It was a really tough few weeks getting everything ready in time for the deadline, I worked harder then I ever have done before! I’m really happy with all the finished pieces, they all look great together as a collection. Because I chose to make very intricate and technically challenging pieces I did have to ask for some help on one of the show pieces which is a very large copper ring filled with rubber (photographs to follow). Although the piece looks simple it was very hard to make, my tutor and I made the piece together and we figured things out as we went along. I learnt absolutely loads from watching my tutor work and it was great for my metalwork skills and future practice. I’m glad I didn’t settle for easier designs though as this project has really tested my skills and patience and has also made me question who I want to be as a designer. As a creative person it can be quite hard to be absolutely sure of the direction you are going in. When I started the course I was sure that I wanted to make fashion style jewellery but now I’ve discovered the world of art jewellery and I feel torn between the two. I feel this questioning is important for me, as it is something that I will need to figure out. At this point in time I have no answers to the question but I feel I need to explore what I can do first before answers are necessary. I have decided to study Jewellery and Metalwork at university next year and I’m really looking forward to the next phase of the exploration!
I’ve been very very busy working away at my final outcome. Had some real challenges with the construction of most of the pieces, which has meant I’ve pretty much spent every waking hour making jewellery (just as well I love it!) These are images of a stone getting set into a solid copper rod which will then be riveted between layers of flat bone which I plan to dye black. I chose to use copper as it is a metal which is mined in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and so is used in lots of the traditional jewellery. I chose a stone which was cobalt blue as cobalt is heavily mined in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. I used a solid rod of copper as I felt it would add a really nice weight to the piece which would make it go well with the other rings in the collection which are pretty big and to be cast in brass. I really like the design of this ring, I think it could look quite sophisticated if I can construct it well. I’m in the process of making the bone usable as I bought four beef shoulder blades which were huge and so I had to process and resize them all. I chose bone as I had bought some from a farmers market and liked the idea of using them for this project as it is a very tribal material to use.
I watched a really interesting Storyville documentary on BBC iplayer called Mugabe and The Democrats. It is about the leaders of two political parties in Zimbabwe trying to get people to vote honestly in a referendum about the electoral system of the government. In a speech to the voters, one of the leaders talks of how they once fought a war with guns in Zimbabwe but now they fight a war with pens. I thought that this was a powerful statement and that it could also be a really powerful visual. I have been trying out different finishes and shapes with pen lids in order to create a striking necklace for my collection. It might take me quite a lot of work to make them into something good, but I think it would be worth the hard work!
I kept seeing these branches everywhere, I’m not even sure what they are but they were a beautiful red colour. Unfortunately the red colour dissipates when the branch dries out but they still stay really nice earthy colours. I have decided to use them as beads in my collection, with parts of them gold leafed. I have been having some issue’s varnishing them but I think they will look pretty good in the end.