Previous Module 3 designs: In my feedback my form was too traditional and the colours were a literal translation of my inspiration. To make my pieces more contemporary, I have to experiment with the form and the colour combination. I wanted to keep the detail & decoration of the object and the reference to traditional craft.
I started experimenting with wire. First I abstracted some forms from drawings and used wire to form/draw the details. I used Mario-Press to flatten the designs and make them look more like drawings:
I repeated the patterns to build up 3D groupings:
Forming the wire on a 3D shape:
Combining the wire designs with wooden circles:
Experimenting with wooden forms:
Using wood shavings to create new forms:
Using heavy body paint and gel media to create painted brush design:
First attempt to paint in wax, using gas torch to melt wax:
Improving temperature by using gas lamp, creates less bubbles and keeps the wax liquid whilst painting:
Painting flat designs on a paper plate. The plates are lined with plastic, which makes it easy to peal off the wax. I did try plastic sheets but the temperature of the wax was too high and made it very difficult to peal off the designs. I found that leaving the wax in a cool temperature after it has been painted, makes it really easy to peal it back off the plate.
Painting on 3D shapes. Treated/polished wood works really well. The wax peals off really easy. I tried vacum-formed plastic forms but it did not work as well as wood.
I sprayed the designs to see what they would look like in metal:
I also tried sand casting. The problem with sand casting is that the wax needs to be quite thick. I build it up and the experiment worked but the design was too heavy:
I also tried painting on wax sheets and trying different wax types. Pink wax has a very low melting degree and therefore melts really soft. I found that blue wax keeps the most detail and does not break very easily.
Painting different patterns and grouping them to create forms and designs
Electro forming the wax: After speaking to the technician, I felt confident that this method would be perfect for my painted designs. Coating the wax with conductive paint will build up a layer of copper/silver. The longer you leave it in the tank the thicker the layer will become. I found that this method keeps most of the detail and it makes it hard and wearable. Potentially the designs can also be casted into precious metal.
Building up volume: I used a wax pen to join the painted patterns:
Experimenting with different patterns and groupings:
Cold Enamel: baked at 150 degrees for 3-5 minutes. I pained the sample with acrylic paint and sprinkled it with the cold enamel powder. The experiment worked, however it looked like a cheap glossy spray or a varnish. I tried a further experiment by mixing the powder with water, like the wet enamel technique, it worked but had the same cheap look.
Here I experimented with hot enamel. The kiln was set to 800 degrees Celsius. First I burned out the wax from the electro formed design. I pickled the copper and cleaned the surface thoroughly. Then, I applied transparent wet enamel which I mixed from dry enamel and water in a grinding pot. I left the mixture to dry on top of the kiln. After drying it for 5minutes, I put it inside the kiln for approximately 1.5minutes. The enamel has melted in a thick layer. Next time I would try to keep the painted layer as thin as possible. I then pained the back side with conductive paint and put it back in the electro forming tank. The result was quite surprising. The copper set on the conductive paint and all exposed metal. It made the design less controlled with a quite surprising outcome.
Hot enamel: this was my first attempt at enameling. My main aim was to test the temperature. I applied a first layer of enamel and left it in the kiln for 2 minutes. The powder melted well and there was no change in the design. I then applied wet enamel on the first layer. It also worked well and could be sure the wet enamel would work on all surfaces.
I tried to make the pin less obvious by adding the painted flap at the back of the brooch. I liked that part but I still need to develop a better design for the pin. It needs to move inside the tube. Although the test of wearability all went well. The brooch is light in weigh and the pin works well and is hidden.
MODULE 4 – Professional Practice
Material Investigation – What materials do I want to use for my jewellery?
Materials play a big role in my design. I want them to be surprising and memorable, something that gets discovered and stays remembered. I want the materials to be unexpected, something that you do not connect with jewellery but when you see it, it makes perfect sense to use the materials in this way. At the same time I want them to look precious and desirable.
- Mild-steel: For my first experiment I used Mild-steel and Cor-ten A steel. I liked the transformation in the material and the modern look of the red rust. Although it is a very industrial and cold material, to me it looked very natural and warm. It reminded me of the Australian soil when I was travelling. Here I experimented with the change in the material, covering the samples with salt and water and leaving them out for 4 days.
