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

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.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rocks/Patterns/Textures

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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 – Iceland Inspiration

My latest adventure took me to the land of fire and ice, stunning Iceland. This was a surprise gift from my mum and sisters to celebrate a ‘special’ (and terrifying!) birthday. My hotel was situated right in the heart of Reykjavik, with my hotel just across the street from the iconic Music Hall, The Harpa! Needless to say, my 3 days spent here were highly inspiring and I found countless photo opportunities to incorporate into my new brief.

It was easy to get inspired with so much natural beauty surrounding me. My first day was spent exploring the cities sweet cafes and obscure restaurants, followed by a Northern Lights boat tour. The second day I explored the snowy, city gardens and quirky little shops and art studios, followed by the most luxurious experience at the famous Blue Lagoon. We entered the Lagoon around 7:30pm so by this time it was dark and you could see the steam from the warm water rise into the cold air and the stars lit up the sky, looking like a connect the dots puzzle, with Orion’s belt glowing strong and the odd shooting star flying by. The last time I’d seen the sky lit up like this was around 10 years ago in a rural town called Te Akau, in New Zealand. The final day was the most inspiring when my mother and I took the express tour around the Golden Circle. I would have loved to stay longer to truly absorb the beauty but we had a flight to catch that evening and made it back just in time! We stopped to walk between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, then moved onto seeing the Geysers in Strokkur, followed by the stunning Selfoss, Glacial Waterfalls with an abundance of snowy landscapes in-between.

Below are some pictures I collected on my trip which has provided inspiration for designs and samples to soon follow – Shapes within an art studio mirror (the artist apparently works on the Game of Thrones set!), the blue lagoon paving, rocky cliff faces and the Harpa music hall windows. Along with the beauty of nature – Geysers and waterfalls. I also love the mix of colours in the picture of the geyser; a pleasant mix of yellow, grey and blue.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whilst exploring Iceland, I found a lot of lava rock which I also found a lot of in Fuerteventura. I decided to bring some home (on both occasions) in an attempt to make my own little souvenirs. However, today I decided to create a rubber mould from a tiny piece I collected from the Reykjavik shore. The lava rock is very porous and honestly I thought the attempt would be a write off but I am very pleasantly surprised by the results and am now designing to potentially incorporate this into my work!

lava

The pieces look a little weird in this picture and I will have to take a higher quality image to show the details better but I love how organic the wax injections look! Further design work to follow shortly. Thank you Iceland for an inspirational escape! I will see you again one day.

Stevie

A little video extra of the glacial waterfalls. (Had we gone just a few days earlier on the Golden Circle tour everything would have been green!)

 

 

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.

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-18-18-50

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!

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-18-22-52

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.

Sense of Place – Research Progression

I chose my sense of place to be based on a ‘feeling’ rather than a physical place. However, I have been doing research into colours, places and even meditation, all the things that bring that ‘free’ feeling to life for me. I noticed a recurring pattern in when I feel this sense of freedom and happiness after looking through some photographs. In 2006 I spent a couple of months travelling the north island of New Zealand. Often out in nature and by the sea. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I pulled out some pictures that reminded me of those feelings; Canoeing by waterfalls, whale and dolphin boat trips, thermal pools and geyser parks.  I also noticed this from pictures when I visited Santa Susanna, Spain in 2014 that having the ocean right at the front door was the highlight. Then my most recent trip to Fuerteventura being most prominent with it being so recent. The pattern is I am away from bustling cities and large groups of people. There’s no television or internet, it’s all natural surroundings. I suppose most people get this overwhelming tranquil feeling when they are no longer around the influence of the media and the pollution and noise these cities bring. This also ties in the meditation part as meditation gives you a moment to get yourself into the right head space, bringing good feelings forward and setting you up for the rest of your day. Honestly, I don’t meditate very often as I do get too distracted but it’s great for calming my mind or if I’m particularly having a bad day.

I also found these feelings were strongest by the sea. If the ocean is nearby I am at my happiest. (This probably explains my desire to live on a boat!). Below are some of my pictures from what I’ve just explained.

New Zealand


Santa Susanna, Spain

 

Fuerteventura

 

I’ve put my focus into my trip to Fuerteventura as this is the most recent trip and so the memories and feelings are strongest. Pictures are also better quality making my research that little bit easier. I’ve been using pictures from the holiday to generate shapes and structures and have started some design ideas. So more to come on this. Whilst I was away, I found some lovely shapes and textures within the pathways and walls and also the cliff face and lave rock. This is all helping towards the design process and I’ve managed to create some great shapes from the pictures below!

I’ve been able to continue my geometric shapes thanks to my findings and I’ve had lots of inspiration. Colour is something I’ll come back to soon.

Stevie