Brooch Project – Part 3

I’ve been playing around with samples. Below are some of the techniques I’ve been using. The main brooch frame is sterling silver which I have partly oxidised. I have created a domed top using copper which I have pierced out a geometric shape from. I reticulated pieces of silver on top of the copper and then domed it. I’ve used this top to place over the final samples.

Enamel

Here, I have created enamelled panels which can be swapped out for different colours or patterns.

 

Score and Fold, Reticulation & Textures

Here, I have used the disc cutter to create the base circle. I used a ball pein hammer to create the texture before cutting out the circle (so not to distort the circular shape) then domed it to fit the brooch frame. I then cut out a square pattern from copper. I placed pieces of silver on top and melted them creating this reticulated effect. I then scored and folded them in different directions and soldered to the copper dome.

 

Stone Setting

Below I have set an unusually shaped, synthetic stone. I cut out the base circle using the disc cutter and copper, I then flooded some silver solder on top to give me an idea of how it all would look together in silver, although, I was also contemplating oxidising the base black. I cut some 3mm copper wire and sawed it into 3 equal lengths. I soldered these to the base disc assessing the distance between the 3 pillars by eye and using the stone to gauge how close they should be to hold the stone in place. This was surprisingly pretty easy. I used a triangle needle file to saw into the wires (all at an equal height), just enough to pop the stone into place. Using my flat nose pliers, I pulled back one of the prongs slightly to insert the stone into the grooves and then moved the prong back into place. The stone is nice and secure.

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Score & Fold, Oxidising and Resin

I again, used the disc cutter to create the base of the brooch. I cut away a geometric shape to add detail to the back and also to allow the wearer to look through all the layers. I then pierced out a square pattern I’d created with a geometric shape attached. I used the score and fold method to bend these squares into the desired shape and soldered it to the circular base. I oxidised the inside of the square forms and then added a layer of resin which I gave a yellow pigment to onto the geometric shape.

 

Blog on final piece to follow.

Stevie

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Brooch Project – Part 2

I’ve had a few ideas for the brooch project and some of those ideas are pulling me away from my normal materials which I like. As part of the assessment I need 4 Manufacturing Technique samples so I’ve been considering a handful:

  • Reticulation
  • Keum Boo
  • Enamel
  • Stone Setting
  • Adding Cast Elements
  • Patinas – with platinol, liver of sulfur and ammonia
  • Roll Printing
  • Concrete

Although I’ve done a few samples with brightly coloured enamels, this brooch is particularly aimed at men so I feel using neutral tones and earthy materials would be the best way to entice a man to wear it. Below are a few ideas I had at a random moment when I had no sketchbook!

sketch1

~ The first sketch I was thinking about doming copper. I also wanted to add chips of silver to reticulate on top, leaving an interesting texture on top. I am considering oxidising over the reticualtion using platinol and brushing it all little so that the colour has a worn grey effect. I also wanted to add a strip of keum boo down one side to add a touch of colour and class.

~ The second sketch was a quick and random idea. Pierce out the shapes, dome it and enamel it. Nothing exciting and not something I really like, it was just a quick fire idea.

sketch2

~ Above, I was looking at 2 pieces as one. The top layer would have a geometric shape cut out, it would all be reticulated silver for a nice texture and I would also dome it. The second part would be a flat disc that is secured underneath by the top piece. It would be enamelled dark or oxidised grey. I would create a geometric ‘cup’ that would be filled with a pigmented resin, perhaps a yellow to compliment the grey? Also, I feel yellow is not too bold a colour for a man to try out! I was also considering adding some goldleaf flakes. If that were the case however, yellow would not be the main colour in the cup.

sketch3

~One flat layer. Oxidised disc with a worn grey effect. Solder on a geometric ‘cup’ and fill with cement, securing a tube setting with a stone in place as the cement is drying. The dark, oxidised base, with a pale grey cement and just a little sparkle from a stone I think would look great.

 

Samples to follow soon!

Stevie

Graded Unit – Development

I began tracing shapes I found in the pictures I’d taken in order to transcend my research into a tangible object. (Example below). I managed to find some very interesting shapes in pictures of rock formations and mountain scenes from both my travels to Fuerteventura and Iceland. This is how I began finding potential shapes which I would then layer, rotate and resize, developing these into potential jewellery pieces. I had potential pendant, earring and brooch designs, however, I was mostly drawn to potential brooches.