2. Corten-A steel: I received a sample of 1.5mm steel. It was already treated by leaving the pieces to rust for 3 moths. The Corten-A steel, is made from a composition of different metals, which creates this strong red rusty colour but maintains the strength without weakening the steel.
3. Etched steel: I etched a number of samples to build patterns and to see the transformation in the steel. I found that the etching process if very aggressive. I liked the patterns it created on the metal and the unpredictable outcome.
4. Sublimated Aluminium: I experimented with this method in my HND course. It is a great way to work with colours and patterns. I choose the circles to experiment with decorating small sample areas to see what patterns I can create using the different colours. I used a traditional Russian print to decorate my samples. I like the relation between a traditional decoration that was hand painted onto cotton/woolen scarfs 500 years ago and my hand-decorated samples. I found the colour works very well, however to achieve my goal to make the material look precious and desirable, I needed to find a solution for the edges. After stamping the discs the edges where showing, this made the discs look very basic. The reverse side of the disc was sharp and it would catch your clothing or skin when you tried to move it around. I needed to find a way to make it desirable, precious looking, easy to touch and wearable. To achieve this I was thinking more practical. I could not spend my time to buff every single disc, this would also remove the sublimation from my aluminium, I needed a quicker solution. I wanted the discs to look and feel precious, I was thinking of a clear coating or a dip-coating that allowed me to seal the edges. I tried a resin coating. This worked to cover my edges, however it was a really long process and brought new problems along. After I coated the discs I needed to drill holes to hold the disks. This was very fiddly and messy. The overall effect still looked cheap and more plastic, which I did not like.
5. Reflective Tape: In my search for new materials I discovered a reflective tape. I wanted to create something memorable and surprising. When the tape catches the light it is quite surprising how bright the colours are. My idea was to create a wall with reflective patterns to create an illusion of preciousness. I also experimented with texturing the tape with punches, transferring traditional flower patterns on the tape. This was not very successful as it breaks the tape and makes it look damaged rather than decorated. I used doming punches to create a 3D shape. This worked on the grey tape but the edges of the dome started to separate from the metal. I wanted to play with texturing and colours to create the surprise, so I started piercing the discs and cold fixing them to a surface. I bent the discs to catch the light better and assembled them using a fish-skin pattern. This experiment went well, however, I did not invest much time to make it look precious yet. I saw a lot of potential to create different patterns using the discs or other shapes to build up a pattern. I found that the cold-fixing through riveting took a lot of time and also damaged the tape because I needed to use hammers and pliers. Threading the discs was a much better solution.
My second experiment included reflective paint. I thought that I could improve the quality of the pattern after cold-fixing it to the surface by painting the aluminium discs. I followed the instructions from the website and sprayed my aluminium discs with a white background. I then, took the discs and painted them with the reflective paint. The result was disappointing. Compared to the tape, the reflection was very dull and almost not noticeable. I also disliked the grey colour it left on the discs. I then tried to cover other objects such as beads and pearls with the reflective pain but the result was also very disappointing. It made them look dull and grey.
6. Velvet Textiles: I found the surface of this textile fascinating. It creates this shiny surface that changes colour with light. To me it also looks and feels luxurious and decorative. I cut samples to experiment with a mix of textile and metal patterns. The combination of reflective patterns and the velvet materials felt harmonious.
7. Wood: I experimented with a number of different woods such as pine, mahogany and lime. It is a strong material and I liked the idea of using it as my surface for my patterns. I wanted to use natural materials that were used in craft and design many years ago. I enjoy learning traditional wood working skills and preserving the old techniques that have been developed to craft and decorate objects. It is also a very familiar material used for furniture, homes and other constructions and not immediately connected with jewellery. I imagine how people used it over the past hundred years to create fascinating designs and I would like to maintain and keep this tradition alive today. I find creating by hand is very satisfying, there is a sense of freedom when I shape my objects.
Developing Patterns and Decorations
- Playing with steel rings: I used steel wire that formed on a mandril and PUK welded into rings. I then used a binding wire to construct a pattern. This technique can be used for many forms and shapes and could be explored with adding and applying colour onto the steel rings.
- Sandbags: Another technique I tried for pattern building was the sand bags. I had an idea of forming the wire around them and then using the hammer to form the wire around the sandbag. This method proved to be messy and I ended up using textile string around the frames with some reflective discs sawn into the wall of strings. What I wanted to achieve was a wall of strings and some of the discs building a 3D pattern. I felt I was moving further away from the desired effect, so I stopped this investigation.
