Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cold Connection Jewellery

For a little while I have been joining in with the regular jewellery classes at the Beetroot Tree with tutor Helen Domleo. She puts up with my skitting around from one technique to another and forgetting how to solder each week! Helen is an amazingly experienced jeweller having travelled widely and learnt techniques form mastercraftsmen in Indonesia (amongst other adventures). She still spends a lot of her time pushing the materials and seeing where her ideas and experiments take her, a sign of a truly creative mind, so that every week she brings samples for us to be inspired by.
At the moment I am exploring cold connections (so that I don't have to solder!), with the view that they might be useful for my textiles. I can forsee obvious problems trying to soldering metal with fabrics and threads in the vicinity at the same time!

This week I have made two sweet little chokers for my daughters using textured copper, stainless steel fabric and a rivetted construction:

Next time we are all excited by the technique of making 'Dragon Skin'!

My main aim in these classes is just to have fun learning new techniques but some of them might translate eventually into my work also, especially as I am spending most of my studio time at the moment pushing new ideas for my next book (not due for photography until the autumn this year).
Also, I think that it is very important as a tutor myself, to regularly put myself back in the position of a participant or student as it is easy to forget how it feels to be confronted with new techniques. I hope my teaching benefits from this 'turning the tables' every now and again.

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