I came across this blog today and thought it was worth a share. The writer makes some beautiful pieces. I especially like the leaf journalling that she does … so pretty! Go over and take a look and leave a comment.
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.
Today I have poured the plaster on the leaf moulds that I made yesterday. I’m quite excited to see how they turn it. It’s always a gamble to see whether any details are picked up or if you just get a silhouette of the shape you have cast. I have also attempted to make a negative cast of the medal that I have been working on. There are a couple of area’s that I’m just not happy with, but at the same time I’m not able to get the tools in close enough to get the detail that I want. By doing a negative cast all the hard to reach area’s suddenly become the highest points of the medal, meaning that I can perfect them and then do another negative cast to get a perfect result … hopefully!
I’m always a little nervous when I do a negative cast. I’m never completely convinced that the two halves won’t just stick together never to be parted, but I’ve followed the same procedures that we did in Bulgaria so hopefully it should be fine.
I’m feeling a little pressured today. I’ve had a go at micro forging some tests for the root pieces. I’m not convinced it’s going to be a good effect, at least not with my forging. I’m going to have to practice a lot to get a good enough result for my final pieces. I was feeling a little low after the forging so decided to do something that I knew I was good at. I made some test granulations on sticks and then twisted them together and soldered them to get a root effect. I was quite pleased with the result, I can definitely see the possibilities.