5 Cast Elements – Ring Series

Part of the course brief was to cast 5 of the same element and make some jewellery with them. This could be 5 in 1 making a bracelet or pendant, or could be a few different individual pieces. I decided to create a series of 5 rings using my cast faceted element. Below are some sketches of the ideas I had.


I designed the faceted pod in CAD and then 3D printed this at home, working out the exact size I was after. Although the CAD program tells you what size the piece is as you’re deigning it, I seem to work way better with the program if I can have the physical copy instead of trying to gauge it with a ruler in my hand and visualising the size. At the time I was experimenting with this, the college 3D printer was broken and I’d already 3D printed a couple of designs from the college printer which I didn’t like. However, using my printer doesn’t give a great finish. It’s perfect for what I need it to do but a lot of clean up is needed before or after if using the piece for casting.

I super glued a brass rod to the plastic piece to create the wax injection chamber then proceeded to make a rubber mould so that I’d be able to cast multiples (as I need 5 identical pieces). I then wax injected the mould which turned out great and sprued up my tree and had it cast.

 

 

The castings were in pretty bad shape, purely because of the 3D printed texture on them. However, using a vice and large file, I pinned the facets into the vice one at a time and filed the surfaces flat which made the pieces look miles better. I then began making my series of rings.

I originally wanted to set some flush settings into a couple of the rings with black and yellow 2mm and 2.5mm C.Z’s, however, I’d only done 5 of these previously and didn’t feel confident doing this without a backup ring in place. Also with time running out, I decided to leave this idea for now but may revisit it later down the line. My other thoughts were to oxidise areas and keum boo others. I’m not a fan of keum boo though so felt this was taking me down a style that didn’t fit my own. My final idea was to set pops of resin to the rings but I didn’t want to rush this with the exhibition approaching and decided for the sake of time and wanting the rings displayed at the exhibition, I’d give them a polish and leave them clean and simple. I’m happy with the results, I think the rings are a lovely design but would like to add a pop of colour later on.

I also granulated some silver then filed these to have a faceted appearance. I soldered these to a couple of the ring shanks. The ring shanks and stems were all given a hammered texture finish also using a ball pein hammer. Below is a little video of 4 of the completed rings in action.

Stevie.

 

 

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Flush Settings

Below is a video and images of a ring I made to practice flush settings with.

Part of the mandatory course work is to do 5 flush settings. I managed to put my 5 attempts into one band. We were given some thick, silver wire to practice with which is what I have used above. I bought some hand stamps a while back and decided to have a little fun and decorate the band with a star embellishment and then set the stones in-between them.

I have used 3 black, 2mm C.Z’s and 2 yellow, 2.5mm C.Z’s for this band.

 

  • I stamped the stars into the metal then created the ring shank.
  • For the 2mm stones, I first drilled through the band with a 1mm drill bit. I found I was having trouble taking the 2mm burr far enough through the metal which ended up being because I needed to go through the band with a slightly larger drill after the first.
  • So I then used a 1.5mm drill bit through the 1mm hole previously drilled and then the 2mm burr had no problems cutting through the metal. (I also applied some oil before burring into the metal).
  • I burred into the band slowly, stopping often to check if the stones girdle (table) was flush/in line with the metal (almost disappearing into the metal). I don’t want the stone sitting above the metal as it cannot be set and if it’s too low it won’t work properly either.
  • Once I’d burred to the correct depth, I placed the stone in the space and gently using my burnishing tool, pushed round the stone. This should press the metal over the stone to secure it in place.flush2

I used the same method with the 2.5mm stones. However, for the drill bit, I used a 2mm drill and then a 2.5mm burr. My lecturer also showed me how to create a ledge to have the stone ‘pop’ into it using a heart burr but I was not brave enough to attempt it. I may give it a go next time though!

Below is the burnishing tool I made to help set the stones using an old drill bit and handle.


RECAP ON HOW TO FLUSH SET STONES

~ 2mm Stone (C.Z)
~ 1mm Drill bit
~ 1.5mm Drill bit
~ 2mm Burr

~ 2.5mm Stone (C.Z)
~ 1.5mm Drill bit
~ 2mm Drill bit
~ 3mm Burr

~ Place stone into the snug fitting which should be sitting with the girdle (table) of the stone almost disappearing under the metal.
~ Use burnishing tool to push the metal round the stone to secure it in place.
~ A Vernier Gauge can also be used to measure the stones and drill bits before use as on occasion, sizes can vary slightly from what they are supposed to be which can affect this setting method.

Stevie

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 – Boards

The brooch has been named ‘Eldfell’ which is Icelandic for ‘Mountain of Fire’. The main frame was inspired by an Icelandic mountain I photographed on my travels, therefore the name seemed appropriate. I wanted the squares to drape and tower over the frame, an idea which was inspired by the towering lava cliffs in Fuerteventura, overlooking the ocean. The yellow ties in with my overall theme this year, however, it also symbolises ‘Happiness’ and promotes positive energy, which fits well as I wanted the piece to reflect not only the places I visited and was inspired by, but the feelings I also had being in these beautiful, scenic countries. The following boards are an overview of the entire process.

