Tuesday, 26 August 2014

August 26

A Start and a Finish

Late summer is always a busy time around here. As if the vegetable garden – with those fast-growing zucchinis – wasn't enough to keep me busy, summer in this family means a crowded calendar. Between June 15 and September 10, we celebrate five birthdays and a couple of wedding anniversaries.

Any creative work has to fit in amidst gift buying, gift wrapping, vegetable garden weeding and harvesting. Oh, the house demands a bit of vacuuming and dusting, too!

What follows was spread over most of August!

Design Phase – New Inspirations

The Creative Jewellers Guild has chosen celtic as the club theme for the 2015 BC Gem Show, so I've been browsing through the books we picked up when touring Scotland for celtic design ideas.

As you can see,  I began with some rough sketches inspired by actual celtic designs.

The round (well, almost round) one was inspired by the Kildalton Cross on the island of Islay. I took several photos but some of these show it better!  <https://www.google.ca/search?q=kildalton+cross+islay&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=-Rr9U8PeG6mwigL054HoCg&ved=0CDkQsAQ&biw=1341&bih=835>

I decided to start by working up the shield (lower right corner sketch) in copper. The backplate will be copper and there will be a silver bar down the center. If I like the effect, I will also make a reticulated and polished silver version later.

Start with Sketch & Pattern

I keep this little notebook handy and, when I decide to put a sketched design "into production" (how pretentious!), I make a quick reference sketch of it here. It lets me keep notes of materials, weights, etc. so, if I want or need to make something the same or similar, I can find all the information.

Finishing Up with Polishing and Photography 

While the glue on that paper pattern was drying, I finished polishing a silver brooch I started weeks ago.

The stone is an 8 mm, smoky-brown quartz cabochon. I forged the pin from a piece of heavy-gauge square sterling silver wire (at this size, it doesn't look much like wire, does it?) I designed it to be worn with the stone at the bottom (the pin catch is hidden behind it) but it could be worn in a horizontal position, as well.

I think this would look great on a grey or brown coat or jacket lapel for fall and winter. It's a bit too chunky for summer fashions.

The final step for this one: photograph it for my etsy shop listing.