RMIT Year 1, Semester 1, Jewellery #3

24 03 2010

First year, first semester, Jewellery, project #3: ‘Colour setting’ – bezel setting

As our enamelling subject really required a means of cold joining, it was good timing that the second jewellery ‘making’ project was bezel setting. I was pleased though that I’d had wonderful tuition in this technique at the Goldsmiths School previously, so understanding the skill expanded the possibilities of design for me.

I took the title at face value for this project, and thought about setting a stone that was actually used to ‘make’ colour – such as lapis lazuli (blue) or malachite (green) or similar. My key reference book here was one that I had bought on impulse in Scotland during a short holiday there in mid-summer 2003 (I’ve written before about visiting stone circles there), and love and have re-read several times: Victoria Finlay’s ‘Colour: Travels through the paintbox‘ (here).

My original intent was to simply set a piece of lapis, however upon encouragement of the guest lecturer for the project, took it a step further and decided to literally ‘set the colour’ – to use a tablet of watercolour paint instead of a stone.

from sketch book for project; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

It made sense that this be a ring, to reference that painting is usually done with the hands. The shape then obviously echoes the tablet itself. In contrast to project #2, there was only the one idea for this project.

colour setting ring; image: Mark Kral; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

The above image is one taken at the time of assessment that year by an acquaintence as a favour – I like how the shadow gives details of the ring that cannot be seen from the angle of the photograph. Though it’s a bit grainy and doesn’t really show the intense colour. That said though, I have made numerous attempts myself but have had no success – it seems like one of those pieces that’s almost impossible to photograph.

side profile of ring; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

I wouldn’t never consider wearing this ring as it’s too heavy and unbalanced. More importantly though I don’t really like it as something to be worn, though I like looking at it – I now think of it more as a conceptual exercise. Sometimes there are pieces (especially in first year) that end up being done mainly to satisfy assessment and don’t really resonate – though all projects have the potential and whether they do or not is probably more about time, timing and selection of the idea to go ahead and make.

Update [4th March 2013]: this object no longer exists, as I decided to recycle it!



One response

25 03 2010
Kate Shore

oh i love hearing about your work from RMIT – it’s great to see the idea development. thanks for sharing!

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