Saturday, 28 May 2011

Dancing Fox With The Ruby Red Eye

This is the first of a new series of variations on my original Dancing Fox silver pendant. The silver has been lightly oxidized to give it a sheen of oil slick colours (dark blue black to pink and orange.) I've also added a tiny pink ruby for the eye as a nice sparkling contrast.

This little pendant will be part of the stock for the We Make London Summer Boutique.

Unique and exclusive! :-)

Friday, 27 May 2011

Radicals Art Show at the National Portrait Gallery

It is proving to be an extremely busy summer so far!!

I am currently working on some pieces to be exhibited in the Radicals Art Show at the National Portrait Gallery.

I have chosen to base my main piece on the portrait of Jane Austen (see below) because although she wasn't strictly a radical in the style of Mary Wollstonecraft, I am a huge fan of her novels. The portrait of Jane Austen by her sister is on display in Room 18 in the National Portrait Gallery in London and it is well worth a look.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

We Make London Summer Boutique

Hello everyone!

I've had some really good news recently...
I've been accepted as one of the designer makers supplying the We Make London's Summer Boutique in Hammersmith this year! This will be the first shop to stock my jewellery so you are welcome to wander along and check it out as I'm sure it will be a veritable treasure trove of beautiful gifts!

I am just waiting to see what they would like me to make for the shop and then I will be beavering away to get some stock ready in time.

It's very exciting! :-)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Enamelling- The finished article

Well here is my finished little dragon...

It wasn't too awful in the end getting the second layer of enamel on and I am pleased with the result. I can't wait to wear it tomorrow!! :-)

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Enamelling- My first attempts

I had my second of ten jewellery classes this evening and I finally bit the bullet and had a go at enamelling.

I had cut out a dragon design from 1mm silver sheet, cleaned it, dusted on the opaque lavender enamel powder, fired it in the kiln and produced a glassy smooth finish, Everything had gone well and my little dragon looked lovely. Very exciting! Then... disaster! The enamel started to ping off! As the metal cooled, little popping sounds could be heard and gradually the bluish colour disintegrated. D'oh!

Undeterred, I was determined to re-enamel the piece because I really wanted to be able to wear something to remind me that I was making progress at the moment. I scrubbed what was left of the enamel off and resolved to start again. My tutor said that perhaps I had put too much enamel on and let it cool down too quickly so I tried to restrain myself with layering on the powdered enamel and left a much thinner covering. Unfortunately it was not quite enough this time so I have had to leave the little dragon in its half finished state (the surface enamel has only partially fused to the silver and has an 'orange peel' texture) and more enamel will have to be layered on next week (there wasn't enough time to finish it tonight.)

Hopefully after this first brush with enamelling I will be able to get the quantities right and produce some really nice pieces.

Here is a photo for now at least of my half finished dragon... :-)

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Intermediate Jewellery Course Week One

Hello All!

Well, I started my shiny new jewellery course this week and the amount of possibilities that have been opened up for creating new jewellery designs is slightly overwhelming! Deciding what to focus on has been thankfully dictated to me by various deadlines. The course tutor has set us a task involving Seamus Heaney's poem Digging, which has several evocative references to writing, potatoes and of course digging! I started to think that I would make something literal perhaps involving a spade and a robin that drew on the fact that I really love the book called The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett but I soon realised that I could combine my interest in history with the reference to potatoes and make something using the image of Sir Walter Raleigh.

This idea combines many elements that have influenced my life so far. I have been studying miniature paintings for quite awhile and have been trying to practice my drawing skills again after a long period of abstinence. I worked at HM Tower of London for two years and Sir Walter spent A LOT of time shut up there! He was a poet so there is another link to Seamus Heaney and I am going to use pebbles and set them as precious stones in the piece to look like potatoes, which will hopefully add a touch of humour and whimsy!

I have used Nicolas Hilliard's miniature as a reference because it has a slightly odd elvish look to it that I thought would look good on silver...

My first attempt, which I started on my tube journey home after work looks rather swarthy

I am happier with my second attempt. I have tried to keep the lines solid so that they will stand out when they are etched onto silver.

I will post more photos of my work in progress as it progresses! :-)