- Sequence Pattern: I used the sublimated aluminium discs to create a pattern that decorates a surface. This experiment was also about creating movement and playing with the two colourful sides of the discs. First I used metallic cotton thread to secure the discs, this allowed them to move very easily but also meant that the thread would wear out quickly. In my second experiment I used binding wire which improved the quality but made it hard to move the discs.
My next experiment was to play with building patterns focusing on traditional Russian scarf designs. I started hammering creating patterns in aluminium and piercing them with a centre punch. This created an interesting texture and also formed the aluminium. I then started to weave the pierced discs through the aluminium, just trying different patterns and sizes. This experiment was successful for the movement of the discs and the play with the colours.
4. Repetitive Patterns: Here, I experimented with different shapes of patterns. I chose a cockerel pattern to decorate a surface. To multiply my patterns I used a R.T system to cut my discs. I created a steel disk with 3 different sizes of cockerels and stamped them using a hammer.
5. Inspiration for repetitive patterns: I looked at a number of artist to inspire my decorative pattern building. Junko Mori builds her patterns inspired by microscopic images and converts them into 3D sculptures. Another artist who decorates her surfaces using patterns is Emmeline Hastings. Her inspiration comes from landscapes and nature.
Emmeline Hastings Jewellery
Junko Mori got her inspiration from a young age looking at pond water through her brothers microscope and remembering the random patterns and shapes she saw. In her career as a Metal worker and Silversmith, she created a number of art works which I found very inspiring. I liked the repetitive patterns and the uncontrolled shape of the objects. For me her work looks aesthetically beautiful and decorative and this is what I wanted to achieve in my work. I want to take the details I am inspired by (i.e Russian Folk Art) and transform them into decorations that I fix onto the wooden surface.
Junko Mori Desings
6. Metal decoration on wood: At this stage I decided to work with wood and to decorate my wood with some interesting metal patterns. However, I wanted to understand why I have the need to do this. After writing my report it became clear to me that my love for art and crafts comes from my parents and my upbringing in Russia. From early age my parents taught me how important it is to value traditional crafts and the hand-making techniques. This is where my curiosity for traditional making skills has developed and I would like to follow this path and of sustaining traditions in my design by using the ancient techniques and materials, for my contemporary jewellery designs.
I carved a ring from mahogany wood and experimented with patterns and decorations in metal. I wanted to create a 3D design from metal. This design could be developed by applying colour and different pattern combinations. However, at this stage I still felt that I wanted to have a focus and a clear idea about my work. What is my inspiration behind this pattern and why do I feel the need to use it. I felt pretty close to finding the answer but I just needed to establish my purpose and aim for myself.
I applied the pattern onto the ring and experimented further with other ideas. What I did not like about this experiment, is using the glue. I tried riveting but that proved to be very difficult on wood, as the wire sinks into the wood very easily. It did work but I felt that it needs further improvement and more structure and focus.
7. Russian Folk Art Inspiration for my patterns and decoration on wood: This was my answer after researching the traditional Russian craft skill “Khokhloma’.
Traditional Russian Folk Art Paintings
This Russian traditional painting technique is called ‘Khokhloma’, named after the village it emerged in. Over 300 years old and still practised today, Khokhloma folks art is inspired by a traditional decorative motifs such as flowers, berries and grasses and shows the love of the nature. I found this technique very fascinating and beautiful and a perfect example for the skill and beauty of Russian craftsmanship.
The process is long and complicated, however the result is amazingly beautiful. After I researched this technique, I was disappointed by the news that this traditional technique is slowly disappearing because of competition from China. Factories in Russia have been closing and less younger people are learning how to paint the Khokhloma dishes and souvenirs and this is why I decided to preserve this precious traditional skill and use it in my work. I love how the wood is being decorated and made into something unique.
Here are some useful videos I have found about Khokhloma painting, production, history and situation today:
Khokhloma Making Process
- Traditionally the makers used lime and birch wood.
- The wood was formed with traditional tools and wood spinners.
- The wood was covered with a thin clay layer which made the wood look like clay objects. The clay dried for 2 hours in room temperature.
