27 August 2012

Wall Hangings

These are some fun wall hangings that I made, now installed in the Pieces of Eight window- and a monolithic sort of window it is too... ( if that word makes any sense in the context of a window!)
Ive made them from very thin steel sheet, on which I have enscribed lettering, and then painted.

Some say it looks like paper- perhaps I will gold-plate the next set (!) and then you will know- ahh, this is metal!
Actually the metal is only about 0.3mm thick - which is pretty hard to get in this town (I was laughed at when I asked around).

I'm using the same techniques here that Ive been using for my Aster earrings for a long time- but the scale is much bigger and the metal behaves very differently... quite a challenge, and so has sparked an interest in making bigger objects.
I'm imagining my Colour Fold jewellery, but big. Yeah. About as big as a person...

My jewellery exhibition; Love Letters, at Pieces of Eight, finishes next weekend...

22 August 2012

Foal Pendant

 'Foal' pendant in 18k gold. He gets a bit patchy from the flames, kind of like a cool Indian horse...

But then he gets a wash in warm citric, and the lustre of the gold really glows.
Ive used those over-sized rings to articulate the legs, so's he can gambol and gallop. They're pretty clunky- to give that sort of appealing awkwardness.
I made a special stamp for the eye, and to make the mane and tail details, I get an old jeweller's file and strike its pattern on with a hammer!
I try to make it really basic and gutsy. Blobs of solder are visible- there's no erasure of the processes.
I think this way of working is risky- it can turn out too grungy, or just unskilled... but if I can master it, I believe it to be the best, most expressive and appealing.
Working with figurative subjects is risky too- its like a tightrope where you can fall off into twee-ness really easily. Sometimes I do get it right. Cute, but slightly gnarly too.
Now available at Pieces Of Eight in Melbourne town.

16 August 2012


 Joe says: "Dis is a thnail."

The slim-jean pocket says: "Make me a slim split-ring and retrieval lanyard."

The Unfinished Project says:  "Keep going with your leather apron."

The Black&White Button says: "Even boring bits will look monumental in B&W"

The Glass-Half-Full Voice says: "Leaking roof? Tres Bohemeian!!"

6 August 2012

Such Is Life / Bookmark

Dad recommended Such is Life- Joseph Furphy ( aka 'Tom Collins') 1903.
Its really funny and clever; in a smiling-eyes kind of way...
Easily the best Australian novel.
A tangle of tales- hidden plots that I didn't get until Dad explained it to me.
High language and low characters!
Tom loses his clothes while crossing the Murray river, so is desperately trying to find some unmentionables; "____."
Previous reference to JF here.

+ DN silver bookmark!
Might make a nice present for the Book Lover?
Just Ask...

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.