Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Backing for mandala bracelet

This element has got a polished backing, as you can see it illuminates the coloured enamel but only in the direction that the light is shining. Initially I thought that if I were to use a backing with a hammered and polished finish it would refract the light in all different directions and would cause the light to illuminate most of the enamel but this didn't really work as I had planned for it to. I also tried using a brushed finish, this seemed to illuminate it well but only really under a flourescent light. It seems as though a polished backing is the best answer although there is one last technique to try and that is to use silver foil with my enamel.

Rose Window Mandala bracelet test piece

This is a test piece to see how the bracelet would look with white enamel on the back, I did this to see how the colour would stand out. Although from the back it looks interesting from the front it looks rather flat and lifeless, this was not the effect that I am looking for but some day I may be able to use it for something else.

Rose Window Mandala bracelet

I am in the process of making a bracelet which will form part of a set for my Rose Window Mandala jewellery. There are a few issues which have arisen and are delaying me from finishing it. The main problem is that the enamel becomes dark and dull when placed on the arm whereas with the earrings the light was allowed to shine through and illuminate the colours.
This brought me to a few options I can either use a backing plate or enamel the back white.

Enamelled rose window test piece

This design is derived from the center section of the un-enamelled piece on the left. It is similar to a rose window in that only a portion of the design is used to create the actual window.

Rose Window test pieces

These are some rose window test pieces, I am trying to create more accurate representations of rose windows as apposed to the radiating circles of the first rose window earrings I created.
At the moment I am not sure where to go with these but I plan to draw some rose windows with a maths set to get a deeper understanding of how they are constructed.

Stamped test piece Star of david

This is the beginning pattern of the flower of life, it highly resembles the Star of David.

Flower of Life test piece resembling Islamic art

This is the opposite side of the stamped and punched FOL test piece. The pattern in this test piece resembles the geometric patterns in Islamic art.

Stamped and punched Flower of Life test piece

This piece had a different effect as I punched each petal with a flat marquise stamp and punched through with a triangular punch.

Stamped test piece Flower of Life

I have been making some flat-tipped punches for stamping patterns rather than punching through, the punch used on this piece was made by my father who is an engineer and makes tools and dies, I asked him to make it because it is a concave equilateral triangle which is very difficult to make without proper machinery. I needed this punch because I wanted to try punch out the negative shapes of the flower of life pattern, I normally use a marquise punch to do this, so I asked him to make one that was flat-tipped for stamping and one with a sharp tip for punching through.
I like the way the pattern in the aluminium gets raised, with silver or copper it would be harder to create as it reacts differently and is more dense and rigid than aluminium.

Spiral of Nature

These are some test pieces I have been working on. It is a design which resembles the spiral whorls found in nature such as in Cacti and Sunflower heads. These spirals are diretly linked to the fibonacci sequence which is a series of numbers that occurs frequently in nature. It starts at one and is brought about by adding the previous 2 numbers ie. 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89. Cacti's and sunflowers contain this sequence as they generally have a certain amount of spirals going anti-clockwise (such as 55) and a certain amount going clockwize ( such as 34) which correlates with the numbers in the fibonacci sequence, this is evidence that nature follows a specific set of mathematically and geometrically based proportions or ratio's.

I made this same design before in copper so i decided to make one in silver and enamel the punched holes. This picture shows the piece with a polished silver plate behind it to refract the light so it illuminates the coloured enamel, this gives it an Opalescent glow and has quite an aquatic feel to it.
I am not sure yet what this element will become I may use it for earrings or a pendant but there are a few issues that need to be resolved such as how to create an interesting and finished edge, for now i'm gonna let it stew for a bit.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rose Window paper cut-outs

These are the paper cut-outs that I am using to roll mill onto my metal for the backing plate. I realised that the backing plate for the mandala bracelet needed some point of interest for the visible side which rests against the wrist. This is not necessary as it could've had a plain finish but this is what adds richness to a piece and separates it from being a piece of costume jewellery. After some thought I decided to create these mini rose window paper cut-outs to transfer the pattern onto metal, I had made these for my stand at Design Indaba and knew they were quick and easy to make. The only problem with these is there is a limit to the intricacy of the designs and when they were inprinted on the metal they seemed quite boring. So i'll try using the silver foil technique if that doesn't work then i'll have to come up with another idea.