Archive for September, 2010

Small World

What a small world! I just had a client come to the studio to buy one of my Neosliders neck pieces and we were chatting away about what I have been up to and who he knows. It ends up that he knows Barbara, Mal and Juan.

“oh, I work for Barb” I said.

“you do?” he said.

“yes, one day a week. I am her production jeweller.”

“I’ve had a lot of things commissioned by Barb.”

Fancy that!

They also live in the area that I grew up in. Very small world!!!

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Independence Ring

My client came to me after having been separated from her husband for 6 months wanting to do something with the rings that had been given to her. She liked the elements of her wedding ring and eternity ring, but having just finalized the divorce she wanted to make them her own. A date of independence was set for the 16th of September and she wanted to wear the ring for this occasion. From getting the go ahead on the piece I had ten days to order materials and make the ring.

The following photos are of the journey the ring has taken, from its elements to the current state. The only new materials included in the piece are the chenier and the solder. Everything else came from the original rings for which I did not take a photo so there is no longer a record of the past. Take it as a symbol of a new beginning. Only her and I will remember what they looked like and with time that memory will fade, giving her complete ownership of the new piece.

I started out with melting the existing bands into a new band, making a new setting for the 6 larger stones and using the existing settings for the tear drop diamonds, with a section of the previous band to blend into the new one.

The new setting was then soldered onto the new band.

Using Yellow Ochre to prevent the previous solder joins reactivating and using Borax to protect the stones in their settings, I soldered on the new old settings that would support the new claw setting.

With the settings all in place, I set about preparing the seats for the stones in the settings, changing the lengths of the chenier to tilt the over all appearance of the settings and “angle” the outer stones.

I cut into the chenier to create a seat for the central stone after having set the other, smaller diamonds in place.

Here is a side view of the setting. The central diamond has been set high so that it will get maximum light into it and show off as much of the stone as possible.

The end result. I set and reset some of the stones in the outer chenier until I was happy with the result and this is it.

The client came today to collect the piece and in my traditional fretting, I was curious to see the reaction. “WOW” was the response. She was more than happy with the result and feels that this piece will help her create a new chapter in her life and redefine her future. The past has been eliminated in one small way and she can now wear this piece with it’s beautiful stones with pride and acknowledgement of her new journey!

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Student Work

My intermediate students at the Brisbane Institute of Art have been learning how to make a brooch, with tube setting, etching and using a non-conforming dye. These are the results of their efforts. Much protesting occurred when I informed them that they would be making a brooch as they have it in their heads that no-one wears brooches anymore! Piffle!! There are plenty of people who still wear them and the point of the exercise is that they are learning something different. I managed to show them how to do 5 techniques with the one piece and I think the results were pretty good.

They did too and after all the effort they put into the pieces some of those who protested so much have started to like what they have made and understand the concept. Sometimes though I think that they protest only to push my buttons. Funny thing is that I do not budge! They have learned that much in the time that they have been with me, so they try even harder. As you can tell, it is not working! Ha Ha!!!

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Sketches for Insurance

Today I did some sketches for an insurance claim on some jewellery that had been stolen by some young  punks! In the robbery, the whole jewellery box was stolen along with a few other things of the same nature.

I sat down with the client who needed the sketches for the claim to be processed and went through what the pieces looked like, what the stones were and what other materials were used.

A lengthy process, but it is important to remember that nothing beats a photograph of the piece that has gone missing and if you have it, hold onto the docket. Even better, have the piece valued every couple of years as gold is going up all the time and the price that you paid for it back in 1990 will not reflect the current price. It would not surprise me if the insurance company would turn around and only give you the price that you paid for it, not it’s current value.

Another interesting fact to note that is the insurance company cannot tell you where you have to go to get the pieces replaced or remade. That is totally your choice and it is against fair trading if they do. If you need further information on this then you will have to contact the ACCC or the Jewellers Association of Australia.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the sketches – to which I have the originals and the client has the coloured copies!

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2 new commissions and applications ahoy!!!

So things had been a little quiet recently and I was wondering what was going on! There were opportunities for things to happen but they were all waiting on a few other things to happen to actually take off. So it has been a waiting game! Luckily though, some people have managed to get their affairs in order which has led to the go ahead on some commission work.

My first commission is a reconfiguration on wedding rings that are no longer needed or desired. Instead, it is my job to re-contextualize the materials we have to make something new. I started with three 18ct Yellow Gold rings, one with 5  round brilliant cut 3mm diamonds and another with 1 5mm brilliant cut round diamond and 2 pear shaped diamonds. The pear shaped diamonds will be staying in the settings they have and I will be re-shaping the bands they are attached to to create a raised section to the newly created band. Yesterday saw the removal of all the stones and the melting down of the unwanted bands to create the new one.

There certainly is something mesmerizing about molten metal. The lovely liquid glass would be ideal to maintain if you could – but alas, it is not to be!

For this commission I have ordered new Chenier to set the 5 smaller diamonds in and am awaiting it’s arrival for further work to be done.

The second of my two commissions picked up this week is from the lovely Ros McDonald. I created a piece for Ros a while ago from existing pieces of jewellery that she had in her jewellery box for a while. Some of the rings she had she could no longer fit on her fingers and others were all clumped together on one hand. So she decided that is was about time that she had one ring made with some of the stones and at a later stage she would make the left over stones into something else!

This ring is the earlier ring created for Ros.

This time around we have decided to go for a ring that will use a majority of the existing stones. 20 diamonds and 5 sapphires all told. There is only one sapphire left, but as it does not suit the rest we have decided to leave that one out.  I have done a similar look to the wedding ring commission I did for Tess Pike in the way that I will be setting the stones into the band of the ring and having a rough texture on the surface of the ring, however the texture I have gone for this time is finer. The wax work has been approved and deposit paid, so the wax will be sent off for casting tomorrow and should be back to me no later than next week!  How exciting!

I recently received an email regarding Dogstar’s call out for jewellers and artists to express their interest in stocking their stores! How perfect would that be!? It has only been the thing I have been working towards for the last year. It will all depend on whether my jewellery suits what they are after of course so we will see. If I hear anything then I will let you know!  I am also trying to approach a few new outlets throughout Brisbane and am looking at trying to stock in a few places both up and down the coast, but there is always more work to do!!

Further information when it comes to hand!

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