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I used the shapes I traced to create a frame for the piece, a good base to build on. I also wanted to add the square forms I’ve been using throughout my work this year so created different square combinations and sizes and layering these over the frame. It was easier to create a final design knowing the specific elements I wanted to include into the final design which was my cube cast element and these square forms. I decided to adapt and build on where I left off with the ‘Sense of Place’ brief.

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I used CAD to help bring the frames to life and determine which shapes I most preferred. As for colour, I was torn between grey and yellow. I also looked into using purples being my favourite colour, however, not having had the chance to use it in my current body of work I wasn’t confident in changing this up at this point in the year. I was pulled more towards yellow, as I was using silver and I feel the grey would have blended too much when I was wanting to create a ‘pop’. Therefore, yellow was my colour of choice. I also thought about using keum boo through the development stage, however, I felt this would not mix well with resin. It would be one technique or the other and resin is something I like to add to my work regularly, whereas keum boo I may not visit again anytime soon.

I created copper samples to help determine which of my favourite designs would work well and which to scrap. Some designs look great on paper but do not add up when created so this was a vital step in deciding on what the final piece would look like and how it would be put together.

 

Final design choice to follow.

Stevie.

Graded Unit – Research

The Graded Unit brief is titled ‘InForm‘ and this has been left open to interpretation. After doing research into topics I am passionate about during the Planning stage and then meeting with my lecturer and having a talk, I decided to stick with what I know and enjoy, rather than beginning a whole new topic. I have chosen to ‘inform’ others of my inspirations and show how I take what inspires me and transform it into a tangible, wearable object.

My inspiration, particularly over the last year, has been inspired by natural forms and textures; rock formations, cloud structures and the shapes and patterns they naturally create. I like to exaggerate the shapes I find in these forms, creating sharp, angular, geometric designs.

Below are some images I’ve taken on my recent travels to Fuerteventura and Iceland which had me truly inspired, creating the beginnings of what will be my final piece for InForm. I found interesting textures among the lava cliffs in Fuerteventura and intriguing shapes in the rock formations and mountain views in Iceland.

Views/Mountains/Scenic Views

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Rocks/Patterns/Textures

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This is the foundation of my research. More to come in Development.

Stevie

Brooch Project – Part 1

I am making a brooch (for MEN!) as part of the Manufacturing Techniques brief. I need to experiment with at least 4 different techniques and the final piece should include 2.

My lecturer made a brooch frame and then had is cast multiple times and handed these out to everyone in class with the aim of this Man Brooch project frame to have interchangeable inserts. I absolutely love this idea and have seen jewellers’ do this with their own jewellery in many different ways in the past and it is something I’d love to try myself at some point with my own, personal line of work. So this is a great way to get some practise in. Thankfully the cast frame has been made to fit a circular disc which can be cut from the disc cutter in class, making the ‘interchangeable‘ part much easier.

Below are a few experiments and samples of ideas. I’m still however, working on the ‘manly’ part, although I love the idea of men stepping outside their comfort zone and wearing something outside of the ‘stereotypical norm’.

Reticulation
Here I have used the disc cutter to cut out some copper. I placed small chips of scrap silver over the copper and began heating until the silver pieces melted and ran and bubbled over the copper surface, creating a lovely texture. This looks slightly rose gold in colour with the copper shining through the silver. I then domed this slightly to fit neatly into the brooch frame.
I would like to try and place a strip on Keum Boo down the piece, however I am unsure whether the keum boo will adhere to the surface securely with the undertone being copper? I feel it is unfinished though, so if keum boo will not work I’d possibly add a stone using a tube setting, or perhaps a cast element? Currently, the piece reminds me of the moon, unexpected but very happy with it.

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Cast Elements
I used the disc cuter to cut a copper circle and then again to cut out a smaller circle, slightly off centre. I used the same ‘reticulation’ technique and domed the circle again to fit snugly into the frame. I looked at inserting cast elements that fit nicely inside the domed piece. Here I looked at setting a stone into the centre of the cast element and then popping this reticulated, domed piece on top, ‘framing’ the cast element. (Excuse the blue-tac stain, was still experimenting with placements).

