I have been hard at work creating some unique jewelry items, most from my own carvings which have then been cast in beautiful semi-precious lead free pewter using centrifugal casting. I have made brooches, pendants, choker necklaces, keyrings and earrings featuring an owl, fairies, a mermaid, flower girl, lizard, cats and even a little pixie.
A very talented metal caster here in Johannesburg casts these pieces for me, some of which were carved in wax, or in silver clay, and even in Pratley Putty! Centrifugal or spin casting uses centrifugal force to produce metal castings from a rubber mold and is able to capture a great deal of detail, which is very suited to my work.
Below are some examples of my new creations; some are also replicas of original Art Nouveau jewelry designs. All of these, and many more, are available in my shop here.
These necklaces have just been cast in beautiful shiny lead-free pewter right here in South Africa, from designs and wax carvings that I had made a few years ago. I loved the idea of turning my little cat into an unusual necklace, and the moth, or butterfly, was inspired by the bold designs of the Art Deco era.
The whole process of carving an original design from jeweller’s wax, then casting it with the lost wax process and centrifugal casting is an amazing process and one which I have learned over the last 5 years. I hope to be able to make many more unique and soulful design in the near future…!
The choker style necklaces are really stunning, and are adjustable in length. You can see more of my own jewellery designs: Necklaces, Brooches and even Keyrings here on my online shop. Or view my exclusive range on the menu bar to the left!
I have realised that I have a fascination with throwing cats and fish together.
It started with one of the first etchings I ever did, in London where I learned the craft 14 years ago; for some reason I was compelled to portray a little black cat swimming merrily along with some goldfish:
I hand coloured it with gouache, loved the result, and put out an edition for sale, which you can find at my Online Shop.
The image of a cat’s fantasy underwater realm stayed with me, and a number of years later I painted a whimsical watercolour and pastel of the same topic, only with added water nymphs and spirits:
A gorgeous Print is for sale here.
Yesterday, I found myself in one of Johannesburg’s quirky bead shops, where I picked up a wonderful stash of gorgeous Czech glass beads and findings with which to play and create, and the result, unsurprisingly was this:
I had such fun making these, and have decided to start a few themed jewellery pieces along these whimsical lines. This pair and other lovely creations can also be bought in my Shop!
….with more to come soon….
Last Saturday I continued my workshop adventures and did a Beginner’s workshop in Silver Sawing and Piercing with the amazing Novus Design Studio here in Johannesburg.
It was 5 hours long and we working with a Strelitzia design that we sawed out of a silver plate and eventually linked onto a Teak wood disk. There was much hand sawing, filing and polishing but the results were very satisfying and professional.
This technique of silver work is wonderful for intricate design and lettering, filigree motifs and cut out patterns.
I have been plundering my collection of glorious Art Deco books and have designed a new brooch. It is cast in lead-free pewter right here in South Africa from my original design which is based on a butterfly-moth combination. You can purchase it internationally by clicking on my online Shop.
Here are some examples of this amazingly versatile art movement which was prevalent for some decades after the end of the First World War. It lent itself imaginatively to many areas of every day life and if I had my way I would lead a resurgence of both this and the Art nouveau movement in contemporary art & design – things are just not as lovingly and originally crafted as they were in these times….!
a beautifully bold chocolate wrapper
an exuberantly colourful painted tile
I have finally finished the Tree design – the master copy has been cast from my wax carving.
I had previously posted the initial wax carving and sketch – see Jewelry Designs to the left – and here is the final piece cast in solid silver after the wax carving was finished. I used the hard green carving wax and filled in details with pink relief wax – wax is such a wonderful medium to work with. The finished piece or master copy is used to create a silicone mold to be cast centrifugally in pewter, and the design will be a brooch, a choker, a keyring and a pendant. Exciting!
I love depicting trees in all forms; their sinuous trunks and branches are perfect for translation into Art Nouveau style designs, and trees have powerful symbolism in their soulful beauty.
I decided to put two little birds in the branches of this tree so it would have company….
- Tree Necklace and Tree Brooch Design
well- that says it all….
I have all the paraphanalia spread out before me…gas burner, hard and soft wax, old dentist tools, craft knife, sand paper –
here is a photo of the sketched idea and the current state of the carving…it should be finished in a month or so- and will be here on our website amongst all my other original jewellery designs when it is!
My inspiration, again, is Nature – the all embodying Tree. I want something that is both lyrical in form but also functional as a totem piece of jewellery, so hopefully I can realise this….