Saturday, February 19, 2011

Creative Freedom!

Group Critique

Well this has been the best week yet!  I really appreciated Susan Butz's teaching style.  (  She introduced a technique each day and then we were able to take it in our own direction to create a piece of jewellery.  Wonderful!  I believe our whole class found it rewarding this week to have that creative freedom.  There were certainly some amazing pieces made by everyone.  I'm including a few images of my classmates' work this post.  It was great to explore my own ideas, but also exciting to see what direction others had taken with the same technique.  Monday we did samples, Tuesday we did a sweat soldered project, Wednesday a riveted project, Thursday a finding that would be the focal point on a piece of jewellery, and Friday we finished up and had a critique.  Below are some examples of the week's efforts.

Godzilla and Cityscape pendant
Dapper Octopus brooch
by Ashley Neville

Riveted Horse brooch
by Brittney Howe

Steampunk Airship
by Tomas Hiseler

And my three pieces:
a box clasp that will eventually be a pendant, featuring a kingfisher overlooking some fish,
a riveted flower brooch,
and a sweat soldered ring

I felt inspired to stretch myself a little outside my comfort zone with the box clasp.  The design came together quite well in the end, and I certainly learned some things in making it.  And while I've thought of the importance of functionality with regards to patinas, kinetic components and the placement of gems and other elements before, this week I've had to consider the practicality of different surface finishes with regards to wear and tear.  I do love the contrast of a sandblasted finish alongside a glossy one, but in fact the sandblasted areas must be protected from getting scratched, and, as seems to (mysteriously) be the case with copper, getting wet.  That perplexes me still, but I'm test driving the brooch to see how the elements will impact it's appearance.  I'd love to show a more detailed image of the box clasp, but Susan Butz still has it for grading purposes.  Often a matte finish seems the better choice when a piece might suffer occasional abrasion of one sort or another, but it does appear that sandblasted surfaces don't disguise marks easily.  Time will tell.

Friday was an especially great day this week for a few reasons.  We were served a free lunch (someone knows the way to a busy student's heart!).  The meal was in fact part of an aboriginal showcase of sorts that was hosted by the college.  There was a drum circle, and dancers in regalia, info booths, and more. Unfortunately I did have a box clasp I was trying desperately to get finished so was unable to linger and see all the performances.  The meal was delicious though; bison stew, wild rice casserole, a bean casserole under a cornbread crust, salmon, blueberries and strawberries, and cheese bannock/tea buns.  And to cap off the day I traveled down to the Big City to spend the holiday weekend with family.  Shared a most enjoyable glass of wine at the end of a great week!  Here's to many more!

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