19 Jul 2011

This weeks fixation is . . .

Further to my last post about the new teardrop pendant I’d been working on, as often is the case, I get somewhat fixated with a design idea or technique and work several variants of it in short order.

Please click on any of the photographs for a larger view.

I don’t suppose for one minute that I’m any different from other designers in this respect – once you get attuned to working on something, your mind just runs away with it and the more you work, the more variants and ways you can use the element pop into your mind.

Thus is has been over the last few days. I’ve fine-tuned my method so that I can make them consistently and with a symmetrical shape and my head is full of ideas to work on – like it needed any more in there fighting for my attention.

The first photographs above are of what was the initial prototype I made from a soldered oval I already had on my bench. As the soldered join was a little untidy, I thought it might be nice to cover it with a molten silver nugget and make a feature of it. It was also quite small and didn’t have much weight to it, so this will help it hang nicely. I’m going to keep this one myself and as I almost always wear pendants on a Sterling silver snake chain, the silver nugget will co-ordinate with that.

I also made some larger copper teardrops, more in line with the shape of the silver one – which had been my intended shape all along. I kept one highly polished and plain like the silver and another I adorned with an internal squiggle with hammered molten button ends, wrapped to the outer teardrop frame and supplemented with a couple of wrapped tiny copper beads – antiqued to enhance the textures.

It perhaps isn’t evident from the photographs above, but the bails are at 90 degrees to the body of the teardrops , so that they hang perfectly perpendicular to the chain they’re on. I’d photographed at angles to show the twist between the two loops of the teardrop and bail eye, but it does sit straight and central to the body of the pendant. I’ll unfortunately have to leave my ideas for a day or two as I have other non-jewellery work to do.

Post script:

Famous last words above; I knew I wouldn’t be able to help myself. I had to wait for a client to get back to me today before I could complete some work for them and I was able to finish this further variation that I started a couple of days ago. I’ve done various pieces with rosebud knots in the past and seeing (at the time) a rosebud knot piece in the ‘I’m currently working on’ box on the right, I wondered if it could be combined with the teardrop shape – which would rely on the knot retaining its shape whilst I made the pendant shape above it – which places quite some forces on the metal.

Thankfully, in this gauge of wire, it did and I was thrilled to bring two of my favourite recent techniques together. Even as I write that, I have a further idea to bring the teardrop together with another of my often used techniques – so it’s off to the sketch book yet again.

This version is made from a single length of heavy copper wire, which hasn’t been soldered in this instance, the knot holds it together.

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