Saturday, October 03, 2015

Automata, Blue John and Samurai

AND back at the bench! Hooray!

Temporary Workbench - 2

I've begun to catch up with commissions and making stock work. Immediately, I'm working on a piece incorporating a small 9ct Edwardian brooch and some of the metal found on Dungeness beach:

Old Jack's Charms - WIP - 4

Old Jack's Charms - WIP - 3

One of the best aspects of my new job is the constant contact with new and exciting makers. It is a constant whirlwind of ideas and practice and this week I got to chat to the brilliant John Grayson, automaton maker (amongst other things). He had brought in his "Chaterama" for a quick repair and I was enchanted by the piece:

#Chaterama - 3

#Chaterama - 5

This is his witty response to a pair of damaged Georgian enamel birds and imagines what would happen if the Georgians had embraced social media - turning the handle moves the little birds up and down to reveal messages below.

Jo Pond and I slipped out at lunchtime this week to have a look at the Fellows Auction display for their forthcoming sale of Derbyshire blue john items. We found out about this because our colleague and course-leader on the Gemmology BSc. course, Miranda Wells, was giving a talk about the fluorite mineral which is carved into objects and used in jewellery. The mines have recently begun production again but the heyday of the material was the 19th Century and several very lovely collections have been brought together for sale:

Blue John Exhibition - Fellows - 1

Blue John Exhibition - Fellows - 3

In Brighton this weekend - an advantage of being in Birmingham is that I can get here really easily and spend the weekend before heading back on Sunday evening. This weekend, we met up with Mark Fenn and Hannah-May Chapman for a mini and informal ACJ meeting.

Mini ACJ Meeting - 1

This photograph makes it all look very serious, but it wasn't. Hannah-May is also at Birmingham, studying for her MA but is commuting at weekends so I should be seeing quite a bit of her over the next year or so.

Mark was showing us his a new variant of the Grim Reaper ring which he made some years ago, this a special commission, a Samurai Ring which he generated digitally in Rhino with some very impressive modelling:

Samurai Rings And Models