I’ve been in the workshops today, doing a couple of jobs and starting a new collection.
I’ve had an order from a lady who wanted some studs coloured to match the shade of her bridesmaids dresses for her wedding day. I was happy to help! I made several pairs of my bubble studs to use for the order. My first instinct was to use resin coloured with a pastel green colour, however I’m having some problems with the resin. The colours look so pretty at first, but then slowly change in the sunlight. Not sure what is going on but know that I would not be happy giving a product like this to a customer. The pair that I tested started out a pale peppermint green, but are currently a delightful shade of snot green … not what I had planned. As the due date is approaching I decided to try with my second choice … enamel. If you’ve been reading earlier posts you will know that I haven’t got a lot of experience with enamel. I chose a transparent colour called elf green and wet packed the enamel around the texture on the studs. I have to say that I am really pleased with how they have come out. They are by far the best enamelling that I have done!
The second job I wanted to do was to use the rolling mill to press some leaves into copper so that I could make some more of my leaf brooches. They seem to sell really well, so thought I would try to make some more. Whilst I was searching through the leaves I found some really tiny ones. I decided to press these into silver … not sure what I am going to make out of them yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing them when they are done.
The third job I started was a new collection. We were given the opportunity by Uni to be a part of an exhibition run by Wrexham Museum. They museum is to house the Mold Cape when it visits Wrexham. The Cape was discovered in a small town about 10 minutes from Wrexham. The cape comes to visit Wales periodically, it will be in Wrexham in August. We were given the task of designing a range of jewellery that would compliment the Cape exhibit. The jewellery will be sold alongside the exhibition.
The Cape is made out of gold, and is patterned with beautiful technique called repousse. Repousse is a technique where the metal is set in (or in the case of a vessel filled with) pitch. Pitch is a tar like substance that supports the metal while it is worked. Special punches are hammered into the metal to create detailed patterns and pictures. This is an ancient technique that was and still is a skilled job.
I wanted to keep all this in mind while I was designing. I made several designs but in the end decided that I would like to use granulation in my pieces. Granulation was perfected at the same time that repousse was being discovered so the techniques matched in the time period. I also wanted to give my pieces an aged look. I began today by cutting out the base plates for the pieces, sanding and finishing them and hammering a channel down the centre of each piece so that the granulations don’t move while I am trying to attach them.
While I was working a butterfly came in and rested on a newspaper … he was so beautiful that I decided to share a picture with you!
A lot of progress for today! Tomorrow I’m hoping to work a bit more on the collection, maybe even get a couple of pieces finished.