June 2nd, 2010
I’ve been working through ideas of what to do with my pieces of coloured acrylic and because the clay pieces that also came in the box, along with the acrylic, are flower-like, I’m going to use these as a starting point for my piece(s). I want to make something wearable and tactile and bright – something evoking spring/summer that’s got movement and a flow about it. So I’m thinking along the lines of making a set of jewellery – maybe a neckpiece with earrings to match and/or a bracelet. Or maybe some sort of brooch or collection of brooches.
We’re surrounded by buttercups and daisies at the moment and I love them! I love the bright yellow of the buttercups and I love the delicate little petals of the daisies. On a recent dog walk I collected a load of buttercups and made them into a chain whilst in transit and this got me thinking about some paintings by Kirsty Lorenz that I saw on her website. Really beautiful depictions of simple daisy chains.
I really love the way the flowers join together and the shapes and angles of the chains. I love the way they lie and the shadows they produce.
So it got me thinking about neckpieces and I set about trying a few things out with buttons and silver, just to see if I could emulate the same kind of feel of a daisy chain. It was difficult figuring out how I could make some simple links in silver, incorporating the buttons [eventually acrylic] without melting them. I didn’t want to thread the buttons onto silver and bend the ends to form loops and connect them like a traditional chain. I didn’t like the results – too clunky – it didn’t flow like a daisy chain.
Here are some illustrations fom my sketchbook of what I wanted to achieve:
So what followed was a a lot of Googling and trawling through books to discover how to do what I had my heart set on doing. I found some really interesting articles on how to adjust rings without damaging the stone set in place and this gave me enough info to start playing around and putting what I read into practice. Here are some of my tests using thick silver wire and some small shirt buttons:
It’s a tricky process but totally do-able. I wasn’t so keen on the thick wire though – I initially used 1.5mm as I thought this would be best as it wouldn’t distort very easily, but it’s out of proportion with the buttons and makes the piece look too chunky. So my next attempt used 1mm wire and I think this give a more dainty look and feel.
My only worry is that it’s more likely to get bent out of shape, so I think I’ll have to hammer it and flatten it somehow, which what I thought in my initial drawings. I think flattened wire would catch the light more and give more movement to the piece too which is what I want to capture.
So I made myself a buttercup chain for inspiration and set about cutting discs from the acrylic to act as my flowers rather than buttons [but I like the buttons idea, so might come back to this idea once the Creative Exchange is over].
Acrylic is an odd material to work with, but I guess that’s because I don’t know anything about it and I’m probably doing it all wrong. But it heats up with the friction of the saw and then melts and sets instantly and I broke a few saw blades today. It’s best to saw really really slowly to avoid a heat build up. This meant that each disc took about 3-4 minutes to cut – a little bit of a tedious process, but necessary. I couldn’t stop getting excited with each successful disc though as I can’t wait to get started making the neckpiece so this kept me distracted and my brain active.
Posted in Work In Progress |