Thursday, 29 May 2008

Pissenlit: a dandelion close-up

Dandelion, Leeds, 29 May 2008

This link will take you to an article that appeared recently (and once before, in 2002) in the Independent newspaper. Enjoy!
Miles Kington Remembered: Consider the lilies ... and the dandelions and nettles

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Puffin pendant design

Although I have been concentrating on the suite of items on the Ripple theme, I do still want to try and make one piece based on the shape of the puffin's beak. I have previously shown some preliminary sketches. These sketches are my latest thoughts.

The shape still has a slight feel of the Starship Enterprise, but I think it is also puffin-like. Ideal for the sci-fi birdwatcher!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

From ripple necklace to ripple bracelet in one easy step

The next step in assembling my ripple necklace was to solder the loops on the links closed, leaving the main part of the link open so the links could be joined together.

The soldering went well. After pickling, I was able to lay out the links to check the length of the finished piece.

Making the second set of solder joins (to close the links) turned out to be harder than I'd expected, and this was one part of the construction that I hadn't practised in advance using copper. In several cases, I managed to re-melt the hard solder in the loop, and the loop then got fixed to the next link. In fact, by the time I'd finished I had just enough undamaged links left to construct a bracelet instead of a necklace.

This is the bracelet shown before the ripple links have been forged.

And this is the bracelet after the ripple links have been forged. The ripples have also been slightly bent to suit the curve of the wrist. The bracelet is still to be tumbled polished.

I hope to be able to salvage some of the wire from the wrongly joined links to make other items. But I need to re-think the whole design of the links before attempting another necklace.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Coast ring from Hannah Louise Lamb

I came across a wonderful piece of jewellery featured in Coast magazine. The Coast ring by Hannah Louise Lamb has two interlocking parts, one part is polished and the other textured. The two parts represents the land and the sea, and the join is a wiggly line that represents a stretch of coastline. Purchasers can even specify which bit of coastline should be used.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Ripple necklace started

I've started to construct my ripple necklace in silver. Here are some of the links at three different stages in the shaping process. So that they can be joined together neatly, the loop for these links is perpendicular to the plane of the ripple. Each piece of wire is initially 6.25 cm long.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Double ripple test piece

These earrings, made from copper with the earwires in silver, are made using two ripples links with the relative sizes mentioned in this earlier post. The total drop is about 5 cm. I am happy with the way the two links hang together and will proceed to make a pair in silver.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Call for submissions for Lark jewellery books

The publisher Lark Books often asks for submissions of work to be included in forthcoming art and craft books. Currently there are three calls for jewellery submissions, closing 16 June 2008, 1 July 2008 and 7 July 2008. The first is for projects for a book called Beading with Metal Beads. The second is for studio jewellery that prominently features plastic for the book 500 Plastic Jewelry. The third is for recycled plastic items for a book entitled Fantastic Plastic

500 Plastic Jewelry will be one of the 500 series books. I hope the title is just a working title, as it doesn't sound quite right!

There is a lovely feature on the Lark books about page. It is called "One of Us ..."; take a look.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Glorious weather

We've had some wonderful weather recently. I took these photos at Floors Castle in Kelso last week. Blue sky! I was rather taken with the black tulips. As far as jewellery making is concerned, I think the shape of the outline of the tulips is promising, and the brick wall might also have possibilities.

As well as the lovely surroundings, they have great food at Floors. The baking is especially good. I had a delicious scone and we brought home a fantastic apple pie.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Multiple ripples

I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to make some earrings with more than one ripple link. Obviously there are lots of possibilities here, but I started by deciding that the curvatures on the links would be the same, even though their overall sizes would differ. It took only a couple of sketches to decide that making the smaller link fit in the top, wide part of the larger link worked well. Some back of the envelope calculations and I now have a starting point, and will be cutting the longer wire 1.5 times the length of the shorter one.

I'm also thinking about setting a stone in one of the ripple links. These sketches helped me decide on the location, but I'll do another series to be sure of the size of stone to use. Not sure how the setting will affect the hanging of the link though. This will probably be the last variation on the ripple theme that I try, as the necklace of links and the band ring should come first.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Brief number three and three quarters

Image created using the Hockneyizer.

We are not going to receive a Brief Number 4. Instead, Number 3 has been extended to include making a piece based on the research undertaken in that brief.

We had earlier been told that our final brief (1) would involve making a suite of pieces with a common theme, and (2) should be something that it would be practical to make for sale, in terms of both making time and materials costs. So I had those features in mind when working with the Coast theme materials, and have included them in my ideas for the Ripple series. I envisage my suite consisting of earrings, a necklace and a band ring.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Nigel Hall at the YSP

There's an exhibition of work by Nigel Hall currently on at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I haven't seen all of it yet, but I enjoyed the parts I saw very much. Work from 1965 to 2008 is included, and there is a great variety from drawings to huge sculptures. There is a geometrical theme that appeals to me.

"Slow motion" is a 5 m tall sculpture featuring several ellipses arranged in a 3D shape. The sculpture looks different from different viewpoints and from different directions. I was sure that it was really made up of circles, which looked like ellipses because of the angle, until I got closer. Apart from the size, it has a jewellery-like form. There is a picture of it in the Nigel Hall Resource Room boards document, which can be downloaded from here (bottom of page).

A back of a brown paper bag sketch - I really must get into the habit of carrying a sketch book!

I was very taken with a wall-mounted metal rod construction, which was made complete by the shadows it cast. My sketch completely fails to capture the 3D nature of the structure (which is why I'm not worried about the copyright issues of posting it here!), but I found this inspiring. I like the idea of making a wire framework, where both the original and the shadow are made in wire.

The exhibition continues until early June, so I must go back and see the rest.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Prototype ripples

Further to this post, I've been working on making the basic ripple link from copper wire. Have made good progress, but the bottom needs to be just a bit more pointed.

Toyed with the idea of hanging more than one link from each ear wire. They looked good laid out on the bench, but disappointing when hung. They will need to be differently sized links for this to work.