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Enamel
Using the reticulated and cut out frame, I looked into adding a pop of colour. What better way to do this than with enamel (haha – Not!) I managed to get lucky with the enamel this time after a few attempts on scrap copper. I used a Mustard Yellow, Blue, Mint Green and then mixed two different shades of purple to create a deep Plum colour. The mint green peeled at one side and turned black but I like this effect even though I cannot explain how it happened. These enamelled discs were cut using the slightly smaller circle on the disc cutter with the larger, domed disc holding them nicely in place.

Score & Fold
Using the previously made samples above as a base, I designed and cut out from copper square forms. As it’s just a sample, I reticulated some silver over the surface of the square form to give the illusion of silver. I then used the score and fold method to angle them in different ways. I have been testing out the placement of this form over the domed circle and adding coloured discs underneath.

 

These are just a few samples and ideas and looking at other techniques to sample, such as Keum boo, Patinas and adding texture using hammers and the rolling mill.

Stevie.

 

 

Sense of Place -Final Design Possibilities

Here are my A3 boards of potential final design outcomes.For the first brooch ideas I was looking at layering fold formed square patterns on top of one another to create some depth. I pierced out a lot of copper samples but after a lot of thought, I decided it was just too much silver in one piece for a poor student! I contemplated cutting out a layer in copper and oxidising it or reticulating small pieces of silver on top. I decided against these ideas and continued my development.

brooch1 slides

After further development on the brooch designs, I looked at combining the geometric frames with the square forms. This would save a lot on the amount of sheet silver I’d be using and also brings the two directions I was taking back together. After sampling a few shapes and layering, I found it was all too flat and after more development I created a frame with some extra structure to layer the square forms over. I looked at adding some coloured resin to give the pieces some colour.

brooches2 SOP

I began designing with earrings, looking at square wire frames and how they’d be created. I attempted to design a frame in Rhino and then 3D printed it. I used the model to create a rubber mould which works pretty well but feel maybe the frames are perhaps a bit bigger than I’d like. I then continued development on the earrings concept, looking at casting elements to incorporate and then moved on to the square fold forms once more. After some paper samples to decide on my favourite layout, I attempted a copper sample and was very pleased with the outcome. In the end I decided to incorporate some cast lava rock to the final earring design.

earrings

Final pieces will be in the next post!

Stevie.

Sense of Place – Research & Development Boards

An upload of A3 boards I created in Photoshop displaying my research and development process which of course has lead to my final designs (a new blog will be uploaded for this).

 

The first board is just to show my trail of thought. I was looking at places I had good memories both from childhood and recent years, people, books/movies/music, a personal journey, the feeling I get from a certain place/environment and transferring this into something tangible. And so on.

SLIDE 1 - SOP

This board is just to show that I was taking colour seriously. Having chosen to go with a ‘feeling’ as a sense of place and that place being a state of freedom and escapism, it was important to not only pick colours that reflect my own personality, but colours that relate to triggering those feelings. Within my sketchbook I’ve looked into many colours and what feelings they are supposed to provoke in us and also looked at how they connect to our Chakras, bringing it back to that spiritually free feeling. These are the colours I narrowed my decisions down to and why. Not only are they best suited to me personally, they represent exactly the feelings I was hoping to resonate with.

Slide 4 - SOP

The following slides are my research and development boards. I looked into the travels I’ve taken – New Zealand, Fuerteventura and Iceland. These places have all triggered that incredible feeling and it’s often because I am out in nature and by the sea.

Slide 2 - SOP copy

Slide 3 - SOP

I found a way to translate that feeling into physical  inspiration from these memories by tracing shapes out of the lava rock, the ocean waves, cliff faces, pathways and walls. This is demonstrated in the next few slides, incorporating  sketchbook images into the A3 boards.

