Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Stick a pin in it (see if it screams!)... Halloween Special!

Today's post is bought to you by the mystical powers indecision, frustration and thwarted ambition. All thorny issues I felt were evil enough to summon on a dark hallow's eve. I incite them quite happily for the purpose of this post and then shall banish them from whence they came never to darken my creative door any further!

As anyone who has been following my ramblings will know, I have fallen head over heels for metal working. I am excited whenever the first twinklings of a design sparkle somewhere in the grey matter of my head or heart. A plain brown jiffy bag arrives at the office, to anyone else it appears to contain little squares, rectangles or lines of metal, to me it holds potential (for a piece) and dreams (for something bigger!). I savour time I get to use a hammer, drill or blow torch and can play and develop and make. With a little luck and a lot of hope transforming a conceptual glimmer into an actual piece of jewellery.

This post isn't really about those times (sorry)

This post is about the dark side (mwahaha!)

I have to confess. Sometimes the twinkle doesn't get to sparkle. The metal isn't animated and given magical life as jewellery. Sometimes things just. don't. work. out. Or, they don't quite make it. This post is about suspended animation...

I present, exhibit A. Bat Pendant.

The bat pendant was designed enthusiastically as the shadowy yin to my 'sweet bunny pendant's light spring time yang. As it entailed more piercework I was happy as a bean to get sawing. However, this did not feel to be the end of the project. What was lurking in those very shadows? The accursed beast of indecision waiting to pounce. Dear readers, I have never taken the plunge in finishing the piece. In terms of its shape I am content, it matches my design. But it needs texture, possibly colour and, many months after bringing it into being I have yet to bring it to completion. Here are ideas I have toyed with thus far... oxidising, applying texture in the rolling mill (but precarious due to the thin creepy branch), stringing it with dark pearls, enamelling... 

And then, to our macabre second examination - Exhibit B. The screaming silver skull.

This piece has been doubly cursed, and perhaps rightly so given its' sinister nature. It was borne of my love of Tim Burton and a bit of a thing I have lately about skulls. My intention for this piece was to try my hand at wax casting and create a necklace with not one, but three stylised silver skulls, each with different expressions. I lovingly hand crafted the creepy little wax heads and was very pleased with my modelling work.

Fate and casting, however, are a fickle pair and a fabulous trio of silver brain cases weren't on my cards that evening. My tutor Nick and I diligently prepared the cast, melted the silver with the impressively large blow torch, poured in the beautiful molten substance and waited dutifully for the vessel to be cool enough to work with. When it came to the moment of truth, as I chipped away at the baked plaster, it was evident that all had not gone to plan. The plaster wasn't crumbling away as well as it could be. With a heavy heart I discovered, some sad looking blobs of silver :(

But wait! It was not a complete unmitigated failure. Amongst the sorry wreckage, literally screaming to be found was this hideous little beauty...

But, in keeping with the wicked witches cited at the beginning of my tale this too has a pin in it. When will the decisions be made? How will I help these creatures meet their destiny and the world? When the hurly burly's done?

Happy halloween! Enjoy pumpkins, the colour orange and use the evil forces for good (eg. writing blog posts!)


ps. If you like my darker side, here are some lusciously creepy sites that are well worth a visit...

If you go down to the woods tonight, watch out for... Kate Gililand - macabre jeweller extraordinaire, she works with found dead creatures (!), but in the flesh her pieces are incredibly delicate and fine.

If you just can't get enough skulls (who can?), check out the one and only 365 Skulls. Memento mori - tastic.

Lastly, a recommendation from Mr Silversmith for any gamers out there. Enter a simply stunning dark fairytale land as a young boy trekking through the forest in Limbo.

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