Friday, January 23, 2015

Time Flies

Somehow it is approaching the end of January and looking at my last blog post, Christmas and New Year seem so far away. I've been incredibly busy working on lots of small projects - largely re-stocking after pre-Christmas sales both privately and through Cursely & Bond, who have been tireless in promoting my work - and the foul weather has helped make me want to stay at the bench.

Sad Snowman

I completed the bracelet for Russ at The Dirty Pen studios - see my last post for the lovely story behind this piece:

Pointing-Tool Bracelet - 14

Pointing-Tool Bracelet - 13

Pointing-Tool Bracelet - 12

Set with a magnificent orange quartz, natural yellow/orange sapphire, garnets and a brown diamond, I was really pleased with the way this turned out, as was Russ, which is what matters!

Ages ago, some dumpling decided that they were going to try to melt silver in my high-temperature crucible for stainless steel: it didn't work. Instead, it created this very odd silver "foam", which has sat about on my bench since.


I decided this week to make it into a ring:

Moon And Star Ring - 7

Moon And Star Ring - 3

Moon And Star Ring - 6

Set with a moonstone and a diamond.

It is also that time of year when I send of an entry to the Goldsmiths' Hall Craft and Design awards. This year, I've sent them "20000 Leagues Under The Seas", which was a bit of a struggle to package:

20000 Leagues Under The Seas - Packing

I'm not sure that any "found object" work has ever won anything in the competition, but I keep on trying! My "Alice in Wonderland" and "A Forest" both were chosen for exhibition in the show but that is as far as I've got. This piece has also been entered in the "Digital Design" category, the first time I've entered that.

I've been making a collection of more restrained cufflinks. Last summer, I sent Susannah Hall a batch of my industrial cufflink trios to try in her shop in Clerkenwell in London:

Cufflink Commission - Susannah Hall Tailors - 1

Not one set sold! Hence the production of restrained pairs, which we will try next. I've used this as an opportunity to make use of stones and castings which have been left over from other works, which has been interesting. It is also really odd for me to think in terms of "pairs", matching pairs at that!

Floral Spin Cufflinks - 1
Floral Spin Cufflinks - the last of the gemstone flowers from my Alexander McQueen piece last summer.

Rock Crystal Cufflinks
Quartz Dome Cufflinks - I made these settings for "20000 Leagues Under The Seas" then used only one of them in the piece.

Skull and Garnet Cufflinks - 3
Garnet Skulls -  These skulls are a staple of my work and I always have a number of them cast up, ready to use but I've never used them in cufflinks before.

41-42 Cufflinks - 1
41-42 - Number nails found in Texas and set with lavender spinels, left over from the "Mudlarking" project.

30-40 Cufflinks - 1
30-40 - Number nails found in Texas and set with natural brown diamonds.
Tourmaline Bar Cufflinks - 1
Tourmaline Bars - made from settings which were made to fit the natural tourmaline crystals which I intended to use on "20000 Leagues Under the Seas" but in the end I only used one on that piece.

There has been a fair amount of CAD going on towards "1694: An Eye for Optical Theory" and I scanned one of the lenses using a digital scanner:

1694: An Eye For Optical Theory - WIP - 4

This allowed me to make an accurate model of the lens in Rhino, from which I will develop the settings for each lens.

1694: An Eye For Optical Theory - WIP - 6

Other than that, it has been crazy casting times, making up elements for pieces which will feature in coming blogs!

Cleaning Up Castings

Finally, if anyone is interested, some years ago, I remember watching the filming of what appeared to be a Bollywood musical in a rather grey and cold George Square in Glasgow. I've often thought about it and wondered whether it was ever released. I discovered this week that it was, so here it is. Skip to 16'23", where the action moves from Princes' Square to George Square and the exact scene I watched being filmed!