Monday, 25 August 2008

A bit of piercing work

It's been a while since I provided any idea of what I was up to with my pet rock project so here's a peek. The underside of the rock was to be left open to allow light to shine through the mother of pearl wings when the piece was picked up. I experimented with a couple of options and finally settled on this "woven" effect being created by overlapping leaves. I need to be sure that the whole space was reasonably evenly covered but at the same time to suggest a random and natural arrangement...I think it worked out OK.

The material is a variety of brass which allowed me to develop a very pleasing and warm ochre colour. The chiselled texture on the leaves, a combination of kata-kiri and maru-bori ( gouge work ) allowed me to actually use two different tones of colour, this really added to the painterly effect I was after. The other thing that I did to heighten that feel was to model the flowers by only very roughly working them with a simple rounded punch. They were then gilded.

The first image shows my jewellers bench and the 3 different piercing saws I use. The biggest one is necessary for those cuts that simply can't be reached on larger than usual pieces, like some of the work on this back plate. The middle one is my standard saw and one I've been using for nearly 30's my old faithful and feels like part of my hand. They just don't make them like this any more. The smallest one there is actually an antique German one. A lovely birthday present from my mate in Berlin, Karl Wunderlich. It's nearly 200 years old but it very precise and handles very well. It's especially good for very delicate work.

If you have a fast internet connection and you'd like to see these images in higher resolution, and much bigger, you can simply click on them.
Posted by Picasa


Lorenzo said...

I have seen it with my eyes, and still remember how lovely made it is. You are a real artist.

Doug Sanders said...

Ford- you've set yourself to a difficult task there with those leaves/grasses. Maintaining realism without relying on stylistic shortcuts and as you say covering the area equally. There's an easy solution, but I think you've chosen the more difficult, for the better end result. Anxious to see all the elements when they come together.

Ford Hallam said...

Thanks fellas...nearly there now...I'm holding my breath while I do the final fitting of the wings.