Bronze, Sterling Silver, 24k Gold, Black Onyx; Cast, Forged, Fabricated, Plated.
And so it began! The first ring of the project. Here I experimented for the first time in a technique; forging cast objects. By this, I found it a rather satisfying process handling a cast item, structured, precise and ready for assembly.. then letting it kiss the hammer. YES! hammering is fun.. and if you think me overexcited about this, you simply need to try it yourself. It is more so considering that the work being hammered was indeed considered for something else (old work). It was an odd and subtly exhilarating experience of destroying and creating something you are attached to simultaneously. The more what I knew disappeared, the more something new I was yet to be acquainted with showed its glorious face. I quite like the result; the structured bottom as something man-made blooming over the top like an orchid or spinal column. However, as much as I may have been pleased with the results, the process of creating it was much more enjoyable.
It felt like working on the past, which under the weight of your raw but considered blow of your intention, flows like this metal; shifting and forming into something new. Something that had only vaguely existed in the instinct of the vision of the future.
For practical explanation purpose, this, and the works that follow as it is, are an exploration of accumulating incomplete works form over the years and creating something new primarily through the process of forging (letting it kiss the hammer).
Sterling Silver; Fabricated, Cast, Forged.
Ahh! I’m quite surprised how fluidly the creation of this ring worked out! =D really, it was quite the lovely day working on it. While the ring unfortunately does not photograph well being worn for some reason, it can be worn, yes! and it is surprisingly stable, sturdy and comfortable. In this ring, I returned to a favoured technique, used to create the coral-like form along the top of the ring. On the other hand, I tested my hand in fabrication - a technique I’m not too wonderfully skilled at. Next, hammering the top half of the fabricated hollow band, I came to realise how much I enjoy forging. Here the silver spread with ease, the various fascets used to form the band splitting at the seams and moulding into one another. As they warped into their unplanned but controlled waves, twisting and arching, I added the ‘coral’ to give weight to the thin band at the top and accentuate the contrast. It were as though the ring were left in the sea and something began to grow in its decay. Oh well, the ring looks better off the hand than on. I would call it one of my favoured rings.
Bronze, Sterling Silver, 24k Gold; Cast, Forged, Fabricated, Plated.
This ring really was a bitch on my patience. Really, I got quite frustrated attempting to come to some kind of resolution. Surprisingly so, during our critique in the Jewellery department, our artist in residence Alice Bo-Wen Chang (wonderful and fun person :) ) pointed out this ring from the recent series as the one she found most promising. I suppose I see where she’s coming from, I began to most ever so slowly out of my comfort zone, and though the ring hasn’t yet been resolved, I was very aware some more work would hopefully and likely produce some more interesting results.
I’d say, there is indeed great value in working unselfconsciously. Hopefully this ring will be resolved soon; but for now, the drawer shall be its home… and this page.
Ring 4/30 (Unfinished)
Sterling Silver; Cast, Forged, Fabricated.
This particular ring was actually meant to be a response to the first 3 rings made. However, at the point reached, I realised/decided that it was not really well considered response of the 3, but rather, a development of 1/30. Either way, unsatisfied with the original design plan, I have decided change direction and hopefully complete it next week.
Ring x/30 (would be 5/30)
Sterling Silver; Cast, Fabricated.
Well, it seems that today I have experienced a relatively small productive failure, where hoping to produce a ring for the day, was unable to. Really, I was somewhat frustrated, and after a much more emotive rant here, decided it would be best to remain calm and re-evaluate the matter critically. I hope, if you are a creator (maker, writer, programmer etc), this would in the smallest way interest you:
1. While I had made the fortunately well-planned decision to allocate at least 3 hours of my studio time devoted to this project; much of it is wasted by procrastination. Thus, the lesson I learn time and time again: act, and in doubt, continue to act. Any thought that is worth paying heed to are those that allow a move move forward. Anything else, let it go for the time being.
2. Better a failed piece then nothing at all. You will always learn from a failed piece. Better yet, there is evidence of your lesson.
3. To move forward, out of your comfort zone, is uncomfortable. Frustrating even… but wonderfully enjoyable like an ale you finally acquired a taste for… or a blue cheese. Learn to enjoy the process of creation, even when it is difficult. This will help you clear your head and see ways forward where there seems no immediate route.
5. Try, try again… which is patience.
I hope this helps, it does for me :) . I will be returning to this piece and the next tomorrow.
Sterling Silver; Cast.
YEAHH!!!! HAHA! ahhh, it is days like this, and yesterday that I really remember, again, how much I love what I do! :D Really, had I posted yesterday amidst my creative high (needless to say; soaring spirits), I would have rambled on, quite excitedly on the re-realization of my passion for casting. Everyone has their pet process… casting, is definitely my own. Stone setting as well if you want to throw in a bit more… but I digress there.
After Tuesday’s botched piece, I decided yesterday (Wednesday) to resume to a well loved technique, which I haven’t touched in over a year. Here I resorted to delft clay casting to produce 3 solid sterling silver rings. This one should have been finished on time yesterday, but suddenly ran out of polishing equipment… so today, with the equipment restocked, 2 rings are done leaving one more ring in the pipework from the batch.
This ring weighs 60.53g; just enough to feel the weight without it being cumbersome.
Sterling Silver; Cast.
As follows from ring 5/30, here is the 2nd ring out of the pipe-line, which I personally prefer to the aforementioned piece. While 5/30 was a simple delft clay cast, I tried something new with this technique by altering the mould by hand and regulating the amount of silver I used, to achieve the effect. Part of the splendid result was serendipitously accidental however.
*sigh* I wish I could wear this ring, but it needs to remain unscathed for the duration of the project. Oh well. I’m glad either way.