- 4 layers of raw linseed oil were applied and dried in between each layer. The last layer did not dry completely.
- On the semi-wet layer of linseed oil, an aluminium powder was rubbed in with a sponge and was left to dry.
- Now the wooden objects looked like silver, they were put in a kiln by 120*-130*C until the layer turned golden and set around the wood.
- A final layer of varnish was applied to protect the surface.
Making my Jewellery
After the material investigation, Pattern and Decoration Development and my Research into a Russian traditional craft called Khokhloma, I was ready to make and design my own jewellery.
Experiment with clay layer
- Preparing wood samples and covering them with clay. Drying time 2 hours or 40minutes in the oven at 120*C
- First clay mixture is mixed in with water and the second one with oil. I used a commercial grey clay for my first experiment.
- I bought terra-cotta clay which is smoother and has less sand grain. I thinned one mixture with water and the other with oil to be able to paint my wood with it.
Results and Lessons learned:
- Grey clay mixed with water sometimes splits the wood, especially when dried in the oven. It is best to air dry the wood first and then dry the clay in the oven after.
- The grey clay is not smooth enough and leaves a sandy layer on the wood. I tried to sand it smooth, like in the videos but it removes the clay layer which is essential for protecting the wood from the linseed oil layer that is applied after.
- Heat makes the wood crack. The solution is to let the clay dry first and then bake it in the oven after.
- Oil based clay takes a longer time to dry (2-3 hours)
Grey Clay sample 1 (water-based clay) & 2 (oil-based clay)
I tried clay on a varnished surface and after baking it for 20 mins, the clay just fell off the wood.
2. Experimenting with Linseed Oil layers
- I followed the instructions for covering the wood with 3-4 layers of linseed oil.
- The linseed oil dries much quicker in the oven by 60*C. However if the clay layer is not thick enough, it creates splits in the wood.
- The linseed oil will absorb in to the wood if the clay layer is not thick enough.
- I am struggling to create that sticky layer that was described in the videos, however this might be because I was using a grey clay that is not as smooth as terra cotta clay.
Samples of lime and oak wood that failed to build a sticky layer of linseed oil because the clay later was not thick enough.
3. Designing the patterns in metal for the ‘Khokhloma’ inspired decoration on the wood: I have used copper and aluminium wire and rolled it down in the rolling mill to create patterns that look like grass in the Khokhloma paintings. I have further stamped out some disks and rolled them into petals. Some of my pattern is inspired by Emmeline Hastings and Junko Mori’s design. I also experimented further with some 3D metal designs to create that beauty of the traditional painting on the tableware dishes. I thought that using the 3D effect would really bring the paintings alive. The colour also helped me to achieve the desired effect of 3D painted decorations on wood.
4. Colouring and preparing the patterns for the wood: I have researched the painting technique for the Khokhloma table ware and most of the painting was in oil colours. However, I wanted to create a 3 dimensional design, so I decided to spray my metal with enamel spray colour to give them the same bright colours. After I rolled down the metal, I started preparing it for the spray paint. This was a long process, as you have to polish each decoration and position for painting. Another solution I did consider but have not tried it this time was anodising aluminium and colouring it. This would safe a lot of time, however the colours are not as bright and they have a metallic look, which I do not particularly like. I would like to consider Anodising Aluminium but maybe in my next design development.
5. Assembling and making the jewellery: This time I used golden spray to coat my wooden parts. I ran out of time for my dead line and this is why I used spray colour instead of the traditional Khokhloma coating. I hope to achieve this in my next project. One idea that I was considering after talking to my tutors, was to find a specialist and craftsman in Russia and start learning the steps directly from the experts. This would avoid all the experimenting I have to do for the coating.
After preparing all the parts (wood, metal frame and decorations), I started assembling my necklace and a pair of earrings. After drilling the holes, I covered the wood with 3 layers of spray, let it dry for one day and started setting the patterns (previously tried on samples. I tried to follow the inspirations and photographs of the Khokhloma paintings on tableware. I found that there could be a lot more experiments I could do with creating new patterns and more dramatic designs.
6. Design Ideas and Wearability: I have prepared some drawings of my first design ideas. I would like to combine metal with wood and have a smart wearability solution. At this stage I am thinking to design a necklace and earrings.
