I've started the prototype pieces for my new metal jewellery collection (talked about on Monday - read back for details). In my usual development style, the initial plan has completely changed ! I've decided to try another design completely. The original idea will stay in my sketchbook (I do like it and it presents a great challenge for me) but for now, I've gone for a much simpler approach.
My new design is based around small squares and circles. I'm also keen to combine different metals in my pieces and will be using Copper and Sterling Silver. I've started to produce small core components in square and circle shapes which will be used throughout the Collection. I'd also like to incorporate the solder in the design in some way.
My first components are 4cm circumference copper circles, soldered and shaped to give an organic circle. I like the organic shape and will try to keep the circles from being 'too round'. As mentioned, I've got an idea to use solder as a decorative element of the finished piece. I've soldered a couple of rings and would like more solder to be visible on the top of each component. My first piece will be a pair of earrings with a silver post. The solder will compliment the silver post and both the copper and silver will be polished to a high shine. I've made a few copper rings to practice the solder decoration idea and will try out a few different applications.
At the moment, I'm planning on two pairs of earrings, one ring, one bangle and a pendant - five items. Here is a quick look at what I've done :
The key for this part of the Collection is getting the decorative solder right. In my little photo story, you can see the solder on the bottom part of the ring shape in the top image. When it's polished the solder gives a great contrast. However, I want more solder on the surface. I've also made a template bangle in copper to check proportions with the components, eventually the bangle will be in Sterling Silver with a copper ring component acting as a clasp.
I'm also conscious of the need to keep my copper components worn away from the skin. So, why can or does your skin turn green while wearing copper? It's known as the oxidation reaction. The copper reacts with oxygen in the air, your sweat and skin oils creating a green layer of copper carbonate on your skin, it shouldn't be anything to be concerned about, it just looks terrible. Most likely you're not allergic to the copper, very few people are. Simply keep your copper clean and dry and remove any oil or sweat which may be on your jewelry. I'm planning on designing my Copper components to sit slightly away from touching the skin.
Thanks for calling in.