A while back I wanted to try out using enamel to encorperate colour in my jewellery but didnt take the idea much further. Well now I am finally doing it and really enjoying the result. I think it has a very effective soft, lace-like look that works well with the wallpaper motifs I use. Here’s a test piece…
In an effort to identify the method with which I work, I printed out all my blog posts labelled ‘design & work process’. In laying them out in order I saw a pattern starting to form which looked something like this:
I often have an idea that I want to explore and end up making a couple of prototypes or test pieces. These are made with no intention of becoming a final piece of jewellery, but rather for the satisfaction of turning an idea into something workable and making something with an unknown outcome, and seeing where it leads.
More often than not, the unfinished pieces get placed somewhere on my bench or wall as I start working with another idea. What I have come to realise however, is that the threads of the ideas behind all these little test pieces feed other ideas and designs later down the line, linking up in a network of interwoven threads, slowly weaving a pattern.
For example; my idea of wanting to incorporate colour with ribbon earlier this year lead to a bunch of test pieces for interchangeable jewellery, then I carried on working with my metal lace concept for a while. After a few months, I found a test piece that seemed to link up with some sketches I had done and I ended up making ‘lace’ rings with coloured ribbon.
I guess what I am trying to illustrate here, is that for me the making of jewellery is an indulgence where I can explore the thoughts in my mind and tangibly work with and make sense of many of the influences and ideas in my mind. It is this making process that gives the pieces of jewellery I make value to me. Many of my little test pieces of metal I cannot bring myself to get rid of, yet somehow it is easy to sell a piece of jewellery. Where is the sense in that? Surely a piece of jewellery is more valuable…or is it?
Here’s the next step in my ribbon rings! These were designed in Rhino and cast which allowed me to cut the flowers out accurately in a uniform manner. I millgrained the edges because I thought it would soften the look but I still feel the rings could look softer….
I like the colour and contrast of the ribbon integrated with the silver.
If you live in Durban and are interested in an evening infused with different flavours, styles, cultures and inspiration, come along to the FLAVOURS Exhibition by Durban emerging jewellers! It’s at artSpace Durban, opening 13 July 18:00 and runs until 1 August.
I will be showcasing my work and will have pieces for sale by order.
See you there!
I have just finished these earrings and am quite happy with the way they turned out. They were inspired by the curves of a womam’s body and I wanted to create something with a strong simple line and form, and add a soft edge and detailed surface to contrast.
When wearing the earrings I noticed that the sun shines through the pierced pattern, creating a silhouette effect.
I am currently exploring jewellery as an expression of identity, and making jewellery as an expression of myself as the maker.
In reflecting on the bangle that I have just made, I picked up on two aspects of myself that are being expressed.
Childhood Memories: I grew up in Zimbabwe in an old Rhodesian house with decorative iron burglar bars. I would lie in bed and stare at the patterns trying to see if I could make other patterns within them. I have seen some reminiscence of the elements from those burglar bars in my work (this bangle included). The use of these elements in my work is a connection to my childhood and upbringing.
My Femininity: I like to embrace and celebrate my femininity. I think that the qualities of a woman, both inside and out are a beautiful combination of strength and meekness. I think it is important to note that the lace-look I have chosen for this piece is a rugged lace, not refined and perfect. This is a representation of how I feel that although the nature of a woman is delicate and refined, each of use holds a unique strength and character. We may have flaws and faults but it’s the little knots and tassels that when woven together create a beautiful lacework.
I have been working on a bangle that sprouted from a wax impression casting I did not so long ago. It came out with a very lacey affect which set in my mind a clear concept for this bangle.