Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flower of life repetition cuffs

From the flower of life Mandala, I wanted to create a cuff. My first instinct was to join the circular motif by repeating it, but after looking at the design I noticed that it was possible to create a flowing repetitive pattern. I then designed a template to follow and punch out the pattern from, after punching it out I felt really pleased with the outcome. The process that followed was creating spinoffs that experimented with various finishing techniques to create different appeals which involved fold forming the edges, soldering side bands, making it in copper with a patina and patching up splits using wire and Gold granules. I also investigated and experimented with different proportions including the Golden mean. When I punch this repetitive pattern, the punching becomes an automatic response and somewhat forms into a meditation; this is where my manufacture ties in with the theory behind the Mandala.


I created these earrings using one of the elements from the experimental punching of test pieces using my newly discovered technique of ‘pierce punching’. I came across this pattern called the flower of life or creation pattern, I had seen a lot of jewellery made with this motif but it had merely been pierced out from plate and I thought it was such a special and interesting pattern that I wanted to render it in a unique and appealing way. I thought that my punching method would be the perfect way in which to portray it. The result was deeply rewarding and I felt that this special element needed a distinctive shepherds hook to compliment it so I used the same concept as the shwe-shwe earrings which was the forged spiral but this time I used thicker wire which resulted in a more prominent taper. To finish it off I left the FOL element an acid white which gave it an essence of purity I then burnished the protruding petals to create an eye-catching sparkle as the light reflected from the pattern. I was really attracted to this design so I designed a collection of jewellery around it.

Sacred pattern

This is a bangle I have made using a repetitive Flower of life pattern.
I had to draw out the pattern on paper which was quite tricky to work out, but eventually got it by using 60 degree angles and measuring the gaps between each petal on my FOL tempate.
I have found that in certain places, where the punched holes are too close together, the metal has started to split especially when I domed the bangle I will try to fix this problem by leaving larger spaces between the punched holes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flower of life pendant

I am in the process of making this neck piece I found these beautiful beads that remind me of the ocean and have been trying to find something to make for it. I plan to make 2 smaller elements to go on either side but I am researching ways in which to apply the golden ratio to the smaller elements. I plan to use pearl clasps to connect it to the beads so it can be worn with one big element for a more casual look or with three for a more extravagant appeal.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Punching Patterns

These were some test pieces I made whilst exploring my new found technique of punch piercing and sacred geometry patterns.
I was very pleased with this new technique and around about this time I had started my investigations with sacred geometry. I came across a very alluring pattern called the flower of life, which up until this time I had struggled to find a way in which to render it in metal without using the likely method of piercing or etching. When I came across this technique I thought of how I could use it to portray this pattern. I then realised that it was made up either of overlapping circles or connecting marquise shapes, this is what brought me to use a marquise shaped punch to render the pattern.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sacred Geometry

Sacred geometry is set of universal patterns which may reflect the way in which life manifests containing a specific numerical design that exists in most natural forms of life.
I am interested in this theory because I feel this may lead me to making more purposeful jewellery. I am hoping that by using sacred geometric shapes, my jewellery may impact some kind of positive change for the wearer, whether it be to heal the wearer or to bring harmony and release negativity. I am also highly drawn to many of the geometric patterns I'm not 100% sure why but I find some of them really beautiful maybe because they are soothing to look at and serve as a key to connecting with the universe to some extent and unlocking spiritual enlightenment. Or maybe they're just nice to look at, who knows...

Sacred Geometry- The Flower of Life

The Flower of Life symbol is considered to be sacred among many cultures around the world, both ancient and modern. Within this symbol can be found all the building blocks of the universe that we call the Platonic Solids. The symbol can be used as a metaphor to illustrate the connectedness of all life and spirit within the universe.Looking into the window of the Flower of Life challenges us to unify our mind, heart, and spirit. When we can truly see all life woven so intimately, we strengthen the embrace of the divine in our lives and we can transform our world through the vision of universal unity.
The flower of life shape contains a secret shape known as the fruit of life that consists of 13 spheres that hold many mathematical and geometrical laws. These laws represent the whole universe. Giving the flower of life to someone is like giving them the whole universe in one jewel.
People reported physical and psychological changes after wearing this pendant - faster heart beats, prophetic dreams, breaking of illusions, seeing the reality as it is and becoming free from long time fears.
The flower of life is one of the strongest sacred geometric shapes!

Natural Mystic Range

This year I have been focusing on wax modeling with a technique called wax rolling and extrusion explained in the equilibrium posts. These pieces are the objects of my exploration from this year It may not seem to be much but there were a lot of blood, sweat and mistakes during the process of making these pieces.

