More on ‘Opal01′ pendant

13 12 2012

I’m so excited about my ‘Opal01‘ pendant commission, that I want to share some more photographs of it.

Oh please, do indulge me!

all ready to give to my lovely friend; image not to be reproduced without permission

all ready to give to my lovely friend; image not to be reproduced without permission

It still amazes me how weird the opals and weave look when they’re scanned…

scanned; image not to be reproduced without permission

scanned; image not to be reproduced without permission





Commission: ‘Opal01′ pendant

12 12 2012

One of my most beautiful friends was admiring my Oh Opal!‘ pieces … and while we were talking about which ones she liked and why, we decided that instead of her needing to choose between two of those she liked, we would collaborate to make a pendant especially for her.

Yes, my very first commission!

From the many opals I own, she selected what I would consider the most gorgeous of them all: I call it Opal01, as it was the first opal I bought (all my opals are named in the order they came to my collection). I had intended for it to be in the ‘Oh Opal!‘ exhibition, however I didn’t like how the setting eventuated.

This opal is simply stunning! It is from Mintabie, South Australia. I bought it on eBay, and remember when it arrived I couldn’t believe its beauty.

post_opal01_01 post_opal01_03

post_opal01_04 post_opal01_05

We worked together to design the scale and proportion of the pendant, and the colouring of the weave.

nearly there; image not to be reproduced without permission

nearly there; image not to be reproduced without permission

I am so excited about the final result!

'Opal01' pendant; image not to be reproduced without permission

‘Opal01′ pendant; image not to be reproduced without permission

So many thanks to my beautiful friend for her trust in me – I couldn’t dream of a more lovely collaborative process, nor a more wonderful patron and model for my jewellery!





New piece: ‘Opal06′ pendant

8 12 2012

I’ve been making quite a bit recently, at least compared to my relatively part-time making history.

I find that I’m more productive if I’m working on two pieces at a time – I can tinker with one while the other is in the pickle, etc. I think this is more efficient than making two pieces in succession.

Most of what I’ve been making has been for others – Lord Coconut, Studio 20/17, and two commissions (that I’m SO excited about, and will share more about soon).

So, while I was working on one of my recent commissions (again, SO excited!), I put together a sweet little pendant using one of the delightful opals in my stash.

Opal06 pendant; image not to be reproduced without permission

Opal06 pendant; image not to be reproduced without permission

It’s always nice to interleave making for others with something that’s just for fun.

I love how spooky opal look when they’re scanned!

Opal06, scanned; image not to be reproduced without permission

Opal06, scanned; image not to be reproduced without permission





New piece: ‘Opal03′ brooch

23 07 2012

I’ve made it into the studio and have finished a piece that I started when I was working on the Oh Opal!‘ exhibition.

This is quite a different opal to the others I’ve made into pieces so far. Opal03 is entirely opaque and in earthen colours, with a very slight streak of dark blood-red through the edge of the top (sadly not visible in this image). I liked this opal for these reasons, as it was such a contrast to the disco-tastic opal stereotype.

‘Opal03′ brooch; image not to be reproduced without permission

It is of similar construction to the other pieces, though I seemed to me it befitted a brooch more than a pendant.

The images may not show it well, but the paper colours are so beautiful and subtle.

In terms of scale, the opal is 21 * 17mm.

‘Opal03′ brooch back; image not to be reproduced without permission

It may only just be visible in the above image, but in-between the paper-weave and perspex is lots of fine silver lemel … like a snow-dome! This was a little boo-boo. I momentarily forgot that I hadn’t yet filed the bezel down to the right height yet, and popped the opal in to set it. Oh oh, I did such a super job with a snug bezel that for the life of me (and Julia, my studio-buddy) it wouldn’t budge out. My only option was to file down the bezel with the setting already attached to the paper and perspex – and so, silver filings fell all around and got stuck under the paper. It’s a shame, as I liked the sharp view of the paper weave under the perspex – but we live and learn!

This is one of the few pieces I’ve made for myself for ages. Feels good to finish it.





‘Oh Opal!’ @ Studio 20/17

17 07 2012

In an exciting development, ‘Oh Opal! (re-imagining Australia’s national gemstone’ is opening today at Studio 20/17 in Sydney. Hoorah. A travelling exhibition I say!

Remember my pieces? These three, that were shown in the original exhibition at Redox Jewellery Studio in Geelong, will be on show again.

Get thee along!

It’s at that gallery from 17th to 28th July 2012.

—–

Update (17th July): check out this beautiful photograph from Studio 20/17 of the exhibition in-situ … how beautiful!

image from Studio 20/17 facebook; image used with permission





Opal group

11 05 2012

It’s probably pretty clear that the pendants I’ve made for ‘Oh Opal!’ are responding to the wild colouring of the individual opals.

Opal07, Opal03, Opal04; image not to be reproduced without permission

In my initial thinking:
The opal does seem to be the ‘uncool kid’ -­‐ wearing way too many colours all at once and not playing well with others.
In researching opals I found that like many gemstones, they have also been subject to laboratory creation.
Synthetic opals are ugly, though seem strangely pixellated and immediately reminded me of my woven paper and silver.
The woven panels respond to the natural opal -­‐ splitting out the colours and pixellating them with fine silver.

The choice of a pendant is intended to reflect the Art Nouveau era, when the opals were at their height of popularity. Also, as the pieces are made from paper and doublets, then they wouldn’t wear well if handled too often, so a ring or bracelet was out of the question and even a brooch was marginal.

A couple of images of synthetic opals may be helpful for comparison:

 

Not very nice are they? Well, I’m not a big fan of them.
But I do thank them for the inspiration!

Actually, my very first thought was to ‘replicate’ an opal with just the paper weave … but then wasn’t sure if it would be suitable for a piece in an opal exhibition not to actually have opal. Though on further thought that’s what artistic interpretation is all about yes?

I’ll write more about their construction shortly.





‘Opal07′ pendant

10 05 2012

More on my pieces for ‘Oh Opal!‘ in a little more detail.
This time, ‘Opal07‘.

Are you wondering where ‘Opal06′ went?
I still have the opal of course, though I wanted to work this with one first, or at least ahead of the other opal. Plus, I could only submit three pieces, so it was a choice between the two – and this one won.

Opal07; image not to be reproduced without permission

And the back (not a photograph, but I scanned it in!):

Opal07, back; image not to be reproduced without permission

And again with the cool scanned image:

Opal07; scanned; image not to be reproduced without permission

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