While I was making for the ‘My Australia‘ exhibition I tinkered with making earrings with these incredibly beautiful opals (unfortunately covered in my fingerprints in this photo!).
My workload, jewellery and otherwise, meant that they haven’t yet been made … though perhaps in the next few months they’ll materialize.
I promise, this is the last post about this project.
This collection had quite a number of components. I’ve already written about my most favourite ones, but thought I’d share some images of the other ‘minor’ pieces.
I had such fun making three brooches for the ‘My Australia‘ exhibition.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the construction was a little different to work I’ve made before. The adaptions to construction were due to these being brooches, not pendants – so I needed to find a way of incorporating the brooch backs / pins.
They were essentially made upside-down, with the bezel set on the back. I could probably refine the method with more practice.
I added a single thread of fine gold cloisonné wire to the back of the ‘Sunrise‘ brooch … I love surprises just for the wearer.
I’d love to see the exhibition in its entirety – the collection of makers looks diverse and interesting!
‘My Australia‘ is at Seven Spirit Bay Eco Resort until November 2013. [see update below]
Update (26th April): The exhibition was originally to open in April and go through to November; however I understand that due to unforeseen circumstances, the exhibition will be moved to a new location and will open in a few months.
Some sneak peek images were shared a little while ago; and it’s my practice to wait until an exhibition is up before showing in detail images.
Jasmine put the call out for artists to join her exhibition: “Create a body of work that details ‘your Australia’, what Australia holds true to you with a focus on the natural landscape.” Naturally, my thoughts immediately turned to my little collection of opals; and to expand my exploration of combining opals and woven paper panels.
I felt it was time to reduce reliance on (or perhaps the prominence of) the woven paper component … so my three brooches show a progression seeing a large portion of the weave to seeing very little of it.
From left to right: ‘Sunrise‘, ‘Rockpool‘ and ‘Riverbed‘.
My camera / photography set-up isn’t too fancy, and as such I find it pretty tricky to find the best way to photograph the incredible beauty of opals.
These were constructed in a manner a little different to previous work … I’ll detail in another post tomorrow.
Update (26th April): The exhibition was originally to open in April; however I understand that due to unforeseen circumstances, the exhibition will be moved to a new location and will open in a few months.
It’s been some time now since I was commissioned through Lord Coconut to make these items, but I’ve waited to post about them because they were a gift. While it’s not likely the recipient even knows of my blog, I didn’t want to risk spoiling the surprise.
This was the first time I’ve been commissioned by someone I didn’t personally know, through a representative gallery (well, they’re my only stockist to date).
Initially the client wanted a gift for her partner for their 20th anniversary, and as such platinum was to be a significant component. I understand she liked a number of the cufflinks in the gallery, and after a few iterations of ideas she asked if I could do my round weave cufflinks in platinum (with the settings in sterling silver). After investigating that A&E Metals could make me the platinum cloisonné wire I needed, I agreed.
It was then a bit exciting that she also asked for a matching pendant for herself (with the bezel in sterling silver; if you’re wondering, the bezels are deliberately file-textured).
In sending Lord Coconut the quote for the work, I had to make very accurate calculations for the pure platinum cloisonné wire requirements – as it was approximately $345 per meter (and the minimum order was one meter). So each little row of a 20mm weave (including the turns) was around $10 or so.
By way of comparison, at the time (from memory) one meter of fine silver cloisonné (0.8 * 0.15mm) was $2.20 and one meter of fine gold cloisonné (which I think was 0.20mm) was $240 … the difference to platinum being in part due to the metal being more expensive, but I think mostly due to the special manufacture.
I hadn’t worked with fine platinum cloisonné before, and was uncertain it would behave the same way that fine silver did. I probably should have expected it would, given the thinness of the flat wire sheet; though I did fear it may split and not be as malleable.
I swear I didn’t breathe the whole time I was weaving the panel … one mistake, one split in the metal, one break in the paper (which would mean attempting to unwind the weave and again risking breaking the metal) … the thought of making a mistake and having to buy more metal (and at a minimum of a meter per order, not to mention the week for manufacture and postage) was terrifying!
The fact it was platinum may seem extravagant at first viewing – with the exceptional cost of the metal compared to silver – but I do understand the desire for integrity and symbolism for such a special gift.
You can actually tell the difference to silver when they’re side-by-side: the platinum is less shiny, a slightly more matt grey. I like the platinum a lot, in fact I think I prefer it to silver … though cannot see myself playing around with platinum any time soon (except for commissions)!
My thanks to Mark at Lord Coconut for this opportunity.
One of our ‘context’ projects was to design and set up a mini-exhibition in the display cases in the hallway of the RMIT G&S part of the building.
We worked in pairs and the exhibition was up for a week each. We were required to document the show as well.
I partnered with the lovely lovely Jamie Andersson – he was one of my dearest friends during my degree. We decided that of the five panels of the display case, we would have two each and the middle one would share our work.
My side included work that was being used for my ‘Mapping the Self‘ project. The intent was to work from left to right, white to black, large to small scale, paper to solid materials, one layer to mulit-layer.
This mirrored Jamie’s work ‘Grey Matt(er)‘, which was a selection of his vast collection of found object, which he (matt) painted in graded scale from black to white. I remember he was really happy with this collection and it featured in our year-end exhibition.
A few more detailed photographs below.
… last post in this series: RMIT Year 3, Semester 2, Silversmithing, continued …
… see more projects from RMIT Year 3 here …