I am influenced strongly by natural forms and patterns and that is where I draw my Inspiration from in the design of my pieces. I like to reflect the rhythm and flow of nature in my jewellery as a tribute to Mother Earth. When I become an established jeweller I would really like to contribute a percentage of my earnings towards global warming and environmental funds.

From a research point of view I wasn't sure which direction I was heading in, I started off with ethnic jewellery and its purpose in in ethnic societies, my aim was to discover the original purpose for jewellery which I found out to be Social Status, Adornment and mutual recognition between fellow tribesmen. I never found It captivating enough to follow on with the subject, but realized from it all that I would like to create meaningful jewellery.

So now I am focusing on the connection between Sacred Geometry and Nature, and through this I hope to create visually pleasing designs that reflect the harmony of nature and may in some way bring ones life into a harmonius existance, such as the flower of life symbol which has been known to do this.

Love and Courtship

The theme for Anglo Platinum was Love and Courtship rituals in South African Cultures one of the requirements for the competition was to have a box to store the jewellery in. I decided to use the same Shwe-Shwe fabric that I retrieved the earring design from and covered my own box that I made, I then used a ribbon and button to bind it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

'Kwa-Nobantu' -for the people

These earrings were the start of a new technique in my jewellery which involved a direct manipulation in the metal; they were brought about by designing for the Anglo platinum competition with a theme of courtship rituals in South Africa.
I love African shwe-shwe fabric and wanted to use this as a design reference for the jewellery I was going to make, I chose this particular design as I was attracted to its interesting circular pattern. I then had to come up with a way of creating this design in metal. My first thought was to pierce out the pattern but it was quite a predictable way of doing it so I tried thinking of other ways in which to portray the pattern. After much thought I went to my 4th year lecturer to speak to him about my design and he showed me a technique he had discovered which was creating a perforated surface with the use of punches, it was a really interesting and different technique so I decided to use it. I roll milled the sheet metal with sandpaper to create an interesting matted texture on my metal; the purpose of this was to generate a contrast between the raised burs which were burnished and the metal below it, so the edges of the burs stood out effectively.
I really enjoyed the overall look of this technique so I decided to pursue it and experiment with patterns from sacred Geometry.

Playing around with shapes

These were just some pictures I took of the shwe-shwe elements. I placed them in different positions to see the interraction between them and to see what other ideas could spring from them.

Anglo Platinum process

This was the start of my anglo platinum earrings.

I first had to forge my own tapering punches into different shapes such as Tear Drop, Marquise and a line punch. They where made by forging the tapers and the sanding and grinding to the shapes needed.
I had to experiment with various textures for my metal I decided that both sides should have contrasting textures so the one side I made polished and the other I rolled through the roll mill with sand paper to give a matted grainy texture. The front side I decided should be the matt texture so that when punched from the polished side, the burs (raised parts) could be burnished and would stand out from the matt finish.

I then had to carefully measure where my punches had to be placed so that the pattern would be evenly spaced . The punched holes also varied in sizes from large in the middle to smaller towards the end so I had to be carefull of how hard I hit them into the metal.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Natures Jewels

These are the kinds of things that really inspire me to create natural jewellery.
Nature is the one place where I feel as though I fit in and belong.
Something about it really resinates within me, I am in awe of the raw beauty and perfection, or imperfection, of the natural world.
At times natural life is so beautiful that it hurts knowing what the human race is doing to it, and it all amounts to greed, capitalism, and consumption.

Opalised fossil

Andrew Goldsworthy Art

'Andy Goldsworthy (born 26 July 1956) is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist living in Scotland who produces site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. His art involves the use of natural and found objects, to create both temporary and permanent sculptures which draw out the character of their environment.' Wikipedia

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Conclusion

Through all this wax work and casting I have learnt so much from trial and error, and still have much more to learn. Casting is a whole other skill that goes far more in depth than I had ever thought.
It takes alot of patience and persistance and the outcome can either be frustrating and dissapointing or exciting and rewarding.
I have found that with wax rolling the possibilities are endless and I am enjoying the process of experimenting and although tedious at times the results are often highly satisfactory.

The Search

This is a bracelet that I am currently working on it has taken time because it needs more elements due to a change in construction, instead of using jump rings to attach the elements I am using hinges so that the mechanism for movement can be can be hidden. I find that with certain pieces jump rings can often make a piece look cheap and improfessional so that is why I went with using hinges. I had a few bumps along the way like the once again, mis-cast elements, but I'm sure all the trouble will be worth it.

I am drawn to the Aztec feel of this piece it reminds me of an ancient wisdom that once existed and is now forever lost to the blindness of modern day society.


