Before relating the workshop news, there is an update on the fashion shoot from last October and I have taken delivery of my Ten30 "Salmon" peacoat and am so happy with it that I've been wearing it everywhere since!
It has attracted positive comments everywhere.
In the workshop, I've managed to complete "Die Entführung aus dem Serail", the piece I started to showcase a piece of custom-cut quartz by Jamie Slade:
The large coin element is a "2 Zolota" Ottoman coin from 1782, almost exactly contemporary with Mozart's opera and the chain is set with a vintage glass "evil eye" bead.
The main quartz crystal can be removed from the lantern element.
The catch is set with an Ottoman iron "token" and an included quartz:
The wonderful Maira at Gemstones Brazil came to visit this week too. Always a temptation. Her family own mines in Brazil and she has the stones cut to the highest standards. This visit yielded a supply of unusual quartzes, garnets and peridot:
We had a party of Portuguese students visiting us too. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, they were not jewellers but graphic designers, which meant that we had to beg help from our colleagues in Photography and Art and Simon, one of the fashion technicians, ran an impromptu workshop in screen-printing, so they ended up having a great time. We took them to the finest Victorian pub in Glasgow on their last night, The Horseshoe Bar, apparently the longest bar in Europe! Despite how this photograph looks, I was sober...
As I was selected for the the ACJ "Icons" exhibition, an important show at the National Centre for Craft and Design, I have been spending a lot of time working on my Alexander McQueen tribute piece, "Fashion:Victim". I finished the first ball/handbag, "The Illusion of Freedom Buys The Power of Destruction" and have now started on the second ball/handbag, "Before The Fall". I've enlisted a host of help for this piece and there is to be a snake element which has been carved for me by one of my students who is exceptionally talented at wax-carving, Carol Docherty.
This has been sent off to Wallis Hunter in Carradale for casting - those of you in the UK, Mike Hirst is not only reasonably-priced but offers a superb service and the finish on the castings is the best I've seen; I leave him to do the spruing too! - and should be back next week.
I've been gathering up the stones for this piece and preparing the settings mostly - there are nearly 250 gemstones on this element:
In between all this, we found time to take the 3rd-year degree students to Dundee to visit their fellow students at DJCAD there. We are working on a collaborative project between the two groups to create a piece of jewellery based on the irrationality of Φ and the impossibility of rendering it digitally. We also gave them a presentation on the use of digital technology in the jewellery industry:
I've been commissioned to make another of my post-apocalyptic cocktail rings, which is always pleasing. This one is going to use a monumental (69 carat) natural amethyst which I bought some years ago:
In conjunction with some raw tourmaline crystals. I love the colour combination of these:
So far, I've only managed some scrap-paper doodles of what I'm planning...
And to bring it right up to date, I've been engraving today. Lots and lots of tiny silver leaves for "Before the Fall":