I love organising. I love being organised.
My RMIT jewellery drawers have been consolidated and reorganised. Each piece is now wrapped in acid-free paper and in a little zip-lock bag with a photo of the piece for easy identification – nothing worse than having to unwrap everything to find the one piece you’re looking for.
As part of this exercise, I’ve decided which pieces are candidates for recycling and reworking – I’ll write more about that another time.
So I’ve posted a story about each of the making projects in my second year at RMIT (in 2005).
On to Year 3 in the near future.
Before I move on to third year pieces, a little mention of the year-end exhibition.
As I wrote in my Year 1 exhibition post, at RMIT second and first year students are required to take part in a year-end exhibition. And this year our group had naming rights – not as easy as you’d imagine!
Our exhibition was called ‘Construct‘ and was at the RMIT Faculty of Arts Gallery. Organising it required more effort than we could have imagined! The bump-in (‘professional’ term for the setting up of the exhibition in the gallery space) took our class two days of work in the gallery; and we couldn’t have done it without the extensive work of Mark Edgoose (lecturer) and Jason Wade (technician).
There was no book or catalogue made for the show; and I am quite disappointed that I cannot find the invitation anywhere (if anyone has one, please do send me a scan of it!).
So instead, I shall share two new photographs of the teapot that nearly killed me, after it was silver-plated.
Maybe I could cut the unsatisfactory handle off the top of the teapot (even though that was one hell of a soldering feat!) and make the ‘bowl’ into something more useful … I don’t like to see so much metal wasted (especially as I don’t display it), and I had so many beautiful ideas at the time of the project that I could perhaps resurrect.
If you’re an RMIT alumni, what have you done with your teapot??
Second year, second semester, Enamelling, project #2: Enamelling in the round
For this project we were to enamel a piece with volume, size … taking us from being essentially two-dimensional to three-dimensional.
Due to the time and effort I’d put into the first project, I took the second project a bit more efficiently. I decided to enamel some of the extra rings I’d made from the woven cloisonné panels I’d made in my jewellery project in second semester first year.
The colour was a departure from my blue-based preferences … it isn’t too clear from the images taken at the time, but the interior of the rings is in a startling lime green. As anyone who’s enamelled before would know, any object enamelled needs counter-enamel if the substrate isn’t beefy; so I needed to counter enamel the exterior of the rings in a clear enamel (to make the contrast more obvious).
Of course a viewer wouldn’t know about the green enamel on the inside of a worn ring … I like these kinds of hidden secrets.
The elective I took in second semester second year was Enamelling, as I had enjoyed it so much in first year.
Second year, second semester, Enamelling, project #1: ‘Champleve‘
Champleve is enamelling into a recess in metal – which can be created either by carving, etching or layer soldering (with high temperature, IT, solder).
For this project I took for inspiration a photograph I had taken of a plane tree in winter – one of the iconic Melbourne images in my opinion (especially as I worked in the city, and they’re everywhere).
Each component was made of two layers of fine silver, the top layer saw-pierced and soldered to the bottom layer.
The shape in the top layer is derived from the photograph – below. The pieces were rivetted together.
I don’t really think this is a successful piece: the rivets do not seem robust enough, the fitting isn’t robust enough for the weight of the piece, and the articulation of the rivets isn’t ideal. Perhaps this is a contender for a re-working?
… last post in this series: RMIT Year 2, Semester 2, Silversmithing …
The major project for Silversmithing this semester was …. drumroll please … the teapot.
I have said this before many times, and will say it one last time: this project almost killed me. Metaphorically of course … well, psychologically it was a very near miss! It thoroughly exhausted me and very near defeated my will to continue with the program.
Why? At the start of the project, to be truthful it was even during the holidays before the semester started (nerd much?) that I started the research for this project. I was really excited; I wanted to make something wonderful. I jinxed myself essentially. I did so much reading and research that I lost touch with my own original spark – I had polluted my mind with the ideas of so many others.
This meant that the design process for this project was utterly torturous for me. It didn’t go very well at all. I struggled to find my own voice. I couldn’t even find ideas for concept or feature. In desperation I turned to a design trick my jewellery lecturer had taught me in first year – just draw quick doodles based on primary shapes and see what comes of it.
Below is the image that finally unlocked a design for me. It’s quite beautiful – the trails of electrons and protons as atoms are split apart.
It was getting so far into the semester that I really had to start actually making something, anything.
After playing around with shapes I eventually settled on the one at the bottom of the below group. Looking back at my visual diary of the time, many of the shapes strike me as quite beautiful. So I can’t be as terrible as I thought at the time!