Tuesday, 31 January 2012

delicious patina...

i rubbed back the patination from the bronze medals with wire wool and applied a soft bee's wax to seal the colour. this has dulled down the colour a lot and has removed more of the patina, and made the surface shiny which i'm not sure i like

rubbed back, pre wax

this has the most lovely, healthy aroma

post wax, a bit dark and gloomy

Monday, 30 January 2012

back to bronze...

i pickled my bronze castings in acid to clean them and when i cleaned them the had a lovely pink tinge, pickled pink!

i wanted them to have a verdigris look as if they had been in the sea for a hundred years so i heated them and applied copper nitrate to the surface until they became a wonderful bluey green colour

the next step will be to remove some of the patination from the surface 
but allow it to remain in the grooves

Sunday, 29 January 2012

looking for inspiration...

this old walking stick has always lived in a corner in my parents house and i remember it once had a cheeky wee nip flask under the handle, but although the glass vial was broken long ago its still a wonderful piece of history
the handle unscrews...

...to reveal a cork beneath the lid

the edges of the hollow bamboo have been shaped at the top to hold the glass vial

a fine example of a worn, brass ferrule

Friday, 27 January 2012

my local...

its always a pleasure to go to the castle gallery whenever i'm in inverness, my nearest city. its got such a great collection of work by contemporary artists and makers from scotland and beyond

'starlings' by suzanne gyseman

'a cozy night in' by michael ross

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

galloping galleries...

a flying visit to edinburgh today to see some galleries, starting off with sarah hutchison of sh jewellery

sarah is an award winning graduate of edinburgh college of art, and along with her glamorous assistant ruby, now runs a fabulous jewellery gallery in morningside.  sarah told the story of her success through her portfolio of degree pieces, both her jewellery and silverware are stunning, it was a very inspiring meeting.

then on to dovecot to see the jerwood makers exhibition. it featured newly commissioned pieces by rapid prototype jeweller farah bandookwala, ceramic artist emmanuel boos, glass maker heike brachlow and installation artist keith harrison. it was pretty cool and really quite fun, especially the interactive bits that moved or lit up in response to human movement.

a quick dash round the scottish gallery which was exhibiting paintings by william gillies and william johnstone along with some beautiful jewellery and silverware by adrian hope, mizuho koizumi and naomi mcintosh

this was one of may favourite paintings in the gallery 'clouds' by william johnstone,
simple, dreamy and beautiful

a cheeky pic of this fabulous pencil sketch 'west coast gate' by sir william gillies
couldn't resist such a familiar sight!

a cool discovery was the gallery on the corner which represents and supports work by artists who have a physical or mental health condition or those from a disadvantaged background. its a great wee gallery with a clever layout and bright, fun paintings.

then the open eye gallery which was indeed an eye opener with awesome paintings, jewellery and ceramics. i was so impressed with this place, my favourite and a great end to a great day!

phew... must go back soon!

Monday, 23 January 2012

au yeah...

i visited au boutique on great western road today, a well deserved break from battling with bronze. its a really beautiful showcase of designer jewellery and the studio is pretty cool too! it was set up by jan rooney and julie mclatchie who are both gsa graduates. today i met jan, she was really helpful and was happy to tell me about the business.

the shop is beautifully displayed with good spacing for each jeweller

Sunday, 22 January 2012


spent the weekend, in various intervals, working on my art medals. its such a long process sawing and filing the bits that shouldn't be there. i've worn through and snapped so many blades, bronze is such a hard metal.

just a few snapped blades, the number doubled within an hour!

i have inhaled so much bronze dust i could sneeze a statue

but, i'm getting there, be it slowly and so, the limpet trio are pretty much done. its the big pebble one, that's in two halves that's causing the problems, the sprues were much thicker and therefor terribly difficult to get through, i'm currently using a combination of saw blades, fierce filing, sweat and swearing.

there are two of these, each with very thick, chunky sprues

as soon as i had removed the sprues from the three limpets, and took a step back i saw they finally looked and felt like they did when they were in their original wax forms

