These are my lovely new etched napkin rings, just back from the photographers. They’re the first round pair of napkin rings that I’ve done and, while the etch was a little challenging (especially on the inside of one!) I think that they’ve come out wonderfully.
A secluded January in the studio has given me time to think about some new ideas and where I want to start taking my work in 2014. I’ve been busy already, starting to etch on a larger scale (more of that later) and beginning to work on some new pieces of silverware for my exhibition stand.
Here’s a sneaky peak at some rocking Tidal napkin rings, works in progress:
I make some long handled tea spoons that have been part of my stand for a while now and, at a recent show, I took a commission for a caddy spoon version.
A Caddy Spoon is not an item that I’ve made before but is somehing that I’ve wanted to try for a while. I had a little drawing of the customer’s tea caddy and a fair idea of what would suit – knowing that they already liked my tea spoons. So I set about cutting the bowl of the spoon and raising it up then trimming it to back to a shape that I liked.
I had a few issues with the size of the handle – my long handled tea spoons have 4mm round handles but that just looked way too light weight once it was cut to the right length for this short handled caddy spoon. So I took the dimensions up to around 5mm round and think that it balances much better now. It certainly feels nicer in your hand and I’m a lot happier with the design knowing that I changed the weight of the handle.
Here’s a few images of the work in progress …
Part planished bowl
Part planished bowl
Bowl and handle
Bowl and handle, cut to size
Trimming the bowl to shape
Testing the balance
Sticky tape it together to check it
Lining up the soldering
and marked, ready for the Assay Office
and the finished spoon, ready to go for hallmarking:
I’ve been struggling for a week or so to come up with a larger, eye catching piece for the middle of my stand at the BCTF in a couple of weeks. I’ve thrown a lot of ideas around the workshop but the right one has been eluding me … I knew that I wanted to work at a slightly larger scale (and maybe use some stones) but nothing I tried was working.
A London based stone dealer Marcia and her team make a trip up to the Quarter a few times a year to sell to students in the university (where I first encountered her) and, more recently, to the general public in Cookson‘s foyer. The nicest thing about her visits is that you get time and space to fully inspect the stock, sorting through the jumble of lovely things that she and her team bring with her.
I was idling through the selection when I came by this:
A kind of fossilised coral. Isn’t it beautiful?
Each piece is different, with faint coral textures and an abstract shape all it’s own. It’s going to be just perfect for a big, new press formed piece!
I planned it all out and made the dies today so tomorrow I’ll set to work on it …
so, back at the bench today and fitting the base on this little beast proved rather a tricky manoeuvre. What works in card and sticky tape does not always work in metal and it needed a lot of shifting, filing and re-measuring to eventually get a neat fit.
With all the pieces lined up:
I bound it altogether, though I’m running out of the good, thick binding wire that I bought in uni so this is rather a Heath Robinson affair:
and the nice recessed base looks super:
I think I’m getting there with this piece, it’s a really cute size, so I’ll let it hang around the workshop for a day or so while I think about it, tweak it and draw etching patterns on it in sharpie!
Well – I went from paper model to copper model this week:
which is always interesting. There’s less than 1mm of difference between the thickness of the card for the model and the thinkness of the copper sheet but my, does it make a difference! Seeing something in metal gives it a whole new dimension and really made me realise quite quickly that this piece was just way too big.
So, a quick trip down the road to the photocopier at Delta Pi and voila! A new, smaller piece:
I made a few alterations to the basic shape, just to change the outline of the curves and the next copper sample is now ready for soldering: