17 June 2013
14 June 2013
11 June 2013
I cut this ring from the chine of a 19th century scythe blade.
I cold forged this to the desired thickness. This kind of old iron blackens easily- a good contrast to the 18k gold ball.
My method for making the ball (you can just buy them):
-calculate volume of gold req'd
-melt gold into a round cavity in a charcoal block
-attach this resulting crude sphere to a brass rod
-fasten rod in drill (voila: rudimentary lathe)
-turn on drill and file the sphere to perfection as it spins. Then cut off the rod.
-It looks a bit 'hard' and 'perfect' at this stage. To soften the perfection, I then rolled the sphere round and round between two marble slabs imparting a nice stone texture.
6 June 2013
3 June 2013
Gold and lapis lazuli beads.
Ur, souther Iraq. c.2600-2400BC
Diadem. Southern Italy. c.250-200 BC.
Gold with lapis lazuli.This diffusion-bonded ornamentation is very tiny!
Note twisty wires (stone rolled), granulation (little balls) and
the mark-out scribe-lines on the substrate. A mix of crude and virtuoso!
Raymond Templier 1934
Brooch. White gold, glass, lapis lazuli.
Marco Zanini, 1983
Ring. Gold, coral and lapis lazuli
Plinth. Lapis lazuli. Musei Capitolini.
Roman(?) I assume gold and lapis lazuli (?)
Amazing flatness and patina to modulate the rich colours.
Following the lessons;
Keep it simple, let the gold and lapis lazuli do the work...
~Here, little ring I made for someone (their design),
she has much daintier and better-looking fingers I'm sure!
Gold and lapis lazuli.
30 May 2013
I had only one destination in mind while in Paris (leaving the rest entirely up to Alice);
Atelier Brancusi. This is all his stuff, just as it was in his studio- but moved into a reconstructed museum-space. Apart from the weirdness of that (the objects are in their original-ish context, but not wholly so; its kind-of clinical, and all behind glass. What would have been walls, are here replaced by glass- surely creating a weird perspective, not anticipated by Brancusi himself...) it is a really rich collection, and I got pretty carried away and took a hundred photos.
Here the simple forms are bunched together- its very intense! And one sees all the tools as sculptural forms too. Its what you dream of in a studio. I was especially interested in the anvil. And the forge, and the plinths, and the... everything...
That Verticality of Files and Rasps.
Rasp In Space
But, there was no dust.
27 May 2013
24 May 2013
22 May 2013
21 May 2013
20 May 2013
I love old jeweller's tools, especially hammers, and I hoped to find some in Italy somewhere!
At a huge flea market in Chiavari I asked a few vendors:
"Avete... strumenti di oreficeria?" ( have... tools of goldsmith?)
One gentleman mocked me;
"Che cosa!?? Ora?! Ora?! Ha ha ha! I no speak inglese!!!"
I guess my Italian is unintelligible!
He was adamant that this hammer was a only a cobbler's hammer, (but it is certainly a silversmithing hammer!) so he made it 13 Euro and threw the small one in free.
Ha ha HA!
16 May 2013
These grilles were designed by Louis Henry Sullivan in 1893, for the Chicago Stock Exchange Building. Sort of proto-proto-Modern, but embracing ornament? I think I have already mentioned these awhile back, but anyway, I was recently saw them 'for real' in the V&A Museum, and took my very own photos (crumby as they may be!). Its curious for a building to be demolished, then the bits end up in museums across the world. I like them. Perhaps I will make a version of my Ulno Bangle that 'tips the hat' to this design- the way the spheres join the strip.