Thursday, 19 January 2012

the crash of a mighty chorus...

i found this funny little poem inside the pages of one of books i picked up for this project 
'the political works of longfellow'  
originally, i was just going to use it as an example of hand written text but then i read it... 

the crash of a mighty chorus
the throb of a wild desire
chaos and trembling and darkness
thunder and wind and fire
then stealing onward softly
a shaft of light gold - shod
composers call this music
and others call it god

...and have since, become quite obsessed with it. i have used the words to print and stamp onto different surfaces, draw the figure over the words and generally try to make sense of it.

i have been rather foxed by the line a shaft of light gold - shod at first i thought it referred to a shaft of light, as in sunlight, but couldn't understand why the word shod was there (shod, i understood to mean shoed as in shoes on feet or with regards to shoeing a horse) 

but as i searched deeper (through the magical swamp that is google) i discovered it meant something else, something that all of a sudden made sense!

a ferrule or the like, as of iron, for protecting the end of staff, pole, etc... ah ha! gotcha! (bazinga punk!)

a shaft (pole/stick) of light gold - shod (with a ring of metal, put around the end of a post or cane, to prevent wood from splitting)

then, all of a sudden i realised... i had spent the last few weeks going to life drawing sessions and drawing a man with a stick... what are the chances? sometimes you just can't see the wood for the trees!

so, i'm still working on how to develop this realisation into a 'wearable object that's not traditional jewellery'
the obvious would of course be to shod a stick (which is holdable) with a brass ring that could then be worn on the finger... but nae, i shall strive to think outside the box and come up with something mental and therefor, original

this is what i presented in the critical review...

a shaft of doweling, shod with gold ink (well, its a start)
and the first six lines of the poem individually letter tooled in a length of paper (inspired by dymo tape) 
with the end dipped in gold ink
with the two concluding lines tooled onto a paper luggage tag and placed inside the hollowed out pages of 'the political works of longfellow' from whence it came...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

gobbeldy gook...

i've been playing about with letters for so long now
i could be going mad

Monday, 16 January 2012

bang. bang. bang. ...

embossing sheet metal from both sides to create different effects

the impressions in paper reminds me of snow

Sunday, 15 January 2012

destination: edinburgh...

a trip to edinburgh town on saturday to see 'sleeping beauty' by scottish ballet which was wonderful but before that a wee wander through town took me to the delightful new shop miss katie cupcake

miss katie cupcake on cockburn street

discovered a lovely jewellery studio in bruntsfield called rosie brown

on sunday, a trip to paperchase and the mecca that is anthropologie on george street

Thursday, 12 January 2012

inky fingers...

playing about with different pens and inks and beginning to look at the body as a site for adornment 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

in the city...

after a morning lecture about the modern city and how we relate to it, i took a wee jaunt to the merchant city...

some good examples of text in design at purdies 

i also had a very quick peek in the roger billcliffe gallery... 

and noticed these lovely urchin forms by ceramicist vanessa bullick (love and want)
spiky and smooth, the surface textures are as if they have been under water

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

p-p-pick up a penguin...

well, i attacked the poor wee penguin...

i decided to be gentle and simply fold every page in the book
which created a conical shape that seems to resemble a round hut

Monday, 9 January 2012

back to school...

first day back in the design department after the holidays and back to reality with a new brief!

text in form...

examples of text in design

i picked up three books from the oxfam bookshop today...

i deliberately chose subjects i had no interest in so that it wouldn't be so difficult to deface them! i also wanted them to be fairly old...

'the political works of longfellow' 1912

'studies in literature' 1934

'howards end' 1960
(i feel i should read this, maybe i'll just fold it a bit)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

toot, toot...

finally back in a surprisingly dry glasgow after a very long 51/2 hour bus journey from the parental home...

my gigantic bag... so big, i could fit in it 
best fiver ever spent

glenshiel had a dusting of snow on the tops

a very wet and flooded loch lomond