Slide 5 - SOP

Slide 6 - SOP

SOP - Slide 8

I went on to sample some of my favourite designs. I looked at some earring designs and thought about adding colour with the use of resin. I looked at possible manufacturing techniques such as creating frames with square wire, or by 3D printing a frame and casting it, or creating a rubber mould for repeat casting. I also looked at other elements I could use within the piece to bring it further to that physical place. I ended up creating a rubber mould using a piece of lava rock I brought back from Iceland. This mould happened to work fantastically and so I continued to push designs further here to try and incorporate this element into at least one of the final pieces.

Slide 7 - SOP

I also looked into brooch designs. I focused mainly on the geometric shapes originally and eventually started to incorporate fold form squares into the frames. Again, looking at square wire and piercing out silver sheet and looking into adding resin again for that pop of colour. These were all looking a little too flat however so developed further to add more structure and depth to the potential finished piece.

SOP - Slide 9

These are the research and development boards. A new blog will have the A3 boards of possible design outcomes.

Stevie.

Sense of Place – Finalising

In the last post I talked about the geometric frame ideas I had and the earring concepts I’d been working on. However, I was loving the square fold forms I’d been working with in the previous brief and have tried to incorporate them now into this brief. As much as I love the designs I’ve had earlier, I feel I need something more.

I’ve started to combine both the geometric frames I’ve been playing around with as well as the square forms from previous block. I’ve come up with some brooch designs, using the geometric shapes as a wire frame and filling the frame and adding depth with the layered, fold-formed squares. I was originally going for squares on squares (as seen in left image below). I loved this effect but it was using up far too much silver. I thought about using copper and oxidising it, or reticulate small pieces of silver over it but I wasn’t too impressed with these ideas. I loved the frame idea but when sampling, I thought it was all a bit too flat.

sketch3sketch1

After more designs and contemplation I decided to add a frame to the structure, creating more depth. Looking at the Fuerteventura rock faces overlooking the sea and their textures and forms has really helped here as the forms I’m creating by folding the squares are giving a nice, visual effect and towering over the frame.

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Further development below, (attempting to draw) some 3D frames to give the square forms more height and depth like the cliff face in the pictures above.

sketch2

I’ve been sampling using the shapes I’ve found by tracing over pictures from Fuerteventura and Iceland, creating frames. I’m liking this idea very much and looking at possible materials.

sample2

I’m thinking 1.5mm square wire for the frame and 0.7mm silver sheet for the squares. I’m looking at connecting the two parts using either solder or rivets. Although the clean up with be very difficult if I solder so I am pretty sure rivets will be the route to go down. I’m also considering adding a little resin to add a pop of colour or perhaps a little stone setting. I’d love to add my cast piece of lava rock which I found in Iceland, so will continue finalising ideas. Almost there now!

Stevie

 

Sense of Place – Sketchbook Development

I’m really liking the direction I’m taking with the sketchbook, although still LOADS of ideas I’m trying to get down on paper! Here’s a few shots of sketchbook development. I’ve been doing a little 3D printing relating to my sketchbook work. Seeing the pieces come to life really helps with seeing the potential outcome and what does and doesn’t work. Still lots of work to do! I’m currently looking at potential earring or pendant frames as well as some 3D faceted shapes. Excited to keep pushing these ideas further to see what I come up with. I’ve been using CAD software Rhino to create these pieces, I then saved them as STL files and connected the PC to my 3D printer. (The 3D printer isn’t anything crazy, can’t afford that! However, it does what I need it to; gauge the size of a piece and see what does and doesn’t work and what I can change). The print isn’t clean like with a wax filament (the printer uses PLA), however, with some of the designs, I am able to emery and file them down to a smooth surface. I will attempt to create some rubber moulds and test if this works and the small pieces I can attempt to cast, so long as the pieces can be cleaned up enough. If I find a design I am particularly happy with but doesn’t clean up well enough for either process then I can send the file to shape ways to print.

 

I’ve made some mock up frames by hand. First I used 2mm round copper wire, I put this through the draw plate to make the wire square (I love this machine!). I then used a ruler to mark where I wanted to score the meal to create the desired shape. I used a triangular needle file to manoeuvre the metal into shape and soldered into place. I made a few random designs to test out the process.