This is the evolution of the once lost but now found Periwinkle earrings, I gave the first ones a rest for a while because they weren't working out the way I wanted and wasn't sure how to take the design further. So through my journey of wax rolling I came across a very special wax extruding instrument, thanks to my lecturer, which is much less time consuming and allows me to make much thinner spirals. Thank goodness for that because this piece takes alot of time to make.

I have found that this earring wraps over too much and is a bit short and stumpy, so I have a new shape for it which I had molded but mis-cast due to my metal not being hot enough when pouring into the flask... Sigh! Live and learn.

Ancient Eternity

This is an element I have retrieved from a prevoius mis-cast phenomena bangle.
I experimentally used a sprue on only one side of the bangle and this was the outcome, the metal cooled down before reaching all the cavities.
I love it because it brings about feelings of mystisism and ancient artefacts.
I'm not sure yet what I will do with it but I'm sure I'll find out in time.

Wind cries Mary

This piece is an improvement of the Phenomena bangle, the first bangle was more of a prototype and a bit clumsily done. I've tried to go more intricate in this piece using thinner spirals and with more thought put into the placement of spirals with regard to the overall shape of the bangle, which is a wavey shape.
This piece has thick sides because it is unfinished and still has its 'sprues' from casting, which assist the flow of molten metal into the piece.
When I feel like my bangle is finally what I'm hoping for It will then be worth setting stones in the middle of certain spirals, mainly Opals, Moonstones or Labradorite, maybe all of the above.

Latest work in progress

The Following pictures are of unfinished pieces I have been working on in the past 2 weeks, half of which have evolved from previous pieces.

Voodoo Chile

These are my latest pair of earings, I came about this design just by experimenting with my wax rolled spirals and keeping ethnic jewellery in mind. The reason why I use spirals in most of my work is because I am somewhat drawn in by their hypnotic pattern, which seems to vibrate a mystic energy. I am amazed by the way a spiral plays tricks on your eyes the way it seems to move, even when drawn on paper, although it is static. For the most of it spirals are to me a freak of nature, they are one of the most predominant forms in nature found in clouds, plants, shells and water, and nobody really knows how or why they exist so to me they are a true natural mystic.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I am exploring the concept of the original purpose of jewellery so I am focusing on ethnic/tribal jewellery which forms a specific function in ethnic communities. This bangle is the beginning of a new chapter in my jewellery. It is the first piece of which I plan to start a collection from and improve on. I am using traditional lost wax casting techniques used by tribesman in Chad where they roll wax into thin wire like forms and make spiral objects from them. I came about this design by playing around with spirals which is a symbol that is often found in my jewellery.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Philip Sainz

This is the work of Philip Sainz and to me a breath of fresh air!
The inspiration behind his designs comes from the colours, movement and shape of the rare and unusual gemstones, fossils and other organic materials that he works with, which bring about his own unique style of contemporary organic jewellery.
To view more of his designs go to

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bracelet in the making

This is a cast element bracelet, it is made from copper and has been Patinated which gives it the blue colour, I find that this piece to me looks unfinished so my next task will be to silver plate the bracelet and lay resin inside the grooves

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Michael Good Jewellery

This is a bangle made by michael good I love the fluidity of his jewellery. He uses a technique called Anticlastic raising which I would like to try out. His website is

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Latest project- Peri winkle earrings

These are the first prototypes; the earring on the left is my first piece but it doesn't wrap as much as I would like, I am having trouble getting the same etch texture with my latest silver pieces.
The middle earring is the type of effect/wrap that I want
The one on the right is my experimental piece with intaglio etching and torch fire enamelling.

This picture was experimental etching done with torch firing

This piece of copper is a relief etch which I will be constructing my next earrings with, I will then enamel and grind them until the copper pattern shows through which I will then silver plate and hopefully the pattern will show through in silver with an enamelled back ground.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Flower of Light

This design came from a textile pattern that I came across. It was modelled from wax and cast into silver, I have used Opals and Amethysts to create a more interesting piece and to include colour.

Spirituality is a ripple

I came about this design from seeing a similar shaped pendant on TV and thought it was a really beautiful shape to work with, I thought of how to give it a more 3D feel so it would not look so flat I then decided to fly press the shape. I also didn't want a plain surface and I came up with the rippled pattern which I etched into the metal.
The colour you see on the metal is a form of pattination and is not permanent.
The chain I used is called Byzantine chain which is a complex form of joining jump rings, it takes a very long time to make but is highly rewarding once finished.

Rainbow swirls

This is another piece from the Culture Fusion range using the rolled wax method