Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Amber Bracelet, and back on the bench

Once upon a time Long Long ago I used to make jewellery ... well so it seems, it was months ago since my last real foray at my bench.

And then along comes a friend of Pam's who has a rather exquisite piece of Amber with a mosquito embedded in it, she requested that I make a piece of jewellery for her to show off the Amber.

This was no small request....

So I decided to make a bracelet and thus made an attempt at drawing out a design.... it wasn't good by any stretch of the imagination, I felt like I had the equivalent of writer's block.

Attempt at a design

So the months went by and nothing came to mind, and frustration crept in to the point where i was just going to send the Amber back and slink away AGAIN with my tail between my legs (another story for another time).

But as the time came closer to delivery date and Pam started making polite suggestion noises along the lines of "I'm going to sell your workshop if you don't start doing something again" I decided it was rather recommended to at least make an attempt.

Maybe the gods would smile on me and pass down a bit of inspiration....

So it was to the bench we went with my pathetic excuse for a drawing and a batch/bunch/load of silver 

And so let the first melt of many begin.........

Silver prior to first melt

There is nothing I feel more daunting than the first ingot pour when getting started

The first ingot is poured

And then the rolling begins and annealing and rolling etc etc to make the setting, I decided to start with the setting:

a. To get me started and 

b. to hopefully get some ideas going.

Rolling out plate for the setting

 The setting is well on its way

Soldering closed the setting

Stage 1 complete, but still no real inspiration

 So then I decide to make some 2mm wire and start playing with ideas, this is usually an expensive (time) way to do it as I will spend lots of time making wire and/or plate , test experimental ideas, end up with a pile of off cuts, melt it all down again and repeat.... a couple of times

Rolling out wire for the bracelet

Rolling out wire for the bracelet

Annealing the wire

But so an idea slowly starts to materialise in my head, and it doesn't look at all bad, rough but not bad.....

Maybe ... just maybe this thing will happen....

By now however my once pristine blank slate of a bench is looking like a war zone...

It doesn't get any better, but parts of the bracelet are starting to appear

Parts of the bracelet starting to appear

After many many many many attempts ... well you get the idea and some reworks following Pams advice to split down the side bars from two to four the bracelet came to life, the little latch proved as always to be the most technical part of the whole bracelet.

Completed bracelet - look closely for the mosquito

So all in all I hope this has successfully got me out of the doldrums and back to work, albeit after the christmas break as I have yet a bit more travelling to do, places to go food to eat and people to meet.....

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