I took a few pictures of manhole covers. I quite like the steel embedded in the concrete, the repetitive patterns make it look quite contemporary and industrial. The marking on the floor, makes the manhole stand out and it almost looks like street art.
I like the black steel and the rusty colour combination with the concrete. It is simple but still noticeable.
The round glass discs embedded in the concrete make the floor look futuristic. It lets in day light and makes the floor look lighter in weight.
From traditional to contemporary jewellery
Taking examples from the Fashion world – Transforming Fashion
Tradition transformed in architectural and fashion design
Experiments and Design Development
Creating an abstract form of a house. As you notice I used a contemporary material for the base form. MDF is a very contemporary material and it was used as a cheap alternative for wood. I liked that you can carve it very easily and it has a very natural feel to it and looks very simple but yet homely.
In this experiment I used metal copper tape. I wrapped up the MDF object and then hammered it down. It look a lot stronger as an object and also very modern. I liked that I created something that appears strong but when you pick it up its light like a feather.
Here I played with liquid plastic and I set it in a mold to create an object. It reminded me of the manhole photographs. I imagined this could be made in steel with a rusty finish. Just a very simple industrial form.This could look great as jewellery on a smaller scale.Here I played around wit some miliput. I wanted to create contemporary forms and set small details to make it look futuristic.
I also experimented with resin. I wanted to try and set some industrial patterns inside the media. I used a broken necklace and set it inside a traditional form in resin. I then took some simple patterns in wire and mixed resin and concrete to combine together.
‘A Sense of Place’
- Generate a range of ideas through research that express my interpretation of ‘A sense of place’. Prepare a series of design proposals and select one to take to a resolved conclusion.
- Prepare visual research methodologies with photographs, drawings, pinterest, mood-boards ect..
- Show that traditional design can be transformed to contemporary objects. Using inspirations from cultures, traditional objects, my memories of childhood etc. Using different materials to show traditional designs can look contemporary. Playing around with contemporary forms to change the traditional look.
- Show your design development skills, through demonstrating a number of ways how to develop your designs and using materials that would reflect my idea of making something tradition look contemporary.
- Take the results from your experiments and develop a final design that you want to concentrate on.
- Critical contextual and cultural considerations.
2 Week Design Project: Diagnostic (two-part project)
After I created the ‘ring protectors’ in week 1, I decided to focus on the sentimental value of my wedding ring and the memories it provokes inside me.
Tools to help us developing our ideas:
Think/Fell Exercise – With your right-side of the brain think of an object and draw it down and then do the same with your left-side of the brain feel the emotions the objects has…
Emotions/Feelings/Memories my ring has for me when I look back at my Indian Wedding:
|1||Rice||Prosperity, wealth||Collection of grains||Gold /Metal|
|2||Coconut||Fertility, Female body||Round, feminine||Green/ Metal, matt enamel|
|3||Fire||Warm, Home, Ritual of circling fire||Reflections of fire and a path walking around the fire 4 times to become husband and wife||Gold, Red / Metal, wire, red beads|
|4||4 Pillars||Guardians, Parents, love, support, guidance||Supportive, 4 strong pillars||Gold/ Red / Metal, beads|
|5||7 Steps||Getting close to God, happiness, support, intentions, faithfulness, respect, wealth, friendship||7 steps, separate steps to come closer to God and to a spiritual partnership||Gold, Red, Yellow / Metal, beads, wire|
|6||Guests||Celebration, bride colours, do not remember faces, just colours||Rows of faces that I do not remember, decorating the room and watching the ceremony||Colourful reflections, Gold / Metal, stones, reflective metal, wire|
|7||Bride||Red mark in my hair||Fold to emphasise the red mark||Red enamel, metal|
|8||Married Couple||Coming together, bond between bride and groom, tie between 2 families||2 parts coming together with a tie/ bond||Gold, Red, White and Green (traditional colours for bride and groom) / stones, metal, textile|
|9||Bride entering marriage||Purity entering married life and opening her self to love, spiritual partnership||From a small world into a big new world, entering a new world||White, Red, Gold / Pearl, red enamel, metal|
|10||Flowers||Beauty||Stones, petals||Red, Gold, white / textile, metal|
Project Plan – Module 1: Diagnostic
Tasks 1: Identify possible directions of development
- draw mind-map with possible directions
- draw out ideas for further development
