Sunday, January 31, 2010


This was a quick test piece I did while avoiding my real project the other day. We learned how to set stones with bezels and prongs last week, and it piqued my interest in using prongs in one of my masks.

I'd like to use mirrors in place of eyes in my next piece (apparently all my work this term is going to be inescapable creepy). The idea bouncing around my head is to create elaborate housings for the mirrors using prongs to mimic and stylize eyes.

This is the back. I just used a scrap piece of copper I had lying around, so it already had some interesting negative space going on before I sawed out the prongs. I shaped it a little with the bend so that it would stand up on its own on my desk.


Friday, January 29, 2010

New metalwork!

First of all- apologies. Non-consensual hiatuses, even in the nebulous world of internet-land, are uncool. I disappeared to the East Coast for a month over the holidays, and when I got back I had to throw myself full-fledged into a new term of metalworking. I just now managed to get my head above my work long enough to bring my camera into the studio and photo my first piece of the term.

It's untitled, or at least a good title hasn't come to me yet. I'm spending the next term doing a series of facial jewelry- delving into masks, but not necessarily using masks as my starting point, yanno? Theoretically, I'll end up with three pieces by the end of the term, although I'm hoping to have time to make more.

I spent the first three weeks of class shaping and forming the eye piece, and trying to create a matching mouth piece to hang with a chain on either side of the nose. I didn't bring in Simone here to model it until the day before critique, and when I slipped the piece on her, the mouthpiece looked a BDSM mouthgag gone horribly, creepily, WRONG. Wrong in a thousand ways that didn't crop up at all when I was working it on my face.

I scrapped the entire mouthpiece and started from scratch with some chain I had been idly putting together in my free time. I set up a little liver of sulfur bath at my desk so I could patina it as I went (we were at t-minus 3 hours before the studio shut down for the night). I learned more about chainmaille that night than I have in five months of metalworking.

I wanted to incorporate some fake fur that my partner-in-crime Claire had let me have, so I glued it around the eye piece to soften the look a little and create contrast. It originally exploded out from the mask and overwhelmed the metal, but I trimmed it down and let it be more fuzzy.

By this point in the night, I was comfortable with the mask and chain, and I let myself get into dressing the model. I took a bunch of metal scraps and jump rings and pierced her up (no flinching, she was lovely and stoic). The fur made a great collar and hairpiece, which I gave up on keeping on her head, and by the end of the night I was pretty fuckin' pleased with the end result.

The critique went really well, with one hitch- everyone wants to see another mannequin in my next piece. Which is fine and dandy, but the mannequin tree (read- dumpster) has been scarce this season. Anyone have a spare body lying around the donate to Art?

(Extra long post because I miiiiiissed you all! Mwah! Mwah! I kiss your face, internet.)