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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Metal Talk




Hi Everyone
I'm working on consolidating my many jewellery projects at the moment. Ive been experimenting with different styles and techniques over the last few months and am gradually focussing on some designs which are working for me (at the moment).

When I look at the range of stuff I have produced there are very definite collections forming. This is a happy coincidence (nothing more). I'm feeling optimistic about finding and developing new skills and especially want to produce work with INTEGRITY. While on this journey, Ive made some dreadful stuff which I have worked on and eventually made something positive and/or developed my skills. The odd item has or should be in the bin. I have a problem with binning anything !

I thought I would try and classify my current stuff over a period of a few weeks with the aim of cataloguing (photo/name/description) it. The central theme in my work (I keep coming back to this idea) is using and imitating metal in my jewellery. I love the idea of mixing materials especially making clay act and bond with metal. With this in mind Ive been experimenting with all types of metal related materials I can get my hands on. Obviously metalworking is a highly skilled activity and can demand specialist equipment. I am neither skilled or have specialist equipment. However, I am keen to learn and do have some tools. So far, Ive THOUGHT a lot ! 'Dreaming up' ideas for trying. Ive worked with some power metals, gilding, wire, metal wax/paints and metal clay. Watch this space - I'm really motivated by working with metal and have high hopes. In addition, Ive got a class booked with a local metal artist (next week) and am hoping to move up a league ! So excited about this.

Here is a look at a few things which are the results of my early experiments. The first image is a pair of stud earrings which are clay and have a fused metal powder surface. The second photo is another application of the same thing. I need to seal the pieces and add an oxidised silver chain to the pendant bead.


I spent some time yesterday working on the shape of this pendant bead. It's very light and I have thoughts of adding another element on top of the bronzed area. Not sure ? I will wait until I have the chain on and wear it for a while. I like the feel of the shape and the colour mix is good for me. The grey and bronze are colours which I like to wear. The shape is rather 'organic' and almost 'casually' thrown together but I like how it looks and feels.


I also like the shabby paint effect. I will definitely seal it at this point. The bead has been baked after painting but it would scratch over time. I like the way in which the earrings look as if they've been 'dug up' - they have a 'grunge' feel about them.

The next item is a ring that has undergone various transformations. The ring started out as a large, angular thing with a button.



I carved bits from the ring surface and reduced the size.


Then, I lost the button and painted it (lightly) with gold wax.


I like the final stage. It's great to wear. I do need to finish off the inner ring area and make a repair on the top but I think this will be the final shape and finish.


The finish is subtle and has a lovely warm glow about it.

Today, I also wanted to share this piece Ive found while browsing. It's a bracelet by Monica Cecchi. I love this sort of thing. The square/oblong pieces are made from metal and linked with metal to each other. I want to use this idea to make a similar piece. Ive a few ideas about surface images and colours but I like the idea of using metal and possibly other materials to link the piece together. I want my piece to be wearable and comfortable. I have some sketches and will work it alongside other work. I will share the details of the development when I have something.


Bye for today.

Thanks for reading.