2 August 2012

Behind the scenes

The master plan! A good 50% of ideas don't make it into an exhibition, mainly because of time constraints... it would be great to have about 3 assistants. 

This fuzzy photo was taken in the dark- its a red hot brass Moth. I was heating up the Moth brooch to colour the brass a deep brown-black. Turning out the lights helps to show the temperature- bringing it up to an even red-hot will ensure an even colouring. The spots and antennae are pure silver, which will go white when heated, so a nice contrast to the brown brass ( see finished piece in previous post). The tricky thing is that the brooch fittings (pin hinge and roll-catch) on the reverse are soldered on, and I don't want them to melt off when I'm heating this up to red hot. I painted them with iron oxide (rust!) paste, this prevents the solder from flowing ("anti-flux"? See previous post all about flux) Its very touch-and-go! But went really well.

I really wanted to make some combs this year- the subject for a whole post for sure- and I hope to make a full vid of the process- but just a taste for now. Dougal Haslem was my sawyer ( thanks Doug!)- cutting out the slots for the tines (or teeth) from stock aluminium on a band saw. Then I rounded out each tine with a chisel, treating the aluminium more like wood. (This is shown in the video above.) The patterning is a really primitive form of 'wriggle-work'; a sharp chisel or graver is walked across the surface, leaving a zig-zag pattern. Here Ive specially made a toothed tool to create stripes. (The pattern thus self-referencing the teeth of the comb itself.)
My intention was to make a fully-functional comb, not just a precious collector's item- I want to give you real accoutrements. An inspiration for this project was a comb fashioned by Yona Dickmann- an Auschwitz survivor- an incredible object- very humble, but so tenacious of life.

Look out for more combs in this series, with different patterns, coming soon.

Baby Spoon! 
Pure Silver- no copper content, safe for bubs.
My little Joseph ( tho' not a baby anymore...) saw this and was delighted; "Ahhh!!"

New 'Pea Pod' pendants.
=Little families.
Left: 22k Gold and Turquoise
Right: Gold-plated brass

And a new version of 'The Sea' ring.
This one is stamped rather than cast, and is really comfortable.
I still get many requests for the previous version of this ring- yes I can still make those too!

More pics to follow of the wall hangings...
Thanks to everyone who came down for the opening- lovely to meet some new folks and put faces to names too!
Special thanks to Melanie Katsalidis, Pieces of Eight Director, for her hospitality and graciousness.


  1. Iron oxide as an anti flux. I never would have thought.
    In the pottery world, Ferrous oxide (iron II oxide)is used as a powerful flux in a reducing atmosphere, and Ferric Oxide is only used as a colourant. I learned something new today