Lace Ruffles

I am hoping to take part in the next Red Eye event happening in Durban in September. I will be making a bold ramp piece of jewellery which I am intending to make with layers of metal, lace and paper.

bigger collar

bigger sleavescuff

The ideas I have come up with take reference from the flamboyant lace ruffs, collars and cuffs that were part of the court costumes in the 17th Century. Needlepoint lace was worn as a display of luxury and elegance by both men and women to demonstrate their high class and wealth.


The Greenwood Encyclopedia of clothing through world history, Volume 2, by Jill Condra


Thinking out of my box…

The time of the year has come for the Plat Africa competition. We have to base our piece on the courting traditions of a South African culture group. Coming from KwaZulu Natal it is apt that our pieces are based on the Zulu culture.

I have to admit that I am struggling to design something that captures our theme but still lies within my personal style. It has been a big challenge for me because my work generally has a very organic flow to it and I have worked through numerous designs and prototypes to try and incorperate it somehow into the structured geometric designs of the Zulu culture.

sketches 1sketches 2

sketches 3

The above sketches show me working through ideas to integrate what I’m doing with my personal work and our Zulu symbol that my group chose. I had an idea of using wire elements woven together to look like lace, but it did not fit with our concept and metal restrictions well. I do however, want to take it further to use in my personal work…

Platinum test piece 1

My next attempt was to incorperate ribbon to bring in the colour combination and the Zulu symbol we chose, but this was quite a disaster I think, the ribbon was too wide and the symbol got lost between all the weaving in and out…

Flavours exhibition 002

So now I am onto my next prototype, third time lucky I hope!

design development

Sketch page copy

I’m always tearing out pictures from magazines that hold a certain quality or essence in them that I would like to capture in my jewellery. Often the pictures just have a particular detail that I like, or a tone I want to capture, or there will be colours, patterns or a line that I think I could take reference from when designing.

Above is a working page of some rough ideas I’m playing with that take reference from a magazine picture. My eye was drawn to the lines created by the model’s pose. I like the obscure strength of her stance that somehow also retains the soft nature of a woman’s body. The soft, textured fabric of her dress reminded me of a wax impression I made a while back .

Display ideas…

I have an exhibition approaching soon and need to figure out what my diplay is going to look like. I have a few ideas and would really like to know what you think of them or any further suggestions you may have…

Things I need to consider:

– The viewer must be able to interact with the jewellery on display (touch, look closely)

– The interchangeability and versatility of the jewellery must be evident.

– The display must be eye-catching and draw the viewer closer to look.

My first Idea was to take monotone photos of a model in various poses and print life-size areas of the photos (eg: neck) onto canvas. I will then attach my jewellery pieces onto the canvases in the appropriate areas. Jewellery pieces will also be displayed on surfaces attached to the walls below.


The second idea is to create segments in which each separate ‘range’ will be displayed. This will be done with the use of division boards. In each segment there will be photos as mentioned in the first idea, along with a plinth to display the jewellery pieces.


Personalizing your jewellery

I am playing with the concept of the wearer being able to contribute to the development of a piece and personalize it to some extent. If the wearer interacts in this way I think it will allow my jewellery to go beyond simple adornment to a personal level with the wearer.

This has lead to a number of ideas for pieces where there will be a collection of various motifs and elements that the wearer can thread on to different cords and wear on their neck or wrist. These elements can also be attached to a removable ring shank allowing the wearer to create a combination of their own.

I am hoping this will be quite a marketable concept that will encourage people to buy new elements to add on, much like adding charms to a charm bracelet.

Here are a few working sketches of some of the concepts and motifs I’m working with….



Display decisions

Its our end of year display coming up soon and my mind has been occupied with how I’m going to set up my display….I wanted to bring in my layering and collaging somehow but I’m scared it could be too overpowering and busy. I’d really like it to be simple and effective, so after thinking and sketching through some options I think I’ve settled on something.

I’ve decided on doing a thin strip of collage behind my plinth, but the collage will be kept simple and light with the use of transparences, and I will make small simple frames to highlight important pieces. Lets hope it works!