Monday, 26 November 2007

a coral neckpiece

This is a neckpiece made from the coral used in the earlier brooches and with the thread to accentuate the spines - it's also a sampler in some ways (as many of these pieces are) where I have tried a few different effects and ideas with the thread that I will use again later. It was a bit tricky to photograph, so here are a few different views:

on my lobes...

I have been busting to make earrings for a few weeks now and have been sketching them madly at every opportunity! There have been lots of exhibition, production and teaching deadlines and events recently so I had my first chance this weekend past to get back to the pink and make the first pair - I am pretty happy with them but there's room to improve on a few things. Here they are...

They are
surprisingly easy to wear given their size and weight - I rather felt like I had stepped onto the set of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette when I tried them on, but without the fabulous wig and frock! These are the first of several pairs planned...

on my lapel

One of the most influential early pieces of writing I read when a jewellery student was written by Julie Ewington and was titled "On my Lapel" (from memory it was a paper from JMGA conference in the early 90's...) anyway it is a wonderful piece of writing that discusses the significance of the jewels we wear and is very much situated in the context of the theoretical concerns of the time - I now always give it to my first year students to read and it has, somewhat randomly inspired the title of this post. This also reminds me to register for the 2008 JMGA conference in lovely Adelaide very exciting - details at
Now for the piece - it's a lapel pin made with... you guessed it! NYC Pink casting wax, a pearl and pink thread with a silver pin.

I can't even begin to describe why I find this wax and pearl combination so appealing, in so many ways...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

String of pearls

Another labour of NYC Pink love! This was supposed to be a very simple neckpiece with small wax elements - but somehow I got carried away with the baroque lushness of it all...

For some reason this neckpiece reminds me of my Grandma, although she hated pink! I think it has something to do with the time and meticulous work involved in making it - she was a milliner and always sewing. When Christmas starts to loom on the horizon I always think of the day we used to spend making Chrismas table decorations together each year, something I always looked forward to.

Bright Spiny Things!

I made these brooches for the Zu Design Christmas exhibition titled Bright Shiny Things. They are a development of the brooches made last week... I have called them Bright Spiny Things! They carry on the underwater garden theme - as does the Lei in some ways. It is funny that things so bright and PINK should be so reminiscent of underwater worlds - although I guess they do use watery materials!

Fascinator brooch

A brooch made from the same plastic flower as the Lei. The petals and pink thread are set in NYC Pink casting wax and there is a little pearly set in amongst them. It is very light and when worn it has a life all of its own!


A lei made from parts of an artificial flower in day glo pink plastic. I cut off the petals, drilled and threaded them to make this piece.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

family portrait (or how I spent my weekend)

...and now a visit to my underwater garden to take tea with a funny spiny creature or two

This is pretty much my new favourite thing! I like it so much that I made another one... a friend perhaps? I am itching to make more! Next stop a coral and pearl neckpiece in the spirit of the earlier wax ones!

Assembling these pieces takes HOURS as the wax is added drip by drip by drip, but I am starting to get a good technique going and it is absorbing work. Who would have thought my wax welding pen would become my new favourite tool... or that I would make a mercy dash to the 7-11 at past midnight on a Saturday night because it needed new batteries!

When too many pearls aren't quite enough!

This brooch is gaudy and glamorous and a wee bit baroque. It started its life as a neckpiece (pendant on pearl scattered thread) but halfway through making it I realised that it was all wrong. So out came the scissors and on went more and then some more pearls and more thread for good measure! It works beautifully on a lapel...

Back on track with the pink thread...

After the previous two deviations I am back on track with the pink thread. This brooch uses my new favourite material NYC Pink casting wax and rose quartz with a pink thread detail at the top left.

Pink Pearls... but still no thread

Ok so this brooch doesn't have the pink thread either - but it's the link between the green one below and the next pieces in the pink thread adventure...

Monday, 29 October 2007

not pink...

This doesn't use the pink thread... It is a brooch made from green casting wax, pearls and tiny chrysoprase beads. Because it is based on the wax pieces I have been making for this project - particularly the Rubies and Pearls for Louise Bourgeois neckpiece I allowed myself to post it! Stay tuned for a pink tufty brooch...

keeping with the sprouty theme...

This is a piece I made today - hot off the bench! It is made from a white plastic fake flower stamen-like thing, NYC Pink wax, 925 silver and thread. I have quite a few of the white plastic bits and I'm looking forward to using them all! I got them at the same time as the pink thread...

Pink Sprout Neckpiece

I'm not so sure this one... I made it a few weeks ago and debated about whether to post it or not - but adhering to a strict document everything policy, the duds and the good ones will all be duly photographed and posted!
The piece is made from a wooden pink bead, a pink sprouty bit from a plastic aquarium plant and some fine silver roll printed with leaf skeleton has been cut to make petals. The thread makes its appearance as a triple strand with single threads tied randomly around its length (see detail) - I like this detail and will use it again...

Monday, 22 October 2007

a cumulus of body organs and rubies and pearls

This neckpiece is called Rubies and Pearls for Louise Bourgeois. It is currently showing in an exhibition called explorations at gaffa Gallery This is an annual exhibition put on by the wonderful folks at A&E Metal Merchants.
It is a follow on from the earlier neckpiece and again uses NYC Pink casting wax, this time I have used three strands of the thread for strength and added rubies and pearls to the wax. It is much longer and heavier than the first wax neckpiece.

Making it was a labour of love - I spent HOURS obsessed with getting the drips of wax just so. The colour of the wax and the way I was using it made me think more and more of Louise Bourgeois' sculpture as I was making the piece - I always associate her with shades of icky pink and bulbousness (amongst other things of a more intellectual nature!).
I was inspired by pictures I saw this week of the inside of my stomach taken during recent keyhole surgery - confronting but beautiful at the same time. I added the rubies and pearls to the piece at about the same time as I started thinking about the connection between Bourgeois' often confronting and visceral, yet strangely beautiful sculpture and the experience of seeing my own interior landscape in all its vivid pinks and reds and whites.
Why add real pearls and rubies to the wax and thread? A recurring theme in my work is the questioning of what we value
(and why) - for instance, I know that when there is hardly any pink thread left it will feel like the most precious material I have. Adding valuable materials to the work acknowledges this... and it looks beautiful

Getting crafty!

One of the fun things about this project is getting crafty - I am re-discovering all of the pursuits of my childhood... the first thing I have re-discovered is the gentle art of pom pom making.
Last week I made one fairly large one which took a very long time. At first I thought it could be a pendant - but then after I had made it into a pendant neckpiece, I realised that I need to make lots and string them to make a graduated neckpiece. It will take a very, very long time, but the results should be impressive!

Just the thought of it completed makes me think of her fluffy pinkness Barbara Cartland!

Chewed gum?

This is a neckpiece made from 'NYC Pink' casting wax melted onto the thread to create beads.

I love that it looks like chewed gum!

the rules

These are the rules I set myself for the project... they are a bit hard to read in the image so here they are again:
  • wearable
  • continue until all the thread is gone
  • only use other materials found in my studio

take a ball of thread...

Hello and thanks for visiting.
This blog is part of a new project I am embarking on. The plan is to use this entire ball of pink thread I found to make a series of new jewellery pieces. I have no idea how many metres of thread are on the ball, nor how many pieces I will end up making - this is part of the challenge and the excitement of the project.
I decided to embark on this series of work as a way of pushing myself to explore new materials and ways of working. I have set some rules for myself and as the project progresses I am finding that the limitations also spell a kind of freedom. Wish me luck!