Ps. The scan from the sketch-book is not the design for the ring, but an idea that was a precursor to the finished piece. I may still make the drawn ring.
Ring #7 (Unfinished)
Sterling Silver; Cast, Forged.
Ah, unfinished, unfinished. But with good reason! These are the points that I really long for! The days that I realise that I need to pick up a new skill/techique in order to achieve an effect. That is… the day I get to learn something all-together new.
Ring #8 (Unfinished)
Sterling Silver; Cast, Forged.
So here we are again… another day, another unfinished ring. It really did begin to dawn onto me today how absurd the idea of making 30 ring in just over 30 days really is. Particularly if I’m going to make quality rings that hopefully progress in their design…. and especially if I’m going to mind all the work I have.
So, a decision is made, change my brief/task to accommodate this realisation and direct the project towards quality… and away from this absurd quantity demand.
It seems the reasons for the delayed production are 2 fold:
- With every piece, I seem to be setting myself more process intensive designs… This, was really highlighted by today’s, and yesterday’s pieces that ended up requiring skills I have not yet developed (but will thankfully/hopefully acquire through this process of exploratory production).
- I have my dissertation, among other projects to pay heed to. Oh well, time management is the key I suppose.
Within the sketchbook scans you will see a bit of the design route I took before I arrived to my incomplete state. Haha, a couple of changes here and there… and I’m still not sure quite where I’m headed with this one, but seem to be slowly accumulating alternative designs. I suppose in the end, I’ll probably end up building an unintended small archive of design.. though I was really aiming for tangible works over drawings.
I really enjoy this process of working however! That is, designing while making. It really does place you into the mentality of the possibilities and limitations of the material in question (as well as your own skills); more-so than if you simply drew alone.
I continue tomorrow!
“Clarified Vision” October, 2011 by Brian Kivuti
After shuffling and reshuffling a few pictures about (the rejects not included here), this is what I finally came up with. The first set of photo’s of what will hopefully be many more within my exploration of photography as a medium.
With the pictures set, a certain interpretation occured to me! Here, staring at the central sharpest picture, a curious thing happened.. an illusion. Check it out; with the blurred photo’s set above and bellow, the pictures mimic what your own vision normally does: presenting your item of focus as clear, and all else in your peripheral vision, blurred. Only, this triptix seems to heighten this effect and narrow the blur-band of your vision artificially… a bit like tunnel vision. Either way, I quite liked it… ah, its the little things really.
As a side thought, a deeper interpretation arose to me in an analogy. Looking forward, you see the central clear picture; representing the present, where with focus, vision is clear. Looking above; a representation of the imagination, or the future which, though slightly blurred, maintains a beautiful haze and maintains substantial form with odd ethereal clarity. It is as a halo. Looking down; a representation of the past or procrastination where the lines of reality are blurred intensely. Its interesting how focusing on this last image makes little difference in making out its form compared to focusing on the central image and viewing the last in your peripheral vision. The present fills in the blanks of the past, but the past never fades from your vision while you focus on the present. On the flip side, the clarity of the present is lost when you focus on the past.
Ah… I could take this analogy a mile.. but I hope you get the point I tried to make.
The photo’s were achieved by prolonged light exposure without a flash. The central image had the camera supported, while the remaining 2 were held by hand.
…a little more experimentation on Photoshop using the ‘Fallen Ember’s’ series. As it is, I am simply extending and layering the pattern in the style already presented in the series. Haha! I called this, “Magic 8”.
I quite like how tweaking the transparency levels of each layer produces entirely new patterns of brightness in the flares of concentrated light. This happens, as noted, wherever light concentrations layer over each other. I could allow me to consciously manipulate the effect. This, and the last time was a happy accident.
“Celestial Print ” (Oct 2011) by Kivuti
I can’t say I was thinking and planning this intensively. Rather, responded to the different forms and effects I could achieve, developing the image as I went along. It looks like I’ve displayed the image as a ‘finished piece’, but be that as it may, should be considered as experimentation. I’m not too used to creating ‘finished pieces’ outside jewellery. I very much tend to view most of my visual work as process of progression, and so in some way, incomplete. I find it a rare thing to create an image and feel it done and complete.
Showing this image to some acquaintances, they remarked that it looked like bugs. Haha! Funnily enough… or not so funnily enough, I quite agree. Other than that, we did note how these images have turned out quite differently to the original images from the Fallen Embers series. The originals are minimalistic, while these… clearly are not. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all; if anything, these collage images seem to me to be easier to translate into jewellery than their originals (which they themselves would doubtless translate into arguably interesting jewellery). One of the girls did note that she felt this image would work well as jewellery in plastic. I agreed. While I am however not a fan of working in plastic, it really would translate to affordable jewellery; depending on how you go about it. While in plastic the work can still turn out to be quite beautiful and expensive, all I see is gold, gold, gold!! Maybe some silver thrown in.
“Apollo between the Mountain and the Sea” by Kivuti
And so I finally submitted my proposed design to the Goldsmiths’ Company’s Precious Metals Bursary Competition! =D The competition is run to help fund final year jewellery students during their final year, gaining a bursary of up to £500 in precious metal towards the piece they submit (if they win). For budding jewellers as myself that are particularly obsessive over gold, this provides for many, a first opportunity to work with gold (or whatever metal you applied for).
And so! Ta dum dum dum…. The piece drawn here, developed from my photography, would be made of 18k/22k gold, set with 4 pearls. I hope they pick me, and by some force of serendipity, show grace by means of £500 worth of gold.
Well, fingers crossed and a heart full of hope!
This is really setting the pace towards the degree show!! =D