Sunday, March 13, 2011


I had trouble finding my momentum this week, after such a laid back week during Reading Break.  This was our second week of our split course of Art/Jewellery History and Surface Design.  We covered most of the course material in the first week, so this week wasn't as packed full of projects as I might have liked.  I certainly do enjoy seeing the slides of jewellery from the different eras though, very inspiring. 

In surface design we reticulated silver, with varying degrees of success.  I love that surface texture a lot, but it is time consuming to produce and would take some practice to repeat with consistent results.  We also did depletion gilding this week.  That turns silver a matte white colour, but it scratches SO easily I don't think I'd find an application for it.  Above is my sample for cold mechanical gilding, more commonly known as copper leaf (or gold, silver, aluminum leaf).  I roller printed a real leaf, and then tried to just place the copper leaf in that space.  Very finicky work.  And fragile unless sealed afterwards.  I'm finding I am disappointed with how fragile a lot of the surface treatments are.  They are susceptible to oxidation, scratching, and wear more than I would've thought, considering they are used by many jewellers on finished pieces.  Many surfaces are treated with a wax of one sort or another to seal the surface, but that doesn't last forever. 

We're halfway through the course now, and I'm feeling anxious to be back in my own studio churning out my own work.  At the same time, that comes with scary financial stresses, and means I have to leave a lot of the dreamy equipment I have access to here behind.  The price of silver is scary right now at $36, but our instructor this week says that when she started in the 70s it was $50 an ounce.  Ouch!

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