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Monday, 3 February 2014

Working with metal

Hi Everyone

It's February and a new month in the DWYL programme (check it out here ). Each month is a new planned push towards achieving my goals for this year and a systematic opportunity to review the month before. I did OK in January but I need to move on and improve in Feb. Each month I have a series of motivational ideas/ words to help me keep focused. My word for Jan. was 'integrity' - this helped me develop the quality measures for my work. My new word for Feb. is BELIEVE. My weakness in January has been to increase stock in my shops.

I had a great time learning about working with metals on Friday. The session lived up to my expectations and I came away fired up to experiment. I learned how to cut, polish, solder and 'heat colour' a range of metals. I worked with brass, copper, silver and titanium. I think my favourite was brass. Here are a few examples of my experiments on the day. I made a pair of stud earrings from plate brass and soldered silver posts. I also designed some curved brass plate into earring beads. I need to solder some posts onto the metal. The other bits are brass stamped little bead/charms. I'm not sure what I will do with them. I think, a necklace may eventually be formed.

The post earrings were finished with a rough polished pattern.

I deliberately left the backs with this metal pattern but I think I will clean it up - not completely but take away the extra solder. I was most proud of being able to attach the posts and achieve such a strong connection. I love the brass material and the thickness of the plate. I hand sawed the shapes - both earrings are slightly different and organic in shape.

Ive ordered a range of tools and materials to further experiments. I'm now obsessed with finding sheet metal, especially titanium. I'm not that familiar with this metal for jewellery making. It's very expensive (in a sheet form) and seems quite hard to get. The size of the sheet metal required is relatively small and I need to find scraps from somewhere rather than huge bits of metal which will last a lifetime ! I feel like Ive discovered a new 'world' !
The whole metalwork experience was very positive and I'm buzzing with ideas. I want to get more experience with metal but also want to combine my new material with clay.

Last week, I spent some time with the Genevieve painting Check out the details here and will continue with working on my trees. Ive sketched a few more trees

but I'm keen to use the ideas I have from Rebecca Vincent's work. Here are my latest sketches. I have some new purple ink that I'm planning on using for the trees. I think my chosen tree will be ? - still can't decide. I'm going to makes some paper blanks to check out several options.

This week my priorities need to be getting some new stock out there. Both the online shops and Gallery 45 in Felton, Northumberland need major restocking. I have lots of pieces that need some final quality checks.

Thanks for reading.