I'm not sure if I like it or not. I'm questioning everything I make at the moment, but this at least is finished.
It's made of sterling silver, 18ct gold and stainless steel (the pin, which you can't see).
I think it looks a little better in real life than in this photo. I may have to experiment with photographing it.
It's based on landscape, of course, but abstracted a little. Maybe not enough? Maybe too much? I don't know!
( three more photos - click for larger! )
( because I watched fingermouse as a child.. )
Finally I managed to make a whole skeleton out of silver. I think he looks pretty good and I'm so pleased that I finally managed to translate my skeleton work into silver. The dome is glass with a mahogany base. The skeleton is about 7cm high and the overall height is about 13cm.
( two more photos )
( more pictures )
Another wonderful thing:
Here is a map of library cats across the world. It pleases me greatly to know someone has done this. I found it after trying to find the name of the cat that hangs around Dumfries' main library, the Ewart. It's "Blue", apparently. He's a fat and sleepy black and white cat who doesn't really flinch if you stroke him. Lovely beast.
That's what I've made in the last week. The Iolite See Saw ring was just because I was playing around with some pieces of silver and suddenly thought "Oh wow, if I do *that* it'll be FUN". Which it is :D
I'll get round to making a proper bit on my website when I've made a few more things and when I'm not feeling ill. Bleh.
Also, I'm going to do more skeleton stuff at some point, but at the moment I'm making quite simple things to, er, get my hand in, I guess!
The snake-bird is a piece I would be willing to sell if someone wanted it - if you happen to be interested leave a comment or send me an email. It did take me more than 30 hours to make, though, so be reasonable..
My snake-bird skeleton. He's made from steel and has riveted wings. I hammered every single rib to texture it before spot-welding it on.
( +4 photos )
It's a brooch made of steel that's been spot welded together. It's about 10cm square. The creature has the head of a bird, the ribcage, pelvis and right arm of a human (the arm acts as the catch for the pin), the left arm/wing of a bat (one finger of which is the brroch pin), the right leg of an ape and the left leg of a deer. It's been heated so it goes black and then sprayed with wax polish to stop it rusting.
I'm very pleased with it. It's for a competition, so I hope it does well.
( and two more. )
Soldering pewter is difficult. Pewter has a very low melting point, which means that holding a torch to a piece for even a few seconds can melt it. It's nervewracking.
( a couple more.. )
The icon I'm using today is of a bird skeleton that I've made out of wire and a little bit of sheet steel. The photograph is by my friend Maxiie - it's actually taken like a shadow puppet.
Everything set up for assessment. On the left is the project for making a tool (I made an imp-trap), on the right is a design project for a pewter competition (I designed a pair of loving cups for Civil Partnerships).
( Closeups of a few things.. )
I posted pictures of the same bowl and spoon not long ago, but they are, however, closer to being finished. That's not, as you will have no doubt noted, the same thing as finished. Shame, but I ran out of time. It's not like I didn't put any effort in. Overall I'm quite pleased.
There are also pictures of three pages from my sketchbook - two with drawings and one with a machine embroidery. I'd write more about them but I desperately need to sleep, so I'll just leave you with the pictures (click to enlarge..).
( various pictures )
For our most recent project, we had to decide whether to do scoring or raising. Scoring is as you would with paper; making a line to help form folds. Raising is a process that uses hammers and stakes to gradually shape objects - usally vessels of some sort (bowls, jugs, vases etc.).
( photos for your viewing pleasure )
The shapes are based on the human skeleton, but they are slightly more abstracted than in my last project. In this project we were told to make something functional. I had an idea for a vase based on the pelvis and backbone, but that will have to wait for another time.
I'm enjoying this project a lot. Raising is tiring work, but it's less frustrating (for me) than sawing out tiny pieces for jewellery or anodising aluminium over and over. It's quite a slow process to use (not least because you have to stop and anneal the metal quite often in order for it to be soft enough to work), but it hasn't bored me.
Stuff other than metalwork
Lately I've been trying to read a bit more. I have recently finished The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills, The Three Muskateers (I'd not read it before, which seems bizarre) and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Next I think I shall read Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
I'm looking forward to seeing V for Vendetta, even though I'm sure I shall come out of the cinema raging. There are many films I seem to have missed, unfortunately - Brokeback Mountain and The constant Gardner to name just two. I'll just have to get them out on DVD (or wait until a friend buys them and then borrow them!).
I have been baking lots in the last few days. I have made buns and biscuits, ( and here are the recipes. )
I have also been a bit stressed about money, but hopefully eBay will help with that. I have things I no longer wear which I will collect from home in April and then put up for auction.
I recently went to the college library and found a copy of Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh. It has patterns for various historical corsets (and crinolines, who'd have thought?), a couple of which I have photocopied and enlarged. At some point I plan to make an Edwardian corset for myself as well as a lovely 1860s pattern one (from a pattern not in the book) which is actually the right sort of size for me. Making them may have to wait until I have the money to buy the busks (solid front piece which, one later corsets, opens) and until I have a sewing machine again. I would like to make one of them, at least, out of some beautiful silk I have at home. I think I still have a piece of shot black and blue grey dupioni somewhere.
I'm sure I've forgotten various things, but, as this is turning into a bit of a monster update, it can wait.
My riveting is awful. The photos don't show the true horror.
( Aluminium Spine.. )
I plan never to anodise anything again. It's incredibly frustrating, because if it doesn't work (which is often) it's very hard to work out what you did that was wrong. I anodised two pieces at the same time, only one of which took the dye well. I have no idea what went wrong. I quite like the effects that can be acheived, particularly with photocopies (the writing that is on one of the pieces was from a photocopy of my friend's handwriting) but I think I'll leave the process to people who enjoy it.
This (and much of the other stuff I've posted) has very little to do with my course at the moment. I have spent most of my time in the last six months doing course stuff, though! Some of the things I've made are small and uninteresting experiments and some I just haven't photographed yet. I keep meaning to take a camera in, but I always forget things in the morning.
( only one picture )
( a new thing and three old things )
Other than uni I've not been up to an awful lot. I did go to London at the weekend to see the ever lovely Sarah and boyfriend. Other than that, I've mostly been sitting around doing not very much.
I have hardly read a word in six weeks. This is Bad and Wrong and will hopefully be rectified by me going on a reading spree. I have several books lined up already but please feel free to recommend books you think I must read at all costs. Currently I'm halfway through "Sophie's World", a book I've been meaning to read for something like eight years.
Life is good. It'd be better if I saw more people more often. I have not that much money (bah) and I work Saturdays (also bah) but seeing people is quite high on my list of priorities.
( ring )
Again, if you want one, pay me and I shall make you one! ;)
My current project at uni might well end up with me making a sort of spine out of bits of aluminium which'll be bright colours. That's the plan, anyway. I'll take photos once it's finished.