Task 2: Experiment with materials, forms and colours
- make models of designs
- use material that relate to your designs
- experiment with forms and shapes
Task 3: Further Design Development
- use the think and feel exercise
- draw abstract form of your design ideas (bring your emotions/feelings into your designs)
Task 4: Change your designs, focusing on the feeling/emotions
- make new designs
- experiment with colours, materials and forms
Task 5: Prepare a series of designs proposals
- group your experiments and identify a directions you want to go
- draw further design developments and exploit the design potential
Task 6: Consider the markets and different audience for your designs
Task 7: Consider how manufacturing processes and your target market influence your decision-making
Task 8: Prepare Presentation
- get a range of objects currently in your production
- show the original ideas and the development in your proposal
- include project plan, identified market and cost in a word processed document
– Select one object to develop further
|– Project Plan
– Task 1
|– Task 2
– Research related JD
|– Task 2
– Research related JD
|– Task 2
– Research related JD
|– Get inspiration||– Visit to Tate Modern|
|2||– Task 2||– Lecture
– Task 3
|– Task 4
– Research related JD
|– Task 5
– Research related JD
|– Task 5||– Task 6
– Task 7
– Task 8
|– Task 8|
These are my outcomes:
My works are abstract and reflect on a feeling and memory I have when I look back at my Indian wedding.
1. Traditional Indian wedding colours for a bride and groom, mixed with metals and other symbolic material and form. Red representing – love, green – fertility, white – purity and gold – prosperity.
2. Married woman – after the wedding ceremony, the husband draws a red line along the path of his wife’s hair, she is now a married woman. My piece was is bent and marked by a red line to emphasise the feeling I had when I got the red powder on my head.
3. Rice – the daily food people have in India and they use it a lot during the wedding ceremony to wish the couple wealth and prosperity in their future life. I made a bowl that reflects the prosperity and underlines the meaning of rice in an Indian wedding.
4. Pillars – the 4 pillars are the guardians and also represent parents who will give you support and guidance in life. I made a piece to show the symbolic meaning of the 4 gods and our parents. The 4 pillars are standing stong and protect us from all directions.
5. Guests – I made an abstract piece to reflect the colours and memory I had when I looked into the room with our guest sitting in rows watching the ceremony.
6. Bride & Groom in a spiritual partnership – this is a symbolic act by which the bride and groom accept each other and are ready to start the ceremony. I made a piece that is very emotional. My work shows that we are becoming one piece but tied together and our families are now connected.
7. Circling the fire – to close the marriage the couple need to circle the fire and pray to gods. I made a piece that is abstract in showing the movements around the fire and making the promises to each other and the guardian’s.
Q1: Markets & Audience for my new designs
- CONTEMPORARY JEWELLERY GALLERIES (private)
- SELECTED STORES (artisan jewellery stores)
- CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS
- INDIVIDIAL SALES (online, studio)
- RETAIL STORES (department stores for more commercial designs)
I see my designs/jewellery appealing to contemporary jewellery galleries around the world and international artisan jewellery stores. There is an opportunity to adapt the designs to a more commercial taste and sell to selected retailers and also promote your designs to public on your own website.
Q2: How do methods of my manufacturing process and my target market influence my decision process in my design development?
At the beginning, I would be designing and manufacturing myself and also do the wholesale and retailing myself. I would need to prepare some samples, catalogue and website to go to exhibitions, galleries and stores (Europe & Overseas). In preparation, I would also need to know the cost of manufacturing, wholesale and recommended retail price, production times, delivery times, packaging etc…
Q3: Indication of expected cost
Object 1 – ‘celebrating guests’
- Development Cost: £160 (this cost will be distributed through distributed sales)
- Material Cost: £60 -80 (gold-plated with stones)
- Manufacturing Cost: £80 (1 day, preparation of parts and assembly)
£60 (mould and casting cost)
£40 (polishing cost)
£100 (marketing cost) depending on your budget, this cost will be distributed through estimated sales
EXPECTED TOTAL COST : £262.60
(Object 1 – based on estimated sales of 100 units)
- there was a connection/style between 3 pieces I made (guests, bride & groom and rice). I identified that Iiked to present ancient culture and tradition in a contemporary, modern new way. It made my objects look very modern and simplistic but at the same time keep the meaning/emotion of something traditional.