March 29, 2012

my creative space

Thursdays are becoming my days to post something purely about the jewellery making side of my life.

Today I wanted to give you a little sneak peek of how the the botanical collection is progressing. I am sticking to my original idea which was to collect little botanical items from the 'wild acre' around my home, press them for a few months and then mill them onto silver or gold. I love the idea of capturing exact impressions of real little bits of nature into metal, and also record, via jewellery, the beauty of the natural landscape around me and in so doing create a little record of 2012 English flora. All that just gets my creative pulse running.

The process of putting metal and botanical material together through a rolling mill is incredibly unpredictable - if the rollers are set fractionally too wide the imprint will fail, and if they are too close, the metal will squish out of shape and the imprint will be wildly distorted. If anything slips the image is compromised. In all cases the original leaf/plant is destroyed and cannot be used again. It is quite exciting/nerve wracking!

If the imprint is nice and clear and deep, I have the option to get it cast, so I can use multiples in the same item of jewellery or simply be able to reproduce the same component for more than one piece of jewellery - so earrings become a possibility for example.  Where the imprint is more delicate, I cannot cast successfully so those become one-off, totally unique pieces. It is fun having both types, although it is hard to control the outcome!




There are so many possibilities with these components, pendants, earrings, rings, bangles, brooches...and I have finally found a caster who will use recycled silver for a reasonable charge, so I have sent some of the ones above to be cast. And of course, they can be domed and planished into different shapes and curves, so they will not all remain entirely flat. Some might be lovely with some stones set in them or with semi-precious beads. I am loving the idea of them as big rings too, but that would involve soldering which can leave annoying grey shadows on silver called firestain which has to be sanded off - which of course I couldn't do with these prints, so a few technical fences to leap!

The ones have made so far with more ephemeral grasses, all wispy and delicate, are less likely to cast well, so they will be very special one-off pieces, totally unique and I love the subtleness of the print. May have to keep one for myself at some stage! I think the one below would be lovely as a tactile pendant, it makes me think of meadows and summer days...


So next week will be the next exciting stage of using them to create finished pieces of jewellery. I can't wait!







11 comments:

  1. How exciting Belinda - can't wait to see the finished articles. Have a lovely weekend.
    Katie x

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  2. So lovely. I've always wanted to work with metal and when I see someone making such beautiful pieces that thought is reignited. Love that you're doing it with natural materials. And the fact that the delicate pieces of nature create unique, one of a kind creations.

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  3. So pretty! I can't wait to see the finished pieces. I'm sure they will be amazing!

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  4. I love these, especially the grasses!

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  5. I love that last one, it would make a beautiful pendant!

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  6. The way you combine floral elements in your jewelry is just so special. I do love it. Can't wait to see the final product.

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  7. Love your work and enjoy your blog. Especially Love the one made with delicate grass!

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  8. I love hearing about your work, Belinda. I really like what you do. I'm still loving my beautiful earrings!!

    Sxxxxx

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  9. We all seem to agree, the grass looks so gorgeous!
    Enjoy the weekend.
    Cx

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  10. grass pendant goes to top of the class!! Thanks so much for your feedback. x

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  11. The grass pendant is absolutely genious, I wish I could one like that!

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