Summary of Research

research board - Stevie

Summary of Development

development board

Summary of Final Design

Eldfell Final Board

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.

1


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).

8


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 Pieces

I’d taken inspiration from a ‘Feeling’ of place rather than a physical place itself. I wanted to use that feeling of freedom and escapism and translate that into a piece of jewellery. On my adventures, I discovered that this feeling was at its strongest when by the ocean. My favourite moments of my Fuerteventura holiday were when I was sitting up on the edge of the rocky cliff face overlooking the sea. There was something very peaceful about this followed by this overwhelming feeling of getting lost that I felt inspired to pursue this with my designs. I looked at the contrast between the harsh lava rock formations that towered over a peaceful ocean and began designing from here. I traced shapes from photographs I’d taken of the cliffs, lava rock and patterns I’d found in the waves, ground and other surroundings, finding shapes to begin designing with.

20161106_102914

Although the brief asked for just one final piece, I have created two (and just finishing a third!). Here they are:

Earrings:

These are made with silver and resin.

The first piece is a pair of earrings. I created a fold form of squares with an odd, geometric shape. I covered this shape with a thin layer of resin which I’d given a grey pigment. I used the frosting wheel to give the fold form element some light texture and a matt finish. I used square wire for the stem and for the stud element I used a piece of cast lave rock which I sawed into two parts. I’m overall very pleased with these. I’ve added depth, texture and a pop of colour. They are comfortable to wear but also sit nicely and are just the right length. I still need to work on my square piercing and filing technique, along with folding them so it’s a nice, clean fold with no bending in any other areas. I feel for this piece I did that well.

earrings1

 

Brooch:

Made using silver, resin and steel.

My second piece was quite challenging. I created a geometric frame which I then added an extra piece of wire to for added structure as I wanted to create a towering effect (like the cliff face in Fuerteventura overlooking the ocean). I pierced out my square form and after cleaning up with emery paper and needle files I gave it a satin finish and some light texture using a frosting wheel. I then used the score and fold method to give the piece some dynamic. I mixed resin with a grey pigment and coated the two geometric shapes hiding amongst the squares to add a pop of colour. I riveted this square formed piece to the frame. I used some fine square wire to create a claw setting, holding a piece of cast lava rock into place, which I oxidised with liver of sulphur. I used steel wire for the brooch pin.

 

A third piece is currently being completed.

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.

20161108_17491720161106_103130

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

 

Elements – A Running Theme

Towards the end of our HND1 we were creating CAD pieces which we would be carrying through to our HND2 under the brief ‘Elements’. This will then play a part throughout our body of work for the rest of the year. I unfortunately didn’t like the piece I’d created in CAD and will not be using this through my work. I have new ideas however that I will take forward instead. If it’s to be my ‘staple’ then it should be my decision, not someone else’s. I’ve decided to go with my initial idea here and hope to fit this through what’s to come.

I think I’ve maybe found this more difficult than others. I know what materials I like to use, however, when it comes to shapes, colours or textures I’m not sure where I stand. I find I work very spontaneously outside of college and my work is pretty commercial based. Although I do now use a sketchbook for ideas, they are often one-off design ideas, rather than a collection of work. Commercial for me is not a problem but this doesn’t seem to be the way we are to go with college, which I also don’t have a problem with. I am just finding it difficult to pin point my ‘style’. I feel I am still very much experimental in everything I create after just 2 years of creating jewellery. I don’t feel I have a specific similarity to my work yet. I would like to design more contemporary styled pieces and maybe I’m just thinking too much about this causing a creative block.

I’ve had a look through the pieces I have made over the last 2 years to try and gain some clarity:


My NC work:

Triangles and angles generally were stronger in my work rather than curves (although I did dabble in this style for my final piece of the year). No colour in particular stands out to me as a continual theme but I did have a love for purple and often used a frosting wheel for satin finishes.
My HND1 work:

Throughout the HND1 I worked with angles. I took shapes such as pentagons and manipulated them into random, geometric shapes. I also took circles and gave them angles which is what ultimately created my final pieces toward the end of the year. As for colour, again nothing was particularly prominent to me. I used patina as a means to tick a box for SQA but not something I would generally use in my work. I did find towards the end of the year a new love for yellow, however, in the end I chose crimson colours to make the goldleaf pop in my final piece and the year was over.
I myself don’t see any link between my pieces here other than the use of resin and stone setting. I feel there’s not much time to continue pondering it all and have decided to go with my current passions and use those in the brief The Street. I’m thinking geometric, off-kilter shapes and squares. It may sound like a random combination but I’ll see how it goes. Yellow is the colour I’ve been drawn to since June so will go with this also. Resin is a big possibility for the final pieces. This is at least a starting point for my sketchbook. Ok, off I go to my sketchbook!

Stevie.