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I then went on to test this design with silver square wire, gave the frame a satin finish using the frosting wheel, then continued to fill them with resin which I mixed with a grey pigment. I really liked the larger frame design and was curious to see how this would look as a piece of jewellery and if it would sit well e.t.c. Safe to say I am really happy with the silver sample, the way the earrings sit is how I’d hoped. Need a clean up though and would take more care in making the frame and adding the resin. This was all done by hand and quite tricky getting the pair to exactly match (as I didn’t measure properly with the ruler), so again, would spend more time and care on this process. This is a very early design so looking to progress further but a lovely pair to keep for myself!

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Some sketchbook development work below to show my process and how I’ve gotten to this stage.

Taking inspirational images and tracing shapes from them. Giving them more angles and then manipulating them by layering or cutting in half to generate potential pieces of jewellery. So far I’ve just touched on a few pendant and earring designs, but still a lot more to try out along with potential rings/brooches.

Stevie

Sense of Place – Making Decisions

Interpretation

As stated in previous blogs I don’t really have a specific location that generates inspiration for me. I’ve grown up in Edinburgh which doesn’t feel like ‘home‘ and as much as I love London, I have not spent much time here to call it home or to use this as a source of inspiration. I don’t have a physical place I can say is home and so I looked to feelings that generate that place I want to build on. I’ve mentioned that I find being by the ocean blissful. Being in that state of ‘freedom‘ is my sense of place. I’ve also touched on meditation and how this calms and pulls your mind into a relaxed, free feeling state. It also connects to our chakras and our spiritual being, in my opinion, another reason why we feel so free, because for a short time we are connected to our true selves, our subconscious, spiritual selves, not in the busy, physical hustle and bustle of the ‘now’ state that we are made to believe is our true state, the way humanity was supposed to live. I completely disagree.

Looking at this on a deeper level, we are not really physical ourselves, we are energy. Everything is made up of energy. This isn’t some made up belief, this is science. We are energy and vibrate at different frequencies which continually fluctuate dependant on our mood. This free feeling is a state of high energy. This is when I feel most alive.

Colour

I have used shapes I’ve traced and manipulated from pictures I’ve taken of lava rock, cliff faces, ocean waves and patterns within the walls and paving. I have researched colour, looking at the feelings they apparently trigger within us but also looking at the colour that surrounds me in these bright, oceanic scenes. I’m drawn to grey, lilac and turquoise (all shades I’ve found in my pictures of the ocean) and yellow which makes a nice, bold contrast to these colours and represents the bright, sunny weather. There was also a lot of blue and green but I’m not a big fan of either on their own but love the mixed colours such as Aqua, Turquoise, Teal etc.

After looking into the chakras and meanings of colour, Yellow stood out as it’s a colour which promotes happiness and energy and is also focused on the Solar Plexus chakra, relating to personal strength; The freedom of thought, intellect and confidence. I feel this is so relevant to my ‘Sense of Place’. Purple is also a colour which really stands out and is relevant to my interpretation of the brief. As this colour relates to creativity and spirituality. There are so many shades however and purples are connected to both the Crown and Third Eye chakra. They relate to knowingness and intuition. Again, strongly linking to my direction with the brief. The union of body and soul, self-realisation.

Materials & Techniques Contemplation

Ok, I probably sound like a right hippie! I’ve taken the briefs given in the past quite light heartedly, with not much depth of concept behind them and now I really want to dig into something that really means something to me and this is the perfect opportunity.

I am looking at 3D printing and casting techniques for this piece (more to come on this), whether it be a frame, shape or an element to add to the piece. I’ve had loads of ideas but looking to keep design more simple this time. I often go overboard and in some cases, ruin my end piece because I’m trying to put a lot of different techniques into one piece. This is because I’m always pushing myself to learn more. I may be learning, but my finish needs to be clean at this stage. I’m in my final college year now and have decided to just hone in on a couple of my favourite techniques and try to make them look as good as I can. Stone Setting and Resin happen to be my favourite ways of adding colour. For this brief I am contemplating stone setting, however, I have been really drawn to resin here. I know this is not everyones favourite alternative material but over the last 2 years I have learned to use it in different ways and will continue to use this as I grow as a jeweller. Sorry, resin stays.
So, potential 3D printing, casting, stone setting and resin. I’m keeping an open mind and just going with my gut on this one.

Stevie.