24 December 2009

Lion's Teeth

Dent de Lion...or Dandelion means 'Lion's Teeth'. This name refers to the leaves.
I made a wedding ring for Kirk, who wanted a weed of some sort engraved on a hefty 22k yellow gold band, with a slight texture. Its very heavy- much oomph!
We agreed that the dandelion was a good motif- a spectacular flower. I like that it has a kind of trick fragility- if you kick a dandelion- it just grows everywhere. A kind of tenacity that laughs at everything.
This material choice is relatively soft- it will bear the marks of time- but being so rich it will always look amazing.
I'd never give up my ol' Blacky- but I want one of these!
I engraved it on the flat- (pic actual size)
and bent it round
and soldered it.
( I made my own solder - a 20ish k alloy- an excellent colour match- but a nail-biting operation- the temp. required to melt the solder was so close to melting
the whole lot!! )

23 December 2009

Heart. Part 1

Difficult Motifs:
well, here's the big messy one;

Recently my graphic-designer friend, J. asked me to help him make a heart- motif pendant for his wife, O. I'd imgine he deals with symbols, emblems and logos intensely, but even so, he seemed a little bewildered about this motif- like he couldnt see it anymore?
Ive noticed this before- that while some embrace the heart-motif, some are shy.

I suppose that trying to symbolise an Epic/Everyday thing like Love has its difficulties.
You cant hope to describe it richly with a shape or a word.
Still, we hint at it.
Someone, sometime, chose the heart organ as a love symbol.
but note; there will be no veins or blood. Love shall be shown as compact, symmetrical,
and insular! Ok? Ok.

I may not be helping J. by mentioning John and Yoko, but still, you'll all find it interesting.
I was looking in the back of my head for some quality precedents for heart jewellery-
and remembered seeing one on an album cover- Double Fantasy- John and Yoko.
Yoko has a heart- shaped diamond pendant.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy '80

It turns out they had a lover's quarrel and Yoko gave it back to John, who ended up wearing it all the time. I was looking for a photo of that- and my wife Alice found one- in my record collection again! The John Lennon Collection has a very un-retouched photo of John ( complete with pilly jumper)-wearing the heart.
So- its good enough for John.



So with this in mind I set about making 22k Au. hearts for O's pendant...
I decided to cleave out the heart shapes using a chisel ( a l'ancienne) to avoid the wastage that results from using a saw. ( known as swarf- or more specifically to the precious metals; lemel)


I do this chiselling on an old iron block- because it tends to damage the surface of an anvil.


I took a pic of heart #1 on John's pilly sleeve.


more to come, as I finish the piece...

7 December 2009

Colpo di Martello (o è che "la COLPA del martello!!" )

-I'm making up that italian- does my pun make sense?
( A blow (culpo) of the hammer -or is it: the fault (culpa) of the hammer!!)
'A bad workman blames his tools' as my Dad would say!
two blackened finger nails from careless culpi... mea culpa
("il mio martelli! Ti amero sempre !!)

-The Sea! ...looking forward to our beach holiday!
-The Golden Moth in the workshop. He came home to die I guess.

5 December 2009

Shinkansen Again

subarashi desu ne!!
I found some more about the Shinkansen nose-cone builders...
the company is Yamashita Kogyosho.
they've been doing it since the 60's.
It is apparently cheaper to do by hand, given the complexity of the
task / frequent re-tooling required for new nose designs.
yay craftsmen!
sorry the pics are small- but I did trawl through swathes of random kanji to find these for you.
Its sheet aluminium.
check out those MASSIVE swage blockzz!!! ( huge iron anvils)
me: you guys dont wear ear muffs?
them: mo ichi do onegai shimasu? (what?)
me: I said, no-one is wearing ear muffs!?!
them:mo ichi do onegai shimasu? (what?)

Shinkansen Schnozz

apparently Shinkansen nose cones used to be made from hand beaten panels!
(aluminium? steel?)
Unhappily I cant find any more info about this online- probably there is some in Japanese!
anybody able to help me here?

3 December 2009

Iron bowls: Svensson

These are nice arent they? by Tore Svensson, iron with gold detail.
These are raised- that is beaten with a hammer, into this shape, over a steel stake.
actually done cold! thanks Tanja for the amazing link to a video of Svensson at work ( see comments)
And much bigger than I had imagined... really great.

1 December 2009


-Arabia, great swooping brush strokes and an infinite blueness. Trying to get a set of these.
-swoop swoop 'A's
-Jünger brooch- I havent seen much silver work of his, very awesome, of course. the kind of rougey-coloured patina is interesting, really works.
-Cream scoop.
-Tennis, 'bird'
-Jensen brooch reverse- always look at the back too, its often just as interesting; cool symmetry in the little details; vent holes and hallmarks.
-a Sajima hotel, with jewell-like window configuration
-I havent quite grasped the Japanese concept of iki, but I think this
Japanese home is non-iki, but still beautiful/ interesting.
-Japanese home: non-iki, but way cool, example #2
well maybe they ARE iki? I do not know. maybe Bree (of ii-ne-kore fame) can sort me out on this?
-Man With Golden Helmet...
-ha! scruffy scrimshaw by me from '03ish.
-coyote with hammer (probably Acme brand)
-ham radio card
-Poor Boy