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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Brooch Project – Final Piece

For the final brooch choice I picked the score & fold with geometric shape. This piece is in-keeping with the work I’ve done over the year and hopefully will appeal to those looking to be more bold with their brooch/pin.

I used piercing, scoring & folding, oxidising, resin and reticulation techniques for this piece. (Below are the samples).

final 13

  • I used the disc cutter to create the base of the brooch. I used 0.7mm sterling silver sheet. 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 also pierced out from 0.7mm silver sheet a square pattern I’d created which includes a geometric shape. I used the score and fold method to bend these squares into the desired, box-like shape and soldered it to the circular base. I oxidised the inside of the square forms and then added to the geometric shape a layer of resin which I gave a yellow pigment to.
  • The Top piece was also cut from the disc cutter but a slightly larger circle was used. I cut a disc from copper sheet and then pierced a geometric shape out of the copper disc which I then added small chips of sterling silver to and melted and reticulated the silver onto the surface. I then added solder to the other side and melted that over the copper to cover it. I didn’t use silver ships as I wasn’t wanting the same ‘reticulated’ effect. I then domed the piece. What I love about reticulating silver onto copper is that it works differently to reticulating straight onto silver. I also love the rose hue it creates.
  • Our lecturer had already made the brooch frame which he then made a rubber mould of and cast multiple times so that everyone in class could make an interchangeable brooch. All I had to do to this was give it a little clean up and add some tube so that a steel pin could be inserted. I also oxidised the inside of the frame and the front rim and left the rest with a satin, silver finish.

 

This project is about getting men into jewellery. The brooches will be on display at the college exhibition on June 13th and then at the Elements exhibition later in the year. They will be available to buy will all proceeds going to charity for testicular cancer. As part of the exhibition we were asked to get men to model the brooches so I had my oldest brother and my 8 year old nephew model the brooch.

Stevie.

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.

final 10

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

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

Graded Unit – Eldfell

After a long design process and a few hick-ups which meant designs needed to be re-visited, I finally got a finished piece! I know my finishing of my pieces definitely needs work and it’s rather frustrating that I have not quite nailed that yet, the design however, I am happy with, despite the set backs.

final1

  • 2mm Square wire frame.
  • 0.7mm silver sheet used for square forms and support for cast element.
  • Cast element with 3 resin-filled compartments. (I attempted to set a 3mm citrine stone, however, with this being a new stone setting method it unfortunately didn’t go to plan. As I was chiselling out metal to make a ledge for the stone to sit in, the supporting wall which would be used to secure the stone in place kept crumbling away. Very disappointed with this but there is nothing I can do about it now).
  • I mixed a yellow resin paste to my resin mixture and applied this to the 3 compartments and the odd geometric shape with the square forms.
  • I cut little cubes from the 2mm wire and added this to the frame.
  • I used tube which I sliced into to create the decorated rivet effect.

final2

  • Steel wire has been used for the brooch pin.
  • I added a silver wire beam to form the squares over, adding more depth and stability to the piece.
  • I coated the back of the geometric shape and the sheet silver in yellow pigmented resin also, as I wanted to add an element of interest to the back as well as the front.
  • The square forms were given a satin finish using a frosting wheel as I’m not fond of a high shine finish.

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.

1

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.

2124

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.

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 -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.