community of her followers has been essential and expansive for her with deep friendships.


Violet Forest Creations, West Chester, PA

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