Another ring I made this week.
After a short hiatus as a result of scheduling conflicts, I am finally back in studio. I had some grand ideas of what I would make, but realised that I didn’t have enough silver to do what I wanted. Note to self: make an inventory of everything you need before you actually get to studio. I managed to MacGyver enough material together to make this ring.
It would appear that small pearls and minimalist elements have made their mark on my designs more recently. The instructor showed me how to make droplets/balls of silver. I think I’ll play with this technique a bit more next week.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the direction my jewelry work might go, looking at many pieces and collections by other designers, and trying to figure out what my “style” might me as a designer. I dislike the concept that a designer needs to adhere to a style in order to be recognised or stand out, but I guess that’s the way the world works. There is a growing trend in the market of dainty, minimalist jewelry. There are tons of really great designs out there. Some are really easy to make though – I know because I’ve tried making some of them. That’s how you learn right. If I start selling my own jewelry on a bigger scale, that’s probably the way to go – with my own twist of course.
There is however the artist/designer side of me, who wants to see what is possible with this medium, who likes to be challenged. Applying techniques and skills available to me, to create a piece that it truly original and unique – without being overly gaudy. The market for these pieces is obviously a lot smaller. These are supposed to be pieces that you attach sentimental meaning or value to. I want to explore that side of this trade as well.
To me design – in any field – is figuring out how to create something with the resources, skills and techniques available. It’s a process of solving a problem; having and idea of what you want to achieve and then figuring out the best way to apply techniques, materials and skills at your disposal to replicate the image in your mind. I want to explore that side of this art/trade as well.
The following piece falls into the second category of my designs; the once off originals. I mentioned in the previous post that I want to make series depicting endangered animals or habitats.
This piece was inspired in part by a piece of art by Arymiss which I recently acquired, in part by the Monstera plant making quite the comeback – I am not immune to trends – and, as my mother pointed out, because it’s reminiscent of our lush, tropical garden in Mpumalanga, where I was born.
A small pendant I made a few weeks ago. I still have to find a dainty silver chain to fix to the end rings. Until then, the pendant hangs as is in the picture.
The relationship between me and the instructor is an interesting one. I can’t expect to always do what I planned to do, and she seems to want me to do more traditional designs from time to time. She likes pearls. So I occasionally try to work some pearls into my designs. I saw a similar minimalist design with a silver bar somewhere and decided to make my own – having three pearls hang off it. As luck would have it, she only had three equally sized pearls in pink (not my favourite colour). Such is life.
Finally found a chain on etsy to finish this pendant with. I also made a mistake previously by accidentally soldering two rings that weren’t silver to the ends. I fixed that and added the chain. Done!
I didn’t finish as much as I wanted to in last weeks metal/jewelry class. I find I need to methodically plan everything before class in order to be 100% productive. Last week I basically made a pendent and two small rings.
The first of which was a cutesy heart-shaped ring I made from the silver cut-offs of previous projects.
The second was my attempt at resetting a cubic zirconia. It ended up being less “setting” and more “glueing”. I need to finish it off some more.