Sunday, May 19, 2013

What Have I Been Up To?

Since returning from Istanbul, it has been non-stop in the workshop, preparing work for orders and making some new pieces too. I've sidelined a number of works-in-progress in order to get on with more pressing issues, so there are no updates on my Chanel-inspired piece or my tribute to Alexander McQueen, though I have progressed apace with my first foray into electronics in jewellery, "14th Century Nightlife" which I hope to finish finally this coming week after it sitting on my bench for almost five years unfinished! I can't even claim that I was waiting for technology to catch up with my idea...

14th Century Nightlife - WIP - 11

All the orders from the Istanbul show have now been completed and I've even completed the bracelet I started in Hrac's workshop, using largely materials from the city:

Istanbul Charm - 1

I also created a few other, smaller pieces from things found when I was there, set with gemstones bought in the Grand Bazaar:

The Oracle - 1

Roofing Nail Ring With Aquamarine - 1

I've been re-stocking the Etsy shop with smaller pieces, including this two-fingered ring which is based on an old Scottish "gemmel" ring:

Sphynx - 2

Sphynx - 5

Made from a rivet-head I found on an abandoned rail-yard in Glasgow which I had never even noticed before but which proved to be a source of some excellent materials.

Country Seat

Unfortunately, I had, at this point, just taken up with my new personal trainer, the excellent Michael, who had identified that I have certain inherent posture issues: wandering around, staring at the ground and picking up scraps of metal is NOT a good way to ensure good posture!

The materials from this scavenging trip became a cufflink trio, a pendant, a ring and a pendant as well as the ring above:

Stendahl - Cufflink Trio - 1

Beatrix - 1

Pink Rock - 1

Beautiful Dreamer - 1

I've also completed a rather larger piece, my new "Samson's Riddle" neckpiece/chain/brooch, based on the biblical myth of Samson and his riddle to the Philistines - a somewhat unfair challenge as it refers to an incident to which Samson, alone was witness - "Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet":

Samson's Riddle - 4

The pendant is made from a corroded "cake pan" - I have no idea if this is actually what it was originally but it looks like that - found in the street in Cambuslang, Scotland, and the lion head is an old white-metal clock-ornament. The little brass bees are vintage stampings from a bankrupt jewellery factory in Birmingham. It is set with yellow and orange sapphires, amber, citrine, included quartz, chrysoprase and carnelian.

Samson's Riddle - 3

The hanging element - removable - is engraved with "Out Of Strength, Sweetness".

Samson's Riddle - 9

The back of the chain features an amber-set honeycomb, a glass taxidermy lion eye and a resin lion claw.

Samson's Riddle - 10

When the main pendant is removed to be a brooch, the chain can still be worn, using this honeycomb fastener, set with a citrine.

Samson's Riddle - 11

The chain without the central lion element.

I've also made a piece for the Touchstone fundraiser "Jazzed About Art" taking Cecil Taylor's "Excursion on a Wobbly Rail" as a starting point for my own improvisation on some materials, "Excursion on a Wobbly Nail":

Excursion on a Wobbly Nail - 3

And have been working on a commission for a "double trio" of cufflinks:

Six-Pack - 1

Next week, I start in earnest on the "Violence" work for the exhibition at the SCC in Pittsburgh in September of this year. I've started already but the bulk of the work will be done next week. No photographs, I'm afraid, as I have promised the SCC that they will have the very first showing of the work.